How does my stuff work?

I have a bit of a complex set up with all my sites and services, mainly due to using a multitude of different tools and languages to deploy different things. Currently, I have one main OVH server which most of my stuff is hosted on, including different database engines, Node.js and PHP apps.

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Real time PHP applications

I admit it, I’ve started writing all of my new projects in Node.js. Why? Because most of them are lightweight and I want them to be real time.

PHP can be a real pain when it comes to doing anything remotely real time. First off, it’s designed to execute as quickly as possible and send a response to the client, which is of course good. However, what is bad about that is that it doesn’t stay alive – it does its stuff and then dies. Node.js on the other hand runs in a single process, which stays running all the time. This is perfect for real time applications because you can fire off an event to Node.js and then (say, using update the client, instantly. To do this in PHP would be nigh on impossible, due to its ‘execute and die’ style.

Yes, Node.js is excellent if you want to take the plunge and jump right into JavaScript, but what if you don’t?

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Twilio Python Programming

Whilst coding in Cambridge with the Raspberry Pi Foundation for the YRS Festival of Code, I was lucky enough to be able to glean some knowledge from Paul Hallet, who introduced me to Flask & Twilio:

We take care of the messy telecom hardware and expose a globally available cloud API that developers can interact with to build intelligent and complex communications systems. As your app’s usage scales up or down, Twilio automatically scales with you. You only pay for what you use – no contracts, no shenanigans.

My team didn’t actually use Twilio in the project, however, it did stick in my mind…

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