TMI About me

Submitted by Larry on 22 March 2017 - 4:49pm

Recently, I've become aware of a whisper campaign going around the Drupal world, discussing details about my personal life. I do not know where it started or who all has been part of it. However, it's become apparent that it's not going to settle down, and has now had a major, direct impact on me and my professional career. Only a few people have bothered to speak to me directly, but there's been enough back-chatter that I feel I have no choice but to clarify some private details about me, in public, and address the actions of some fellow members of the Drupal community.

Put your IT money where your mouth is

Submitted by Larry on 29 January 2017 - 10:01pm

Most of the time I try to stick to technical topics on this blog, rather than political. However, as this past week has shown we do not have the luxury of being a-political. We have a political system where rampant institutional corruption has been suddenly overshadowed by a new administration that has a complete and total disregard for the rule of law, American citizens, people in need (domestic or foreign), the future of our planet, and the basic facts of reality itself.

This does not bode well for us as a people.

Start Git with an empty commit

Submitted by Larry on 16 January 2017 - 6:45pm

Recently I've had reason to start several new projects with Git. That's nothing exciting (except for me), but it means I've been making a lot of first-commits, and often rebasing my early commit history before making it public. That, however, runs into an interesting problem: You can't easily rebase the first commit.

Sometimes that doesn't matter. Lately, though, I've repeatedly found myself wanting to change that first commit, often to remove a file that I included in the initial commit inadvertently.

PHP 7 Explained: A review

Submitted by Larry on 31 December 2016 - 2:50pm

The team over at thePHP.cc recently published an ebook entitled PHP 7 Explained, "Everything you need to know about the next generation."

A few weeks back, I received an email from them stating "As a token of our appreciation for your involvement in the PHP community we would like to gift you a copy of our eBook." Yay, free stuff! Since I'd gotten it free, and it's of timely use to the PHP world, I decided to publish a formal review.

New Drupal, new Platform, new PHP, new year

Submitted by Larry on 31 December 2016 - 1:19pm

OK, well, it took a while, but I've finally gotten my blog off of Drupal 6. :-) Welcome to the new and improved Garfieldtech.com! My blog is unsurprisingly rather bland, as it's, well, a blog. That made updating to Drupal 8.2 using the Drupal migrate module reasonably easy. It wasn't hiccup free, and a few not-yet-updated modules got lost along the way, but it wasn't an epic struggle, either. There were only two major hiccups:

HTML Application or Network Application?

Submitted by Larry on 19 May 2016 - 2:45am

There has been much discussion in the last few years of "web apps". Most of the discussion centers around whether "web apps" that do not degrade gracefully, use progressive enhancement, have bookmarkable pages, use semantic tags, and so forth are "Doing It Wrong(tm)", or if JavaScript is sufficiently prevalent that a JavaScript-dependent site/app is reasonable.

What I fear is all too often missing from these discussions is that there isn't one type of "web app". Just because two "things" use HTTP doesn't mean they're conceptually even remotely the same thing.

Moving to a new Platform

Submitted by Larry on 2 May 2016 - 10:02am

After my last post, a number of people asked if I was leaving Drupal all together. Perish the thought. :-) However, after a decade at Palantir.net and the five-year Wagnerian Saga that was the Drupal 8 development cycle (complete with singing), I have been asking myself "What next?"

Well, what do I like to do? I like to build. I like to teach. I like to make things better. I like to work with smart people, as colleagues, as community partners, and as customers. I want to be able to have an impact in making something better for other people.

To that end, I am pleased to announce that today is my first day as Director of Runtimes, Integrations, Engines, and Services for Platform.sh.

The end of an era

Submitted by Larry on 22 April 2016 - 2:06pm

Today is the end of an era. After just over ten and a half years, this is my last day with Palantir.net.

The past decade has seen Palantir grow from a company of 5 to a company of over 30. From a company that wouldn't touch the GPL with a ten foot pole to a strong advocate for Open Source, Free Software, and Drupal in particular. From a company that did mostly subcontracting work for design firms to an end-to-end soup-to-nuts agency. From having two desktop screen sizes anyone cared about to an infinite scale of screens from 3"-30". From a world where IE 5 for Mac was considered a good browser to one where once again, the latest Microsoft browser is actually good. (Everything old is new again, I suppose.)

After ten years with the same company (which in Internet years is about a millennium) I certainly have stories. There's plenty I could say about Palantir, most of it good. :-) In the end, though, there's one thing in particular that has kept me here for so long.

Palantir.net is the kind of place that has your back.

On contempt

Submitted by Larry on 25 March 2016 - 10:06pm

A few weeks ago, I went on an uncharacteristic Twitter rant. At the suggestion of a follower or two I've turned it into a blog post for posterity. The following is a direct repeat of that Twitter stream, very lightly edited and paragraphed.

Composer vs. Linux Distributions: A Mental Model Battle

Submitted by Larry on 24 February 2016 - 12:10pm

Recently, Gentoo documented what they view as the Composer Problem: Basically, PHP projects using Composer can't be packaged the way they want to package it, with system-level shared libraries. This is not a new complaint; Other distributions have complained about Composer's impact before. But fundamentally I think the issue stems from having the wrong mental model of how modern PHP works when viewed from a distribution or sysadmin perspective.