SQL Searching with Relevance and Natural Language Processing

Working at a start-up in the early stages things are often built to solve a problem at the time, more often than not with a specific client in mind and time-frame in mind. As the company grows and becomes more established sometimes this very same code needs to scale or change based on features or performance original anticipated. One example of this is if your building your own search queries in SQL. We’ve all done it. They start out all … Continued


How to: Install PHP 7 on Ubuntu 14.04 / 16.04

It’s release day! Or it was on the 3rd of December 2015 – the release date for the final version of PHP 7.0. There have been a whole host of improvements made to PHP but we won’t delve too deep into changes. This is a very quick guide on how to update to the latest release for those of you running a Ubuntu Linux system. It is very simple, thanks to ondrej managing a ppa repo for this release, like … Continued


Enabling HTTP/2 Support on Apache2 and PHP

I’ve been a keen follower of the exciting changes to the HTTP specification over the past few years – with the release of the HTTP/2 standard in 2015 (after it evolved from the spdy project). If you’re unfamiliar with http/2 there are some great videos available which outline exactly what it is and how it is different from http 1.1 – which we’ve been so accustomed to over the years. In light of these changes and of the ever increasing … Continued


Keep Your PHP Code Clean with Traits

In PHP object-oriented programming (OOP), inheritance means a class can only ever have a single parent, thus PHP is called a single inheritance language. Traits however give the ability for a class to inherit one or more sets of functions from different places and are a way around the single inheritance problem. Traits are sometimes referred to as mixins because they aren’t a class, more just a set of functions which get added to whatever uses that trait – and … Continued


Converting a Decimal to a Fraction in PHP

Below is a helper function to convert a decimal, like for instance 6.5, into a fraction, 13/3 in this example. In fact the function will return an array with the number on the top of the fraction (the numerator) being the first item and the number at the bottom (the denominator) being the second item. Edit 25th Nov 2016: Changed the function to be more accurate and added some phpunit tests for it. The Function: /** * Convert a decimal … Continued


Converting Google Maps Tile Coordinates to Boundary Box Coords

Usually working with the Google Maps API is a very simple and well documented experience. Saying this though, recently we wanted to overlay an image over the map. The overlay was relevant to the exact point which you were looking at, so the coordinates had to be exact. The images were also being retrieved from an external service, which we didn’t have access to change. The problem we were having stemmed from the fact that the Google Maps JavaScript library … Continued


New Go Learning Website – GolangCode.com

I’ve recently started a new site, helping with the basics of learning go. It’s not exactly a tutorial website, where every step of the how-to guide is explained to you, but more of a snippet repository – a starting point to working out how to do anything and everything which you might be looking at tackleing. This ranges from go routines to json encoding to file management to build processes. View GolangCode.com Photo by Brad Smith


Dedicated vs. Shared Databases: A ‘MySQL has gone way’ fix

While working on a data heavy web application recently we noticed some strange unstable performance with our SQL database – this is a post about how we investigated it and what we did about it. The application was written in PHP and hosted on Heroku in the EU region. We were using a ClearDB database, also hosted in the EU. TL;DR Our ‘MySQL server has gone away‘ message was fixed by moving from a shared database to a dedicated database … Continued


Super-charge your WordPress Blog: Setup a CDN

Performance is important. We get this. As blog owners if our users get frustrated then we get frustrated. In this post we’ll look at how you can move a blog’s performance and loading times to the next level. A couple of years ago we looked at how to improve a website’s loading times – this post should be more specific than that, focusing primarily on WordPress and how content is delivered to your users. Who is this article for? This … Continued


9 Things I Wish I’d Known about PHP Years Ago

I have been working with PHP for a good number of years now – (not including WordPress development, does that count? 😉 ). Here are some of the things I wish I’d known at the very beginning. Most of them are small little code snippets but there are also a few points about diving into the code too deep. Towards the end are a few helpful resources which have helped me out along the way. Coding: 1. Array Manipulation Since … Continued


Detecting if a User is on a Touch Screen Device in JS

Whilst recently working with native date pickers on mobile browsers, Chrome and Opera we came across an issue. The native datepicker wasn’t acting as we wanted – but we had no control over it (you can’t trigger a native datepicker to open in Chrome!). Because of this we wanted to fallback to a custom date picker (think jQuery UI) if a native date picker didn’t exist or if the browser is on a desktop. We’ll focus on the ‘is on … Continued


Validate a UK Grid Reference in Laravel 5

This will just be a small article and quite a specific one. We’ll be looking at how to verify an input to guarantee it is a valid 8 figure grid reference. This will be checking against the UK Ordnance Survey standard, so two letters followed by four easting numbers and four northing numbers. e.g. AA11112222 It is important to remove any spaces from the string before submitting. This can be achieved through a small JS function and a .replace function. … Continued