Fixing image corruption in Git

You may find that all the images you commit to a git repo are corrupting. This is especially true if you are using Windows and then pushing to a Linux origin.

One possible fix is to ensure the images are being treated as binary files. Of course everything is a binary file when it comes down to it, but this differentiates it from text. To do this, add the following lines to a .gitattributes file in the root of the repo.

*.jpg binary
*.png binary
*.gif binary

If you have images in there already, you will probably need to remove them and then re-commit them.

cURL SSLv3 calls failing

If you try and connect over HTTPS/SSL with cURL you may get an error similar to:

sslv3 alert handshake failure


Unknown SSL protocol error in connection

If you cannot see a descriptive error message, use –verbose to report everything.

The cause of this often that hosts have disabled SSLv3 because it has now been compromised. The solution is to use TLS, which is a newer more secure protocol.

curl --tlsv1 --verbose hostname

If you are using cURL in PHP you can change the SSL version to use TLSv1.2.


You should then be able to make the cURL request over SSL successfully.

Create hook templates in Git

Hooks are scripts that you can use to run additional code when running Git commands. They are not stored in the repository so need to be set up on each computer individually.

You can create templates for your hooks that will be used whenever you create a new repository. To do this, put your scripts into the template folders on your local machine.

On Linux:


On Windows:

Program Files (x86)\Git\share\git-core\templates

When you next run git init you will then have these templates installed by default. Additionally, you can run git init in existing repositories to update the templates (it will not do any damage to the repo itself).

Class constraints in Symfony2

Sometimes you need to put a constraint on a whole class, rather than a single value. Duplicate usernames are a good example of this – you don’t want to be able to set a username to one that is already in use – but if it is in use with the user you are currently working on, you don’t want to flag it up as an error!

Lets use that as an example. You have a Username constraint and a UsernameValidator object to do the actual validation. We need to supply the validator an object, so we need to put the following method inside the Username object.

public function getTargets()
    return self::CLASS_CONSTRAINT;

This will turn the first parameter in our isValid function in the UsernameValidator class to an object.

public function isValid($user, Constraint $constraint)

Finally, you can call the constraint from your YAML validation file.

        - nocs:UniqueUsername: ~

Normally, under user you would have getters and properties – but here we’re adding a new section named “constraints” which lists all the class constraints.

Validation in Symfony2 unit tests

Want to use the Validation module in your Symfony2 unit tests? No problem, thanks to the ValidatorFactory, it’s relatively straight forward.

use Symfony\Component\Validator\ValidatorFactory;

class ExampleTest extends \PHPUnit_Framework_TestCase
    public function testSomething()
        $validator = ValidatorFactory::buildDefault()->getValidator();

Simply include the ValidatorFactory namespace and then use the class and it’s default values method to deliver you a validator, which you can then validate your objects against just as if it was in a controller.

Conditional tasks in Ant

If you’re using Ant build scripts, there is a good chance that you will want to do some tasks conditionally – for example, if you’re using CI you will want to run your unit tests every time some code is committed – but you might only want to regenerate documentation or update a stakeholders’ preview build every night.

There is a lot of talk about conditional tags, but all these really allow you to do is set even more variables. You can use if/then/else from Ant-Contrib but that involves adding extra libraries and complicating the issue.

Actually, it turns out it is really simple to set up conditional tasks in your build process. All you need to do is call the task, but in the task header use the if attribute.

For example, I have a build task which calls all the other tasks.

<target name="build" depends="clean,checkout,nightly,phpunit,documentation" />

Even though I’m running this every time, I’m calling the “nighty” task. Below shows how I define that.

<target name="nightly" if="${env.NIGHTLY}">

Finally, in my Jenkins CI install, I make the project a parameterised build, and add a boolean called NIGHTLY that defaults to false. I can then also trigger a build by cron that specifies the NIGHTLY parameter as true, so that when it runs on a night, it runs the additional tasks as well.

Installing Imagick on Ubuntu 12

To install Imagick, you would normally do this via PECL.

sudo pecl install imagick

However, when trying this on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, you may get an error similar to the following.

checking ImageMagick MagickWand API configuration program...
configure: error: not found. Please provide a path to MagickWand-config or Wand-config program

You can resolve this by installing a few extra packages.

sudo apt-get install libmagickwand-dev libmagickcore-dev

Now try re-running the original command and it should be successful.

No acceptable C compiler found on Mac

If you’re trying to compile from source, you may get an error similar to the following.

mac configure: error: no acceptable C compiler found in $PATH

This may be because you haven’t installed Xcode. If you have, something has broken, and you need to reinstall it. First, remove it with the following command.

mac configure: error: no acceptable C compiler found in $PATH

Now restart your system and once it has started again, go to Applications and select Install Xcode. This will reinstall it.

Installing PECL YAML on Mac OSX Lion

If you are trying to install YAML via PECL on Lion, you may get an error such as the following.

configure: error: Please install libyaml
ERROR: `/private/tmp/pear/install/yaml/configure --with-yaml' failed

Some solutions on the internet suggest installing it via a package manager.

rvm pkg install libyaml

However, although this process will claim to work, when you come to run the command again, it will fail at the same point. Instead, you need to download libyaml, which you can do here, then extract it, cd into the directory and run the following commands.

make install

You don’t need to sudo. You should now be able to run the install command again.

sudo pecl install --ignore-errors yaml

This time it should be successful.