Richard Parnaby-King

Web Developer – PHP, Zend Framework and Actionscript 3

Providing user feedback on background operations

Posted on | September 4, 2013 | No Comments

On any website that does any form of background operation that prevents the user from progressing immediately (for example an ajax operation that updates search filters based on the currently selected option) then the user needs to be informed.
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Some jQuery Optimisations

Posted on | May 31, 2013 | 2 Comments

Sometimes you may think you are doing a nice simple effect in jQuery. In reality, you are making hundreds of unnecessary DOM calls and updates every second. And you wonder why the effect is taking so long to run.

This post hopes to teach you how to optimise your code to run that little bit quicker.
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Magento XML Setting Parameter Values

Posted on | May 28, 2013 | No Comments

xmlAh the strength and failings of Magento. Of all its features, the ability to control nearly all of the layout from a single local.xml file is my favourite. One of the main features of this approach is that you can call functions (called actions) to add, remove or override values for the block you are working on. But what is the correct way to specify the value?
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Notepad++ VS Sublime 2

Posted on | May 13, 2013 | 10 Comments


Where I work nearly every other developer is using Sublime 2, whereas I am working on Notepad++. Having seen the features and the way the other developers have set up their Sublime 2 environments, I have fought against the peer-pressure as I believe that Notepad++ is the same as (if not better than) Sublime 2 as both use plugins to do pretty much the same thing.

Here is your chance to change that. This poll will be ran for a few weeks, then I will go with the winning option.

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Zend Framework Routing Solutions

Posted on | April 18, 2013 | 2 Comments

Routing is the action of taking the requested url and pointing the application to the correct module, controller, and action so that the request can be correctly processed. There are a number of ways to implement this using the Zend Framework, the most common of which is to create a routing object in the application bootstrap file. An alternative, which this blog post explores, is to store all possible urls in your database, with the corresponding default route stored alongside it.

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CSS External Link Images

Posted on | December 20, 2012 | No Comments

Some websites with external links have a small image or icon to indicate that the link will lead them to an external webpage. Here is a simple CSS trick to show an html entity indicating an external link:

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Posted on | October 10, 2012 | No Comments

In a previous post I demonstrated a CSS Only Image Zoom. In this post I will explain how to do a CSS only overlay using the CSS3 box-shadow effect to focus the users’ attention onto the element being hovered on.
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Speed up your website with these htaccess rules

Posted on | July 23, 2012 | 1 Comment

As a web developer we should all know that Google now takes site load time into consideration when determining the position of a website in their results pages.

There are plenty of things to do during development to speed up a website (front-end caching, database caching, css sprite sheets, minifying javascript and css files, the list goes on), but the easiest optimisation is to include the following lines into your .htaccess file.

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Zend Framework Custom View Helper to add Default Meta Content

Posted on | July 17, 2012 | 2 Comments

Meta keywords and description used to be used by search engines to help work out what your website is about. Nowadays they are used to web applications to work out how to describe a specific page (for example, paste a link into Google+ and the meta description of the page will be fetched and shown). If you are writing a CMS that allows the user to populate the meta keywords and description of a page, but the user does not fill these fields, then it is nice to have a default value.

This post will share a custom View Helper that will check for your application adding empty meta details, and if there are, populating the values with default values from the application config.ini file.
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CSS Only Image Zoom

Posted on | July 12, 2012 | No Comments

This is a nice simple effect that is used on a damned lot of websites: The image zoom!


Basically, move your mouse over the image to see a larger image.

There are two approaches to this:

  • Have two images – one small, one large – and hide the large image the user hovers over it
  • Have one large image, use CSS to make it appear smaller, and show the full size image when the user hovers over it

In this post, we will investigate the first method.
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    Having three years of programming experience in PHP, Zend Framework and ActionScript3, I have a very strong working knowledge of object orientated programming.

    I am a PC Gamer! Playing FPS, RTS, RPG and the occasional MMO since 1996 I have a huge number of a variety of fast-paced games.

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