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Category: Programming Quickies

Back in they day, I ran a Tumblr blog named Magento Quickies where I’d post shorter, less in-depth posts about my travels through Magento’s source code. This Programming Quickies categories is the successor to that Tumblr blog. You’ll find all the old Magento Quickies content here, as well as new short posts about programming in general.

This section has its own RSS feed, the old Magento Quickies feed should should be redirecting, and we’re cross posting notifications for new posts over to In other words, you shouldn’t need to know any of this, but the duct tape that keeps the internet held together isn’t aging well, so your mileage may vary.

Below you'll find all the Programming Quickies articles on the site.

How PHP Runs a Program

When I found the PHP Internals site a few months back, I noticed there was a small credit at the bottom. Built by Thomas Punt & Liam Mann Some Googling showed that Thomas Punt had written this How PHP Executes — from Source Code to Render article for sitepoint. While the article was accurate, like a lot of pro internet content [...]


Understanding Git Rebase

I first saw a version of this talk (from @ellotheth) at PHPPNW in 2015, and it’s the first thing that made git rebasing make sense to me. Too many rebasing tutorials are so busy selling you on the benifits that they gloss over what’s happening to repository. Gemma’s talk not only dives into what a git rebase actually [...]


New Docs Site for PHP Internals

A new documentation site for PHP Internals (the pile of C code that’s used to build PHP itself) magically appeared a few weeks ago and it’s pretty great. While the PHP Internals Book tries to give you the context you need to work in the PHP source code, this new PHP Internals site is trying to document every symbol and the [...]


Large Excel Data Dumps

I don’t know much about its provenance, but this small python program is just the thing if you’re trying to export a large Excel spreadsheet to a far more usable/malleable CSV file. Particularly useful for folks with Macs, since Numbers, Libre Office, and Open Office don’t handle large files well (Numbers and Open [...]



It’s been long enough and I’m now old enough that I can’t quite remember when I started following Simon Willison’s work. He’s the co-creator of Django and one of those early online programming voices that were invaluable if you were cobbling together how all this stuff worked without direct access to the [...]


Line On Sierra

When it comes to retro gaming I’m mostly a dillitante, and I’m mostly chasing nostalgia. That probably explains why I’ve only just discovered this fantastic four year old series from a modern game critic (LIne Hollis) playing through the origial Sierra On-Line lineup. I mention this here, on a programming blog, because [...]


Unfriendly Fire

One of the less fun parts about working in a C code base is dealing with the toxic machismo that’s still present in the wider culture. The people I work with are (fortunatly) great, but when I’m wading through the internet for answers I come across things like this time and time again. The top answer is a rant that spends [...]


Mage TV Beta

Vinai Koop has opened his service/channel as a free public beta. Right now there’s over an hour of free Magento 2 tutorials, and a roapmap for what content’s coming next. It’s also an interesting example of a single person’s vision for a video delivery system. These sort of systems are common, but are [...]


Chrome Redirecting .dev to HTTPS

The latest version of Google Chrome (Chrome 63) will redirect any domain that ends in .dev and .foo to an https URL automatically. It sounds like Google felt they could do this since they bought the entire .dev and .foo global top-level domains (gTLD). I joke complained about this on Twitter before, but it seems like my Chrome finally [...]


No Clear Wins

Two of the biggest mind shifts I’ve had to make in coming back to C programming have been strings and variable scope/lifetime. This Stack Overflow question is a nice encasulation of both. First off — strings aren’t a first class type in C. They’re just a char array of individual characters, with a NULL character as the final [...]