When it comes to DevOps, I'm just the “dev”. I write code, but I'd rather have someone else worry about making sure it keeps running as intended. I manage my personal VPS, I manage some servers at work, but I wouldn't call myself an expert in that area at all. So I'm super proud of myself and how well it went when I migrated a big project to a new machine The downtime was just 15 minutes! Here's the story, if you're interested.
Among people who create websites or apps there's an understanding that UX, user experience, is massively important. We know that most users either don't have the technical knowledge to use software that isn't intuitive, or they simply don't have time to be bothered to get to know an app that isn't easy to use (and they have many alternatives to switch to).
So I'd think that ease of use of one's products is a common concern among companies of all industries, right? Well, I then moved to a new place and had to assemble a lot of furniture… What an absulute UX nightmare it was!
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.
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?
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!
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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).
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?