Introducing Ask HTMList.com

Sometimes, our developers are a bit too busy to come up with blog topics on their own. They’ve requested we have the masses feed them to them directly, instead.  So in an effort to make their lives easier (and to stop us from having to beat posts out of them each week), we’ve created a new category: Ask HTMList.com.  Here, we hope to open up to our readers and answer any of your questions on anything ranging from UI/UX design concepts, complex development issues, architecture and code concepts and everything in between.  We’d also love for you to seek reviews of websites, services, books or anything else related to technology or that you happen to find interesting in the field.

So start submitting your ideas for topics you’d like us to cover, your questions, and your links for our review now!  We’ve added this handy form that shows up on the sidebar when you are in the Ask HTMList section of the site to make it easier on you.   And of course, you can email your questions to ask [at] htmlist [dot] com. Try to stump us; we’ll let you know if we had to cave to Google in our responses!

Posted in: Announcements, Ask HTMList.com

Book Review: php|architect’s Guide to Enterprise PHP Development

Our office purchased a copy of php|architect’s Guide to Enterprise PHP Development (TOC) by Ivo Jansch last week, and I called dibs on the review. In it, Jansch sets out to identify tools and methodologies PHP developers can use (and have traditionally not used) to increase their chances of success. Jansch points out that PHP rapidly went from a tool used mainly to develop Personal Home Pages (I don’t know why I capitalized that… so weird) to an increasingly well-regarded enterprise-level platform. Unfortunately, while the open source community surrounding PHP is one of the most active and vibrant ones around, it has been reluctant to pick up some of the more formal development processes that the .NET and J2EE platforms are known for. We’ll dive deeper into the book in about 20 pixels. (You might have to click on a link or something, just a heads-up.)

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Posted in: Reviews

Book Review: php|architect’s Guide to Programming Magento

Guide to Programming with MagentoToday, I’ll be reviewing php|architect’s Guide to Programming Magento by Mark Kimsal. Magento is a relatively new open-source e-commerce application written in PHP with a MySQL back. All in all, the Magento package is an impressive application with great administrative features and a flashy user interface. But under the hood, Magento is a complicated piece of machinery. At the very least, it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. So in order to navigate this maze of XML layout files, multiple template and style directories and the EAV database schema, we purchased Mark Kimsal’s Magento programming book. Find out what we thought of it, after the jump.

At first glance of the index, I got warm fuzzies all over. File hierarchy layout, EAV schema and custom module development…who wouldn’t feel a little happy? However, I’m not really the type of person to give accolades unless something is absolutely stellar. As such, this post will primarily be about the shortcomings of the book.

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Posted in: Development, Reviews