Weeknotes 19-21

  • Back in December, Heroku deprecated their `heroku-16` stack and notified customers that they had until June 2021 to upgrade any affected applications. In our case, this meant dragging a 4-year-old WordPress installation up to standard before the fast-approaching deadline.

    The primary issue was upgrading from PHP 5, which reached end-of-life in January 2019, to PHP 7.4, which will be supported for at least another couple of years. Bumping this required a cascade of updates to extensions, plugins and WordPress itself. I had trouble finding a sufficiently small change that made any meaningful progress towards the goal without making a whole host of risky changes in a single deployment.

    I'd find myself making a couple of minor changes, commit them, but then my work would become more exploratory and vague. I'd chase obscure PHP errors or log warnings, not knowing if or how they related to the changes I'd already made. It was challenging to make atomic commits whilst regularly being pulled in new and different directions. To try and mitigate this, a technique I found helpful was to start a branch, make several small commits, fork the branch and see if I could extract and ship a smaller set of the commits and rebase. That way, I'd keep a sort of 'work in progress' branch with some messier work just to get things working, whilst regularly pulling stable changes out of it and committing them to master.

  • Moving from my old studio flat meant I could finally purchase a desk and stop working from the kitchen table. On recommendation from a friend, I opted for the Jarvis Bamboo Standing Desk by Fully. It arrived last week in five boxes weighing a combined total of 60kg, which gave me hope for how sturdy it'd be at full height. As expected, it's been impressively stable whilst standing this week, so much so that I definitely over-used it in the standing position, and now my feet ache.

  • With a busy few weeks moving flat, I took a break from my arm and wrist exercises. Of course, that now means the nerve pain has returned and it hurts to type. I feel much older than 30.