Blogs about Web Development

Twitter and the short URL conundrum

Published on the 14th October, 2009

Although the spam seems to be dying down a little on Twitter since they introduced their 'report as spam' option I'm still a little cautious about clicking some shortened URLs - SO many of the links seem to lead to spam (spam and more spam). The whole concept seems to have gone full circle as well with people using extensions like Long URL Please to make the short URL long again. Although I think this is a good a useful add-on, the whole process seems a little excessive. I can see benefit in usi...

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Free subversion repository hosting accounts

Published on the 17th May, 2009

I've come across a few subversion hosting services which offer free accounts so I thought I'd share the links. Most of these seem to offer a limited free account and a range of paid accounts. If you're working with subversion a lot and you come to rely on them then you may want to upgrade in the future - at least you can try them out first for free. However, if you're developing one or two projects on your own you may be happy to stick with the free account. These details are for the free accoun...

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CodeIgniter 1.7.0 Released

Published on the 24th October, 2008

It's that wonderful time again! CodeIgniter 1.7.0 has been released, so it's time to upgrade. http://codeigniter.com/user_guide/installation/upgrade_170.html Upgrading looks fairly straight forward - here are some notable changes (http://codeigniter.com/user_guide/changelog.html): Sessions The Sessions class has been updated so that any custom data being saved gets stored to the database rather than the session cookie (assuming you are using a database to store session data), permitting much...

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Protecting a Drupal site from hotlinking

Published on the 18th September, 2008

What is hotlinking? Hotlinking, sometimes called image leeching or hot linking, is where another website embeds an image which is stored on your web host. So, for example, if you want to add an image to your website, you can upload the file to your web host then embed the image into your HTML referencing the source for the image as the location of the file on your web host. When someone accesses the HTML page where the image is embedded the file will be downloaded from your web host. If you don...

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Dreamweaver closes straight after opening

Published on the 10th September, 2008

This really is one of the strangest software bugs I've come across! The Problem Dreamweaver crashes and won't open again. When you try and open Dreamweaver it just closes straight away, with nothing more than a glimpse of the splash screen. The Solution One of the CSS files in the site you were working on has a file size which is a multiple of 8kb (mine was 24kb). You can try anything; rebooting, reinstalling, but Dreamweaver won't play ball if the file is still there. You need open the CSS ...

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Welcome Drupal 6

Published on the 13th February, 2008

Drupal 6 was released today! After having a play with the beta and release candidates...well, I don't have to say; this really is a phenomenal release! Here are some of my favourite new features which I'm looking forward to using: Extended logging - You can set Drupal for OS level logging Batch API - A progress bar can track tasks running in the background through multiple HTTP requests Scripting from the command line - This is really cool! You can now run Drupal code through the command line ...

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XAMPP and mod_rewrite (getting clean URLs to work)

Published on the 4th October, 2007

If you're using a CMS or blog app, like Drupal or Wordpress (even if you're not) chances are you'll probably want to enable clean URLs (sometimes called search engine friendly URLs). This cool little feature uses an Apache module called mod_rewrite, and if you're developing your site using XAMPP this is disabled by default (possibly for security reasons). To enable this module it just takes a little tweak of your httpd.conf file which will be found in xampp\apache\conf. The conf file already co...

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Essential Firefox web developer / designer add-ons

Published on the 29th September, 2007

I've been taking a few Firefox add-ons for granted, so here's a little nod to some excellent add-ons which have made my life easier. I'm not going to list 50, simply because I've found either some do the same thing, or I don't end up using them as much as I thought. So here they are: Firebug Web Developer Toolbar Dummy Lipsum IE Tab Firebug Firebug Homepage Firebug allows you to inspect whatever page you're on and view the CSS and HTML from within the page. This has always come in handy...

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Getting alt text to display without a caption using img_assist

Published on the 4th September, 2007

I ran into a spot of trouble recently with img_assist, in that it only displayed alt text if there was also a caption below the image. Img_Assist takes the alt text from a combination of the title and description, and these fields are filled by default from the title and body of the image node. Although there is no real need for a caption below each image, you will almost always need alt text. The problem was that Drupal wasn't wrapping the caption in a span, which meant no easy way of hiding i...

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