Using Bitbucket Pipelines To Deploy to AWS EC2

This is not an in-depth article — have too much going on these days for that.  It is a more a short-hand techie crib sheet of how I got a deployment repo to auto-pull the latest changes to its develop branch over to my staging server automatically.    This is pulling down a fully software environment to a directory on the server.

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PHP __set() Magic Method Conundrum

I am completely baffled by this one and hope one of my techie friends can help.

I’m using a PHP class with magic methods to set and get the properties of that class.    The idea is to use private properties in the class so that the PHP magic methods can take over and determine whether to update a WordPress user meta entry, blog entry, or standard option based on which proper of the class is being retrieved or stored.

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IEEE Top Programming Languages

Python, C and C++ top the list.

Surprising to see PHP higher on the list than JavaScript.

spectrum.ieee.org/at-work/innovation/the-2018-top-programming-languages

Vue Datatable Example

An article about building a JavaScript JSON server and front-end Vue interface to display it.

A great simple example for those interested in building pure JS web services.

appdividend.com/2018/06/07/vue-datatable-component-example/

Automated Web App Testing With phpStorm

Selenium IDE was a great way to handle automated web app testing like the Store Locator Plus plugins for WordPress.    Selenium IDE is a simple script recorder and playback too that runs on Firefox.    Or, I should say, it used to run on Firefox.  That broke in 2017 when Firefox 52 came out.

After a lot of research I finally found a viable alternative to Selenium IDE that will work with modern browsers.  It is also free, locally installed, and open source. All winning attributes.  Paying for services is not much of an issue so the free part is not a requirement just a “that’s nice” feature.

Web app testing services

I tried several paid alternatives including Browserstack — a paid monthly service that runs virtual desktops and mobile device simulations hosting various browsers. Having to connect to a remote server via proxies or tunnels is a pain.    It also means no testing when offline or when the network is unreliable.    Having multiple browsers is great but 90% of the testing that needs to happen is base functionality which is the same across browsers.    Modern browser are also very good at testing mobile with browser like Safari going beyond simple screen sizing in their mimic of IOS, for example.

Other alternatives included several locally installed proprietary test frameworks.   Nearly every one of them ranges from mediocre to downright horrid.    This is clearly an industry stuck in the 1990s mindset of application development — from the start where you have to fill out a form with all your contact info to be “allowed” to demo the product (and be later harassed by sales people) to the 1980s desktop-centric interfaces.    Many did not work on MacOS.   Those that worked were heavy, bloated, and had a steep learning curve.    Does nobody integrate with my phpStorm, my web app IDE?

It just so happens that the best local testing suite today happens to be free.

The winner?   Selenium Webdriver with a few libraries like WebDriverIO + Mocha + Chai to make things easy.
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