Blog

Programming insights to Storytelling, it's all here.

Ibrahim Diallo

August 2015

Organizing your strings in PHP

Organizing your strings in PHP

In a programming environment like PHP, there are chances you are dealing with strings all over your code. Whether it is to throw an error, or simply notify your users of something that happened, you have to send text messages as strings.

Expertly blind

Expertly blind

As programmers, we work in a field where it is hard to claim to be an expert. Technology constantly changes, and readjustment is a necessity. I read an interesting experiment on nautilus just the other day, here is how it goes.

Not all your ideas should be game changers

Not all your ideas should be game changers

Programming, or coding, is marketed as the skill you need to build the next big thing. Although it can be true, we can say the same about fishing. By learning how to catch fish, you get to put food on the table. You can also become the dedicated fisherman company in a small town, raking in millions of dollars.

Catering to the busy man

Catering to the busy man

Today, anything that is not instant is not worth it. The title of the book is "Don't make me think!" If you make me think than you are doing it wrong. Not to say that intuitive design is bad, but if done wrong it can be a direct contributor to the microwave mentality.

How bad is bad UX?

How bad is bad UX?

As programmers, we tend to neglect the side of the business where there are people involved. You see great programmers that won't dare touch frontend code even with a yard stick. I worked as a frontend developer and I am still afraid of the user interface.

Microsoft Chase XP

Microsoft Chase XP

I rarely go inside a bank anymore. I limit all my transactions directly to the ATM. On my last visit, I spent at least five minutes looking at their new machines. At Bank Of America, there were only a couple human tellers. On the ATM you pick up the phone piece and you are connected in real time with a teller, possibly on the other side of the world.

Things not worth fighting for

Things not worth fighting for

There are things in the programming world that we spend too much time fighting for. Each programmer does things a certain way. Maybe they got their style from a combination of books from an author they admire, maybe they just like a particular style of programming. No matter what it is, they defend their way religiously, firmly believing that it is the right way.

Everything I see I can download

Everything I see I can download

DRM is an important word in the world of technology. It is the control of content long after it has been distributed. Many files are distributed in DRM formats. What this means is that they can only read by applications controlled by the content proprietor. This doesn't even work in theory because the computer is designed to read everything. What these application do is tell the computer not to show the user what it just read.

Computers are not smart, not stupid either

Computers are not smart, not stupid either

I'm glad we stopped hearing people say "the computer is so stupid that it can't even <insert something simple here>". I used to have a teacher in college that would start every class with one of those remarks he would think is clever.

Add a T_PAAMAYIM_NEKUDOTAYIM to fix PHP code

Add a T_PAAMAYIM_NEKUDOTAYIM to fix PHP code

Imagine working for 12 hours straight, without talking any break. You build modules, tools, and your to do list keeps getting shorter and shorter. You don't want to stop because you are in the zone. Your mojo is up the roof. But suddenly you get this Error:

The benefits of building your own framework

The benefits of building your own framework

I am a big fan of the Symfony framework. I feel like it is the one PHP tool where you spend less time fighting the framework and more time building your application. But for the few times it doesn't do the things you want, you have to go through the documentation to figure out how things are done the proper way.

Google Analytics Referral Spam fix

Google Analytics Referral Spam fix

Every time I get the feedback box from Google Analytics, I write in all caps to beg them to block spam on their side. Analytics Spam is annoying because it inflates your traffic. It would have been nice if you could block the IP address of all the machines that trigger it but it is not that simple.

Why is every one being so stupid

Why is every one being so stupid

The DailyWTF thrive on the stupid mistakes developers make. It is easy to look at a product and think how stupid the owner must be to neglect some obvious beneficial improvements. Stackoverflow.com was a popular one. A lot of people thought a lot of things they were doing were stupid and that they had obvious solutions that would work. But in reality, the stackoverflow team is pretty competent. If you see them taking a route, you pretty much know that they have done enough research to find it to be the best solution.

My love and hate for WordPress

My love and hate for WordPress

WordPress runs the web. The majority of websites currently run it and no one complains. When I see people struggling to start a website, I suggest they use WordPress. It takes the problem of figuring out what programming language, framework, subject, or theme out of the equations. All they have to do is click a few buttons and they have a powerful blogging engine at there fingertips.

Designing for text

Designing for text

I am no designer. At least I can't say that I have an artistic eye but there are a few fundamentals, not necessarily reserved to designers, that we should all know when designing web pages. Not many years ago, the maintainers of websites were called webmasters. To me it sounded like old wizards, comical yet very knowledgeable in their field.

Using Apache Server Variables for Environment Settings

Using Apache Server Variables for Environment Settings

Programmers like to set up their machines their own way. Sometimes restricting their environment to strict corporate policies will directly affect their creativity. Luckily with Apache and PHP it is possible to create unique profiles for each developer to allow them to configure their environment in the way they want without affecting others.

How to use error handling in PHP

How to use error handling in PHP

There is nothing worse than having errors you don't see. There are mistakes we make and IDEs do their best to notify us as we type. Things like syntax errors, missing semi colons, wrong data type assignment. These things happen and the compiler throws an error before we launch our application. The worse kind of errors are those that only happen in specific conditions.

If you don't write it down, you will forget

If you don't write it down, you will forget

When I'm in a restaurant, there is nothing that scares me more than a waiter that doesn't write down my order. Especially when we come in as a group. What if they forget? What if they charge me for something I didn't order? For that matter what if I say I didn't order anything and they just brought me food? There is no paper trail to prove otherwise. The stakes are just too high to make a mistake.

Popups are dead, long live popups

Popups are dead, long live popups

We did it, we killed popups. Most of the time I don't even notice that some websites are trying to load a popup because the browser automatically blocks them. For those that manage to circumvent the browsers rules, I have an extra popup add-on that blocks them too. We should celebrate. We won the war!

My code doesn't work

My code doesn't work

One of the biggest problem we have in programming is: It doesn't work. When you talk to a mechanic, telling him "My car doesn't work" will not help him find a solution. You may say, the car doesn't turn on, I have a flat, the fog lights are always off. Not only this tells the mechanic that your car doesn't work, but it also gives him an idea of what is not working, helping him find a solution faster.

Dear developer, leave scrolling alone

Dear developer, leave scrolling alone

Developers are so nice. They want to do all the work for you so you don't have to lift a finger. If you look at modern video games, you press a single button and the character runs, jumps, shoots all the enemies while in the air, tackles the big boss, saves the world and is home in time for supper. Then when you press 2 buttons together... you get the point.

JS Tip of the day

Magical JavaScript Live Collection

JavaScript live collection is a subject that is rarely talked about. Earlier I had written about a caveat when using them. It did help people but one of the pro…