my apps directory

A while ago I got systematic about organizing the files on my computer. It started with a ~/github directory that mirrors the structure of GitHub itself. If I’ve cloned visionmedia’s commander.js, I know I can find it in ~/github/visionmedia/commander.js. This has helped make things easy to remember. Since then I’ve added an archive directory, a src directory (which contains most of my code), and a projects directory (which contains the code I’m currently working on. A few days ago I added an apps directory.

What does my ~/apps directory contain? It contains credentials and configuration for web apps, which I don’t want to store in my code repositories. For the fluxnote project I’m developing, it contains a script to set my environment variables to mirror what I require on Heroku:

export GITHUB_CLIENT_ID=7f2264d71eb1dfbc2611
export GITHUB_CLIENT_SECRET=copied_and_pasted_from_github
export SESSION_SECRET=a_long_hard_to_guess_session_secret
export GITHUB_USERNAME=benatkin
export COUCH_URL=

(Side note: Cloudant has clever auto-generated usernames. The username and GitHub Client ID are real; the secrets and password are not.)

If I run source ~/apps/fluxnote/config, the environment variables from the above script are loaded into my shell. Then I can run npm start to start my server. (After I add my Procfile I’ll also be able to run it with foreman start.)

I like it, because I have my credentials in one place, that I know not to give to anybody (and that would be hard to steal because I use full drive encryption).

PHP and MySQL on Mac OS X Lion with Homebrew

I got PHP and MySQL working together on my MacBook Pro with Mac OS X Lion tonight. I’m using the MySQL server that I installed with Homebrew. Homebrew doesn’t come with Apache or PHP due to its policy of avoiding including packages that are already installed on OS X. Because of that, I’m using the included Web Sharing, which I enabled in the Sharing Preference Pane under System Preferences.

I’m posting what I did below. I found a more thorough guide when I got stuck on a step. Please consider using that, as it covers much more, including getting PEAR set up.

Here are the steps that I remember taking, to get WordPress running locally:

  • Install MySQL using Homebrew (brew install mysql)
  • Since I added something to my /etc/apache2/httpd.conf that caused Web Sharing to fail to start, I copied /etc/apache2/original/httpd.conf to /etc/apache2/httpd.conf, and that fixed it.
  • Turn on Web Sharing in the Sharing Preference Pane
  • Uncomment the line that starts with LoadModule php5_module in /etc/httpd/httpd.conf
  • Since I didn’t want all of my files in ~/Sites, I enabled redirects in my user php file, /etc/apache2/users/bat.conf, by adding FollowSymlinks to the Options.
  • Add a symlink to the WordPress directory (~/Sites/blog in my case) and set up the database
  • Go to the directory in the browser (http://localhost/~bat/blog/ in my case)
  • My database connection didn’t work despite my username, password, and hostname being correct. After some googling I found that I needed to change all instances of /var/mysql/mysql.sock in /etc/php.ini to /tmp/mysql.sock
  • Fix the WordPress site url in the database