February 2011

ExtJs - Upgrading from 3.2.1 to 3.3.0

This is more of a personal blog post I am creating for my own referecne. We have migrated one of our apps from July/August version of Ext.Net (based on ExtJs 3.2.1) to Feb 19, 2011 (Revision 3469) version of Ext.Net (based on ExtJs 3.3.0).

There have been some breaking changes that I am enumerating for my reference so I can use this list when planning migration of other projects. This is a work in progress and I might add points to it as I find them out. So, here are some breaking changes that I have found:

Internet Explorer's Developer Tools mysteriously refuse to show up


Internet Explorer (IE) 8's Developer Tools seem to have a strange issue. Every once in a while, it simply refuses to show up on my screen. No matter how many times I click the Developer Tools button in IE's menu, or press F12, the tools simply wont show up on the screen.

Its more confusing because you can see the Developer Tools button in the taskbar, and clicking it multiple times gives the button focused and minimized look as happens normally when clicking taskbar buttons. But still, there's no sign of the Tools window on the screen.

Generating signed urls for Amazon's Product Advertising API in PHP


I recently provided Amazon's Product Advertising API integration for one of the sites I did for a client in Drupal (along with iTunes search integration etc). I have to say providing Amazon's Product Advertising API integration was more cumbersome than integration with other such API's available, mainly because of Amazon's requirement of signed url requests (which basically contain SHA hash of the url for authenticating the request to Amazon), and because of far less documentation available on the Product Advertising API's request parameters and response formats.

Symbolic links in Windows aka Junctions

Symbolic Links in Unix, Linux and derivatives are a very common and useful feature. Symbolic links in these Operating systems allow you to place links to folders or files (which can be called shortcuts also in Windows terminology) in another folder but they appear completely transparent during normal access, meaning the file and folder that was linked to another folder appears as a normal file or folder and you can perform operations on the symbolic link as if the referenced file/folder was actually present itself instead of the symbolic link.

Drupal - Removing the default "-Select-" option from select form elements

I needed to remove the default "-None-"/"-Select-" option that Drupal's Form API adds to "select" form elements. Let's take an example. Consider the following "select" element definition for a form:


$element = array (
			'#type' => 'select',
			'#options' => array (
							1 => 'Very poor',
							2 => 'Not that bad',
							3 => 'Average',
							4 => 'Good',
							5 => 'Perfect',
			'#required' => TRUE,
			'#title' => 'Rating',