PHP mobile apps for iOS and Android

zend-framework

PHP developers can now build mobile apps for iOS and Android — in PHP!

Zend have announced the ability to create mobile apps directly within Zend Studio.  Video below demonstrating the creation of a cloud-enabled native mobile app in 10 minutes or less in Zend Studio.  There is an annoying old-style “yoof-tv” wobbly moving  camera style.  A camera pointed at the screen would have been sufficient, it doesn’t need to be dramatised!

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Fitnium

Combination of FitNesse and Selenium, providing a domain specific langauge that allows non-developers to write selenium tests in plain english that are executed through the Fitnesse framework.

Fitnium – the closest I have seen to decent attempt to use Selenium with Fitnesse. The reason I gravitate towards Fintesse is largely down to recent experience with BDD and Kanban. The strengths but also the dangers of these methodologies is the focus on requirements, and keeping up to speed with changes or new requirements. Continue reading

From Scrum to Kanban

You can add more flexibility to Scrum Sprint planning process, but introducing a kanban appraoch to development. Many feel that Sprints are artificial points, and to a degree that is right. BUT business expects markers for review and reporting, so amore practical approach is to apply kanban within Scrum framework. More team availability required, and on-the-ball project management. But this style of development can bring out the creative best of development, as well as alleviating pressures sometimes created by regular Sprint planning approach.
Continue reading

Why use a child theme?

wireframe1It’s an odd question now perhaps, as child themes are still pretty thin on the ground. I think this is largely down to misunderstandings about the concept and how they can help. The main advantage of child theme is:-
1. You can generate sites quickly from the same core/parent template.
2. Updates to core/parent theme design also updates the associated child themes as well.
3. Encourages cleaner coding, as you are forced to observe a process in order for child themes to work properly.
It’s only okay to not use a child theme if you plan on making no modifications to code. But in this day and age, even this is a little short-sighted. For example, if you plan on modifying the sidebar widget style, then you should create a child theme. As a web designer, think about it – you create many sites, and how different are they once you strip away images, fonts and colour?
Taking WordPress as example platform – a child theme is a theme that inherits the functionality of another theme, called the parent theme, and allows you to modify, or add to, the functionality of that parent theme. WordPress already deals in child themes – every wordpress theme released is essentially a child theme of wordpress core templete structure. So more accurate to call these themes “parent themes”.
Making a start on a child theme is very simple. Create a directory, put a properly formatted style.css file in it, inlcude call to parent theme stylesheet, and you have a child theme. With a little understanding of HTML and CSS, you can make that very basic child theme modify the styling and layout of a parent theme to any extent without editing the files of the parent theme itself. That way, when the parent theme is updated, your modifications are preserved. To really extend a parent theme, you can also add your own page templates into the equation, though best to make sure your parent theme includes the more generic templates.
The parent theme is important here – the quality and flexibility of the code will determine how far you can go with the child themes, including more complex changes to do with functions, and layouts. for more in depth look into child themes, have a look here http://codex.wordpress.org/Child_Themes.


Creating a strong parent WordPress Theme framework is critical for WordPress Theme development, as described in Why I Created a WordPress Theme Framework by Justin Tadlock. With a solid framework in the parent Theme, the child Theme will integrate easily when the user makes changes to the Theme or wants to use a child Theme. Think of the parent/child feature of WordPress like selecting blueprints for construction of your new home. You look at the various room placements and sizes, the layout, the traffic flow, the architectural specifications that you prefer. You know the decision of which floor plan to choose isn’t based upon the desire to have the walls in the kitchen painted yellow with green stonework, or the carpet in the bedrooms be blue with wood floors in the living areas. It isn’t about the wall paper, curtains, or paint. You just want the master bedroom far from the room where the kids will be playing and watching movies all night. The paint and carpets come later. Once you have the floor plan and blueprints selected, and the house is under construction, then it’s time to start hunting up paint and carpet samples to begin the home decoration process. The floor plan blueprint, in this simple analogy, is the parent WordPress Theme. It sets the overall structure of the design. The decorations are found in the Child Theme, with the stylesheet guiding the paint, carpet, wall paper, and home decorations.
Lorelle on WordPress

WP Minify WordPress Plugin

This plugin has a positive effect on site performance, and I have found it to be the best of the site performance optimizers.

This plugin helps you easily integrate the Minify engine into your WordPress blog. Once enabled, this plugin will combine and compress JS and files enqueued by wp_enqueue_script() and wp_enqueue_style() to improve page load time.

WP Minify WordPress Plugin | OMNINOGGIN

A very astute piece of foresight!

By and large the literature of a democracy will never exhibit the order, regularity, skill, and art characteristic of aristocratic literature; formal qualities will be neglected or actually despised. The style will often be strange, incorrect, overburdened, and loose, and almost always strong and bold. Writers will be more anxious to work quickly than to perfect details. Short works will be commoner than long books, wit than erudition, imagination than depth. There will be a rude and untutored vigor of thought with great variety and singular fecundity. Authors will strive to astonish more than to please, and to stir passions rather than to charm taste.

Alexis de Tocqueville (1805–1859), French social philosopher. Democracy in America, vol. 2, pt. 1, ch. 13 (1840).
Stray quote for the day…