Archive for September, 2012

PhpStorm 5 :: PHP Coding At Its Finest

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Every PHP developer hunts for the ideal IDE – and in the past there was no clear winners. I personally used Zend Studio for many years which had fantastic code awareness and auto-completion, which I view as essential when working on large PHP projects. But the reality was that Zend Studio was always far too expensive. So every 6 months I would re-evaluate the PHP IDE space hunting for alternatives. I tried Komodo, I tried NetBeans.

Then I discovered PhpStorm.

PhpStorm is not free – but it is a LOT cheaper than Zend Studio – and in my opinion a much better IDE. It is fast and the code awareness and auto-completion works flawlessly. It is also a fanstistic editor for HTML / CSS / JavaScript development. It has a lot of features under the hood that I am constantly discovering. It has quickly become my IDE of choice, and my fellow developers who have tried it have all switched.

The latest version, PhpStorm 5.0, was just released with some fantastic new features. If you have been looking for a great PHP IDE then your hunt is over. And now is a great time to get on board with the Single Developer license currently half-price.

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Check out the new iPhone 5 video

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

The new iPhone 5 was announced this morning – 18% thinner, 20% lighter, taller 4″ screen (1136 x 640px), new A6 chip, faster connectivity, improved camera, mic & speakers. Same price-points as the 4S. Combined with the new iOS 6 it is a pretty slick package. Johny Ives does his usual enticing overview of the new iPhone.

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How to Build Your Own Custom jQuery

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

As of jQuery 1.8, you can now build a custom version of the library. Handy for reducing jQuery down to the features you actually need on your project – reducing the libraries file size. This short video gives you a quick overview of how to build your own jQuery…

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Getting Cozy With Underscore.js

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

A nice introduction to Underscore.js – a utility library for JavaScript that can really help streamline your code.

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HP introduces new Apple iMac

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

HP just released a new line of desktops, called Spectre One. Remind you of anything? So close on the tail of the Samsung vs Apple trials I doubt their sanity in releasing this. Search on Google and the universal reaction seems to be "HP copied the Apple iMac".

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The Rise of the Web TV Series

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

In January 2007 Bill Gates stated that the Internet was set to revolutionize television within five years, due to an explosion of online video content and the merging of PCs and TV sets. And that prediction seems to be coming true, probably more oversees than here in New Zealand. Outside of the popularity of YouTube, we see the rise of streaming TV and movies via Netflix and Hulu – and popular TV channels such as BBC, Disney and ABC Family all streaming their TV content online. Even here in NZ more and more people seem to be using TVNZ On Demand.

And now we see another transition to back up Bill Gates prediction – the rise of original content being made for "Web TV".

The Web TV series "H+" is a good example of what the next generation of TV could look like. H+ is produced by Bryan Singer, the director of The Usual Suspects and X-Men, and the executive producer of the TV drama House. The series premiered on August 8, 2012 on YouTube with two episodes, and is scheduled to release new episodes via YouTube on Wednesdays.

My brother told me about H+ the other day, and now I see it mentioned on NZ Herald. I haven't started watching the show yet, so cannot personally vouch for it, but it's yet another interesting shift toward online streaming content taking over the living room.

Read more about H+ on NZ Herald.

How to tell if a web page is HTML5

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

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The Tools and Tech Behind Trello

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

Have you used Trello? It is a fantastic, easy-to-use, but deceptively powerful, task management tool – and it is free.

Trello also sports a user-interface and backend architecture that is using a number of very modern tools and technologies – which the Trello Dev team have shared with us. If you are a developer it is interesting to compare notes with this list from Trello – how many of these tools and technologies do you personally use? Are you at least familiar with them?

I decided to go through this process myself:

  • Trello – yup, use this for managing internal task lists and the roadmap of my apps
  • Kiln – familiar with it, but I use GitHub
  • Node.js – don't use it on the server, but use it along with npm on my desktop
  • MongoDB – familiar with it, but use CouchDB instead
  • CoffeeScript – familiar with it, decided to steer clear
  • Redis – yup, for data persistance and caching on several projects
  • Backbone.js – use it to underpin my JavaScript libraries
  • Underscore.js – use it to underpin my JavaScript libraries
  • jQuery.js – of course, an essential library for any web-page/app that needs JavaScript
  • LESS – love it, using it to underpin all CSS work
  • AmazonS3 – not yet
  • Vim – not for development but of course for server ops
  • Sublime Text – my favorite text editor
  • Chrome Developer Tools – for sure
  • Xcode – as a developer of iOS apps I can't avoid this one
  • IntelliJ – I use it's baby sister PhpStorm for all PHP, CSS and JavaScript development. My favorite IDE.
  • Charles Web Debugging Proxy – not yet
  • FogBugz – have used in the past, but use a combination of Zendesk and Trello instead
  • Google Docs – of course

So how did I do? I seem to be actively using most of this stack, or an equivalent, on an almost daily basis.

If you are not familiar with any of the items on the list I encourage you to do some reading – even to just be aware.

You can read more about each of these items and get links to them from the Trello blog post:

Designing APIs for Mobile Performance – Best Practices

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

Nice article highlighting the design considerations needed to optimize the performance of backend APIs for mobile client usage.

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The toolset behind GitHub performance monitoring

Friday, September 7th, 2012

A nice summary of how GitHub use internal tools to expose and explain performance metrics. 

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