Say Hello to dashEE 2.0

It’s been way too long coming but I am finally happy to announce the release of dashEE 2.0 – the control panel dashboard framework for EE CMS.

If you’re not the video watching type, dashEE 2.0 is packed full of new and exciting things like:

  • New Interface: the dashboard has a new look sporting fewer buttons and more icons.
  • Multiple Dashboards: users can now create multiple dashboards and seamlessly tab between them for better organization and greater flexibility.
  • Widget Folders: widgets can now be packaged in their own folder within the widgets directory of a module. This is especially helpful for the development of interactive widgets.
  • Widget Models & Views: widgets can now support their own model and view files giving you the same power and flexibility that you have when building other EE add-ons like modules.
  • Install/Uninstall Methods: you can now include install and uninstall methods in your widget to facilitate actions that need to happen when a widget is first used and when it is removed.
  • Add/Remove Methods: similar to install/uninstall methods, add/remove methods fire every time a user adds or removed a widget from a dashboard. Perfect for cleaning data out of a DB table, etc.
  • Widget Specific JS: you can now include custom widget specific JavaScript with your widget and leverage the new dashEE jQuery plugin to facilitate GET/POST requests with custom widget methods in your widget file.

All documentation and other code related stuff has been migrated over to the Github repo. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Creating Custom Widgets for dashEE

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There’s a new ExpressionEngine (EE) add-on type in town and it’s name is Widget! We’re all familiar with the standard EE add-ons: modules, fieldtypes, accessories, extensions and plug-ins. But did you know there was an additional type that allowed you to customize the control panel homepage with your own content and functionality? It’s called a widget and in this post I’ll review how you can create your own widgets that work with the dashEE module to assemble your own custom EE control panel dashboard.

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Wufee – The Power of Wufoo in EE

I’m proud to announce the launch of my first commercial add-on for ExpressionEngine: Wufee. Wufee is an EE module for connecting your website with your Wufoo account.

Wufoo users will be able to access their forms, fields, entries and reports all from within the EE control panel. The module ships with a full featured control panel interface (see video above), an accessory so you can access your form data anywhere from within the control panel, a custom fieldtype for relating your Wufoo forms with channel entries, template tags for displaying forms and entries on your website and dashEE compatible widgets so you can access your forms and reports right from your EE dashboard.

Visit devot-ee.com for purchase information or check out the documentation to learn more.

CodeIgniter 2.0: First Look at Reactor

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If you are a PHP programmer then you have undoubtedly heard of the CodeIgniter (CI) framework at least once. First released in 2006, by EllisLab, CI has grown into the lightweight, fully functional and easy to use application framework of choice for developers across the web. A big milestone was reached two weeks ago with the release of version 2.0 and there has never been a better time to kick the tires and take it for a spin.

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Lost in the Forrst

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I know what you’re thinking, Eagle scouts should know their way around the woods. That is true but I’m not talking about smokey bears forest, I’m talking about the web designer and developer community Forrst. I’ve been playing in the digital woods for a while now and I’m impressed. I have mixed feelings about the whole “walled garden” thing because there are so many communities and networks around now a days (Facebook, LinkedIn, Ning, etc.)  it’s usually better to leverage one of them rather than build your own community. However, in this instance, I was pleasantly surprised. In this post I’ll give you a glimpse at what Forrst is and tell you how you can join in on the conversation.

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Review: PHP5 Social Networking

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At this point in human history we are all pretty well versed in social networking. Our pets are even getting in on the whole social web experience. We’re all familiar with what social networks are and why we should, or should not, use them. But how does one go about building one from scratch? While the overall complexity of building a social networking site really depends on the requirements, the typical features for most networks (relationships, etc.) can get rather complex. Before you start pulling your hair out or reverse engineering Drupal, there is a new book called PHP5 Social Networking that might be just the thing to help you out. In this post I’m going to give you a glance at this new book published by Packt and tell you if it’s worth adding to your tech library.

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CodeIgniter 2.0 Released

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The wait is over, CodeIgniter 2.0 has been released!! Apparently this happened last Friday and I simply didn’t notice until now. This release is exciting for 2 reasons, first it brings with it a shit load of new features and fixes and second it introduces CI Reactor which is a community driven branch of the framework. Theres a lot to digest and get excited about so check out the blog post for yourself and get coding!

Make Phone Calls with Code Using Twilio

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Web applications are better than old school applications that get installed on your hard drive because you can access them from anywhere using the web. They do however suffer from the same limited communication channel as typical software because they can only interact with users via the computer. Users provide input via the keyboard and the app provides output via the screen. Wouldn’t it be cool if we could take advantage of other communication channels like phone and text messages to communicate with our users? Well now we can with the help of Twilio. In this post I’ll walk you through building an application that can make phone calls and send text messages using the Twilio API.

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Say “Hello” to Your Site Visitors With Hello Bar

Hello Bar parachute man

Ya know those annoying, eh hem I mean cool, pop down bar type things that some websites have on load? You know the ones I’m talking about; after the homepage loads this little 25-50px tall bar slides down from the top of the window usually advertising some thing or other. With me so far? Good because I came across a new service whose sole purpose is to help you add this type of irritating, I mean nifty, functionality to your own website. It’s called Hello Bar and in this post I’ll take you on a tour and discuss whether you should add it to your own site.

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