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  • My First Month at ShootProof, by Ben Ramsey
    to themselves and our customers There s a great deal of freedom and trust in this relationship Will we always remain bootstrapped That s not a question for me to answer or even to presume to know the answer There are a variety of reasons we may or may not consider funding in the future and that s a question for our founders to tackle but for now the fact that we re bootstrapped is important to me It all comes back to the team We re intimate We re lean We re agile We re not tied down by VC money We work only for our customers and ourselves Top notch Support Team After meeting with Colin I realized that ShootProof not only prides itself in building a great product but our special sauce is our customer support team Our loyalty builders will do whatever it takes to ensure the happiness of our customers I know this makes me sound rather dense and naïve having worked in the industry for so many years but after hearing about the work of our customer support team I realized that customer support is just as much a part of our product as the code that makes up our web properties I m proud of the work they do and I m excited to be a part of their team User Experience Along with customer support ShootProof is working to ensure we have the best possible user experience for our customers That s why we have ace UX folks on our team User experience has always been an important cornerstone of software development to me How users feel when they interact with your software interface determines whether they want to continue using it or not Working at Schematic showed me how UX must be a discipline to any software company I am more than thrilled that ShootProof feels the same way and has made it a crucial tenet of our process Product As Brian said in his Joining ShootProof blog post I also sought out ShootProof because I love to build products I want to work for a company that is product focused Not only is ShootProof product focused they know their customer so well that they have been able to hone in on exactly what product to build for those customers In fact many of our team members are professional photographers themselves That expertise and specificity is another reason I was attracted to ShootProof Revenue ShootProof is a startup and a bootstrapped start up at that While I said earlier that the bootstrapped nature of the company attracted me I would be lying if I said that revenue was not important Many times we hear bootstrapped startup and assume this means the company is not making any money That is not the case with ShootProof I can t share numbers but I can say that year over year growth has been sizable Culture I m not interested in joining a fly by

    Original URL path: https://benramsey.com/blog/2014/08/my-first-month-at-shootproof/ (2016-04-26)
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  • All Good Things…, by Ben Ramsey
    general open source communities over the last three years I believe my visibility and personal brand have diminished and that s something I want to change In particular here are some areas I want to focus on Blogging In 2009 I made 24 blog posts In 2008 I made 27 In 2007 43 Notice a trend Since January 2010 I have made only 17 blog posts in four years Blogging is a great way to position yourself as a thought leader my lack of blogging shows that I ve not been leading any thoughts Speaking at Conferences I enjoy speaking at conferences I enjoy teaching Over the last few years I have done very little of this and that s been bothering me I want to return to the conference circuit in a big way Thought Leadership Thought leadership is one of those areas of personal branding that helps set you apart from other speakers and writers It s a way of defining your niche and making you one of the go to people in the industry for a particular topic I have focused little on my personal thought leadership over the last few years and I will be changing this I will return my focus to APIs and HTTP but I will be focusing more on practical integrations and real world applications rather than theory and design Writing a Book I am currently working on the outline of a technical book I hope to finish the book this year More details on this later API and Integrations Consulting Training I have given thought to consulting or training on APIs and integrations If this is something that interests you let me know and we can talk specifics Hacking on Open Source Software I ve made small contributions to the PHP

    Original URL path: https://benramsey.com/blog/2014/06/all-good-things/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Will Encryption Catch On With Keybase?, by Ben Ramsey
    thinking they ve received a message from me that is really spam or worse A third benefit is the web of trust Others may validate my public key by signing it with their own key These signatures are then added to public key servers as additional proofs that the keys in question do in fact belong to their real owners This helps others know whether a signed message from me is actually coming from the real me and not just someone claiming to be me with a false key The web of trust is decentralized with key servers around the world Encryption Is Hard While encryption provides massive benefits it is difficult even for seasoned technologists to perform much less everyone else This is because the tools we use for encryption often require basic knowledge of how encryption works Command line tools and mail and browser plugins may be used to encrypt and decrypt messages using your public private key pair but these tools are all afterthoughts things that must be installed and maintained by a user who knows what they are doing In order to gain mass adoption of encryption it needs to be made central to the applications and platforms we use and we need the ability to use it easily without fully understanding it It needs to just work How Keybase Fits In I think Keybase is taking steps toward making encryption work for everyone Keybase is like a key server with much more I m excited about what it could become and what it means for the technology community With the alpha launch here are a few of the things Keybase provides Identity verification with your Twitter and GitHub accounts Tracking of users to vouch for their identities In browser tools to help you encrypt decrypt messages to from other users Command line tools to help you encrypt decrypt messages to from other users and to streamline and make encryption easier to use than with the standard GnuPG tools Will Keybase result in mass adoption of encryption No but it might get technologists and early adopters excited to start using encryption more regularly The coolness factor could cause encryption to finally catch on in the tech community Then our community will build the tools necessary to make it easier for our friends family and the rest of the world to use encryption Here are a few thoughts I gathered from my short time using Keybase Keybase allows you to upload your private key to the service for use in encypting decrypting through the browser They use a JavaScript library to encrypt your private key on the client side before sending it to their service but you never know what some other browser plugin or cross site scripting attack is doing with your data I advise against this Use the Keybase command line tools instead This will ensure your private key is safely kept on your computer While the Keybase concept of tracking other users is similar

    Original URL path: https://benramsey.com/blog/2014/03/will-encryption-catch-on-with-keybase/ (2016-04-26)
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  • The Fall of PEAR and the Rise of Composer, by Ben Ramsey
    don t ask a German for their opinion In the frameworks presentation I covered php MVC WACT Prado and Cake It was too early for frameworks like Symfony Zend Framework and CodeIgniter they didn t exist yet I also covered one other thing PEAR I discussed PEAR as a framework In those days this wasn t such a far fetched idea PEAR was and still is a curated library of what we hope to be the best reusable PHP userland libraries I argued that PEAR could hold all the components of a framework and we could pick and choose which ones to use in our applications A front controller here a router there a dispatcher maybe There was no need for a massive full stack framework PEAR had the potential for it all or so I argued But PEAR s biggest selling point the curation of packages by a governed community was also its biggest problem There was no choice and things moved slowly If a package stagnated in development I couldn t find another actively supported one to solve the same need In theory the maintenance of the package could be taken over by someone else but this didn t always happen and contributing patches was not clear or easy Sure there were other PHP library communities but these provided packages that were even more difficult to use and install and code quality was suspect at best PEAR2 and Pyrus intended to solve PEAR s problems but they couldn t happen fast enough for an evolving and growing community Frameworks exploded and proliferated apart from PEAR forever changing the face of PHP development and then something else happened that may have been inevitable but was nonetheless surprising the framework communities began working together At php tek 2009 a group of leaders from a few of the frameworks and libraries communities got together to as David Coallier described develop a set of common standards which PHP projects can strive towards adopting This moment represented a turning point in the PHP community All modern PHP development hinges on this moment As the Doctor might say it is a fixed point in time This group produced what would become known as PSR 0 an autoloading standard for PHP userland frameworks and libraries and the group s name would eventually become the PHP Framework Interop Group PHP FIG It was this autoloading standard that I think changed the course of all PHP userland development Of course it relied on the recent addition of namespaces to PHP 5 3 but it standardized a way of autoloading namespaced classes following a specific directory hierarchy It ushered in an era of userland class interoperability Yet it wasn t until Composer that the full realization of what we had achieved became apparent Composer is what PEAR should have been Through Packagist Composer is the democratization of PHP userland libraries Many libraries in the repository implement similar functionality but through a show of popularity the community self selects

    Original URL path: https://benramsey.com/blog/2013/11/the-fall-of-pear-and-the-rise-of-composer/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Wild Garlic, by Ben Ramsey
    Ramsey ramsey September 17 2008 I was hungry and tired and I wanted a sandwich Was that too much to ask No one will let me forget the day I asked Twitter for a sandwich but the sandwich never came and Twitter failed me I did eventually order room service and later my one liter beer mug went missing but that s a story for another day I managed to break away for a rare lunch one day It was a box lunch I grabbed a box and sat down at a table with Rob Allen and Chris Shiflett As we munched on our uninspired sandwiches we caught up each other on our lives and the things we d been working on since last we saw one another At some point towards the end of our lunch I began telling one of those long winded meandering tales as I do I don t know what prompted the tale and I can t recall its exact details but I will never forget how it ended The story had something to do with my family name Ramsey That much is clear After fifteen to twenty minutes of pontification to a quiet attentive audience I landed on explaining to the table that the word rhumsaa is a Manx word derived from the Old Norse hrams á meaning wild garlic river In English this word is ramsey And so my last name means wild garlic I declared My story was over and all went quiet Chris stared at me his blue eyes thoughtful as if trying to soak in and digest all the information he had received over the last quarter hour He opened his mouth as if to speak but then stopped short reassessing his comment That s it Chris asked after a

    Original URL path: https://benramsey.com/blog/2013/08/wild-garlic/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Contributing to PHP Core, by Ben Ramsey
    dev project a collection of Puppet scripts that creates a basic environment to use for modifying building testing and contributing to the PHP core It is not full featured on purpose However it does do some helpful initial system set up clones the php src repository and provides some helpful documentation and scripts for connecting to your own fork of the php src repository I created this for my own development purposes but I welcome pull requests and suggestions to turn this into a useful resource for the entire community Here are a few pointers I learned along the way provided here mainly so I ll be able to find them later but also to help others The Build Cycle Building PHP can take a while depending on what you re including in your configure command I provide a basic configure command in this project in src config nice 5 5 It s pretty simple but running make after configuring PHP with this command will still take several minutes To shave off some of the build time after making changes to the C source there s no need to run configure again unless you need to change configuration and there s no need to make clean Simply run make and the compiler will figure out what parts of the source changed and will build only those objects before stitching everything together into the php binary If you re working on a single function or class this can greatly increase your development speed Of course if you need to switch branches to test things in PHP 5 4 or 5 3 for example you ll need to make clean or possibly make distclean to clean up all the compiled objects and rebuild them when you run make again If php src is clean because it s a fresh clone of the repository then don t forget to run buildconf This is usually the source of some head scratching for me until I remember I need to run it So if trying to run configure and it can t be found run buildconf first Additionally I found it difficult to sift through the compiler warning messages that dumped out onto my screen when running make If working on a particular section of code ext standard array c for example it can be a pain to find any warnings applicable to the code you re writing Sometimes I wasn t even aware that my code was generating warnings To clearly see those warnings it s best to dump them to a log file like this make 2 tee php55 make log Then you can look in php55 make log to see if your code produced any compiler warnings Running Tests Hacking the PHP core requires running tests to ensure nothing is broken and new tests should always be written to cover changes made to the core However it s not very fun to run make test after every change you make since this

    Original URL path: https://benramsey.com/blog/2013/07/contributing-to-php-core/ (2016-04-26)
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  • The array_column() PHP Userland Library, by Ben Ramsey
    released to the world for general use Many still use earlier versions of PHP though While the functionality of array column is simple enough to implement on your own in userland code I ve released a small library that implements it in userland code exactly as it s implemented in the core complete with the same PHP error messages and warnings The library is also upgrade proof so when you start running your projects on PHP 5 5 you ll immediately take advantage of the built in core array column function rather than the library without the need to modify your code The library has no dependencies and has been tested on PHP 5 3 and 5 4 The library s unit tests also pass with the core version of array column in PHP 5 5 Additionally the library passes the phpt core tests for the function To use the library in your projects simply download the source code and include src array column php where you need to use it Alternately and recommended the library supports installation via Composer You may add it to your project requirements by running this command php composer phar require ramsey array column Check

    Original URL path: https://benramsey.com/blog/2013/07/the-array-column-php-userland-library/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Introducing array_column() in PHP 5.5, by Ben Ramsey
    some point in their careers so I felt it only natural that it be built into the language so I did just that My original patch for array column was written for PHP 5 2 but it sat around collecting dust for many years until April of last year when PHP moved to git and GitHub That s when it became easy enough to apply the patch and send a pull request which I did It wasn t quite that simple though since I had to follow the official PHP project RFC process but it wasn t a pain either My goal for array column was simplicity Many implement the functionality in different ways and many call the function by other names such as pluck but I wanted to keep it simple and recognizable It follows this function signature array array column array input mixed columnKey mixed indexKey Given a multi dimensional array of data array column returns the values from a single column of the input array identified by the columnKey Optionally you may provide an indexKey to index the values in the returned array by the values from the indexKey column in the input array For example using the following array of data we tell array column to return an array of just the last names indexed by their record IDs php records array array id 2135 first name John last name Doe array id 3245 first name Sally last name Smith array id 5342 first name Jane last name Jones array id 5623 first name Peter last name Doe lastNames array column records last name id If we call print r on lastNames you ll see a resulting array that looks a bit like this Array 2135 Doe 3245 Smith 5342 Jones 5623 Doe And that s

    Original URL path: https://benramsey.com/blog/2013/03/introducing-array-column-in-php-5-dot-5/ (2016-04-26)
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