Tool Variety

I’m working on learning a couple different tools at once, some of which I’ve mentioned in previous posts. I’ve got some time off of work coming up, so I should be able to make some progress in them and start being productive.

I’ve mentioned WordPress and Symfony, which mean I need to return to the PHP dev environment and start getting comfortable again. I decided to try working in a VM again, like I used to. Developing in anything but C# on Windows can be a bit frustrating. I decided to try out Xubuntu on VirtualBox. It’s working pretty well, so far I haven’t run into any noticeable performance issues.

I’m also learning a bit more about using Ruby for command line tools. I was kind of holding off on learning that kind of thing until I got better at python, but I already know Ruby and I really need to get started on some of these tools to save time. Things like generating templates and setting up dev environments. I just wrote a script to setup WordPress on an Apache VM, which I’ve been doing a lot of as I start learning on different machines.

I also want to do some more work with Socket.IO. I went through some SignalR projects during my last vacation, but once I started using it in my own projects, I decided I didn’t really like the way it worked. Socket.IO is a little more basic, and the community around it is more active so there are more learning resources. It means working with Node.JS and express, which is yet another development environment to get comfortable with.

I’m going to get an old table saw from my dad this week, so I can finally set up my grinder to sharpen my wood turning tools. I’m sure there are other things you can do with a table saw, probably.

Punctuation Fatigue

After spending quite a lot of time in C# and TypeScript, it’s kind of nice to go back to Ruby and do a little dynamic programming. Ruby encourages a bit of magic, which can make things pretty convenient but hard to manage in a large team. PHP makes you keep things out in the open a little more, which is nice when you have to figure out how something is done. But it has some kind of unusual syntax choices. It can be kind of a lot to wrap your head around all at once, I’m having a hard time getting into it gradually.

I’ll have to reverse engineer some Symfony 3 apps, since the only books available that go through a whole project are in Symfony 2. The Symfony documentation has good information about the individual components, but it doesn’t seem to help getting a real application put together. That might just be part of my inexperience with PHP, though. Composer was still a very new thing when I switched from PHP to Ruby.

I wonder if they’ll ever release Casshern on blu-ray for the US, or if I’ll have to buy this European one.

Learning Environment

Getting setup with PHP means a lot of things to learn at once. PHP itself, WordPress, Symfony, and MySQL.

I learned PHP at school and used it for my first year as a web developer. But after switching to Rails, I haven’t spent much time with it. That means I don’t know how to do a lot of the programming techniques I’ve learned over the years with PHP. Getting used to the punctuation again will be one thing, and of course all languages have their quirks. False is empty? Ok, I guess.

WordPress is going to be a challenge. I got to the point where I could make some custom themes and basic plugins before I switched, but I was never an expert. It seems like it has been pretty stable over the past few years, but I’ll want to learn about the new features and keep security in mind.

Symfony seems promising, but there are are a lot of moving pieces to keep track of at first. I don’t like the annotation configuration, which seems to be recommended in several guides for beginners. I like the idea of yaml config files, but maybe PHP config would be easier to debug. Many of the resources target Symfony 2, and it sounds like there were some major changes between 2 and 3.

As for MySQL, there are really just a few things I know how to do in PostgreSQL that I’ll have to learn the MySQL variants of. Mostly it’s administrative stuff that I can look up pretty quickly. I do want to learn more about the possibilities of MariaDB.

June will be another busy month. Black Desert Online is on sale. Supposedly several people from my guild in an MMO I used to play were switching to that, back when it went into open beta. They may have moved on from Black Desert onto something even newer. With all the stuff to learn, and Dark Souls 3 to work on, it might be hard to find enough time to get started in a new MMO.

Back to Blogging

I’m not sure exactly how many times I’ve tried to start up a new blog, but here’s one more. Back to pretty much where I started, on WordPress.

I need to find some time to play Dark Souls 3. I spent way too long in the tutorial area trying to figure out parry timing. I got pretty comfortable with it in Dark Souls, but I guess it was a bit easier. I took a few tries to get the uchigatana, but I ended up going back to the handaxe and shield.

I’ve been watching the Super Best Friends play Yakuza 0, which is really entertaining. Probably better to watch than play, actually. I may decide to pick up a a PS4 at some point, but I have to decide whether to shell out for the Pro version or pick up the older one at about half the price. I guess it depends when the PS5 is planned to come out.