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Datasoft Solutions has a new Look!

I've recently made a major overhaul of this site, since it's been years since it's had a face lift. The site is now more focuses on promoting web development, since that's been my main focus for the last several years. Although I've been performing PHP development for over 10 years, it's only been for the last several years where I've been focusing more on PHP development then C++ development. During this time I also feel my main strengths are in web development, as apposed to desktop development. So, it's time to stay focused on web development, and leave C++ development behind. I'll still accept work in C++ development when the opportunities arise, however.

One of the main changes to the site is that the site is now build on the PHP Framework Laravel. Previously, the site was built on the CodeIgniter. According to SitePoint survey results for the last few years, Laravel has been leading the pack as the PHP framework of choice for most web developers, and for good reason. Laravel is one of the newer kids on the block. It takes advantages of the most recent features added to PHP, including PHP 5. Also, Laravel has learned lessons the things that work well and those that don't in other frameworks. The learning curve to Laravel is a little steeper than with other frameworks like CodeIgniter. One of the main obstacles in learning how to use Laravel is the way it performs routing. One of the features that Laravel offers is the template engine called Blade. I've always preferred to create views without templates, although I have used Smarty in many of my client projects. I've always thought that using a template engine distracted me from the 'purity' of PHP coding. At first, I didn't think I'd have a need for Blade, but after learning how to use it, I found myself wanting to take advantages of it's features. Blade doesn't really replace what you can do in PHP, but just makes it more convenient on what you can do with PHP within your views.

Another change to the site is that the Tree Container Library now has it's own subdomain. Redirects have been created, so all links to the previous pages will be valid. Since this library had it's own unique audience, making it a subdomain seemed like the appropriate thing to do.

You may notice that I'm no longer promoting my commercial application Work Time Studio. As I'm now focusing entirely on web development, I've quit supporting and selling Work Time Studio, but will still offer support for it's current users.

With the new site, I've also added a blog which is powered by Wordpress via REST calls, as is this page. Using the Wordpress engine provides many editing and admin features, and using REST allows me to easily incorporate the content onto the site without the need to hack the Wordpress core.

You may have noticed that you also have the ability to set the theme of the site to your preference, by clicking on the dropdown on the upper right corner of each page. This feature reflects one of my focuses in web development, the use of jQuery UI for theming of sites. The use of jQuery UI provides a standardized look and feel of all pages of a site, plus allows you to easily change any colors or components very easily, and even dynamically, as illustrated by choosing different themes for this site. The list of available themes for this site is provided by jQuery UI's ThemeRoller. I may add some more custom themes in the future to the list.

I hope you enjoy the new look of the site. Feel free to email me with any thoughts, suggestions, issues you have with the new site.