web development

  • responsive web design

    nowadays, people access the internet from an ever-growing range of devices with very different screen sizes and controls (mouse vs fingers).

    this poses some very real design and usability issues because most websites are only designed to be viewed on big screens and navigated by mouse. this is clearly the old way of doing things – residue from an age where you could make reasonable assumptions about the user’s screen size.

  • faking advanced css

    when some people find a well-designed blog with a few neat tricks, they tend to automatically assume the owner is a css genius who’s the next big designer to hit the web.

    that very well may be the case but more often than not the designer is using ‘tools’ that you just haven’t discovered yet. here’s five web generators that will make you look like nick la!

  • css: disabled styling

    as your forms grow in complexity, you’ll probably find a need to temporarily disable an input – either a button, a text box, or some other element.

    this is quite easy in html – the disabled attribute comes to the rescue. but just how do you style those fields, and convey that they are temporarily disabled?

  • css: planning your stylesheet

    the more we rely upon css, the larger and more complex stylesheet files become.

    planning and organising your stylesheet is essential to creating a lean, manageable website. there are many ways of organising css code but the following are best practice…

  • css tricks you should know

    with just a few simple tricks, you can make your web based interfaces more usable and more visually appealing.

    you don’t have to be a web dev guru to build great applications. here are a few simple css tricks every php / web developer should know.

  • learn regular expressions in php

    love them or hate them, regular expressions are here to stay.

    when it comes to quickly dealing with large blocks of data, batch processing operations or screen scraping, regular expressions are often the most effective solution. there’s just one problem, though – learning them can be as hard as learning a new language altogether. here’s how to get off to a flying start.

  • background processes in php

    so you’ve just built a fantastic processing routine for your application.

    you’ve checked and double checked the integrity of user input, and you’re doing some serious processing. there’s only one problem: it’s too slow.

    there’s a simple solution: forking your processing script, and running the code as a background process asynchronously. it can email your user when it’s done: they’ll wait. in this tutorial, i’ll show you how to get started with background processes in php.

  • benchmarking php frameworks

    over on the avnet labs blog, ekerete akpan has posted a few results from his recent framework benchmarks to much controversy.

    his tests covered a few major php frameworks, such as codeigniter, cakephp and zend framework, along with baseline results for serving static html and procedural php versions of the same page. he also covered some basic ruby on rails, including passenger (mod_rails?) and ruby enterprise. here are some of his more interesting findings.

  • debugging php with firebug and firephp

    firephp is a plugin for firebug, the web development plugin for firefox, that allows php scripts to talk to a firebug panel.

    firephp installs alongside firebug and provides a simple php library to bridge the two. firephp provides a window of insight into your php applications, with a simple debugging interface that won’t interfere with your page content. if you already use firebug on php-powered applications, firephp is definitely worth a look. here’s a quick guide to getting started.

  • screen scraping: simple html dom library

    how to use open source php simple html dom parser library to provide jquery-grade awesomeness for easy screen scraping without messy regular expressions

    client-side developers always had it easy: libraries such as jquery and prototype make finding elements on the page reliable and efficient. in php, regular expressions tend to get rather messy, dom calls can be confusing and verbose and often the string functions just aren’t enough.