Blog» Technology

Screenshot of the lite version of this blog

I strive to optimise this blog's performance as well as I can. But chasing a goal of a lightweight website while keeping it pretty prevented me from realising the obvious truth that the most performant assets are… no assets.

So, inspired by Sijmen J. Mulder's directory of text-only websites, I decided to create a bare version of my blog.

Here's how it went:

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avris.it/lite

Yet another one of my projects, Naked Adventure, grew too outdated to support it. I had to rewrite it from scratch.

I took the opportunity to redesign it as well. (screenshots before & after at the bottom)

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naked-adventure.eu

I've already complained about my mySN laptop here and here, but now it turns out, there's a part three to be written...

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Hackers know your password. I'm like 99% sure they do. Just go to ';--have i been pwned? and enter your email(s). See? Your password is as good as public.

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Yet another one of my projects, Avi • Simple placeholder avatars, grew too outdated to support it. I had to rewrite it from scratch.

I took the opportunity to redesign it as well.

Continue reading… avi.avris.it gitlab.com/Avris/Avi
Coffee with milk

The most important maths lesson in my life wasn't actually that hard. It wasn't even really about maths.

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I've seen some begginer programmers asking themselves: why do I even need constants? Variables I get, they're super important, but why have an extra thing that's like a variable, but worse? It can't even change! And if I know that const NUMBER_OF_COLUMNS = 3, why can't I just write 3?

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My workspace

Here's a list of tools that I use for work and can fully recommend:

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My new blog, despite being simple and freshly rewritten, loads way too much crap... So I took a few moments to optimise it a bit – and I ended up with almost 50% reduction in resources size in just two steps!

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avris/fontawesome-optimiser
Screenshot of the new version of the blog

It wasn’t really supposed for the New Year, but I’ve had plenty of free time on my hands during the holiday break, so here it is already: a brand new version of my blog 🥳

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For quite a while my VPS was misconfigured – any HTTP requests it got but couldn’t assign to a vhost, it redirected to the main website, avris.it. I didn’t think it would be a big deal, until I recently found out that my post Ungoogling is indexed by Google under https://askara.avris.it/blog/ungoogling

This subdomain hadn’t existed for a long time already, my server doesn’t serve a certificate for it anymore, but it requires HSTS, so browsers end up showing users a scary error message.

I had to do something about it.

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? Chcemy, żeby jak najwięcej Obywateli mogło wziąć udział w wyborach i referendach. Głosowanie elektroniczne to już standard w zachodnich demokracjach. Czas i na Polskę! #KoalicjaObywatelska #SzóstkaSchetyny

Platforma Obywatelska obiecała, że wprowadzą głosowanie elektroniczne. Ta partia nie jest znana z realizowania obietnic, więc nie boję się zbytnio, że ten okropny, okropny pomysł wejdzie dzięki nim w życie. Ale temat mnie poruszył, bo widzę, jak bardzo ludzie są zafascynowani taką opcją i jak bezkrytycznie ją popierają, myśląc, że skoro wszystko inne jest lepsze dzięki komputerom, to głosowanie też musi.

Otóż wcale nie musi.

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An image search brought be to Pinterest, which automatically… logged me in to an old account, I didn’t even remember I had. I definitely never logged in on this browser.

The just logged me in without asking. WTF?!

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Did anyone receive a message recently that contained a video of me watching porn? 😆

Because apparently I was being blackmailed that all my contacts would receive it, if I don’t pay 202€ in BTC. Alas, I didn’t check the spam folder, so I’d missed the deadline a week ago 🤷

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un-Google-d

Depending on one company with all of your data is pretty risky. Even if we ignore the obvious privacy concerns of when some corporation knows everything about you... Just imagine what would happen to you personally, if one day that corporation would just... disappear for whatever reason. Say, Google gets a huge fine from the European Commission for one of their monopolistic practices or shitting on their users’ privacy, and turns out they don’t recover from that. How screwed are you?

One day you lose your emails, photos, passwords, documents, notes, calendar, what else?

So, recently I decided to diversify my technical dependencies. Not to boycott Google completely, but to at least use it less.

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The PHP ecosystem is full of frameworks: Symfony, Laravel, Yii, Zend, Phalcon, and so many, many, many more... All of them built by professionals and supported by big communities. So why on earth would a junior developer, who has just started his first job, try his hand in building yet another one?

Well, here’s why:

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I’ve lived in three countries so far, and I got some official documents from all of them (Germans definitely spam way more than the others). I think it’s interesting to compare, how different approaches they have to the design of those documents.

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There is a website I’ve created many years ago, Stosłowia (Polish only), which collects stories of up to a hundred words. It never got any users, but I didn’t really care to promote it in any way either.

Last week I’ve decided to rewrite it from scratch, because so many things were wrong about it – from an ancient backend in plain PHP with hardcoded credentials and no separation of concerns, to login with Facebook (and only Facebook) that stopped working... Now it’s a fresh Symfony 4.1 with Encore with some new features (like automatic screenshot generation, seen for instance on Twitter).

But what I’d like to show you, is how a couple of pretty small design changes have made the whole website way nicer visually (IMHO).

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It’s honestly diffucult being a webdeveloper in the world of shitty websites. I guess that’s how hairdressers feel when they see my pathetic hair after it’s been a while since my last visit...

But the thing is, even though it’s technically easy to use scissors and clippers, I don’t do that on my own hair, I leave that to the professionals.

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I had to learn Git as a programmer. If you want to easily collaborate on a codebase, you really need either Git or something similar. But as a non-programmer, you’ve probably never even heard that name, have you? Then why would you ever need it?

Well, for exactly the same reasons!

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Jakby ktoś miał problem z deklinacją #hashtag​ów i @mentions​ów, albo tym, że Twitter traktuje skrót „m.in.” jako link, polecam wklejenie znaku “ Zero Width Space😉

Przykład użycia U+200B

The story I described in here finally has a bittersweet ending – I finally got my computer back! After over two months, after lots of stress and fighting, and after having paid them 130€ (only 25% of what they first requested, but still 100% more than I should have paid)...

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Part 1

Meinen Rechner hab ich von mySN.de / Schenker Technologies gekauft. Es scheinte eine gute Idee zu sein. Was es aber gar nicht. Ich fühle micht von mySN betrogen und we Müll behandelt. Ihre Kundenservice ist voll unprofessionel, ihre Hardware ist Scheiße und sie scheinen sogar nicht zu wissen, was sie im Lager haben und wie viel ihre Teile kosten. Im Ernsts!

Das ist mein (verkürztes) Geschichte:

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A bittersweet ending of this story

I’ve bought my laptop from mySN.de / Schenker Technologies. It seemed like a good idea at the time. But it definitely was not. I feel scammed by them, I feel treated like trash by them. Their customer service is unprofessional, their hardware is crap and they don’t even seem to know what they have in storage and how much do their parts cost. Seriously!

Here’s my story in short:

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A bittersweet ending of this story

While working on Avris Forms v4.0, I’ve decided to migrate some code from CoffeScript with jQuery to Vanilla JS. And I guess it might be a good idea to share this transition 😉

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Keeping your classes immutable and stateless makes your code way less prone to bugs. Yet somehow this clean code rule isn’t as popular and as often invoked as SRP, YAGNI, DRY, KISS and others... Maybe it’s because of the lack of a catchy acronym?

Anyways, I’d like to take a look at two examples of when sticking to this rule could save your ass (or at least save you some time debugging).

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100% coverage - feels good!

Having 100% of LOC covered by unit tests certainly feels like a great achievement. But beware – that doesn’t necessarily mean your code is perfectly covered. Lines of code coverage is a really nice indicator of your app’s stability, but is can also hide some risks.

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Programming isn’t that hard. Really. With enough time and determination, almost everybody could write some useful code. The Internet is full of tutorials that teach you programming from scratch, full of people who faced the same problems you do, full of people who solved those problems and shared their solutions for you to use, and finally full of free libraries that you can just use. All you need to do is learn some tools, google your problems and put together pieces of code that you find.

But if it’s not a black magic, not a secret knowledge, then why are software developers so well paid?

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Cable management porn

When I first heard the term “Autowiring”, I thought it sounds exciting. But when I learned more or less what is it about, I got pretty sceptical of the idea. Too much magic, too much implied information... However, when I finally used it for the first time... Gosh I wish I could never define services manually again!

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To those living in technologically advanced countries it might sound strange. But yes, here in Germany people do have a noticeable fear of PayPass.

I moved here two years ago and during that time I’ve witnessed a huge revolution in the field of payment methods. A revolution that is still way behind where Poland (Poland!) was already five years ago!

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Emoji Pillows

Putting emojis in your database should be a piece of cake, right? You’ve had enough trouble with encodings in your lifetime, and now that we have the blessing of UTF-8, you’re always so careful to use it everywhere, so you’d expect all the characters to just finally work out of the box, right?

Well, I did expect that. But I’ve recently realised I can only put some emojis (like “❤️”) in by blog posts. Most of them were just lost or replaced with “?” by MySQL... Oh, those damn encodings again!

But fortunately the solution is quite simple.

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I used to run a couple of Facebook fanpages. One of them was shut down three times, apparently for being homophobic. It was quite the opposite, actually. The name could be confusing, because it was a word play on the Polish word for “faggot” and a name of a Polish gossip portal. But the content was specifically anti-homophobic! It was a rainbow meme aggregator, basically a gay version of 9gag.

But the thing is, I can only assume why did people report my fanpage and why did moderators remove it. Did someone just assume it’s homophobic without actually checking it out? Or quite the opposite: did someone consider homosexuality an abomination and just reported everything that’s even remotely gay? I’ll never know. The only thing Facebook bothered to tell me is that “I’ve abused the Community Standards”. I’ve read them thoroughly and there was no abuse of them from my side.

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I’m curious how does the Internet really look like.

Like in case of those religious fanatics in the screenshot above. You can tell they don’t have any respect for the reader whatsoever – not only from the pathetic content they serve, but also from the fact, that the advertisement takes up almost a half of their page. It’s like covering crap with some money-making crap and expecting nobody to notice you just want to screw them over.

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Finally. I got to work and rewrote the code of my sweet blog. Brand new design, new framework, Micrus, better support for language versions, a couple of new features in the admin panel, ditching custom comments for the awesomeness of Disqus, ditching TinyMCE for the beauty and simplicity of Markdown. It was a lot of work, but it was definitely worth it!

Hope you like it! :)

Wreszcie. Wziąłem się do roboty i przepisałem od zera kod mojego blogaska. Zupełnie nowy design, nowy framework, Micrus, lepsze wsparcie dla wersji językowych, parę nowych ficzerów w panelu administracyjnym, rzucenie własnego systemu komentarzy na rzecz zajebistości Disqusa, rzucenie TinyMCE dla piękna i prostoty Markdownu. Zajęło to sporo pracy, ale zdecydowanie było warto!

Mam nadzieję, że się spodoba! :)

I stumbled upon a company that rewards their developers for the number of committed lines of code, and generally for the number of commits. What an utterly idiotic idea!

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Spotify is so much better than Google Play Music! Whether it’s in the field of cool features (like using your smartphone to control the music on your computer) or just basic user experience (like ability to filter songs inside a playlist) – Spotify wins by far!

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Yeah, yeah, it’s a nice idea (not theirs though, it’s based on Ingress), it gets people out of their homes, it makes them excercise, explore the world... It’s all fine. But on the other hand, this game annoys me so much that I’ve already given up on it after just three days of playing. Why?

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Äh, Deutschland, solch ein wunderbares Land... Solange, natürlich, du möchtest keine Bankdienste nutzen und keine Youtube Films gucken, die für ganzen Rest der Welt öffentlich sind. FUCK YOU, GEMA! Technologische Dritte Welt

Ach, Niemcy, taki wspaniały kraj... Dopóki nie chcesz korzystać z usług bankowych ani oglądać filmików na Youtubie, które dla reszty świata są publiczne. FUCK YOU, GEMA! Technologiczny trzeci świat...

This is a conference report for my company:

Hi all,

I visited SymfonyLive Cologne 2016 conference last week. It was really well-organised and with the subject area was not limited just to Symfony.

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This is a conference report for my company:

Hi all,

I visited Unit Festival last Saturday and those are my notes:

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Let’s encrypt jest projektem dążącym do maksymalizacji dostępności do certyfikatów SSL – i chyba najlepszą rzeczą, jaka mnie ostatnio spotkała.

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Proste zadanie: umieścić na stronie przycisk, który przekieruje nas do usuwania jakiegoś obiektu z bazy, ale zanim to zrobi, spyta, czy na pewno tego chcemy.

Standardowa część interfejsu, możliwa do zrealizowania w webie na wiele różnych sposobów. Najprostszym z nich jest zwykłe okienko confirm().

W wersji najbardziej prymitywnej wykonanie zadania wygląda mniej więcej tak:

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W pewnym projekcie operuję poprzez API na liście wydań produktu: zamykam wydania, których czas już minął, i tworzę nowe na osiem tygodni naprzód. Moimi punktami odniesienia w czasie są:

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Tworząc kiedyś stronę internetową, trzeba było się nieźle napracować, by na każdym komputerze wyglądała mniej więcej tak samo. Każda przeglądarka interpretowała sobie kod po swojemu. Teraz jednak, gdy wszystkie nowe wersje popularnych przeglądarek trzymają się standardów (a nawet mój ulubiony były klient, Santander, przerzucił się z dinozaurów na aktualne wydania), no a zdecydowaną większość pozostałych jeszcze różnic między przeglądarkami można zniwelować używając normalize.css oraz jQuery, mogę z całą stanowczością uznać przenośność za największą zaletę technologii webowych. Piszesz kod raz, a działa wszędzie.

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Może nie napiszę tu nic ciekawego, ale po prostu muszę się pochwalić :D Kupiłem sobie wirtualny serwer prywatny. Czyściutki Linux na nim, do zainstalowania i skonfigurowania wszystko: Apache, PHP, MySQL, SFTP, domeny, maile i cała masa innych pierdół. W wielu z nich grzebałem pierwszy raz w życiu. Ale chyba dogrzebałem się do wszystkiego co trzeba, bo wygląda na śmigające ślicznie.

Wreszcie mogę deployować po ludzku, z gitem i composerem, pisać w nowszej wersji PHP, skonfigurować sobie, co mi się tylko żywnie podoba, nie robić ręcznie eksportów rozkładu na Busa, któremu nie starczało pamięci na współdzielonym hostingu... Miodzio! :3

Książka Roberta C. Martina “Czysty kod” bije rekordy sprzedaży wśród pozycji dotyczących szeroko pojętej informatyki. Wstyd więc żebym jej nie przeczytał, no nie? I zdecydowanie polecam ją każdemu programiście, który chciałby być jak najlepszy w tym, co robi.

Chciałbym tutaj pokazać na konkretnym fragmencie kodu, jak wiele może zmienić stosowanie się do zasad przedstawionych przez Martina. Na przykładzie autoloadera.

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