Chris Trahey's Blog

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Upgrade to PHP 5.5 on OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion

The following is a rapid installation of PHP 5.5 on OS X 10.8. This compiles 5.5 from source, including two required libraries and finding the appropriate configure command. If you are comfortable at the command line, and especially if you are comfortable compiling your own binaries, then this should take no more than 30 minutes, with the majority being the actual PHP compilation. Let's jump right in. Here's an overview of the steps: Read More…

Regex for Quoted String with escapable quotes

This post is a long-format reply to Jonathan Jordan's recent post. Jonathan's post was about the non-capturing backreference in Regular Expressions. He and I are both working a lot in Behat, which relies heavily on regular expressions to map human-like sentences to PHP code. One of the common patterns in that space is the quoted-string, which is a fantastic context in which to discuss the backreference (and also introduce lookarounds). Please read hist post first, as from here on the tone and perspective of this post is reply-oriented. Read More…

How (not) to think about Responsive Design.

The most important question we should ask is, "to what are we responding?" It's not too far to jump from that question to the point I want to drill in: we're thinking about the wrong kinds of interactions. In some cases it's egocentric, but the main idea is that we must change the thinking and dialogue to focus more on real-world user interactions. Read More…

Narrow your focus, improve your influence, have fun doing it.

There is a counterintuitive secret to designing and building a product to set it up for optimal success. This principle is potent because it works whether you want breadth of impact, depth, or both. Focusing on your first followers is the right strategy for eventually having impact well beyond your initial reach. Read More…