Entries with the tag “misc-web”

These entries have all been tagged with “misc-web” because they’re all about miscellaneous web and internet related things.

Email Catch All Forwarding on Cloudflare Free

May 1, 2024 email misc-web

Sometimes you want to set up a new project with a domain, but you don’t want to set up the whole email infrastructure. You could ignore the email, and hope people can track you down. Or you can add a catch all email at your domain to gather attempts from people to contact you. I opt for the second. Turns out there’s a free and easy way to do it on Cloudflare. Next steps below with screenshots.

Obsidian Always Show Markdown Header Level

Jul 25, 2023 css misc-web

I love Obsidian for note taking. But one thing bothers me with its live preview mode: I want to see my heading level, without seeing any other markdown directly. If you’re not using a theme that does this, you can do it with CSS snippets. Let me show you how:

Google Geo-location Zip Only Not Found Fix

Apr 6, 2023 misc-web

When running a geo-location query out to Google, we found a zip code that wasn’t found. The city/state was found in Google maps, but if you searched just the zip code, no results turned up. This is the fix I came up with.

Rewrite or Redirect URL with NGINX

May 18, 2021 misc-web nginx

This is an article that originally appeared on RedirectURL, a site I built a while ago. Find out the history of that site here

With a few steps, you can create redirects using your NGINX server configuration. Let’s see how.

Ansible Reboot Only If Required

Mar 9, 2021 linux misc-web

This quick tip will help you issue a reboot command during your Ansible playbook if a reboot is required.

Seeing Calculated Values of CSS Variables in Browsers

Dec 18, 2020 css misc-web

CSS contains custom properties or variables which make style reuse a breeze. But, when you use the inspector on your favorite browser, you only see a definition of the variable, not the value itself. If you want to see the value of the variable, it just takes an extra step or two in your favorite browser. Let me show you how.

Rewrite or Redirect URL with Apache

Nov 23, 2020 apache misc-web

This is an article that originally appeared on RedirectURL, a site I built a while ago. Find out the history of that site here

Apache’s mod_rewrite module can create redirects with the proper configuration. Let’s dig in.

Redirect Domain with SSL on Cloudflare

Nov 3, 2020 misc-web

To redirect an entire domain with SSL to a single page, you can use the free account on Cloudflare. Let me show you how.

How to Take Full Page Screenshots in Chrome

Apr 29, 2020 misc-web

It can be hard to take a full-height screenshot of a website. Luckily, Chrome gives us a tool to do this - no more stitching images together. Let’s see how…

What License to Use for Private Software

When it comes to Open Source Software, you have a number of choices to make for licensing your software. When you provide a license for your software, you, as the copyright holder, are giving various types of permissions and warranties for the use of this software. You might even define the way it can be used and if modifications have to be submitted back to you. But, what do you “license” software that is closed, paid or private software that you don’t want anyone else to use?

Mark WIP Features for Better UX/Customer Acceptance

Aug 22, 2019 javascript misc-web testing

When you’re trying to demo your work in progress to a client, it can be difficult to know where to draw the line between working and non-working features. On one hand, you want to show them some context so they can understand the current feature. But, then what happens when they invariably try to explore the context (which may not be done)? Let me put that in a more concrete example.

Host Static Website on GitHub Pages with SSL and WWW redirect

Oct 1, 2018 misc-web

You may know that you can host a static site on GitHub pages - but what if you want to have a www redirect and also SSL? This isn’t that hard until you get to the www redirect. That would require a subdomain and a second SSL cert, which they don’t provide.

Tools You Need for Measuring Everything and Anything

Sep 18, 2018 misc-web mysql php programming

Measurement is important. Metrics, while not sexy, are concrete to a good business strategy. When you bring a problem to your superiors, they’re going to want to know what is your measurement, what metrics did you use to determine this is a problem. With tasks I’ve given developers, I’ve always said “show me the metrics that your fix is better” versus just looking at the code.

Musings on Github

May 28, 2018 git misc-web

Github is one of the most useful tools I have in my arsenal. With over 100 repositories (some of which are private), it’s the best $7/mo I spend. However, there are a couple things about Github you might not know.

The Evolution of PHP Programmers

Oct 17, 2017 misc-web php programming

I think around 2015, there was a big splash of good training online for PHP. Frameworks upgraded/changed, helped programmers write better code faster earlier than that. Before that, it was a lot of RTFM. So, before, in the earlier days (maybe somewhat still today), I think PHP developers did this:

Always Keep Learning

Oct 2, 2017 business misc-web

The other day, an acquaintance of mine was complaining about never getting ahead in their career. I didn’t really feel like I knew enough about their area of expertise to give any advice - until I heard what they did when they got home. During our conversation, they described their favorite TV shows, how involved they were with the outcomes; basically once they got home, 4 to 5 hours were spent on the couch watching TV.

Mac App to Keep Slack Active

Jul 22, 2017 misc-web

I tend to use either the web interface for Slack or I use Franz to manage my open connections. When this is not focused, however, it tends to mark you automatically inactive/away after 30 minutes. If you’re hard-core programming, you might not have slack focused for hours - and this is really confusing for your teammates as you might look non-active or even out for the day.

Add a Case-Sensitive Disk in MacOS

Jul 15, 2017 misc-web

In an earlier entry here, I described the need for a case-sensitive disk in my development set up. I’ve enjoyed using my SD-based drive, but I wanted to change to using my own drive for two reasons: a) I have 1TB drive, so I have plenty of space and b) the SD is slower than the SSD - at least last time I tested it was.

Quick and Easy Case Sensitive Drive in MacOS

Apr 23, 2017 misc-web

One of my projects involves Google AdWords. I was dealing with ad groups in AdWords and I realized I had made a few case mistakes with the filenames. I had files named Adgroup.php instead of AdGroup.php. I went and changed the file name, but, since my project is managed with git, I couldn’t commit the changes. My Mac drive was not case sensitive. Oops, forgot about that.

My site re-design: Simpler, faster, but less user-friendly?

Apr 17, 2017 misc-web

So, after reading some of my own entries on my blog, I realized that my last re-design made the font kind of hard to read. Plus, I was reading it on a 27" monitor, and it became hard to keep the long lines of text straight. So, I opted for a re-design… but not before I looked at my Google Analytics.

Get Better at Logging

Sep 27, 2016 misc-web php

Have you ever submitted a debug log for a piece of desktop software? I’m always enthralled at the sheer amount of information that is included in some of these error reports. It reminds me that I don’t do enough logging. As a matter of fact, I think most PHP developers don’t do enough logging.

Using Developer Tools in Chrome for Testing

May 25, 2016 misc-web testing

In a perfect world, when testing your website you’d have a giant device library, a number of different internet connection speeds, and a bunch of users using the system simultaneously. A perfect world? Pfffft. But, I can help you at least get close to this set of requirements for your test. Let’s see how we can use Google Chrome to simulate different devices and change our internet connection speeds.

Using JSON Patch in Swagger

May 24, 2016 misc-web

I’ve been working with Swagger, also known as the OpenAPI Initiative lately, and I’ve come to the issue of issuing an update to an object. I’m planning on using the HTTP verb PATCH (yes it is a standard in case you forgot… like I did).

Creating a Google Fusion Table from a Google Drive Spreadsheet

Apr 21, 2015 business misc-web

Wow! Enter Google Fusion Tables - an easy way to show, manipulate, sort and display data.

HTML5 Placeholder: Not Always the Best Choice

Nov 2, 2014 html misc-web

One of the applications my team develops is used by a group that we’ve determined to be very much beginners at computer usage and internet comprehension. We attempt to make the product as intuitive as possible - while staying away from the newest trends. I don’t believe our place is to challenge their current notion of what websites do at this time. We stay a bit behind the curve because they need to use this application to solve a task. The task is already hard enough, we shouldn’t be pushing them past their comfort zones.

Slides from thatConference

Aug 15, 2013 misc-web
My talk at thatConference went great today. You can download them here. (Also, not sure why, but the second slide would just not download the image of my kayak…)

UX: On date range, mark only one in error

Feb 26, 2013 misc-web ux

In one of our applications, an event system requires a start and end date. There is validation to check to make sure the end date is after the start date.

Release the quality you'd expect

Feb 19, 2013 misc-web programming ux

Recently, I had a programmer create a new feature for one of our products. He inadvertently caused another feature of our product to look less polished and function a bit weird. (I called it ‘wonkified’). The consensus of the group was to push out the feature, and then go back and fix the broken part of the old feature in the next week or so.

Car analogy to explain old browser support

Feb 12, 2013 misc-web

I constantly look for ways to explain to non-technical people the daily challenges I must face and decisions I make. I like using analogies. One of the biggest ones I face where I work currently is the support of out-dated browsers.

Two Column Background Colors Demo

Dec 18, 2012 css html misc-web

I often run across this problem and I have to solve it each time. I finally decided to blog about it.

PHP can be easy, but it can be powerful, but either way, it is PHP

Dec 11, 2012 misc-web php

There are two things that really grate on me as a PHP developer. First, people claiming that PHP is not powerful. And second, those who don’t actually work in the language, but have similar disciplines, trying to teach it. Let me elaborate.

Web Developers: Invest the time to create your page!

Jul 31, 2012 business misc-web

I’ve heard the argument so many times: “I’m just too busy to do my own website” This usually is followed by pleading statements leading to the fact that no one is paying them to do their own website - like their current workload is paying them.

Create your application with "overtake user"

Jul 10, 2012 misc-web programming

A couple years ago, I developed this concept I call “Overtake User.”

Site profile: whatscloseto.me

Goal: Clever named site that shows local establishments close to your location. Was based on Google Ip location services. The thought was just for people to think ‘whats close to me’ and type that up.

Finished up WordCamp Milwaukee 2012

Jun 3, 2012 misc-web wordpress

Really enjoyed my time at WordCamp Milwaukee 2012. Got to meet a lot of great people. I did a presentation on Secure Wordpress Coding. Feel free to download the slides.

Translate Your Error Messages in Your Zend Framework Controllers

May 1, 2012 misc-web zend-framework

I’ve been making a push to have more of my projects multi-lingual. However, one thing I kept forgetting about was those super-rare error messages that have to come from the Controller. For the most part, all of your errors should be handled by your validators in your forms. However, from time to time, there needs to be an error handled in your controller.

Site profile: thebetterbachelor.com

Goal: to create a bachelor cookbook and sell it to other bachelors online. The price of the cookbook was to be very cheap so that it wasn’t too much of a risk. The book itself was supposed to be picture rich and very verbose. It showed how to accomplish tasks that other books assumed a person knew.

Service Profile: mketweeps

Goal: I came up with an idea that I wanted to find local people in our area and mention them using a twitter bot. Pretty simple.

Site Profile: jemdiary.com

JEMDiary was one of my longest running websites, from way early in the century.

Site Profile: honorarybrother.com

Goal: to create a site serving females that felt a specific male in their life deserved positive recognition. Then, to monetize the recipient from one of two targeted ads.

Site Profile: amazondiscount.me

The goal was to use links that Amazon provided themselves to showcase categories and percentage discounts with my affiliate tag. The thought was a clean interface would easily encourage people to click a discount of say 90% but send affiliate contributions my way.

Site Profile: name-tag.me

Note: I have shut down name-tag.me. These notes were taken before I pulled the plug.

The goal was to make a “hello my name is” style name tag without the use of images but with a handwritten font.

When you Create Your Account, Please log in.

Dec 6, 2011 misc-web ux

I’ve always found it annoying when programmers create systems where you create your account and then you’re not logged in. Maybe I’m lazy? I decided to do a poll on a popular social networking site. The poll went like this:

Mailchimp Overview Presentation: Waukesha Area Internet Marketing Meetup

Jun 1, 2011 misc-web

I will be presenting at the WAIMM Email Marketing Software meetup today. I plan to cover the basics of Mailchimp for comparison to other services like Constant Contact.

Want to come work with me? Let's do some PHP!

Apr 29, 2011 misc-web php

I no longer work for LPi and do not know what job openings are available.

Do you like to be challenged, learn new things, and have a supportive team? Well, let’s chat a bit. I’m building a team and I’m looking for great PHP developers to join it.

Why IP Authorization No Longer Works on Web Apps

The last time someone brought up authorizing certain actions by IP address - or I should say, limiting the amount of actions that can happen by one IP address. I brushed that off without a second thought. It didn’t occur to me until later that the original owner of that idea may not have known all the reasons why I know this isn’t a good idea. So here’s a quick rundown:

A faster alternative to image beacons with 1x1 gif

Mar 31, 2011 misc-web

So it seems like a very common solution for tracking hit rates is the transparent 1x1 pixel gif. Load this and parse your access logs: requests logged.

PHP Doc for non declared properties in your class

Mar 8, 2011 misc-web php

You may find while working with projects like Zend Framework that you have a number of publicly available properties of your classes that are not defined and documented. They might be part of a getter/setter magic method or just purely dynamic. Well, using PHPDoc, there is a cool tag called property that helps. For example…

Facebook connect: An unknown error occurred. - but why??

Mar 1, 2011 misc-web

I had been working with the facebook connect javascript API on one site and transferred over the code to another site. I changed the app ID and clicked connect. Every time I got a popup saying an unknown error occurred and they were taking a look into it.

To WWW or not to WWW

I run into this question a lot. Should my website have www in the domain name. Should I be going to aaronsaray.com or www.aaronsaray.com?? That is to say, which should be the default home page domain? Let’s discuss…

My Meetmeme card

Dec 21, 2010 misc-web

I received a set of cards from meetmeme.com. In addition to my cards, they also provide the following URL: http://mtme.me/c89ab

Fix: FirePHP not showing output in console in Firebug

When using FirePHP, I ran into this issue where I could not see the output of the debug information. All the documents I found kept suggesting that I had not enabled the Console tab for this particular site.

Conditional Comments - fix blocking

Nov 23, 2010 html misc-web

Ok - so I can’t take any credit for this - but check out this blog post: http://www.phpied.com/conditional-comments-block-downloads/

IEStandards.xml requests

Oct 26, 2010 misc-web

The other day, I saw some 404 errors for the file IEStandards.xml in my error logs. After a little research, I found some links here and here that lead me to believe that I had done something wrong. Let me explain…

Combining Print and Screen CSS

Oct 5, 2010 css misc-web

When running YSlow the other day, I was reminded that I was loading 2 stylesheets when only one would suffice. So, let this be a reminder to you - and a quick excerpt at my own solution:

How does Google Maps API present location on whatscloseto.me

Sep 14, 2010 misc-web

I get a few questions here and there about the location detection on whatscloseto.me. Sometimes it seems really near - other times it seems way off.

How I test email recipients when I develop

Aug 31, 2010 misc-web php

When developing an application, there are usually various different environments that you run the code in. First is the development environment. Next, you have the QA or test environment, staging, and then live or production. It stands to reason that if you are using outgoing e-mail in your application, and your application is in production, it should send to the proper recipients. However, what do you do in testing and development?

Using Google Charts to make QR Codes

Jul 13, 2010 javascript jquery misc-web

Google Charts is my hero yet again. This time, I happened to notice that they have a chart in their API for QR Codes. Considering I was just searching google for a PHP class to do this, I was pretty ecstatic.

Time off for B-day is done

Jun 29, 2010 misc-web
Normally, I’ve been trying to release a new blog entry every Tuesday. I took this last week off to celebrate my birthday. Tomorrow should restart the grind. :)

Use Your Own Short Domain While Waiting for BitLy Pro

May 11, 2010 javascript misc-web

If you’ve checked out BitLy Pro, you’re probably pretty excited like I am. I saw it and immediately registered saray.me for a short URL. When I went to sign up, I found it was still in a queue system where you had to wait to get an invite. In the mean time, I still want to start using my domain.

IE6 warning on site

Apr 22, 2010 jquery misc-web

So I got permission at the beginning of March to add an Internet Explorer 6 deprecation message to one of the sites I’m working on.

Javascript and CSS Compression and Cache

Feb 25, 2010 css javascript misc-web

I’ve been researching caching and compression techniques for my external resources for some time. My first design of JEMDiary was very greedy with HTTP connections. Couple that with having a less-than-perfect host (Dreamhost bleh…), users could feel the burn. I didn’t like it because it would even take ME forever to use my own website. I went on to discover many different key points I use when creating sites now - the Steps to Optimize Assets.

hCard - Should I Care?

Jan 23, 2010 misc-web

So lately, I’ve been looking into the semantic tools available on the web. I want to make sure that my online identity is easily searchable and undeniably accurate. Using semantic tools such as XFN, FOAF and hCard may help me.

Friend of a Friend: FOAF

Jan 20, 2010 misc-web

So I added my own FOAF link on my home page.

Protect Your Image from Download

Dec 16, 2009 css html misc-web

I came across a great idea dealing with protecting image downloads from the site. Now, this is not fool-proof. There are lots of other ways to download the image, but this may stop the casual downloader. Nope, its not disabling the right click or using java. It requires one single transparent gif. Let’s see how.

Auto Failover for CDN based Javascript

Dec 1, 2009 javascript jquery misc-web

Using my javascript error reporter code helps me get a better understanding of what my clients are experiencing when visiting my website. One thing I did notice was the failures from time to time of Google’s CDN based jQuery.

Trim down your content - it is a MUST

Sep 18, 2009 misc-web

A while ago, I was reading a usability book - and the author suggested that every time you create your content, remove half of the words. Then remove half of them again. So, by the time you’re done, you really have 1/4th of your content - and it should still make sense.

Rely on Google for your Javascript?

Feb 26, 2009 javascript misc-web

After reviewing the Google Javascript API project, I am torn. Pro’s and cons below… What do YOU think?

Name CSS Classes More Descriptive

Oct 30, 2008 css misc-web

One thing I remember being pounded into my head is to not create CSS classes after their physical attributes. So, for example, if your error text is red, do not call the class red. Instead, be more descriptive of the content.

Don't focus me, bro!

Sep 21, 2008 javascript misc-web

I hate filling out login forms to discover that half of my password is in the username box. Let’s talk about why - and then a solution.

dtemplate: dynamic template system for static designed files

Sep 16, 2008 misc-web php

One of the biggest time wasters I deal with is parsing out static web designs given to me by designers. They don’t know programming, so they design it with static HTML in mind. Even if you’re using a tool like dreamweaver, updating static pages can be a hassle. Then, a lot of times, they have to remove their ’lorem ipsum’ text and send it to me - and then I continue to chop it up. Now, I’m talking about smaller 5 to 10 page sites here, not huge sites like JEMDiary or something. However, that idea birthed…

Why your company needs a System Architect/Analyst

Sep 10, 2008 misc-web programming

In this post, I’m going to cover what a System Architect/Analyst (SA from now on) is and why you need one.

Does your design leave an unknown size gap? navigationFiller.js!

Sep 2, 2008 javascript misc-web

If you’ve ever worked with a customer’s CMS pages and heard the term “Oh but I want some images underneath the links” - you need this script. Whether your using old style tables or the coolest CSS tricks, filling in space to the bottom of the page can be useful.

No More "The Triangle"

Jun 6, 2008 misc-web
Well, I’ve officially resigned from “The Triangle.” Don’t worry, I’ve got a new place to keep bring experience to this blog. I look forward to my new opportunities.

3D CSS Example

Jan 6, 2008 css misc-web

This example is a proof-of-concept I worked on years ago when people first started talking about making 3D games with no images - CSS only.

Create an RSS feed of comments from myspace

Sep 8, 2007 misc-web php scripting

Lately, I’ve been trying to find ways to reduce the amount of time I spend on stupid sites like myspace (nevermind the fact that the time it took to reduce this amount took me enough time to visit myspace 1x a day for another month – heh). At any rate, I’ve been using Google Reader a lot more (I’m up to 180 or so feeds) and I thought: Why don’t I make an RSS feed o my comments – then I don’t have to go back to the site when someone sends me a comment.

Tools of the trade

I just thought I’d drop some useful links and tools your way for those beginning and non-tool-cist peoples:

Friendly reminders about testing your PHP code

Aug 3, 2007 misc-web php testing

I was reading on a forum the other day about some benchmarks for PHP. The guy had posted some results in ms measurements, and was getting upset about his erratic results. There were some things that he was forgetting, however.

Spell Checking in Eclipse PDT

Although I’d like to pretend that my side jobs always are pure programming, but alas, not the case. There are times when the users send word docs to me and I have to convert them to html. Now, even these word docs might have spelling mistakes - but that’s just not ‘acceptable’ to them - I should correct those issues too! Whats up with that? But anyway, I now have a good plugin to do spellchecking in eclipse - that won’t break on code (well not sorta…). This supports spell checking as you type, language specific options, and more. At any rate, let’s check out eclipse’s built in spelling feature, and then see why this plugin I found is better:

Highlighting Source Files

Jul 7, 2007 misc-web

I have been writing code snippets in this wordpress blog alot - and I wanted to possibly have the code highlighted. One of the things that happened with code highlighting plugins I’ve noticed is that the code has to be valid (I’ve posted invalid PHP because stupid wordpress kept eating it) or one type of code (I post javascript/html combinations, with ellipses and such…), and so I finally decided to not highlight my code - unless I could find a really cool code highlighting plugin. But along the way, I discovered some really cool tools that might be useful.

When to be OOP - and how much... Lesson Learned!

Jun 26, 2007 misc-web php

I just finished reading a snippet of a book about design patterns - of which Strategy, Adapter, Decorator and others were discussed. It got me to thinking about my design patterns that I used in JEMDiary - and what I’ll be using in this project.

Make interfaces Useful, not featureful

Jun 19, 2007 misc-web

There seem to be two schools of design lately: Feature rich, RIA designs and simplicity.

Planning for application development

Jun 18, 2007 misc-web

In my “younger years” in the coding world, I’d have an idea like I have right now with the website monitoring project - and immediately start coding. I’d get the framework done, implement a feature or two, and then finally start thinking about my requirements. Predictably, the code would turn into an unmaintainable mountain of crap - and I’d be wasting more time rewriting and refactoring than I wanted. For this project, I decided to take steps against this happening.

Website Monitoring Project

Jun 13, 2007 misc-web

Recently, while working at (“the triangle”), I came across a project that I had to research. This project’s definition included finding an up-time monitoring system for our websites as well as a dead link finding feature. So, after doing about 8 hours worth of searching, I didn’t find anything that met our needs. There were tons of dead link finders that could be ran on demand off your desktop platform, but very few that could be scheduled and ran remotely. Additionally, it was hard to find any remote uptime monitoring systems that allowed the flexibility I was looking for - the ability to check for website up - to not give false positives, and to remotely test functionality (kind of like a remote unit test).

How to make a Great MySpace Layout

Apr 4, 2007 css html misc-web php

In this posting, I’m going to share the steps to making a slimmed down, cleaner, nicer layout for MySpace to help showcase your personal interests, your band, or your business.