1. I get a little annoyed at every now and again (grr package management) but then I come across things like nested tuple unpacking which are just so lovely they make up for it:

    for i, (key, value) in enumerate(list_of_tuples):
        print i, key, value
  2. I just faked having a task queue for note posting tasks using Symfony HttpKernel::terminate() and it was the easiest thing ever.

    Instances or subclasses of HttpKernel have a terminate($request, $response) method which, if called in the front controller after $response->send(); triggers a kernel.terminate event on the app’s event dispatcher. Listeners attached to this event carry out their work after the content has been sent to the client, making it the perfect place to put time-consuming things like POSSE and webmention sending.

    Once you’ve created your new content and it’s ready to be sent to the client, create a new closure which carries out all the the time consuming stuff and attach it as a listener to your event dispatcher, like this:

    $dispatcher->addListener('kernel.terminate', function() use ($note) {
        $note = sendPosse($note);
        sendWebmentions($note);
        $note->save();
    }
    

    Then, provided you’re calling $kernel->terminate($req, $res); in index.php, your callback will get executed after the response has been sent to the client.

    If you’re not using HttpKernel and HttpFoundation, the exact same behaviour can of course be carried out in pure PHP — just let the client know you’ve finished sending content and execute code after that. Check out these resources to learn more about how to do this:

    Further ideas: if the time consuming tasks alter the content which will be shown in any way, set a header or something to let the client side know that async stuff is happening. It could then re-fetch the content after a few seconds and update it.


    Sure, this isn’t as elegant as a message queue. But as I showed, it’s super easy and portable, requiring the addition of three or four lines of code.

  3. Loving Django’s prefetch/select_related — that, along with a few small changes, reduced a task which was taking > 500,000 queries to 4558

  4. I’m thinking the time might have come to write a wrapper around DOMDocument which actually makes it usable. Thoughts:

    • automatic conversion of various encodings to HTML entities to scoot round encoding issues
    • XPath queries still work but querySelector and querySelectorAll are implemented for both the document and individual elements via Symfony XPath → CSS converter and relative XPath queries
    • A DOMNodeList which actually implements ArrayAccess instead of acting like a fake array
    • Perhaps some javascript-inspired property names like innerText, innerHTML for consistency
    • Maybe some jQuery-influenced shortcut goodness for doing things like removing/replacing elements
  5. When dealing with character encoding issues I repeatedly get this feeling that we need to throw away computing and programming and redesign it all in a way which prevents stupid, hard-to-debug problems from happening live in trees and eat pita bread all day

  6. tip: if you come across weird inconsistencies between apps when trying to serve static files in dev, run with runserver --insecure even if you have DEBUG=True

  7. Emil Björklund: What is the equivalent of a unit test for HTML + CSS? (Yes, I know of Selenium, webdriver etc, but I'm fishing for other answers as well.)

    @thatemil I’ve always considered style guides/pattern libraries to be unit tests for HTML+CSS, and you could automate them with JS if they get too unwieldy.