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The Dangers of Misinformation →

Marcus Zarra on the dangers of misinformation:

As developers, we are frequently using the internet to help us solve issues. We run across an error code, a crash, or another type of problem and we usually go to the internet. With the vast amount of knowledge that is available, and the incredible search engines that we have at our disposal, it is pretty easy to find someone else who has already run across the issue. Sites like StackOverflow make it even easier to find other people who have experienced the issue we are running across.

The issue is that we don’t really know if the information being shared with us is accurate. The author of that post, or response, may be guessing. They may have found a hack or workaround that kind of works, for now. They may be completely wrong and are treating a symptom as the actual problem.

I agree with the premise of this whole article. It’s so hard in the ever changing world of tech to know what is still accurate and what isn’t. Just today I had to update a tutorial I wrote back in September. The basics of it was the same, but the dependencies changed enough to make it not work and in turn cause frustration for readers.

I’ve noticed in my own searching habits, that when looking for tutorials I always look for the published date. If it’s over six months old chances are it isn’t even accurate.

Gulp, Bower, and Bootstrap SASS Example App

A few months back I created a tutorial on Setting up Gulp, Bower, Bootstrap Sass, & FontAwesome. If you had problems with the tutorial I’m sorry. Apparently the gulp-ruby-sass npm module I used is undergoing some changes causing the SASS to error out and never compile. I have updated that post to recommend sticking with version ^0.7.1 until v1 stables out.

I’ve also created a GitHub repo with everything setup. This way you can see the exact versions of dependencies I used in the tutorial.

What I do find odd is I had a similar problem with Laravel Elixir a few weeks back. It uses node-sass but something must be going on with the development of both of these plugins. Hopefully, it will all be sorted out and I can stop pulling out my hair.

Call Laravel Artisan Seed From Your Code

There are certain times when using Laravel that you would like to migrate and seed the database. Typically this is done via the Artisan command line tool with:

php artisan migrate --seed

You can also call this in your code with the following:

Artisan::call('migrate', ['--seed' => true]);

Nice and simple but the second parameter always trips me up.

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Behind the App →

Behind the App is a new documentary style podcast series about iOS app development.  It has the feel of the popular Serial podcast and sets a new bar for other tech podcasts.

I’m personally excited about this and I’m hoping it starts a shift to a more polished style. Instead of the typical, here’s our guest, now we’ll talk for an hour.

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Interviewed →

Mubashar Iqbal started a new site to list people interviewed on podcasts:

I listen to a lot of podcasts, and noticed that some folks were appearing on a few of them. They would often talk about the same subject (a new startup they launched for example), but from a slightly different perspective.

After I noticed this, I tried to find other podcasts that these people appeared on. This turned out to be very difficult.

I decided to try and make this easier, and the idea for Interviewed was born.

This is such a great idea and a nice way of keeping up people you are interested in and seeing all the old interviews they’ve done. I’m also listed for the few podcasts I’ve been on over the years.

How to setup WordPress with Forge and DigitalOcean

Laravel Forge is a service that handles creating servers on popular cloud hosting providers. I use it to host my WordPress sites with DigitalOcean and to handle auto deployments from a git push.

Installing WordPress on a cloud server you need to plan for failure. Typically there is no guarantee that you will not wake up one morning and find the server just gone. I’ve personally ran into that with AWS in the past and now I always plan for it. [Read more…]

8 Laravel Packages For Your Next Project

The best way to spread Christmas Cheer, is singing loud for all to hear. –Buddy

Since my singing is terrible, I’m going to spread developer cheer by posting my eight favorite Laravel packages of 2014. These are in alphabetical order.

Carbon

This is included with the Laravel core but it’s worth mentioning because of how much I use it. Dealing with dates has never been easier.

Debugbar

All the behind the scenes information you need to ensure your app is running smoothly and efficiently.

Envoy

Envoy allows you to run SSH commands on a remote system. I use it for everything from local tasks to deployments.

Laravel DomPDF

This makes creating PDF’s nice and simple by wrapping the DomPDF library in a Laravel familiar syntax.

Laravel Generators

Speed up your workflow with these time saving generators. It includes commands for almost everything.

Laravel IDE Helper

If you use PhpStorm then this package is a must have. I use it on all my projects and it makes your IDE play nicely.

Intervention

Every project seems to have to deal with image uploads in one form or another. Intervention makes image uploading and processing a breeze.

Parsedown

I use this whenever I need to parse markdown. It is fast, consistent, and easy to use.

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All the projects I worked on this year, Snappy and one or two side projects, were really focused and I didn’t have a chance to implement a lot of the other packages. Hopefully that changes over the next year because the community has created so many. I’d love to have the time to explore all of them.

Thanks to everyone who created in 2014!

Did I miss your favorite? Share in the comments.

WordPress Word Counter

WordPress Total Words Counter

As the year is coming to a close a lot of sites are creating year in review style posts. I love these because I find it interesting how my stuff compares to them and I try to find little nuggets of information on what I should be doing better.

Alex King has been doing this for the past 9 years and has created a little gist for generating a lot of useful stats.

To take this a step further I wanted to count the total words I published for the year and I put together a little script if you’d like to do the same:

Granted this method is simple and the php function str_word_count is not entirely accurate. If you’d like to get fancy a Word Stats plugin does exist but I found that it wouldn’t work at all with the current version.