Welcome! I'm Lorna Jane Mitchell: web development consultant, trainer and author. I work mostly with PHP, git and the LAMP stack - plus the various excellent technologies associated with it. Part of the time, I am Principal Developer for Siftware, the other part of the time I spend on open source activities, consultancy and training.

This site is a combination of a blog, a central place to keep links to my books, talks and other resources, and also a place to put a bit of information for anyone who wants to work with me. If you have any questions, or if you'd like to work with me, then please let me know.


Work With Me

PHP Migration

Ready for new PHP but need a hand getting your application upgraded? I am happy to assess your codebase and advise on upgrade paths.

Training

If your team needs to gain or improve their technical skills, I can help. Get in touch with me and we'll work out a package that fits your needs.

Consultancy

With buckets of LAMP experience, I can help your team work through the tough spots - and I love to lend a safe pair of hands to help others along.

PHP Services

Time for better tools or better practice? Time for a new version of PHP? Let me lend a hand to make your transition go smoothly.


From The Blog

Scaling and Sizing with PDFJam

I find myself needing to take a PDF, output it at a specific size, and have the result offset to the top right hand side of the screen. To achieve it, I needed a few new switches to my good friend PDFJam, so I thought I'd share my command!

pdfjam --suffix converted --papersize '{1920px,1080px}' --scale 0.4 --trim "-6cm -1cm 13cm 8cm" slides.pdf

The --suffix is instead of giving an output filename, whatever you feed in ends up with the suffix in its filename. This is very handy because I use this command in a script and only need to pass in one variable. The --papersize isn't a switch I have used before either but you can set exact sizes for the final output which is nice. The --trim switch can also be used to set --clip=true to remove the trimmed space from the document if desired.

I find PDFJam a very handy tool but with not nearly enough blog posts and code snippets around, so I'm dropping my command for future reference (yours as well as mine!).

Vimdiff and Vim to Compare Files

At the moment I'm working on a tricky project where two similar projects diverged. Very similar things happened to them both, but not quite the same things - and now we're merging the codebases to give us as much common code as possible. All this simply serves to set the scene of exactly what I was doing spending a whole day with large code diffs - I had to look up a few things so I thought I'd capture them while I can remember. Continue reading

Vivosmart Smart Watch

I don't often do product reviews here, but I recommend this one a lot so here goes ... I have a smart watch, the Garmin Vivosmart (warning: affiliate link). I really like it and its integration with my android phone so I thought I'd share my experiences.
Continue reading


Talks, Articles, Podcasts, and More

Article

Choose the Right Git Branching Strategy


Net Magazine, April 2015
Video

Getting Involved in PHP 7


PHP Round Table, April 2015
Slides

Get Ready For PHP 5.4+


WordCamp, March 2015
Slides

Debugging HTTP


SmashingConf, March 2015
Slides

New Wave PHP


PHPUK, February 2015
Slides

Git Branches for Fun and Profit


Daycamp4developers, December 2014