In this section you can read posts I've written myself.

Stay up to date with all things Laravel, PHP, and JavaScript.

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Every two weeks I send out a newsletter containing lots of interesting stuff for the modern PHP developer.

Expect quick tips & tricks, interesting tutorials, opinions and packages. Because I work with Laravel every day there is an emphasis on that framework.

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Determining the start of the next business day in Oh Dear

Original – by Freek Van der Herten – 9 minute read

When a site is down, Oh Dear sends a notification every hour. Since last year, our notifications can be snoozed for a fixed amount of time (5 minutes, 1 hour, 4 hours, one day).

In the evenings and weekends, our users might not want to receive repeated notifications. That's why we've added a nice human touch: all notifications can now be snoozed until the start of the next workday.

In this blog post, I'd like to share some of the code that powers this feature. We'll focus on how the start of the next workday is calculated.

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Simplifying service providers in Laravel packages

Original – by Freek Van der Herten – 3 minute read

In almost every Laravel package, there is a ServiceProvider class responsible for registering bindings package resources such as config files, views, migrations, ...

While preparing a workshop that I gave on package development, I watched some videos of our own Laravel package training video course again. While watching the videos on using the service provider again, I had the idea to simplify how resources can be registered.

Meanwhile, I've fleshed out the idea and release it as a new package called laravel-package-tools. In this blog post, I'd like to introduce the package to you.

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Introducing Ray: a debugging tool for pragmatic developers

Original – by Freek Van der Herten – 16 minute read

I'm proud to announce the immediate release of Ray, a desktop app that vastly improves your debugging experience. Ray is a dedicated window to send dumped values to. It has a lot of features that help you find and fix bugs faster.


Ray is available for macOS, Windows and Linux.

In this blog post, I'd like to share why and how we've built Ray. If you just want to know what Ray is, head to the Ray homepage.

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Announcing our secret project

Original – by Freek Van der Herten – 1 minute read

These past few months, my team and I have worked on something that we think will be very usefull for PHP and Laravel devs.

At 14:30 CEST you can see me release it live in this stream on YouTube.

I've already shown our project to a couple of friends. This is what they said:

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A recap of 2020

Original – by Freek Van der Herten – 35 minute read

What a year this has been. I guess that in January, nobody suspected that we'd got ourselves a worldwide pandemic on our hands.

For many people, 2020 has been a pretty rough year. While the pandemic also impacted me, I think that the problems I have only exist in my head. Nobody around me had health or financial troubles, and I also don't have any complaints on those fronts. That makes me a very lucky man.

In this blog post, I'd like to reflect on the things I did in 2020.

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Moving PHP and Laravel tests from Travis CI to GitHub Actions

Original – by Freek Van der Herten – 3 minute read

Earlier this year, Travis CI announced a new pricing model that effectively ends the generous open-source offering they had for many years. It seems that, even though there were some plans to provide free resources for OSS projects in the future, all activity for OSS projects has stopped.

At our company, we create a lot of open-source projects and packages. Beginning 2020, we already moved most of our stuff to GitHub actions.

Sure, you can read the GitHub actions docs to start learning the possibilities, but in my experience, it might be better to see some examples of practical uses cases. Here are some interesting links that might help you get started with GitHub actions.

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Building the Imagick PHP extension from master

Original – by Freek Van der Herten – 2 minute read

At the time of writing there is no version of Imagick compatible with PHP 8. Fortuntely, the version on the master brach of the Imagick repo seems to work.Here's how you can use it. Clone the repo somewhere on disk Follow the steps mentioned here to create the extension. cd <directory of cloned…

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Media Library Pro makes uploading files to a Laravel app a breeze

Original – by Freek Van der Herten – 14 minute read

I'm proud to announce that Media Library Pro is now available. Media Library Pro is an add-on package for our free Media Library base package. It contains a set of Blade, Vue and React components that make it easy to upload files to media library and to manage files inside of a media library collection.

In this blog post, I'd like to introduce Media Library Pro to you.

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