Technology Solutions for Everyday Folks
Suspense while waiting (to update).

Cleaning Up and Updating

I've been a bit remiss in the posting cadence lately (well, since Thanksgiving). Much has been happening in all realms of life (as they are want to be during the "holiday season"). That being said, I don't return to work, proper, until January 6. And so it's time to do some cleaning up and other updates. With any luck, I'll have some material queued up to help buffer the situations when I'm out of time (or random ideas).

Much Reading Material

Over Thanksgiving I spent considerable time going through and cleaning out all of the random technical bookmarks I'd queued up during...well, all of 2019. Some things were no longer applicable and some were reorganized into actionable collections, but everything was read. It was an interesting undertaking and helped re-spark some ideas to implement.

Tis the Season for Updates

Other things I managed to do this weekend was get all of the various web platforms updated to their most current versions (WordPress and Drupal) for the family. They all more or less auto-handle the minor updates, but there were a few requiring plugin updates and a few "major" (-ish) version updates, including this particular platform to Drupal 8.1.1. While the risk is low, the headline image adequately illustrates the waiting process...always a slight breath hold until things reload (and then check out fine). The Drupal upgrade was several steps, as I decided for my own sanity to handle them incrementally instead of jump over/skip one. Necessary? No. It's just what I did, though.

Note to self, though: after a bigger update, clear the Drupal cache and run cron manually. Future Me will thank Past Me later. Hopefully before considering to roll back to a backup. :)

Additionally, last week was finally the end of a MySQL DB host migration for a client system. This was a slightly more major upgrade/change, mostly because of the simultaneous host change. Some testing in the dev instance illustrated a need to better handle some DB field defaults...which is primarily poor carryover from an old design. I'm glad I was able to catch the problem, though, because in an hour all of the obvious modifications were handled (in both dev and prod, the latter to prestage the changes) and tested out with success. There have been a couple of minor tweaks since the cutover, mostly related to the manner in which users enter data (difficult to test) and how the underlying system handles it. The great news out of all of this is that the system has much more robust input validation and sanitization than it did a few weeks ago.

Git is the Shit!

For many reasons, I've not been doing as much serious development work for a few months...but I was kindly reminded several times in the last few weeks that I really love Git. I'm glad that Past Me made some choices, because using Git/GitHub has been a huge timesaver. For instance, the previously mentioned DB host migration: everything was prestaged and ready to go. When I was given the go-ahead by the DB admins in charge of the migration, a simple git pull was all it took to seamlessly update the host pointer(s) and address the various necessities in how the queries needed to behave. Ten years ago, this would've been a two-hour long block of "hold my calendar" to make sure everything behaved as expected. Amazing.

Headline image via giphy

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