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Home » Development » Serializing to JSON
18. February 2016

Serializing to JSON

VALID JSON (JavaScript Object Notation)

JSON validator – JSONLint / JSONFormatter

PURE JS CONVERSION

Polyfill for older browsers – JSON3

PHP CONVERSION

Make sure content within the object complies to UTF-8, if not encode it before !

Even DateTime is nicely encoded :)

Enjoy coding …

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Depending from where you want to access the page, post or custom post-type data, it might not always be available that easily.

WordPress provides an option to get your data through the page-slug.

The function is called get_page_by_path.

Enjoy coding …

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2. February 2016

LMS meets SaaS

As I said before, Learning Management is really taking off and I get many client requests to do some kind of  integration or custom solution for them.

In one of my latest articles I started listing solutions for WordPress, WordPress and the LMS universe.

But those solutions might not always be the best fit for your project. Many of them actually try too hard to be everything. The amount of cross linked functionality is getting insane and increases the point of failure.

In some cases a trimmed down solid solution might be the better way to go. SaaS (Software as a Service), part of the cloud trend, is providing more and more options, this includes the LMS arena. Stop worrying about the software and concentrate on your content again. The SaaS provider takes care of functionality, support, updates and delivery. This is nothing new, solutions like TalentLMS or Litmos LMS offer this for some time now.

Modern SaaS solutions provide Public APIs, that allow you to seamlessly integrate them with your current solution. So in case of a LMS, that part of your project could be handled by the SaaS provider, while e-commerce, social and other content areas remain under your full control.

One solution I am currently looking at is Intuo, which is a fresh startup out of Gent / Belgium. They provide a solid set of features and a clean API to handle single signons and content access. That would allow a seamless integration into WordPress for example :)

We are looking at a very crowded LMS market, but always nice to have options :)

Enjoy coding …

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1. February 2016

Parse Alternatives

Now that Parse is phasing out (01/2017), people are looking for alternatives that offer:

  • Data Storage
  • Push Notifications
  • Usage Analytics
  • Dashboard
  • Social Integration
  • User Administration
  • Cloud Code Integration
  • Multiple Mobile Platform SDKs
  • Background Jobs
  • Crash Report

Collaborative list of Parse alternative backend service providers @ GitHub

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  • All PayPal IPN data is saved and available in your WordPress admin panel.
  • Developer hooks are provided for triggering events based on the transaction type or payment status of the IPN.
  • Extend the plugin with your own plugins or theme functions

Author: Andrew Angell

BitBucket Repo

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In the past 2 years, the e-Learning market has been exploding. Online Learning Management Systems (LMS) have become very popular, to build e-learning platforms.

They not only offer text based content, quizzes, assignment management, course evaluation, social features, but also allow the integration of video, audio and other linked content.  Many support SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model), allowing the exchange of learning content and results.

THE LMS UNIVERSE

Over the past few years, I have been helping clients to build or transform their e-learning platforms.  Sometimes its better to build a customized LMS solution from scratch :), than tweak or customize an offered solution. It all depends on the features you want to see integrated and on the budget available ;)

In this article I want to share current solutions offered for WordPress.

I will divide them into themes and plugins for now. In the future I plan do some feature comparison as well :

  • Theme based or Standalone Plugin (standalone might be preferred)
  • Course functionality (course, units, quizzes sections …)
  • Course linking / Course Groups / Exclusive courses
  • Course categories
  • Course Evaluation
  • Course curriculum
  • Course timeline
  • Course reviews & ratings
  • Course Stats
  • Free courses
  • Variable pricing
  • Course notes / Comments
  • Course Admin area
  • Course Frontend creation
  • Assignment functionality
  • Certificates
  • Messaging
  • Custom Email Templates
  • Course Events
  • BuddyPress Integration
  • BBPress Integration
  • WooCommerce integration
  • Import & Export functionality
  • Login
  • Student profiles
  • Instructor frontend interface

 

PLUGINS

These are standalone plugins, that provide LMS functionality and integrate into your WordPress themes. Ease of integration and options differ.

  1. LearnDash
  2. Sensei
  3. LearnPress  (new – 2015)
  4. WP Courseware
  5. LifterLMS
  6. Namaste! LMS
  7. CoursePress

THEMES

These themes mostly dependent on one of the plugins above or offer only a simple subset of LMS functionality.

  1. eLearning WP (new – 2015 / LearnPress)
  2. Derrick
  3. Guru
  4. Academy
  5. LMS
  6. Clever Course
  7. LMS Press
  8. EduLMS
  9. Skillfully
  10. iKnow
  11. University
  12. Invent
  13. Sensei themes
  14. Clever Course

THEME & PLUGIN

Integrated solutions,  that are supposed to offer a tight integration of WordPress, theme and its own plugins.

  1. WPLMS (started the revolution at Envato)
    One thing that sets WPLMS apart from many of the above is the frontend interface. So instructor tasks happen on the frontend not in the WP Admin. Also when it comes to assignments, WPLMS is currently the best solution. Even if the assignment management is not yet perfect, its better than what many of the other solutions offer.

Enjoy coding …

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IoT is the current buzz word and I will be doing some more tinkering with current solutions this year. I have done projects with ArduinoRaspberry Pi and looking into relayr / Wunderbar right now.

relayr provides a tech stack with Wunderbar, that easily connects included sensors with the cloud. They provide a wide range of API endpoints to collect data and even integrate hardware solutions like Arduino orRaspberry Pi.

“The WunderBar is built for software developers. It is a powerful rapid prototyping and product development tool that enables developers to immediately start creating products and solutions that utilise the Internet of Things, without any prior hardware knowledge. No soldering or electronic engineering experience is needed. Just choose what sensors you need for your project and start coding.”

relayrWunderbar

Starterkit should arrive next week …

Enjoy coding …

 

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CSS Crush is a standards inspired CSS pre-processor that is written in PHP from scratch.

MAIN FEATURES

  1. Auto-prefixing
  2. Variables
  3. Direct @import
  4. Nesting
  5. Rule inheritance
  6. Abstract rules
  7. Functions
  8. Selector grouping
  9. Selector aliases
  10. Mixins
  11. Fragments

For a current project I am adding CSS Crush side by side to Sass. Lets see which of them sticks around in the end :)  Might be keeping them both, as CSS Crush provides some nice options.

CSS Crush @ Github

Enjoy coding …

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Hybridauth enables developers to easily build social applications and tools to engage websites visitors and customers on a social level by implementing social sign-in, social sharing, users profiles, friends list, activities stream, status updates and more.

The main goal of Hybridauth is to act as an abstract API between your application and various social apis and identities providers such as Facebook, Twitter and Google.”

Hybridauth 2.x was the best option for nicely aggregated social logins so far, but some of the social “Providers” are outdated or no longer working. Version 3.0 is still in development, but providing a complete rewrite.

Hybridauth 3.0 Remake @ Github

For Facebook , Twitter and Google+ I still use my own little wrappers, but if you want more this is the way to go in the future :)

Enjoy coding …

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18. November 2015

PHP & API Documentation

Currently refreshing my list of options to document projects and APIs.

I will use this page to keep a list of possible tools & solutions.

PHP DOCUMENTATION

  1. PHPDocumentor
  2. phpDox – The PHP Documentation Generator
  3. Sami: an API documentation generator
  4. apigen (PHP 5.4+)
  5. Doxygen
  6. Dexy

API DOCUMENTATION

  1. JSDoc
  2. API Blueprint
  3. Swagger.io
  4. apiary – API Design Stack
  5. APIDOC – RESTful web APIs
  6. ESDoc – JavaScript(ES6)
  7. doxx – Generic, template based, HTML output for Dox documentation generator
  8. documentation.js – raw documentation as JSON, beautiful, customizable HTML, or Markdown that fits perfectly into an API.md or README.md

Enjoy coding …

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