Learning Zend Framework and getting a repetitive stress injury doing it
My friends & colleagues have used Zend Framework (ZF) for a while, and I do my best to avoid it and use the Symfony PHP framework. Initially I was open to learning ZF, I was just curious why people liked it. The more questions I asked, the more I realized there were no good answers other than standards for standards sake, and variations on the Sunk Cost Fallacy. If pressed I was told that I had to give Zend Framework a chance because it is a younger framework than Symfony, (um no). Some of the developers had even written a library to add on to Zend Framework to make it more usable, it contained features that were already in Symfony. IMHO, writing code to help a framework catch up is an excellent reason to switch to another framework.
Continue reading “Symfony refactor of the Zend Quick Start Tutorial”
This is a really interesting take on a online bookstore that is really optimized for free form exploration with a very intuitive interface for those accoustomed to a mouse with a scroll wheel.
Interesting User Interface, and it brings up some thought provoking usability questions.
This type of experimentation is going to lead to some very interesting Information architecture in the future.
I don’t know why I’m still surprised by the Internet, but there’s a guy who ranks loan calculators.
Fortunately he liked webdigs.com‘s mortgage calculator:
A new version of the mortgage calculator will be out soon, maybe we’ll break 9.
Many times using scripts I find on the Internet turns into kind of a hassle. They are usually unfinished side projects, or are kind of bloated and slow.
TableKit is not one of those scripts, it’s fast & easy to implement. Development time was low, and the designers didn’t complain too much about working with it. What it lets you do is create a html table slap in some ID’s & classes, load the js, and you have a really nice sortable table. This sort of elegance in design is never easy and the folks at Millstream Web Software have done a great job on this.
I used it on the Real Estate site I’m working on webdigs.com/mywebdigs (free sign up required) to organize our users favorite saved houses. I’ve found myself using it a lot for my own home search.
This last week has been really got me feeling pretty positive about the future of the Symfony PHP framework.
Last Thursday called me and is the first recruiter to ask me if I knew the Symfony framework. She’s got a pretty awesome opportunity near Boston, MA to fill if anyone is interested.
The next Tuesday I went to a presentation at Sierra Bravo here in Minneapolis, MN about the Zend Framework and Lucene. Maybe I’m a fanboy but it really looks like Zend has some catching up to do. Lucene is impressive and there is a Symfony plugin for it. Justin, Tom, and the rest of the Sierra Bravo Crew have already cranked out 5 Zend Framework sites but when I showed them the development environment in Symfony someone in the crowd literally said “wow”. It was admittedly a pretty nerdy bunch, when Justin (the presenter) mentioned a design patterns book he liked the guy next to me tapped his chest and made the peace line and said “that’s who I’m down with” 🙂 If you are interested in attending their next presentation RSVP here.
The 3rd thing that reminded me how great Symfony is was just today when I showed a client an Admin Crud that I had created in about 30 min. He was pretty excited, and it’s nice to have happy clients.
Yahoo Pipes allows anyone to create their own mashup in a method very similar to creating a flowchart.
After messing around just a little I was able to create 2 pretty cool little mashups:
The first one geocodes garage sale locations and puts them on a map. Not very well, but it was really easy to do, so it was still worth the effort
The second one combines 5 different Job search feeds into one, checks to see if the titles are unique, and then sorts the results in descending order by published date. I still prefer indeed.com for looking for Job information, but if I can also grab the feed to format myself to fix those problems.
All in all, it’s pretty cool stuff. I think I have a real world use for an aggregated real estate news feed on www.webdigs.com already
This is a narrative of my experience with the Symfony PHP 5 framework over the last 10 months. The short story is that I’m a fan, but it’s not perfect.
Continue reading “Symfony PHP Framework – My first 10 months”
I should be receiving a “PHP Web 2.0 Mashup Projects” from PACKT publishing in the mail sometime soon, once I get it I’ll try to have a review up in a couple of weeks.
If you are interested check out the full book description at PACKT publishing
I’m pretty excited about it, I was planning on starting a personal mashup project to link Craigslist garage sale postings with google maps, so this book is coming along at exactly the right time.
So I was taking my morning stroll through popUrls when I came across two articles. One about CrazyEgg, a really cool tool for gathering usability statistics, and the other this really random, unconventional, whimsical, unprofessional, unattractive, outdated, not entirely original, and really really effective website for some hippie named Miranda July. (FYI – I call anyone who puts effort into being creative a hippie, although if they are mall style crafty I just block them out of my mind)
Anyway Miranda July’s site is a mess, she did it with a camera, a fridge, & a stove. However, despite me being 100% UNinterested in her product I read ALL THE AD COPY. I haven’t even read all the add copy for sites I’ve made myself, it’s miserable marketing gobly-gook because that’s what clients expect from “professionals”.
I think this sort of grass-roots, direct from the source w/0 any middle men, advertising is what will cut through the ad clutter so well described in this Frontline episode.
The lesson here is that once again “Content is King” and the ROI on details is difficult to gauge and probably not a high as most people think.
However…. if we go back to the the majority of the the marketing messages I(we) need to communicate a camera and a kitchen full of appliances might not be a sufficient tool-set, and a client probably wouldn’t “get it” anyway.
Enter CrazyEgg I read a really good introduction at Read/Write Web. I haven’t tried it yet but I think I’m going to push for it on my current project.
I’m tired of writing