How to add SSL / HTTPS to WampServer

With the importance of HTTPS for security and SEO (according to Google), you need a development environment that lets you run your site locally on https. Unfortunately, right out of the box, WampServer only includes a parts of what you need to get your local web server running over https://localhost. In this article, we will go over the exact steps you can follow to get HTTPS / SSL working on your Wamp Server. These instructions assume that you are installing the 64-bit version of WampServer for Windows to your c: drive. If not, just replace c: with d:. You may also … Continue reading

Which Web Development Programming Languages Should I Learn?

I am often asked this question by other Web developers. In fact, I regularly need to figure decide which web programming languages and technologies I need to learn next as part of my life long learning. Start with Web Browser Technologies Did you know? Even after over 20 years of mainstream web technology, web browsers only natively understand 3 things: HTML, CSS and JavaScript. That’s it, that’s all! There actually used to be a fourth, vbScript, but it was only available in Internet Explorer and Microsoft finally deprecated it as of IE11. Anything more and it is usually an add-on, plugin or … Continue reading

Simple PHP debugging tips

Whether you are just getting started in PHP development or have been at it for a while, here are some tips that will help you troubleshoot when your code isn’t working quite the way it should. Post a comment if you find these tips useful or would like to share your own. I’d love to hear from you. Identifying the PHP function being called The first tip is especially useful if you are working on a larger PHP project where there might be multiple definitions of functions or class methods. You may be surprised to discover that it isn’t the function you … Continue reading

Developers – How to get started in Moodle development

For developers just getting started in Moodle development, testing and fixing 3rd party Moodle plugins which are not currently supported the latest version of Moodle is a great way to get started on your way to learning how Moodle works. These plugins often just need simple fixes, updates to deprecated API calls and stuff like that. Start by browsing through the list of 3rd party plugins and choose a plugin that is of interest to you. If you think it would be useful for you, chances are there are others who would think so too. Next contact the author before you start just to make sure … Continue reading

Sending Custom Emails in Moodle Using the email_to_user() Function

You can send custom emails from within Moodle using PHP using your own forms using the email_to_user() function. By the way, did you know that Moodle actually uses the open source PHPMailer behind the scenes? A typical call to Moodle’s email_to_user() function would look like: email_to_user($toUser, $fromUser, $subject, $messageText, $messageHtml, “, “, true); This is a very simple version of a very powerful function. For more information about the email_to_user() function, take a look at the source code for function email_to_user in Moodle’s /lib/moodlelib.php. Tips for Using email_to_user() $toUser and $fromUser must be Moodle user objects, not email addresses. The stdClass object must contain a … Continue reading

Making XDEBUG work with NetBeans on Windows

After spending way more time that I should like to admit trying to get XDEBUG to work with Notepad++ using the DBGp plugin in anything but the simplest of projects, I decided to look for an alternative. I compared features of 9 different IDE’s for PHP development and reading tons of reviews. There are many great IDE’s out there and everyone will have their favourite. My short list ended up including: Eclipse (PDT) 3.5 — Didn’t bother trying it. While I’m sure it’s a fine product, the website is ancient and not user friendly. Way too much work to try and … Continue reading

Upgrading Moodle packages for Windows (XAMPP Control Panel, PHP, phpMyAdmin, Apache, MySQL)

Moodle 2.3 to 2.6.1+ for Windows comes with pieces of XAMPP 1.7.4. Although it works well, the version of PHP that comes included with it is buggy, lacks some key features for development such as a modern control panel and phpMyAdmin. Here is how you can fix some of the problem and upgrade your environment. Upgrading PHP What prompted me to look into this was that Apache was constantly crashing and the following message appeared my Apache error log: [notice] Parent: child process exited with status 3221225477 — Restarting. Here is how to upgrade PHP: Download PHP 5.3.29 — be … Continue reading

Changing Notepad++’s default source code language for new documents

Notepad++ is a great editing tool for web developers. I know many, including myself, who use this together with Adobe Dreamweaver for their HTML development because there are just some things that Notepad++ does better than Dreamweaver including syntax colouring and HTML tag  matching. When you first start using Notepad++, it tries to determine the language of your source code using the filename extension. If you are just using a blank unsaved document, it may just treat your HTML code as plain text, offering no syntax colouring or tag matching. To enable these features, you either need to save your file with a … Continue reading

[Solution] Can’t save WordPress Weaver II Theme Settings

However, in some environments, as soon as you try to make ANY changes to the Weaver II setting: The sub-theme reverts back to the default one. All Weaver II settings are reset with default settings. Backing up and restoring the Weaver II settings works ok however this is probably the only other feature which does work correctly in the theme settings. Since I’ve successfully installed Weaver II on many sites to date, the only thing that is different is the hosting environment. If this is happening to you, the problem may be a result of your hosting companies having tightened PHP … Continue reading