I recently decided to revamp my personal home page as a Vue SPA. I am not much of a designer, so I am going to use a free design from HTML5 Up! as a starting point and riff from there. Most of those templates make heavy use of Sass - of which I am a big fan. Theoretically you can use PostCSS plugins to replicate everything that SASS does, but I am not ready to make that leap yet. Perhaps someday. So, my plan is to use the Vue CLI webpack starter template along with an HTML5 Up design as the foundation for my new site.
I am a big fan of templating tools, and Laravel's Blade templating system in particular. Given that PHP itself was originally conceived as a templating language you might think that using an additional layer of templating on top of PHP is a bit ironic, but I do think there is a real benefit. We as developers often get caught up in the details of the applications we are building and can sometimes forget that these applications will (hopefully) have a lifespan that goes beyond the work of a single developer. Anything we can do to simplify the cognitive overhead required to bring new developers on-board will go a long way towards keeping our codebase alive and healthy. When used correctly, templating systems like Twig, Mustache or Blade can be a very effective for this purpose.
Out of the box, Laravel provides an excellent methodology for handling exceptions that occur in your applications. However, I sometimes find that the default handling of 404 errors is not very helpful for resolving problematic URLs. It turns out this is very easy to implement with a few minor tweaks.
I have a new client who came to me wanting to build out some new features on an existing Laravel 4.2 application. Unfortunately the codebase did not have any tests, wich complicates the process of implementing the new changes. As a sort of stop-gap measure, we have agreed to add some "retro-active" acceptance tests to make sure that the existing functionality isn't inadvertently broken.
One of my clients has a WordPress site which makes use of several different contact forms. Powered by the Contact Form 7 plugin, they send their data to an email address when the user submits the form. Recently my client decided that they wanted to send a "Thank you" email as a response to each person who filled out a particular form, and they asked me to set that up for them. I have been using Mandrill for some of my larger applications, and it seemed to me that by combining the Mandrill Incoming Mail API with Lumen, the micro-framework from Laravel, setting up a micro-service to solve this problem would be very easy. Here is how I did it: