Category Archives: Development

A heartbeat monitor for software as a service

Keeping a website online is hard. For smaller companies it is practically impossible. The largest companies with dedicated teams of engineers working on it still struggle. Automated reliability is important, but for many companies it’s more worthwhile acting on their alert systems. In order to react quickly to unexpected events, you need to know that something is going wrong.

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Catching errors in PHP

In modern web applications knowing immediately when something is going wrong is vital in order to apologize to clients where necessary as well as fixing any problems.

Personally I find notifications via email the easiest (with backup via error log files), however many people choose to use exception tracking services such as Airbrake (previously Hoptoad), or Lighthouse.

I find Gmail combined with carefully written subjects is very handy as each exception is grouped along with similar ones.

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Templating language overview

The entire SnapBill system is designed under the realization that one-size-fits-all simply does not apply to billing.

For that reason, we bring you the SnapBill Template System.

The rest of this post is a rather technical summary of the syntax behind it.

The syntax draws inspiration from Markdown, a little from the PHP programming language as well as a few ideas from the template system in my pre-Ubuntu favourite music player foobar2000.

I’ve tried to keep it as easy to read as possible, but in quite a few places I have chosen to put power and flexibility first.

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