Wednesday, June 29, 2016

rumprun php7 experiment results

I forked rumprun-packages to build its php7 package with more features by default.  The original says it’s an “unmodified PHP 7.0.3” build, but it uses --disable-all to build with a minimal number of extensions by default, and that’s not really great for showing just what could work on rumprun.

I made a “mega” build which contains everything I can possibly include into it, including packaging up libjpeg-turbo and libpng so that this PHP can use gd.

I have been unable to get the memcached extension to work, though.  libmemcached-1.0 is written in C++ and depends on some exception-handling symbols.  PHP links with $(CC), which doesn’t include any C++ support.

I’d probably be more disappointed in this, except that I don’t know if rumprun PHP is all that useful.  Options are the single-threaded CLI HTTP server (not intended for production), or using ye olde php-cgi SAPI… which is also not a multithreaded option.  It expects to run single-threaded child processes under a FastCGI process manager.  (php-fpm simply integrates a process manager, so that you don’t need to find a separate one and integrate it; it’s also multi-process.)

And rumprun doesn’t have processes.  It’s a unikernel.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016


How it feels when we try to procure stuff. Maybe we’re just a personal sized business?

This is only getting worse, as each AWS hardware generation raises the machine size floor.

Friday, June 17, 2016

My Blogger Pipeline

For the past couple of years, I’ve been uncomfortable with the notion of Google watching my every thought as I type into a draft on the Blogger site. (Since a post whose working title was “VPNs are hard,” apparently.)

As a coder, everything can be solved with the code-hammer, so I wrote 7 KB of PHP. Now, I can write locally in Markdown, then run markup-menu.php.  This is a stupidly simple program that takes a unique filename prefix, finds the matching *.md file, and passes it to the much larger markup.php.

That program takes a file, preprocesses the Markdown a bit for compatibility with Blogger’s “preserve line breaks” setting, and post-processes the resulting HTML to iron out a few more quirks.  That file can be copypasta’d into Blogger.

Once there, it gets Blogger dressing like tags, then I click Preview.  If nothing’s wrong, it gets posted, as if it sprang fully formed from my head into Blogger.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Modern AJAX in jQuery

In the dark ages, I wrote my own wrappers for jQuery.getJSON because it had the function signature:

$.getJSON(url [, data] [, success])

And I wanted to provide an error handler.  So, our corporate library (represented by LIB) has a function like:

LIB.getJSON(url, data, success [, error])

I also didn’t know if I could rely on getting a response body from error events, so where possible, errors are returned as 200 OK {Error:true,ErrorMsg:"boom"} and the LIB.getJSON catches these and invokes the error callback instead of the success one.

(One more sub-optimal design choice: like, almost the whole point of LIB.getJSON is to pass an error handler and let the user know “okay. we are not loading anymore.”  But notice that the error handler is still considered optional for some reason.)

If I were designing this from scratch today, the service would return errors as HTTP error responses, and I’d use the “new” (added in 1.5, after I started jQuery’ing) Deferred methods.

function success (data, txt, xhr) {
    // ...
function error (xhr, txt, err) {
    var r;
    try {
        r = $.parseJSON(xhr.responseText);
    } catch (e) {}
    // ...
$.getJSON(url, data)
    .then(success, error);

Result: a more RESTful design, with less glue.

I’d probably still have an “error adapter generator” function which converts all the possibilities for xhr/txt/err down to a single message string, and pass newErrorHandler(showErrorUI) as the error callback into .then().  But the point is, there’s no need to have LIB.getJSON as a whole anymore, to both accept an error callback and filter ‘successfully returned error’ values.