Category Archives for programming

Gulp error: Did you forget to signal async completion?

First of all: do check the Gulp documentation on this:

I had the following gulpfile.js:

When running gulp build I got the following errors:


I fixed it by making the build() function async: async build().
Then my gulpfile.js looked like the following (note the extra parentheses at the end!)

Slim 2 framework logging

This shows you how to enable logging so you can write stuff like $app->log->debug('this will show up in the error_log');.


404 Not found on SSL certificate renew with certbot from letsencrypt

I spend a lot of time figuring out why I kept getting a ‘404 Not Found’ when I wanted to renew my SSL Certificate with certbot.

Long story short: invalid ipv6 DNS Mapping.

I got it working by removing the ipv6 DNS entry. I’ll be fixing it in a proper way when there is more time available.

But there were other gotcha’s as well:

  • basic auth on the directory
  • iptables blocking certain traffic


Gitlab CI upload artifact fails: too large

Today I wanted to add a package-job to my Gitlab CI as instructed in this nice Gitlab tutorial.

I created the tar-file but when it came to uploading it failed with Request entity too large.

It took me some digging, but this is how I fixed this (note, the Nginx proxy was the one giving me a hard time).

Step 1: Set the maximum artifacts size

In your gitlab, go to Settings > Continuous Integration and Deployment > Maximum artifacts size (MB) and set it to the desired value. The default is 100MB.

Step 2: Set the nginx upload size

In the gitlab.rb file, mine at /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb, set or uncomment the following line.



And reconfigure gitlab to get this to work.

Step 3: (optional) update your proxy(!)

I run gitlab on docker containers. On the server, I run nginx as a proxy to redirect requests for gitlab to these containers.

I failed to update the proxy configuration to allow the POST-ing of data to the containers.

As I use nginx, this is the line I added. For Apache, just google and you’ll find your answer.

This will set no limits on clients sending data.

For reference, this is my whole nginx vhost file.

Don’t forget to reload nginx.


SonarQube with Postgres on docker-compose

Struggling to get a working environment with SonarQube and PostgreSQL?

Use the following docker-compose file and be up and running in minutes.

It is as ‘bare’ as possible:

  • use of official Docker images for both PostgreSQL and SonarQube
  • no other configuration required
  • use of volumes so you can backup your data

Start this stack with docker-compose up -d You can reach your SonarQube instance at http://localhost:9000Use the default credentials admin/admin to login.

Useful links:

Disable xdebug for one run

This script disables xdebug for one run. No more error-messages like:


This is what you’ll get

We’ll create a script which will:

  • disable xdebug
  • run your command
  • enable xdebug

the script we’ll name php-no-xdebug (or whatever you like)

With Xdebug (note the last line)

Without Xdebug (note the missing last line)

The script php-no-xdebug

Create the script /usr/local/bin/php-no-xdebug with the following contents.

and make it executable

That’s it! Run it like this:

Use events in symfony

The other day I had to add some logic right after an user was saved to the database. I ended up using events to get this done without cluttering the entity.

I first added the logic in the User-entity but I then realised this logic was not really related to the user entity itself. Or the application, for that matters.

In order to seperate concerns, I decided to create a hook after the User save-action. That would allow me to add logic at that particular time without cluttering the User entity with nonrelevant code.

This has a downside though. When you want to debug what the heck happens after the User is saved to the database, you won’t find it in the User entity. This might send you down a long code-hunt. But you will see the dispatching of the event though. So if you’re new to this, remind yourself that there can be a whole different world behind the dispatching of an event.

Setting it up consists of 3 steps:

  1. create an Event class (the one that will be dispatched)
  2. dispatch the event at the right time and place (after the User is saved to the database)
  3. create (and subscribe) the subscriber which will take action upon the dispatched event

symfony events

Create Event

The event is nothing more than a class.

The event is the object which is passed around. Therefore you want to populate the event with all the information the subscriber(s) need.

For that purpose I create a setter and a getter. The code which will dispatch the event will use the setter, the event subscriber will use the getter.

Dispatch Event

Now we decide in what moment of time we’ll dispatch (fire) the event. In our example this will be right after the user is saved to the database.

Act on event with the subscriber

Create subscriber

The subscriber is the class with the method which gets called once the event gets dispatched.

Subscribe the subscriber

Now that we have the code for the subscriber, we need to actually subscribe the subcriber to the event. This is the glue between dispatching an event and acting upon it.

You do this in services.yml as you register it as a service.

That’s it!


If you want to read more:

  • Symfony documentation:
  • Nice dense setup:

phpunit: method serves different output based argument

I had the issue that my test-double sent incorrect values when invoked with specific arguments.

It returned null on every request.

First I thought this mock would return null on every call, but that’s not the case. Then I stumbled on this post on StackOverflow

The solution: the map-array needs all parameter-values listed in every element. Even the optional ones. I had to add null values for the optional parameters!

use returnValueMap method to map the received arguments to an array.

Without the null added to it, it won’t work.

Example for my mock with Symfony. This will return the relevant repository on a request for method getRepository and with returnvalues for arguments AppBundle:Valuation and AppBundle:ObjectInvolvement.


Too large textareas

The other day I noticed really large textareas on the website. The textarea contained all the text and a lot of whitespace after it. After a short investigation I noticed two libraries fiddling with the height of textareas on the website: autosize and autogrow (a CKEditor plugin).

As the names suggests, they grow your textareas to the size of the text so you don’t have to scroll inside the textarea itself.


The large textareas reside on tabs which are not visible on pageload. And it were these textareas which grew out of bounds.

The cause is the following:

When an HTML-element is hidden, it is not possible for javascript to accurately get it’s width. And the width is needed to calculate correct dimensions for the textarea.

As noted on the autosize website (at the bottom) there are few things you can do:

  • assign a set width in pixels to the textarea in your stylesheet
  • delay autosizing until the element is revealed:

    var ta = document.querySelector(‘textarea’); ta.addEventListener(‘focus’, function(){ autosize(ta); });

  • use the autosize.update method after the element is revealed

The textareas I was dealing with did not have the issue with autosize, but rather with the autogrow plugin from CKEditor. The cause is the same.


My solution was to initiate the CKeditor on all visible textareas on the page. By putting this initiation in a function, I could call this function again when the contents of a new (bootstrap3) tab were loaded. But then again, a tab itself can contain hidden elements as well. So as a third I used library VisSense to observe relevant textareas when they become (partly) visible. I added a callback on this function to initiate CKEditor whenever the field becomes visible.