Tagged with Open Source

Open Source Software

Building a Split Keyboard part 1

Like many others, I’ve been exploring new hobbies and learning new skills as the pandemic continues to keep many of us at home. Lately, I’ve been exploring building custom mechanical keyboards. Its been a long time since I used a ‘normal’ keyboard for my day to day work. A few years ago I had the opportunity to use a coworker’s

Improved Application Switcher for Elementary OS

I’ve recently switched to Elementary OS after many years of MacOS. Elementary by and large has been fantastic, and I like the low-configuration approach to OS design. The default alt-tab handler is my biggest gripe. It uses a combination of animated zoom, and brightness changes that I find visually tiring. I hoped that others had shared my pain and built an alternate solution.

Moving to Linux

For the past 15 years I’ve been a Mac user. Like many, I loved the best in class hardware, great desktop shell, and the ability to use BSD/*nix tools without having to run virtual machines. When my 2012 Macbook pro was no longer aging gracefully, I started evaluating my options for a new machine. MacOS was no longer as appealing as it once was.

New TwigView Plugin

CakePHP ships with PHP based templates, and while this works for many people we’ve also recently re-launched the Twig plugin. For that past several years Wyrihaximus has maintained the excellent TwigView plugin. The CakePHP core team has joined forces with Wyrihaximus and taken over completing the 4.

Keeping notes with vimwiki

I’ve long kept notes and ideas written down in a variety of text files across my computer. While this ‘worked’ I always found it a bit lacking, but was not willing to commit to a cloud based notes application as I prefer the simplicity and portability of plain text files.

Using Rector to Ease Upgrades

Upgrading major libraries that your application depends on can be a tedious and time consuming process. Dealing with deprecations and backwards incompatible changes can consume a significant amount of time and energy. In the past we’ve relied on manually updating code or using find and replace. But in last few years new techniques have emerged that make routine upgrades easier to do.

Building an iterator that can grow

A few weeks ago I ran into a tricky to solve issue in CakePHP. It involved an iterator that needs be grown during iteration, and nested loops over that same iterator. While infrequent, there are scenarios where you would want to grow an iterator as it is being iterated. My situation is the plugin registry for CakePHP. Plugins support a bootstrap hook method that is used to initialize a plugin.

Simplifying host identification with rainbow terminals

In my daily work, I end up having to ssh into a variety of hosts. Keeping track of which terminal is on which host can become challenging when I have 3 or 4 terminals all at a mysql prompt, or tailing log files. A co-worker of mine came up with a pretty clever solution that I wanted to share. The clever solution involves some bash, and Applescript (as we’re working off of OSX).

Learning Rust

I’m always looking for new challenges. With my background mostly being in web development, I have little to no experience in low-level languages. In the past I’ve tinkered with C, and go-lang. This summer, I decided to try and learn Rust. Rust aims to be a very safe and performant systems-level language.

CakePHP 3.0 Retrospective

With CakePHP 3.0 out the door, I thought it would be good to reflect on the project. CakePHP 3.0 is the longest and largest open source project milestone I’ve ever participated in. At FreshBooks we do retrospectives on large projects as a way to see what went well, and what could have gone better. The goal is to discover things we should keep doing, and what to improve the next time around.

Upgrading to CakePHP 3.0

I recently finished upgrading this site to CakePHP 3.0.0-dev from 2.5.5. I thought I’d share my experiences, as they might be helpful to other people attempting to update a CakePHP 2.x application to 3.0.

In terms of scale & size, this site is pretty small and simple. It has a mere 12 tables, and ~5000 lines of code including HTML, and uses 3 plugins.

DebugKit for CakePHP 3.0.0

A few weeks back during CakeFest 2014, I had the opportunity to hunker down and get DebugKit upgraded to CakePHP 3.0. While it was less of an upgrade and more of a re-design and re-write, I think the end results justify the drastic approach I took. First, a few of the problems I was trying to solve in the new version:

1. It is hard to make DebugKit look great as it lives on the same page as your app.

Compatibility Breaks in CakePHP 3.0

There will be a number of backwards compatibility (BC) breaks in the CakePHP 3.0.0 release. I thought it might be helpful to go over some of the reasons breaks in compatibility have been made. Each time we’ve had to break compatibility with 2.x we’ve done so because the existing behaviour fell into a few categories of problems. I’ll go over a few of the bigger categories in detail.