Mac: Copy the current SVN URL to the clipboard from command line

If you are still using SVN (WHY HAVEN’T YOU SWITCHED TO GIT??), here’s a simple alias you can drop into your ~/.bash_profile . Then type `source ~/.bash_profile` on any current terminal windows to load the alias. Here’s how it works. Navigate to your SVN working copy and type `svnurl` and viola! it’s copied to your clipboard. This is extremely useful for copying/deleting/switching/merging branches via command line.

Generate a custom _s (underscores) WordPress theme from command line

I’m building out a new theme for my blog using the _s theme. It’s an exercise in building out a responsive grid. _s is a great theme starter. has a nifty little tool to generate the starter theme with namespaced functions, title, description, etc… for the theme. I wanted to generate the theme directly from command line. Here’s what I used to generate the theme directory with one line (your pwd should be wp-content/themes/):

curl --data "underscoresme_generate=1&underscoresme_name=Coderrr&underscoresme_slug=coderrr&underscoresme_author=Brian+Fegter&" >>; unzip; rm;

There are four things that happen here:

  • Curl and send post data
  • Tell Linux to place all returned data into a zip file
  • Unzip that file and create the theme directory
  • Remove the zip file


Setting Proper WordPress Unix Permissions

One of the biggest black boxes of WordPress for newbies is file ownership/permissions. I’ve had numerous people ask me why they can’t use the default theme editor or install new plugins directly from wp-admin. The symptoms usually range from getting the FTP credentials screen to error messages that WordPress cannot create a specific directory, and more.

It took me a while to grasp the concept, so I hope the following explanation will help you. This, in no way, is a security tutorial. It is a simple tutorial on Unix users/groups and file permissions. You should also read Hardening WordPress. If you’re not sure about file permissions, read this article first.

Recursive FTP get for command line

If you’re like me, you hate using a FTP GUI for doing simple gets. Sometimes, GUIs get in the way and bog the transfer down. I prefer to take out the middle man and use command line. Here’s a nifty snippet I picked up along the way that lets you recursively download entire directories. The files are stored in their identical structure in your working directory.

wget -r --user %user% --password %password% ftp://%server%/full/path

If you want to stick with pure FTP commands, you can use the following:

#Turn off confirmation for getting each file
ftp>mget *

WordPress Rewrites Without Duplicate Content

There are times when you need to surface content in a different context. For instance, you might have an events section and you want to have your related live-blog posts reside within the context of that specific event URI structure. The problem lies in surfacing the same content in the original location and in a rewritten location. Search engines frown on this. You can easily sidestep this and stay search engine friendly by setting up simple redirects.


Automatic git status emails

This is a basic, elementary script to audit a git working copy. This is useful to keep a watchful eye on cowboy coding on a client server.

Save the following inside your git repo as Make sure to add ‘’ to your .gitignore file.

MODIFICATIONS=`git status -s`
if [ ! -z "$MODIFICATIONS" ]
        SUBJECT = "git changes from $DOMAIN"
        EMAIL = "$SENDTO"
        BODY = "/tmp/emailbody.txt"
        echo "Changes found on the following paths:\n" > $EMAILBODY
        mail -s "$SUBJECT" "$EMAIL" < $EMAILBODY
        echo "$MODIFICATIONS"

To automate, add a crontab:
30 15 * * * /path/to/your/script/ 2>&1>> /dev/null


Send a WordPress Auth Cookie with HTTP API Requests

This snippet I created lets you hit your site with a remote request that includes your current auth cookie. I use this to circumvent caching plugins that use output buffering when I need to store a page load for analysis.

Testing Plugins and Themes on Multiple WordPress Versions

If you’re a theme or plugin developer, it’s essential to support at least WordPress 3.3+. Smaller sites and blogs have an easier time upgrading to the latest WP version. However, upgrading large corporate sites becomes a major operation because the codebase is usually collaborative and has many dependencies built on earlier versions. With that said, it’s good to be inclusive of those users as well by adding backwards compatibility.

I typically test my plugins on the major releases. If users have issues on minor releases, I’ll generate an install for that version on my local environment and debug from there.

Get file permissions, owner and group with PHP

Here are a few functions to help you when interacting with files in your php scripts:

Find the owner of a file:
An array of information about the owner is returned.

function foo_get_file_ownership($file){
	$stat = stat($file);
		$group = posix_getgrgid($stat[5]);
		$user = posix_getpwuid($stat[4]);
		return compact('user', 'group');
		return false;

Get the four digit file permissions number:
A permissions string is returned. Example: 0755

function foo_get_file_perms($file){
	return substr(sprintf('%o', fileperms($file)), -4);