The release of PHP 5.6 is imminent, and it’s about to bring a little-known debugging tool into the limelight and package repositories everywhere. Here’s a quick-start guide to making phpdbg useful.
The last two days I’ve been sprint-hacking the PHPList public API. What is PHPList, why an API, and what is a sprint-hack, you may ask. The first is a Free Software MailChimp competitor established 10 years ago, and available to install or use as a service. The second is for calling PHPList actions remotely (such as sending a newsletter), and for easy integration with other apps and websites. The third I guess you know: a hacking sprint is a short burst of effort to write or improve a project, typically (but not always) code.
As a software developer, you come to realise that most code in the world is not written by you. You also quickly learn that it’s generally faster to write new code, than to fix old code. Combine those two snippets of binary wisdom and you have the conclusion that most of your time working on software will be spent fixing other people’s code. Ouch!
I launched a new personal website last week, and changed my domain registrar and hosting company in the process. Being concerned how this would affect my primary email account (mail at samtuke dot com), and keen not to lose any of the 10.000+ messages that are stored there, I set about backing them up to a local folder. I also have an ancient Hotmail account, dating from 1997, containing all sorts of childhood contacts and life affecting discussions, and since Microsoft finally decided to allow users gratis use of the IMAP protocl, I decided to back up both email accounts to save time. Continue Reading
So you’ve heard about the plucky new all-in-one host-it-yourself Linux distribution that’s turning Raspberry Pi’s into Freedom Boxes? ArkOS is a nifty little Arch Linux spin-off with slick marketing and granny-friendly interface. Yes it runs owncloud, dovecot, XMPP, transmission, and many more. Fortunately you don’t need a Raspberry Pi to give it a spin: here’s how to run it on Ubuntu machines. Continue Reading
The bug in OpenSSL nicknamed “heartbleed” that was discovered this week has been labelled “catastrophic“, “11 out of 10” for seriousness, and credited with “undoing web encryption“. It reached the height of mainstream press yesterday with dedicated front page articles on The Guardian and and The New York Times. This Free Software bug is now known worldwide and is set to remain infamous for years to come. So what does all this mean for the reputation of Free Software? Continue Reading
People make mistakes. That’s why anyone worth their salt is using version control systems like Git for their code these days. The closest we can currently come to version control for Drupal products, is use of the revisioning system. And if you’re here, I’ll assume that you know what that is, and what it does. Continue Reading
Open Layers are great, Drupal are great, and the OpenLayers and associated Drupal modules that combine the two are especially great. Unless, like most modern security-conscious websites, you’re using encrypted connections to your server with SSL. In that case, maps are unfortunately invisible wherever they’re used, both on public pages, and in administrative and content editing pages. Continue Reading
At the end of last month KDE announced a new Open Hardware project to create a Raspberry Pi-like computer called “Improv“, produced by “Make Play Live” of Coherent Theory LLC. This is an important development that I’m delighted to see, and I plan to pre-order and get mine in March.
Marketing Free Software and Open Hardware based products, and specifically marketing to Free Software communities, is a fascinating and complex challenge. Let’s see if we can learn something from observing the journey of Make Play Live’s new product. Continue Reading
For I ❤ Free Software, I’m taking time to tell you about some Free Software that I love. And as everybody knows, I love Git.
I sing it’s praises, often literally, everywhere I work. Git provides the plumbing of my design, development, and decision making. No, it’s more like the golden contacts along which colleagues creative energies zip. It provides the neural pathways by which our collective brain may think. It is always there, the stalwart friend by my side, adapting to my needs, taking ever new and more serpentine challenges in its stride. I love Git. Continue Reading