My Facebook game, making headway again

Some people know that I’ve been working on a web game that I plan to integrate with Facebook. The initial prototype took a few weeks of halfhearted hacking and thrashing around between PHP and MySql, getting used to LAMP style programming again. I got a working proof of concept up and running and started making notes of what really needed to be done to make it work. Then, I admitted to myself that I was making a giant mess that I would not be able to build on for very long.

I looked around for a PHP framework to make things easier. Something scalable and lightweight, but sensible and clear. I found the Yii framework after peeking at CakePHP and CodeIgniter. I chose Yii because it seemed to make sense to me at first glance. I was able to get my model defined and had CRUD stuff up and running in no time at all.

But, then I had to do some real programming. I read the docs and looked at the class definitions and fumbled in the forums. I got kind of demotivated by the burden of conforming to the framework. Not that the framework was so complicated, but I couldn’t grasp how to do something simple. I just needed to store some user information in the session and display in on the pages after log in. Not a big deal, but it was totally bumming me out that my first few approaches were not working.

Anyway, it turns out that I was going about it all wrong, of course. It’s very easy to do in Yii. I still probably don’t have the correct Yii mindset – and may never have it, truth be told. But, I’m getting more comfortable and I’m back making some headway, again. My goal is to have a productive week getting back to what already exists in the prototype. Then I’ll build from there.

Author: Eric Holsinger

Eric Holsinger is a software professional and photography enthusiast in Southern Maine.

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