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Tag Archives: php

I’m the IT Manager for Jadecliff Ltd, a UK-based wholesaler of Christmas trees with plantations across Europe as well as at home. When I joined their IT systems were outdated or non-existant, but there’s been a steady encroachment since I joined and one of the first parts was building a modern website to represent the company.

jadecliff website 1080 hdjadecliff website mobile

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Today’s post covers the website I built for Marldon Christmas Trees, my workplace, for the 2014 festive season. The basic website is built on WordPress, with a slew of custom plugin code to handle two booking forms and a customized letter from Santa designer which we’ve seen before. So, let’s dive in.

marldon christmas trees website 2014 front page

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Generating previews with imagettftext

Posted: November 15th, 2013
Tagged: ,

Long time no blog!

I’ve been so busy at work recently I haven’t had any time to work on other stuff, and for the record, I’ve now got plans to rewrite my sort-of-game engine under Haxe 3 and OpenFL, so whenever I get around to that expect some new articles!

But today I have a little php nugget I had to put together recently that I think someone will find useful!

In the past I’ve dabbled with generating images dynamically in php – usually basic stuff, website statistics etc. But recently I had to do something a little more advanced in generating preview images of letters that people would be paying for. This involved placing a large amount of text within a series of template images – including ones with oddly shaped spaces where the text would have to go, which presents the problem of getting it to fit in the gap. I guess you could brute force it – manually position each line – but that’s frankly ludicrous and not future-friendly at all.

So, let’s make a solution. (more…)

Online highscore system for Haxe NME

Posted: June 30th, 2013
Tagged: ,

Hello everybody.

Long time no blog, so here’s a quick catch up: I got a job at a small start up doing many varied and interesting things. The first project I was given built on my experiences with game development, and somewhat outstandingly I got to start writing a new game in Haxe NME! I can’t go in to details about the title right now, but it’s 99% complete and looking good.

One desired aspect of the game was an online leaderboard of some sort, so we can assign rewards to weekly/monthly winners. I’d never even looked at NMEs web function before, vaguely deciding I’d worry about highscores in Tower Defence “at some point”. To my relief it’s super simple to use, and with a few php files on a server I’ve got a nice simple highscore system running… Someone’s bound to find this useful since I couldn’t find any complete samples online, so here we go… (more…)

The old Nerdshack (circa 2009)

Posted: April 16th, 2013

Before the current Nerdshack, and before the previous Nerdshack, there was the original Nerdshack – the same site really, blog, portfolio and random drivel, but in a more designed shell. I recently found this single screenshot of the old design and figured I’d publish it for posterity. I still like it – those boxy headline backgrounds were based on the window frames from the Watercolour theme in Windows Whistler (XP) builds 2410-2419, and the boxy layout of the sidebar complimented it nicely. In the final iteration, the lower boxes on the sidebar contained links to recent blog posts, and clicking any link in to the blog triggered a smooth transition to the identically laid out but much darker design of the blog. I’m currently investigating building a similar theme for the current site – the grey is nice but it is a bit depressing after a while!

 

26-11-09
 

Pixita

Posted: March 16th, 2013

I regard Pixita as my first “real” programming project, way back around 2006/07. I had been experimenting with Visual Basic since about 14 (although how much I understood what I was doing is questionnable) but trying to make sense of other languages made my head spin; It wasn’t until University started teaching me Java that suddenly everything clicked in to place, and now I can understand most any language thrown at me.

 

pixita_logo
 

Anyway, Pixita was to be an image hosting service open to the public… If I remember rightly, Shane – my good friend and owner of one of my old forum hangouts Beta-Place (True-Betas and InfoByte later in it’s life) – had just moved us on to an “unlimited everything” server, and we basically wanted to test it out, as well as the obvious benefits of hosting our own images for use on the forum. I was the in-house developer, but I was only familiar with HTML, CSS, and a smidge of Javascript if required, so I didn’t have the chops to take on such a project. Luckily another forum member who I’ve since lost contact with knew php, and so he began building code. Eager not to be left out and sensing that knowing php would be advantageous given the forum software used it too, I started pulling down his code and studying it to figure out how everything worked.
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WordPress theme mods

Posted: November 21st, 2012
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Just a quick one: In re-creating my blog I had to go through one of my least favourite ordeals, choosing a theme. Given time I’d create my own (but, also given time, I’d probably just write my own bare bones CMS) but that’s not an option, so I usually look for simple, clean themes that I can perhaps customize a little bit and be done with. This theme is called Greyville, by the way, it’s rather pretty I think.

I actually set this blog up locally using Xampp first so I could import a few posts, do those theme mods and make sure everything worked before it went live. I was using the Greyville theme for a while, and had gotten used to it, when I realized it didn’t support a proper menu bar. So I decided I’d add one, how hard could it be?

Fairly simple it turns out, if you have the WordPress API imprinted on your mind. I spent most of my time looking up functions and then trying to chase their dependencies around the internet to find out why they weren’t working right. But I got there eventually, and I thought posting this information could help someone else who just wants to add a menu bar, or wonders why none of his custom php works…

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The Indie Lounge website

Posted: July 15th, 2012

In 2008/9 I visited a bar near where I lived called The Indie Lounge frequently. Friendly staff, live music and cheap drinks beckoned me in, but after a while I began work on an altogether more professional project with them – creating a website.

There was some interest in having an online presence which could be customized and styled, unlike the bars most prevalent means of communication at the time, Facebook. So I went and built a design I felt reflected the bar, grungy and dark. From there, things got a little strange…

 

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Liquidplex website

Posted: March 15th, 2012

liquidplex
 

I recently completed a short project for an old friend of mine, redesigning the website for his hosting company. While it doesn’t contain any complex elements, I had to implement a basic php page loader as well as the theme and some simple Javascript for the drop down menu. Having produced this self-contained site, I then had to dive in and apply the same theme to his customer-facing management console, WHMCS, and design and implement a similar theme to an installation of Invision Power Board. All told this was a neat little project, and I think the result’s solid. Check it out over at Liquidplex.net, or see one more short of the IP.Board theme after the break.
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IP.Board Portal

Posted: March 10th, 2012

As a teenager I was very active on technology discussion forums, and became the in-house developer for several. Modifying themes for Invision Power Board (now IP.Board), and tweaks to any external web sites or front pages were my general jobs, although I did make a few skins from scratch way back when.

The largest project I ever undertook was for a large community of over 30,000 members – the site had previously had a web site front end linked to their forum, but lost it during some upgrades. I created a new portal for them which linked in to their forums and displayed the top news posts, as well as most recent posts across the whole board, popular downloads, and a custom poll widget. I also created an extensive admin panel allowing admins to control exactly which forums the top/most recent posts were drawn from and set the poll.
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