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Ross Tuck:
Precision Through Imprecision: Improving Time Objects
Aug 10, 2017 @ 11:29:04

In a recent post to his site Ross Tuck looks at improving time objects with imprecision, basically determining the granularity you require and using that in all time operations.

When modeling important numbers, it’s considered good form to specify the precision. Whether it’s money, size or weight; you’ll typically round off to a given decimal point. Even if it’s only for user display, rounding off makes the data more predictable for manipulation and storage.

Unfortunately, we don’t often do this when handling time and it bites us in the rear.

He gives an example of a use of the DateTime handling in PHP and possible inconsistencies when working with the time portion. He offers three possible solutions: one where the time is specified correctly, making a relative modification on the object being checked and, his ultimate solution, just "throwing away" the time and not worrying about it. He then shows how to encapsulate this checking and a few other issues that can come with date/time and evaluations (like equals checks).

tagged: datetime imprecision time object date tutorial

Link: http://rosstuck.com/precision-through-imprecision-improving-time-objects

Jordi Boggiano:
PHP Versions Stats - 2017.1 Edition
May 09, 2017 @ 09:16:21

Jordi Boggiano, author and lead developer on the Composer project has posted his latest updates sharing the PHP version statistics for the first part of 2017.

It's stats o'clock! See 2014, 2015, 2016.1 and 2016.2 for previous similar posts.

A quick note on methodology, because all these stats are imperfect as they just sample some subset of the PHP user base. I look in the packagist.org logs of the last month for Composer installs done by someone. Composer sends the PHP version it is running with in its User-Agent header, so I can use that to see which PHP versions people are using Composer with.

He starts with the differences between now and the last time he ran the stats with a nice trends towards the PHP 7.x releases, especially PHP 7.1. He shares some graphs of the overall version distribution and a time-related graph showing changes in usage over time. Finally, he ends the post the same way as the others showing requirements of packages and how they've changed since the last update (what version a package requires).

tagged: version statistics results graph time php7 2017

Link: https://seld.be/notes/php-versions-stats-2017-1-edition

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Can 9-to-5 Developers Be Good Developers?
May 04, 2017 @ 12:42:25

On the SitePoint PHP blog editor Bruno Skvorc has written up an article that wonders if 9-to-5 developers can be good developers.

While picking talks for the conference he’s organizing, James Titcumb recently tweeted that well known speakers get picked over others because, among other things, they’re reliable (i.e. they don’t cancel). I would argue that “among other things” carries more weight – I believe that most conference organizers pick such talks and speakers because they like to play it safe and fear risks.

Bruno gets into some of his own opinions about conferences and speaker selections first, noting that he sees a lot of organizers "playing it safe" with topics and speakers (and the idea of "intellectual diversity"). He then talks about the 9-to-5 developers out there that haven't been exposed to a lot of these "safe" topics because they don't branch out of their corporate bubble and attend conferences. He ends the post reflecting on one of the most used excuses for not branching outside of work hours - time, it being a "precious resource" and ideas about balance.

tagged: 9to5 developer good conference speaker opinion time

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/can-9-5-developers-good-developers/

TutsPlus.com:
Building Your Startup: Ajax for Meeting Times and Places
Jan 02, 2017 @ 13:10:42

The TutsPlus.com site has posted the next in their "Building Your Startup" series of tutorials covering the use of Yii2 to create a calendaring application. In this new part of the series they continue migrating some functionality over to use an Ajax-powered system, reducing the need for page reloads.

Last week, I delved deeper into Ajax to transform the meeting scheduling experience into a fully ajaxified model and eliminated the need for page refreshes. I got about halfway, focusing mostly on the straightforward elements.

In today's tutorial, I'll guide you through the more complex content panels that required a lot more troubleshooting, research, debugging, brainstorming, and recoding. [...] I'm also going to show you how I used Google's Chrome browser developer console to help me identify the broken areas—which can be especially difficult when working with Ajax between PHP and JavaScript. It's like light at the end of the tunnel of darkness.

The tutorial then walks through the updates needed to move over various pieces of functionality to the Ajax-driven model:

  • adding meeting participants
  • adding dates and times
  • adding meeting places

There's also a few screenshots included of the Chrome developer console and what some of the example request/responses look like, helping you debug your own development work.

tagged: startup ajax meeting time place series refactor feature tutorial

Link: https://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/building-your-startup-ajax-for-meeting-times-and-places--cms-27327

Matt Trask:
Looking at Ramsey UUID
Aug 24, 2016 @ 09:16:56

Matt Trask has put together a new post spotlighting a handy library that's widely used across the PHP ecosystem for generating UUIDs: ramsey/uuid.

Welcome to the first installment in my 2113918230981 part series, "Better know a Package!". Tonight's package: the famous/infamous Uuid package that that taught us all what Ramsey is in Scottish, Rhumsaa. Created to give PHP a library to generate Universal Unique Identifiers, this library has been a stallwort in the community. Ben Ramsey created it first under the Rhumsaa namesapce before moving it to the Ramsey namespace, saving us all from learning more Scottish then we needed to ever learn.

[...] A UUID, or Universally Unique Identifier, will generate a 128 bite unique key in different series based on the version you asked for. RFC-4122 dictates how Uuids should be generated, and recommends 4 types.

Matt then goes on to describe each of the different UUID types and provides some code examples as illustration:

  • Version 1: Time and MAC addressed based Uuid
  • Version 2: DCE-based
  • Version 3: UUIDs based on a namespace and then it is MD5 hashed
  • Version 4: Random generation (based on the output of random_bytes

He also includes examples of the UUIDs output by each method (not much difference there as the structure of the resulting UUID is all the same).

tagged: uuid ramsey library introduction types namespace random mac time tutorial

Link: http://matthewtrask.net/blog/Looking-At-Ramsey-Uuid/

FreeCodeCamp.com:
Bill Sourer - Finding Time to Become a Better Developer
Jun 30, 2016 @ 10:35:48

On the FreeCodeCamp Medium blog Bill Sourer shares some tips you can use to find time to become a better developer in the fast-based, sometimes crazy world of software development.

There’s no time for anything. At least that’s how it feels doesn’t it? No time to learn all the things you think you need to learn to stay ahead of the curve. No time to go back and refactor that ugly piece of code. It works (sort of) and there’s a deadline approaching. No time to write unit tests for everything. No time to write documentation or comments for the next guy who gets stuck maintaining what you wrote. No time to think. No time to breathe. No time!

Well… if you take the time to read this article, I promise you’ll find yourself with more time for what’s important.

He breaks it down into five main tips (here's a tl;dr for those in a rush):

  • You don’t need to learn every new thing in order to stay relevant.
  • Writing good code takes less time than writing bad code, BUT it doesn’t feel that way.
  • Working 24/7 does NOT make you a hero. Managing expectations does.
  • Not all time spent “improving” code has the same ROI.
  • Scheduled down time makes you more productive.

Each item on the list has a paragraph or three explaining it in a bit more detail. There's also some other interesting ideas and thoughts in the comments of the post from other readers.

tagged: better developer time management suggestion tips top5

Link: https://medium.freecodecamp.com/finding-time-to-become-a-better-developer-eebc154881b2#.6ojvwlad0

Procore Blog:
Evolution of Software Applications
Jan 12, 2016 @ 11:55:19

On the Procore blog there's an excellent article covering their thoughts on the evolution of software applications and the different stages they go through during their development.

If you develop software long enough, you notice patterns. One pattern that isn’t talked about enough is how systems evolve over time.

The software industry is so focused on the flavor of the week that we lose perspective. Most of what is “invented” today was created decades ago. Most problems we face today were solved by someone else.

Software developers don’t have a good understanding of our own history. In the spirit of that, I present to you my take on how software tends to evolve and why.

He starts by defining a term that is used through the rest of the article, software gravity, and illustrates how it relates to development time and complexity. He then gets into describing the seven stages of software evolution as he sees them (starting with zero, naturally):

  • Stage 0: Humans, Paper, and Spreadsheets
  • Stage 1: Simple Script
  • Stage 2: Pile Of Files
  • Stage 3: The Framework
  • Stage 4: Beyond The Framework
  • Stage 5: Modularization
  • Stage 6: Network System

For each of the points he provides an overview of what the application might be like at this stage and what levels the complexity/gravity are at. The post ends by asking about a "Stage 7" and if it even exists, suggesting that it might be an even further abstraction from previous steps.

tagged: evolution software application gravity complexity development time stages

Link: http://devblog.procore.com/dev/evolution-of-software-applications.html

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Suggesting Carbon with Composer – Date and Time the Right Way
Nov 16, 2015 @ 09:16:58

On the SitePoint PHP blog there's a tutorial that's been posted spotlightling a PHP library that can make working with dates and times simpler: Carbon . In this new tutorial they walk you through what the library has to offer and plenty of examples of it in use.

Carbon is a small library for date and time manipulation in PHP. It relies on and extends the core DateTime class, adding helpful methods for a significantly saner experience.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some basic usage examples, and then use it in a real project.

They start with the installation (via Composer) and a few examples of it in use, determining if a given date string is a weekend, in a leap year, etc. They also talk about localization support and working with time intervals. He then gets into the more real-world part of the example, updating the Diffbot client to optionally support Carbon for its date/time handling. He starts with some tests to define how he wants the handling to work and how to use it to parse the date returned from the DiffBot API.

tagged: carbon datetime library tutorial date time diffbot client api

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/suggesting-carbon-with-composer-date-and-time-the-right-way/

Dylan Bridgman:
Improving perceived load time
Aug 06, 2015 @ 09:43:34

On Medium.com Dylan Bridgman has posted a tutorial with a few tips helping you improve the perceived load time of your application, the time between when the page starts loading and the user can first do something with its contents.

In this article I will concentrate on perceived load time. That is the time from when a page starts loading until the user is able to proceed. There have been other articles on this topic, some of which go into far more detail in some areas. My intention is to give a summary on the latest information and what you should be doing in PHP. I will link to additional information where applicable.

He breaks the advice up into three main categories: output buffering, multiple connections and using correctly structured pages. Under each section there's a few sub-points with more information, details on implementation and links to other additional information. He also includes an example that combines all of the advice into one PHP/HTML script outputting some basic content.

tagged: perceived load time tutorial outputbuffer thread structure

Link: https://medium.com/@dylanbr/improving-perceived-load-time-a83aa32851b0

That Podcast:
Episode 21: The one with all the screen time
Aug 05, 2015 @ 13:47:25

That Podcast, hosted by Dave Marshall and Beau Simensen, has posted their latest episode today: Episode #21 - The one with all the screen time.

Beau and Dave change gears and get to some family talk, discussing managing kids with devices and screen time, football/soccer, dance and swimming activities, Beau announces his new position with Monii.com, then the guys get back in their comfort zone and talk briefly about continuous integration services, docker and CQRS.

Other topics and people mentioned in this episode include Symfony Live London, the Three Devs & A Maybe podcast, Jeff Carouth, Circle CI and many more. You can listen to this latest episode either through the in-page audio player or by downloading the mp3 directly. Also be sure to subscribe to their feed and follow them on Twitter if you enjoy the show.

tagged: thatpodcast ep21 screen time beausimensen davemarshall

Link: https://thatpodcast.io/episodes/episode-21-the-one-with-all-the-screen-time