bookmark_borderThe current state of things

It’s amazing how life gets going in a rhythm, and you get your head down and working so hard, that you sometimes forget to look around (or in this case, write in your blog).

Working at a small travel advertising company is a really great thing – until almost all travel ceases, and no one is advertising, and you suddenly find yourself unemployed as a result.

So today I am taking a moment to reflect on what I’ve learned in the last few months. One of my projects gave me the opportunity to work with Vue.js for the first time, and I basically taught myself what I needed to know in order to get it done. It was a good challenge, and I learned a lot.

Mixed in with that I was trying to find a way to query data for a reporting tool that involved millions of rows of data, which was being used by the sales team. The tool already worked, but our team was trying to find a better way to run the queries so they didn’t take up to several minutes to run. We were dealing with behavioral data, and there was a lot of it. The dynamic nature of the queries meant that the more conditions you added, the slower the query might run. Along with that I was trying to normalize the way the data was represented so that other types of queries could all be run the same way, and even be mixed together. Talk about a complex problem! But we were making some headway with it, and then the corona virus hit. We went from a growing thriving company to zero income in two weeks.

The other technologies I was working on were crossfilter.js, dc.js, and d3.js. I did video courses on each, and got to mess around with them a bit using real data from our system, although I wasn’t ready to actually do any graphing just yet. I knew where I wanted to put them eventually, but that was further down the development roadmap.

I guess now, I’ll just need to find a way to work with these in some personal projects to improve my skills, and keep them sharp.

 

bookmark_borderWordPress permalinks not working

WordPress permalinks not working? I feel your pain. Read on…

Recently, after setting up another virtual host on my Linux server, for a WordPress site, permalinks were not working. Any page other than home was getting a 404 error. I searched Google for help, but kept finding the same advise, which was basically to make sure that the .htaccess file was writable and had the correct permissions.

Sadly, it took me 2 days to solve this puzzle. (About 3-4 hours total.)

Come on, I’ve done this before!

This was the second time I was doing this, so I knew I had figured it out once before, and done all the work to learn how it is done, but for some reason the dots just weren’t connecting for me. It was very frustrating!

So now I am documenting it so that if I ever add another site, I’ll have a guide to remind me of exactly what is required to get it done in minutes, rather than hours.

The basic steps:

  1. Create site folder, and place the files for the website there
  2. Set permissions
  3. Create virtual host conf file
  4. Confirm that the site comes up insecure (HTTP)
  5. Use Let’s Encrypt to add SSL
  6. Confirm that the site only works in HTTPS mode

This is where things went wrong…

It was at this point that I realized that the permalinks were not working.

I began confirming that the .htaccess was correct. Then I remembered that I had done something to avoid .htaccess last time because I had read at least one page showing how it negatively affects site performance.

I started poking around the .conf file, adding in the Directory block, and making sure it contained the code that the .htaccess file had.

But the changes were not having any effect. I was a bit baffled as to why.

The Aha Moment

Finally, I realized that I was not in the right file! Let’s Encrypt creates a second .conf file, and that is where the code needs to be!

The first .conf file has :80 in it, and  handles HTTP traffic, and it redirects to HTTPS, so then the .conf from Let’s Encrypt is active. It has :443 in it, and that is where the code needs to be.

I opened up the :443 .conf file from the first site and immediately saw the code I was looking for. A few copy/paste’s later and the new site was working properly, and the mystery was solved.

The :443 .conf file has a Directory block in it, which tells the web server not to look for  .htaccess files. This improves performance. All that was required was to copy the .htaccess file content into that section.

 

Are you also a PHP programmer? I’ve got other blog entries that you might be interested in!

 

More about me

I have been programming for almost 20 years. It all started with Basic and RPG III way back in high school, and have played around with many languages. PHP is my main language today.

Meet my Basenji dogs Zinga and Zulu: https://BarooBoos.com

bookmark_borderLaravel – the difference between all() and get()

When dealing with a model, all()  is a static method.
It creates a new query object, and runs get()  on that object

get()  is not static, but can be called statically because of a magic method in the Model class.

You cannot modify the query when using all() .

Model::all() // will retrieve all models

 

You can select columns to retrieve from the database by passing them as parameters to all()

Model::all('id') // will retrieve all models, but include only the id column

 

Model::all()  and Model::get()  do exactly the same thing. The only difference is that Model::all()  will create a query builder instance and call get() for you. It does this in a static method on the object.

If you call Model::get() , the magic method will create a query builder instance and call get()  on that instance.

Model::all()  will only accept columns as parameters. It is flexible and will accept either an array or a list of them.

Model::get()  will also only accept columns as parameters. However, it is not flexible, so you must provide them in an array.

Model::where('id',1)->get('id')

 

This only works because of the magic method. Just like get() , where()  is not defined in the Model class.

Just remember that you’re dealing with a query builder instance.

bookmark_borderLaravel Eloquent only()

$fullModel = Model::find(1) // Get model with id 1
$idArray = $fullModel->only('id')  // array containing id


// this does not work. You'll get back an empty collection
// It is trying to pull the id column off the collection object,
// not the models it contains
$models = Model::all()
$ids = $models->only('id')

// this will give you a collection of ids
$models = Model::all()
$ids = $models->pluck('id')