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SQL - Formatting tool

One min read
Christophe
Markdown, WSL and Docker lover ~ PHP developer ~ Insatiable curious.

SQL - Formatting tool

When faced with legacy code, it is often useful to reformat it to make it readable. And from there, the study of the code can begin.

There are plenty of reformatting tools for json, php, javascript and other languages, but far fewer for a query written in SQL.

Just copy/paste SELECT LAT_N, CITY, TEMP_F FROM STATS, STATION WHERE MONTH = 7 AND STATS.ID = STATION.ID ORDER BY TEMP_F in the tool and get

SELECT
LAT_N,
CITY,
TEMP_F
FROM
STATS,
STATION
WHERE
MONTH = 7
AND STATS.ID = STATION.ID
ORDER BY
TEMP_F

Makefile - Tutorial and Tips & Tricks

16 min read
Christophe
Markdown, WSL and Docker lover ~ PHP developer ~ Insatiable curious.

Makefile - Tutorial and Tips & Tricks

When I'm learning, I usually take notes. I find that it's one of the best ways of remembering what I've seen and being able to come back to it at any time.

Below is a note that I took and revised several times when I took the time to create my first .make files.

Microsoft Outlook - VBA - Save emails as PDF

3 min read
Christophe
Markdown, WSL and Docker lover ~ PHP developer ~ Insatiable curious.

Microsoft Outlook - VBA - Save emails as PDF

You may also need to select several emails from Microsoft Outlook and save them as PDF files on your hard drive.

In my case, it was when I was complementary self-employed. I had to keep track of the orders I received and the invoices I sent. Saving my orders as PDFs meant that I could keep them as archives, even if my mail server failed.

This post will explain to you how to create such macro for Outlook.

Clean code - Linux Bash - Keep the number of function parameters as small as possible

3 min read
Christophe
Markdown, WSL and Docker lover ~ PHP developer ~ Insatiable curious.

Clean code - Linux Bash - Keep the number of function parameters as small as possible

A concept of the clean code approach is to avoid too many function parameter (I would say that four parameters is already too many).

When you're programming in a language more advanced than Linux Bash, it's easy to get round the problem. For example, in PHP, if I need to call a function and pass it several parameters, I'll create an object that will be my only parameter and that object will then have several properties.

So, for instance, if I need to pass data such as a surname, first name, date of birth, gender, etc., I'll create a person object, define my properties and voil脿, I've only got one parameter to pass to my function. In most cases, it'll be a very nice solution.

But how do you do it in Linux Bash? It's impossible to pass an object... so I'm going to pass it an associative array.

Introduction to Behat

23 min read
Christophe
Markdown, WSL and Docker lover ~ PHP developer ~ Insatiable curious.

Introduction to Behat

At work, I'm part of a team of PHP developers where we work together to create a very large proprietary application with a web interface.

This application is developed using the Laravel framework and we use PHPUnit and Pest to run our unit tests.

However, in addition to the unit tests, we are also putting in place a tool that will simulate actions on our interface, such as accessing the login page, entering a login and password, simulating the click on the 'login' button, wait our main screen is displayed then, on the new page, assert a lot of things / do a lot of tasks.

It's a bit like asking a human to play out scenarios over and over again, every day, to make sure we haven't introduced any regressions in our latest developments, like a cool new feature whose code changes have broken a previous feature.

For this, we're using Behat. This is a PHP composer dependency you can add to your project (or a new one). The idea is to be able to write assertions in pure English (or French) like "I go to the ABC website then I click on the blog menu item and I should receive a list of blog items" or "In the search box, I type Docker then I click on the search button and I should receive articles having the Docker tags".

In this article, we'll learn more about Behat and how to use it for a first test.

PHP Getter and Setter in VSCode

3 min read
Christophe
Markdown, WSL and Docker lover ~ PHP developer ~ Insatiable curious.

PHP Getter and Setter in VSCode

Because you're an excellent developer, you deny anyone access to the properties of your class directly, but only via a getter or setter.

In other words, in your PHP class, you don't have public properties (they're devil) but exclusively protected ones or better private.

And using getter and setters you allow other objects to interact with your private methods by reading them (getters) or updating their values (setters).

Some people will say "Yes, but it's tedious to write these functions", but not at all.

Joomla - Run a SQL statement outside Joomla and display a nice HTML table

5 min read
Christophe
Markdown, WSL and Docker lover ~ PHP developer ~ Insatiable curious.

Joomla - Run a SQL statement outside Joomla and display a nice HTML table

A long time ago, years from now, I needed to expose data from my Joomla site in a simple web page outside Joomla, as an HTML table. This was so that I could link a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to this table and therefore, in Excel, simply do a Refresh to obtain the most recent data from my Joomla site.

The aim was to find the list of people who had bought software or services from me. Among other things, I needed their first name, family name, billing address, etc. so that I could create an invoice in Microsoft Word using the mail merge functionality (data source=Excel).

Real world use case

Oh, wait, so a web page that would execute a SQL query of the type SELECT ... FROM ... WHERE ... against the Joomla database, retrieve the records then display them in an HTML page so Excel can link the table and Word can retrieve them and generate f.i. pdf. Cool, isn't it?

Of course, just running a query on your database and show the result as a web page can be really useful.

FTP - Remove files and folders at light speed

2 min read
Christophe
Markdown, WSL and Docker lover ~ PHP developer ~ Insatiable curious.

FTP - Remove files and folders at light speed

Have you ever deleted a website from your FTP client? It's easy, just select the folder containing the website and press the delete key.

Easy, simple and ... so slow. It takes ages to suppress files / folders. Several dozen minutes! Ouch.

If you've a SSH connection to your web server and if you're comfortable with it; you can rm -rf the folder and it'll be done in seconds.

But what if you don't have SSH or fear to make errors?

There is an alternative, the erase.php script.

Ubuntu - Install from scratch

5 min read
Christophe
Markdown, WSL and Docker lover ~ PHP developer ~ Insatiable curious.

Ubuntu - Install from scratch

Today is a public holiday in Belgium, so I'm finally taking the time to install Ubuntu on my old PC.

The idea is to remove Windows and install Ubuntu Desktop 24.04 on the computer.

Let's go, you'll see, it's easy.