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This post was written by Dan Barrett

About Dan Barrett

A performance-obsessed back-end developer, Dan Barrett helps make the sites we develop to be faster and more efficient. He also really loves soda water.

Tracking Envoyer Releases in Sentry

11 Oct 2016


Tracking down bugs can be hard. Damn hard. And figuring out how or when they cropped up in the first place can be even harder. Recently, we launched our social media aggregator platform, Waaffle. It’s written in Laravel and deployed with Envoyer, but we also took the opportunity to try out Sentry for tracking bugs.

Spoiler alert: it was awesome.

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LocalStorage is for Fun

07 Apr 2016

Cookie Monster eating cookies

In case you’ve been living under a rock, LocalStorage is a JavaScript API that allows you to store content in the browser’s cache and access it later on when you need it. Similar to how cookies work, but you’ve got much more than ~4KB (the maximum size for a cookie). That said, while there’s no size limit for each key/value pair in LocalStorage, you’re restricted to around 5-10 MB for each domain. I say 5-10 MB because as per usual, different browsers have different maximum limits. Classic!

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Bigger (square) thumbnails from the Instagram API

21 Mar 2016

When Instagram added the ability to upload non-square media images to their service, the only way to get a cropped version of the image from the API was via the thumbnail attribute from the media endpoint. Those familiar with the API would know that Instagram’s thumbnails are served at a rather small size of 150×150 which is alright in some cases, but if you need a larger thumbnail size a 150×150 image scales up very poorly.

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Using UUIDs with Eloquent in Laravel

11 Dec 2015


Warning! This is a development themed blog post and such it gets pretty technical. If that’s not your style, this might go over your head.

Recently there have been some interesting discussions and posts about the use of incrementing IDs in websites and whether that’s accidental information leakage or not. An excellent article by Phil Sturgeon showed that you can learn a lot about how much a service is being used with just a few minutes of investigation. An incrementing identifier (or ID) is an integer that starts at 1, and is increased by 1 each time a new record is saved to the database. A UUID (or universally-unique identifier), on the other hand, is a 36 character long identifier made up of 32 alphanumeric characters with four hyphens in amongst it. Due to the length of a UUID it is much more difficult to guess UUIDs, let alone figure out how many users have registered on a site.

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Getting started with webpack and React, ES6 style

03 Sep 2015

webpack Article Image

This article is highly technical and you should have experience using build tools like Gulp, along with a good working knowledge of JavaScript.

We’re working on a little side project here at Humaan, and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to try out some new-ish frameworks and build tools.  For a while now, React and webpack have been all the rage, and I wanted to learn more about them. In this article we’re going to look at setting up webpack with React, along with getting it working with Sass and hot module loaders.

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HTTP/2 and You

28 Jul 2015

HTTP/2.0 and you

This article gets pretty techy! If that doesn’t sound like your bag, here’s a quick summary: the HTTP network protocol has existed since the early days of the web, and it’s about to be succeeded by HTTP/2 which will make communications between servers and browsers more efficient. It also means we need to change the way we optimise our websites to take advantage of the technology, so we don’t work against it.

The dawn of HTTP/2 is upon us. Since 1999, we’ve been using the Hypertext Transfer Protocol version 1.1 which isn’t particularly efficient. After many years of debating, HTTP/2 (aka HTTP version 2) has been standardised, approved, and is now on its way to a browser near you. Before we see what HTTP/2 brings to the table, we should have a look at how it came to be.

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