Developing software in the Real World

Styling rst2pdf tables

I currently use rst2pdf to create presentations slide decks from reStructured Text files. I like rST a lot as it's more expressive than Markdown and allows for extension. Tables in rST are marked up like this:

We create a PDF file with the command rst2pdf test.rst which produces a table that looks like this: To style, this we create styles within a style file and then compile using rst2pdf test.rst -s Let's start… continue reading.

installing XHGui via Ansible

I'm still using Ansible to provision Vagrant VMs. This is how I added the XHGui profiler to my standard setup. Theres a number steps we need to do: Install Composer Install the uprofiler PHP extension Install XHGui Set up for profiling Set up host for XHGui website Install Composer Installing Composer requires these tasks:

Firstly we download the Composer installer and run it to create composer.phar. We then rename to composer, make executable and… continue reading.

Shorter directory text in Bash prompt

Rather helpfully, David Goodwin left a comment about how he shortens the space taken up by the directory section of his terminal's PS1 prompt by using a Bash script to remove the middle portion. This is a really good idea, so I ported it into my PS1 set up which resulted in some rearranging and thought I'd share here as I modified for OS X and I don't want to lose it! The relevant portion… continue reading.

Setting OS X's Terminal Tab to the current directory

I use many tabs in a Terminal window quite frequently, and while the window title will show the current directory name, the tab title doesn't. You can manually change it using shift+cmd+i, but who can be bothered? Automating it so that the tab title always matches the current directory turns out to be really easy and just requires a few lines in ~/.profile. Firstly, we need a function that sets the tab's title to the… continue reading.

Converting databases between MySQL and SQL Server

I regularly deal projects that target SQL Server, but mostly develop against MySQL to avoid having to run a full Windows stack locally all the time. One of the nice things about PHP with DBAL and Migrations is that the database is pretty well abstracted from my code. Of course, this means that I don't target any of the specialist features, but for these projects, this hasn't been an issue. To convert data from SQL… continue reading.

Jerry-rigging pygments to support new PHP keywords

I use rst2pdf to create my presentations and noticed that the syntax highlighter wasn't highlighting instanceof. rst2pdf uses pygments for syntax highlighting, so I wondered what was going on. A short investigation led to me realise that the current stable version of pigments is 1.6 and they are working on 2.0. It seems that 2.0 has a number of changes to the PHP lexer, which aren't in 1.6. While I'm waiting, I modified my local… continue reading.

View status of all Vagrant environments

I've just upgraded to Vagrant version 1.6, and vagrant global-status is possibly my favourite new feature. This command lists all currently up Vagrant environments wherever they may be on your computer:

As you can see by the helpful information message, you can then pass the id to any of the usual Vagrant commands in order to work with that Vagrant install rather than changing directory first. I tend to use this to halt VMs… continue reading.

Z-Ray for Zend Server 7

I see that Zend Server 7 has now been released. I've been running the beta for all my development work for a while now and the main reason is the new Z-Ray feature. Z-Ray is a bar that is injected into the bottom of your page showing lots of useful information. This is what it looks like in its closed state when run on my development version of At a glance, I can see… continue reading.

Styling a Chosen select to fit Bootstrap 3 better

One project that I'm currently working on is an internal business application that's using stock Bootstrap 3. I needed a searchable select box and Chosen fitted the bill, so I'm using that. However, the default styles for the Chosen select box differ slightly from Bootstrap. The most noticeable being the height of the control.

Perl syntax highlighting in Sublime Text 3

I'm currently writing a project in Perl for a client and have discovered that the default Perl syntax highlighting in Sublime Text is terrible. Fortunately, the community has stepped up and Blaise Roth has created the ModerlPerl package. Install via Package Control. To get all Perl files to open with the new syntax highlighter, use View > Syntax > Open all with current extension as… and select ModernPerl from the sub-menu.