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Online resources for Zend Framework

by Robert Basic on March 03, 2009.
Heads-up! You're reading an old post and the information in it is quite probably outdated.

Besides the official documentation and the Quickstart, there are many useful resources for Zend Framework, like blogs and Twitter. I did my best to collect them. If you know something that’s not listed here, but should be, please leave a comment and I’ll update the post :)

Update #1 (seconds after publishing): Gotta love Twitter. Already got a message that I missed a blog. List is updated.

Update #2: Added more blogs to the list, thanks Jani for the recommendations!

Update #3: Thanks to Federico and Pablo, even more stuff to add :)

Update #4: Thank you Jon and Cal :)

Update #5: This is growing up into a pretty big list :) new stuff added!

Update #6: Should I keep adding these Update #x lines? :)

Update #7: A bunch of new stuff!

Update #8: A new ZF application via Federico’s blog!

Blogs

Blogs are probably the most important resources out there. Besides the posts, comments can add a great value to the topic, so be sure to read them too. Here are the blogs that have posts on ZF and were updated recently (in the past month or two):

Also, I recommend subscribing to PHPDeveloper’s and Zend Developer Zone’s feeds, just in case I missed some good blogs ;)

Twitter

On Twitter there are many friendly developers willing to help out with any problems related to Zend Framework &#151 just write your question with a ZF hashtag and someone will most likely show up with the answer :)

Books

These two books are a must read. That is all :)

Surviving The Deep End — a free online book that is written chapter by chapter. Author is Pádraic Brady:

The book was written to guide readers through the metaphorical "Deep End". It's the place you find yourself in when you complete a few tutorials and scan through the Reference Guide, where you are buried in knowledge up to your neck but without a clue about how to bind it all together effectively into an application. This take on the Zend Framework offers a survival guide, boosting your understanding of the framework and how it all fits together by following the development of a single application from start to finish. I'll even throw in a few bad jokes for free.

Zend Framework in Action — OK, this book is not an online resource, but it is great and surely must be mentioned :) Authors are Rob Allen, Nick Lo and Steven Brown:

Zend Framework in Action is a book that covers all you need to know to get started with the Zend Framework.
The first part of the book works through the creation of web site using the MVC components (Zend_Controller, Zend_View and Zend_Db). The book then follows on by looking at user authentication and access control, forms, searching and email to round out the application. After considering deployment issues, we then look at other components that add value to a web site; including web services, PDF creation, internationalisation and caching.

Guide to Programming with Zend Framework — another great book, a must have. Written by Cal Evans.

This book covers much of the primary functionality offered by the Zend Framework, and works well both as a thorough introduction to its use and as a reference for higher-level tasks

Beginning Zend Framework — written by Armando Padilla

Beginning Zend Framework is a beginner’s guide to learning and using the Zend Framework. It covers everything from the installation to the various features of the framework to get the reader up and running quickly.

Easy PHP Websites with Zend Framework by Jason Gilmore

Easy PHP Websites with the Zend Framework is the ultimate guide to building powerful PHP websites. Combining over 330 pages of instruction with almost 5 hours of online video and all of the example code, you’ll have everything you need to learn PHP faster and more effectively than you ever imagined.

Applications powered by ZF

Wanna see what’s ZF capable of?

Other resources

Of course, there’s the good ol’ IRC, channels are #zftalk and #zftalk.dev. For more information, visit ZFTalk.

Jani Hartikainen’s Packageizer is a great tool to get only those ZF components you need.

Scienta ZF Debug Bar an awesome plugin for Zend Framework which “injects into every request a snippet of HTML with commonly used debug information.”

There’s also the Zend Framework Forum. For those of you who understand it, here’s a German forum www.zfforum.de.

The Zend Framework Wiki and the Zend Framework Issue Tracker are also very helpful, so, be sure to check them out.

The unofficial PEAR channel for the Zend Framework can be found at http://zend.googlecode.com/.

That’s all from me. This are the resources I found useful and hopefully are and will be useful for you too :)

Do you know anything I missed? If so, please, leave a comment and I’ll update the post :)

Cheers!

Tags: blog, book, framework, resource, site, twitter, zend, zf.
Categories: Development, Places on the web, Programming.

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TickTweet WordPress plug-in

by Robert Basic on November 21, 2008.
Heads-up! You're reading an old post and the information in it is quite probably outdated.

Few weeks ago @imjustcreative mentioned on Twitter that he would like a WordPress plug-in that would scroll (tick) tweets where “soultweet” is mentioned. As I wanted to do a plug-in for some time, but never had any good ideas, I told him that I’ll take up the job. So I started to work on this in my free time.

Before I even started looking at anything, I decided that I want this plug-in to be fast, to work with smallest possible data to save bandwidth and to keep the number of calls towards Twitter low.

First I looked into the Twitter Search API documentation, to see how data can be retrieved from Twitter — in Atom or in JSON.

The first idea...

As a JSON document is smaller than an XML document, I decided to retrieve data in JSON. Of course, once retrieved it would be cached locally in a file for some time (5 minutes is my default).

I also wanted to avoid the possibility of the page waiting to retrieve the data from Twitter, so I figured that it would be the best to call it up with Ajax. That way, when the plug-in is called up, it sends an Ajax request to himself, the page continues loading normally and in the background runs the Ajax request.

The draft was there, I looked at the WordPress writing a plug-in page and in a week or so the first version of the plug-in was ready to go out.

I tested it locally on my Windows machine (a basic WAMP setup) and on my Ubuntu machine (a basic LAMP setup), on this server and on another one which has a ton of security limitations (server of my College). I was glad to see that it worked like a charm on all 4 servers. I put up a TickTweet page, and let it out in the wild through Twitter.

The retweet madness started immediately. @imjustcreative, @jonimueller and @bishop1073 downloaded it right away. Soon as they enabled the plug-in, the short and exciting life of TickTweet started to end. Errors, bugs… Joni’s server is running on PHP 4, and I had a few PHP 5 only functions. My bad. On Graham’s and Bishop’s server who knows what went wrong. Graham helped me a lot tracing down the bugs, a few of them were found and squashed, but that was not enough. So I decided to pull back TickTweet, rethink it and possibly rewrite it.

The second idea...

OK, this JSON — Ajax thingy won’t work. Back to the paper. I started looking at the WordPress core to see what functions and/or classes are available in it for this kind of task… Didn’t took me long to find the fetch_rss() function. Man I was happy to find that! It’s using the MagpieRSS and the Snoopy classes to retrieve the data. I figured, those are included in WP’s core, they’re gonna do the job just fine. So I’ve rewritten it.

Testing again. The College’s server was dropped out right away, no way around that security. On others it worked fine. I tested for a couple of days just to make sure. When I thought it was OK, I’ve let it go once again. I contacted Joni, Graham and Bishop to tell them that the new rewritten version is out. On Joni’s site it worked. Awesome. On Bishop’s site worked. Kinda. On Graham’s site didn’t work. He tried it on another site. Worked. Cool. Finally it works. I was happy.

But not for long. The next day I saw that on my site it’s ticking some ol’ tweets. What?! Then started the bug hunting again. I looked at each line of code, var_dumped every variable. No luck. Somehow, all of a sudden, my server is not getting the data from Twitter. No changes on the server configuration, no change in the code, but it just won’t work.

The third idea...

The third idea is to leave this “plug-in” as—is, and to stop working on it. It just doesn’t pay off. Sure, I could trace down where it hangs on my server, going backwards through the code, but it’s just not worth it. Those who are interested in this plug-in, you can find it at the TickTweet page, use it, rewrite it, change it, trash it.

Cheers!

Tags: about, blog, php, plugin, site, wordpress.
Categories: Blablabla, Development, Programming, Software.

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Project Euler

by Robert Basic on October 27, 2008.
Heads-up! You're reading an old post and the information in it is quite probably outdated.

A few days ago, I found a really great place, full of excellent math and programming problems: Project Euler.

Project Euler is a series of challenging mathematical/computer programming problems that will require more than just mathematical insights to solve. Although mathematics will help you arrive at elegant and efficient methods, the use of a computer and programming skills will be required to solve most problems.

I was long looking for this kind of place, to get my brain do some serious thinking :) It’s a great way to improve logic and math/programming skills.

The problems can be solved by using any programming language, so as I just started learning Python, thought that this is a great way to start with it. As I suck more in math than in programming, my solutions are brute-forced, but I always go back to the explanation of the problem (can be viewed only after you gave the right answer to the problem), to understand the math behind the problem.

There are currently 214 problems and I’m on number 6 right now. If you into this kind of stuff, be sure to check it out, it’s a lot of fun :)

Happy hacking!

Tags: euler, project, site.
Categories: Free time, Places on the web, Programming.

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Smush your images!

by Robert Basic on September 30, 2008.
Heads-up! You're reading an old post and the information in it is quite probably outdated.

I just found a nice web site where you can “smush” your images — Smushit.com. SmushIt takes an image and removes all unnecessary information about it: when was it last edited, what image editor was used etc., but keeps the quality of the image! This is more than useful for sites where there are lots of images.

There are several ways to provide images to SmushIt:

  • Upload an image
  • Provide an URL to the image
  • Use the Firefox SmushIt add-on

The first two ways are quite obvious; provide an image and it’ll process it in a few seconds.

The Firefox add-on is pretty cool: open up a web page where are the images you want to smush, click the SmushIt add-on icon (it’ll be in the right corner of the status bar), it will take you to their site and process all the images found on your web page.

When the processing is complete, there will be a table showing details about the smushing. Also a download link will be provided, to download the smushed images in one zip file.

Now run little lurker and smush your images :)

Tags: image, optimize, site, web.
Categories: Development, Places on the web.

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