Magento LightSpeed Extension – Review

Posted on May 8th, 2011 | Posted by admin

In the last 7 years of my involvement with web development I have had an opportunity to open a great number of different “boxes“ when looking for web site improvement. After opening these “boxes” things often didn’t seem as it was specified – luckily this is not a case with Magento Lightspeed extension : )

Even though this time there was again a certain feeling of skepticism towards something which seems too good (I probably have been disappointed a lot before), this feeling quickly disappeared. In
this short article I would like to share my experience with Magento LightSpeed module, emphasize
its advantages and compare the results on the website in the creation phase – before and after installation. I don’t intend to go into technical details (such questions can be answered by the Tiny Brick team)

Dispatching before and after events to Magento core actions

Posted on May 8th, 2011 | Posted by admin

As we all probably know, there are some events in Magento that are dispatched by default.
We can easily hook on those events, but this is not a subject of this article.

What we are going to try now is to add custom event before and after some action in some of Magento’s controllers.

That way we don’t need to have event dispatched by default.
Of course, there are some actions that require little more things to handle (for example if you need something from session and session is cleared after action is run), but
for most of the situations there is a way to get what we need from that event.

For example, let’s take “addAction()” from “Mage_Checkout_CartController”.
We could rewrite that action using standard way and dispatch our own event in our rewriten class, but we can something like this:

Magento L.E.S.S.

Posted on May 7th, 2011 | Posted by admin

Sometimes its all about title, right?! So, what is LESS? Well, its my fancy acronym for something utterly simply but very practical. It stands for (L)ocalhost (E)mail (S)erver (S)imulator. Basically its neither email server or simulator in the real sense of word. Its just a little trick you can apply on the “app/code/core/Mage/Core/Model/Email/Template.php” file to compensate for lack of the local email server in your development environment while developing for Magento.

Magento hadles lot of email sending, for various cases such as: Register new customer, New order created, Forgot password, etc. One of the downside of not having email server set in your local environment is that you cannot easily test all the transactional emails Magento handles. So if you are assigned task of lets say customizing email templates, possibly adding new variables to email templates, etc., then you need a good testing ground.

Why are you switching to Magento?

Posted on May 7th, 2011 | Posted by admin

“Hello! I run an online store for a few years. It was developed in osCommerce originally and that’s why the sales suck. I would like you guys to move my shop to Magento. I heard a lot of good things about it and I’m sure that once we move there, our sales will skyrocket.” This is simplified version of a talk I had few days ago.

osCommerce is outdated. If this business owner wishes to continue his eCommerce business in next few years, it is true that it would be a good idea to replace osCommerce with a solution that has cleaner future. It does not have to be Magento. However, this was not the reason why he wished to move away. He believed that Magento itself will boost his sales since “everyone talks about it”.

Here in Inchoo, web design and development services bring food to the table. Since this guy was asking for web development services and he had fine budget, it would be logical thing to close a deal and start the work. However, his expectations were obviously wrong. If we would have accepted this project, we would deliver it in time and charge him the cost. Everything would be fine to the point where site would be live for two weeks and his sales would still be low as in his osCommerce store.

The principles of SOLID programming

Posted on May 7th, 2011 | Posted by admin

Hello there! Today I’ll be explaining The principles of SOLID programming. When I first got serious about OOP, I jumped to design patterns, but then I realized that everyone need a good grasp of the SOLID principles before you’re ready to tackle Design Patterns – in more of an Architect role – that is. So, to conclude this short introduction, I’ll try to explain this in as low-level of knowledge as possible.

Well, yous should know that SOLID stands for:

  1. Single responsibility principle
  2. Open-closed principle
  3. Liskov substitution principle
  4. Interface segregation principle
  5. Dependency inversion principle