Well the redesign and rebuild is complete. I’ve gutted my site and rebuilt it from the ground up. There are more changes than just a shiny new design though. With this redesign I’m shifting the focus of the site around a bit as well.
Topics related to programming
A Helper Class for CakePHP providing an easy to use interface for the GeSHi syntax highlighter. Read more at geshi helper for CakePHP
CakePHP 1.2 is a fantastic improvement over 1.1. However like many, my work has a stable release only policy. So I’m stuck using 1.1 at work for the time being. But after drinking the 1.2 juice, 1.1 is missing some of the potent automagic flavours. First up editing multiple rows in models. The stock syntax is lacking in that it doesn’t support this at all.
Super fresh in the SVN builds of CakePHP 1.2 is the new code coverage analysis. If you are living on the bleeding edge of cake development or just want a preview of the neat things to come once 1.2 is complete read on.
The guys at debuggable have contributed a fantastic tool to the testing suite for CakePHP 1.2.
Indicating to the user which fields are required is something that increases usuability, helping the user fill out the form more effectively and efficiently. These visual cues have absolutely nothing to do with the structure of the document, and would best be handled by CSS.
I was recently asked to join the development team at CakePHP a position I graciously and excitedly accepted. And although I’m still a bit wet behind the ears, I thought I would share some of my experiences in how you can get involved with Open Source Software.
Earlier this week I learned that
isset() behaves a little differently than I had expected when dealing with arrays. Now I already knew that
isset() would return false on a variable not existing, or being set to null. However, I was not expecting it to return false on an array key existing and being set to null.
Earlier today a CakePHP 1.2 RC1 was released. You can read the full changelog
or read the official announcement to learn about whats been going on since the beta. Also download a new Cake and smell the fresh icing.
Well today I took the time to upgrade to CakePHP 1.2 RC1 in the spirit of ‘eating your own dogfood’. I got the usual warnings about
vendor() being deprecated. I also took the time to switch over all my Bindable calls to the fresh core Containable Behavior. Which for the most part consisted of changing
restrict() calls to
Well I just got back from a wonderful 2 week vacation of europe. My wife and I went to Amsterdam, Rome and Paris, for an art-geekout. We went to every museum we could and saw tons of beautiful works that really need to be seen in the stone and paint. We took tons of photos and I hopefully will find the time to do some painting based on them in the upcoming months.
A Model behavior and test case for use with CakePHP 1.2
Often on IRC and the CakePHP google group, I hear people asking how to get values out of the Session or how to find out what is currently in the Session. Generally this is connected to AuthComponent, which is can be complicated component. However, some simple ‘crude’ PHP tactics can make the “whats’s in my session?” question very simple.
When bakers first start using CakePHP there is a tendency to use
requestAction() more often than it should be. Often
requestAction() gets used to pull in common elements like recent posts or new comments, or to make menus. This makes sense in a way as it keeps the comments code in the
CommentsController and all is well.
Routing in CakePHP is quite flexible in how you can route your urls to your controllers and actions. Offering both variable replacement and regex routing. You can route almost any parameter that is set by dispatcher and more. So lets try a few of these.
With all the talk of testing going on, I thought it would be good to look at how tests work and what is makes them tick. SimpleTest handles the bulk of test case execution, however, there are a few CakePHP specifics that are not part of a normal
The documentation for CakePHP has grown in leaps and bounds since the creation of the cookbook. Today I wanted to look at a few methods and conventions that may not be crystal clear from reading the book or api.
Object is the parent class for almost all other classes in CakePHP.
In my previous Auth and Acl tutorial I mentioned that I wasn’t including a way for users ARO to be automatically updated when a User’s group was updated. Well ‘hepper’ posted a patch to the
AclBehavior in the comments to that article.
As I post more and more code here, I’m finding it tedious to update all the various .zip files of code as I make changes. So I’ve taken a page from Tim and Felix and made an account at gitHub. This makes it easy for me and you to find the newest revision of whatever you may be looking for.
Making RSS feeds and alternative content types other than HTML opens a lot of options in how your content can be used, displayed and combined. In prior version of cakePHP webservices were indicated by prefixing a url with the desired content type so an xml version of a blog index might look like
Continuing in my previous vein of ACL related topics. I’ve got another handy addition to the ACL user’s toolbox.
I like many webdevelopers build a lot of forms. Forms are the bread and butter of web applications, and while making forms is getting easier for developers, users often still have a hard time with them. In these circumstances it is necessary to give them a help above and beyond ‘password’.
If you are following the development of CakePHP today is a good day for you. RC3 was released today! We have all been working really hard to make this Release Candidate better than the last one. There have been over 400 commits since the last RC2. Some of the big changes are related to performance. Larry Masters and the rest of the team have been hard at work making CakePHP snappier and all around speedier.
Eclipse is widely popular, robust and powerful IDE. It supports PHP through the PDT project . PDT gives you some good PHP related development tools, including code completion & code templates to help you save some time.
As webservices grow so does the need for being able to communicate with them in an easy fashion. This simple blog alone uses 2 webservices. The recent tracks at the bottom is a feed I pull from Last.fm and my spam protection is provided by Akismet. When first building my site I looked for an already built solution and found a partial solution in Felix GeisendÃ¶rfer’s WebModel.
So 1.2 is nearly complete, the code is frozen and there are only a few bugs left to squash before the final release is ready. So you want to upgrade your application from 1.1 to 1.2. Although the 1.2 moniker suggests a ‘minor’ version, a lot has changed under the hood and entire API’s have been rebuilt.
At some point or another we’ve all had to make a data model that involved various flags to indicate different statuses / modes for an object. Often the schema for such a data model may end up looking like
I’ve had quite the busy last little month or two. My wife and I have been house shopping for a while, and found a place about 2 months ago. However, just last weekend we moved into our new (to us at least) condo in west Toronto.
The new sideproject is the CakePHP DebugKit . I’ve been hard at work building a ‘debug toolbar’ for CakePHP.
If you’ve ever tried to subclass a PHP4 static class you may have come to same conclusion that I have its a total pain in the neck. However, I think I’ve come up with a not too terrible approach.
I’ve been working hard over the last few weeks to improve the DebugKit and have added what I think are some pretty cool features. First up is
FireCake is a fully functional FirePHP library built specifically with CakePHP in mind.
I’ve recently been doing some work on some CLI tools, and I came across the need to “paginate” a long list of file. Instead of dumping out 40+ items to the screen all at once, which would be confusing and hard to read, I wanted a more elegant way of showing only a section on the huge list at once.
I recently wrote an article about testing CakePHP controllers the hard way where I covered testing controllers by running their methods manually. I hinted at some additional tricks that could be performed by using Mock Objects. Today I’m going to spill the beans on Mocks, and how I use them when testing my Controllers.
This is a quick trick I learned from master baker gwoo. If by chance you have multiple projects, and those projects share multiple plugins. You are in a bit of a pickle.
So I’ve been working away on DebugKit the last few weeks. And I think its at a level where I can suggest other people give it a whirl. Its not at a stable release point. But if you are feeling adventurous and don’t mind using beta code give it a try. There are a few notable features have been added, so in no particular order here they are.
Generating code coverage for test cases is a handy feature, it gives you a quick and easy way to determine how much of your code is running during your tests. It doesn’t ensure that the tests are good or that you have enough assertions, but code that doesn’t run definitely has not been tested. Before code coverage was created it was very difficult to determine how much code was being run.
Today marks the 1.1 release of DebugKit. After using it for the past few weeks and not finding any new issues or getting and new tickets. A few new features snuck into the release, courtesy of Andy Dawson.
When PHP got a real object oriented system in 5.0, it also got a neat feature taken from Java land. Reflection allows you to introspect & reverse engineer functions, classes, and extensions. In addition you can use reflection to extraction of documentation from classes and functions. In PHP Reflection is done using a number of Reflection classes.
Re-factoring code is a part of any programmers life or should be. Very few people write beautifully clean and well factored code from the start, and I am certainly not one of them. Most times my code starts out a sprawling tangle that takes an additional pass or two to look like something I would consider clean. I find that when programming and designing I start with a rough idea or sketch of what I want to accomplish.
In the ongoing struggle against code bloat and creative ways to do things, I’ve been playing with throwing exceptions from model methods. While not earth shattering stuff, I’ve found it to have a few advantages over returning
false. First, you can end up with less
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.
As a mac user, I’m a huge fan of the great work the people at MacPorts do. If you haven’t used MacPorts before, its basically a mac version of apt-get or rpm and allows you to install all kinds of unix-y goodness from source code on OSX.
With the help of Oscar Carlsson I’ve updated the AcoSync Shell and renamed it to the AclExtrasShell. With Oscar’s help we’ve added quick and easy ways to recover and verify your tree structures. AclExtras Shell also incorporates all the existing functionality of AcoSync Shell.
By now you’ve got an awesome Acl and Auth controlled app running. However, making navigation menus is a pain with dynamic, and variable permissions. Outside of making menu elements for each type of Aro and including them in your layout, there currently aren’t many options (at least none that I’m aware of). I was faced with this exact problem a while back, and couldn’t find a suitable solution, so I made one.
GeSHi or the Generic Syntax Highlighter is a simple yet powerful syntax highlighter for many languages. Implemented in many CMS. When I wanted syntax highlighting for my postings I decided to implement GeSHi. I wanted to share my implementation of GeSHi as a CakePHP helper.
So originally when I built this site, I was in the “requestAction is bad” camp. So much so that I created a convoluted Component to assist in the creation of the sideboxes featured on this site. A sample of that code is as follows:Show Plain Text
If you’ve been following the ongoing development of the 1.3 branch over at code.cakephp.org:http://code.cakephp.org. You may have noticed that bake has had a significant overhaul, and a number of features and enhancements have been built in.
Previously, I wrote about using two versions of PHP with macports . In it I covered installing PHP4 and PHP5. Since then PHP5.3 has been released as a stable release. However, I needed to maintain my PHP5.2 installation as I have a number of client projects that are on servers using PHP5.2. So to reduce version insanity I wanted to keep 5.2.
Shells are one of the more difficult objects to properly unit test. Since they normally run in a CLI context instead of a web context they provide some interesting challenges. The biggest hurdles are separating the Shell from the CLI environment, and simulating the correct arguments and parameters.
Although PHP5.3 is still hot off the press, and a very exciting release in its own right. I must say I’m far more excited about the grafts and traits that have been proposed for PHP6. While PHP6 is still a fair ways off from being released, Stefan Marr has backported the changes to PHP5.
vCards are a nice added touch for an application that acts as a Address book, or contact management. vCards are easily used by most mail clients, and are a plain text standard making them nice and easy to implement. While hCard and other microformats are gaining popularity, the widespread support still doesn’t exist. Leaving vCard as the primary format to transfer contact information out of a web application
If you are looking for part one go here
In the last article we created the basic models, controllers and views for our Auth and Acl controlled app as well as initialized the Acl tables. We also bound our groups and users to the Acl through the use of the
Now, there are many tutorials out there for Auth and ACL in CakePHP. However, none of them (as far as I know of) cover putting together Auth and ACL from beginning to end. That is what I’m going to do in this article. I am splitting the article into two parts; the first about setting up our app and getting the Aros running, the second on building Acos and putting it all together.
Websites need maintenance, and sometimes that maintenance requires the site to go down for a little bit as you tweak the database, add additional capacity or make large changes to the application code. In these circumstances you cannot afford to have users mucking about on your application. However, you might need access to ensure all your amazing upgrades go smoothly or perhaps do the upgrading inside the application itself.
Last night I updated this site to run on the latest 1.3 build. While I know I should have done it earlier, I simply haven’t had the time. And since I went through it, I figured I could document it and share what the upgrade process is like for a small site, that doesn’t see a ton of maintenance action like this one.
Earlier today I tagged and packaged up the 1.2 release of DebugKit. DebugKit 1.2 features a number of improvements and features over 1.1 which include:
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.
New for CakePHP 1.3 is the ability to create and use custom route classes for your application’s routing. In the past the router did double duty, managing route collections and routes were just arrays. In 1.3 Router underwent some surgery and
CakeRoute was extracted as an object to represent a single route. While
Router was left as a manager of routes.
By now you already know or should know about
CakeTestCase::testAction() and the wondrous things it can do. However,
testAction has a few shortcomings. It can’t handle redirects, it doesn’t let you use the power of Mocks, and its impossible to make assertions on object state changes. Sometimes you need to do things the hard way, stick your fingers in the mud and work it out.
Over the long Ontario weekend, I took some time to update Acl Extras. It now works with plugins and the improvements made to the Auth + Acl for 1.3. The
master branch contains the CakePHP 1.3 compatible version. While the
1.0.0 tag, and 1.0 branch are still compatible with CakePHP 1.2.
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.
I’ve just released another plugin for CakePHP. This one helps reduce the number of HTTP requests made by helping you concatenate and compress your asset files. I’ve been working on it on and off for about 3 months now, and am pretty happy with where it is. It includes both server side and client side libraries for loading compressed files.
NoSQL datasources are becoming a bigger part of our everyday life as web developers. If you haven’t heard about it before, MongoDB is a SQL free database built in C++.
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.
Normally when people think of the App class, they think of a file loader. However, App is also able to introspect your application and provide information about the resources it contains.
In the past I’ve used a variety of tools to deploy client sites, most often using version control. However, for my blog I’ve always used FTP. Its a pretty old-school approach, and something that I’ve been lacking the time to correct. Last weekend I finally took the plunge and figured out how to get Capistrano to deploy my site.
As you may or may not know CakePHP is transitioning to PHPUnit and with this transition comes a totally new Mock object interface/implementation.
In the recent bakery article concerning the ongoing development of CakePHP 2.0. The already underway migration from SimpleTest to PHPUnit was introduced. I wanted to go into some of the reasons and motivations for that decision as well as explain some of the long term benefits.
Often times you will need to query a distant table based on a condition on a close table. For example we have a store that has a table structure like the following:
Now we want to find the Division that a particular Item belongs to. In normal SQL we could do
I’ve been playing around with Twig in the last few weeks. I was in need of a template parser and wanted to avoid Smarty as I’ve had unpleasant experiences with it in the past, which lead me to Twig.
Since PHP lacks a decimal type, it only has floats and integers. Arbitrary precision floating points are reasonable once you stop expecting them to be precise. I’ve learned to deal with PHP’s floats, and arbitrary precision floats in general. However, floats behaving totally different based on the current locale, was something I didn’t expect.
Work on CakePHP 2.0 is moving along, and I wanted to take some time to discuss and explain one of the sizeable refactorings that has been done for 2.0. In previous versions request parameters were just a bunch of arrays that were copied to the various places they were needed in the framework.
A talk given at CakeFest 2010 about unit testing, mock objects and continuous integration.
The release of the new API at http://api.cakephp.org wasn’t quite as smooth as I would have liked it. However, since the initial release things have constantly been improving. The search is now much more effective, and global functions are now in the index. So things are looking better each day. I hope to answer a few questions surrounding ApiGenerator today.
Previously I wrote about the changes that have been done for the request handling in CakePHP 2.0. Response handling is another subsystem that has received a significant facelift. As with request information and functionality, response related features were spread across several objects.
Dispatcher all had a slice of the pie.
Continuing with the trend of CakePHP information here, I’m going to cover some of the acronyms and lexicon of CakePHP. I hang out a lot on #cakephp and there are repeating trends in some of the questions that get asked so hopefully I can answer some of those questions here. As well as provide a bit of my personal experiences.
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
I that showed up in the test run progress.
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.
Over the weekend I put some time into my AssetCompress plugin. A few remaining issues were fixed and a few new features have been added since the previous release.
Today, I tagged the 0.3 release for my AssetCompress plugin. A few new features have been added, and several issues resolved. You can get the code from github
The AssetCompress shell is now able to generate all the build files that are named in your project. This is great for integration with build/deployment scripts.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Slides from a short talk I gave at the Guelph PHP users group about Jenkins and continuous integration.
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.
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 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.
In the last article I went over the various static analysis tools I’ve found useful, and how to get them installed. For this installment, I’ll be going over how to use make to run all the tasks, and how to configure all the tools to work with Jenkins.
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.
Slides from a talk I gave at CakeFest 2012
Slides from a talk I gave at CakeFest 2012 about new features in CakePHP 2.1 and 2.2
At work we’ve been using selenium webdriver to enable automated browser testing as part of our regression suite. One of the most difficult parts we’ve had is maintaining DOM synchronization.
Many of the web applications I build have to talk to other webservices. Sometimes those services are internal API servers, sometimes they are external. In both situations, I want a simple, easy to use client library.
A while back I posted on twitter that I had figured out how to use xdebug & vim and promised to do a blog post on how I got it all working. This is that blog post. Before we can get started using Vim to remote debug PHP code, we’ll need to do a few things.
I try to keep fairly busy. Between work, being a dad, and working on existing open source projects, I found time to work on two new ones.
Profiling is a very interesting topic for me. I love spending time sifting through results trying to find ways to make code run faster or use less memory. XHProf is a C-extension created by Facebook.
In a previous post, I outlined some changes that would be coming for configuration in CakePHP 3.0. I’ve recently been thinking a great deal about configuration as well as building some prototype applications. I’ve come to the conclusion that configuration needed to change. Coupling all the classes to
Configure while convenient and simple, had a big drawback.
I recently had the opportunity to speak at PHP Conference Argentina . I’d like to thank Mariano and the other organizers for having me at the event. It was a fantastic opportunity for me to visit Buenos Aires, connect with some friends old and new, and give a new talk about my experiences working on CakePHP.
PHP5.5 has support for generators which are a powerful language feature available in other languages like Ruby and Python. While generators in PHP are very much like their Python counterparts, I wanted to give them a spin and try a few simple but useful examples of generators in action.
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.
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.
For a number of years, I’ve developed the AssetCompress CakePHP plugin. Simultaneously, I’ve maintained similar code at FreshBooks.
I’m excited to announce the availability of a PSR7 Bridge plugin for CakePHP. This plugin lets you bridge PSR7 Middleware with CakePHP 3.3+ applications.
I’d like to introduce a project I’ve been working on over the past few months. Stickler-CI helps automate the tedious process of ensuring coding standards are followed during pull requests. Like many teams, FreshBooks uses pull requests as a way to solicit feedback from other developers, ensure consistent coding practices and catch bugs before they can cause real problems.
Events are the bread and butter of interactive websites. However, attaching and detaching events to the DOM can create memory leaks and performance issues due to time spent attaching events. This normally is not an issue, unless you are binding a large number of events.
While I’m a big fan of Mootools I work on a few projects using jQuery, and have recently been working on a project that needed a custom markup editor. I’m a big fan of the markItUp editor. Its a flexible and easily extensible editor, that affords a great deal of features in a small package.
I’ve been working on a client project that involved some reasonable amount of SVG/VML work. In order to make my life more sane, I’ve been using RaphaÃ«l JS to do what it does best, which is provide a great API for making sexy vector graphics.
You may have seen the Analog.coop site recently and found some of the easter eggs, like the grid hot keys. I loved the concept, and made a mental note to spend some time reverse engineering/rebuilding it for my own uses. Well it just so happens that the guys at Analog have released the #grid on Github, which is great because it made it easier for me to adapt the code and do some small improvements.
A project I’m working on requires displaying small data driven sparkline charts. The data is a basic set of data showing activity over time.
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
: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.
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
If you’ve ever built a web application that wanted access to the visitor’s camera you know what a painful experience that can be. If used to involve flash or silverlight plugins or clunky java. Thankfully, browsers have started providing new API’s which are collectively referred to as WebRTC or Web Real Time Chat.
Well Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone. I’ve been busy as always and have put up a new character painting in the Digital Section. This is the first painting that I’ve done in Photoshop that is approaching the quality and feel of my oil work. As time is always at a premium these days, I will probably be doing a few more digital paintings. They are easier and less fussy to work on than oils.
A CakePHP shell to automate the creation and syncing of ACO's generated from an application's controllers and actions.
The folks at Packt Publishing were kind enough to send me a copy of their newly published book CakePHP Application Development to review. The book is authored by Ahsanul Bari and Anupom Syam, and is a quick read at 300 pages.
Cakefest 2 Argentina is quickly approaching. If you are sitting on the fence on going until the last minute then get off and come on down. Its going to be a good time with lots of great talks. I’ll even be there! I’m giving two talks one on Unit Testing and the other on plugin development. Hope to see you there.
To find out more about Cakefest follow the link.
Well I’m finally back in Canada after a somewhat hairy experience at JFK airport in New York, I’m home in the great white north. I had an awesome time at CakeFest and would like to thank all the sponsors and all the people who came out. It was a really great experience for me, and a pleasure to finally be able to put faces to the names and lines of text/code speak to / read each day.
These are the slides for a talk I gave at CakeFest : Buenos Aires on plugin development.
These slides were used in a 2 part talk given at CakeFest Argentina on unit testing in CakePHP
I’ve uploaded the slides from the talks I gave at CakeFest Argentina. Both unit test talks are one file, as that is how it was originally written. You can find them in my Downloads area. Hope you enjoy.
Earlier this evening the last 300 changes to CakePHP were merged into the trunk forming CakePHP RC4. It should be a painless update for all, and it brings us one step closer to a final stable release of 1.2, something we all look forward to.
If you’ve been to the http://api.cakephp.org today you may have noticed a few changes. First its no longer powered by doxygen. Doxygen has been giving us a few headaches in the last few months. So gwoo and myself have taken it upon ourselves to write our own Api generation tool. We called it ApiGenerator you can see it running at api.cakephp.org.
Well its been a while coming but today, DebugKit officially left GitHub. As noted in the past by some, the CakePHP family of projects were a bit scattered. So in an effort to consolidate everything, DebugKit has moved over to thechaw alongside other fabulous CakePHP projects like CakeBook and ApiGenerator.
As most people know TextMate is a pretty amazing text editor, probably one of the best for MacOS. What you may not know is that CakePHP has its own textmate bundle. this bundle is maintained by JoÃ«l Perras who is also a recent addition to the CakePHP core team.
Today is the one year anniversary of my first commit to CakePHP, amazing how time flies. It seems not too long ago that gwoo and nate approached me to join the core team and help with writing the tests for 1.2. What started with test cases soon bloomed into full blown commit access and had me working on all parts of the core. Year one also saw the creation of DebugKit which is nearing its 1.
What started out small has grown into an ugly tangled monster. As with many people’s github accounts, mine only had a few things in it at first and all was well. But as more code was written the repository began to smell and was in need of some splitting up. So that is what has been done.
Everyone can breath a sign of relief. Late last night there were rumours that CakePHP had died. Confusion and disbelief spread pretty quickly through twitter, and IRC. However, CakePHP is doing great, and is very far from dead.
This time last year, amid rumours that the end of CakePHP was nigh, CakePHP died and rose from the dead . The year that followed those events, has been a very exciting one. CakePHP continues to be a thriving project with huge popularity, and a growing community. This year has a number of milestones as well.
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.
I’ve recently been working a fair bit on the new documentation for CakePHP and while sphinx is amazing, it doesn’t come with a built-in domain for generating PHP documentation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The events system has become an integral part of CakePHP since its introduction in 2.1. When originally introduced, we needed to make a number of compromises in the implementation to facilitate compatibility with the code it was replacing. For 3.0, I wanted to revisit the event subsystem and try to make things more efficient and streamline the API a bit.
Making sure your freshly released CakePHP plugin still passes all of its tests can be a bit of a time sink. Setting up Jenkins for small project can be a big job. After I setup Jenkins once or twice, I personally longed for a simple way to get continuous integration with not much work.
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.
Earlier today, I packaged up AssetCompress 0.17. This release has a few noteworthy features.
Cached builds in development
Historically, in development every build file would be rebuilt on every request even if the source files did not change. While this works OK if you have a few build targets, it can get pretty slow if you have many build targets, big build targets or use a pre-processor like sass. As of 0.
One approach to scaling out a database for a multi-tenant application is to horizontally shard or partition the data by customer. This often takes the form of having multiple identical copies of an application’s schema in each shard. For example customer A’s data would be in shard 1, while customer C’s data would be in shard 2.
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.
A CSS pack to be used with geSHi clones 4 Textmate themes to be used on your site. Included themes are Mac Classic, Twilight, Dawn and Vibrant Ink
I’ve been a bit out of the loop due to the awesome weather we’ve been having in toronto as of late. I’ve just read through Jonathan Snookâ€™s article about CSS resets and how he doesnâ€™t use them and while I can totally understand his position and how he is okay with browser variances and typographic quirks.
All versions of Internet Explorer from 5.5 forward support CSS expressions. If you are not familiar with CSS expressions in IE, they are a powerful and non-standard way commonly used to plug the gaping and vast holes in IE’s CSS support.
Creating meaningful semantic HTML identifiers is something I always aim to do in my markup. I also thought this was something that other designers did as well. This past week I’ve found out just how wrong I was in that assumption.
Its been a few weeks of working in the evenings but its pretty much done. I’ve been wanting to do this redesign for a while now. 2 years ago when I built the version of this domain you’ve all come to know, I attempted to create a design that was different from other programming blogs, and fused my interests in both design and programming. I feel it turned out well.
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.
Well its almost done. As you can see, the main interface is done and the content has been reformatted and appended to. Futhermore, there are more images to look at. An entirely new section makes it debut as well. The clothing section has my t-shirt designs and will expand over time to other apparel. The shop section is still under construction, but should be done soon.
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.
I’ve been working on a project that collects various surveys and stores the data very much like below.
While this is a data structure is very normalized and provides a flexible base to build various surveys with. What it does not provide is an easy interface for building reports.
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.
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.
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.
I recently read write code every day by John Resig. I’ve been trying to follow a similar set of ideas for a while now. My rules were less restrictive than John’s were.
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.
While I’m a big fan of dependency injection, I find dependency injection containers less alluring. I’ve found that liberal usage of containers can make application code harder to follow, and often the container definitions go untested, creating a spawning pool for bugs.
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).
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.
Replacement icon for Eclipse. MacOS .icns format.