Basic Packaging Industries – Responsive

Basic Packaging's New Responsive and Retina Ready Website

Earlier this past week we launched the new Basic Packaging Industries Inc. website. We’re particularly proud of what we’ve done here because this new site is a reflection of our new design and development policy. That policy being that “henceforth, all new sites that we design and develop will be done so with responsive layouts in mind, unless we have specific instructions and/or reasons not to do so.”

Our reasoning behind this ‘responsive’ based design policy is quite simple; making one of our dynamic designs responsive, really doesn’t require that much extra work. The thought of putting the responsibility on whether or not a site is responsive on the client’s shoulders, by asking that they pay extra, isn’t something we want to do, as we feel that a failure to deliver a website that is standards compliant and utilizes all the newest web features, results in us cheating both our customers and the end-user. There is a vast number of tools and methods that have been devised to make responsive web design and development relatively straight-forward and if we didn’t use these tools, then Endless Digital wouldn’t be the company that we want it to be.   Read More »

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Is Your ‘php.ini’ Not Working?

php.ini files might work if you change the file name to php5.ini

I often, I mean very often, scour the internet looking for some technical solution to any number of assorted development problems.  Just today I was stumped by a set of instructions, a relatively easy set of instructions, regarding the editing of a php.ini file on a client’s site. Normally, the solution is out there and requires a bit of coding to get it right – but today however, not only was the solution not ‘obvious’, it was dead simple and could have been summarized in a single sentence.

A bit of background though before I get to the crux of the technical dilemma I encountered; a client site had some WordPress plugin updates.  After the update, the site offered up a warning.  It seems that a calendar plugin that worked amazingly well, was going to throw up errors should any of the contents of the postings made with it, include apostrophes.  The solution, they said, was to turn off “magic_quotes_gpc”.  They also provided a link to the WordPress.org forum for the plugin, where people discussed how to go about turning the feature off.  Now, for the average WordPress user perhaps, this could have proved complex.  But I knew exactly what to do, yet still wanting to be on the safe side, I read through the entire forum discussion.  But no, my initial instinct was right: open the php.ini and add the following:

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magic_quotes_gpc = Off

Simple.

So I visited the site and hit refresh while in the Dashboard; nothing.  No change.  I hit refresh again.  Nada.  Cleared the cash.  Zero difference.   Read More »

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Great Web Resources

Web Resources

Great web resources are important and I recently gave a guest lecture and am now teaching a class where I am trying to make sure I get this point across; in the course of my interaction with the students, I’ve tried hard to instill in them three key points:

  1. Open Source is awesome; use what’s online, give credit, share and when you’re competent enough, contribute.
  2. Confidence; don’t be scared of code, don’t be scared of mucking up an install and having to start over.  The internet is strong, you won’t break it.
  3. The information you seek is out there!  This is the key.  The web development and design community is big, not only on open source, but also on sharing their techniques, theories, ideas and concepts.  So get online and learn to execute great searches.

As I explained and advocated this third point, I added in that a great way to do keep abreast of this information is to be proactive and keep track of some of the great and useful blogs out there.  So the obvious question arose: “What are they?”

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Opera Mobile Browser Emulator

Preview sites on a wide array of mobile devices.

We’re fully aware that our site isn’t quite optimized for mobile devices and we’ll get to it as soon as we finish up a slew of client projects. (We hope…)

So the general, hard-to-argue-with, consensus is that the mobile web will shortly take precedence over the ‘regular’, desktop web.  If you’re building sites and want to remain in-step with what real web-dynamos are doing, you’ll need to plan for that.

No more making excuses – design your sites and your client’s sites so that they’re accessible by the greatest number of people possible.  Responsive sites, mobile specific sites, there’s arguments for both – what can’t be argued with however, is that there is a need for this sort of planning, coding and designing.  The web is changing and you need to use all the tools at your disposal to do so.

Enter the Opera Mobile Browser Emulator.  I assume they’ll be updating the app as new devices are released, but already now it contains a decent list of devices to choose from, allowing you to preview your sites and web applications in a myriad of browser sizes.  Very, very useful.

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Frustrated Code Commenting

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<!-- Removed due to non-compliance with older versions of IE because too many users can't be arsed to switch over to one of those fan-dangled, fancy-pantsy, cutting-edge, MODERN browsers. Like IE7. *rolls eyes* -->
<!--
<script src="../php_directory_branches_jquery.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
-->

Sometimes we get really frustrated here and despite our best intentions our maverick side seeps out and we comment out code in the manner above.

Hey, no one’s perfect. *shrug*

FYI: The above example may or may not be the censored version of what was actually written earlier today.

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