Ian Luckraft - Software Engineer

My first day with an Arduino MKR GSM 1400

December 12, 2017

I have a project in mind that needs internet connectivity but I won’t have access to WiFi so when I saw the Arduino MKR GSM 1400 with it’s GSM capability I thought I could use it to send my data over 3G. Before I get to trying anything like that this is my experience using it for the first time. Where do I put the SIM Card # I already had a SIM Card from GiffGaff to use I just needed somewhere to put it. ...

Customer Service as a Service

December 5, 2017

In my younger days I worked in a surf shop where the owner was very hot on customer service. He liked us to greet every customer when they entered and left. To start with this seemed quite unnatural and the odd customer even seemed confused. In general though it did open up communication and people seemed genuinely happy with the interaction even when you said thanks to them for leaving empty handed. ...

Back End Developers – Goalkeepers of the Web

November 28, 2017

When I was younger I wanted to join a football team. I had visions of scoring the winning goal and being the hero. Unfortunately I turned up with a pair of goalkeeper gloves, one of the others on the team decided I must be a goalkeeper then. And that’s the position I played for many years, and I loved it. Now I’ve been a backend developer for many many yeas and I love that as well. ...

Make working from home work for you and your team

November 21, 2017

When I started working for Headscape I also started working from home. Our office is a 3 hour drive form where I live so commuting isn’t an option and as a family we were not looking to relocate. In the past few years I’ve learnt a lot from home working and how to make it work for me and our team. Here are some tips that I have found smooth the process. ...

Find total rows by day created with PHP and MySQL

November 13, 2017

I was recently asked by a client to produce a report of content posted by day. My first instinct was to query the database for all rows of the particular content type and handle the counting in PHP. First Idea # Query the database for all rows of content type X Create an array in PHP of days Loop through all rows Use PHP to figure out the day the row was created Increment the array element for that day This seemed pretty inefficient though and felt like something some SQL could handle far better. ...

The Power of Knowledge Sharing

November 7, 2017

The web is constantly developing and growing at a fast pace. I often wonder how beginners even know where to start and marvel at their ability to not be daunted by the myriad of options available to today’s developers. I started my web developing career when there was a clear distinction between HTML, CSS and JavaScript. I remember using table based layout but quickly processed to floats for layout and some simple JavaScript for things like rollovers. ...

Drupal 7 Views Sort by Two Date Fields

October 31, 2017
Web Development

To achieve this you will need to implement hook_views_query_alter() in a custom module. I did not do this in Views UI. A recent project at Headscape required me to build view listing two different content types that would use two different date fields to sort by. For examples I’ll use the default basic page and article content types. The Problem # Some content types need to be sorted on the node created date and others on the display date field. ...

Stepping back to move forward with ReactJS

October 20, 2017
Web Development
decoupled drupal, Drupal, ReactJS

I’ve been using ReactJS as I have been exploring Headless / Decoupled Drupal and have so far found it to be very nice to work with. However, as I am not overly familar with it I’ve found myself looking up lots of things to ensure I’m doing it “the React way”. This has meant I’ve been doing more React learning than I have Drupal learning. My solution is to go back to an existing Drupal 7 project where I have a custom piece of search functionality and replicate it using JSON feeds provided by Drupal and a ReactJS frontend. ...

Headless / Decoupled Drupal 8

October 4, 2017

I’ve been lucky enough to attend DrupalCon Dublin and DrupalCon Vienna, at both of these events there has been a lot of talk about Headless / Decoupled Drupal and in particular using a JavaScript framework as a frontend for your site. Since then Dries has followed up with a blog post confirming that there will be attempts to include the React Framework in core. Inspird by this I decided to start trying out Headless / Decouple Drupal. ...

Headless / Decoupled Drupal 8 First Go

October 4, 2017
decoupled drupal, drupal8, headless drupal

The installation of a minimal Drupal setup is very quick and easy. From there I enabled a few modules and a theme to help me create some data. Modules enabled Field UI Image Views View UI RESTful Web Services I also installed the Devel module to help with dummy content population of my content type Article. A common function of a website is to list content in an order, newest items or most relevant, and paginate this list. ...