Distributed Architecture Faking with Vagrant

Posted 2012-12-02
Category DevOps
Working for Kapture I've been charged with something I've never really had to do before: Managing a big-ass architecture of different servers that all handle different tasks. Theoretically I've always known how it works, and I've worked in projects that have had these systems, but I've never been put in charge of how that whole situation works out. So this little web developer had to do a lot of learning.
 

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Puppet or Chef?

Posted 2012-10-28
Category DevOps
Back in the UK at PHPNE this May I saw an awesome talk from Ian Chilton, who explained very simply why using Vagrant for your development environments was a good idea. He mentioned briefly server provisioning but didn't get fully into it, and suggested we go out and play with Puppet and Chef to see which fit our needs. 

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Bye Bye PHP 5.2

The reason these applications do well is because PHP hosting has been widely available for over a decade. Because PHP is on 90% of hosting setups from dedicated systems to cheap $4 a month deals, application developers have targeted PHP to help them reach their highest audience. Sadly, PHP hosts have always been slow to upgrade, but now it seems like the vast majority have finally made PHP 5.3 a viable option not just for in-house teams but for those building distributable applications too. Finally bidding farewell to PHP 5.2 feels good!

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Cloud Hosting for PHP: The Eternal Pipe Dream

This time last year I was extremely excited about the future of Heroku-style PHP hosting services (or PaaS), which would allow developers to quickly and easily set up small hosting environmemnts that grow and scale horizontally and vertically to allow ridiculous levels of traffic. I was so excited I posted an article saying 2012 would be the year for PHP to move to the cloud. This is an account of why after a year it still sucks.

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Package Watch: Image Management

Posted 2012-09-19
Category PHP
For years I was locked into using the same frameworks for everything, mainly because my clients were hiring me specifically to use CodeIgniter based on my reputation within the community.  Now that is not the case and I can build things however I damn well like, so I am doing it properly and that is using Composer. I tweeted about some useful libraries I found, so here is what they are with an explanation of the approach and why I used it.

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No-DB Content Management Systems

Posted 2012-09-18
If you're following many designers on Twitter then you'll notice that they've just started noticing flat-file (or "No-DB") content management systems. The basic idea is you swap out the database and complicated admin panels for a simple file and folder structure and use Markdown files instead of clunky WYSIWYG boxes to manage your content. These have some pros and cons, but can definitely be an awesome tool to have in your arsenal.

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Moving On

My entire career seems to have come from being a CodeIgniter developer, and a vocal one at that. Since then I have risen up through the ranks of CodeIgniter developers to be active in maintaining it, but with my new job I just don't need to be on the team anymore. PHP 5.2 is finally dead to me, and as such I do not need to be part of a framework which focuses of PHP 5.2 compatability! It's not just CodeIgniter though, I am dropping as many of my responsibilities as I can to make way for an exciting [secret] new job.

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Understanding Circumstance

Posted 2012-08-21
"I have been working for years in this industry and I have never needed to do what you do. Therefore your opinion is obviously wrong."

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CICONF - Mission Complete

Posted 2012-08-21
Category Events
Another trip to the States and another CodeIgniter Conference complete. This is a quick roundup for anyone who didn't make it to the conference this year.

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Why PHP DateTime Rocks

Posted 2012-08-01
Category PHP
Working as a freelancer and contracter sometimes I come accross some code that is so terrible I have to laugh, then immediately tweet a screenshot for others to laugh. I think this is fairly healthy, but one reaction I get fairly often is "Yuck, PHP!". Really that should be "Yuck, PHP 4!" I've been using PHP since 4.0.1 and I remember it well. It was terrible. Whenever I see these chunks of code I like to see how clean I can make them with PHP 5.3 + code and DateTime has saved me a lot of lines.

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