Development Toolset 2016

9Somebody asked what I use for my development toolchain because   I’m a heavy mac user.  I work mostly in HTML5, CSS3, and PHP5. There is a lot of Yii2 and jQuery in the mix to up the ante for what works for me.  MariaDb is the database of choice.

Over the last six months or so I’ve been moving away from the Adobe table because my old CS6 tools have been more and more difficult to get working on the recent OS X releases.  I haven’t been upgrading my CS6 toolset because I’m not willing to buy into the Adobe “Creative Cloud” dream.

For code slinging my editor is now Coda2, a real eye-opener.  In the same UI you have a file browser (think Cyberduck) , a MySQL client, a SSH client and to top that off, it integrates well with  source control (SVG and GIT.)   That coupled with a fantastic customer support that’s willing to hold hands with an old demented programmer and the ability to easily integrate custom modules makes it an almost magical product.

For Image manipulation, I’m vacillating between sketch and affinity designer. I love sketch because it does everything that fireworks does in a easier and cleaner interface.  I’d plunk the cash down except for one minor problem.  It doesn’t handle anything above 72dpi. Why does that give this  webslinger heartburn?  Because on occasion I have to send artwork to the printers who insist on 300dpi artwork.  I’ll probably end up buying both.

I also use inkscape to vectorize images into SVG to import into the other editors.  The problem with inkscape is that it is sooooo, sooooo slow.  SVG’s time has arrived, and it a open source standard that is being adopted by most of the current generation of vector editing programs.

When I put on my DB admin hat, MySQLWorkbench for making pretty database diagrams and then turn into mysql scripts. Sequal pro for the heavy lifting that Coda2 can’t deal with.

Finally SourceTree for the Git support that Coda2 can’t handle.


Switching over to Yii2

My PwwwHP framework of choice for several years was CodeIgniter.  My problem with it was that  hasn’t been maintained over the years since EllisLab distanced themselves from their child.  The new generation displayed a rather strong “Not invented here” attitude that stifled development.  It was time for a new framework.

In my searches I discovered Yii and who had just released their Alpha for version 2.  What proper programmer could resist?  I played with it for a bit and discovered that all the pieces that CodeIgniter was resisting were present and I decided that I’d switch over when I had the opportunity.

Some companies have a “Summer of Coding,” I on the other hand have the “Holidays of Coding.”  I shutter my main website on December 25th until the middle of January.  Each year I work on a specific project just for the shear joy of slinging code until all hours of the night.  No Phone, No Texts, No Social Media, and only a few visitors.

One of my administrative backends had grown long in the tooth, originally created in 2005 or so.  It had been the first full project that used MVC and AJAX.  The project went together smoothly and performed well over the years.  However, as what often happens, I learned a lot about what needed to happen to make operations smoother.

So this year my project was to update that interface and made to the decision to switch frameworks.  As Sulu would say: “Oh My!”  The first thing that became apparent was that this framework was designed to be updatable.  Their were actual release notes that told you how to do it.  The framework itself is lighter, faster, and easier to work with.  In two words: “Yii rocks.”


First Look: OS X Lion & Xcode4

I’ve been playing with Lion and new Xcode4 and I have to admit that I’m liking what I see. To use it effectively you really need one of the larger monitors. The integration between the Code editor and Interface Builder is much tighter. I’m still figuring out what went where.

Starting an “Health Journal” iPad Project

I’ve started a new iPad project: “Health Journal” allows users to tailor the sections to record in a easy to understand format. I believe that using cocos2d is the way to implement the features I want with the added bonus that it’ll probably be fun.

Getting a Programmer to Document

Getting a programmer to document their code is about as difficult as giving a porcupine a back rub.  It can be done just as long as you don’t annoy the porcupine too much.

Doxygen makes it easy and convenient to embed the documentation, has a simple enough structure most programmers won’t get overwhelmed, and only adds 10% to 20% overhead.

The way to get them to keep it up to date?   Insist that you’ll only do code reviews from the documents!