Magento Failings

I seem to be constantly bemused and irritated by some of the things that I find, or find missing, in my dealings with Magento. Some of these are simple code quirks, such as spelling mistakes in code that are repeated elsewhere by necessity (what does the variable $accress do?), others are amusing comments ("TODO: ask Moshe about this"). Most irritating are the features that one might expect, based upon what is already there, but that don't exist – being able to restrict user access based on store for example. Read On →

Fixing Magento’s admin panel

Several times now I have had issues with the Magento admin panel not working as expected. In almost all of these cases the solution has been to simply upload all the core code files again, overwriting what's there. This is about as brute force an approach as I can imagine – using a hammer instead of a surgeon's knife if you will – but it seems to do the job in most instances. Read On →


Dropbox is a service that allows for synchronising files between computers. I've been using it for a couple months now and I quite like it. The basic operation is that you sign up for an account, install the desktop client on whatever device you want to synchronise files with and then start copying things into your dropbox directory. Anything in that directory will be synchronised with your files stored on the Dropbox server. Read On →

Chris Norton goes mobile

Yes, I am finally getting with the 21st century and going mobile. Or my blog is at least. In the sense that it works a lot better on mobile devices now. I installed MobilePress and it appears to working very well. My impetus was that I was sick of trying to access my blog on my Nokia E71 which, although it has a fairly full-featured browser, is still a small screen making it an utter pain to scroll around. Read On →

Happy New Year 2009

I hope everyone reading this blog a very happy and safe new year and I wish you all the best in 2009. My 2008 turned out to be a pretty great year in general so I'm eager to see what 2009 brings. With a couple large jobs already underway, a new version of Magento just released and a lot of personal projects begging to be either completed or just started, it looks like it will certainly be busy! Read On →

WordPress 2.7

I just updated the software running this blog – fairly trivial process, especially when you have the fallback of version control. WordPress 2.7 is really exactly the same on the frontend but the admin panel has been changed significantly, and for the better I think. For instance, I am writing this directly from the dashboard, rather than going into a full post creation page. Highly recommended upgrade!

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

It seems a new extension has been released on Magento Connect that provides integration with SecurePay's SecureXML payment gateway. I find this rather interesting as this extension is commercial, at a fairly substantial cost of $175, and provides the same integration as an extension I created back in September! Why would anyone create an extension that has already been released for free, then attempt to charge money for it? I'd like to know if anyone actually forks out money for this.

Progressive Terminology, Graceful JavaScript

Today in the office we had another micro-debate about the usefulness of distinguishing between the terms progressive enhancement and graceful degradation. I am in the progressive enhancement camp but don't really care all that much. I think I just like arguing. Anyway, here's an article on the subject: Understanding Progressive Enhancement. I think it summarises things pretty well. M&Ms explain everything don't they?

Fontis WYSIWYG Available

Quick shout out to alert readers that the Fontis WYSIWYG is now available. Download it here. The extension currently provides TinyMCE and FCKeditor and will let you choose which one you'd like to use, as well as which admin pages you'd like it displayed on. There are a number of features that we intend on adding in in the future but, for now, this should provide you with the essentials. I wasn't actually involved in the creation of this extension but it's certainly something that we're all quite excited to have released! Read On →

Australia extension – now with postcode autosuggest!

I have just uploaded a long overdue update to the Fontis Australia extension. The big new feature is that it actually uses the postcode database that has been in there for the few versions! When entering the city in an address, such as when editing your address book or during checkout, you should now be prompted to select from a list of cities matching the text entered, along with the states and postcodes for those cities. Read On →