New Release – Basic and Advanced Logger for Vanilla Forums 2.0

It took a while, but it’s finally ready. Basic Logger for Vanilla Forums 2.0 is available for download.

Based on the powerful Apache Log4php, it adds much needed logging capabilities to the already excellent Garden framework, allowing Developers and Administrators to keep track of activities with extreme ease. I strongly believe that, in this era of expected 24/7 website availability, having a log for every website is a must, as one cannot always be present to spot issues as soon as they arise.

Available Versions

Logger plugin comes in two versions, Basic and Advanced. The Basic version of the plugin and has a a few limitations, but it’s perfect to get started, before moving to the more powerful Advanced version. In the latter, I added several features that will help also non-developers to easily configure the plugin and manage their logs.

What makes the Advanced Logger very powerful is the ability of sending log messages to remote log servers, such as PaperTrail and Loggly. Being an Administrator myself, I can save hours of work by having all the logs in one place, rather than having to collect files via FTP and merge them, or parse and import them in a database.

If you are still unsure if this plugin can help you, just give it a try: Basic version is free!

Code != Clothing, or How to neatly structure your code

Having been worked with countless technologies , frameworks  and 3rd party libraries, I can say that I have seen almost every possible way of organising the code for a project. From the approach of putting every file in a single folder “just for now” (where “now” becomes “forever”, because moving things around is just too complicated), to the one of creating humongous, monolithic do-everything libraries (which I nicknamed “walls of code”), to have everything is in one place, to the theoretically more rational modular system, where files are organized in sub-folders.

The reason why I stress the word “theoretically” is that, while the idea is certainly good, it can still lead to a messy, hard to maintain mass of files. The key of everything, in this case, is finding what logic should be used to structure the code. It may seem a simple question to answer, but the way one answers to it can lead to nasty surprises. Read more