TDD Deciphered

Posted: 2017-02-09 12:16:58 by Alasdair Keyes

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I recently happened upon this website about how to use TDD when building a project. Although it's written for PHP and PHPUnit, the premise can be applied to any language. The great thing about this site over others is that it actually shows TDD on the lifecycle of a valid project, not just using trivial one off examples.

https://tdd-deciphered.com/


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PHP Apigen

Posted: 2016-12-28 20:34:21 by Alasdair Keyes

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After discussions at work on producing code documentation, I was introduced to http://www.apigen.org/.

I'm not quite sure how I've not seen it before, but it is very slick and certainly something I'm going to look at using int he future.

More information about what it does can be seen on their site, but it essentially reads the PHPdoc blocks in your code and outputs to a nice HTML page that you can publish.

The key part is just how easy it is, from the root of your project run

apigen generate --source src_folder --destination public/docs

You can easily add it into a script for jenkins or for local a development branch, add it into the post update/install commands of your composer.json.


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Strengthen your PHP Composer dependencies

Posted: 2016-12-21 22:38:22 by Alasdair Keyes

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For those of you that use Composer to install and manage dependencies in your PHP App, you may be interested in https://github.com/Roave/SecurityAdvisories.

When updating your dependencies, it will alert if the versions you are using contain known vulnerabilities. It's quite simple in it's operation, the composer.json file populates the conflict key with a list of package versions that are known to be insecure so composer will fail to update.

The list isn't exhaustive, but it contains a number of large packages such as Doctrine, Drupal, Zend, Symfony


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Blog update to markdown

Posted: 2016-11-26 12:27:11 by Alasdair Keyes

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For the duration of this blog's life the HTML for the post has been stored directly in the database.

I have now decided to move to Markdown as it is so much cleaner and easier to use. I've implemented the PHP Parsedown Library and the existing articles are slowly being migrate to markdown in small batches and the old ones still in HTML... because I really can't face changing all the articles at once. Hopefully if all has gone OK, you won't notice anything (as is mostly the way with IT)


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OSX Sierra Upgrade and broken dev tools

Posted: 2016-11-25 13:03:53 by Alasdair Keyes

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I upgraded my work Macbook from OSX El Capitan to Sierra after which git started returning a very unfriendly message

$ git status
git xcrun: error: invalid active developer path (/Library/Developer/CommandLineTools), missing xcrun at: /Library/Developer/CommandLineTools/usr/bin/xcrun

It turns out to be an issue with the OSX developer tools installation. Reinstall it with the following (requires sudo password) and you'll be good to go.

$ xcode-select --install


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Vagrant insecure key detected

Posted: 2016-11-17 22:26:51 by Alasdair Keyes

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I recently downloaded the Ansible Tower free trial.

They have an easy to use Vagrant setup, however when running it on my Linux Mint box, I received the following error

default: Inserting generated public key within guest...
default: Removing insecure key from the guest if it's present...
default: Key inserted! Disconnecting and reconnecting using new SSH key...
default: Warning: Authentication failure. Retrying...
default: Warning: Authentication failure. Retrying...

If the box is just a trial and security is not of prime importance, you can add the following to the Vagrantfile to resolve it.

config.ssh.insert_key = false

And you it should build fine and allow you access with a vagrant ssh


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Sullen Server

Posted: 2016-09-12 20:54:42 by Alasdair Keyes

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Sad Server is sad.

https://twitter.com/sadserver


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Up and atom

Posted: 2016-08-28 13:51:25 by Alasdair Keyes

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Over the past week, I've been trying to move towards using an IDE for my personal projects. I use PHPStorm at work, however I would like to use Open Source at home. I like the power of VIM, but sometimes I feel like I'm being held back by not utilising the full functionality available on a dedicated IDE. I've been doing a bit of testing and I quite like Github's Atom IDE.

There's more than enough posts about what's good and bad with it, I won't rehash it. However I do like the extensibility of it, having installed a number of packages to provide extra functionality. In keeping with being able to set up my machines from a fresh install with Puppet.. The following puppet snippet will install atom and the required packages from the $apm_packages array.

Due to the use of the puppet "each" function you will need to run this with the future parser option puppet apply --parser=future puppet_file.pp

$apm_packages = [
  "file-watcher",
  "perltidy",
  "perldoc",
  "linter-perl",
  "linter-puppet",
  "language-puppet",
]

$my_system_user = "bill";

file { "personal_atom_package_folder":
  path      => "/home/$my_system_user/.atom/packages/",
  ensure    => "directory",
  require   => Package["atom"],
}

each($apm_packages) |$package_name| {

  exec { "apm_$package_name":
    path        => [ "/usr/bin", "/bin" ],
    command     => "apm install $package_name",
    creates     => "/home/$my_system_user/.atom/packages/$package_name",
    user        => $my_system_user,
    environment => ["HOME=/home/$my_system_user"],
    require     => Package["atom"],
  }
}


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Open Source Slack

Posted: 2016-08-27 14:43:02 by Alasdair Keyes

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Slack has been gaining a lot of traction for collaboration in the IT world over the last few years and it's quite a good tool but the "Cloud" aspect of it and the potential lack of privacy that comes with it is a big concern. Slack is often used to transfer files with business data and transmit data passwords (a practice I'm very much against). Although it uses TLS to stop snoopers betweeon your client and Slack itself, having Slack hold on to all your conversations is a worrying proposal for a business.

Enter Mattermost, an open source alternative to Slack that you install into your own infrastructure. It has a free cut-down version and further more advanced versions for a fee, however the basic slack functionality you're used to is all available in the free version.

The interface is heavily influenced by Slack and everything is where you'd expect and includes apps for all major OSes including Linux.

The downside of Mattermost is the management of the stack on your infrastructure, backups, updates etc but if you have an existing IT team, this should be a very minimal workload addition for the security and peace of mind that all your shared files/conversations are all stored in-house.

For testing they also provide an easy to install docker image, well worth a test.


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Auto claim Packtpub free learning ebook

Posted: 2016-06-12 21:10:55 by Alasdair Keyes

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A while ago I posted about Packtpub Free Learning eBooks and wrote a little script to email you the free book of the day (without subscribing to their mailing lists).

After having missed a few good books because I was away from my computer, I decided to write a script that will auto claim these books everyday. It's up on https://gitlab.com/alasdairkeyes/claim_packtpub_free_learning_ebook. Simply download the script to a computer with Perl on it, add in your Packtpub email and password run it and it will login and claim the book and then output the title of the book and a link to view it. Add it to cron and you will never miss a book!


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