Magento: Generate modman files

Last few weeks me and my team had to install around 10 third party Magento extensions. We have our own local setup and development workflow, but one of the key elements is MODMAN. All extensions (ours and the third party extensions) are linked in Magento by modman. With our current setup and the situation with the number of the new third party extensions we were forced to create modman files for all new extensions. We had to create manually the definitions in the modman files in order to define how the extensions files should be linked in Magento. There was no room for mistakes, but during the process we started experiencing problems, because of the human factor. From time to time we were missing to write modman definitions for some template, layout and css files.

I spotted the need that we need reliable and automated tool, which allows us to create modman files without missing any definitions. At the beginning I was thinking to write my own shell scrip, but as I didn’t want to reinvent the wheel I decided to use my professional network and to ask the Magento community (thanks to one of my first mentors Stefan Stefanov for always reminding me to search for existing concepts / tools / frameworks rather than reinventing the wheel). I asked for help in twitter. The first minute I published my tweet I got answers from Magento community members.

Modman generator question - tweet
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Magento: Remove the region from address form

Today I worked on task that required the region filed to be removed from all Magento address forms. I found some Magento modules that were doing the trick, but I also wanted to delve a bit more deeper and to see if I can do this by configuration from Magento admin. Luckily in the most recent version of the platform ( Magento CE 1.9 ) this is possible.

By some simple actions in the Magento admin you will be able to exclude the region field from:

  • Customer add / edit address form
  • Customer register form
  • Billing and Shipping address form on the checkout page

Below I am going to show 2 different solutions how to hide the region filed. The first is more suitable for Magento admins / store owners and the second is something that the developers can use in their data upgrade scripts.

For the both example below I assume that we have to remove the region if the country is Germany.
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Dating: Getting more comfortable with the rejection

About 2 months ago I decided to do something unusual for me and to go out from my comfort zone. As I mentioned in some of the previous posts I’ve started self-improvement journey and one of my goals is to improve my relationships with the females. I’ve read some books about dating and rising the self-esteem and what I really liked in those books was the idea of not to do “black magic” (aka. try to trick the girls, operate from false confidence or just lie to get laid). The message in the books was to get better person in order to get better relationships with family, friends, co-workers and love partners. Another message was to be more conscious, to be self-aware, to operate from true confidence, to draw strong personal and professional boundaries, to not try to manipulate and to not accept manipulation.

So what was this unusual thing that I started the previous paragraph with? Well, I decided to try to approach constantly women that I like. The idea was not to approach any woman that I meet, but to do it with women that I really desire. The point in all this story was to test and overcome my approaching anxiety. As side effect of this experiment I could find a partner, so I really had the mindset if the things work out, then to develop a relationship. I also wanted to do this experiment in decent way, so if in case I got a date, then to stop the experiment ( call me serial dater ).

But from where I got this idea? I’ve read the book of Mark Manson – Models: Attract Women Through Honesty. In his book, Mark suggests some really cool things that fit with my values. Something that he writes is if you want to have amazing and honest partner, then become amazing and honest person. He shares that he had serious approach anxiety and he suggest to try to do the experiment to approach women by doing “baby steps” in order to get comfortable with the anxiety. For example one day say hello to unknown woman, another day try to have conversation with unknown woman, go to club and talk to women (if the things develop well then go on a date) and etc.
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From the archives: Osijek Software City hackathon – April 2012

Today, while I was browsing YouTube, accidentally I stumbled upon a video from April 2012. The video was from hackathon organised by Osijek Software City and the main character was me. I totally forgot about the great time that I had back in 2012 and watching this video again made my day.

Also I can’t miss to say “thanks” to my friends from Inchoo, who invited me to attend to this event. I remember that the trip from Bulgaria to Osijek was long and I felt very tired, but definitely it was worthy. I met new people at the hackathon and I had some great personal and technical conversations. As a matter of fact at this event I met my friend Vedran Subotic, who after 2 years “opened the door” for my moving to München, Germany.

On the hackathon I had to work alone, because most of the attendees had teams and the attendees who were alone were too far from my professional expertise. I wanted to do something with Magento, but the possible team members were good at C#.
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An idea how to discover the nightlife of München

Almost every Wednesday I visit an event organized by the Facebook group – Munich – International friends. The event is called “The round table” and the main goal is to meet and socialize with new people. Most of the people on this event are foreigners and the common language is English, so it’s really good for non German speakers.

Before 3 weeks I went to the event after work and I wasn’t in mood to communicate and to socialize, because I had busy work day. For my good I met one of the most active group members, who was offering decks with special cards. The cards actually were free passes or free drink vouchers for different night clubs in München. You can check this website for more information – Initially I didn’t welcome the idea and even didn’t want to look at the cards, but later I change my mind. I got the idea to get one deck and later (when I am bored), from time to time to pull a card and to visit a club, which I would visit for first time.
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Dating: No means No, so step back – an excerpt of rejection texting ping-pong

During the last 3 weeks I was dating with Sara – very cute girl from UK. I really liked her physically and I think that there was a good personality behind the “mask”. I was really optimistic that the dating could develop to relationship, but unfortunately she had her own preferences and before a couple of days she decided to stop dating with me.

This story provoked me to make some conclusions and to measure how I am dealing with the rejection. Of course when I got rejected I didn’t feel good, as a matter of fact I had “bitter taste” mood for 2 – 3 days. I am actually really happy, how I handled this rejection, because “My Old Self” would feel the bitter taste for weeks. I also got the offer “let’s just be friends”, but this time I was different … sorry ladies, but I don’t want to lurk around you and to watch how the other guys approach you and you are flirt / date with them. I prefer to focus my energy somewhere else and not to be a part of the “HAREM”. Been there, done that!
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Self-improvement: It’s totally ok NOT to chase recently separated / in breakup folks

Before 2 years ago I experienced my “enough moment”, epiphany relationship, “wake up call” … you name it. This was the boiling point for me and I have hit the emotional bottom. This story provoked me to take the path of the self-improvement. I closed myself in my shell for about an year and made an audit of my relationships, attitude, behaviour, goals, dreams and etc. I got more connected with myself. I also reviewed my past mistakes and was thinking about the situations when somebody was hurt by me. I’ve hit the books and the blogs for self-improvement as well.

I managed to rise my self-esteem and this contributed for my personal and professional development. I also started to do more healthy choices on the “dating market”. I read a lot about emotional unavailability, people pleasing, “Nice Guy” syndrome and etc, so after a while I started to notice some things and to cut off on time if the potential partner was not “healthy”.
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Pay rate raise as result of being honest with my clients

During my period of running own business I had my good and bad moments. Clients were coming and going, there were months of good income and months of bad income. Somehow I was balancing for 2 years and I was constantly looking for the client who can support me with stable income in long term.

For about 8 months I had this client and it was real pleasure to work with him. The beginning was a bit hard. First I worked directly with him, but as he was a CEO of middle-size company and he was really busy he had to delegate the communication with me to another person called Mr. X. We had huge communication issues with Mr. X and I had to escalate this. Then the CEO delegated the communication to another person from his company and we were able to really start do work, because we were good match with my new point of contact.

Both companies had to do some small compromises in benefit of the business relationship and of course to get the job done. I also have to say that the client was really satisfied, because we were able to solve some problems that were blockers for his business. In other words, he was impressed of our skills and capabilities. I like to put excerpt of my email communication with this client. Basically after being honest and transparent with him I managed to get an increase for my company. I will name the client – Mr. Director.
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Open letter to 2 Magento frontend developers

Good morning P. and P.

As we we couldn’t catchup yesterday and I couldn’t feed you with proper feedback, then I promised to write you an open letter with all the points that I wanted to discuss.

First of all thanks for the git pull request and giving me the chance to review your code. I have to say that in general I am quite impressed. You managed to “draw the line” where is the scope your work and you properly marked the places inside the templates where the backend team have to step in. The idea with the TODOs and the timestamp was really original. This will make the things for us much more easier in the near future, when we will replace your static texts with our data getters.

There was something specific for your pull request. It contained many commits and it was representing your work from the last weeks. I noticed some small issues that were repeated in different template files.
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