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php[architect] — December 2013

Get this month’s code package: December 2013 Code package

Git for Web Developers

Git is one of the most popular source control management systems available, but it presents special challenges for web developers. Many web developers do their testing on a server rather than their local machine, and collaborating on a remote test server presents obstacles to common Git workflows. How can Git adapt to a decentralized test environment? –by John M. Stokes

Everyone Needs a Toolbox

Tools are very handy, if not essential, to a project. However, the tools are only helpful if you can find them. A well-organized toolbox can do wonders for your productivity. If only we had something like that for our digital tools…You are in luck; we do now. –by Chris Tankersley

Pretty, Pretty Pictures

Maybe it’s a flowchart of company processes. Maybe it’s a population map of the United States. Maybe it’s a pie chart of the latest earnings. Either way, it’s some kind of complicated drawing that your boss wants, it has to work everywhere, and you don’t want to requisition a Flash license. Data visualization is a hot topic, and there are a lot of technologies out there. Canvas, WebGL, SVG, and even CSS are all valid choices, but how do you know which one to pick? When you want to draw vector graphics but you need to support older browsers, there’s really only one game in town: Raphaël, a JavaScript library written by Dmitry Baranovskiy. First released in 2008, it continues to be developed to this day, and the website features excellent demos and reference documentation. In this article, we’ll introduce you to the very basics of Raphaël and show you how you can use it to make shiny pictures. –by Ross Tuck

The Unix Toolbox

The beauty of a Unix-based operating system is that it has a multitude of useful tools that most people don’t know about. You can use them on their own, chain them together, etc. You can do almost anything you can think of. We’ll take a look at some popular tools and some lesser known gems. As well as tools, we’ll cover tips and tweaks for making your command line do all the work so that you don’t have to. From search and replace to installing software without having to find it first, the command line can do it all! –by Michael Heap

Search Simply

What if you could add search to your existing application without modifying your database schema? What if that same search system could also be used for analytics on the data you are searching? What if you could store additional info on any of the items in your search index? What if you could worry about the “shape” of your data after it was in the database? –by Benjamin Young

The Confident Coder: Array Key Accuracy

Bugs in code suck. It’s bad enough when you misspell a function or forget a semi-colon. That’s embarrassing and annoying. What’s worse is when you write code that seems to work fine, is syntactically correct, yet still has a bug. You know you did it right, but somehow it’s also wrong. That’s not good. That makes me paranoid and second guess the rest of my work. That doesn’t help me be a Confident Coder at all. –by Aaron Saray

Education Station: Git Extras – Make Working with Git Simple and Easy

Welcome back to December’s Education Station. This month, we’re taking a slightly different path, investigating a great project which makes working with Git simple and easy. Why? Because from trends, conversations, magazine articles and a general coolness factor, Git has taken the development world by storm. –by Matthew Setter

finally{}: It’s Been a Year

I’d like to take time in the column this month to really look back at the last year of working on php[architect]. Maybe not from everyone’s point of view, but this is my 12th finally{} column, so at least it feels like it’s been a full year. It’s been a rather crazy ride that we’ve been on here at with the acquisition of php[architect]. There have been some, shall we say, busy times getting our feet back under us. (We know that each of our respective spouses will agree with us on this.) –by Eli White

Editorial: ‘Tis the Season

This season is a good time to pause and be grateful for the gifts all around us. Not the new things that may be coming, but the things that are already here. The PHP community has a wonderful wealth of blogs, tools, extensions, libraries, and open source projects to be grateful for. –by Beth Tucker Long

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