The Web Speech Synthesis API allows your web apps to convert page text or any other predefined or dynamic text to be rendered to speech. Although currently supported only in Chrome 33, the api enables you to add nice accessibility support to your web apps. However, I’m hard-pressed to find a suitable application for the use of it, besides maybe online games and browser slideshows with background commentary. A demo is given below.

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With an increasing number of users migrating to WordPress, moving data from an existing CMS to WordPress has become an essential process in the transition. Although migrating small databases from another CMS can be done in a few hours, large databases can take days or even weeks.

In one of my recent endeavors of the same, I had to migrate a relatively small user database from an old CMS to WordPress. Although a small task, some points tripped me and took a little longer than planned. Below are some of the points and recommended tools to consider when migrating existing databases to WordPress.
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My standard debugging tool when using PHP is xdebug. Pairing xdebug with Komodo gives me a very productive environment for building PHP applications. However, testing an application code on a hosted server can be many times frustrating as one has only the print_r and var_dump functions at our disposal. What I need is a library that I can easily install on the server and start using.
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Being primarily a developer, designing a web page is not my forte. I usually design web pages using notepad++ and a browser. Although I use grid support, many times I just wish for a simple overlay guide which I can use to layout the different web components. Recently I found one with RulersGuides.js.
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Processing file uploads in node.js

by: Sameer Posted in: nodejs |  

23 Aug 2013

One of the important elements of a web application is form processing and file uploads. PHP has excellent support for these kind of things which makes it so popular with developers.
Programmers moving to node.js find that it does not have an easy way to process uploaded files. However some excellent node modules can make it extremely easy to handle file uploads in node.js.
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Most newbie (and some seasoned) programmers have difficultly constructing Regular Expressions. Many a times one needs to create a Regexp quickly to test a a particular piece of code. However, not being comfortable withe Regexps can be a problem. VerbalExpressions is a PHP library that enables you to construct regular expressions using natural language like constructs. Think of it like a DSL for building Regexps.
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Pretty error display for PHP

by: Sameer Posted in: php |  

14 Jul 2013

One of my pet peeves regarding PHP is the terseness of the error messages it throws. Not that they are unhelpful; the major headache it that one has to open the source file at the given error location to check for problems. Also the complete system context (the PHP system variables, cookies, session etc.) is not easily available.
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In a non-strict MySQL server mode, columns with NOT NULL and without any DEFAULT values are given implicit default values based on their data types. This can be useful when no values are explicitly set for them during a SQL INSERT. However this can be recipe for disaster if the MySQL server is later configured for strict mode. The following are the general rules governing implicit default column values:
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StrikeIron sales tax addon for cs-cart

by: Sameer Posted in: web |  

28 Jun 2013

CS-Cart is one of the premium shopping platform for building ecommerce sites. As with any ecommerce solutions CS-Cart includes various tax features. However, one important feature it lacks is sales tax. For a recent client work I needed to integrate the sales tax api from StrikeIron, which provides a cloud-based Data Quality Suite including email verification, address verification, phone validation, phone append, and sales tax calculation solutions. For those who may be interested in implementing sales tax for their CS-Cart installation I’ve provided the addon for download below. A sample screnshot of the tax screen is given below.
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Updated : 19th November 2014

With the recent release of Laravel 4, PHP developers have at their disposal one of the finest frameworks for application development. As with all new frameworks, it is always good to write some quick code to get a feel for the underlying architecture. The following post shows a simple authentication application using Laravel.
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