{Less} is more?

{Less} - I recently read an interesting (and well-reasoned) summary of the workflow for building themes by Pierre-Alain Leboucher on the Prestashop blog that had a reference to {less}. I don't mind admitting that I love reading about new technologies and techniques, and predictably a google search later and I was browsing various sites, and getting more and more hooked on the concept by the minute.

1.4 Plugins Revisited - Part 2

Extending Prestashop Theme Plugins - In this article we look at a mechanism to allow theme developers to include their own smarty plugins seamlessly into their themes, with the code contained within the theme distribution itself.

1.4 Plugins Revisited - Part 1

Plugins Evolved A while ago when I wrote the original article on Prestashop plugins I promised a follow-up to allow it to be used with smarty 3. Unfortunately work has kept me from a proper write-up so I'm only now getting around to publishing the next version. I had intended adding the ability to easily extend the functionality on a per-theme basis, but since the demand for some usable code right now has been so great I've decided to publish this in two parts.

Latest Theme and Module Development Tools News - March 2011

Since Prestashop 1.4 has now gone into production,  the original Smarty debug module has been updated to support the latest features. Specifically this means that you should be able to debug both Smarty v2 and Smarty v3 Pretashop themes using the tool. You can read more about it and download the module from the Debugging Prestashop Templates page.

The Ultimate Prestashop Module and Theme Development Tool

Debugging Prestashop Templates - While stumbling around the internet as you do when pondering a particularly awkward programming challenge, I came across an excellent post on smarty debug with FireBug. This inspired me to pull together a Prestashop module to allow store owners, designers and developers to view indepth debugging data from right within the Prestashop environment.

Display module output anywhere

I came across a post on the Prestshop forum recently that was discussing how to display the contents of a single module on a page. The example proposed worked, but it seems to me that it worked only through sheer luck rather than design as all that was being done was to display a smarty .tpl file. The smarty variables required for the module used in the example were all included as global values, so it worked, but most other modules would need to be able to execute their underlying hook code in order to display anything meaningful.

Resetting your Prestashop

I'm not a great fan of commercial software, but there are some tools that are probably worth paying for -- otherwise the author wouldn't be able to maintain the code. I know from personal experience that relying on donations doesn't pay the bills.

Using FirePHP (FireBug) with Prestashop

Debugging can be such a pain sometimes... I've been using FirePHP for some time now on my CodeIgniter projects and recently while I was looking at doing some cool things with the product data returned by the Category::getProducts() function it struck me that it would be nice to be able to easily see exactly what data was returned.

Storing complex configuration data

While porting the WP-Cumulus plugin to Prestashop I came across an interesting situation. In the original plugin the parameters for the Flash movie are stored in an array that is obtained from the Wordpress database using a get_option() call. In Prestashop the parameters can be retrieved in bulk using Configuration::getMultiple(), but in that case you have to specify the key names for all the parameters which is a pain.

Paypal WPP (Example) - PayPal Direct API

Development Release - I've been asked several times about this, so I guess I'd better release the code. This was written some time ago, and the target PrestaShop version was 1.1, however it should work with later releases.

New PrestaShop 1.1 Developer Resources Announced

The PrestaShop Blog has announced (in French only currently) a couple of long awaited developer resources, which look to be a pre-cursor to the official 1.1RC1 release which we expect to be made shortly. The first is a data model of the PrestaShop database produced from MSQL Workbench, which is available for download from the PrestaShop website. It's their announced intention to update this for each new version of the software, and will greatly assist in the process of new module creation for this open source eCommerce store.