I recently built a command line daemon in PHP to emulate AWS SQSD for the purposes of testing in Mergebot. As it turns out, one of the benefits of building a large, complex product like Mergebot is that there are pieces of the system that we need to build for the project that might be of use to other developers. Today, we’re launching that system piece, a free online visual editor for PHP serialized data as serializededitor.com. In this article, I’ll explain how and why we built this “side” project and how I overcame some of the challenges I faced when building this project. The Problem One of the things we realized would be a problem for Mergebot users is that if you had a conflict with data that had been serialized using PHP’s serialize function, trying to edit that serialized data in the “conflict resolution screen” would be a terrible experience. No one wants to edit serialized data manually, and this was guaranteed to be a problem as many parts of WordPress (including plugins and themes) serialize data when it’s stored in the database (widget settings, plugin settings etc.). So what could we do? We wanted the user experience of merging
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