Oh how I love Bitbucket and Github


How quickly I’ve gotten used to version control in the last few months!

Having repositories of mine and colleagues work up in the cloud to collaborate on projects has been a refreshing change in our workflow.

With Bitbuckets unlimited private repos for groups of 5 or less, it has enabled me to not have to worry about local storage of the projects codebase.

I’m still a novice when it comes to merging and pull requests but I love a steep learning curve to get my head into.

So git pull, git push is my 3rd language after English and Welsh.

Fun times with Symphony CMS and Extensions


Over the past month I’ve been dabbling and playing with an extension for my fav CMS (Symphony-CMS). I love working with it and crafting sites from the ground up. Total control over markup is nobody’s responsibility but mine… (so if it’s ain’t right.. I’m to blame.)

The CMS itself is one of those rare breeds I actually enjoy working in the backend with.. sleek, streamlined and fast. After a few site builds I saw the need for simple static pages to be made for certain clients and found that this is rather a tricky thing for my head to get around. I love the dynamic nature of build your own datastructures but found a lack of control over simple static pages with a single textarea – sort of like what wordpress offers out of the box.

So I went to work on seeing if a simple textarea could be appended to the main page/template management area in Symphony… Turns out you can: http://symphony-cms.com/discuss/thread/82890/. So what I have now is the ability to allow my clients add static pages for campaigns and rudimentary bits of information without the need to call on me… Some might find this a bad thing.. I think, it allows me time to play with the nicer things the CMS has to offer, while knowing the client will grasp the concept of static and dynamic pieces of data much better now.

I’ve stored the git repo of the extension in it’s early beta state on http://github.com/andrewminton/blueprints_pages_textarea

The API for making extensions with Symphony was really helpful here and also the forum members invaluable to making this thing possible. Most of the code is re-factored snippets of info from extensions like : Documenter, Page Prototypes, and GlobalResourceLoader to name a few.. all amazing concepts that have helped shape what has become a really useful tool for me.. if only a minor addition to my workflow.

Jquery to the rescue again! – iframe wmode-transparent


Having worked with a few CMS’ I have now settled on 2 that I love working with.. Symphony CMS and yes I know(WordPress) :).

Both are great and both serve a purpose when it comes to web apps and sites we build.

Having played with the Anything Slider from CSSTricks – Chris Coyer, I wanted to incorporate this into a slider on my latest Symphony project. All was going well until I encountered the old Oembed differences that youtube and vimeo throw out and the lack of provision for us designers to style html elements on top of these iframe embedded markup that the youtube and vimeo oembed services provide… neither of them allow you to request a video into your JSON or XML with the wmode=transparent param.

This means that I can’t place buttons over the top of my videos such as slider back and slider forward buttons. Enter JQuery.. the god of JS for me right now!

This snippet in my inline JS, allowed me to append the wmode=transparent param to the url string after it has been loaded on the page and hence allowing me to continue the designing bit of the site I’m building:

$(document).ready(function() {
var ifr_source = $(this).attr('src');
var wmode = "wmode=transparent";
if(ifr_source.indexOf('?') != -1) {
var getQString = ifr_source.split('?');
var oldString = getQString[1];
var newString = getQString[0];
else $(this).attr('src',ifr_source+'?'+wmode);

I found the code on this site and am linking to the thread to show how progress weas made to refine the code so as to cater for the eventuality that some users may already have url params in the returned src.

So thanks for the tip and thanks for the love!

Dot Cymru anyone?


What an opportunity we have here in Wales/Cymru. Fancy your own domain name with an imediate link to the motherland? There have been movements for a while to push for .cymru as a Top Level Domain option for Wales and welsh communities. http://www.dotcym.org/home/?p=144

I’m just imagining the possibilities for local clubs and businesses to announce there presence in Wales with pride. It would have the ability to ground the website in Wales straight away. www.rygbi.cymru would be ace. Loads of others spring to mind like www.visit.cymru etc..

This is something that I’d like to see happen. What does everyone else think?

Symphony CMS – a Multi Language CMS


Over recent months I’ve been looking at ways and trying out approaches to Multi Lingual content in Symphony. Asking in the forum will provide a plethora of info on what works and what doesn’t. A post by jstar198 today has outlined a great approach using a Section to create static pages for clients.. see post here > Creating a multi-lingual site with localised URLs

I’m looking forward to trying this out very soon.. woop! Symphony really does rock!

Pushing new posts from wordpress to tumblr


Just added a plugin called tumblize to my blog which allows posting to tumblr from WordPress.. wooop. Let’s hope it works eh!

Bailey the dog gets his own website


Having such a photogenic dog on our hands has pushed us to build a little website showcase for him. adogcalledbailey.com is now live and it’s great to see what he’s been up to over the last few years in one place.

Gruff Rhys – Hotel Shampoo – Streaming Audio Player


Check out a widget I’ve recently created for Gruff Rhys. At work: Orchard @thinkorchard, we’ve been doing online banners for the promotion of Hotel Shampoo Album released on the 14th Feb.

We we’re asked to produce a streaming radio player to showcase the Album in an interesting way.

By animating the reduction of liquid in time to the duration of each song, we were able to create a very nice subtle effect. Check out gruffrhys.com/hotelshampoo for more info.

Paper Thin Music Video – Bailey the star made into a cut out.


Another one of Baileys previous vids here..

He was the muse for this Music Video piece by Hettie Griffiths, studying motion design and visual effects at the AtRium in Cardiff

Paperthin Music Video from Hettie Griffiths on Vimeo.

Dogs do speak welsh.. honest


Bailey the dogs been at it again!.. Here’s an advert for an online campaign recently completed for Orchard. Asking for sausages in welsh has never looked so easy! Wish I could get sausages that easy at the local Butchers.