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php[architect] — September 2013

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

Turbo Charge Your Logs

The log files our applications produce contain a wealth of information about how things are performing at any moment, yet for many of us, the only time we look at them is during a crisis or outage. Things don’t have to be this way: there are many tools available that can help you make sense of the torrent of log data in real time. This article will introduce some open source tools and techniques that can help you use this data. Armed with these tools, you should be able to more closely monitor your apps, helping you to avoid and fix major issues before they become a crisis. –by Jeremy Cook

Adventures of a Contract Developer

The world is my office. I can – and have – worked from airports, home offices, coworking spaces, kitchens, and many other places. I rarely have to decline some activity because ‘I have to be at work’. I get to spend most days with my three crazy kids and my wonderful wife. Of course, I’ve not had a non-working vacation for at least five years, and regardless of what you may think, I have more than a four hour work week – but at least my family has stopped asking if I’ve found a job yet. I am a contract developer, and this is my story. –by Tim Lytle

Getting Started with Mercurial

Mercurial is a powerful – yet easy to use and learn – distributed source control system. As an alternative to Git, Mercurial provides a great way to keep your source code safe, while providing better cross-platform support. If you’re not already using Git, consider giving Mercurial a try. –by David Stockton

Building Your Own WeTransfer-clone in the Cloud

The cloud. There is probably not a word more hyped in the world of technology these days as “cloud”. Because of the flood of cloud-related information, it is sometimes hard to believe the cloud is more than just hype. Practical examples are hard to find, but general information on “why you should choose the cloud” is everywhere. In this article, I’ll show you one example of a cloud solution that is very practical. Files are getting bigger, and e-mail no longer supports many of the files we want to send, so we’ll build a file transfer application using a cloud-based object storage so we can get those big files out to the people who need them. –by Stefan Koopmanschap

Education Station: Feature-Rich Templating Libraries – Make Your Front-end Development Simple and Efficient

In this month’s edition of Education Station, we’re looking at templates. That’s right – **templates**. Whether you love them or hate them, believe they’re superfluous – because PHP is all the templating language you’ll ever need – or appreciate the role they fill in MVC development, templates are a tool which we all use during development and maintenance of web applications. –by Matthew Setter

finally{}: “I Just Need a Simple Website”

A common theme in my article from last month was how no client is willing to sacrifice the quality of the end product. Not only is this true, but there’s a major mental dissonance on exactly how much effort goes into making a website (and specifically making one to do ‘exactly’ what the client wants it to). –by Eli White

Editorial: The Swiss Army Knife Conundrum

Too Swiss or not too Swiss, that is the question…and one that most people can’t agree on, even with themselves. –by Beth Tucker Long

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