Rule of Thumb #0001

It’s tempting to do web design or development work for a cut rate. Sometimes, it will be a client which you’d just love to have on your portfolio. Other times, it’ll be an old friend, family member or the dreaded friend-of-a-friend.

Either do the work for free or charge full price. Never, ever, do work for “mates rates”.

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Developer Problems #0002

True story, from my glorious agency days:

*Receives email about a critical bug*
*Notifies relevant parties that I’m on-task, fixing said bug*
*Phone rings*

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Developer Problems #0001

Busting for a piss but not wanting to go to the bathroom because you’re “in the flow” and/or fixing a tricky bug.

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Cordova/PhoneGap Installation Guide

Part of my job involves working with PhoneGap/Cordova to build mobile applications from HTML, CSS and JavaScript applications. When it came time to install all of the necessary components, I found it was not as straightforward as it could have been.

I managed to muddle my way through the installation process using bits and pieces of information gleaned from The Almighty Google; here is a break-down of everything I had to do to begin building with Cordova.

Note: This installation guide is relevant to Windows users.

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Daily Mail Fail

I noticed a couple of Facebook friends post a link to a Daily Mail article scaremongering about Summer hay fever. I’ve seen examples of how the Mail has done this in the past, terrifying old people with reports of the worst Winter since time began, so I decided to do a quick search of hay fever stories over the last few years.

 

 

2013: Hayfever sufferes will have it worse then ever this spring
2012: Hayfever victims face an extra month of poain[sic]
2011: Summer hell for hay fever victims
2010: Hay fever hell is on its way
2009: Summer of misery for UK’s hay fever victims
2008: Hay fever alert as pollen count starts to soar

British journalism at its best.

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Chromecast

Today I discovered that Chromecast is available in the UK. In fact, it may have been for a while but I’ve only just had the promo email from Google. Eager to learn more, I decided to have a look at the Android app support for it.

Why would someone pay £30 for such a limited media device? You can get a Prestigio Miracast dongle for the same price which mirrors an Android device’s screen on your TV, (Android 4.2+), meaning that you can view all of your apps on the big screen, not just a piddling list of 11! I know that you can stream content from iOS devices and PC’s to the Chromecast, but still, my interest has completely vanished.

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SQL Injection – A Primer

One of the most widespread software vulnerabilities to afflict websites is SQL injection. Poor coding standards, lax security and a misplaced belief that scripting languages are inherently secure can open your website up to numerous and potentially damaging attacks.

Over the course of this post, I will cover the main reasons why you should be concerned and go over some simple steps you can take to make sure that your code is secure.

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Local and Session Storage

With the advent of HTML5, data storage on a user’s local machine is possible without the need for cookies. The localStorage object allows us to store persistent data, in a key-value pair fashion. There is also a sessionStorage object in which we can store key-value pairs, the data for which is cleared when the user closes their browser window.

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Coding Conventions in MySQL

I like to follow quite strict rules when it comes to coding MySQL queries. Unfortunately, a lot of developers seem to disregard the need for readable and maintainable SQL code which becomes a problem when working with joins across multiple tables and nasties like sub querying.

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Sublime Text 3

I’ve been using the awesome Sublime Text for my day-to-day coding for a couple of years now and a few months ago I upgraded to ST 3. I’ve used a number of editors and IDE’s in the past but nothing has come close to winning me over as much as Sublime.

Some of the features I love:

  • Multuple cursors/selections. The first time I Ctrl+clicked my way around a document my mind was blown. It makes batch updates to files and data an absolute breeze. I couldn’t do without them, now.
  • Fuzzy searching. Being able to open /admin/css/print/myprintstyle.css by entering “adcsspricss” is great, in a lazy way.
  • “Goto Anything”. From one keyboard short cut you can jump to a different file, a line in a file and/or a symbol/function definition. Oh and you get the same fuzzy searching throughout.
  • The command palette. Find functionality, apply settings, insert code snippets and access options and preferences from a single text-driven box. Great when you don’t want to search through unfamiliar menus!
  • Customisation. Key bindings, menus, code snippets, command macros, and text completions are all open and editable from JSON-formatted configuration files.
  • Plugin API. Sublime Text has a wealth of 3rd party plugins including (among my favourites):
  • User-definable snippets.
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