Prestashop :: adding text blocks in the template

Here you can see how you can add html and text on various places of your template.

Presta is very good written e-commerce platform and class overwriing is piece of cake. So, here is the code:

1. Create a file under {presta_dir}/override/classes and name it Tools.php.
2. Copy and paste that code in the new file:

<?php
/**
 * Tools override class
 */

class Tools extends ToolsCore{
    public static function getPage($link_rewrite = null){
        global $cookie;
        $page = Db::getInstance()->getRow("SELECT * FROM "._DB_PREFIX_."cms_lang WHERE id_lang='".(int)($cookie->id_lang)."' AND link_rewrite LIKE '".$link_rewrite."'");
        return $page['content'];
    }
}

Note: if you already have this file just copy only the function and place it inside the Tools class.

3. That’s it ๐Ÿ™‚ Go and create a new CMS page under Prestashop Admin (Tools->CMS). Add a nice “friendly url” and put your your text in the body.
4. How to use the function in the template: Go to your template file files and insert the following code:

{Tools::getPage('your-seo-friendly-url-cms-page');}

Don’t forget to delete the cache.

Conclusion: The code is not 100% MVC, but it’s working straight away. As benefit your texts will be multilingual, and especially when you need to put them on places where there is no hooks, This would save a lot of time and effort.

Hope this helps.

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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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Web based CakePHP Project generation tool

Yesterday I found a tool which could be handy for rookie CakePHP developers. Atlas is a web code generator based in CakePHP. As a glance it’s a web alternative of CakePHP bake console which is a nice idea indeed.

My first impression was that tool is like diamond in the mud and I was wondering how I didn’t hear about this tool till now, but after installing I realized that it’s not so good as it looked like.

Why?

The first problem occurs in the generation of my first project – I’ve got a error message in Spanish which I couldn’t understand. I had to use Google translate for it, but after the translation, the message still doesn’t say much – “Failed to generate project skeleton”.

After debugging the code figuring out why this error means, I found that the application uses backslash as directory separator (\) ?!? and of course this lead to directories and files with strange names like /var/www/ctest\app\controllers directories where ctest\app\controllers was the full name of the directory :). I am on Ubuntu Desktop machine where backslash is not a directory separator.

Pros and Cons about this tool:

Pros:

  • Very nice interface – really big point for Atlas
  • It should work properly on windows environment and based on the features list and screenshots it quite intuitive.
  • I like web based development everything is in your web browser, so another big plus.

Cons

  • Not working as expected – the backslash problem described above
  • If you are not Spanish speaking person – you are in the middle of nowhere when you see error like this: Error: no se ha podido generar el esqueleto del proyecto
  • No documentation at all. I had to look in the code in order to get idea why I cannot create a project – Not clear labels (or at least no hints). Probably a hint like: Directory (enter a full path to the empty directory under htdocs) or similar could help a lot.

The conclusion:
Atlas looking like promising tool, still it’s far from the final version, but it’s worth to try it in Windows environment. ๐Ÿ™‚ I definitely will follow that project in the future, so hopefully I could use it one day ๐Ÿ™‚

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JSON and CakePHP

Last few articles in this blog are only for stupid problems and unfortunately this one will be the same.

I had to use JSON to update some chained select boxes. I am using one jQuery plugin for this. The problem is that if you code, most likely your debug setting in the core.php file is set to 1 (or 2). This way the developer can see errors from CakePHP.

When the level is set to 1, at the end of the page, there is an comment, displaying the processing time for the page, but when you use JSON, this comment causes troubles (probably, because JSON doesn’t accept this type of comments) and the JS fail to process the response.

In order to check JSON, I needed to disable set debug level to 0 and after this to reset it again to 1 (for debugging purposes in other parts of the application).

So, the conclusion: bear in mind, that JSON doesn’t like HTML comments.

Hope this helps.

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Check your settings while migrating Cake projects

Today I decided to restart the work of a project. The restart includes migration on the other machine as well as updating the Cakephp lib with the final version on the server.

So I copied the whole directory of the project on the second computer /which meant to be the server from now on/ and after this in the cake directory and typed “svn update”. There were some changed files and I received the latest version on the server. So far, so good.

Then I migrated the DB as well, but I decided to follow a new name convention for databases – all database names to follow the full server name i.e. for mydomain.com I would have a mydomain_com /because MySql doesn’t allow dot in the name I replaced dot with underscore/. on the old computer the database was called “mydomain”.

Ok, I changed /app/tmp permission and I decided to see what was the impact of all these actions.

Surprisingly I’ve seen blank screen instead of application screen. I said myself “sh*t, what’s happened? Does the svn update ruin everything? Am I using too old code style?”. Start digging into the code, but whatever I made there wasn’t any change on the screen. Really odd situation. do I found the second “BIG” bug in the cakePHP lib :D, well not true. Here is the explanation.

Finally after 1/2 hour I realized that I’ve changed the name of the database and the old database name doesn’t exist on the server :D. I agree, it’s stupid error and it’s all my fault, but I am wondering why there is no error message telling, that there is no such DB on the server or similar?

I know that on the home.ctp page, which is the default page when you checkout cake from the repository where you can see if the app is connected or not, but what’s happen, when you don’t use this page? Or even as it is in my other project when I rewrite the page controller and I cannot access the default start up page at all?

I think there should be a way which could notify the developers for such stupid “error” or misconfiguration. At lease if the debug level is set to 2 or 3 it should warn I guess.

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The dummy mistake while coding

No body is insured from stupid mistakes while writing code. I am not insured, but subscribed for such things. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here is the story:
Yesterday, while I was working for a small project I lost 1 hour to detect the stupidest mistake I ever made. Here I will explain what happened and how dummy I fee after that.

I am writing an application where users insert records into the database, and after that on every show of the record, there is a counter field which need to add up the number in it. Simple and easy situation.

While I was working I noticed that only one record /from 5 in the database/ got updates on his counter fields. All other had 0, while I was petty much sure that I’ve seen all these records on the screen. Well, I forced showing the 0 rows but the result was the same. Then I start investigating what could be the problem, but in the database everything was just fine. I deleted all records and started inserting texts /because there are some text fields important in this story/ one by one. Strangely, but again some of the records got update, some not. Finally /by accident/ I noticed, that counter changes when there is a space before or in the end of the value of the text I entered.
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Using more than one database connection in CakePHP

Probably is pretty obvious for most of the advanced users, but when I started my experience with CakePHP I read a lot of configuring a database, but not multiple ones. There are articles how to use database for development and for production without changing anything but rewriting a function in DATABASE_CONFIG class.

These days we need to choose way of splitting the functionality and we have to decide: Shall we use different databases or shall we put a prefix for every table. So far we choose to use prefix, but I dig into this and I realized that every model could be attached to different database.

Here is the example how to do this:
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Security Issue in CakePHP

I notice this recently when we start creating the security component of a project. The best way to explain the issue is to give an example:

Imagine that in your application you create an action “edit profile” where each user can change his personal details for the account. If course there will be fields for changing user’s real name, password, email etc., but the username field should be readonly.

The direct approach to create such page is to reuse “edit” action of the user’s controller, but instead of getting the ID from the url, it need to be fetched from the session’s auth variable. The second thing which you have to do is to remove “username” field from the view and you are done. ๐Ÿ™‚ Well, fast and easy, but not very secured…
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11 Things which every developer would do when starting a new project

For every project which is going to be started there are at least 11 things which you need to do before. Here is my list of things which need to be happen before starting any project. During my work experience I’ve started many projects and I think that these are the most important issues which you need to do before start the project.
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