Best Practice With Return Types In PHP

23rd July 2018

I've been using PHP for a number of years and have seen the same things being done with return values from functions over and over again. I have always thought of this as pretty standard, but the more I think about it the less it makes sense. Looking back over my career I am quite sure that a few serious bugs could have been avoided if I had not mixed return types.

Color Sorting In PHP: Part 2

23rd June 2018

Following on from my last post about sorting colors I have been thinking about different ways of sorting colors. I have been looking at interfaces that allow people to select colors and they will quite normally have a band of colors that does look nicely sorted. As it turns out this is perfectly possible to do if the colors are normalised to remove light and dark variations of different colors.

Bogo Sort In PHP

23rd June 2018

I came across this sorting algorithm the other day called 'bogo sort'. This is a sort of joke sorting algorithm that is highly ineffective at actually sorting arrays. The name comes from the word 'bogus'.

Here is how it works.

An Implementation Of Array Binary Search In PHP

19th June 2018

I have been doing some reading and watching lectures of programming theory recently and I was reminded of this algorithm I learned about in university. Binary searching an array is a divide and conquer algorithm that takes an array and searches for a value in that array by splitting the array into halves. The algorithm works like this.

Drupal 8: Custom Ordering Of Comments

10th June 2018

Drupal 8's comment system has the ability to be threaded so that users can reply directly to other users comments and create threads of conversation. I have always found this difficult to use and difficult to read so I wanted to turn it off when I set up this site. The only issue I had was I could turn off the threading but couldn't alter the ordering of the comments.

Color Sorting In PHP

9th June 2018

Sorting colors is the sort of thing that you never really think about until you need to do it. Sorting a bunch of items by their color is useful in a number of applications, but the simplest is just to display items to the user in a more controlled manner. As it happens sorting with colors is a much more complex topic than I originally thought and required digging into quite a bit more maths than I expected.

Incidentally, there is a whole world of color maths that I didn't know existed until I started looking into this. It was worth learning about though.

Setting Up A Linux And Apache Server For Deployer

17th May 2018

Deployer is an amazing tool that is used to deploy websites (hence the name). I have looked at other tools, but because Deployer is built and run using PHP, using it to deploy PHP sites makes sense. It also means that I don't have to figure out complex XML documents or learn Ruby just to understand what the deployment is doing.

Drupal 8: Date Search Boosting With Search API And Solr Search

15th May 2018

The Search API Solr Search module has a bunch of controls for boosting certain fields. This allows you to give more weight (i.e. boost) to the title and less weight to the body, which means that when a search term appears in the title of a page it has more weight than a page that only has the term in the body. This weight value is ultimately used to calculate the score of the page and this directly effects the ordering of results.

Setting Up Drush Aliases And Using sql-sync

2nd May 2018

Drush sql-sync is a very easy way of grabbing a copy of a Drupal database from one site and installing it on another site. The normal application of this task is to copy the database from the production site to your local environment for facilitate local development. There are one or two steps to sort out before you can use the command

This post assumes you have Drush 8 installed on your machine as Drush 9 uses a different syntax for sotring Drush aliases. This also assumes that you have setup SSH key access to all servers you need to get access to.