Random thoughts & observations

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

Blocking a range of IP Addresses

Posted: March 26, 2014
Written by: Saints At Play
Category: Server

If you manage a website (or a number of websites) you will inevitably, at some point, experience unwanted form spamming. It's certainly not the highlight of anyone's day but sadly a persistent experience in today's connected world. If you are able to use and configure .htaccess files on your web server then you can implement IP blocking to help minimise unwanted form spam.

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Setting up SSH keys on Mac OS X for Bitbucket

Posted: March 20, 2014
Written by: Saints At Play

If you're using a Git based source control management (SCM) service you'll need to create and configure SSH keys to facilitate trusted communication between your computer and the remote SCM repository. If you're using Mac OS X (or similar unix based system) then this process turns out to be relatively simple.

In the following article we'll show you how to accomplish this so you can safely and securely connect to one such SCM service - Bitbucket.

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Adjusting transition speeds in jQuery Mobile

Posted: March 19, 2014
Written by: Saints At Play
Category: jQuery Mobile

We've recently started developing with jQuery Mobile (jQM) and ran into an issue with the speed of page transitions taking place in our Adobe AIR application. Unlike previous complaints registered online from user's concerned about jQM running slowly we found the transitions were running too fast and needed to find a way to slow them down.

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Installing the Adobe AIR SDK on Mac OS X Mavericks

Posted: March 19, 2014
Written by: Saints At Play
Category: Adobe AIR

If you're looking to develop Applications for the Desktop and Mobile (iOS, Android & Blackberry) platforms then using and installing the Adobe AIR SDK (Software Development Kit) on Mac OS X is pretty straightforward.

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AngularJS errors with JSON parsing

Posted: March 16, 2014
Written by: Saints At Play
Category: AngularJS

If you've been developing with MVVM (Model View - View Model) framework AngularJS chances are you'll have encountered errors with parsing JSON from an AJAX call. Like any good web developer when you inspect the browser console for more information on the nature of the error you'll probably get something along these lines:

Error: JSON Parse error: unterminated string

As far as browsers reporting back JavaScript errors this is probably one of the most helpful as we know exactly what the source of the problem is and where to look (unlike some of the more cryptic errors messages that can sometimes be returned). 

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CSS Hacks for Firefox

Posted: February 25, 2014
Written by: Saints At Play
Category: CSS

No matter how well you craft your CSS you will inevitably encounter a situation where a hack is the only solution to the problem you're facing. Normally this applies only to Internet Explorer but you may come across the odd time when, for whatever reason, Firefox is the misbehaving browser.

Now the question: how to go about targeting Firefox without affecting styles for other non-IE browsers such as Google Chrome, Opera and Safari?

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Opening directories and files from the Mac OS X terminal

Posted: February 14, 2014
Written by: Saints At Play
Category: Unix

One of the things we love about Mac OS X is the ability to do the same thing just in different ways.

Case in point, opening files and directories in GUI view from the Mac OS X Terminal.

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Pyrocms set advanced text editor new line to paragraph

Posted: February 12, 2014
Written by: Saints At Play
Category: PyroCMS

We've been doing a lot of development with PyroCMS Professional 2.2.1 in the last 2 months and we're loving working with such a great CMS. We recently came across an issue with the advanced WYSIWYG text editor where the text content was not being wrapped in p tags as expected.

Fixing this turned out to be quite simple.

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The basics of setting up Phonegap for iOS

Posted: February 11, 2014
Written by: Saints At Play
Category: PhoneGap

If you want to develop for different mobile platforms but don't have the time, inclination or motivation to learn the Objective C, Java or C# languages then PhoneGap should definitely be at the top of your must-have technologies list.

In this tutorial we're going to take you through setting up the basic Phonegap environment for iOS.

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Essential rules for print CSS

Posted: February 10, 2014
Written by: Saints At Play
Category: CSS

One of the most overlooked and often neglected areas of CSS development is that of printing. All too often front-end developers concentrate only on crafting styles that are compatible across different browsers and devices and don't consider how their pages may look when printed.

Let's take a look at some of the challenges involved with creating print optimised CSS.

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Resolving iMovie 10's red tint on MOV file import

Posted: February 3, 2014
Written by: Saints At Play
Category: Apple

If you've recently upgraded to Mac OS X Mavericks you might find yourself experiencing an issue with importing MOV files into iMovie 10. Like many user's reporting similar experiences on the Apple forums you will probably find that your MOV files take on a red tint that can't be removed or corrected once they have been imported into iMovie.

Despite Apple's usual attention to creating an intuitive and seamless experience this is one issue that, as yet, has not been fixed by our friends from Cupertino.

So what to do?

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Finding airports that use body scanners

Posted: February 1, 2014
Written by: Saints At Play
Category: Apps

We’re pleased to announce an upgrade to our airport body scanner locator app for the iPhone and iPad platforms.

After a lot of hard work adding in new features, refining existing functionality and improving the overall user experience we finally pushed version 2 to the Apple App store.

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Resolving network connectivity issues with PhoneGap 3.3.0

Posted: January 26, 2014
Written by: Saints At Play
Category: PhoneGap

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: January 13, 2014
Written by: Saints At Play
Category: PhoneGap

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: January 11, 2014
Written by: Saints At Play
Category: PyroCMS

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: January 9, 2014
Written by: Saints At Play
Category: Apple

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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Grunt JS and automating development tasks

Posted: January 7, 2014
Written by: Saints At Play
Category: Grunt

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: January 3, 2014
Written by: Saints At Play
Category: Apple

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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Goodbye 2013, hello 2014

Posted: January 1, 2014
Written by: Saints At Play
Category: Miscellaneous

2014 is now officially here and like most people you're probably asking the question, as we are, where the hell did 2013 go?

After surviving the non-existent apocalypse that was to be the end of the Mayan calendar (late December 2012 for those who have no idea what that reference meant) 2013 was hurriedly coming into view and now it's hurriedly receding from view. Anyone else a little concerned at just how quickly the years are passing?

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IE11 document modes and conditional comments

Posted: December 27, 2013
Written by: Saints At Play

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?

Posted: December 3, 2013
Written by: Saints At Play
Category: Codeigniter

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

Posted: December 3, 2013
Written by: Saints At Play
Category: PyroCMS

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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Removing dynamically generated TinyMCE editor instances from the DOM

Posted: December 3, 2013
Written by: Saints At Play
Category: TinyMCE

​We recently had some interesting experiences with a client project where we were trying to remove TinyMCE editor instances, that had been dynamically added, from the browser DOM/memory.

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Dreamweaver XML error

Posted: November 4, 2013
Written by: Saints At Play
Category: Dreamweaver

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

Posted: November 3, 2013
Written by: Saints At Play
Category: Laravel

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: October 24, 2012
Written by: Saints At Play
Category: Economic Trends

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: October 5, 2012
Written by: Saints At Play
Category: Apple

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: September 3, 2011
Written by: Saints At Play

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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