DerekAllard.com

Showing off my < body > today

Annual CSS Naked Day.
DerekAllard.com with no styles

Video-casts coming

I haven’t written here in a while, and I’m feeling pretty guilty about it. I’ve been focusing all my time on programming, and just haven’t been exploring “interesting” things as much as I usually do, so therefore not much to write about.  Anyhow, that’s going to change.  In the next little while I’ll be producing a few more video casts focused on CodeIgniter and ExpressionEngine.  I’m going to start from the perspective of how I set things up, and then expand from there, hopefully spanning a few videos to finish everything off as I need to.

I’m also about a week away from getting to re-visit some of the core functionality of CodeIgniter.  We want to reconsider paging, validation, and a few little things here and there.  But that doesn’t mean we’ve been sitting still!  Since the release of CodeIgniter 1.6.1, there have been 56 updates to the svn.  18 of them were documentation fixes - I often hear criticism along the lines of “I checked the CodeIgniter svn, but its mostly documentation fixes”; and while I know where this is coming from (as developers we want shiny new features), the documentation is among the biggest “features” of the framework.  But there were also many important security fixes, enhancements and other nice-ities in there.  Check it out (what a clever play on words).

Also, as of right now this second, nobody has been hired into the 2 positions available at EllisLab, and if you’ve been sitting on the fence, get your name in there.

April Fools post?

You know… I thought and thought about this one… and I just can’t think of anything even remotely funny that isn’t either (a) predictable and unoriginal; (b) seething with contempt.

ExpressionEngine 2.0 to be build in .NET

Um… nope, dumb.

DerekAllard.com bought by Google

Gee… I’m probably the first person to think of that idea!

I won’t be posting for the next 3 days because I’m hopped up on goof-balls

A little close to home now isn’t it?

So, I guess there won’t be any clever April Fools post here.  Are these still funny?  If you see a clever one, please post it in the comments!

South by Southwest 2008 : Day Three

Three weeks of late nights, (and about 5 days of being extraordinarily ill) have started catching up with me.  Catching up with all of us actually.  Saturday night was a blast, but it also meant hardly any sleep again ;)

We sponsored a brunch Sunday morning, lots of great casual interaction again, this time without loud music and beer (I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing).  In fact, a number of good ideas came out of it, and even though the coffee tasted like burned sawdust, it was worth it just for that.

I had a chance to hit the big trade show.  In general, it was a disappointment.  A new company tried to sell us on their “mashup” social site… Paul and I sat through about 2 minutes and then excused ourselves, and Paul membled “moblog module” as we were walking away.  Yup, EE does everything they were bragging about out of the box.  <sarcasim>OHhhhhh…. I can post blog entries from my cell phone.  Dude, you just blew my mind</sarcasim>

Also had an odd experience at the booth for the Opera web browser.  They had these big posters advertising their “next big thing” called “Dragonfly”.  I asked the guy attending the booth what it was, and he said he couldn’t tell me.  WTF!  The entire point of their display seemed to be to advertise a product that they “couldn’t talk about”.  I repeat.  WTF.  It would be one thing if I asked him, so what’s the next big thing you’re working on?  It’s entirely different for him to come to me and do that.

While I’m venting… allow me to indulge for another moment.  There was a booth there advertising their new web-framework.  Since I’m kinda involved in a round about way (sorta) with a web framework myself, I thought I’d see what they were about.  So I asked the guy “so what’s this all about”.  The conversation pretty much went like this (note the pattern, I ask a question he gives an answer that doesn’t make sense, or doesn’t make sense without a lot more context):

Jeez, go sell crazy somewhere else.

The night was spent enjoying some ultra nerding out over a great dinner (Derek and Paul ordered some very fine… very costly, but very fine… wine), and then retired to my room for some fine ale generously sent to us from Steven Hambleton of Hambo Design, and a nice bottle of wine sent from Lee Tengum of Made by Fresh.  Thank you both so very much!

I’m returning to Toronto with a renewed sense of excitement and energy and the possibilities before us, and the communities beside us.

South by Southwest 2008 : Day Two

Last night was a bit of a late night for us, as we polished our message a bit, and tried to make sure we were delivering everything as consistently in real-life as we were in our heads.

We gave the same session three times, which was the presentation of ExpressionEngine 2.0.  The big news of the day in my mind, is that ExpressionEngine is now built on CodeIgniter.  The implications here, whether you are a CodeIgntier-er, or an ExpressionEngine-er are substantial, and I will write a bit more about these in the upcoming weeks, but sufficed to say that this is very good news for everyone involved; EllisLab, and end-users.

The big “wow” moment, was Derek Jones demo-ing our new control panel.  It was inspiring to see the general reaction of the crowd.  Frankly, it kicks ass (as I said in my slide-show ;) )

By the afternoon, I was wiped.  A single large coffee and a cinnamon bun does not a meal make.  Nevin and Neal brought a great lunch around for us at 2:30 (thanks guys!) and I got significantly “picked up” for our afternoon question and answer session.  The session was incredible, with many people sharing their stories of how they use ExpressionEngine, and how they use CodeIgniter.  Its nice to get perspective from time to time, the tools I help built impact people in a very real way.  Very rewarding!

After that, party at the Moonshine grill.  Tshirts, booze, music, friends.  Is there anything else needed for a great evening?  It was a huge success, and I had the opportunity to hang and chat with lots of CodeIgniter and ExpressionEngine users (and now, they are sort of “one and the same” aren’t they).

One of the things that’s really struck me over the past 2 days is how passionate our users are.  Interested and involved, and overwhelmingly supportive and positive.  Its fantastic getting to put faces to names (and forum names), and I’m glad people had the opportunity to chat with me directly.

One of the things you’ll notice about all of the EllisLab folks is how accessible they really are.  When else do you get to walk up to the vice-president and ask him about how the company works?  When else do you get to chat with the CTO over a beer?  When else do you get to ask the founder of the company what type of motorcycle he rides?  A great environment, and a great time.

And the night kept giving!  Michell (Solspace) a prolific ExpressionEngine contributor hosted a nightcap, and treated me a few nightcaps.

Day 3 is much less packed, and I’m looking forward to relaxing and nerding out a bit.

South by Southwest 2008 : Day One

Preamble: Since I had my laptop in front of me all day, I decided on a stream-of-consciousness post.  If you’re looking for juicy CodeIgniter or EE news and not interested in my comings and goings then I’d advise you to skip today and read tomorrow. ;)

5:31am
Getting to Austin was much nicer this year.  Specifically, customs was much nicer.  In fact, it was downright uneventful.  I got to the gate uneventfully, and opened up lappy and started hacking away on EE for the demo.  A little voice in the back of my head was telling me that its dumb to do that at 5:30am without a full cup of coffee in me… but there’s always work to be done.  Duty calls!

7:33am
The little girl beside me has an unhealthy fascination with the glowing apple on my black laptop, demanding that the people around us look at, (at about 260 decibels).  All she manages to say to me is “the soap is sticky”.  Strange kid.

Keep reading for the full story!

Igniter-zen-i-rails, my new PHP framework

There’s some discussion in a thread on CodeIgniter about microframeworks, and there’s always some discussion about the newest, latest and greatest PHP framework.  I know the market is a bit crowded, but here’s a little something I’ve been working on outside of my time at EllisLab.  I’m a bit hesitant to release it to the world, since it competes directly with both CodeIgniter and ExpressionEngine, but its so good that I can’t help myself.  I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as me.  Here’s some highlights

Seriously, you should try it.

I’ve included my files so far.  Its pretty mature so don’t expect any more development on it.  You can get the files by reading the full post.

News in technology that’s important to me

This is just one of those quickie posts about news regarding a few pieces of tech that are important to me.

End of December Update

Sheesh.  Has it really been a week since I last posted?

I’ve been spending my time plugging away on ExpressionEngine and CodeIgniter.  Both of these systems are getting a pretty substantive going over.  You might say we’re giving them the business.  We’re working hard.  Very hard.  As Les says, “pulling our hair out hard”; and its been a blast. There’s been 18 entries to the CodeIgniter svn repository, and many more to come.  The changelog currently has 50 (five-zero) items in it, and (again) many more to come. EE 2.0 is also shaping up very nicely, and while I can’t speak about specifics, you will not be disappointed.

I’m trying to find time to write another tutorial for CodeIgniter.  I’ve got 3 half-finished tutorials that are pretty substantial - why can’t you ever find the time to finish things off?  Anyhow, as time comes free, I promise to write more.  Next time I’ll write about something controversial, and get the juices flowin’ again.

Oh yeah… and IE8 passed the Acid2 test.  Whoop de doo.

Happy Halloween

killer robot animationI was looking for a good video upload site for a video tutorial I’m doing, and thought I’d check out Viddler after hearing good things.  Viddler does seem nice, but what struck me most was the “featured video” entitled “Machines”.  It has killer robots, funny space aliens and catchy music.  What’s not to like I ask you?!?

Great way to kill a few minutes as I wait for the little ones to coming ringing my doorbell.

And so that this post isn’t totally and completely unrelated to webdesign/geekery - I present you with VectorMagic out of Stanford.

I have a bunch more links that I want to share… but have to pull them off my laptop, so that’s a great excuse for another post.

PS:  Let’s go Raptors!