This weekend I popped home to Bristol for Web Developers Conference 2011 and while I was mainly going to see a few friends I came away inspired to make some changes. Three of the talks at first seemed to be the common "This is how I went from being an inexperienced dev to being part of an awesome company" but the combination of different approaches and characters complimented each other perfectly and left me thinking for most of the day. By the time Paul Boag finished his talk I was ready for some big changes.
The CodeIgniter Community has been crying out for EllisLab and the development team to be more open and forward with information, developments, roadmaps, etc and EllisLab have taken this to heart. Yesterday they put up a "nightly build" of the new documentation which has been worked on in a GitHub branch for months and is not in develop and... the community said AAAAGGGGHHHHHHH! This post is an explanation of why the new documentation is amazing.
With CodeIgniter moving to GitHub we are starting to see a lot of CodeIgniter developers wanting to learn more about Git, specifically how they can use it to improve their workflows, manage their applications and move away from the horrible days of copying and pasting updated libraries off a wiki. UCK. Sparks are helping us on the whole, but there is another method that we can use to manage our packages: Git Submodules.
In the past I have never needed to implement oAuth into a PHP project. I have done it in Rails and boy it was easy thanks to OmniAuth. OmniAuth abstracts away so much of the grunt work that it takes about 5 minutes to add a new social network to your site, and 4 of those minutes are spent signing up for the API keys. What options do we have in the world of PHP? A bunch of screwy hacks or provider specific classes like TwitterOAuth. I don't want to hunt down 20 libraries with different methods, I want to get a key, bang it in and go to the pub. Well, now I can!
CICON2011 happened and it was awesome. We had 100 CodeIgniter nerds in the same place - which is the biggest collection of nerds since CICON2010 in the UK, but this event was so much better. We had a whole load of announcements that have changed the way the framework is contributed to and improved the whole community for the better. This is not me blowing smoke up my backside, but feedback I have had from attendees. So, what did you miss?
Anyone following me on Twitter will have seen tweets coming in from all-over the place for the last few months. Am I on holiday? Nope! I've spent the last 4 months traveling USA and Canada doing a bit of work here and there. With freelance, a passive income and some training sessions here and there I am actually making a profit on traveling the world. A few friends wanted to know more so they could do it themselves, so how can you?
We've been working hard on PancakeApp - a CodeIgniter-based Invoicing system - and it's getting to be a real power-house of features. This is turning out to be more of a "Freelancers Side-kick" with not just invoicing but project management, time tracking and the starting of some great CRM features. The video is about 11 minutes but it's worth it so please take a look. In the mean-time I will be working on Milestones and Call Logs.
"ORMs are overweight, slow, hard to work with, pointless and for people who don't know how to use SQL". These are all arguments we have all heard - and in some cases in the past I have even used - but this is a stupid argument made by people who either looked at a "Getting Started" page and thought "yuck" or tried a bad clam and decided to avoid seafood for the rest of their life. In this article I'll explain why I have converted from a fully anti-ORM developer to somebody who strongly reccomends you give a [good] ORM a try.
As you may have seen in my last article I'm currently off traveling the world (well, North America for now at least) and I wanted to give people a quick update as to what is going on with various projects while that is happening. The good news is nothing is being dropped and everything is coming along really nicely, but I'll just quickly explain what my projects are and why and how I stay involved with them all.
This summer I'll be travelling around U.S.A with nothing much more than a Greyhound coach pass, a laptop, a map and of course a smart-phone. On the way I'll be meeting developers, talking at a few offices offering Git/CodeIgniter/Fuel training and having several nerd-beers along the way. To help people see what I'm up to and to help connect with people as I go I've created a funky web-app: TravlrApp. It is a social networking site to help make travelling more social, more manageable and more open. Using services like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Instagram you can mark your activity on a map automatically and your friends can see what you've been up to. Currently it is in private beta, but invites are available to anyone who subscribes on the homepage, and existing users have 10 invites.