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.
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.
One of the new features in CakePHP 2.1 I am excited about are view blocks and view inheritance. Both are concepts borrowed from Jinja2 and other templating systems. Template inheritance allows you to create skeleton views, and define blocks to populate that skeleton in a child template.
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.
I’ve been working all day everyday with Monaco for the last 6 years. Monaco is a great typeface, it has a number of really great properties. It has a large x-height, and a large m-width. This make it great typeface at small sizes. While monaco is a perfectly good typeface, I wanted experiment and see if there is another typeface that would be even better.
With the recent release of PHP 5.4-RC1, I wanted to give it a spin and make sure there weren’t any upcoming issues for CakePHP. I recently saw a great article from Derick Rethans on getting PHP setup from an SVN checkout.
In a previous post I talked about switching to Vim and how I was using Janus to get a good foundational set of plugins to work with, and make starting with vim less daunting. As I’ve gotten more comfortable with vim, I wanted a simpler way to manage my vim config.
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.
In case you were not able to attend CakeFest 2011. I’ve posted my slides up on slideshare. The event was a great success. Thanks to Graham for organizing the event and to all the attendees. Its great to meet the community and put faces and names to irc handles and mailing list email addresses.
While working on tweaking a notificationÂ box design, I wanted to include the element’s heading in a folded ribbon element. I also wanted to avoid using any images and just use CSS. Mostly to try my hand at using generated content and some CSS that I don’t normally get to use.
Earlier today I saw the announcement that PHP5.4 will have a built-in web server . I mentioned on twitter that I wasn’t too happy about the server being added. In the discussion that followed, I feel like I wasn’t able to properly convey my thoughts through tweets.
This week I’ve been participating in the SQLServer Jump-in Camp. My focus for the workshops have been building out better support for IIS and SQL Server in CakePHP. As I generally develop on MacOS, I do development for other platforms through virtual machines. This has worked well with linux servers in the past.
About a month ago, I decided that I would try and switch to Vim as my only editor. I’ve been a pretty hard core Textmate for about 5 years now, and haven’t really had any issues. So why bother switching? My first reason is I spend a ton of time in SSH + terminals.
I’m pretty prone to making stupid mistakes all the time. I think its a mixture of being busy, and being a natural scatter brain. In any case, mistakes happen, and thankfully over time developers have come up with a number of ways to combat mistakes. These usually take the shape in automated toolds. Unit tests are a great way to automated tool to help prevent stupid mistakes from happening, Git commit hooks are another.
In a previous article I covered how CakePHP would potentially be moving to using sphinx for the 2.0 documentation. Myself and some of the other CakePHP developers have been working on this option, and seeing if it has any legs. Turns out that sphinx is actually a pretty great tool.
In the release announcement for 1.3.7, it was tentatively announced that CakePHP would be moving its documentation over to ReST, Git and sphinx. Having documentation in a git repo, and using sphinx to generate documentation has a few nice wins, that would be difficult to achieve with the current book application.
I recently had a fun idea, that I wanted to try and implement for PHPUnit. I really like coloured console output. PHPUnit already has the option for coloured output, but I wanted more. I wanted to get coloured text for F, E, S, and I that showed up in the test run progress.