Magento / facebook : display new products on your wall

Using the RSS feature of Mangeto to update your wall automatically is an easy task that you can finish in ea few inutes tuime, when you know where to go.

  • Magento's default layout is shipped with a rss page that requires activation in the admin, in the system->configuration, check rss feed to activate the /rss page that displays available feeds (check out our example on Rue de Siam)
  • Import your feed to your facebook page or profile to get new produtcs or product special published automatically on your wall :
    1. Connect to facebook, and click  "My Notes" from the navigational menu. If you have already entered notes on your page, then they will load for you to preview or edit.
    2. If you have not written an article, write one that announces the rss publication (e.g. new articles coming soon), in order to enable the settings menu. Select the "Import Blog" or "Edit Import Settings" link in the Notes Setting section. If you are already importing from a blog, the URL will appear here. Remeber that in the Notes applications, you can only import from 1 source at a time.  To change the url of the feed, click  "Stop Importing"
    3. Enter the URL for the RSS feed in the box. Check the box next to the statement that you actually own the content.
    4. Click the "Start Importing" button. Facebook will import the content of the RSS feed for you to preview. If everything looks good, then go ahead and hit the "Continue" button. Now your RSS feed is automatically imported into your "Notes" section.
    5. Administrators note : Facebook RSS in articles application will not put a heavy load on your server , as they are pulled every 2 hours, but be careful of heavy loads if you have a larger reader base as images will be loaded from full article display in facebook

1 million free book on your IPOD / Iphone

Designed by the International Digital Publishing Forum, the epub format is the de facto standard for electronic books.  Since last  week, Google Books libray of more than one million public domain books is available in the  EPUB format, making this one of the most diverse electronic libraries in the world. Epub format is readable on iphone via the Stanza application.

Jquery drop down menu, named mega

I usually take superfish for granted when working on a jquery based drop down menu : based on regular ul / li tags, it uses CSS layout directives to position menu items, which I have tried up to 3 levels of navigation. I have just found another good example of submenu implementation that demonstrates the ability to write paragraphs inside the sub layer, as  shown in the illustration below. The tutorial written by Jon Philipps on The Web Squeeze explains how CSS3 manages to implement rounded corners while jquery deals with the drop down effect. Nothing really new, just another way of working with Jquery and layers, but nice.

jquery-dropdown

One Page javascript shopping cart

This one struck me because I can remember working out a javascript shopping cart back in 1996... Long time ago in terms of web time, and 13 years later the idea has popped again from some strange mind figuring out that simplicity does it all. If you've had enough of configuring complex ecommerce solutions like Magento or Prestashop, then simplecart(js) is for you. "No databases, no programming, no headaches. A simplejavascript shopping cart in under 20kb that you can setup in minutes. It's lightweight, fast, simple to use, and completely customizable. All you need to know is basic HTML." Works with Paypal and google checkout apparently.

simplecart

http://simplecartjs.com/

Web stats open source

I've been using Analytics for a while but I think more and more of switching back to a tool I've tested already : Piwik is the former PHPvisites and it now incorporates heat map features, a tool that lets you see graphically where visitors clicked on your web pages. On the other hand, open Source Analytics seems to be a good bet too. Both have the real advantage over Analytics in that they provide real time tracking.

Magento release 1.4

It's only alpha but I've tested it because I'm still running 1.2 and I'm waiting for serious reason to upgrade : I can tell you I've seriously avoided the basic Magento advice whic is 'never hack the core', and I have a dozen fixes implemented in the app/code/core section of my production install, which means a few hours upgrade. Reading Release notes was not very interesting so I decided I'd for a test drive. Well not much to say except the new tax system which is suited to european complexity, including or excluding shipping costs, reductions and other attributes are available in the system/ admin menu. The most noticeabl imporvement was not indeed produced by Magento but by google : remember at some time Chrome did not work well with the admin. This is now fixed, and thanks to a better cookie management chrome now handles magento admin pefectly, which means faster work. For enterprise users (9000 $ /year), a new video has been posted about private sales that offer special deals to users for a limited time using special member restricted access with invitations. Magento actually works well with emails, including reports on accepted invitations and generated sales. Enjoy.