• Handling Callbacks with a Depth-First Tree in JavaScript

    One of the hardest things to do in JavaScript when working with complex data structures and a callback oriented platform is to know for sure when all of your callbacks have been fully executed. This issue came to light when working with a MongoDB datastore that was being used to store an infinitely-deep nested menu structure.

  • Don't Use MongoDB For The Wrong Things

    The early phases of a greenfield project always seem to conjure up grand ideas of how to use the hottest new technologies to accomplish your goals. Many times, these grandiose plans give way to a more level-headed design discussion where more realistic technologies are adopted. However, there are a few times where the developer with the idea to use the hottest new technology is the one in charge, and ends up getting his way.

  • Write Your Own Compass Mixin

    As a developer working with CSS, one of the things that I find a bit troubling is the amount of style definitions that I have to repeat over and over to achieve the design I desire. One of the basic tenets of software development is to utilize the DRY principle, otherwise known as Don’t Repeat Yourself. Fortunately, when you implement Compass and SASS in your project to generate your CSS, you have a way to avoid copy-paste programming.

  • Social-Buttons.Com Spams Google Analytics

    Typically when you see traffic in Google Analytics, you can be sure that it is legitimate traffic to your website. However, there are a few known spammers out there that successfully spam Google Analytics tracking codes with bogus visits, hoping that the Analytics users visit the site that is supposedly “referring” traffic. One such domain that is being used for this is

  • Using The Ampersand With Compass

    While much of working with Compass to generate the CSS for your site is straightforward, there are a few ways to use Compass the provide great power, but are not as easy to understand at first glance. This article discusses one such way, hopefully making it easier to understand.

  • Compass Makes Writing CSS Fun Again

    One of the things that has always annoyed me about web development is that writing CSS generally becomes a task that has a major lack of the features that you would expect in a programming language, even one as simple as JavaScript. These features that would be wonderful to have when working with CSS are the ability to use variables to define a set of basic colors that are in use across the site in one place, and then use the variable name throughout the stylesheet.

  • Optimize Wide To Narrow

    If you consider the path that a user takes through your website from landing page to successful conversion, you can think of the number of users that make it to each point along the way to a successful conversion as similarly shaped to that of a funnel. In a typical setup, you may have a very small percentage of your users make it to a successful conversion, but there are several areas along the way that either improve the chances the user will convert or decrease those chances.

  • 2 Ways To Find Current Directory in PHP Without Regular Expressions

    There comes a time when you need to find the current directory in PHP, test to see if it is the directory that you expect it is, and take an action based on the test results. Obviously, the easiest way to get the current working directory in PHP is getcwd(). However, parsing the output of this function can provide some interesting challenges.

  • Another Micro-Optimization Provides Useless Results

    One of the things to remember about performance optimizations performed in isolation is that their results are rarely representative of real-world performance results. This article outlines the “findings” of the students at a couple of Canadian universities, and comes to the conclusion that string concatenation in memory is slower than writing the same total number of bytes to disk, one after the other.

  • Verify Magento User Access to Admin Functionality

    When working with Magento, there will inevitably come a time where you need to manually check to see if the currently logged-in user has access to a specific piece of functionality as defined in the ACL settings. Personally, I have come across this situation more often when creating my own custom modules and their custom permissions, but they can be used to check the permissions of any module.

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