Blog

Release: Production Environments! December 23, 2009

Hey guys!  It's been a while, but the time has come for a new Vae feature.  And we think this one is huge.  We're proud to announce that Vae now has full support for a separation of Staging and Production environments on your website.

We worked hard to develop this feature in a way that fits in naturally with the different workflows employed by the many different designers using Vae.  Basically, this is how it will work:

Once you opt-in to Vae's Production Environment feature for one of your domains by going to the Domains tab under the Vae tab, Vae will create a Production Environment for that website.  FTP will be directed to the Staging Environment, which can be browsed at http://<;site>.vaesite.com/.  Any changes made to the FTP will be instantly reflected there.  However, they will not be reflected on the main domain until perform a 'release'. 

You can release your site to the production environment from the new Production Environment tab under the Site tab.

5 previous releases are stored, and you may roll back to them at any time.  This provides an awesome recovery option if you accidentally release a bad copy of the site.

Here's what it looks like:

Screenshot of Releases

You may also make a new release by using the Vae Local Development Environment.  Simply type verb release to make a new release to production.  Or type vae stagerelease to update the Staging Environment and Production Environment with the current copy from Subversion.

The best part of all: there is no additional cost for this feature.  It's just one more thing that we're doing to make Vae the most powerful and unique shared hosting environment in existence.  Thanks for your support!

If you have any questions, please direct them to support@actionvae.com.

New Feature: filter and order in vae() and vae_find() May 21, 2009

Vae's PHP integration just got a lot better with the addition of 2 features ported from VaeML's tag: filter and order.

Now you can filter and order (sort) entries when using Vae's PHP integration just like in VaeML.  This feature has been requested for a while and we're happy to finally bring it live on all sites.

Here is an example of the new feature in use:

$posts = vae("posts", array('order' => "DESC(post_date)"));
?>

For more information, please see the documentation for vae() and vae_find(): http://docs.vaeplatform.com/php_vae

New VaeML Tag: <v:rss> May 20, 2009

We are proud to announce the immediate availability of a new VaeML tag: <v:rss>.  Previously, customers looking to build RSS feeds of their site's content have had to roll their own.  Of course, this was made quite easy by Vae's fantastic XML integration, but we knew we could do better.  So we did.

Now, all that's required to create an RSS feed of any of your data is to create a file called rss.xml and put this tag in it:

<v:rss title="My Site" description="My blog feed." path="posts" title_field="title" description_field="content" />

You may specify an additional parameter to order the entries in your feed, and you may include multiple collections within the path.

We are using the <v:rss> tag to power this very blog, and it has already been rolled out on other sites as well. For more information, please see the documentation page at http://docs.vaeplatform.com/v_rss.

Support for Haml and Sass! April 09, 2009

Haml and SASS are meta-langauges that compile into HTML and CSS, respectively. They let you write code that is leaner, more readable, and more easily changed.

We use Haml and SASS for every website we make (even this one!), and will probably never go back.

However, Haml and SASS are typically pretty tough to use for websites that are static or hosted on a server that you don't fully control. This is because they are written in Ruby and designed to be used with Ruby on Rails.

But we've done all the plumbing to make Haml and SASS work automatically on Vae. All you need to do is upload a .haml or .sass file and hit it in your browser. We will automatically compile it to HTML or CSS and cache the compiled version.

I think we are the first shared webhost to do something like this.

Check out how cool Haml is. This code:

#shows
.show
%a{ :href => "/show" } See the show

Becomes this ...

<div id="shows">
<div class="show">
<a href="/show">See the show</a>
</div>
</div>

Haml cuts out all of the extra typing and brainpower associated with closing tags and angle brackets everywhere. It also uses CSS-style identifiers for id and class. For more details, read the documentation.

SASS applies the same principle to stylesheets. This:

#main
:width 97%
p, div
:font-size 2em
a
:font-weight bold
pre
:font-size 3em

Becomes this:

#main {
width: 97%; }
#main p, #main div {
font-size: 2em; }
#main p a, #main div a {
font-weight: bold; }
#main pre {
font-size: 3em; }

Curly brackets are gone, and nesting style rules is now a matter of just using indentation! For more details, read the SASS documentation.

Of course, you can fully use VaeML tags inside Haml. They work just like HTML tags.

Create MySQL Databases directly from Vae March 28, 2009

A lot of people install 3rd party apps (such as Wordpress) that require a MySQL database. You can now generate a MySQL database directly from Vae. Simply go to the Settings tab and select the MySQL subtab.

Databases are created instantly and ready for use with just one click.

Automatic PDF generation from HTML March 19, 2009

In response to feature requests, we have built in support for generating PDFs directly from HTML (and you can use PHP or VaeML code too!).

Rather than fiddling with complicated software packages or PHP libraries, just design your PDF documents the same way you would design a webpage: with HTML and CSS. Almost all HTML and CSS is supported (the main exception being nested tables).

We use the dompdf library to handle PDF generation. Any file ending in .pdf.html will automatically be run through the PDF engine. Any file ending in .pdf.haml will be run through Haml and the PDF engine. Files ending in .pdf.php, or .pdf.haml.php will also be run through PHP.

New title="" option in <v:template> March 01, 2009

We've finally solved the problem of updating <title> tags on pages that use templates. Simply put a title= attribute in your <v:template> tag and the contents of that attribute will be set in the parameter $title. You can then print it back out in your template file by using <v:text param="title" />.

For more information, check out http://docs.vaeplatform.com/v_template.

New Feature: Build Entry title from Multiple Fields February 15, 2009

Scenario: On your website, you have products that each have fields for Name and Color, in addition to price and some other fields. You want to create an Association (Multi) on another section of your site (say, the blog) that allows you to tag Products that are relevant to that particular post.

The Problem used to be: Only one field could be set as title, so it was impossible to see whether you were tagging the Red Doll or the Blue Doll.

Solution: Titles of collection entries can now be built from multiple fields. Simply select all the fields you'd like, and the full title will be built automatically for you. This will affect autogenerated Permalinks as well.

Let us know if you have any questions!