Solving library not found for -lmysqlclient_r on Mac OS X

I was recently trying to install node-libmysqlclient on Mac OS X but was running into a build error saying “library not found for -lmysqlclient_r”.

Continue reading this post…

Published by Michael Botsko on 5/21/2012

Announcing Snowy Evening – Bug and Issue Tracking for Clients & Developers

After two and half years of work, we’re finally launching Snowy Evening. Head on over the announcement, or go signup for your free account now.

Published by Michael Botsko on 5/1/2012

Journey to Launch: Ten Lessons from Launching Our Product, Snowy Evening

It’s been an astounding six years since a web-designer friend and I began work on our first product. Our goal was to design a software-as-a-service product that would grow into a business which could support us both financially. We ran individual web design/development companies but often worked together, and had become good friends very quickly. We took a product I had developed for myself and started a new version. It was codenamed Kiwi.

Continue reading this post…

Published by Michael Botsko on 4/27/2012

jQuery Form Builder 0.4

I need to write an extension application on top of my popular jQuery Form Builder plugin so I finally took the time necessary to perform some long-wanted updates. The xml-based form loading system is finally gone, replaced by a pure JSON solution. There’s a lot more code cleanup, some bug fixes, and now some sample MySQL integration in addition to existing static data loading examples.

The extension layer I’m working on will add functionality for building basic quizzes and scoring them, and hopefully, some MongoDB support. When completed I’ll push that functionality as well. But for now, I need your help in testing the changes in 0.4.

As usual, source code and downloads are on GitHub.

Published by Michael Botsko on 12/15/2011

My Opinion of SASS and LESS for CSS

I’ve been working with CSS for more than a decade and I know all too well the problem areas, primarily in browser support and development difficulties. Tools like Firebug and similar page inspectors have changed how I debug problems but as developers, we’re always seeking the more efficient route.

On paper, the ideas behind Sass and Less seem amazing. Shorten css development by using variables (for colors, etc), reduce the amount of written syntax by calling functions once, that when compiled, produce all necessary vendor prefix equivalents, and so on. By themselves, those were enough to convince me to try it.

Continue reading this post…

Published by Michael Botsko on 9/27/2011

Web Hosted Bug and Issue Tracking

I’ve never been satisfied with issue tracking software. It essentially boils down to the fact that developers seem to sacrifice a clean design and usable product for features or vice versa – the tools our clients would find usable were never the same tools that the developers and designers could find usable.

This will never be a problem again, thanks to Snowy Evening. has been in development for almost two years and despite an amazing list of features (all listed on the home page) it has an incredibly clean and very easy to understand design. Our clients have been using it for a year and there are several well known web companies already using it for their projects.

I highly recommend you try a free account at Snowy Evening.

Published by Michael Botsko on 6/11/2011

Sizing Text to Container with jQuery ExpandText

A frequent problem with text on the web is that there’s no way to automatically adjust the font size based on the dimensions of it’s containing element – at least in a way that changes size when the container does.

Continue reading this post…

Published by Michael Botsko on 5/23/2011

Installing Sphinx Search Server

I’ve always used MySQL fulltext indexes with a match query for keyword searches but I’ve never been happy with the results and lack of configuration choices. The limited nature of word interpretation and the boolean searches were useless when visitors didn’t know how to use search operators. Fulltext indexes require the MyISAM table structure – yet we generally prefer InnoDB because of performance and foreign key constraints.

For a recent project I decided to finally (long overdue, I know) make the the transition to an external search and indexing application called Sphinx.

Continue reading this post…

Published by Michael Botsko on 5/7/2011

Git Push/Pull Alias Functions

I’ve been using Git for just over two years now. It’s one of the few systems left that doesn’t have a graphical user interface I prefer. In the past years, many choices have either been launched or announced but I’m still a command-line only person.

I grew tired of typing the full push/pull commands so I’ve finally spent some time searching for the best bash function on the net… which appears to be

Edit your bash profile and place the “gpush” and “gpull” functions after anything that currently exists. I personally didn’t use the aliases shown in the pasted code sample, as I already use a different set.

vi ~/.bash_profile

When running gpush or gpull they will activate the associated commands on the current branch.

Published by Michael Botsko on 5/7/2011

The Best & The Essential WordPress Plugins

I’ve worked with WordPress for at least six years now – on both personal and client projects. As a company we’ve been focusing on larger custom-built projects in the past few years so staying current in the WP community has been a lot more difficult.

Because of this, I’m transitioning the WordPress courses to a new instructor so that I can focus on my series of web development courses (which are my primary focus anyway). Before I put the materials I’ve developed for the WordPress courses into eternal digital storage I thought it would be best for me to share the list of tips and plugins used or mentioned in any of these courses.

Continue reading this post…

Published by Michael Botsko on 4/30/2011