I was lucky enough when I started playing with Yii 2, about 6 months ago, during the alpha release, to get some help answering the most basic questions about creating relationships and tying models together. That help came in the form of Kartik Visweswaran, a Yii 2 innovator and enthusiast locaed in Bangalore India. Not only did Kartik help out in the forum, taking the time to support users, he also provided tutorials on the wiki, including this tutorial for a sortable, eager-loading search result in GridView.
And Kartik also built incredible extensions for Yii 2, so many in fact, he has them listed on his own site at Krajee.com.
I knew I was going to love his work when I implemented the tutorial I mentioned above, scenario 2, which was right on the money and took less than 15 minutes. I also integrated Kartik’s social extension, yii2-Social, which got me into Facebook widgets, again with minimal time spent. Part of the reason it goes so smoothly with integrating his work is that he documents it so well.
Last time I counted, he had 28 extensions/goodies on his site, with an incredible selection extending Gridview, navigation, form builders, file management, helpers, quality Bootstrap stuff to make your app pretty, and much more. If you have not checked it out yet, you are really missing out.
How lucky are we to have a great framework to play with, but great contributors too. This is what makes programming a lot of fun.
You can find a lot of cool extensions also at https://packagist.org/. Just type in Yii 2 and you will see the list of available items, 350 of them at this writing.
Now with Composer fully utilized by Yii 2, installing an extension is very simple. Just add it to your composer.json and do composer update and one minute later, it’s installed. Depending on the extension, you might have do some config, but that seems to clearer and easier these days with Yii 2. Kartik documents his extensions extremely well, so you will be up and running quickly.
If I understand Kartik’s blog correctly, he works full time programming and does his Yii 2 extensions in his spare time. You know you love something when it is your work and your hobby too. It helps explain why he is so prolific and so good at what he does. Also check out his WebTips blog, there is a great tutorial on the Yii 2 FileInput widget.
A lot of programmers are humble by nature and they don’t get the credit they deserve. This certainly applies to the core Yii 2 team, and also to the supporting developers like Kartik. These guys do an amazing job. I’m not shy about pointing that out. A lot of hard work goes into creating this stuff, and as a beneficiary of that work, I really appreciate it.
Another way to say thanks to developers like Kartik is to click and visit the sponsors on his site, and of course there is the donate button. A little contribution makes a big difference to the quality and quantity of open source options. If you find yourself using contributions often, please give something back. These guys will really appreciate it and you will see more great innovation that will help your development needs.
One of my goals with this blog is point people in the right direction when it comes to Yii 2, at least as best I can. So I’m definitly pointing in the direction of Kartik for Yii 2 extensions.
In the future, I’d like to profile more developers, especially if they are doing interesting things with Yii 2. Now that Yii 2 is in General Release, we will probalby see even more contributions. It’s a very exciting time for people who love the Yii 2 framework. Feel free to comment and take the poll, and please contact me if you wish to contribute to this blog.