Zend_Amf and Flash Remoting – Some things to note

Having done a little bit of work with Flash over the past several weeks there are a couple of things I’ve discovered as I’ve worked through some practical examples. There’s only really one thing signficant, but a couple of things that you need to be aware of when doing Flash remoting with Zend Framework.

Simple interface? Easy. Useful interface? Just a little harder.

In other words, with a simple architecture it’s easy to do. In a more useful architecture there are some things to be aware of.


For the Flash developers – building your remote endpoint

While I am not a great Flash developer… OK I’m not even a good one, I have been recently been looking at ways of integrating Flash and PHP with the release of Flash Builder 4. I think that PHP is a great way for Flash developers to access their backend systems. This is not because I have anything against any other technologies that a Flash developer might connect with, but instead it is because PHP is a great language to use when another language is your forte.


Pre-caching PHP content with Zend_Cache_Manager and the Zend Server Job Queue

With the web being what it is today there can be a lot of times when you want to aggregate data from many different sources and bring them together in a single page. I have not done much of that on my site simply because that means that I then need to learn a bunch of different API’s. However, since Youtube is the #2 search engine I figured that it might not be a bad idea to aggregate some of my YouTube content on my page automatically. I don’t necessarily want to do a blog post about each individual video I post, but I wanted there to be some place where I could just list them out.


Creating a separate mobile layout for a Zend Framework application

I’ve got a Pre… and Sprint. Together they make for a pretty poor browsing experience. More due to the Sprint part I presume since browsing the web is a painfully slow experience. The Pre has other problems. That poor browsing experience has extended to the e_eschrade website for me even though there aren’t a lot of elements that need to be loaded. So to get around that I decided that it was time to make my site (mostly) mobile friendly.


Setting up a maintenance page with Zend Framework

One of the things that smaller sites who don’t have a fully redundant setup or a relatively minimal deployment mechanism need to do when doing some kind of maintenance is put up an “Under Maintenance” page. That or there was some massive problem and you need to just shut down access to the site while you fix the problem. With that in mind I have written a very simple example that allows you to create a maintenance page that is configurable and requires no changes to your existing site. This example uses Zend_Application, but all of the code can be used in a pure Zend_Controller application by adding the plugin however you normally add plugins.


Programming skillz for life… and programming

Never schedule a meeting 30-60 minutes after you’ve started drinking coffee.

Ask for a raise based on your quality of work, not based on how much you think you deserve it.

If you don’t clock out at the top of the hour you are more committed than 50% of your co-workers (see point #2).

If you clock out 45 minutes after the end of the day you are more committed than 90% of your co-workers (see point #2).

Don’t consider gaming time as part of your work day and then complain about how many hours you need to work. Gaming at work can be good, but it should not be counted as work.

If you work on Linux, learn strace.

If you ever do anything over a network, learn Wireshark.

If someone asks you for a feature, ask why they want it.

If you are not a good designer, don’t do design. Pay someone to do it. (I should take this advice myself).

Take your own advice.

Usually the best answer actually is “it depends”. As long as you can answer why.

Get a desktop background that is not a woman. Sorry, but she’s way out of your league and having her on your desktop makes you look like a loser.

Take a break (I should take this advice myself).

Sit under a tree without a computer.

Sit under a tree while programming. Call it Green Programming and claim discrimination if someone complains.

Expect failure. You’re not as good as you think you are.

If I don’t click on a link in your marketing email within 3 sends, I probably don’t want your email. Unless you’re selling gear. Then it’s gadget pron.

Don’t be an ass. This is why I’ve limited my exposure to Ruby. Seriously. I’d like RoR more if I had met nicer developers.

Download the source.

Use the source. Seriously.

Don’t delete your email. It is evidence of other’s wrongdoing.

Managers: learn at least a few Star Wars quotes. If you change the deliverables say “I am altering the deal. Pray I don’t alter it any further.” Star Trek quotes are OK too, but Star Trek doesn’t have a lovestruck wannabe Samurai who was previously thought to be a dark lord before people knew the back-story.

Google is a development tool.

If you are in Netops, don’t block access to Facebook or Twitter. We will not be more productive if you do that. Anyway, it’s the administrative assistants who waste time on there. Plus we’ll just find an open proxy and use it to get there.

HTTP is the worst protocol for transmitting information, except for all the others that have been tried. Paraphrasing Winston Churchill (I think).

Don’t expect much from the Oracle/Sun merger. Ecclesiastes 1:9. 😉

When you come to an XOR in the road, AND it.