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.

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.

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.

My Childhood Hero: How Steve Jobs Inspired Us To Think Different

There have been exactly two moments in my life when the untimely death of public figure has deeply moved me.

The first was Jim Henson in 1990.  Then, I was young enough that I couldn’t quite believe or understand how this man could die. He was the embodiment of so many characters and shows that I knew and loved. When I found out, I walked into the backyard and sat alone. It was the first time I truly realized that we do not live forever.

The second moment was today, upon hearing of the passing of Steve Jobs. And, in many ways, this affected me more, along with the rest of the world.

Rethinking Customer Service: Why Innovation Isn’t Only Needed On The Cutting-Edge

Bad customer service. We’ve all experienced it. The problem has become so commonplace that we willingly accept it, and what’s worse is that many companies have too.

Many frustrating customer service stories begin with a phone call:

  • “I called to ask a question about my bill and couldn’t find a way to speak with a human.”
  • “My internet was down, and I spent over an hour on hold, only to be told to contact my computer manufacturer.”
  • “I just wanted to change my address, but my call got transferred to four different people.”

Poor service isn’t just limited to phone calls. Online chat, email, even face-to-face conversations can all be a nightmare. Normally, such a large problem would have businesses and entrepreneurs working on a fix. Yet, where are the innovators in customer service?

Hello World! From WordPress

Hello World! It’s the cry of a computer program coming to life. And, if I remember correctly, it was the first program I ever wrote in C++ over a decade ago. Fittingly, it will be the first post to my newly created blog.

I’ve spent the last few days installing, configuring, and writing a custom WordPress template in order to integrate it with my website. You don’t need to do this in order to use WordPress, or even blog. There are thousands of great looking pre-built templates already created. And, there are still other services out there, that you only need to “throw a switch” and turn on. No configuration required. My goal, however, was a bit bigger.