JonBlog
Thoughts on website ideas, PHP and other tech topics, plus going car-free
Writing (page 1)
Categories: Docker | Add a Comment

Introduction Over the last six months, I’ve been working on a microservices-oriented application, and it has reached a level of complexity that means I could not do without the tests I have written. My tests are not perfect, and there’s times when I’ve plumped for slow functional tests when fast unit tests would have been […]

Categories: Docker | Add a Comment

Introduction When I first started maintaining “play” servers on the internet, in order to run my own blog and various software projects, the build process was long and laborious. That would have been around 2009, and at that time I was working for corporate logistics provider whose Disaster Recovery time was measured in days, not […]

Categories: Docker | Add a Comment

Introduction I’ve just made use of a Docker multi-stage build when Dockerising my WordPress blog, and I thought it would be useful to examine the benefits. Multi-stage builds are a nice way of being able to do build fragments in order to selectively copy pieces into the output build. Here’s a cut-down example: There are […]

Categories: Docker | Add a Comment

Yes, the title is largely click-bait, but with good reason. I am presently using Code Fresh as my Docker registry, but I’m not really a fan of their service. I have therefore been spending a great deal of search-engine time on finding a replacement for my (unfunded) tech projects, to little avail. Free is of […]

Categories: Tech misc | Add a Comment

I’ve been following various online tutorials in order to pair my Linux laptop (running Mint) with my Raspberry Pi 3 running Raspbian. I wanted to add a couple of extra instructions to the Internet’s wealth of knowledge, as I’ve had some hurdles that I’ve not spotted mentioned elsewhere. My first problem was that the command […]

Categories: Security | Add a Comment

I’ve been meaning to get an SSL certificate for the blog for some time, and prompted by how cheap they now are, I have finally set it up. All HTTP links should still be valid, but will redirect to their HTTPS equivalent. The switch is mainly to protect my credentials when I am logging on […]

Categories: Work | Add a Comment

I’ve been working as a software engineer for some 14 years, and having taken nine months out to work on a side-project full-time, I am now looking to start PHP/web freelancing. I have an intro page for what I offer; this partner article is a rambling rendition of the how. My purpose here is to […]

Categories: Security | 2 Comments

I recently got in touch with On Your Bike, a cycle shop with stores in Birmingham and London, to alert them to a number of security issues in their website. I’d raised the matter with a very friendly chap at the shop, and he advised me to send an email to the manager. This I […]

Categories: Technical | Add a Comment

Introduction Last year I tried running Fedora on a MacBook Pro (Intel i5 processor) to see how much pain was involved in switching to Linux completely. I was also interested to see whether using virtual machines for day-to-day tasks was feasible, via Oracle’s VirtualBox. In the end I didn’t make the switch: an idle guest […]

Categories: Life | Add a Comment

There is a rule of street fundraising that surely has parallels in the physical sciences. You find a charity mugger, pop them in an excessively luminous T-shirt to match their personality, and stand them in a sea of shoppers on a Saturday high-street. Powered by some alien intuition lurking in the moving throng, the “chugger” […]

Categories: Tech misc | Add a Comment

Just recently, I came across a list of my NY resolutions from a year or two ago, and it was fun to see how many I’d accomplished (around half, not bad). So, this year I’ll make a couple of techie predictions, and add on some geek resolutions too. Here’s what I’d like to see in […]

Categories: PHP | Add a Comment

I’ve been writing a PHP course for beginners over for the past couple of weeks, and think it is now good enough to share. It’s a work in progress, but what I have at present is useful already, and I plan to add to it. I’d previously looked around the existing resources on the web, […]

Software & ideas
Categories: Ideas, Outline | Add a Comment

I recently donated some money to a small web-based charity, which accepts Paypal payments and electronic bank transfers. Whilst I have no fears that the charity misspends any donations, I realised after giving that I had no idea how the money had been spent. This particular organisation is run by over-worked volunteers, and whilst I […]

Categories: Ideas, Outline | Add a Comment

Introduction My experience of VirtualBox on Linux is mostly excellent, but there are a few areas in which host data would be good to bring into guests, for the purposes of updating informational widgets. For example, I’d like to see CPU activity and CPU core temperature in a guest VM, so I don’t need to […]

Categories: Ideas, Outline | 2 Comments

Some years ago I started work on a JavaScript implementation of a bad writing filter for Stack Overflow. I have some code for that sitting around, and one day I may even publish it! I find myself wanting to play around with the Stack Exchange API, partly as an excuse to learn Laravel, but sadly […]

Categories: Ideas, Outline | Add a Comment

One of the features missing from Stack Overflow is to receive a notification when a post that you’ve edited is subsequently edited again. This is useful where a post owner decides they disagree with an edit, and they wish to assert that their chatty tone, misspellings and extended downvote complaints really do belong (the community […]

Categories: Ideas, Outline | Add a Comment

As all social media users know, occasional time spent checking your various web accounts can add up during the day, and not all of it is productive. I use Twitter and Stack Overflow, primarily to help new developers, but the nature of these sites is that a new software library or interesting news story appears […]

Categories: Ideas, Outline | Add a Comment

I’m presently working on a project that handles the import of HTML from external sources, much of which will be fed through HTMLPurifier to ensure the HTML I render for the user is valid and safe. However, while pondering ways I can make this safe, I wondered how to find out quickly if some malicious […]

Categories: Ideas, Outline | Add a Comment

I’m currently working with the Ordnance Survey Code-Point Open data, which contains the 1.7M UK postcodes and their geo-coordinates. To import it into MySQL, I convert the Easting and Northing units into latitude and longitude, TRUNCATE the database table, and INSERT them in. This is rather slow, so I’m trying to speed it up by […]

Categories: Ideas, Outline | 4 Comments

I’ve a simple idea for a PHP information tool, very useful for beginners. If someone is asking about their PHP configuration on their system, they can just issue a command like this: > wget https://phpinfosite.com/installer.php | php in the same manner as Composer (and adjusted suitably for Windows). This will then give them a PHP […]