Open source survey application

Due to business requirements, I have forked and re-skinned a legacy PHP survey application with material design.

To give back to the community, here’s the updated source:

https://github.com/thanhphu/php-survey-builder

It contains the following improvements

  • Add material design for user-facing pages
  • Add appropriate ignore to avoid leaking credentials on source control
  • Add default user ID you can set via GET parameter when sending out mass email
  • Stricter .htaccess
  • More readable fonts

Find and block unsafe content on your wordpress installation

For some reason, my WP installation decided to load some files via http instead of https

Screen Shot 2018-11-12 at 3.28.59 PM.png

To find out which file it is, I used the Javascript consoleScreen Shot 2018-11-12 at 3.29.39 PM.png

It’s wp-emoji in this case, and I don’t use emojis on my site, so I decided to block it by adding this to my theme’s functions.php

 

remove_action( 'wp_head', 'print_emoji_detection_script', 7 );
remove_action( 'wp_print_styles', 'print_emoji_styles' );

 

How to install zip extension for PHP7

Specifically for LAMP stack / webmin

First, install the module

sudo apt-get install php7.0-zip

Then restart the web server

sudo service apache2 restart
sudo service nginx restart

That’s it!

Javascript idioms

From Zoltan Kochan, author of pnpm

 

Double exclamation

Prefixing anything with !! converts it to a boolean.

var foo = 0
console.log(!!foo)
//> false

Essentially it is a shorter way to write Boolean(foo).

Converting arguments to array

The arguments object can be used to access the arguments passed to the function. However, it is not an Array so it doesn’t have Array properties except length. The Array.prototype.slice.call(arguments) idiom is used very frequently to convert the argument’s object to an actual array.

(function() {
  console.log(arguments instanceof Array)
  //> false

  var args = Array.prototype.slice.call(arguments)
  console.log(args instanceof Array)
  //> true
})()

Assigning default values

function foo(opts) {
  var msg = opts.message || 'Hello world!'
  console.log(msg)
}

// instead of
function foo(opts) {
  var msg = opts.message ? opts.message : 'Hello world!'
  console.log(msg)
}

More examples of interesting || and && usages can be found in the 12 Simple (Yet Powerful) JavaScript Tips article.

Converting to array if not already

var totallyArray = [].concat(value)

//instead of
var totallyArray = value instanceof Array ? value : [value]

Converting strings to number

var foo = +'12.2'
var bar = +'12'

// instead of
var foo = parseFloat('12.2')
var bar = parseInt('12')

Checking if an array includes an element

if (~[1, 2, 3].indexOf(2)) { console.log('includes') }

// instead of
if ([1, 2, 3].indexOf(2) > -1) { console.log('includes') }

There are some other usage examples for the tilde operator as well in The Great Mystery of the Tilde(~).

Writing multi-line strings

var multiStr = [
  "This is the first line",
  "This is the second line",
  "This is more..."
].join("\n");

// instead of
var multiStr = "This is the first line\n" +
  "This is the second line\n" +
  "This is more...";

Looping through an array

It can be used if order is not important

for (var i = arr.length; i--;) {
  // ...
}

// instead of
for (var i = 0; i < arr.length; i++) {
  // ...
}

setTimeout(func, 0)

JavaScript code runs on one thread. Calling setTimeout with 0 allows to schedule a function to run after the current event loop tick.

setTimeout(function() {
  console.log('log message from next tick')
}, 0)

console.log('Hello world!')
//> Hello world!
//> log message from next tick

Fetching data from the web with C#, the easy way (1-liner)

I don’t know why the top results from Google always involve more than 10 lines of code and loads of comments when actually you can just do this:

byte[] Data = new WebClient().DownloadData(FrameURL);

You can try DownloadString and DownloadFile based on your requirements