Experiences of running Magento 1 on PHP 7

How time flies! It’s been almost a year and a half since we released Inchoo_PHP7 extension for Magento 1 (https://github.com/Inchoo/Inchoo_PHP7), and announced that in a blog post (https://inchoo.net/magento/its-alive/).

We were just scratching our own itch – wanting to use all the performance benefits PHP 7 brought to run Magento faster. But, as the cover image of that post inadvertently prophesied, we created a monster that escaped, and is continuing to terrorize the villagers to present day.

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How I learned to stop worrying and love 3rd party modules for Magento

It’s just another day at the office. “Coffee tastes best on a Friday morning”, you think to yourself while reading emails from the previous day. Couple of guys are shouting in the back, and you’re shushing them angrily. With noise slowly diminishing, you find yourself checking an email with a request for custom change on one of your Magento stores. “Guys, we’ve got work to do. WeHeart3rdPartyModules Ltd. just requested a custom change on one of their stores. Who is willing to take on this one?”. Silence takes over the room. The only sound you hear is a fan from your colleagues PC (no need to ask why, Magento 2 is deploying static content). It seems like you’re in this alone. “Damn, I was hoping for a slow Friday”.

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Push notifications in Magento

When running a web shop there is always need to somehow keep your customers posted with the new information. It can be done in different ways, but using push notifications seems like a pretty neat and convenient way to do it. This technology has been around for some time now but unlike mobile apps, there aren’t many websites that actually utilize it. There’s probably not enough buzz about it out there and to be honest, for certain channels, the technology is not quite ready yet in terms of development. Nevertheless, let’s check it out.

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Changing default category sort direction in Magento

While Magento offers a lot of power when you want to customize category pages and their impressions on your users, there are still some options that are not provided but would come in handy. One common desire is to promote expensive products and ability to reverse sort direction of products in category is a simple way to achieve that.

Functionality like that will require some custom coding, but no fear – it is rather straightforward. 🙂
Prerequisites: Magento module creation, setup scripts, block rewrites.

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Snowflakes Magento Extension

Back by popular demand – it’s Inchoo Snowflakes Magento extension! Revamped to behave nicely with responsive layouts, this extension will give your store a real holiday cheer, and bring smiles to your customers’ faces. Step by step installation and customization guide included.

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Should encrypted Magento extensions be allowed on the new Magento Connect?

A heated Twitter debate is under way over what Magento should or should not allow in the new, updated Connect, and it was started by Magento themselves.

The plans are that new Magento Connect will focus on the quality of extensions listed and will, ultimately, become a much more merchant- and developer-friendly place where everyone around Magento ecosystem will run to, not from.

The biggest question seems to be – should encrypted Magento extensions be allowed? Let’s check the story behind it, pros, cons, and in-betweens and try to come up with a solution, or figure out what Magento will decide.

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Creating EAV based model(s) in Magento

Magento EAV (Entity Attribute Value) data model is used to get flexibility for your data, but it brings more complexity than relation table model. If you need data model that will have flexible attributes which can be dynamically added, for example from Magento admin panel, then EAV is the best solution for you. If using EAV, you don’t need to change table structure for every new attribute like you do on flat tables (creating new colums).

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Magento Global Tags

Most of you are familiar how Magento product tags work. They are scoped by store, can be added by both customers on frontend and admin in backend, they have to be reviewed and approved, etc. Sometimes, depending on a situation, there’s a need for a different approach. Sometimes there’s a need for tags to be store independent.

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Tracking Magento “add product to cart” action for analytic software purpose

Recently I have been working on a Magento extension for a 3rd party customer analytics and targeting web service, think Google Analytics alternative. One of the eCommerce tracking features that needed to be implemented was the “add product to cart” action. Since these kind of tracking services use JavaScript to trigger their tracking code, it’s up to us to see where and when will be embed certain tracking JavaScript in Magento. What’s interesting about “add product to cart” action is that it’s not your usual web page on which you land and are then in possibility to execute certain JavaScript.

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Magento extension review – Improved Sorting v1.2.4 by Amasty

Recently I have been approached by the Amasty employee, asking me if I could do an independent review of two of their extensions. Usually here at Inchoo, we do not have a habit of doing so, however I was caught in a pretty good mood and decided to say yes. It’s probably because I had a pleasure meeting them in person on the last Magento Developer Paradise held in Mallorca September 16th to 19th 2013.

In this article I am going to do a quick review of their Improved Sorting v1.2.4 extension, using the latest Magento Community Edition v1.8.0.0 with nothing but the sample data downloaded from Magento website.

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Magento Dealer (Dealer Locator) Extension

Few months ago I wrote an article How to: Dealer Locator extension for Magento, which was kind of an abstract overview of how to write the Dealers extension for Magento. After the article I got several feedback’s from people requesting the actual extension. Since I was very limited with time back then I kind of just ignored these requests. Lately however, I was able to spare some time to re-engage with articles on Inchoo.net. Since most of my articles are full blown extension, why make this one an exception 🙂

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