Category: Latest Developments

Fan fair for all that hard work

Zendcon!

It’s been an amazing past few months with lots going on! Maybe I will catch you up on it someday, winky-face…

But picking up where we left off… Zendcon!

Had such a great time last year that I signed up blind early bird! My particular focus last year was on asynchronous APIs and composer. I also attended a fascinating talk on open source AI projects.

Honestly, I was somewhat disappointed with the async solutions. I realize that conferences are for showing off the latest and greatest, but unfortunately that meant the currently available option is out of my reach for now. Wound up sticking with the solution that I have in place – will post the code if I get a chance.

But, if you don’t work on a xenophobic legacy codebase and have the luxury, then honestly I would recommend Postman or some other subscription service for reporting and monitoring API requests and request handling.

The talks on Composer, on the other hand, were so incredibly useful. It is akin to the moment that I learned about version control early in my career. It is easy to install, easy to configure, and easy to use. The single greatest benefit to me has been the ability to create private packages in conjunction with private github repositories. Although, full disclaimer, I don’t have autoloader working. I haven’t done much to look into that mind you, but it is a minor inconvenience at worst.

The upside is incredibly accessible and maintainabe codebases. It’s a no-brainer for anyone with multiple projects that have any overlapping custom components. It has been much easier to start new projects without additional maintenance overhead. For a small shop like mine it makes things possible that we could never have managed before. Three thumbs up!

So needless to say I have high expectations for the conference this year and can’t wait for Vegas in October!

 

The blog selection dilemma

When my next door neighbor and generally awesome person Kelly said she wanted a blog site the possibilities seemed endless. My company has been doing a lot of websites this year and I had high hopes of integrating a third party blog script into our custom rapid development framework. Its been a couple of years since I installed a blog and so of course I went out and looked at reviews, hoping to find something new.

Looking at reviews and feature lists, my first choice was called NibbleBlog. I read reviews, I read their site, and even went to GitHub for a quick code review. Having been burned by deploying small open source software packages in the past, I headed over to look at their open issues list. The first request was from a couple of weeks ago but was unanswered, regarding a bug when uploading photos. The lack of reply seemed to hint at abandonment but I read on. The next issue request was from a user who enjoyed the software package, but wanted to see support for seo-friendly urls. Buried in the ‘me too’ responses to that issue request was a quiet note from the package author stating that the software was no longer supported. Had I not thoroughly reviewed the open issues then I never would have known. Obviously I’m not going to deploy deprecated software, so I moved on.

I returned to the lists of options and sadly dismissed each one, all no longer supported or missing critical functionality. Many that are listed as free are actually not, and I have several reservations about purchasing blog scripts. Few offer support, and many are hosted on scary looking websites. Everyone’s first web coding project is a blog, and there’s no such thing as a free preview when buying scripts. There truly is no telling what the author’s skill level was. So, running out of time, I gave up and deployed WordPress.

Don’t get me wrong, WordPress is fine, but it doesn’t advance my original goals of creating a custom blog module. And I’m still salty after Polish spammers took over my last WP install and were hocking kayaks on my home page (not kidding). I get a lot of work requests to make custom WP apps, but I really wanted to offer a simple alternative to my clients.

So I am sad to report that, like Wal-Mart, WordPress seems to have effectively eradicated the little guy in the CMS and blog world. If you know of a php blog package that can integrate into an existing website, be sure to leave a comment. In the meanwhile, welcome to my WP blog!

 

Bomb Ass Domain Name

Drew, from AJ’s Home Services, LLC just landed a freaking sweet domain name for his upcoming site. I won’t spoil it until the site is ready, but way to go man!