How to use Opencart default admin over Joomla’s Component like jCart/Mijoshop or other CMS

This article is going to explain how to run a Opencart default admin with Joomla Opencart Extensions like jCart and mijoshop. This could apply to any other CMS which provide bridge between opencart and the CMS.

Some background

Opencart components are usually a opencart installation, wrapped with some code, so it will appear in Joomla or other CMS as a part of the site. Because of collisions between Joomla’s javascript libs and some opencart extensions, which heavily uses javascript they couldn’t work on the Joomla Opencart Admin. For this very reason, the following steps need to be done. The result – you will get fully functional opencart Admin, linked to the frontend of your shop. This way you can use extensions like Bulk Product Update PRO or similar.
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Deadline tool – deadlinez.com

Over the weekend I had an idea and after day and a half (mostly spent in design) the final “product” is ready. It’s a tool for deadlines.

The idea: It came when I had tough conversation with a client of mine about some money which he owe. I wrote a short email notifing him that if he don’t pay within 2 weeks, we are stopping the supprt and cutting one of his main functionality (since he didn’t pay for it) of his app. And I was thinking: Woudn’t be nice to have a tool which could track the deadline like “You have 14 days, 23 Hours and 30 Minutes to pay is, otherwise – no support” – short and clear. Well this is what the Deadline tool is doing. Here it is:

deadlinez.com
deadlines.chankov.net

The main functionaliy: At the first screen you need to select date and time then the deadline is reached as well as the target name and the task (message) which need to be completed. When you submit the form it will create a short url which is the actual counter. This url can be send to the target.

deadlinez.com - Deadline tool

You can also set target’s e-mail as well as yours. If you did it you will receive a mail with a link when the deadline is reached. so both parties will be notified.

deadlinez.com - Deadline tool

Few ideas for deadlines:

  • Set deadline for business client (like me :))
  • Set deadline to your roommate to move out
  • Set your personal deadline to reach some level of income, or career growth
  • Set deadline to your govermnent…

Or whatever you imagine. Please use this for fun mostly!

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Simple value getter and setter for CakePHP

This snipped I’ve wrote, because I think it’s convenient to have something like this in cake.

Put this in AppModel (/youur_cake_project/app/app_model.php)

<?php
class AppModel extends Model {
    /**
     * handy method for getting and setting value in a model.
     * For setter: it's not validating anything, so bear in mind...
     * Usage:
     *   Getter:
     *    $this->MyModel->id = 5;
     *    $this->MyModel->value('name'); //retun value of column name for the id 5
     *   Setter
     *    $this->MyModel->id = 5;
     *    $this->MyModel->value('name', 'BlaBla'); //set the name of row with id 5 to BlaBla
     */

      public function value($field, $value = null){
    if(func_num_args() == 1){ //getter
        $result = $this->field($field);
        if($result){
        return $result;
        }
    } else { //setter
        if($this->saveField($field, $value)){
        return true;
        }
    }
    return false;
     }
}?>

Getter:

$this->YourModel->id = 5; //set the id of the model
$this->YourModel->value('name');//return the value of the row with id 5

Setter:

$this->MyModel->id = 5; //set the id of the model
$this->MyModel->value('name', 'BlaBla'); //set the name of row with id 5 to BlaBla

As you can see it’s not a rocket science, and it’s uses cake’s functions for this, but I thought it’s convenient to have such function.

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jQuery tip – skip $(document).ready() event

If you are new to jQuery you will notice that almost everything is wrapped with

     $(document).ready(function(){
           //your fancy javascript code here...
     });

What does it do? It check if all HTML tags are loaded and if so, execute your code. Easy as that. But if you are new to jQuery it’s really strange way of writing JS code :).

Did you know that this is not so required?

Actually if you move your JavaScript code at the end of the page you don’t need to wrap your code with that.

Hope this will be handy for someone.

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Extending CakePHP Facebook plugin

Currently I am working on an application which require Facebook authentication for it’s users. As you may guess its written in CakePHP, and I’ve searched on Internet for a plugin which integrate Facebook in CakePHP application.

There is one very good CakePHP Facebook plugin written from Nick Baker, and I give a try. It’s really good plugin which provides everything for integration of Facebook (even the Facebook API) in your site. Full list example of functionality can be seen here.

Although, I’ve notice that the site is getting slow when the user is connected on the Facebook. Digging in the code I’ve noticed that the initialize() function which is responsible for the initialisation of the plugin request every time the data for the logged user from the Facebook, and this of course slows down the Application itself, because initialize() is called on every page refresh in every site.

What I’ve did – a little optimisation of the code. Here is the explanation how the improved core works:

  1. on init (initialize() function) it just assign the FB instance to the component and getting the Facebook session. This doesn’t require FB call.
  2. There is an extra parameter which could be provided to the plugin’s settings – noAuth. If this parameter is set the plugin wont attempt to login using the Auth component in the site. By default this parameter isn’t set, but it’s more convenient to have it, because in some cases like mine, I don’t use user Auth on the site except the Facebook’s. Here is a sample how to set noAuth for the plugin:
    class AppController extends Controller {
    $components = array('Facebook.Connect'=&gt;array('noAuth'=&gt;true));
    }
  3. Finally in your AppController::beforeFilter() you can use following in order to get the logged user’s details:
    class AppController extends Controller {
    function beforeFilter(){
    $fb = $this-&gt;Connect-&gt;user();
    }
    }

    This call has been already cached and you don’t need to worry about extra calls to Facebook site.

Another think which I’ve seen in the comments for the Nick’s article is the request to disconnect (unsubscribe) from the application without logging out of the Facebook. That’s why I’ve added a function disconnect() which doing exactly this.

Usage:

<?php
    echo $this->Facebook->disconnect(array(
                     'label'=>__('exit', true),
                     'confirm'=>__('Are you sure?', true)
                     ));
    ;?>

Possible options which could be provided in the function:

  • label – string text for the link
  • redirect – action to which user will be redirected after the logged out. If it’s not set the page will be reload.
  • confirm – javascript confirm message (for example “Are you sure?”) before user disconnected from the application.

I’ve added the confirm option in the logout as well (with the same functionality), as well as there is a new option parameter custom which will force the link creation instead or fbml logout link, because in the original implementation custom link is used only if you pass redirect action, but in some cases it need only to reload the page without any redirection and it’s convenient to have a custom link.

And finally where is the extended plugin? Of course in guthub. CakePHP-Facebook-Plugin

Update: The changes are already accepted and included in the original author of the plugin and you can found them at Plugin’s home page

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CSS trick

Probably everybody know how to match dom elements with css. For example if you want to match all <li> elements. you are doing something like this:

<style>
li{color: red}
</style>

This way every list element will have red text color.

The more advanced example is if you want to select only the active element – an element with a specific class. This way you are adding a style like:

<style>
li.active {color: red;}
</style>

This way only the active elements (list elements with class active) will have red text color.

Ok, but what if we want to match elements which has 2 specific classes?

Let’s say you have following structure:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
    <meta charset="utf-8">
    <title>CSS Selectors</title>
</head>
<body>
    <ul>
        <li class="first second">test 1</li>
        <li class="first">test 2</li>
        <li class="second">test 3</li>
    </ul>
</body>
</html>

How to make the first list element to be with red color?

The obvious solution is to add an extra class like this:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
    <meta charset="utf-8">
    <title>CSS Selectors</title>
    <style type="text/css">
        .third{color: red;}
    </style>
</head>
<body>
    <ul>
        <li class="first second third">test 1</li>
        <li class="first">test 2</li>
        <li class="second">test 3</li>
    </ul>
</body>
</html>

but what if there is an easiest solution?

Try this:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
    <meta charset="utf-8">
    <title>CSS Selectors</title>
    <style type="text/css">
        .first{color: green;}
        .second{color: blue;}
        .first.second{color: red;}
    </style>
</head>
<body>
    <ul>
        <li class="first second">test 1</li>
        <li class="first">test 2</li>
        <li class="second">test 3</li>
    </ul>
</body>
</html>

As you may notice the css selector which is used is .first.second, so no spaces between them.

This way you can assure that only the element which has class first and second will meet the criteria and will be colorized in red. This notation works with ID’s as well, but basically if you have ID, then you know what is the exact element, so it’s useless, but for selection of two classes I think it really useful.

I would like to know if somebody knew about this way of selecting elements?

Demo

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CakePHP: CakeMenu plugin

I am using it for a while, but today I’ve decided to publish in the github.com.

What this plugin does?

The plugin is complete solution to add menu in your applications. It uses the nifty Superfish – jQuery menu plugin. You can find more info for it at http://users.tpg.com.au/j_birch/plugins/superfish/

Cakemenu can work with multilevel menus and reduces the database calls by caching the menu nodes. The plugin working with Authake plugin if you need to apply filter to menu nodes (user need to see only allowed locations)

Cakemenu working with CakePHP 1.2 but it’s tested with Cakephp 1.3 (RC3) and it would not have any problems with the future releases so far.

Requirements

  • CakePHP 1.3 (of course)
  • jQuery in the head tag
  • Authake (optional) if you require your menu nodes to be filtered when user with limited privileges is logged in. Actually it’s possible to use other authorization class, but you have to extend it.

I believe that’s it. Check the large README file in the project’s directory.

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isUnique validation of limited length field

Working on a project I had following problem.

I had to set isUnique validation of a field. The field has VARCHAR(10) type. When I save the data the “isUnique” validation doesn’t work as expected while I was sure that the there is such record in the database. Digging through the problem it turn out that the problem is in the length of the DB column.

Let me explain. The field was length 10, but in the form I’ve put the value which is 11 characters long, so when the first data is submitted instead of the 11 characters, only 10 are saved in the DB table. My value was 456-23-2010 while in the db it’s saved 456-23-201.

So when inserting the new data the script checks 456-23-2010 against the database where is stored 456-23-201. and of course it passes the validation. While on the edit action strangely it appear that the value it is not unique any more (because there are already 2 records 456-23-201 in the db. 🙂

A little bit tricky, because at first glance the data is almost the same. For sure if the inserted string was large than the saved in the DB I would spot it easily, but to me the number was really the same.

There are 2 possible ways where I would think how to solve this problem in the future: Either modifying the Bake template for my applications, or using better validation technique – where the value is trimmed up to length of the field.

I was wondering what would be the better way?

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