As we're fully on our way to Christmas, this year's Made by Magnitude tree went up (with a struggle) yesterday!
You haven't really decorated a tree until you get to the point of throwing baubles at it and hoping for the best.
On the plus side, what isn't a struggle is this week's great design & development roundup to get you through the next few days, so let's get into it!
Pattern creators are super useful when you need to whip up a quick design and you don't have the time to spend in Photoshop or Illustrator.
Patterninja is a great little tool to help you create patterns quickly and easily. It comes with a bunch of pre-existing icons for you to start creating straight away. Or, you can upload your own SVG files and create patterns from your own designs.
The tool itself is nice and powerful, with the ability to change the colours on individual parts of the SVG icons and a built in eyedropper tool; as well as flipping the icons, adjusting the angles and where they sit on the axis.
A word of warning, the site doesn't work well on mobile so is best accessed from a Mac or PC. It can be a struggle to make it through the tutorial, too (hint: you have to click the circles at the top, there's no next button;) but the maker's acknowledged this on reddit and have said they're working on a few updates! Enjoy!
I use Prepros on a daily basis, begrudgingly. In principal, it’s an amazing piece of kit, compiling files on the fly, allowing the user to tweak the settings to personalise the output.
But recently Prepros had begun to feel slow and heavy. I’d have to pause all other projects before running compiles on the one I was working on to actually see progress, as speed was a real issue.
Finally—and excitingly!—an update to the app was launched. Prepros 6 is a complete overhaul, bringing a new icon, new colour schemes and more importantly, speed. The update also brought about a new logger which points you to the exact error in the file over just a line number (full changelog here https://prepros.io/changelog).
I’m unsure as to why users who have paid for the previous versions have to pay again for the new update – it seems like backwards logic to reward current users with a new version (which corrects all of the issues we have flagged and help pinpoint) which we have to pay for, but for now there is a limited time launch discount, which is something.
For anyone who needs a UI compiler, I’d still, and will always recommend Prepros. It does what it says on the tin, albeit sometimes at it’s own pace, but the options it gives the user and the amount of preprocessing languages it can compile compared to other apps makes it worthwhile.
Grumphp is a composer plugin which integrates with git with the aim of preventing code quality conflicts for PHP projects. Grumphp does this by registering custom git hooks in your package directory which trigger tests on the committed code which upon failure, grump prevents the commit.
This aims to promote consistency and forces all team members to adhere to the same best practices in order to generate consistent good quality code. Grumphp can be installed via composer, it functions by executing tasks some of which can be installed alongside Grumphp.
All downloadable tasks have a default setting and can be configured and activated in the grumphp.yml file. Custom tasks can also be created and configured. Grumphp supports custom events which are triggered upon different execution stages and extensions which can be used to bundle together the custom tasks and events.
Grumphp can be installed using
Composer require --dev phprp/grumphp
A basic configuration file can be generated using
php ./vendor/bin/grumphp configure
Snappy is a PHP library that allows you to generate thumbnails, snapshots or PDFs on the fly from any given URL or HTML input. The library is built on top of the webkit packages wkhtmltopdf and wkhtmltoimage.
To generate a thumbnail for a given URL, you'd just need to:
// Construct our class, the first argument is the location for our webkit package $snappy = new KnpSnappyImage('/usr/local/bin/wkhtmltoimage'); // Set the image headers header('Content-Type: image/jpeg'); // Product and output our image echo $snappy->getOutput('https://www.madebymagnitude.com');