The best way to get the full PHP version string

Jeff Geerling shares the best way to get the full PHP version string.  I’d think that “php –version” externally or “echo PHP_VERSION” internally would do the job.  However, that’s not exactly right, as there are a number of inconsistencies on different platforms.  The best option seems to be the combination of the PHP_MAJOR_VERSION, PHP_MINOR_VERSION, and PHP_RELEASE_VERSION constants.


jq: deep comparison of 5GB files

I’ve blogged about jq – a lightweight and flexible command line JSON processor – a few times already (look here and here).  Today I came across this blog post that showcases jq in deep comparison of really large JSON files (5 GB or so).  This is not something that I need on a daily basis, but I’m sure it’ll come in handy one day.

Unix Folklore

Unix Folklore brings back a few bits of UNIX history from the Bell Labs:

The UNIX operating system, which was created by Ken ThompsonDennis Ritchie, and others at Bell Labs in the early 1970’s, revolutionized the computer industry in ways that are still felt today. Researchers at Bell Labs continued to develop UNIX (in various forms) for more than 30 years. For most of that time, UNIX researchers shared the same physical lab space which allowed a lot of folklore to accumulate over the decades. The lab is now gone but archivists at Bell Labs saved everything that was in the room – creating a time capsule of computing’s past. These are some of the curiosities taken from the UNIX research lab at Bell Labs headquarters in Murray Hill, New Jersey. Each has its own story – some widely known, others now forgotten.

Visa List – visa and documents info for 238+ countries

Visa requirements and document checklists are a tricky subject when it comes to travel and tourism.  On one hand, most of this information is public.  On the other – it is often hidden deep in government websites, or not available in English, etc.

Visa List is an excellent website with a really easy user interface, which presents all that information and more for 238+ countries.

Excellent work!

DevHub: TweetDeck for GitHub

If you are spending a lot of time on GitHub, following people, teams, and projects, then checkout DevHub – a TweetDeck-like application for GitHub that works on Android, iOS, and as a web application.

It conveniently brings together your repositories, notifications, and all the other goodies, helping you to significantly cut down the time and mouse clicks.

On good commit messages

The evolution goes on.  Now that we’ve kind of sorted out most of our infrastructure, development tools, flows and processes, I guess, it’s time to look deeper into the things we’ve had for a while and reiterate over them.

Recently, I’m seeing a lot of blog posts on articles on how to write good commit messages.  Sure, we’ve had these for a while.  But lately things get a little bit more serious.

Here’s one (in Russian) that I’ve read recently.  Here’s another one (in English) that shares some of the concepts and suggestions.

What are they saying?  Well, “write better commit messages”, obviously.  But there are a couple of specific bits which I found interesting.  They are:

  • Conventional Commits – a specification for adding human and machine readable meaning to commit messages.
  • Commitizen (git cz) – a tool that help to write conventional commits.

For the skeptics among you, I slightly share your feeling.  It does seem like a bit too much overhead.  But as someone who works with an ever-growing team on a large number of projects, I think there is a place for it.  It’ll take a while to integrate, update the process, and enforce the discipline, but I think it’s well worth it.  At the very least, it deserves a try.

Jon Richardson: A Little Bit OCD

I really enjoyed Jon Richardson’s documentary on the obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD).  OCD is one of those weird mental disorders where almost everyone has it to some degree.  It can even be funny at times (especially during those code review or paired programming sessions).  But it can get extremely serious, to the point of people actually dying from it.  And it can progress real quick too.

It’s OK to have a laugh here or there, but it’s also important to remember that it’s not just a hip thing to say, and that there are people who suffer significantly from the OCD.

Very eye-opening. 

Internet Search Tips

This title almost sounds stupid, right?  I mean, pretty much everyone who has ever been online knows how to Google.  Even kids.

But I promise you it’s not.  Searching for quick and simple stuff – yes, sure, is easy.  But not many people I’ve met know how to use even Google’s advanced search options (despite there being a gadzillion articles online), let alone other search engines.  Searching for something non-trivial, like research papers and books, is even trickier.

Hence the Internet Search Tips.  Here’s the intro from the author:

Over time, I developed a certain google-fu and expertise in finding references, papers, and books online. Some of these tricks are not well-known, like checking the Internet Archive (IA) for books. I try to write down my search workflow, and give general advice about finding and hosting documents.