So, in the spirit of catching the world back up with what’s been keeping me busy, here comes post #2 on the subject. As you might have gathered by my last post (assuming you looked at the photos, which you did do, right?) my interest in photography has improved immensely. It’s something I have always considered a fun hobby, just never spent the time, money, and effort as I have this year. Please look through my photos when you have time and leave comments here or on Flickr. I am always looking to learn new tips/tricks, so if you have something to share, please do. I’m also always looking for new gear, so if you have something to sell, be sure to contact me. Later this week, I will probably do a couple posts on things I have learned, so be sure and check back if you’re interested.
One another topic which has kept me insanely busy (sadly, I am still behind on), I’m also writing a book for WROX Press (the company with the red/yellow books, you know the ones) on PHP. Yet another book on PHP you say? Yes, yes, but at least the one I am writing has a little twist which makes it different than most (but not all) PHP books already in print. The book is very much an intermediate / advanced programmer book (you won’t find any history of PHP in the opening chapters) which takes you on a journey through building a community website from start to finish. I heavily cover best practices on various topics which are important to sites which might grow into something really big (aka, what many independent coders dream about, being the next Yahoo! / MySpace / Facebook / <insert name of site with lots of traffic and many users>). Having written the codebase (along with a handful of other gifted engineers) to a significant Yahoo! property with billions of monthly pageviews (sorry, can’t be specific obviously), I hope I can impart some of the knowledge the reader of the book will need to scale their sites appropriately. We of course knew from the beginning (since it was an existing site we rewrote from the ground up) how much traffic to expect, but many of the principals remain the same whether you start out big, or grow big. Two other areas which get significant coverage in the book are security and internationalization. I won’t go into all the details here (I want you to buy the book after all), but with any luck it will be worth the wait and something you will enjoy and learn something from.
In final parting is something I stumbled upon today which hopefully will be useful to others. I have been constantly trying to find a good solution to organizing the endless amount of email I receive as well as always have it available on all my devices (Mac Pro desktop at work, Mac Book Pro laptop when away from desk, Powerbook at home, and iPhone for the remaining times). While this isn’t an all encompassing solution (only covers part of the first problem), it definitely is a good step in the right direction. Check out this blog post on Daring Fireball which talks about a simple Applescript which automagically moves your read (but not flagged) email to your Archive folder. Yes, I know the script isn’t revolutionary, but sometimes its the simple details which make a big difference. Be sure and tell me what you think!