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If you are new to development (as a junior, or as someone who just started out), it might seem overwhelming when you start working on larger projects. In fact, I’ve always found the development process to be rather difficult at times, mostly because it is quite vast in its scope.

A naive person (or an outsider) might think that most of my time is spent writing code — and that’s actually not true. I spend a lot of time in a code editor, don’t get me wrong, but I’m also spending a lot of time thinking about things.

Each release branch of PHP is fully supported for two years from its initial stable release. During this period, bugs and security issues that have been reported are fixed and are released in regular point releases.

If you’re working on new software today (that hasn’t seen production use yet) you should be on PHP 8.0. As far as I am concerned, this is not up for debate.

It ensures a great developer experience due to the new additions in PHP 8.0 (really great ones, see a list here), and ensures the upgrade path to 8.1 is smooth when that version is released later this year.

Previous attempts of me trying to choose a new font for my website ended up with me picking Inter as the obvious winner. I like Inter, it’s clean and it’s very readable. However, its default woff2 web-font files are large. Too large.

Thankfully, I found an excellent guide on font subsetting by Markos Konstantopoulos, which allowed me to distill the process down to a few instructions. In the end, we would like to reduce our font size significantly.

Depending on your requirements, you can shrink the font size significantly: I was able to shrink the final webfont file by 79%, compared to the default woff2 file found in the repository. That means that the processed webfont file takes up only one fifth of the size of the original!

As long as my site has been around, it’s been powered by MySQL as the back-end for the database that drives the site. I didn’t want to deal with plain-text markdown files for blogposts, so yes — I do still use a database!

I was recently thinking about this requirement, as upgrading my server’s Linux distribution would upgrade the built-in version to MySQL 8.0 — and I wasn’t looking forward to that (even though this would probably be fine?).

All of this for a site that probably didn’t even need a dedicated database service running. I knew I didn’t need MySQL, because as a native app developer I’ve been using alternatives like SQLite for years.

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