Magento Themes and Magento Extensions

Dispatching before and after events to Magento core actions

Posted on June 29th, 2011 | Posted by admin

As we all probably know, there are some events in Magento that are dispatched by default.
We can easily hook on those events, but this is not a subject of this article.

What we are going to try now is to add custom event before and after some action in some of Magento’s controllers.

That way we don’t need to have event dispatched by default.
Of course, there are some actions that require little more things to handle (for example if you need something from session and session is cleared after action is run), but
for most of the situations there is a way to get what we need from that event.

Magento LightSpeed Extension – Review

Posted on June 29th, 2011 | Posted by admin

In the last 7 years of my involvement with web development I have had an opportunity to open a great number of different “boxes“ when looking for web site improvement. After opening these “boxes” things often didn’t seem as it was specified – luckily this is not a case with Magento Lightspeed extension : )

Even though this time there was again a certain feeling of skepticism towards something which seems too good (I probably have been disappointed a lot before), this feeling quickly disappeared. In
this short article I would like to share my experience with Magento LightSpeed module, emphasize
its advantages and compare the results on the website in the creation phase – before and after installation. I don’t intend to go into technical details (such questions can be answered by the Tiny Brick team)

Git vs SVN A.K.A. Everyone likes control

Posted on June 29th, 2011 | Posted by admin

Hi! Today I’ll try to make an objective overview of both SVN’s and Git’s pros and cons from developer side. I won’t go into depth of configuration of any of them neither will discuss specific commands, but rather functionality itself.

I’d like to point out that the two most famous types of version control systems are:

  • Centralized version control system – subversion (SVN)
  • Distributed or decentralized version control system – Git

And that’s the big difference, others are just a small smaller things that are based upon this main fact. I won’t say that they don’t matter, au contraire, like French would say, amount of that small things is greater in volume than you’d think.

Understanding PHP’s OOP – basic terms explained

Posted on June 28th, 2011 | Posted by admin

Hello there! I’ll explain some basic terms of PHP’s Object Orientated Programming terms that any developer needs to know. Perhaps you already use all of those, but if you don’t know which is which, you will have a problem in team communication. If so, please read on.

First of all, to understand any PHP OOP concept, you need to know the PHP basics. Then I need you to read and understand next paragraph – Procedural vs OO Programming:

Procedural programming creates a step by step program that guides the application through a sequence of instructions. Each instruction is executed in order. Procedural programming also focuses on the idea that all algorithms are executed with functions and data that the programmer has access to and is able to change. Object-Oriented programming is much more similar to the way the real world works; it is analogous to the human brain. Each program is made up of many entities called objects. Objects become the fundamental units and have behavior, or a specific purpose, associated with them. Objects cannot directly access another object’s data. Instead, a message must be sent requesting the data, just like people must ask one another for information; we cannot see inside each other’s heads.

Misuse of helper classes in Magento?

Posted on June 28th, 2011 | Posted by admin

In its MVC structure, Magento allows you to throw in additional classes that might not fit in strictly under the MVC “letters”. One example of these classes are helper classes. These are usually used to isolate a certain, possibly useful, algorithm. Algorithm whose usage would be overhead to write a model as it is more static and general in nature, meaning there is no point in applying it to given instance of an object.

Calling a helper class from almost anywhere in your PHP code is extremely easy.

$helper = Mage::helper('catalog');
//which is same as
$helper = Mage::helper('catalog/data');

Most helpers in Magento inherit from Mage_Core_Helper_Abstract class, which by itself has several “different responsibility” methods implemented.

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