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Codeacy Blog:
Your Greatest Code Quality Threats and How to Solve Them
June 23, 2014 @ 09:22:42

On the Codacy blog there's a recent post that looks at some of the biggest threats to code quality (six of them) and some brief advice on how you can prevent them. Code quality goes beyond just style guides and common coding practices too.

In the process of building Codacy, I've learned that software companies in different life stages have different needs in terms of code quality. Early startups have, for example, very different needs in comparison to digital agencies and freelancers. There is however a common ground that links them all together: code quality is not being taken seriously enough, regardless of the stage. If this resonates with you, take action today. Continuous improvement is the central piece of software engineering craft.

Among the six things in their list are suggestions like:

  • Using continuous integration
  • Living with broken windows
  • Heterogeneity (code styles)
  • Not using static code analysis

They also link to some tools that can help fix some of these suggestions including JSHint, some PHP static analysis tools and CSSLint for CSS.

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Link: http://blog.codacy.com/2014/06/19/your-greatest-code-quality-threats-and-how-to-solve-them/

Kae Verens' Blog:
Extracting a sudoku puzzle from a photo
February 04, 2009 @ 12:57:18

Kae Verens has posted a cool little application of how to pull information out of a photo and parse it with the GD library. His example is a visual sudoku solver (part one, at least).

The plan for this one is that, if you're doing a sudoku puzzle in the pub or on the train, and you get stuck, you just take a snapshot of the puzzle with your camera-phone, send the photo to a certain mobile number, and a few seconds later the solution is sent back as an SMS message. The solution costs you something small - 50 cents, maybe.

The script looks at a picture of a sudoku puzzle, converts it to b&w and tries to find the squares surrounding each position of the board. With these measurements, the next step is to grab the numbers already in the puzzle and hand those off to the puzzle solver to be processed.

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Douglas Brown's Blog:
Quick Methods Used for Solving PHP Errors
December 30, 2008 @ 07:57:21

Douglas Brown has posted some hints to help you find errors in your PHP scripts all centered around error reporting settings.

There are several methods to solve errors in PHP code. Sometimes when the user waits to see an output a blank page will be shown if there is an error. To show the errors E_ALL^E_STRICT is used for the PHP 5 version. Contrarily, remaining versions just use E_ALL.

He talks about the log_errors and display_errors settings in your php.ini, the error_reporting function call or a custom error handler as shown in this example from the PHP manual.

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Sean Coates' Blog:
Actually Solving a Problem (believe it or not)
December 07, 2007 @ 15:24:00

Sean Coates has posted a new item on his blog today applauding Greg Beaver for comments made on the php.internals mailing list concerning the ongoing namespace deliberations.

In a time where php.internals is becoming more and more useless due to an increasingly poor signal to noise ratio, Greg has stepped up and intelligently addressed the ongoing namespace debate in a way that not only shows that he's done his homework, but delivers a much needed stomp onto the toes of many of the other posters, who, quite frankly, are talking out of their a$$es.

Greg has summarized things in a six point list of recommendations for the implementation of namespaces for the language (including some dangers of their potential use).

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Nick Halstead's Blog:
Solving Programming Problems
June 22, 2007 @ 10:11:00

On his blog, Nick Halstead shares a few tips he's worked up to help developers that might be having a hard time with coding issues - a few steps towards solving programming problems.

Early on in most people's programming careers problem solving is a large part of your day to day job. As you become more experienced you find that many programming patterns that you have used before can be reapplied. You then start working on larger and larger projects and the problems tend to be more about solving architectural problems rather than logic related ones.

Included in his list are things like "Talking it through", "Brainstorming", "Breaking it down" and "Research". This last one can be one of the most important and can save tons of time in the long run. With tools like Google and other sites, there's no reason to check before you start a project to see if there's someone out there that might have already done it (and it might be more well developed).

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Nick Halstead's Blog:
PHP Programming Contest - Win Zend Studio
June 14, 2007 @ 07:11:13

Nick Halstead has announced a contest on his blog today for PHP developers everywhere to participate in - a programming competition surrounding a challenge he's created.

It has been a lot harder than I thought to come up with a fair programming challenge that would not take too long or require lots of knowledge in any particular framework or other associated technology. It could have been to make use of a whole host of currently available API's and to make a useful mash-up but these again require other external knowledge beyond just PHP. I finally settled on a logic problem that is hopefully not too hard to solve but will test a range of PHP skills.

The problem he's worked up involves changing a word, one letter at a time, into another word using user-defined lists and choice of word. There's several requirements you'll need to follow an d rules for things like the submission process and what server setup can be used.

So, what's the motivation? First prize is a copy of Zend Studio Professional and a year of support, second prize is a Zend t-shirt, and third is a Zend Pen. For full information on participating and on all of the rules you'll need to follow, check out Nick's full post.

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ProWebDeveloper.info:
Reducing Database Load with Secure Client-side Sessions
February 16, 2007 @ 08:02:00

On prowebdeveloper.info, Marcel Esser has posted the first in a series of articles looking at functionality to reduce database load in applications, specifically those using secure client-side sessions.

Scaling web applications is easy. Generally, if a web application is designed to store all of its session information in a database, it can be easily scaled by adding more servers in a load-balanced setup. This is tried and true, and it works very well - until your database server runs out of capacity.

He lists the common ways most developers solve this problem (four of them) but notes that thay are more of a temporary solution rather than a long-term fix. Instead, he outlines what the requirements for a library to correctly handle the connections should be and explains how each of them would be implemented. He's been following this kind of mentality in the development of his own package - proWebComponents.

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