Website Development, Native Apps (Drupal, Flex, Sass, React, Git, Ubuntu)

Vim commands we all need to remember

The more web development I do the more I use Vim and Vim buffers. Wow, once you get your head around not using the mouse and the editing keys which are more than "i" it really does speed you up. Below are some of the keys that I need to remember.


This closes the current buffer that you are in.


This moves to the next buffer.


This to goes back to last buffer.


Lists all the hidden buffers.


Deletes the character that the cursor is on.

x //in visual mode

Vim insert commands

i to insert CRTL p will search down the document for terms you want to use


i to insert CRTL n will search up the document for terms you want to use

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Installing Symfony 2 because of Drupal 8

Now that Drupal 8 is starting to use Drupal components I thought that it would be in my best interest to try installing Symfony 2 and read up on its components and how they work. From the start what you find is that it does nothing even after you have created a Bundle. Yaml is completely foreign. But after going through the Symfony 2 Cook Book things started to make sense. I love the command line tools and composer wow and to see it all in OOP, sorry Drupal but it just makes so much more sense and I don't feel like I need to belt my head up against a brick wall and then jump off a cliff. Below are some points that I found interesting when installing Symfony 2. 


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Apache redirect examples

Redirect rules in apache .htaccess are very useful. Below are some examples that allow you to achieve some simple tasks that I use on a regular basis.

Testing to see if htaccess is working?

The best thing to do in this circumstance is find or create a file called .htaccess in your root directory and add a whole lot of characters and then open your browser. Navigate to the url in the browser. Refresh the page and you will either see an error from the web server or you'll get a blank page.

I want to customise my 404 redirect page

Create a document and call it anything you like and add it into any directory you like from public_html.

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Scss and Less Bash automation script

The use of Less and Scss is almost becoming mandatory. What I have been finding is that different projects want to use Less or Scss when doing web development, this is a real pain to constantly setup especially if you want to do a small update on one development. Below I have created two Bash scripts to automate the process.

To get them to work the packages needed on your Unix system are Ruby, the Scss and Less ruby gems, and Inotifywait for the automation of Less. Once they are installed then add css-compilers script to a directory of your choosing. Here is where it starts to get very easy, when you have a new project you copy the compiler-tool rename the file to the project name and open it and fill out the details. 

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What is a Drupal Developer? Part Two

From our last post we worked out that a Drupal developer means different things to different people, but what does that mean for a new developer? I can give you some idea of the elements that make a Drupal developer that have helped me understand this large community. A Drupal developer knows a little about everything but their skill set is deep in certain areas. 

The issue really arises when a person, agency or recruiter is looking for a Drupal Developer. They want one that suits their particular circumstances they then by extension create a view of what a Drupal developer is and start looking for that type of person.

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What is a Drupal developer? Part One

As this Drupaler has found the question What is a Drupal Developer? is not an easy one to answer. During the last few months what became more and more apparent to me is if you are new to Drupal this is a question that is asked a lot and because Drupal is a complex system it is not the easiest thing to explain. So here goes

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How do I access or get object properties from a class in PHP?

After getting an StdClass() from a PDO database call you need to sort the data in some way, at times however you only need to access one property of the object. You could place the object into a foreach loop and search the object but if you know the property that you want to access there is an easier way.

Creating a StdClass()

First we need our StdClass() for our example this is relatively painless. Create the lass and then by using -> you can add the property and the value of that property. Most of the time I find you will get a StdClass PDO call that has taken data out of your database.

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Using Ternary Operators in PHP

The use of ternary operators in PHP is fantastic and even though I always forget to add the : when writing a ternary operator it is great to have in the arsenal when writing some PHP. As a complement to an if else statement when used in the appropriate way can really assist in PHP development and should not be over looked. I always like to use it when an if else or if statement will fit on one line. If you want to know more about the ternary operator go to There are real advantages of using a ternary operator when coding,


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Installing Xdebug on Ubuntu

Need to install xdebug on Ubuntu so you can test that really cool PHP web app that will wow users for a decade? The first thing you need to achieve that goal is have Ubuntu installed and the lamp stack ready to go. Next open the terminal and install xdebug by using the following command.

~$ sudo apt-get install php5-xdebug

Next open the php ini file on Ubuntu so that we can ensure that xdebug is being seen by the PHP engine, again from the terminal ensure you have vim installed or you can use gedit and open php.ini file

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Drupal module URL shortening service

I wanted to shorten a url for social media reasons but all the providers of url shorteners have one issue, they don't allow you to keep your brand. But that does not affect the Drupal community there is a module called shurly it allows the user with the right permissions to create a shortened URL


How to use Drupal module Shurly

To use this module after it has been enabled is really easy, just log into your Drupal installation and then navigate to http://<your url>/shurly

it will then give you the form below, add your url on your local website and then press Shrink it!

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