There’s a new ExpressionEngine (EE) add-on type in town and it’s name is Widget! We’re all familiar with the standard EE add-ons: modules, fieldtypes, accessories, extensions and plug-ins. But did you know there was an additional type that allowed you to customize the control panel homepage with your own content and functionality? It’s called a widget and in this post I’ll review how you can create your own widgets that work with the dashEE module to assemble your own custom EE control panel dashboard.
If you are a PHP programmer then you have undoubtedly heard of the CodeIgniter (CI) framework at least once. First released in 2006, by EllisLab, CI has grown into the lightweight, fully functional and easy to use application framework of choice for developers across the web. A big milestone was reached two weeks ago with the release of version 2.0 and there has never been a better time to kick the tires and take it for a spin.
At this point in human history we are all pretty well versed in social networking. Our pets are even getting in on the whole social web experience. We’re all familiar with what social networks are and why we should, or should not, use them. But how does one go about building one from scratch? While the overall complexity of building a social networking site really depends on the requirements, the typical features for most networks (relationships, etc.) can get rather complex. Before you start pulling your hair out or reverse engineering Drupal, there is a new book called PHP5 Social Networking that might be just the thing to help you out. In this post I’m going to give you a glance at this new book published by Packt and tell you if it’s worth adding to your tech library.
The wait is over, CodeIgniter 2.0 has been released!! Apparently this happened last Friday and I simply didn’t notice until now. This release is exciting for 2 reasons, first it brings with it a shit load of new features and fixes and second it introduces CI Reactor which is a community driven branch of the framework. Theres a lot to digest and get excited about so check out the blog post for yourself and get coding!
Web applications are better than old school applications that get installed on your hard drive because you can access them from anywhere using the web. They do however suffer from the same limited communication channel as typical software because they can only interact with users via the computer. Users provide input via the keyboard and the app provides output via the screen. Wouldn’t it be cool if we could take advantage of other communication channels like phone and text messages to communicate with our users? Well now we can with the help of Twilio. In this post I’ll walk you through building an application that can make phone calls and send text messages using the Twilio API.
OK let’s recap. So far in this guide I’ve covered: creating your Spreedly account, setting up your subscription plans and (most recently) linking your applications sign-up process to your Spreedly account. The elephant in the room at this point is managing updates and allowing Spreedly to notify our application when users make modifications to their subscription/billing settings or when something goes wrong: like when a credit card expires or a transaction can’t be processed. In this final post I will review how to open the lines of communication between your Spreedly account (a.k.a. your billing system) and your application.
Picking up right where I left off, in this post I will review integrating Spreedly with your programs sign-up process. As is the case with most services like this, including PayPal, the quickest way to incorporate Spreedly involves redirecting the user to their website and allowing the financial transaction to take place on their servers. The user is then redirected back to your website once the transaction has been completed. This is the quickest and easiest method available and is the one I will be reviewing.
As a freelancer or sole proprietor, how do you decide when to start a new project? I’m not talking about taking on client projects… I’m referring to ventures, product or application ideas that you have and think would make a good business. Are you the kind of person who gets an idea in their head one day and jumps in head first the next? Or, do you need to have a plan in place with potential return on investment before you pick up your mouse? Until recently, I would have said that I fell in between those two extremes landing a bit closer to needing a plan than jumping in. However, over the last several months I have come to the conclusion that I fall smack dab in the first group and have determined that that’s not necessarily a good thing.
Fever, a new RSS feed reading application, just launched recently. Many of you might be familiar with the developer Shaun Inman from his popular stats tracking app Mint. I haven’t personally used Mint but I’m a huge fan of RSS feeds so when I heard about Fever I had to give it a shot. I will probably talk about the application a little later after I’ve had a chance to play with it. But, in this post I wanted to talk briefly about the unique checkout process Shaun uses to help make sure his users are installing the program on a compatable system before they even enter their credit card number.
If you’ve ever accepted payments with PayPal you’ll know all the magic is in the settings/configuration. There are tons of configuration options that you can modify to make PayPal work just the way you like. The same holds true for Spreedly. The developers have paid attention to detail and provided us with the ability to tweak how the service interacts with your chosen payment gateway so you can get just the functionality you’re looking for. In the last post I gave you a brief introduction to Spreedly and walked you through creating your own free test account. Today we’re going to jump in head first and look at the account configuration options.