Things I Absolutely Must Do On A New Mac

I try to stick to “default is better than configuration”. But there’s some stuff I absolutely must have on a Mac to be useful.

A Very Short But Complete Guide to Sending a Pull Request to a github Project

  1. Clone the project
          $ git clone

    You may need to fork the project and clone your own forked version.

  2. Make a branch and switch to it
          $ git checkout -b YOURBRANCH
  3. Make your changes
  4. Add your changes to the index
          $ git add -p
  5. Commit your changes
          $ git commit -m "My commit message"
  6. Push your changes
          $ git push --set-upstream origin YOURBRANCH
  7. Visit
  8. Click on New Pull Request
  9. Write something sensible
  10. Click on Send Pull Request

Grade Between Two Hex Colors

CSS colors gradation example

Yesterday I wanted to gradually shade between two hex colors. To perform artihmetic/math on hex colors in PHP you need to break them apart, turn them into decimals, change them back into hex and then put them back together.

Here’s what I came up with:

function hexColorToRgb($color) {
    return [hexdec(mb_substr($color, 0, 2)),
        hexdec(mb_substr($color, 2, 2)),
        hexdec(mb_substr($color, 4, 2))];

function colorGrade($p, $start, $end) {
    $start_rgb = hexColorToRgb($start);
    $end_rgb = hexColorToRgb($end);
    $rgb = [$start_rgb[0] * (1.0 - $p) + $end_rgb[0] * $p,
            $start_rgb[1] * (1.0 - $p) + $end_rgb[1] * $p,
            $start_rgb[2] * (1.0 - $p) + $end_rgb[2] * $p];
    return dechex($rgb[0]) . dechex($rgb[1]) . dechex($rgb[2]);

// Example:
$start_color = 'c4dbf5';
$end_color = '333333';
echo colorGrade(0.25, $start_color, $end_color); # 9fb1c4
echo colorGrade(0.5, $start_color, $end_color);  # 7b8794
echo colorGrade(0.75, $start_color, $end_color); # 575d63

PHP Lint in Makefile

I ran into a little problem adding php -l to a Makefile. PHP lint is a little verbose outputting “No syntax errors detected” for every file that has no problems. I don’t really want that output but getting rid of it with grep -v means that make treats no errors (grep didn’t find any lines to show) as a failure and errors (grep found some lines to show) as a success. make then terminates in the success case and continues or exits with success in the failure case!

	@! find . -name "*.php" | grep -v "^./vendor" | xargs -I{} php -l '{}' | grep -v "No syntax errors detected"

The trick is to negate the exit code of the entire pipeline like so:

	@! find . -name "*.php" | grep -v "^./vendor" | xargs -I{} php -l '{}' | grep -v "No syntax errors detected"

A Penguin Book in CSS

I was reading about Gill Sans and I looked at the sweet Penguin cover in that article and I wondered if I could do the same in CSS.

Here’s my attempt:

You can see it on it’s own page at

Mustache Templates in PHP

I’ve always admired the simplicity of Mustache templates but the complication of internationalization support has always prevented me using them until a recent project. I used them in my Magic: the Gathering tournament software.

Mustache templates look like this:

<h2>Create Event</h2>

<form action="{{formAction}}" method="post">
  <label for="format">Format</label> <input type="text" name="format">
  <label for="cost">Cost</label> <input type="text" name="cost">
  <input class="btn btn-primary btn-block" type="submit">

You can see a bunch from the project at

As long as you have { "require": { "mustache/mustache": "~2.5" } } in your composer.json using them is as simple as:

$loader = new Mustache_Loader_FilesystemLoader('path/to/templates');
$engine = new Mustache_Engine(['loader' => $loader]);
echo $engine->render('template_name', $arguments);

I wrapped this up in a class (Template) and a global (T()) so I could make calls like this:

echo T()->signin($args);