Random thoughts & observations

From the mundane to the profound and everything in between here’s what’s rocking our world

Pyrocms set advanced text editor new line to paragraph

Posted: Wednesday 12th February, 2014 - 10:22pm
Author: James Griffiths

We've been doing a lot of development with PyroCMS Professional 2.2.1 in the last 2 months and we're loving working with such a great CMS. We recently came across an issue with the advanced WYSIWYG text editor where the text content was not being wrapped in p tags as expected.

Fixing this turned out to be quite simple.

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The basics of setting up Phonegap for iOS

Posted: Tuesday 11th February, 2014 - 10:20pm
Author: James Griffiths

If you want to develop for different mobile platforms but don't have the time, inclination or motivation to learn the Objective C, Java or C# languages then PhoneGap should definitely be at the top of your must-have technologies list.

In this tutorial we're going to take you through setting up the basic Phonegap environment for iOS.

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Essential rules for print CSS

Posted: Monday 10th February, 2014 - 10:17pm
Author: James Griffiths

One of the most overlooked and often neglected areas of CSS development is that of printing. All too often front-end developers concentrate only on crafting styles that are compatible across different browsers and devices and don't consider how their pages may look when printed.

Let's take a look at some of the challenges involved with creating print optimised CSS.

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Resolving iMovie 10's red tint on MOV file import

Posted: Monday 3rd February, 2014 - 10:14pm
Author: James Griffiths

If you've recently upgraded to Mac OS X Mavericks you might find yourself experiencing an issue with importing MOV files into iMovie 10. Like many user's reporting similar experiences on the Apple forums you will probably find that your MOV files take on a red tint that can't be removed or corrected once they have been imported into iMovie.

Despite Apple's usual attention to creating an intuitive and seamless experience this is one issue that, as yet, has not been fixed by our friends from Cupertino.

So what to do?

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Resolving network connectivity issues with PhoneGap 3.3.0

Posted: Monday 13th January, 2014 - 10:11pm
Author: James Griffiths

We recently upgraded PhoneGap to version 3.3.0 and were a little flummoxed when we found that our Apps wouldn't work when being published to an iPhone. All we experienced was the splash screen loading and then being replaced by a grey screen - the network connection check wouldn't trigger and the App content wasn't loading at all. This was pretty odd as the previous version of PhoneGap published the App without any issues whatsoever but with the upgrade we couldn't even get javascript alerts for the navigator.connection.type to display.

Something very, very odd was going on here.

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Xcode 5 accelerometer warning for ios7

Posted: Monday 13th January, 2014 - 10:07pm
Author: James Griffiths

If you're developing mobile Apps for iOS7 using PhoneGap 3+ and Xcode 5 chances are you've come across compiler warnings when publishing your app to an iOS device.

Typically these will involve the following:

  • UIAccelerometer' is deprecated: first deprecated in iOS 5.0 - UIAccelerometer has been replaced by the CoreMotion framework
  • Implicit conversion loses integer precision: 'unsigned long long' to 'int'

Publishing your App still works but how to resolve these warnings? Read on...

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Creating plugins for PyroCMS

Posted: Saturday 11th January, 2014 - 10:02pm
Author: James Griffiths

If you're looking to add a powerful and flexible CMS to your development arsenal you could do no worse than choose PyroCMS.

One of the great features about PyroCMS is that it makes plug-in development easy, thanks to its underlying MVC architecture (courtesy of, at the time of writing, the Codeigniter framework). If you've been unfortunate to have any experience of writing plugins for Wordpress (and having to deal with the god awful spaghetti code mess that is part and parcel of the Wordpress approach to custom development) then you're in for a real treat with PyroCMS.

In this tutorial we're going to take you through the process of creating a Twitter plug-in.

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Installing Ant on Mavericks Mac OS 10.9

Posted: Thursday 9th January, 2014 - 9:57pm
Author: James Griffiths

When installing the Android platform for Cordova PhoneGap 3.1 on Mac OS 10.9 you might come across an error message informing you that the ant command could not be executed.

This is a relatively simple fix to implement, all it requires is a little command line jiggery-pokery.

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GruntJS and automating development tasks

Posted: Tuesday 7th January, 2014 - 9:16pm
Author: James Griffiths

The sheer number of processes and tools required for front-end development can often be time-consuming and frustrating to work with, particularly with the pressures of looming deadlines and potential bug-fixes. Add to this the adoption and promotion, by the web community, of new technologies and workflow innovations and it can sometimes feel a little overwhelming to try and tick all the boxes when it comes to a project build.

Enter Grunt JS, an automated task runner, that allows developers to streamline their workflow by consolidating various tools and processes into one build script that’s simply run from the command line. Whether you need to test your Javascript syntax, minify and concatenate different scripts or stylesheets, compress images or all of the above (not to mention other workflow processes that can be added/configured as per your requirements) and Grunt JS helps drastically reduce development time.

Sounds too good to be true? Read on...

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Configuring root access on your Mac

Posted: Friday 3rd January, 2014 - 9:14pm
Author: James Griffiths

If you don’t have administrator access to your Mac and need to perform tasks such as installing software then you’ll need to acquire root access. To do this is relatively simple, just follow the steps outlined below and you should be up and running in the space of 3 minutes or less:

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IE11 document modes and conditional comments

IE11 document modes and conditional comments

Posted: Friday 27th December, 2013 - 9:39pm
Author: James Griffiths

As any front-end developer worth their salt knows when building for a range of platforms it all comes down to testing, testing and more testing - particularly for those older browsers.

Enter Internet Explorer 11 and the headaches that Microsoft's latest 'enfant terrible' has caused when it comes to legacy IE testing.

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What's happening with Codeigniter?

What's happening with Codeigniter?

Posted: Tuesday 3rd December, 2013 - 9:10pm
Author: James Griffiths

We've been developing with Codeigniter for the past 3 and a half years but given Ellis Lab's recent announcement a lot of people are asking the same question: what's the future of the framework? Despite understanding, and agreeing with, the reasoning behind Ellis Lab's decision there are many others questioning the wisdom of 'abandoning' one of the most popular and widely used PHP frameworks. Given its adoption rate amongst the PHP development community some are viewing this decision as suicidal for the future of Codeigniter.

Many developers are predicting its demise, stating quite vocally that Codeigniter is finished, and have started abandoning the framework altogether in favour of alternatives such as Laravel. We have to ask though - is all of this speculation accurate or even fair?

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Solving PyroCMS loading issues with PHP 5.3

Solving PyroCMS loading issues with PHP 5.3

Posted: Tuesday 3rd December, 2013 - 8:36pm
Author: James Griffiths

We've recently started using PyroCMS for some of our projects and have been really impressed with the power, flexibility and intuitiveness of the platform (particularly compared with more widely used alternatives such as WordPress). It's safe to say that it's a CMS that we plan to continue working with for a long time to come although, in our experience, remote deployment can be a major pain to contend with...

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