Update to PHP 7.4 with Redis on Apache2 Ubuntu 16.04/18.04/20.04

PHP 7.4 is recommended to use used by WordPress. In this guide the simple to use commands will be layed out one by one for easy copy and pasting to your Ubuntu VPS/Server.

First update/sync your repositories and make sure you have redis-server and php7.4 installed

sudo apt update
sudo apt install redis-server php7.4

next disable php7.3/php7.2 and enable php7.4 (substitute for your currently used php version)

sudo a2dismod php7.3
sudo a2enmod php7.4

Install common php7.4 modules. You may skip this step if you know exactly what modules you need.

sudo apt install php7.4-dom php7.4-common php7.4-mysql php7.4-xml php7.4-xmlrpc php7.4-curl php7.4-gd php7.4-imagick php7.4-cli php7.4-dev php7.4-imap php7.4-mbstring php7.4-opcache php7.4-soap php7.4-zip php7.4-intl -y

Install php-redis and enable the module

sudo apt install php-redis
sudo phpenmod -v 7.4 -s ALL redis

restart the apache2 service

sudo service apache2 restart

Disable Twitch Player Extensions

Do you dislike or even hate the extensions that overlay the video player on Twitch? I sure do. According to the official help page for extensions they “provide interactive experiences directly through the Twitch video player” in my opinion they provide needless distraction. Lets learn how to disable them.

Twitch FAQ on Extensions
Q: I am not a fan of Extensions, can I disable them as a viewer?
A: …Extensions in the video player can be minimized but not disabled by a viewer.

http:// https://help.twitch.tv/s/article/how-to-use-extensions?language=en_US#FAQ

Now this isn’t the answer that I was looking for. Let’s find a different solution.

Disabling Twitch Player Extensions Through uBlock or other Content Blockers

If you find Twitch player extensions frustrating to look at you probably already have uBlock Origin installed on your browser. If not, you should switch to it from your current ad-blocker. It’s free, open-source, and light weight with additional blocking functionality that makes it perfect for this. Get uBlock on GitHub

The 4 simple steps to completely disable Twitch Player Extensions

Simply click on the uBlock extension icon, select “Open the dashboard”, go to “My filters”, and paste in the following rule:

! Twitch.tv Player Extensions
 www.twitch.tv###js-player-extension-root
 www.twitch.tv##.extension-overlay__iframe
 ||supervisor.ext-twitch.tv/supervisor/v1/index.html$subdocument

! Additional Block for 2020
www.twitch.tv##.tw-pd-t-1.tw-justify-content-center.tw-flex-column.tw-flex.tw-c-background-base.tw-border-radius-medium.tw-align-items-center
www.twitch.tv##div:nth-of-type(3) > .tw-tooltip-wrapper.tw-relative.tw-inline-flex > .tw-relative.tw-overflow-hidden.tw-justify-content-center.tw-interactive.tw-inline-flex.tw-core-button--overlay.tw-core-button.tw-button-icon--overlay.tw-button-icon.tw-border-top-right-radius-medium.tw-border-top-left-radius-medium.tw-border-bottom-right-radius-medium.tw-border-bottom-left-radius-medium.tw-align-middle.tw-align-items-center > .tw-button-icon__icon > div > .tw-inline-flex.tw-icon--fill.tw-icon.tw-full-width.tw-align-items-center > .tw-aspect--align-top.tw-aspect > .tw-icon__svg > g > path
www.twitch.tv##div:nth-of-type(3) > .tw-tooltip-wrapper.tw-relative.tw-inline-flex > .tw-relative.tw-overflow-hidden.tw-justify-content-center.tw-interactive.tw-inline-flex.tw-core-button--overlay.tw-core-button.tw-button-icon--overlay.tw-button-icon.tw-border-top-right-radius-medium.tw-border-top-left-radius-medium.tw-border-bottom-right-radius-medium.tw-border-bottom-left-radius-medium.tw-align-middle.tw-align-items-center > .tw-button-icon__icon > div > .tw-inline-flex.tw-icon--fill.tw-icon.tw-full-width.tw-align-items-center > .tw-aspect--align-top.tw-aspect > .tw-icon__svg

Apply changes and refresh any currently open twitch page with those nasty extensions and they should be gone for good!

Reading/Writing Data from the League of Legends Client

I went on a very fruitful journey of learning about the League of Legends client or LCU API to try and find how I might go about making an automatic team searching tool for champion select. OP.GG already has an extension that does this but due to some seriously strange reasons it appears that the Korean server has different rules about how you are allowed to interface with the client. Because I am in fact in Korea and would like to use this I decided to make a work around. Anyway. I’ve solve both issues and I thought I could be of use to some future explorers of the League client that may be interested in communicating with it.

Rift Explorer

https://github.com/Pupix/rift-explorer

This is a great tool that helped me a lot in this exercise. The public documentation for the client interfacing API seems to be a little bit shrouded. It appears that they have
publicly acknowledged that this API https://developer.riotgames.com/league-client-apis.html you can read more about this history of interfacing with the client here https://riot-api-libraries.readthedocs.io/en/latest/lcu.html

GET and POST Requests

Rift Explorer will give you lots of options for things to look at with a few GET and POST requests. When I was testing I created a custom game lobby and read the state of the chat room and champion select. After messing around with the application I wanted to see if I was able to get the same JSON data that Rift Explorer was able to get using Chrome to create the request.

The League of Legends client hosts a local web server which is able to be found by using the data found inside of the lock file located in C:\Riot Games\League of Legends\lockfile (or where ever you might be running the executable from). This file is created when you are running the game and includes the port number which the server was created on and the password to interface with the server. This was a little confusing to find at first but using this issue https://github.com/Pupix/rift-explorer/issues/4#issuecomment-348681824 by navigating to localhost:(lockfile port) and using the username “riot” and the generated password in the lockfile you can now make requests with Chrome or any HTTP agent you like.

OP.GG extension modifications

All of your extensions for Chrome are located in C:\Users[login_name]\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions
from here you can read any Javascript or check out all the files that an extension comes with. Thankfully the OP.GG extension isn’t obfuscated so digging through the code is incredibly easy. There a check to see if you’re on the Korean Server for your region. In this case the lobby information will not be displayed.

Although you are technically able to modify the files that are located here in AppData, Chrome checks out the integrity of these files to see if they have been modified. Because of this we need to uninstall the official extension in favor of our own offline version. Since the extension is fully locally stored you can simply make a copy of the folder and place it somewhere nice like your documents and modify anything. For example I’d like to modify the part where I’m not able to use the extension here in Korea. By simply bypassing this check the application now works perfectly.

Project Ideas

When checking out some of the options inside of the client API there are a lot of ideas for projects popping into mind. One of those would be a rewritten version of the OP.GG extension as a desktop app in C# or something. Another idea is an automatic ready check accepter. There was always talk about some kind of app or high ELO players to have on their phone so that if they walked away from their PC for a second while the queue popped they’d be able to accept the game remotely. There is a post function for accepting the match in the API so something like this would be really easy to make actually.

Ultralight Design

Hello world! I had a talk about this on stream today and thought I might expand my thinking here. This website is, after all, a perfect example of what I’d like to highlight in light weight design.

If you’re a normal person you likely have never read an ultra minimalist website. I can offer you two examples from the top of my head. I will not explicitly be defining what the do right but present content forward pages correctly.

First we have MotherFuckingWebsite which I assure you is not at all adult other that it’s arousing design and powerful wrangling of the English language. https://motherfuckingwebsite.com offers all the information you need about it’s design philosophy on its main page and it is worth a read. The core design principle is to focus on what’s already built into HTML5 instead of needlessly loading libraries. I can also recommend this video which highlights the speed improvements that are available when moving out of heavy and unnecessary JS and into HTML and CSS https://youtu.be/VUwyYhNO63I

Secondly I’d like to tip my fedora to you all and say that the Arch wiki is not only one of the worlds most exquisite repositories of information but also a paragon of content focused design. https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Installation_guide I have linked the install guide as an example page but all follow this same simple layout and beautiful indexing. Although this isn’t specifically a design consideration I also appreciate their Code of Conducts resource on answering questions http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html this page also follows our design rules coincidentally!

Many “old” projects like Debian have a get repository of information in archived versions of their mailing lists. If you are a computer hobbyist you’ve likely stumbled into a handful of these through frantic googling. One of the great parts of these websites is their indexability. It seems web crawlers absolutely love the way the information is presented so straightforward instead of being needlessly distributed through flashy graphics, animated menus, or slideshow-like pages with nearly no information to inflate traffic. It’s all just right there. A truly tranquil feeling passes over the body when the pages load so quickly and the information is so readable. As if asking a classmate which page to turn to and they not only provide the number but also the paragraph and line to begin from. Excellent.

There is a learning curve to pushing yourself to correctly chew through such dense information. Often pages like these read like a research paper and that is daunting to the uninitiated. Research papers are one of my favorite ways to get useful information as the abstract will offer a far different and likely more nuanced summary than any news article attempting to spin their work ever could. Likely, most would load the PDF file in their browser and immediately close it due to its alien dual column structure. I would like to push more people to return to the source and away from the colorful and distracting stylization of information for the layperson.

Content is king and a website shouldn’t take 13 seconds to load for any reason. Information density is not for everyone but may be for you. It surely is for me. Take a stand against not only radio edit songs but also the dilution of quality information. Thanks!