News / Blog
Touchups And Donations
Doing a few small touch ups on the site, and fixing bugs. The PHP Bit Bucket bug library has been updated, and the YALD theme has been removed since as far as I can tell YALD is no more.
Sadly, despite 10s of thousands of downloads and many visitors to the site, we've only ever had ONE person make a donation in the 6 years that SyntaxSeed has been up. Guess this is a labour of love. It's surprising to me, since each year I try to send some small donations to 3 OSS projects I've found useful. Come on folks! If you're using our resources, show some love! :)
Finally added the ability to control home page featured projects from the admin.
Switch Source Code Hosting to BitBucket
The SyntaxSeed projects which use source control were previously hosted on our own hacked-together Mercurial repository on our shared hosting. As our collection of projects grows this is chewing up space and is of unknown stability as a long term and larger scale solution. So, we have moved our Mercurial repos to the services provided by BitBucket.org. Source code links on the affected project pages have been updated. This service also comes with issue tracking so feel free to log any bugs.
A New Plugin For Spring
We spent some time integrating a bug submission form into our customer support system using BitBucket's API. This was touchy enough and potentially useful for others so we've released it as an Open Source plugin: BitBucket PHP Bug Lib. A few updates to the site are also complete. The homepage search form now works and the tags on each project can be clicked to view all projects with that tag. Cheers and happy spring!
CodeIgniter Update and New Theme
In preparation for more updates to the SyntaxSeed site, we have updated it's core, Codigniter to the latest version. A surprisingly smooth and painless process despite jumping up several versions. So far, I'm very happy with my choice of CI as a framework. To celebrate the upgrade, we've released a bright green theme/template for Dokuwiki: GreenSteel.
New Year and New Updates
For the new year we have released a few updates to our existing applications. AV Book Library has received a minor update fixing the Amazon integration bugs and a few small tweaks. Also our two plugins for Dokuwiki, AvTaskBox and AvBarChart, have been updated to work with the latest version.
Updates And A New Beta Application
Progress on the SyntaxSeed engine itself are is hold for a while, a maternity leave and business activities are taking priorities these days. However to keep things fresh, we have added a new open source application - Av Workorder Tracker. It is a mobile website application designed for tracking the status of jobs through your production line. It is currently in Beta version, and the administration component has not yet been implemented. Anyone interested in contributing?
A New Plugin Class - AvTemplater
A new goody has been added to SyntaxSeed - our simple PHP Templating class - AvTemplater, so check it out! In other news, our hosting server was upgraded recently to PHP version 5.3 and we've discoverd that the version of Codeigniter we're using is full of deprecated methods and errors. So we'll be doing a mini project soon to upgrade SyntaxSeed to the latest version of CI.
I've been keeping a cursory eye on the download counts for our various little apps and noticed they were not budging for a few months. I started to get a little sad about the lack of interest until I noticed that our downloads on Sourceforge were steady. A bit of testing revealed that I had a bug in the download log function. It's fixed and it's back. I've also noticed steady traffic and slow appearance on search engines, so that's encouraging!
Finally, a homepage
I can't stand having an under construction page, so I've finally put up a real home page. The over all design is still just a minimal look for now. I'm hoping to make it so that projects can be marked as 'featured' then they'll be added to the menu, and cycle randomly on the home page.
After wrestling with this decision for a little bit, I've decided to add a method for people to contribute financially if they find any of our code resources or applications useful. I wasn't sure if I wanted to do this, but an email from a user of AV Book Library convinced me that I should leave the donation decision up to you, the users. So, if you think it's worthwhile, you can now donate to support these projects. Thank you so much! We are also receiving some positive feedback from corporations using Task Timer Light!
The user who wrote to me, expressed that after using our application for over a year, he felt he had received so much benefit from it, that a small donation would balance his appreciation with his need for a low budget solution. He said that something he's used for a year is worth at least a few bucks and probably more if he could afford it. He tries to contribute to at least a few of the open source projects he uses each year. Something that I do as well. So, thank you sir, you've convinced me!
Clean Up and Project Released
I've cleaned up the look of the site a little bit so that it doesn't look too unfinished. It will still need a nice design, but something clean. I'll have to do a replacement for the under construction home page soon.
A new main project has been added to the site and is in a completed, downloadable state: Task Timer Light. The number of projects on here is slowly growing and we still have a few more to add.
Project Admin Coming Along
I have the basic project admin working now- that is editing, creating and deleting projects. Each of these steps was a learning process with CodeIgniter. The biggest challenge was figuring out how to use the same View with the project form for both Create and Edit. Got it though and it's quite elegant.
I've also struggled with whether to put the CodeIgniter logo in the footer of the site. I've added it for now, but I'm not sure whether it's relevant.
One exciting addition is that I've written an extension to the CI logging and profiling functionality. It is wrapped up in a nice class with extra functions like starting and stopping timers. I may package that up and publish it as well.
Something Worth Doing
Some people treat every piece of code written as a deep dark secret, and if a project can't earn a profit or doesn't have a client initially willing to pay for it, it doesn't get written. However, since we enjoy contributing plugins and themes to open source projects, and have projects of our own that we've published as open source, we want to do something with them, because over time they've ended up all over the place. Some are on SourceForge, others on various personal websites. It's time to gather these together in one place and make it more, well, official.
So, SyntaxSeed was born. We have decided to build it on the CodeIgniter framework. This is a great opportunity to learn a new framework, and possibly create something amazing. In under a week we've become familiar with CodeIgniter, and have set up the skeleton of the site and have it drawing project information from a database. Fun stuff. Let's see where this goes.