Monday, December 22, 2008

Symfony batch in my i18n nightmares

I was working on a new version of the billing system for utilities (used by the national electricity company in East-Timor), adding a bunch of new features including PDF generation for invoice and some reports. I decided to use Zend_Pdf and I believe it is a good choice.

Generating PDF is not something really fun. I used a template pdf and feed it with all the customer information I want. For each single piece of data you want to add, you must provide the position in the page, the style (if you want to change it)...a real pain! I wish we can have a more powerful templating system. It seems some guys have some plans (and codes) but nothing yet release (see mailing list here)...hey! (almost) good news: while I was looking for the link I found that they did release their PDF library (not yet in Zend, nor compatible with Zend_Pdf) named "RE Framework". I need to have a look one of this day...

Anyway, I was thinking to generate all invoices (in DB + PDF version) through a batch in symfony. I started working on it when I faced a "simple" problem: I need to use i18n for each invoices (invoice in the language of the customer), but from a batch I am always getting an error message since it does not have a user and culture define. I tried to initalize a fake one...but no luck. I need to try harder... ;-)

Any ideas?

Legs in the sky

Enjoy a rest 300m from the ground!

Photo taken from the Macau Tower restaurant.

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Thematic Mapping Engine

A very interesting web app (open source of course ;-): Thematic Mapping Engine.
You can play with it online, it is really well done. I hope I will have new opportunity to work on the geospatial arena later next year, I would love to do things like this...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Scoop: the upcoming iPhone TV ;-)

Yesterday I was in HK for a few hours and what did I find in a shop on the middle of Causeway Bay? The new (obviously fake) upcoming iPhone TV, here is a shot:

Photo taken with my iPhone-not-yet-TV!
-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, December 8, 2008

Pano for iphone

I played with "Pano", a panorama app for iPhone...and I must said I am quite impressed. Since a picture is better than words, here it is!
This is Macau center (Leal Senado Square)
-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Symfony 1.2, now available in shops!

Symfony 1.2 is finally officially out! As usual, it comes with a lot of very good documentation available.
After almost 3 years using Symfony 1.0, I've started to read some documentation for the new version and what I can say is simple: WOW!
I've really enjoyed to work with SF in the past years but I am now sure I will enjoy even more working with the 1.2 release...provided that I take the time to learn all the new "powers". Because this is the drawback of this version: coming from 1.0 you have to learn a lot of new stuff to master symfony. But don't get me wrong, I don't complain, I perfectly understand the need to learn more and all the new powers you get in hands when Peter Parker discovered his spider powers ;-)
Coming from Symfony 1.0, here is the list of what impress me the most so far:
- the form framework
- the new admin generator based on the form framework
- the new routing system...still need to read more about it.
- doctrine integration. Doctrine is not new as such but I used propel before and want now to switch. Doctrine is amazing (see my previous post) and now fully integrated in SF.

Enough for today! I go back to my reading:-)
Meanwhile, SF team is doing again it's famous advent calendar based on 1.2... go job guys!

-- Post From My iPhone

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Auditorium: a game for sound engineer

Auditorium is a simple but quite unique online game. You have to guide the sound to reach the right part of the auditorium.
I am not a gamer at all, but this game is quite interesting to me. Give it a try.