Anyone writing code has probably seen a bunch of references to Docker by now. It’s like this new toy that’s all the rage, but for people like me — where picking up new things takes a crap-load more work than it used to — the general reaction is “I’ll learn that when it’s unavoidable.” Alas, a few weeks back it became unavoidable, and I’m here to report back.
If you’re even mildly inquisitive, a quick scan of Docker says a lot about containers and it’s pretty obvious that a container is some kind of virtual environment, but there’s not much that tells you why you should give a damn. I’m going to try to fix that. I’m not going to describe how to use Docker here, just what it’s for. There’s lots of great resources on making use of it elsewhere.
If you got into development in a time when your workplace had a nice air-conditioned room with raised floors and racks of servers and keyboard/console switches, then this post is for you.
The TL:DR on this is the learning curve here is a lot less than it seems at first, and the flexibility it gives you to set up and change configurations is truly powerful. Invest a few days in learning the basics and you can build, rebuild, and reconfigure virtual server rooms that significantly reduce the amount of time needed to maintain your own local environment. As a common example, if you’ve ever sworn at LAMP/ XAMP / MAMP configurations only to start from scratch or if you’ve tried to get two versions of just about anything running on the same system, then Docker definitely is for you.
Now that domain registrars have made another ludicrous cash grab by charging for domain privacy services, people are opting out of privacy protection. Well, the scum of the Earth is waiting to victimize unsuspecting new registrants:
Domain Name: [redacted] (Account #nnnnn)
This email is being sent out to you because search registration for [redacted] is pending.
Please register these domains to search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo ASAP to avoid late fees.
Registering for search engines would help you show up in search results and increase your online presence.
You can register your domain at: [link]
We sincerely appreciate your business! If you require anything, we are at your service.
Remember… If you do not register your domain with the search engines, it may not appear in the search engine listing when people are looking for you. Failure to complete your domain name search engine registration by the expiration date may make it difficult for your customers to locate you on the web. Complete your search engine registration today at: www.searchregistry.org
Search Engine Registry 1787 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Suite 1025 Washington DC, 20006
But never fear. For acting quickly, not only will you avoid late fees (???), but you get a HUGE discount. Yes, now you can pay just $100 for nothing!
Every once in a while I get a Skype connection from someone trying to sell Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Services. My standard rebuttal is to show them how my business ranks higher than theirs on a search for “search engine optimization”. We do relatively well because years ago I posted a very basic article on Realistic SEO. Generally speaking, the site isn’t particularly authoritative on the subject, so the search has the link down in no mans land on page 22 or so (for a search done in Canada; if you’re outside the country your results will probably place it on page ten million or so). If you add “realistic” to the search then it comes up much higher, but still in desperation land (page 2 or 3). (more…)
Welcome to the third major iteration of It’s Fixed in the Next Release. From Blogger (yuck) to Serendipity (which truly deserves more attention than it gets) to WordPress (market share wins, even in the open source world) here we are.
Speaking of open source, what you see here is only possible because of the FOSS (Free Open Source Software) model. Not only is the core of WordPress completely open, most of the themes, plugins, and tools are as well.
Independent of the cost, FOSS made this blog because the theme is a hybrid. The base theme is the free version of “Blogolife”. I’ve made some changes to it, both in terms of some invisible code rework, and by hacking in the tag display from “AskIt”, a commercial template I purchased for a project that died. At first I thought AskIt was going to do the trick, but in the end I just didn’t like the main page layout. Blogolife had the clean traditional blog feel but the display of tags and categories wasn’t all that great (I haven’t done anything to the categories yet).
I also removed all of Blogolife’s admin links and promotions for the “PRO” version. Needless to say I wasn’t likely to be buying that anyway.
It’s interesting hacking on WordPress code, and it’s a classic comparison between simplicity and power. I think it’s possible to keep most of the WordPress API in your head, and its possible to be a true expert on it in a year or so. Meanwhile, I’ve been working with Joomla for almost six years now, and it seems I keep on discovering new tricks, not including the outside-the-core stuff like template frameworks and the like. So there’s a freedom in WordPress that makes it possible to hack bits of two themes together in a few days and get something that works. But at the same time I feel like I’m working in a small shop with hand tools. By comparison Joomla feels like a manufacturing line full of robots — configure each one to do a job then watch the whole facility in action.
Each environment has its place. It’s actually more personally satisfying to feel you’ve built something by hand. WordPress certainly rocks the blogging / simple site space, but it has its limitations. Over in the Joomla development world we wrestle with issues like how to make it so those “robots” of ours plug into each other most effectively and with a minimum of code duplication. While we’re making it easier to plug things together I think we’d also be wise to keep an eye on offering freedom to site builders who need to produce a custom solution but only know the basics of PHP development. We never want to be in the position where someone says “Joomla is a great platform but you need a team of developers to build and run a site.”
After all, market share wins, even in the open source world.
To say this blog has suffered from neglect is to make a rather large understatement. It turns out that converting a passing thought into a coherent post takes too many words and too much time. Or maybe finishing a post just doesn’t generate enough endorphin. Whatever the reason, It’s Fixed in the Next Release underwhelmed my expectations, and then Twitter really made a mess of it. (more…)