• Avoid Custom mod_rewrite Rules with Varnish

    When you are working on a website project running PHP on Apache, and you need to redirect a single device type to a different URL than the rest of your visitors, I’m sure the first thought that many of you would have is to utilize Apache’s mod_rewrite. It is a highly flexible URL rewriting engine that would allow you to rewrite with almost any combination of requirements to a just as complex set of URLs depending on the situation.

  • Let's talk about equality

    Equality has been a major topic of discussion over the last few weeks. Whenever this topic comes up, I am always suprised how limited many people’s knowledge about true equality is. Relax everyone, I am talking about equality operators in JavaScript, and not the topic of national discussion recently.

  • Top Job Applicants Never Stop Learning

    From time to time, my job allows me to be a part of the hiring process for our technical positions. Unfortunately for some of the applicants, I repeatedly come away from these interviews amazed at the responses I get from pretty standard and basic technical questions related to Web Development.

  • Bing ignores robots.txt

    One of the long-standing conventions on the web is that automated search engine crawlers should follow a set of rules about what pages they should and should not visit and index. For many crawlers or bots, all you have to do is properly setup your robots.txt file, and viola, you control what the bot will and will not visit. The GoogleBot tends to behave well according to what is in the robots.txt file, but there are others, specifically BingBot that do not.

  • Top 3 Reasons to Avoid Magento's getFirstItem()

    Magento utilizes a lot of helper functions as well as the Zend Framework and ORM. While this makes things easier to develop, there are areas where this actually makes getting things done more difficult. The very first area that comes to mind is when you are trying to only retrieve a single record from the database. If you were to search Google for the proper way to do this, you would do the following, assuming $collection is your collection object.

  • Do you have too many big balls?

    Managing a software development team can be a difficult task when everything is moving along exactly as expected. When you add in the paradigm shift of Agile Software Development with Scrum, management doesn’t always have the same insights into what makes up an efficient use of a development team’s time. For the rest of this post, lets assume that we are working with a 2 week sprint, with the first day half-used for sprint planning, and the last day half used for the sprint retrospective.

  • Web Browser Font Rendering is the New Edge Case

    In the early days of the web, designers and developers relied upon visitors to the sites they were developing to have their chosen font pre-installed on their computers so that their web browser of choice would be able to properly render the selected font. As quickly became obvious, there is a wide variety of fonts installed across all computers worldwide, so this was not an achievable scenario, especially when print level typography was desired. Unfortunately, at that time, the solution was to put all of the text in an image, ensuring the text would display exactly as the designer had specified, but hiding the same text from search engines and blind users.

  • LocalStorage and Safari Weirdness

    One of the technologies that has been intriguing to me for a while has been LocalStorage on the web browser. One of my first adventures into using persistent storage other than cookies on a web browser was the short-lived HTML 5 standard of the webSQL database. It turns out that it was simply a SQL Lite database that was accessible via JavaScript in all the WebKit browsers as well as Firefox. However, Internet Explorer did not implement this functionality, and the webSQL standard was soon dropped from the HTML 5 standard itself, leaving only the LocalStorage key/value storage mechanism.

  • Apple's iPhone Announcement is a Big Deal for T-Mobile

    Every year, we are treated to a big show from Apple about what the next iPhone will be like, and how magical it actually is. In case you have been living under a rock, this major Apple annoucement is one of the largest news-making fancy press-conferences you will see these days. It used to be this way when Microsoft would launch a new operating system, remember that launch announcement and launch party for Windows XP? What about for Windows 8? Oh yeah, these announcements are only a big deal when you are the dominant force in the marketplace instead of trying to play catch-up in all areas because your technology is old.

  • T-Mobile Buckles Under iPhone 6 PreOrders

    When you are one of the major US carriers that allows its customers to pre-order the new Apple iPhone 6 and Apple iPhone 6 Plus, you would think that you would make sure your internal systems were up to snuff before the pre-order deadline. Well, as luck would have it, when September 12, 2014 rolled around, it turns out that many T-Mobile customers were out of luck when they went to try to pre-order the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

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