Writing

Moving to linode

I recently moved hosting for this blog and my wife’s site to a shiny new linode. I did this because I wanted to have control over the versions of PHP, and other server software I ran. I had some issues with email blacklists at my previous host. I chose linode as I’ve heard nothing but good things from friends and my operations folks at work recommended them.

Installing CakePHP with Composer

I really like how composer simplifies dependency management & installation. It can make applications more portable, and simpler to deploy when compared to the pear installer. Another really nice feature of composer is that you can easily install any pear package, making it perfect for installing CakePHP. While installation was simple, some extra work was required to get things up and running smoothly.

Creating custom selectors with jQuery

I recently re-discovered a powerful, but mostly hidden feature of jQuery. If you’ve used jQuery for any length of time you’ve probably used filter selectors like :input, :visible or :hidden. What you may not know is, it is really simple to add your own filter selectors. The secret lies in $.expr.filters which is an object of filters.

Using composer in CakePHP 3.0

For 3.0 the team and I are re-visiting how we’ll recommend installing CakePHP, and as always I wanted to try to provide context on what my thoughts are, and get some feedback on the plans.

Background & context

CakePHP is currently availiable in a few different ways. Generally people either download zip files, or clone the repository. Both of these methods provide a quick easy way to get started.

Configuration in CakePHP 3.0

Early work has started for CakePHP 3.0, and I’ve started re-visiting how CakePHP handles configuration and bootstrapping. I want to focus on configuration for this post, as bootstrapping, while related is worthy of its own post. The goal of this post is to provide some context on the planned changes, and to get feedback on those changes. My hope is that by getting feedback early on we can avoid problems & surprises later on.

Static Analysis tools for PHP

I’ve recently integrated static analysis tools into both my day job’s and CakePHP’s development process. Setting up static analysis tools is reasonably easy and can help you find problems before you even get to unit tests, or staging sites. They are also the ideal tool to help enforce coding standards, and best practices that can be checked by reading the code.

Re-designing CakePHP

Myself and the rest of the CakePHP team recently embarked on a journey to refresh and redesign the CakePHP website and brand. I wanted to delve into my process and thinking around the changes.

The cakephp.org website has been around for quite sometime. Its previous incarnation served the project amazingly well.

Selenium, jQuery and pending ajax requests

We use selenium extensively at work for automated acceptance tests. If you’ve never used selenium, it allows you to record and playback browser sessions and create integration tests from the perspective of a browser. Its generally a great tool, and really helps make sure we don’t release broken code. Recently, however I’ve found Selenium can have adverse reactions with jQuery.

New errors in PHP 5.4

I’ve been running the PHP5.4 RC builds for the last few months, and there are some interesting changes in the upcoming PHP release. On top of all the great new features coming in PHP5.4. After updating to PHP5.4-RC4, a few things that used to not trigger errors and silently do the wrong thing, now trigger notices or warnings.

Using bcrypt for passwords in CakePHP

CakePHP uses salted sha1 hashes for passwords by default, and has for a while. There has been some talk on the mailing list lately of switching the default hashing to something more secure, such as bcrypt. I think this is a great idea, and will find its way into CakePHP in a future release. Providing a reasonanle upgrade experience is the biggest problem to solve, if the default hashing strategy was to change.