I’ve pretty much switched to using docker for everything when doing local development now.

My set up involves using a docker-compose.yml file for the core application dependencies that can be run in production and a docker-composer.override.yml file for development. This override file is mostly a load of “support” containers that get used in development, things like php, artisan, npm as well as things like mysql and redis that would be handled elsewhere in production.

Since switching to this development model I’ve just accepted not getting around to getting BrowserSync working· This weekend whilst battling some other issues my fingers got tired of pressing ctrl+r every few seconds so I figured I’d give myself a win by trying to tackle this.

The Laravel mix docs have a brief section on BrowserSync but theres not enough to get BrowserSync working for our config.

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Today I was working on an API written in Laravel for a React Native app with another developer.

He was trying to make requests to the Laravel backend and told me he kept receiving a response with a http status code of 302. 3XX http status codes are redirection status codes.

It turned out that he had not set an accept header on the requests to the server that the app was making.

By default if you dont set a requests accept headers they default to Accept: */*. With those set laravel responds with a Content-Type of text/html.

For the purpose of this project every api response needs to return JSON.

We can achieve this really easily by using middleware to overwrite the Accept headers on the incoming request and setting them to application/json.

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Introduction

Laravel apps read sensitive information from their .env file.

Recently I found out that Laravel Mix can pass values from the same .env file to the js portion of your app as long as they are prefixed with MIX_

I use Gitlab ci pipelines to build production assets so that I dont need that additional tooling on the production servers the main one being:

  • yarn run production

This is preceded with cp .env.example .env meaning when the build commands are being run, they are going to use values from the .example.env file.

If your project doesn’t make use of anything from the .env file then this is totally fine, however in scenarios where you do, since production applications will almost certainly have different .env values to those in the .example.env file (Never commit credentials to source control!) the resulting file will have been built with the wrong credentials.

In this article I’m going to show how you can use gitlab CI to build those assets with updated environmental variables so that they function as expected when deployed to your production servers.

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Recently I blogged about replacing Moment.js with a lightweight alternative Day.js.

In Laravel, when working with dates I’ve been used to using the Carbon method diffForHumans.

It gives us a date value relative to an optional given date, but it defaults to now. Examples of output from the diffForHumans method looks like:

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- 5 minutes ago
- One week ago
- Last Year

Rather than:

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2019-05-19 18:08:40
2019-05-12 18:13:40
2018-05-19 18:13:40

We can do the same with Moment.js using the fromNow method. Given that Day.js is supposed to have the same API as Moment.js I assumed that the fromNow method would “Just work”.

Turns out that it didn’t. But with some small changes to our code we can get the same fromNow method working with Day.js.

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I’m always looking for easy wins to optimise my development workflow and improve the end user experience, so figured after hearing about Purgecss I’d look into it and see how I could integrate it into my work flow.

“Purgecss is a tool to remove unused CSS”

With frameworks like Bootstrap and Zurb providing so many CSS classes that often don’t get used, this looked like it really would be an easy win situation!

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Earlier this year I blogged about reducing the file size of moment.js by stripping out additional locales. Whilst stripping the locales made a good saving in file size, really all I was using it for was to format dates within my user interfaces. So I set out on finding a lightweight alternative to do just that…

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The PHP library Carbon is hands down my favourite way to work with dates within PHP.
When using Javascript the closes thing ive found to it is a library called Moment.js.

By default Moment.js is bundled with a plethora of locales which might not all be relavent to you or your users. In this article I want to look at how much of a size reduction we can use by stripping out unwanted locales using webpack via Laravel-Mix.

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Introduction

My latest projects at work have evolved from being PHP / Laravel applications with sprinklings of Vue JS on the front end to being almost entirely Vue JS components driving the frontend with Laravel backends.

Whilst laravel ships with Laravel-Mix to make webpack / asset compilation easier it doesn’t ship with anyway to lint your javascript.

Luckily adding eslint and defining rules for your .js and .vue files to follow is pretty straight forward.

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Talv Bansal

Full Stack Developer, Part Time Photographer


Head of Software Engineering


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