Blogs

Derby & Meteor: Holy Sh** Programming Just Got Easy

I've been using Derby for a while, and have been monitoring it's direct competitor Meteor with hawk-eyes to make sure I'm in the right camp. The concenus is unanimous in both camps - web development is way easier today than literally one year ago. I've been shaking my head in disbelief as people publish Todo Lists, Project Management Systems, Social News, etc. Read more »

New Year's Resolutions: Improve Habits With an RPG

2013 is around the corner and you have a bucket list of habits to change with your New Year's resolutions. Spend more time with your family, get fit, lose weight, quit smoking, get out of debt, learn a new language, get organized.  Read more »

Finding Jobs as a Freelance Web Developer

TL;DR - There is a silver bullet, and it's traditional networking. User groups, Coworking spaces, etc.

Every week on Hacker News, I see "Ask HN: How do you find freelancing gigs?". The longest and wisest answer in those threads is always the same - networking. Physical, old-school, face-to-face networking. The thing coders do worst. We programmers would rather use automated solutions: oDesk, Freelancer, Elance, etc. In fact, those should work as effective gig-finding tools in my opinion. They match skills to posts, build reputation scores around freelancers and job providers, handle finances (if even one thing made these sites worth using, read: collections & taxes). oDesk even monitors coder activity for the uber micromanagers *gulp*. By all accounts, with the technology available in these web apps - I wish they were the best way for finding jobs as a freelancer. But they're not. 

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Gittip + GitHub For Project Royalties

Gittip (an awesome project) has potential beyond its intent. I want to discuss one such possible project: taking revenue made by commercial open-source GitHub projects and divvying it by percentage-contribution amongst its committers. Aka, royalties. The idea is to encourage profitable software to go open-source, and to pay contributors to those projects via royalties, using Gittip as the payment platform. I've built an HTML prototype for the project, follow along here. Read more »

Node.js PaaS Hosting Comparison

Disclaimer: I'm coming from the standpoint of DerbyJS deployment and a desire for Socket.io to work (even if it has to fall back on XHR polling, though Websockets is preferable). The process was thus: I had my site running on my own dev server which worked fine, and attempted deployment on all PaaS in the following comparison. They all had had issues and required adjustments and compromises to my app. In the end, Nodejitsu, Heroku, and Appfog all worked quite well, after some tweaking

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Reading Workflow Protip: How I Keep Up With Content Overload

This is going to sound complex at first, but this workflow has helped me substantially in managing my daily news & articles overflow. Hopefully it will help you too. Read more »

Agile trick: Workflowy + Pivotal Tracker

I use Workflowy a lot for for self-management & brainstorming while coding. If the project is also managed in Pivotal Tracker by a project manager, maintaining both causes content-duplication and I typically switch over to Pivotal. It's a shame since Workflowy is much better for structured documentation than tagged flat-lists (Pivotal) & a slew of disjoint feature/tech -specs spanning google docs, basecamp, etc. Read more »

Debug Drush in Eclipse

I've been debugging Drush using Geben on Emacs for a while now, which is a PITA to be honest.  So here's how I finally got XDebug working for Drush in Eclipse. Read more »

Drupal Upgrade vs Migrate

Drupal 7 is just around the corner, and it has such an architectural paradigm shift to make it quite difficult for those trying to upgrade. There are handful of modules which will be deprecated due to changes in architecture (namely fields-in-core).  Content Profile & Ubercart, while not being deprecated, are likely to lose out their new brands Profile2 and Drupal Commerce respectively.  The big dogs CCK, Views, & Panels will likely be delayed on their upgrade paths because of the complexity.  Because of all this, you need to figure out how you're going to be running your upgrade.  There are two possible methods I see, and another method on which I'd like to hear thoughts.

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Xdebug, Geben, & Emacs for PHP on Ubuntu 10.4

The default emacs package on Ubuntu is an older version which doesn't work with php-mode.el, sr-speedbar, and a bunch of other useful PHP-editing extensions. However, it's not sufficient to simply compile the latest Emacs from source, because you'll need the matching Xdebug version as well. So we'll need to install all three from source. Read more »

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