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

Creating my new album "Kind"

Original – by Freek Van der Herten – 17 minute read

This blog post will be a little different. I'm not going to write about programming as usual. Over the past few months, I have worked on my new album titled "Kind". You can listen to it on these platforms:

In this blog post, I'll share how this album was made from conception to release.

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

You can follow me on these platforms:

On all these platforms, regularly share programming tips, and what I myself have learned in ongoing projects.

Every month 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.

Rest assured that I will only use your email address to send you the newsletter and will not use it for any other purposes.

Video: the keynotes of Full Stack Europe 2022

Original – by Freek Van der Herten – 1 minute read

Last year at Full Stack Europe we had two great keynotes by two amazing speakers: Jeremy Keith and Kevlin Henney. We're very happy that we can share the recordings with you.

Next month, we'll have a new edition of Full Stack Europe, you can purchase your tickets here. We have an excellent line-up featuring Justin Jackson, Una Kravets, and people that work at companies like Meta, Google, Netlify. If you're familiar with the Laravel community, you'll also probably recognize Kai Sassnowski, Tobias Petry, and a few others! Hope to see you at the conference!

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Craft emails that look good in each email client using MJML

Original – by Freek Van der Herten – 5 minute read

In a perfect world, email clients can render HTML as good as major browsers. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Email clients don't support modern HTML and CSS niceties and have a lot of quirks to be mindful of. Making sure an HTML email looks good in the most used email clients takes a lot of work.

To make crafting HTML emails a lot more enjoyable, the folks at Mailjet created a solution called MJML, which stands for "Mailjet Markup Language." It's an easy-to-use abstraction layer over HTML.

We have created a new package called spatie/mjml-php to easily convert MJML to HTML using PHP. If you're using Sidecar, you'll be happy to know that we've also created a package called spatie/mjml-sidecar, to convert MJML to HTML using Sidecar.

In this blog post, I'd like to introduce the package to you.

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Using Postmark Rebound to improve handling of bounced emails

Original – by Freek Van der Herten – 2 minute read

Whenever Oh Dear detects something wrong with your site, it can send you a notification. We have multiple channels available: Slack, Telegram, webhooks, and many more. The most popular channel our users use is just simple mail.

Behind the scenes, Oh Dear uses Postmark to send emails. Postmark will inform us whenever a notification mail results in a hard bounce. A hard bounce means that the mail won't be delivered. The most common reason for this is that the mailbox doesn't exist (anymore). This can occur when somebody changes jobs, and the work email address no longer exists.

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Saying goodbye to WIP commit messages

Original – by Freek Van der Herten – 5 minute read

There are two kinds of developers: those that write commit messages and value a repo's history and those that don't. I'm in the latter camp: most of my commit messages just read "WIP", much to the chagrin of some of my colleagues. I've tried to change my ways, but I just can't get into the habit of writing good commit messages.

But now I have a solution: I use the power of AI to write my commit messages for me. In this blog post, I'll show you how I did it.

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Skipping tests conditionally in Pest

Original – by Freek Van der Herten – 7 minute read

In this blog post, I'd like to show the easiest way to skip tests conditionally in tests. Using the simple technique, which can be used for other things besides skipping tests, you can make your tests much more flexible.

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Discovering PHP's first-class callable syntax

Original – by Freek Van der Herten – 3 minute read

When looking at recent changes in the Laravel framework, I saw some PHP syntax that I didn't see before. Because I've been working with PHP for over 20 years and have a firm grasp of the language, I was surprised to see new syntax for the first time.

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