The working environment

I’m an old guy, and I mostly use pretty old stuff, but occasionally I think I should migrate to more up to date tools. I’ve used svn for 20 years. I know I should have moved to git long ago. I have also been using Eclipse as an IDE since forever. I run on apache. My systems aren’t virtual. One of my main websites is still hand wrought in PHP, and another is using an ancient and obsolete version of zend framework which has been abandoned by Zend. I think of moving it, maybe to laravel, maybe even to ruby on rails.

This documents my effort to modernize, if only a little. This is a very uncomfortable process because there are times when I’m sure I’m going to foul up the running sites, and be unable to get them up, or that I’m not going to be able to fix the next bug that comes along.

The development environment

I hate eclipse. And I love eclipse. It is free, it is powerful, and I have used it for a long time. But it has way more features and complexity than I use. I always feel too, that eclipse has grown huge java muscles for big Java EE projects, and that it is overkill for my little php, javascript, python, and bash projects. There always seem to be things wrong in my eclipse environment that I don’t know how to fix. There are so many options and so much machinery for big projects, and so much terminology for all that machinery, that I’m overwhelmed. Half the time the php syntax checking is broken. Plus, eclipse has all its own built in handling of the visual representation, I think it is SWT, but I don’t really know – what I do know is that on the laptop with a 4K screen, eclipse is almost unreadable. Often I have to pick the laptop up and hold it close to my face to be able to make out some little tiny markings. For everything but eclipse I have figured out how to adjust, in gnome, in dconf, etc. but eclipse has to be different. And finally, every time I update eclipse I have trouble. Trouble getting the subclipse stuff working again. Trouble with the php syntax verifier.

Most of my code is php, javascript, python, and bash. I write almost no java now. I haven’t written any Ruby in a long time. So surely there is an IDE out there that would be easier. I found Phpstorm. I have been using it for a couple of weeks. Git and composer support are built in: they are fundamental to phpstorm, in a way that they can never be in eclipse, where they are add ons. There is still a vast deal of stuff that I don’t understand, but I have bitten the bullet and bought Phpstorm, and for the most part I have stopped using eclipse.


Recently (last couple of months) I’ve been having a lot of trouble with my svn repository on tarragon. I’ve been using this repository on tarragon since 2004. It has a lot of stuff in it, and a lot of cruft. Maybe that is why it is so slow. But it has gotten so I can’t reliably check out a big project with a lot of files, or commit back a big project with a lot of files.

I’ve partially moved to git several times. But the truth is that I know svn better, and when I get into a crunch it has always been easier to fall back on svn. However, the issues with svn are making it impossible to work. This documents a very serious effort to move everything to git.

I have moved the and the media websites to github, and the checked out live versions are clones from github. Both of them rely on a set of libraries which were previously called WMB, but I was scolded by composer about using upper case names, and the library is now called wmblib. All of these are under the account deebuck. The ancient version of Zend Framework which relies upon has been cloned also into my deebuck account, so that composer will quit reminding me that it has been abandoned by Zend.

There is also a bit of code called the SpectraRecorder, written for my brother in law, which has also been moved. I moved the spectra recorder to git (on tarragon) in 2017, and then backslid when I had to do a major update and went back to svn for the big update. I have now exported that into github, and plan to abandon the svn version – but I am keeping it in svn because it has the old historical flash version. The new version is all javascript.

The svn repository on tarragon is still quite extensive and includes older versions of the moved stuff, as well as tons of other stuff that isn’t active. Most of this stuff will never move to git. But for the active stuff, the svn repository is now firmly out of date, and my intention is to abandon the versions there.