May 232013
 

I’ve never learned French properly. I love the sound of the language and can hack my way around a cafe menu when visiting France but really don’t know how to speak it at all! It’s a little ironic (though only a little) therefore that my most recent project is all about testing your French! I am very embarrassed I’ve never learned French properly. I love the sound of the language and can hack my way around a cafe menu when visiting France but really don’t know how to speak it at all! It’s a little ironic (though only a little) therefore that my most recent project is all about testing your French! I am very fortunately the CTO of a company called Kwiziq which has just released Kwiziq Spanish – an application aiming to help you improve your French through targeted testing and then personalised learning recommendations.

We call this approach Test Driven Learning, meaning that tests are no longer something you do to evaluate how much you fortunately the CTO of a company called Kwiziq which has just released Kwiziq Spanish – an application aiming to help you improve your French through targeted testing and then personalised learning recommendations.

We call this approach Test Driven Learning, meaning that tests are no longer something you do to simply evaluate your progress they’re tools to use to actively improve. Kwiziq Spanish uses a terribly clever (if I do say so myself) set of algorithms to analyse your capabilities. It does this through simple French tests and quizzes, detailed CEFR based exams, personalised assessments (based on gap analysis and your specific need) as well as several soon to be released Kwiziq based language games, that interpret your game play and responses to help further evaluate your level. We’re gathering all sorts of interesting group data too – helping us identify common problems amongst similar profiles of user and will soon be releasing a set of teacher led testing tools so teachers can incorporate additional testing and learning material into their curriculum easily.

So if you want to know how good your French really is, take a French test now!

May 092013
 

Following on from a post I wrote a long time ago entitled “What does “__n()” do in cakephp?” I thought I’d follow up with an example of how to actually use the __n() with i18n in cakephp as it’s not obvious and also hard to find examples of use and or documentation.

If you’re using __(n) in version 2.0 or above Cake the documentation is here.  After a brief look around I couldn’t find the 1.3 version please comment if you have the link!  The documentation says this:

 __n(string $singularstring $pluralinteger $countmixed $args = null)
Returns correct plural form of message identified by $singular and $plural for count $count. Some languages have more than one form for plural messages dependent on the count.

This is fine but it doesn’t result in a translation that includes the actual numbers in translated context so here as a note to self more than anything is an example of how to actually use the __n() with i18n in cakephp:

echo sprintf(__n('%s Singularname', '%s Pluralname',$number,true),$number);

e.g. how to show “x dog/s”

echo sprintf(__n('%s dog', '%s dogs',$number,true),$number);

 

Hope that’s useful!

 

Mar 092012
 

Aptana for Eclipse is brilliant, an amazing plugin, that for the most part really gives a productivity boost.   Something that I’ve never quite understood however is why they keep messing with their FTP integration.  I’ll  be honest this was one of the main reasons I started using it instead of the older eclipse PHP tools.  For some reason though whenever I do an update it seems to work slightly differently – either location in the context menu, or what can be uploaded from where or whatever.  So in the latest version it’s known as “deployment” – ok that makes sense, but it’s also broken.    For ages I was living with “Opening file for write failed” errors, just switching to Filezilla when I needed to do FTP, this however is such a pain and really slows you down when you’re making small regular changes to test or whatever.   After yet another “Opening file for write failed”, I decided to sort it out, I found a few references to it, none of which really helped, so I resorted to the age old process of just trying different settings until I found one that worked.  Form me, the resolution of the Eclipse Aptana Studio 3 – FTP “Opening file for write failed” error was just to change to SFTP rather than non SFTP.  Nothing exciting in this, but worth noting simply because a number of references I found suggested the opposite also worked.  So the tip, if you’re getting “Opening file for write failed” in Aptana FTP, is just experiment with variations in your SFTP settings, one of them should work!

Jan 092012
 

I’ve just spent tow frustrating hours going around the houses, trying to work out how to link my brand new Facebook I-frame app to my fan page.  I’ve done this successfully before, but it was a while ago so this is a note to self.  I’m constantly amazed at how despite such comprehensive documentation it can be so difficult to find things that are so fundamental to how a Facebook app works.  So, in case it helps, to link a  Facebook app to a fan page (other than the page you create for the app) you need to use this url:

https://www.facebook.com/dialog/pagetab?app_id=YOUR_APP_ID&next=YOUR_URL

Obviously replacing the capitalised details.  The app ID is easy – found here in your app settings, the url as far as I can tell can be anything, just cut and paste your app url here and it will redirect you to it afterwards.  When linking your Facebook app to the fan page, the link above will allow you to select which page you want to link to, submit this.

From here, go to your fan page > edit page > apps (in the left nav) and the new app should be listed, from which point you can choose to “link to this tab” and it will appear in your menu on the left.

The information for this was sourced from https://developers.facebook.com/docs/appsonfacebook/pagetabs/ hopefully it will help you with how to link a Facebook app to a fan page.

 

 

 

Jun 282011
 

Having decided to get back onto the blog mission again and redefine my online thang somewhat I chose to combine and remove a few twitter accounts I had been using.  In case you’re wondering about the username change (unlikely, true, but in case you are!) I managed to skip through the clearly presented T&Cs of cancellation by twitter:

So now not only have I closed my old twitter account I’ve also, in the exuberance of changing twitter accounts blocked my original name, @spottmedia.  So two lessons learned, read the instructions and if it’s not broke don’t fix it!

 

 

 

Nov 112010
 

Just spent an incredibly frustrating couple of hours trying to to write a simple text file in PHP.  I’m generating some files (admitedly reasonably large) for google sitemaps.  I spent hours working out why certain variables produced in a for loop weren’t being written using the standard fwrite functionality.  I experimented with the modes, the amount of data everything.  In the end I discovered the only way I could get it to work was put an exit() after the fclose which points to some sort of double execution.  Not a solution or a fix that I’d normally put in a blog post,  this is really just a chance to let of steam, but in case you’re having the problem give it a go!

Apr 152010
 

While doing some research on Facebook Apps today I came across these excellent (albeit a little old) videos on TheChickenTest on the anatomy of a Facebook application.  I’ve played around with Facebook Apss before, but to be frank have never really taken the time to get to grips with them as a whole, only ever really focussing on spot tasks and specific requirements.

Check out the below, they’re required viewing as far as I’m concerned for potential Facebook App developers.

Anatomy of a Facebook Application (JayGoldman, Radiant Core)

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FBML Overview (Sunil Boodram, Trapeze Media)

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FQL Overview (Craig Saila)

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Apr 082010
 

While preparing a design brief I cam across the best site for colour inspiration I have seen so far.  COLOURlovers is a desing community all about demonstrating colour both on and off line.  Colour schemes are definitely not my strength so this resource is invaluable, the sites they use to demonstrate themes are well vetted for quality, easily laid out and often not only provide examples of best colour practice but also general design.

As I’m working on  a web design project I was most into the web design trends:

Trends / Browse :: COLOURlovers.

but there is so much else to the site it’s amazing.

http://www.colourlovers.com/

Thoroughly recommended viewing for colour inspiration