Random thoughts & observations

From the mundane to the profound and everything in between here’s what’s rocking our world

Resolving network connectivity issues with PhoneGap 3.3.0

Posted: Monday 13th January, 2014 - 10:11pm
Author: James Griffiths

We recently upgraded PhoneGap to version 3.3.0 and were a little flummoxed when we found that our Apps wouldn't work when being published to an iPhone. All we experienced was the splash screen loading and then being replaced by a grey screen - the network connection check wouldn't trigger and the App content wasn't loading at all. This was pretty odd as the previous version of PhoneGap published the App without any issues whatsoever but with the upgrade we couldn't even get javascript alerts for the navigator.connection.type to display.

Something very, very odd was going on here.

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Xcode 5 accelerometer warning for ios7

Posted: Monday 13th January, 2014 - 10:07pm
Author: James Griffiths

If you're developing mobile Apps for iOS7 using PhoneGap 3+ and Xcode 5 chances are you've come across compiler warnings when publishing your app to an iOS device.

Typically these will involve the following:

  • UIAccelerometer' is deprecated: first deprecated in iOS 5.0 - UIAccelerometer has been replaced by the CoreMotion framework
  • Implicit conversion loses integer precision: 'unsigned long long' to 'int'

Publishing your App still works but how to resolve these warnings? Read on...

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Creating plugins for PyroCMS

Posted: Saturday 11th January, 2014 - 10:02pm
Author: James Griffiths

If you're looking to add a powerful and flexible CMS to your development arsenal you could do no worse than choose PyroCMS.

One of the great features about PyroCMS is that it makes plug-in development easy, thanks to its underlying MVC architecture (courtesy of, at the time of writing, the Codeigniter framework). If you've been unfortunate to have any experience of writing plugins for Wordpress (and having to deal with the god awful spaghetti code mess that is part and parcel of the Wordpress approach to custom development) then you're in for a real treat with PyroCMS.

In this tutorial we're going to take you through the process of creating a Twitter plug-in.

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Installing Ant on Mavericks Mac OS 10.9

Posted: Thursday 9th January, 2014 - 9:57pm
Author: James Griffiths

When installing the Android platform for Cordova PhoneGap 3.1 on Mac OS 10.9 you might come across an error message informing you that the ant command could not be executed.

This is a relatively simple fix to implement, all it requires is a little command line jiggery-pokery.

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GruntJS and automating development tasks

Posted: Tuesday 7th January, 2014 - 9:16pm
Author: James Griffiths

The sheer number of processes and tools required for front-end development can often be time-consuming and frustrating to work with, particularly with the pressures of looming deadlines and potential bug-fixes. Add to this the adoption and promotion, by the web community, of new technologies and workflow innovations and it can sometimes feel a little overwhelming to try and tick all the boxes when it comes to a project build.

Enter Grunt JS, an automated task runner, that allows developers to streamline their workflow by consolidating various tools and processes into one build script that’s simply run from the command line. Whether you need to test your Javascript syntax, minify and concatenate different scripts or stylesheets, compress images or all of the above (not to mention other workflow processes that can be added/configured as per your requirements) and Grunt JS helps drastically reduce development time.

Sounds too good to be true? Read on...

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Configuring root access on your Mac

Posted: Friday 3rd January, 2014 - 9:14pm
Author: James Griffiths

If you don’t have administrator access to your Mac and need to perform tasks such as installing software then you’ll need to acquire root access. To do this is relatively simple, just follow the steps outlined below and you should be up and running in the space of 3 minutes or less:

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IE11 document modes and conditional comments

IE11 document modes and conditional comments

Posted: Friday 27th December, 2013 - 9:39pm
Author: James Griffiths

As any front-end developer worth their salt knows when building for a range of platforms it all comes down to testing, testing and more testing - particularly for those older browsers.

Enter Internet Explorer 11 and the headaches that Microsoft's latest 'enfant terrible' has caused when it comes to legacy IE testing.

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What's happening with Codeigniter?

What's happening with Codeigniter?

Posted: Tuesday 3rd December, 2013 - 9:10pm
Author: James Griffiths

We've been developing with Codeigniter for the past 3 and a half years but given Ellis Lab's recent announcement a lot of people are asking the same question: what's the future of the framework? Despite understanding, and agreeing with, the reasoning behind Ellis Lab's decision there are many others questioning the wisdom of 'abandoning' one of the most popular and widely used PHP frameworks. Given its adoption rate amongst the PHP development community some are viewing this decision as suicidal for the future of Codeigniter.

Many developers are predicting its demise, stating quite vocally that Codeigniter is finished, and have started abandoning the framework altogether in favour of alternatives such as Laravel. We have to ask though - is all of this speculation accurate or even fair?

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Solving PyroCMS loading issues with PHP 5.3

Solving PyroCMS loading issues with PHP 5.3

Posted: Tuesday 3rd December, 2013 - 8:36pm
Author: James Griffiths

We've recently started using PyroCMS for some of our projects and have been really impressed with the power, flexibility and intuitiveness of the platform (particularly compared with more widely used alternatives such as WordPress). It's safe to say that it's a CMS that we plan to continue working with for a long time to come although, in our experience, remote deployment can be a major pain to contend with...

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Dreamweaver XML error

Dreamweaver XML error

Posted: Monday 11th November, 2013 - 8:10pm
Author: James Griffiths

Having trouble with Adobe Dreamweaver failing to open on the Mac? Seeing the following error message when you try running the program?

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Configuring Laravel 4 htaccess rules on a remote host

Configuring Laravel 4 htaccess rules on a remote host

Posted: Friday 1st November, 2013 - 1:59pm
Author: James Griffiths

We've recently been developing with Laravel 4 and hit some issues with getting the apache mod_rewrite rules to work when transferring a website from our local development server to the remote server.

After many headaches and roadbumps along the way here's how we resolved that issue...

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The cashless society and its consequences

Posted: Wednesday 24th October, 2012 - 9:23pm
Author: James Griffiths

The cashless society is an idea that’s been floated around for the past few decades but in recent years has started to gain momentum in the mainstream media. News articles abound with information explaining how electronic transactions will remove the headache of lost or stolen debit/credit cards, solve the problem of not having enough cash or spare change in your pocket to pay for products/services with and eliminate waiting times with current payment methods by offering the ability, for example, to pay via a swipe of a payment screen on a smart phone.

Sounds great doesn’t it?

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Remembering Steve Jobs

Posted: Friday 5th October, 2012 - 9:26pm
Author: James Griffiths

Today marks the first anniversary of the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs; a man whose personality was often as newsworthy as his accomplishments. Loathed and admired, in almost equal measure, Jobs had an impact that went far beyond the borders of silicon valley. Helping to transform the image of computers from dull, grey and beige towers to engaging and aesthetic devices that spawned a multi-billion dollar industry which became an integral part of everyday life for millions of people was just one of his many achievements.

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IE6 - 10 years old and counting

Posted: Saturday 3rd September, 2011 - 9:21pm
Author: James Griffiths

If you're a web developer the chances are this is one anniversary you won't be celebrating but Microsoft's IE6 is, officially, over 10 years old.

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