Deploying a Containerized PHP Application to AWS Using Docker and ECS

Since I’ve been playing around with Laravel Envoy, I kept wondering how I could improve the deployment process. For sure it works and I’ve been using it for 6 months or so on a project in production, but having to deal with a physical server has drawbacks I wanted to overcome. For example, the PHP team just released 7.4 packed with cool features I am eager to try. But on a physical server, one has to manually upgrade the PHP version, for each environment and this is a process prone to errors and can lead to different results in different servers. Logistically, the next step was to containerize the application. Because our application is running on an EC2 instance in AWS, I wanted to take advantage of the AWS ecosystem more.

On a high level point of view, this is what I ended up doing: the application is deployed in an ECS cluster running a task that contains a Docker image of the application. This image is stored in ECR. There is an ALB in front of the EC2 instances. The database is stored in RDS. The PHP sessions are stored in a Elasticache memcached server.

Migrating Away from G Suite Legacy Free Edition: 2022 Email Providers Overview

On January, 19 2022 Google announced they were pulling the plug on the G Suite Legacy Free Edition, that was offered from 2006 to 2012. Among other things, it was offering Gmail with a custom domain.

Like many others, I subscribed to what was called Google Apps back then, to give custom e-mail addresses to my family (ie: [email protected]). Over the years, we used those Google accounts like personal accounts and bought applications, used Google Drive, Google Documents, and so on.

I was disappointed by the decision but not surprised, given Google’s long-standing history of killing its products and going back on their word. What surprised me more is the current lack of possibility to migrate to a free Google account (even though it might be coming given Workplace Essentials announcement and the form in their knowledge base), as well as the absence of a family-oriented offer. Google’s suggestion to pay $6/user/month is understandable for a business, but unreasonable for a family. Sweetening the deal by offering discounts for the first year won’t do either, sorry Google.


Creating a Global Loader Component in Vue.js

In any frontend application, invariably, one has to deal with showing the user an HTTP request is in progress. This is usually done by displaying a spinner while the request is being executed.

As I got bored dealing with Axios callbacks and independent isLoading data property in my Vue.js components, I realized I needed a global solution that would prevent me from cluttering my components with those redundant data properties.

But I also wanted my solution to work with simultaneous requests. And this is where the tricky part comes in, because on most posts I’ve seen, the author assumes you only ever have one API call that toggles a single loading switch. However, in real life, you have have 2, 3 or more API calls to build a page.


Modernizing a Legacy PHP Application

Update Aug, 11: This post was well received on Reddit, so I added new anti-patterns to reflect the comments.

Recently, I had the chance occasion to work on numerous legacy PHP applications. I spotted common anti-patterns that I had to fix. This article is not about rewriting an old PHP application to <insert shiny framework name here>, but about how to make it more maintainable and less of a hassle to work on.


Modern PHP Development for WordPress

Let’s face it, WordPress’ reputation among PHP developers is atrocious. It is, for the most part, justified by the questionable code quality of most plugins (because the barrier entry is very low), the will of the core developers to keep backwards compatibility at all cost, and, as a result, its architecture.

However, as you may have noticed, this blog is running WordPress. Why would you ask me? Well, despite all its flaws, WordPress is stupidly easy to use and complete. I considered using Jekyll on GitHub pages but realized that I would miss many features that I like. I can have comments without relying on external services like Disqus, after all I start to appreciate Gutenberg, I do not have to rely on third-party providers for something as simple as a contact form… and I’m OK with running a server for my blog as it would run anyway.

That being said, there are a couple of things you can do to make your developer experience pleasant, or at least way less painful than you would think maintaining a WordPress website.