Dev Talk

Figuring out Magento object context

One of the problems working under the hood of the Magento CMS is determining the context of $this. If you are about to do any advanced stuff with your template, besides layout changes, you need to get familiar with Magento’s objects (classes).

Let’s have a look at the /app/design/frontend/default/default/template/catalog/product/view.phtml file. If you open this file and execute var_dump($this) your browser will return empty page after a short period of delay. By page I mean on the product view page; the one you see when you click on Magetno product. Experienced users will open PHP error log and notice the error message caused by var_dump().

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Website Launch Flowchart

Did you ever wonder what does it take to build a successful website? Bob Misita from Virante helps us visualize the process. He made a flowchart of 40 steps that need to be completed before actual website launch. Although the list is quite comprehensive, this steps really occur even in medium sized projects.

I hope this will help all of you who want to build a self-money-generation sites with the deadline of 3 weeks. Look at the flowchart, analyze it and don’t start the development until you planned at least 80% of this boxes.

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WordPress: advantages and disadvantages?

Couple of days ago I posted a question to LinkedIn Q&A. It was for those individuals/companies who use WordPress to run their main site. I was interested to know why do they find WordPress to be their chosen one CMS. The users were supposed to name top 3 key elements in WP that they find most important for your site.  That was the easy part to most of them. Harder part was to name top 3 key elements they miss in WP, but have a feeling it would be important for their site.

There were some really interesting replies.

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FogBugz – Project Management Tool

Working on a project as only developer having direct contact with the client gives you the freedom not to think too much of a communication tool you will use. Couple of meetings, phone calls and an email will be just fine. After 3-4 weeks, you deliver the project and the communication is over. If that is your common scenario, than skip evaluation of this tool.

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Making and breaking the grid with “960 grid system”

There are millions of distinct designs on the web horizon. They all have more or less the styles on their own, like: 3D, cartoon, clean, dark, futuristic, geometric, grunge, minimalistic, retro, corporate, urban, vector, and many more. If we put out design diversity, most of them share the similar structure. They have header, menu, content area, sidebar or sidebars, footer, some secondary space and many more.

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