Things tagged with Practices and Habits

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).

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.

My quest for a new programming typeface

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.

E_NOTICE is your friend

Errors and error reporting an important part of the development and debugging cycle. In interpreted languages, there are a number of runtime errors that can really help you debug your code. Some languages like python don’t give you a way to make the errors go away, but for better or worse PHP does.

The value of a simple release process

I’ve been doing many of the CakePHP releases, since “the great framework apocalypse of imminent doom”. Between then and now, CakePHP has had quite a few releases. During these past few months, I’ve really begun to understand the value of a simple release process. When I initially started doing releases for CakePHP, our release process involved many steps and I was doing them all manually.

The argument for flag arguments

I recently read “Clean Code” by Robert Martin an excellent book on writing clear, easy to maintain and well factored code. In it Robert Martin raises the point that methods should do what their names say, shouldn’t have ‘flag arguments’, and should do only one thing. This implies that overloaded methods are out.

How I debug PHP errors and issues

I spend a lot of time in various IRC channels answering questions and helping out, and one recurring theme that pops up again and again is people not knowing what to do when things go wrong. Whether it be a simple error or a logical mixup, people often lack the tools or processes to figure things out. So I thought I would share how I approach errors and problems.