Let’s expand our magento developers toolbox
Part one of the series can be found here.
I was supposed to be in hiatus… but I was reminded by my 4 month old daughter that I am awake 24/7 so it’d make sense to use that time wisely.
I was also reminded that I promised a Magento developer toolbox v2.0 and going into hiatus didn’t play too well with it – sorry guys.
Besides turning off my brain has never been easy.
Now that we put all that beauty aside, let’s talk about the magento developers toolbox and what I think you should be using now, this time around you should know I am not being too impartial and I am going to list some extensions from my coworkers.
Let’s get to business now:
This is where the impartial game begins… Thomas put together this tutorial, check it out is worth your time. Get rid of that test.php file in your root folder and cut that ACL rule in your varnish configuration file.
Here is where the impartial game ends – the minigrid is an extension developed by Brys Sepulveda the third musketeer in Blue Acorn’s System’s architects. So what is this minigrid thingy and why is the second useful tool? Well thanks to it now you can define grids in the system config in Magento’s admin. Creating a grid in Magento is very simple but sometimes it is too much for simple solutions like adding remarketing scripts, blocked ips and so forth. Now I am not sure if I can share the extension but if I can… you will be the first to know.
For a bash addict like me this is a must and no just your regular must have application, this is a must have or die.
Why is that? The n98 magerun cli tools provides some handy tools to work with Magento from command line. Read: it provides the most awesome commands to work with magento. From clearing cache to dumping the database with simple commands. I mean it is just insanely useful. It goes in the same class as MageTool / ZendTool
This is all thanks to Christian Münch…
Do you use PHPStorm? Yes?! Well have you installed this plugin already? No… then you are missing out! Any newbie or expierenced developer will benefit from the magic of this plugin.
The only problem is that I am still stuck with netbeans, you must understand me and netbeans go long ways since 5.5 and still rocking!
Nothing to say here other than get your zen rolling
The only problem with firegento is that its documentation is in German (c’mon guys either teach me german and translate it to English – I prefer the former btw)
But here is something I can tell you it about it:
This is a heck of diagnostic module for Magento because it offers a quick, simple and accessible overview of possible sources of errors. Stop, swallow that! Yea. The team at FireGento is trying hard to be like Nostradamus.
Some of the features that it includes:
- A list of all installed modules and representation of their dependencies in the Magento backend
- Detecting Conflicts Rewrite (multiple overwrite the same classes)
- Edition of the logs in the Magento backend
- Interfaces to the FirePHP Firefox Addons and FireLogger for more flexible development of modules
This tool is very similar to commercebug… I used it a few times and it was really good.
Magento’s own shell folder in the root deserves to be mentioned… from compiling your code, indexing your store to getting some stats out of your logs.
If you index your magento store through the web interface well you are not doing it the best possible way.
This is the example output if run without options:
ssh code Usage: php -f indexer.php -- [options] --status <indexer> Show Indexer(s) Status --mode <indexer> Show Indexer(s) Index Mode --mode-realtime <indexer> Set index mode type "Update on Save" --mode-manual <indexer> Set index mode type "Manual Update" --reindex <indexer> Reindex Data info Show allowed indexers reindexall Reindex Data by all indexers help This help <indexer> Comma separated indexer codes or value "all" for all indexers
Yup, couldn’t leave this post without showing off Bash and some code
It’s entirely possible that your Magento store is slow… with this tool you can find out. I mean you know I love siege (which I am about to replace) but unless you are doing a distributed testing you will never know what is going. Ashley Schroder makes it possible for you to know in a very awesome way.
This is a great module to improve your magento performance… the idea is to reduce the amount of times a file gets included by caching it the first time. This is a must have!
The cool kids of ruby have all sorts of tools, no wonder they love it so much, one of the tools they have I really like is capistrano and I wish there was something like that existed for Magento… guess what? Sometimes your wishes can become true, thanks to Alistair Stead we now have it.
So why is this soo coool? This is Magento deployments made easy especially if you use git, best part yet, it doesn’t matter where your repository lives it just works awesomely well.
Another great tool in rubyland is cucumber. PHP has behat but there was not a true integration with Magento… until 2 days ago (this is the power of the Magento Community, in this case just the army of one.
Alistair has brought Behavioral driven development (BDD) to Magento… what are you waiting for!?
Lately I have found myself using Zim for note taking a lot and together with dropbox and ubuntuone it has become my shareable knowledge base. Here is why:
Zim is a graphical text editor used to maintain a collection of wiki pages. Each page can contain links to other pages, simple formatting and images. Pages are stored in a folder structure, like in an outliner, and can have attachments. Creating a new page is as easy as linking to a nonexistent page. All data is stored in plain text files with wiki formatting. Various plugins provide additional functionality, like a task list manager, an equation editor, a tray icon, and support for version control.
Zim can be used to:
- Keep an archive of notes
- Take notes during meetings or lectures
- Organize task lists
- Draft blog entries and emails
- Do brainstorming
The magento developers toolbox series might need to wait a few months before we get a really good toolset so this series is on hold until them. In the mean time in a very bold move I am going to start a Magento extensions certification series, suggestions accepted. The metrics will be Magento’s performance with the extension, how easy it is to install and remove, does it override instead of dispatching events… you know all that fun stuff.