Category: Demo

This morning, I was implimenting an AJAX “profile photo uploader” using the new HTML5 File object. With the new File object, you’re able to do a file upload using an AJAX request instead of requiring a form submission to upload the file.

This works great with the caveat that there still needs to be a <input type="file" /> on the page in order for the user to select a file. This presents a UI/UX issue because there isn’t much leway in styling HTML file inputs and consequently the input was looking out of place on our form.

After poking around for a bit I ran across jQuery File Upload which seems to solve this problem. Inspecting the CSS, the CSS “masks” the file input by using a CSS3 “transform” and then setting the opacity value to 0 so the input is visually hidden.

Implimenting the transform+opacity trick was pretty straightforward but the issue I ran into was that I couldn’t get the mouse cursor being displayed to appear as a “hand”, I kept seeing the “text selector” cursor. I had changed the transform being used and unfortunately the jQuery File Upload CSS didn’t have any comments explaining what it was actually doing to get the cursor part of the CSS to work.

It turns out what you want to do is use the CSS3 “transform” function to skew the file input so that the “Browse” button is covering the element that you want to use to trigger the “select file” behavior and then just set the opacity to 0 to make the file input invisible.

You can see the progression here The first container has no styling applied on the file input, the second one has the “Browse” button skewed into the right spot and finally the last one has the opacity set to 0. If you change the “cursor” CSS directive on the file input you’ll notice that in the 2nd and 3rd examples the cursor will change wherever your mouse is in the container. Also, you’ll notice that if you click anywhere in the container the “select a file” dialog will get triggered as expected.

Anyway, as always comments/feedback/questions are welcome!

Posted In: Demo

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A couple of days ago, we were looking to theme a set of Drupal 7 View filters that were also using AJAX to load the new View content. By default, the filters were rendering as a set of radio buttons so by default we were getting HTML that looked like this:

The problem was that given the design mockups we had, styling the filters to match with only CSS was going to be impossible. Writing a jQuery plugin to dynamically replace the filters with custom HTML was pretty straightforward but the tricky part was getting a notification that an AJAX request had completed so that we could reload the filters.

We managed to do this using the Drupal.behaviors Javascript object using code that looks similar to what is below:

Anyway, nothing to crazy but there doesn’t seem to be a ton of documentation about the Drupal.behaviors object.

Posted In: Demo, Drupal

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A couple of months ago we started building out a Symfony 1.4 project for a client that involved allowing a “super admin” to add Doctrine models and columns at runtime. I know, I know, crazy/terrible/stupid idea but it mapped so well in to the problem space that we decided that a little “grossness” to benefit the readability of the rest of the project was worth it. Since users were adding models and columns at runtime we had to subsequently perform model rebuilds as things were added. Things worked fine for awhile, but eventually there were so many tables and columns that a single model rebuild was taking ~1.5 minutes on an EC2 large.

Initially, we decided to move the rebuild to a background cron process but even that began to take a prohibitively long time and made load balancing the app impossible. Then I started wondering is it possible to partially rebuild a Doctrine model for only the pieces that have changed?

Turns out it is possible. Looking at sfDoctrineBuildModelTask it looked like you could reasonably just copy the execute() method out and update a few lines.

Then, the next piece was just building the forms for the corresponding models. Again, looking at sfDoctrineBuildFormsTask it looked like it would be possible to extract and update the execute() method.

Anyway, without further ado here is the class I whipped up:

Using it is pretty straightforward, just call FastModelRebuild::doRebuild( array(“sfGuardUser”, “sfGuardUserProfile”) ); and thats it!

Anyway, fair warning I’d only do something like this if you “Know what you are doing” ™

As always, questions and comments are welcome.

Posted In: Demo, Symfony

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Per Roger’s comment as of 11/14/2013 this no longer works :(

Over the weekend, I was looking for a good way to randomly browse GitHub. I hopped over to the GitHub search page but unfortunately there isn’t anyway to randomly search the repositories.

Just for fun, I decided to throw together a random repository browser. Check it out over at

Posted In: Demo

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Recently I was working on a project which was using the jQuery File Upload Plugin to do multiple file uploads. I needed to show the progress of each upload (in this case just images). Looking through their documentation it shows how to a few ways to do custom templates. By default it uses the Javascript Templates Engine for all of its templating. I wanted to use just a div on the page for my template. Here’s how I ended up doing it.

First My basic markup for the html:

Basically my “#template” div was a hidden div on the page which I used as the photo being uploaded. Now for the javascript:

It ended up being pretty simple and self explanatory. The ‘progress’ function is called each time there is a progress update. You can do more advanced templates using their templating engine, however as I was adapting the code to an existing layout and was on a time constraint this was the route I took.

Hope this saves you sometime if you are looking to just quickly add a progress template for the uploaded images.

Posted In: Demo, jQuery

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