Review: Web Application Development with Yii 2 and PHP

Yii is an amazing web application programming framework. It’s actually what I used to build Wordner a few years back. Yii is fast and powerful. It uses the Model-View-Controller (MVC) methodology. And, because it leverages PHP and MySQL, it can run on nearly any server.

For the past several years, the team who built Yii has been working to overhaul of the original framework. Yii 2 brings some significant enhancements to the framework, including support for namespaces, improved view echoing, and updates to widgets and themes.

Creativity and Computer Code: PHP, Yii, and WordPress

I’ve always had a passion for creativity. Whether using a camera or a computer, there is something fulfilling about realizing an idea.

Children are quite familiar with this. They build and experiment with such ease. Yet, as we grow older, some of this is lost.

With that in mind, I have been working on a number of creative projects. Here is a quick update on a few dealing with code.

Finding Wild Turkeys In The City of Oakland

Image Courtesy of Dan Smith

Don’t move to the city if you want to be close to nature – or so the thinking goes.

One could easily argue that cities are the antithesis of the natural world. They’re artificial, concrete covered landscapes dotted with parks to cultivate plants and zoos to exhibit animals. The entire place has been designed for humans.

Knowing this, I didn’t expect to see much nature when I first moved to Oakland. So, one can only imagine my shock at discovering wild turkeys living within the city.

Video: Child Plays With iPad And Magazine. Thinks Magazine Is Broken.

There’s a video being circulated this week that demonstrates just how quickly one media type can overshadow another.

In the clip, a one year old child is shown playing with an iPad. She swipes, clicks, and gestures, though it is clear that she is more captivated by the moving screen than fully aware of what it all means.

Then she is given a stack of magazines, and something really interesting happens.

Information Overload: Quitting A Smartphone Cold Turkey

Smartphones are great. They enable us to communicate quickly, access mountains of information, and enjoy a near endless supply of music, videos, games and other media.

In a sense, they are devices built for immediate engagement. Bored? Grab your iPhone and play Angry Birds. Feeling alone? Pull out your Droid and check Facebook. Can’t remember something? Just Google it on your BlackBerry.

All of this can make smartphones seem mildly addictive, which is exactly what I discovered when I quit mine cold turkey.

Farmers’ Fair Is More Dillsburg Than The Pickle

Farmers’ Fair is this coming weekend, and I’m not going to be there.

For me, there will be no fire hall displays. No parades or antique cars. And, I definitely will not be enjoying any deep fried funnel cake or catfish nuggets.

Instead, about the time everyone in Dillsburg jockeys for a position at the Fantastic Parade, I’ll be sitting down for supper in the pleasant California sunshine.

What’s worse is that I haven’t attended Farmers’ Fair in years. And, for someone who grew up in Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, that’s pretty sad. Here’s why:

Using SEO: Tell Google What Your Website Is About

Having your website show up in search engines is an important way to get people to visit it.

In my first post about search engine optimization, also known as SEO, we discussed the basic mechanics of search engines such as Google. Then, we went over concepts for gaining visibility on them. One of these was content optimization, which was compared to placing a sign on our website for search engines to see and read.

Now let’s dig deeper into this.

Forget The Piano, Let’s Bring Back The Harpsichord

Image Courtesy of Ratigan

They say that everything old is new again. In the case of the harpsichord, this definitely applies – or should anyway.

It’s hard to imagine, but before there was the venerable piano, everyone played the harpsichord. Actually, they played a whole group of similar instruments, including the virginal, spinet, clavicytherium, ottavino, and clavichord.

Then, around two hundred years ago, these instruments almost all went extinct.

Online Discussions Are A Train Wreck

Group communication is the backbone of the web. Forums, social networks, and email all enable people to congregate online and discuss.

It’s meant to mimic the physical world. You meet with a group of people and begin talking about a topic. The great thing about the internet is that conversations can happen asynchronously.

Everyone doesn’t have to be online and discussing at the same time. We can log on whenever we choose, scroll down through the discussion, and respond.

The only problem is this design doesn’t really work well.