Trying to learn and help some other programmers to find their solutions on the Yii Forum (I think is a superb way to learn the framework), I was facing one challenge with an external library that a fellow programmer wanted to use -quite good indeed: PHPExcel. And what is PHPExcel?
Many Yii users ask how to create helper classes and functions, and though there are numerous approaches spread out among the forum and wiki articles, this Tutorial tries to bring it all together in one place.
Update: This wiki has been rewritten to be in line with Yii 1.1.14. Since many of the detailed complexities are now handled by Yii, the article focuses on how the crypt() built-in function works and why it's important to use it correctly.
To fix issues with display of special language characters once and for all
there's a solution: use Unicode UTF-8 everywhere. If everything is set up to use Unicode, you can use mostly every language in your application.
This wiki is a step-by-step example explaining how the controller, model and the view's CGridView work together. It explains simple things - as well as more complex things that you will anyway quickly have to know. So, even if you don't use dynamic gridviews, take a morning off and thoroughly work through this tutorial. It should save you lots of struggling.
It's common to see users wishing to make substring DB queries, using the % metacharacter used to match anything; in this FAQ we'll search the tbl_comments table from the blog tutorial hoping to find the text in $match in the content column