Global Internet Speeds – A study, and a little bit of a rant

I know this isn’t the usual type of post I usually put on here, and I’m also aware I’ve been neglecting this recently. A lot. I know – I’m working on that! But anyway.

I was recently linked to an infographic with regards to a study on global internet speeds – where’s fastest, cheapest, best bang-for-your-buck, etc etc. Sure, there’s loads of these around, but it’s always interesting to participate in them, learn about what these various infographics are saying, and compare them. Also, some of the statistics they use to compare country to country can sometimes be astonishing.

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Enabling Spellchecker in Magento WYSIWYG editor

A little bit of a puzzling one, and not appearing to be much information about this, seemingly straight-forward task. Enabling the spellchecker plugin in TinyMCE in Magento’s admin. Here’s how you do it;

In js/mage/adminhtml/wysiwyg/tiny_mce/setup.js, find “theme_advanced_buttons3″, and update it as follows;

theme_advanced_buttons3 : 'tablecontrols,|,hr,removeformat,visualaid,|,sub,sup,|,charmap,iespell,media,advhr,|,ltr,rtl,|,fullscreen,|,spellchecker',

Then find “var plugins” (should be a handful of lines above the one you just changed), and update it as follows (this one tripped me up, as not doing this will simply tell TinyMCE to ignore that “spellchecker” button you just added).

var plugins = 'safari,pagebreak,style,layer,table,advhr,advimage,emotions,iespell,media,searchreplace,contextmenu,paste,directionality,fullscreen,spellchecker,noneditable,visualchars,nonbreaking,xhtmlxtras';

Finally, download PHP Spellchecker from TinyMCE’s website, and extract into js/tiny_mce/plugins/.

Reload the admin, open a WYSIWYG editor, and there it is, at the end of the third line of icons!

Fedora 16 to 17 upgrade

I finally had the opportunity to upgrade my laptop from Fedora 16 to 17. When I installed 16 originally, within the week 17 came out, and I was too busy to do anything about it. Granted now 18 is in beta, and is likely to be released tomorrow now that I’ve done this upgrade, I wanted to post about an issue that I came across that no one seems to have touched on much, or at least there’s no real mention of it online. Only by chance did using a couple of tricks combined sort the problem out.

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The start of something great (possibly)..

When I first setup this website, it was mainly for my own benefit – a place to note down annoyances, bug fixes, work-arounds for various issues in the tech world. I’d use it to refer back to (or refer other people to) when I’d been asked to help/offer advise on a particular topic that I’d covered previously.

However.

All that seems to have died off now, all the bugs got fixed, and I’m no longer annoyed (LOL -now there’s a dream). So, in order to make it look like this website is still being updated (since I’ve only posted once this year so far!), I’m going to start a series on Magento module development, offering tutorials, how-to’s, tips and tricks, for developing your own Magento modules with. I’ll cover areas such as;

  • The basics
  • Blocks, Models and Helpers in-depth
  • “Mysql4″
  • Using events and observers
  • The administration area
  • Shipping methods
  • Payment gateways

..and much more. Watch this space for what will probably be the most I’ve ever written in a really long time!

I might offer more than Magento tutorials in the future. If you have a particular topic/subject area you’d like me to cover, get in touch¬†and I’ll see what I can do!

-Dan :)

Creating products programmatically in Magento

Let’s face it – importing is hard. Especially if it’s from some other unfamiliar product, or something that doesn’t already have a Dataflow/import plugin for Magento already. Dataflow has its limits. I’ve actually found it easier to import manually (creating models for products) as opposed to writing Dataflow routines. However, one of my biggest bug bears is not just creating products in Magento programmatically, but creating them successfully. We always end up with stock or relationship issues between simple and configurable products.

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