Open a Folder or File in a new VS Code window on Mac OS

Problem: When opening a new folder in VS Code (Mac OS), I want it to open a new VSCode window, and not add the folder to the already open window. I’m used to the Atom IDE behaviour from years back.

Fix: There are two settings that help here:
window.openFoldersInNewWindow controls whether a folder should be opened in the same window or a new one.

window.openFilesInNewWindow does the same for Files, i.e. when you open just a single file.

These settings can be found in the ‘Code > Preferences > Settings’ menu item. OR easier still, with the shortcut  ⌘, (or ‘Command’ plus ‘comma’ keys, if you can’t see the shortcut to the left here)

Once in Settings, start typing window.openF and you should see both options there. Set one or both to on for the desired behaviour. Can’t remember if you have to restart VS Code or not after changing this. Try it!

Test a Composer package from a local version / copy

Problem: I need to test a small change to a Composer package that’s on GitHub / Packagist, but I don’t want (yet) to request the change from the maintainer or fork my own version on Packagist or whatever… I literally just want to change one digit in a version number requirement.

Not that it’s particularly relevant, but the Package in question is a Volume storage driver for Craft CMS that makes use of Fortrabbit’s Object Storage.

Solution: Composer has a repositories feature which allows us to add Repositories other than the default one by adding a new block to the project’s composer.json. There are quite a lot of different sorts of repositories that can be setup, but I’m interested in the path one. This option will allow me to stick a package’s contents almost anywhere on my local machine, and path to it. Example: Continue reading “Test a Composer package from a local version / copy”

Splitting many files into numbered folders with leading zeros

Problem: I had a few thousand files in a directory and needed them to be in a series of numbered folders – specifically with leading zeros – with no more than 100 files in each. Don’t ask why… just some weird old batch program that needs files presented that way. Obviously manually creating directories and moving the files was going to take a while. Also, this needed to be done via a cron job, so I needed something scriptable.

Solution: Thankfully all sorts of magic can be done on the *nix command line, and we have access to very useful formatting functions like printf and for loops.

The following command achieves what I needed:

i=0; for f in *; do d=dirname_$(printf %03d $((i/100+1))); mkdir -p $d; mv "$f" $d; let i++; done

Continue reading “Splitting many files into numbered folders with leading zeros”

stream_socket_client(): unable to connect to (Permission denied) – CentOS 7 / Mailtrap / Laravel

After rebuilding a CentOS 7 system with a Laravel app on it, every time the app attempted to mail a notification using MailTrap, the above error got fired.

SELinux. Again. It’s always flipping SE LINUX! The SELinux policy can block in and outbound ports and all sorts of things. It’s a git. A clever useful git.

Running `sudo sealert -a /var/log/audit/audit.log` showed the problem. If sealert isn’t possible, then tailing the audit log with `sudo tail -f /var/log/audit/audit.log` goes some way to finding the problem.

In this case a solution (being Linux there are probably 74 equally effective and largely contested solutions) was to allow Apache to use port 2525 like so:

sudo semanage port -a -t http_port_t -p tcp 2525

Fixing ReflectionException: Class scope does not exist in file when setting up Laravel Passport Scopes

Problem: I’m retro-fitting ‘scopes’ to an existing Laravel Passport API to allow some different levels of client access. After adding the available scopes with Passport::tokensCan, and default scopes with Passport::setDefaultScope, and attempting to specify a scope on a route like so:


    'write-access' => 'Read-write access',
    'read-access' => 'Read-only access',
    'other-access' => 'Other access'
Route::get('endpoint/count', 'API\EndpointController@count')->middleware(['auth:api', 'scope:read-access']);

And an attempt to query the route gives this error:

ReflectionException: Class scope does not exist in file /path/to/webroot/vendor/laravel/framework/src/Illuminate/Container/Container.php on line 790

Solution: READ THE DOCS. Again, I didn’t read the docs FULLY. In order to use token scopes, the docs say…

To get started, add the following middleware to the $routeMiddleware property of your app/Http/Kernel.php file:

'scopes' => \Laravel\Passport\Http\Middleware\CheckScopes::class,
'scope' => \Laravel\Passport\Http\Middleware\CheckForAnyScope::class,

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135 Film DX recoding solution

Problem: I own a Pentax P30t Film SLR which only allows ISO to be set via DX encoding on the film canister. If no DX code is present, the ISO defaults to 100.

Solution: There are all sorts of existing solutions involving tin-foil, stickers or scratching the canister but I wanted a more permanent re-usable solution and came up with this ‘shim’ idea.

The method is as follows, with simple explanation in the captions where needed: Continue reading “135 Film DX recoding solution”

Adding sections or headings to WordPress Menus – Making use of the walker_nav_menu_start_el filter

The WordPress menu builder makes it easy to add nested menu item links to a named menu, and display it in pre-defined theme location. However, as of writing in Jan 2019, there’s not an easy or built-in way to add menu sections or section headers. Here’s my solution:

The Design

Example visual to be recreated as a WordPress menu
Example visual to be recreated as a WordPress menu

The adjacent image shows the design that I’ve been asked to translate to a WordPress native menu. The orange items are page links. The white items are section headers and should not be active in any way. They are simply visual cues to aid navigation.

The Challenge

‘Out of the box’ WordPress doesn’t provide a place for menu section headers like ‘Services’ and ‘Products’ to be entered. It is possible to add them based on a menu item’s class or ID using the CSS ‘content‘ property, or an absolutely positioned image, but this is tacky and hard-coded, so site owners and admins can’t easily change the menu section headers without a developer type person or some Additional CSS hackery.

We need to find a way of adding section headers that uses the WordPress menu builder and remains editable. Continue reading “Adding sections or headings to WordPress Menus – Making use of the walker_nav_menu_start_el filter”

Remove all account data, stored mail and attachments from Postbox app (Mac OS)

The problem with stored Postbox data

I use Postbox, the Mail Client as a tool for checking problems with customer’s email accounts, and migrating mail data. When I have finished using it I don’t want to retain their data, nor do I want it taking up space on my machine. Just removing the ‘accounts’ doesn’t actually remove the data, it sits in Application Data forever (well maybe not forever, but a long time).

The solution might be user profiles

While searching for the location of stored mail data, I chanced across the Postbox Profile Manager. This allows complete profiles to be added and removed. Continue reading “Remove all account data, stored mail and attachments from Postbox app (Mac OS)”

Manually verifying created users when using Laravel Email Verification

Laravel 5.7 ships with bundled Email Verification. This is great if you want to make sure a user’s email address is valid (or at least that the user can access it) before allowing them access.

What if you want to manually verify a user without sending them an email address? For example you might want to add or import a load of existing ‘known-good’ users to a migrated app. Or you might be creating Admin or System users that don’t really have accessible email addresses. There could be many reasons.

At present as soon you register a user, the sendEmailVerificationNotification method is called. There’s a good breakdown of how this works in this Stack Overflow answer. If a user is manually created, then when they try to log in they’ll still see the “Verify your email address” message:

Laravel's email verification message

Whether a user has verified their email address or not is indicated by a timestamp in the email_verified_at column of the User table¹. If this column is set to a valid timestamp upon user creation, the user will be ‘validated’ and no email will be sent. So… how can we set that timestamp?  Continue reading “Manually verifying created users when using Laravel Email Verification”

Fixing “[vue-loader] vue-template-compiler must be installed as a peer dependency”

Whilst attempting to upgrade an old Laravel project, I hit the following error.

Module build failed (from ./node_modules/vue-loader/lib/index.js):
Error: [vue-loader] vue-template-compiler must be installed as a peer dependency, or a compatible compiler implementation must be passed via options.

After some searching of GitHub and stackoverflow, it turns out that The vue and vue-template-compiler module version must be the same. Here was my existing package.json:
Continue reading “Fixing “[vue-loader] vue-template-compiler must be installed as a peer dependency””