Integrating CakePHP with Facebook Graph API


Category : Facebook, Open source, PHP, Wordpress

I just move my site (Cats Idol) from Drupal to CakePHP. It has definitely been a good move – in two weeks, working at night, I have gain a lot of control and flexibility I needed and did not have in Drupal.

CakePHP is an easy to use and agile development framework that provide an MVC,  a great ORM, and other useful tools for rapid application development.

But more on that in a different post..

Another major feature I needed was integration with Facebook:

  1. I wanted to use Facebook Auth and provisioning rather than t write it myself
  2. I wanted users to be able to comment and Like content on the site
  3. I wanted to publish content on users wall when they add content to Cats IdolCakePHP : the rapid development php framework

I found a very useful plugin, developed by Nick Baker, which provides this functionality and more.

So check the plugin here.

And you can see a demonstration of it in action here.

And CakePHP app integrated into Facebook here.

Thanks Nick, Great Job!

Blog Spam filter – Mollom vs Akismet

Category : blogs, Drupal, Tips, Wordpress

Spam for bloggers is a big pain, you need to go over 20-80 spam comments to get a single genuine comment. There are, however, applications that automatically filter your comments.  I have used  Mollom and Akismet quite a bit, and in this article will try to explain the differences between them.

Both Mollom and Akismet try to automatically get rid of spam comments, but do it in a slightly different way.


Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not. If Akismet thinks the comment is a spam it puts it in the spam queue, and you get no notification about it. I found Akismet to be very accurate in finding spam. I found 1 false positive (spam which was not really spam) out of thousands of spam messages.

Major strengths -

  • Well integrated with WordPress look and feel – provides a seamless experience to the user and blog owner.
  • Comes as default for WordPress – This is a very strong advantage, because most people use defaults.
  • Does not use CAPTCHA - some real users find CAPTCHA really hard to work with.

Major weaknesses -

  • Blog owners still needs to go though the spam queue and find genuine comments and empty the spam queue


Mollom is a web service that helps you identify content quality and, more importantly, helps you stop spam on your blog, social network or community website. Mollom works very much like Akismet – the major difference is that if Mollom thinks the comment is spam, it provides the submitter of the comment a CAPTCHA challenge (and only when a possible spam is detected and not always like other CAPTCHA solutions). If the submitter fills in the CAPTCHA correctly, them Mollom sends the comment to the pending queue, no comments ever get to the spam queue.

Major strengths -

  • Near zero spam management, comments never get to your spam queue.
  • Integrates well with Drupal
  • Does not use CAPTCHA unless it absolutely needs to (users only see the CAPTCHA if Mollom thinks their comment is spam)

Major weaknesses -

  • The current Mollom WordPress plugin does not provide a seamless integration with WordPress theme -  in cases were CAPTCHA is presented to the user, the CAPTCHA is shown in a separate pages that does not look like your blog.

Both Mollom and Akismet provide an amazing service to bloggers worldwide. The differences between them are subtle but important. For this blog I use Akismet because I want a seamless integration with the theme of the blog, but for an older blog I am maintaining, I use Mollom because I can’t be bothered to check its spam queue.

Think about your blog requirement and choose the best filter for you.

Schedule Post on WordPress and Enjoy Fiji


Category : Best practices, blogs, Wordpress

While this post is being published, I am resting on the beach in a Fiji resort and have probably forgotten about computers, internet, R&D, and anything other than R&R.
How do I enjoy a vacation in Fiji while still keeping my “one post per week” rule? I use WordPress excellent Schedule build-in mechanisms. Here is how you can do it too -

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Does Google prefer WordPress over Drupal?


Category : Drupal, Wordpress

After 2 weeks of hard work, I have ported spacebug from Drupal to WordPress. I still believe that these are both great web platforms and have their unique advantages in their domain. I am planning to do a technological comparison between Drupal and WordPress later on this month, but the major change I see is in terms of hits from Google.

I have noticed an immediate increase in hits from Google on the same content, using the same SEO principals and same links. The increase is significant (around 20% more traffic over the last 5 days)

Which makes me wonder:
Does Google prefer WordPress over Drupal?

Great New Free WordPress Themes From Skinpress

Category : web, Wordpress

There are a lot of good WordPress themes out there and a lot of deprecated ones too. In my pursuit for a great WordPress theme I went over hundreds of themes. I finally came across skinpress themes. IMHO they provide a great set of themes, offering WordPress 2.9.2 new features support and all the social goodies.

Here are two examples:

Grungie wp theme

iZen wp theme

Disclaimer: WordPress themes evolve very rapidly, if you are reading this post in a year from now (let’s say April 2011) this recommendation might be deprecated.