PHP XDEBUG’ing in Brackets

XDEBUG enables you to walk through the execution of PHP source code and debug the code as it is executed in real-time. It is one of the most important tools that a PHP developer’s toolbox and is well worth the time it takes to learn how to use it. The following instructions will guide you to setting up Xdebug in the Backets editor. It is actually pretty straight forward once you know how. It is assumed that you have already installed Brackets text editor and XAMPP (64-bit is faster) web server in C:\XAMPP. For this article, we will be doing … Continue reading

Forcing Links to Open in a New Tab or Window

Have you ever found yourself browsing the web on a smartphone and clicked on something that opened in a new tab? It is almost impossible to tell when this happens. In fact, many people don’t even realize that browsers on SmartPhones can have the equivalent of multiple tabs or windows. Now imagine someone using a screen magnifier. They click on a link somewhere in the middle of the screen. If the link opened in a new tab in the background, they would never notice it and just think something is broken. However, if it opened in the foreground, one might … Continue reading

Productivity Tip: Copy and Paste without Junk

Have you ever tried to copy information from a web page or a MS Word document and got more than you bargained for when you pasted it into another Word document or web page? Text often comes with unwanted junk in the form of extra formatting codes. The solution is usually to use Paste Special and then choose to paste as Plain Text or Unformatted text. Word actually gives you an opportunity to also choose whether you want to paste using the sources formatting — where you got the content from, target formatting — uses the formatting in the current … Continue reading

Setting Up a WordPress Website

Note: Originally published May 4, 2012 — updated August 28, 2016. Web Hosting Step 1. Get Web Hosting Sign up for Web Hosting, preferably with a company that offers a cPanel, Panelbox, 1-Click or Fantastico from a Web Hosting company such as HostPapa, Funio or HostGator (NOT GoDaddy!). If the company offers domain registration, simplify your life and take it. That way it will all be integrated and working for you. Otherwise, you can get domains from places like GoDaddy (but not web hosting!), HostGator, or NameCheap.com. What’s the issue with GoDaddy? Although they have a great Domain registration service, their web hosting … Continue reading

Buying memory for your Laptop / Notebook

Thinking of adding more memory to your laptop? Buying more memory can often one of the best ways to increase the speed of your laptop. When a computer runs out of memory, the operating system will start using your hard drive store memory temporarily. Unfortunately hard disk is MUCH slower than memory resulting in even the fastest computers slowing down to a crawl. The good news is that, instead of buying memory from the manufacturer, you can often save some money if you have the right part number for your memory which you should be able to find out by asking … 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

Shopping for the best laptop for web developement

As a developer with a diverse background in IT and web development, I prefer to purchase a solid laptop that will serve me for 5-7 years rather than replace it every 1-2 years. This is because it takes me over a week to install and configure all the software, tweaking the registry and getting things working just the way I need it. It’s been getting better since I discovered Ninite and Chocolatey but I still prefer not to do it any more than I have to. Another advantage is that, by the time I am through with a laptop and ready to replace … Continue reading

Creating Linux dot files in Windows

Ever tried creating a file Linux style dot file like .htaccess or .gitignore in Windows Explorer? It gives you a “You must type a file name.” error message. This might lead people to think that Windows doesn’t support these file names. If you use a command line, you know that this is definitely possible in Windows. In fact, you can even create dot files in Windows Explorer quite easily with this little know trick. To create a filename that start with a period “.” but has no extension, like .txt, simply add a period to the end of the filename. For … Continue reading

Should I upgrade to Windows 10 Now?

Microsoft is about to launch Windows 10 for Free to most folks using currently using Windows. With this, my clients have started asking whether it is a good idea to upgrade to Windows 10. My recommendation? It depends. Here’s why… What version of Windows are you currently using? If you are using Windows 7, I would wait… and will. I like Windows 7. It is stable, and I am familiar with it. However, if you are using Windows Vista or Windows 8.x, you might consider upgrading. If you still have Windows XP on your computer, you should definitely upgrade — as … Continue reading