Thursday, August 21, 2008

How to do a "Related Products" block to your Drupal Site

I have been messing around with Drupal and with Shopping.com. While I know a module is coming from someone else, I am impatient. Also, a block is a nice concise chunk of functionality that doesn't pack on the weight or limitations that come with a whole module.


<?
$tids = explode(',',arg(2));
foreach ($tids as $tid) {
$term_info = taxonomy_get_term($tid);
$search_items = urlencode($term_info->name);
$items = simplexml_load_file('http://publisher.api.shopping.com/publisher/3.0/rest/GeneralSearch?identity.apiKey=[API KEY]&tr.trackingId=[LINKIN ID]&nf.keyword='.$search_items);

if (($items) && (strlen($search_items) > 1)) {
foreach ($items->categories->category->items->offer as $item) {
print '<div style="float: left; width: 120px; padding: 10px; overflow: auto; display: block;">';
print '<a href="'.$item->offerURL.'"><img src="'.$item->imageList->image[0]->sourceURL.'" width="100"></a>';
print "<br/>".l($item->name, $item->offerURL, array(), NULL, NULL, TRUE);
print '</div>';
}
}
}
?>


Here is an example it in action (scroll to the bottom).

Friday, August 15, 2008

Simple example of Shopping.com API for Drupal

This is a simple example of how to use the Shopping.com API on a Drupal page. There is a more and better version coming [link]. But if you can't wait, here you go! I put this on an PHP enabled page: http://www.churchofeee.com/product_search, rather than spring for .NET product that costs $250 (why-- I couldn't use it on a PHP site, and why not spend the time DIY coding it)?


<form action="product_search">
<input type="text" name="search" value="<? echo htmlentities($_GET['search']); ?>"/>
<input type="submit" value="Search"/>
</form>
<?
$search_items = urlencode($_GET['search']);
// $search_items = 'eee';
$items = simplexml_load_file('http://api.shopping.com/dsp/linkin_id-8005272/keyword-'.$search_items);

if (($items) && (strlen($search_items) > 1)) {
print "<pre>\n";
foreach ($items->result->domain->{domain-listing} as $item) {
print l($item->title, $item->url)."<br/>";
}
print '</pre>';
}
else {
?>
Search for products-- computers, eee pcs, sub-notebooks, and all that great stuff!
<?
}
?>

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Web Development Job Trends

With the need of desktop-like functionalities to support Web 2.0 applications, the web development job market is experiencing considerable changes. From increased salary incentives for emerging tech skills to the freelancing effect, we take a look at the market state.

Salary Trends -The 2008 IT Salary Guide published by Robert Half Technology lists a broad range of IT salaries based on U.S data. It reports an average of $76,250 to $108,250 for the ‘Senior Web Developer’ position, which is an increase of 6.6% over this job’s 2007 salary range. The report gets more remarkable as you drill down the different skills and their respective salary increase:

  • Java development – 10%
  • LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP/Perl) – 5%
  • AJAX – 5%
  • CFML development – 5%
  • Visual Basic .NET – 10%
  • C# development – 12%

Ranking the different programming languages by annual salaries based on Indeed Salary Search, C++ ranks first, followed by Python, C# and PHP and ASP.NET ranked last.

Programming Languages - Here is a breakdown on the current trends since November 2006:

  • Perl jobs decreased 40% (hah!)
  • Python jobs decreased 9%
  • PHP jobs increased 35%
  • Ruby jobs increased 23%
  • ASP jobs decreased 48%
  • ASP.NET jobs decreased 31% (hah, as well!)
  • Java jobs decreased 39%
  • AJAX jobs increased 77%
  • Ruby On Rails jobs increased 238%
  • Flash jobs increased 2%
Geographic Trends – The job market differs both in terms of programming languages and salary average in different locations. In large metropolitan areas like Boston, New York and Stamford, the salaries are higher than the national average. In UK for instance, the average salary for a senior developer would be slightly less than the US while being almost 50% less in India.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Drop Shipping Review

Drop shipping is like China in Marco Polo's time: active, exciting and largely obscured. To help shed some light on the subject, I started Drop Shipping Review (http://www.ds-review.com/) where people can rate and discuss drop shipping retailers, wholesalers, fulfillment services, how-tos. Unlike other sites, this information will be free to view and contribute to.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Drupal doesn't like you

Log into Drupal - Go ahead: I dare ya.

I think this week, I may do a deeper exploration of Mod X, in case my 2002 assessment of Drupal turns out to be accurate.