Tic-Tac-R is alive!

After several weeks of work (and intensive learning) I’m releasing Tic-Tac-R for beta testing.

Tic-Tac-R is a little experiment of creating a traditional Tic-Tac-Toe game using SignalR, and it can be played here.

On the next days I will be posting the code on GitHub, once we’ve done all the changes and fixes that might come from the beta testing period.

So then, enjoy the game!

HealthyHarry: A healthy version of the traditional snake game over HTML5

As an experiment for learning HTML5 Canvas, I created this small game based on the popular “Snake” that many of us played on our old mobile phones (A Nokia 3320 in my case)

I deployed the game one of my Windows Azure websites and you can access it here. Initially I was thinking of buying a hosting account on a different place, but I think the cloud is a good place for host this kind of pet projects and Windows Azure is a great option, (IMHO) for 2 things: 1) Is extremely easy to use (saying creating websites, databases, deploying, etc) 2) It is free for 90 days, which is great if you are starting on the cloud “wave”. Let’s see what happen when the cloud bills begin to come.

So then, enjoy the game online for at least the next 60 days (when my free account expires :P)

The source code is hosted on Github. Feel free to do whatever you want with it

Send content to the layout using a Helper on CakePHP

This post is based on Robert Conner’s code forCakePHP 1.x., and I made some changes to get it to work onCakePHP 2.x . The original post can be found here.

Maybe some people have faced problems trying to send some content to the layout on CakePHP. By content I mean not only a simple string but a whole a piece of HTML code. To solve this, we can create a Helper on CakePHP 2.x, according to the following steps:

1. Create the Helper

On theViews/Helpers folder, you need to create the .php file for the helper. In this case we will call it LayoutHelper.php

class LayoutHelper extends AppHelper {
 var $__blockName = null;
 function blockStart($name) {
  if (empty($name))
   trigger_error('LayoutHelper::blockStart - name is a required parameter');
  if (!is_null($this->__blockName))
   trigger_error('LayoutHelper::blockStart - Blocks cannot overlap');
  $this->__blockName = $name;
  return null;
 function blockEnd(&$view){
  $buffer = @ob_get_contents();
  $out = $buffer
  $view->viewVars[$this->__blockName . '_for_layout'] = $out;
  $this->__blockName = null

 function output($var) {
  if (isset($var) && $var != null)
  echo $var;

2. Setting up the content

For setting up the content that we want to send to the layout, we use the Helper

$layout = $this->Helpers->load('Layout');

Right after this, we specify the content that will be sent to the layout

<div>Custom content</div>

and we close the block


3. Show the content

For showing the content on the layout, we add the following

$layout = $this->Helpers->load('Layout');

As we can see, this is really simple and also very useful when trying to customize the content on the layout according to the view we are loading

I wrote this article also on The Bakery