Recent ramblings...

 
 
 

Flexible themes and layouts in CodeIginter

I still love CodeIgniter, the simplicity and robust core keeps me coming back even if it has fallen out of favour with the web community recently (I'm not going to get into that right now) but there has always been a few libraries that I felt were missing, a decent Auth library for one, but also a nicer way of dealing with views, layouts and themes. I can of course understand the reasons for leaving them out as both are not an every day need but I alway seem get to a road block in my projects where I suddenly have a need for them, especially the layout library.

 
 

Making the most of GIT with Tower

GIT by itself is an excellent tool, its version control done right, with awesome branching and tagging capabilities that allows you to make a workflow that your whole team can use. Check out my post on the reasons why we switched from SVN to GIT and haven't looked back. Unfortunately with all the great features that GIT brings there is a bit of a downside, how do you keep track of your working HEAD and those branches?

 
 

Respringboard.js jQuery Plugin

Recently I had the need to recreate the clever content reveal layout used in the new iTunes 11 and the Google images design, there didn't appear to be anything in the jQuery community that could do the job and the approaches used by Google and iTunes were too heavyweight for what I was looking for. It was time to hit the drawing board and build a plugin for myself.

The result is Respringboard.js which is up on Github right now, named after one of the first appearance of this kind of design on the iOS app Springboard with one huge difference, it's completely responsive and adjusts to the size of the browser window making it prefect for desktops or mobile devices alike.

 
 

Change the standard Google maps colour scheme with CSS filter

We all know and love google maps, its definately the easiest way to embed an interactive map into any webpage, the standard colour scheme has never been to my liking though and it looks more dated everyday, it also completely clashes with the colour scheme of a website on some occasions.

It suddenly dawned on me that I could use the new CSS3 filter style to change the colour scheme to greyscale, that way we have the same great google map only black and white. It is a little known fact that the filter style doesn’t just work on images, it will quite happily work on almost anything including the google maps embedded iframe!

 
 

Why GIT? Confessions of an ex-SVN user

With years of development experience you learn what’s important to your overall workflow. I mean if there were no IDE’s I could survive with a basic text editor, if there was no decent databases interfaces I could survive in command line and if there were no Apple Mac’s I could even survive on Windows but I couldn’t survive very long without version control. Version control is the first and last thing I check when developing a new feature or making bug fixes, in fact my whole workflow revolves around it.

I’m not here to convince you that you should be using some kind of version control, there’s really no argument for not using it. What I want to do is go through the biggest improvements I found when I switched from SVN (Subversion) to GIT.