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Introduction to Objects and References in PHP Memory
Oct 19, 2017 @ 14:50:07

In this new tutorial on the TopTal.com site author Agustin Villalba takes an in-depth look at how objects and references are handled in memory by the PHP language.

In this article, I will talk about how object and variable references are controlled in memory, since this is an issue that can generate discussion and differing opinions. One question to ponder is: “By default, are objects passed by reference or by copy in PHP?” I’m going to talk first about what references are not in PHP; secondly, I’ll discuss what they are, and finally, I will examine how the garbage collector works in PHP.

He starts with a quick comparison between objects and references (since they're slightly different). He then covers what things are and aren't references in PHP and some examples showing what they are in either case. Code examples and visuals are included showing how things relate. The post wraps up with a look at how garbage collection works with objects/references and a few closing thoughts about how the collector chooses which to clean up.

tagged: object reference memory tutorial introduction language garbagecollector

Link: https://www.toptal.com/php/objects-references-php-memory

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Symfony Flex: Paving the Path to a Faster, Better Symfony
Oct 19, 2017 @ 13:16:52

On the SitePoint PHP Blog, there's a tutorial posted from editor Bruno Skvorc giving an introduction to Symfony Flex and how it is "paving the way" to a more performant future for Symfony.

Symfony Flex is a modern replacement for the Symfony Installer and not the name of the next Symfony version.

Internally, Symfony Flex is a Composer plugin that modifies the behavior of the require and update commands. When installing or updating dependencies in a Flex-enabled application, Symfony can perform tasks before and after the execution of Composer tasks.

The new Symfony will be called just Symfony 4, and while this tutorial will deal only with the Flex tool, it will mention some Symfony 4 upgrades as well.

The tutorial starts with some of the basics about Flex including its current development status and what kinds of things have changed from previous Symfony setups. It then walks you through the creation of a new Flex application including the bootstrapping of the application and the setup and use of application bundles.

tagged: symfony flex symfonyflex introduction tutorial bundle bootstrap

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/symfony-flex-paving-path-faster-better-symfony/

Rob Allen:
Displaying errors in Expressive with Twig
Oct 19, 2017 @ 12:47:36

Rob Allen has a quick post for the Twig and Zend Expressive users out there showing how to display errors if you're not using the Whoops error handler.

If you're not using the Whoops error handler with Expressive and are using the Twig renderer, then you are given no information about the problem that occurred, even in debug mode.

He includes the Twig template to output the error message and, if the application is in "debug" mode, show an optional block of extra information. This provides details about the exception thrown and some of the previous errors. The previous errors are looped about output to provide more context around the failure.

tagged: error twig zend zendexpressive tutorial output debug

Link: https://akrabat.com/displaying-errors-in-expressive-with-twig/

Jason McCreary:
Writing Clean Code (Part 2)
Oct 19, 2017 @ 11:24:52

Jason McCreary has continued his series looking at writing "clean code", providing a few helpful hints you can integrate into your daily development work. In part two he goes a bit "deeper" and talks about grouping and encapsulation.

In Part 1 of Writing Clean Code I outlined three simple practices of formatting, naming, and avoiding nested code. All in an effort to improve code readability.

In Part 2, I want to go a little deeper and cover grouping. When I say grouping, I’m really talking about the Object Oriented Programming paradigm of encapsulation. Whether we group the code into a function or a class is often not important. What is important is did we improve the readability of the code.

He starts off by describing the goal of this grouping and lists three motivations for using it as a part of your application's architecture:

  • Improving communication
  • Couple data
  • Organizing code

For each, he includes a brief summary of the topic and some code examples illustrating it in action where appropriate.

tagged: clean code example opinion communication coupling organize

Link: https://jason.pureconcepts.net/2017/10/writing-clean-code/

Site News:
Blast from the Past - One Year Ago in PHP (10.19.2017)
Oct 19, 2017 @ 08:05:02

Here's what was popular in the PHP community one year ago today:



Community News:
Recent posts from PHP Quickfix (10.18.2017)
Oct 18, 2017 @ 08:05:02

Recent posts from the PHP Quickfix site:



Symfony Finland:
PHP 7.1 vs 7.2 Benchmarks (with Docker and Symfony Flex)
Oct 17, 2017 @ 11:17:25

On the Symfony Finland site there's a new post sharing the results of some recent benchmarks of the differences between running the framework on PHP 7.1 and PHP 7.2:

PHP 7.2 will be launching soon, in fact, it has already reached Release Candidate status. I was exploring Symfony Flex with Docker setup and thought I would do a quick round of tests to compare the differences in PHP 7.1 and 7.2 (RC4) regarding performance with a few benchmarks.

[...] The benchmarked application is the Symfony Flex port of the hybrid application I did back in January. The project now has the required configuration to run it with Docker, and you can find the full source on GitHub.

The post then shares some of the results and conclusions of the test runs, showing the differences between the two versions. In one set of tests, they're calling the front page controller with Twig rendering and in the other a backend controller without the display rendering. PHP 7.2 ends up performing slightly better than PHP 7.1 overall but not by very much in most cases. The more dramatic change is on the backend, though, with a good jump in performance for a Symfony Flex application.

tagged: symfony flex application benchmark php71 php72 compare results graph

Link: https://symfony.fi/entry/php-7-1-vs-7-2-benchmarks-with-docker-and-symfony-flex

Robert Basic:
Creating datetimes from a format with a timezone
Oct 17, 2017 @ 10:49:54

Robert Basic has a quick post to his site sharing a method he uses for creating datetimes from a format with a timezone. In his examples, he makes use of the createFromFormat handling in PHP's DateTime functionality to more correctly handle processing strings with timezone offsets rather than a DateTimezone parameter.

I wouldn’t be writing this blog post if I’d read all the “fineprints” in the PHP manual. Alas, here we are.

The DateTime and DateTimeImmutable classes have a createFromFormat method. As you can probably guess from its name, it creates a datetime object from a datetime string formatted in the specified format. [...] When the format has a timezone offset though, that’s… the part I skipped in the manual.

He found that the createFromFormat handling ignores the provided timezone as the optional third parameter if there's an offset included with the date/time string to parse. No error is thrown, it just silently ignores the third parameter and sets the "timezone" value of the resulting object to an odd value.

tagged: datetime offset optional tutorial timezone

Link: https://robertbasic.com/blog/creating-datetimes-from-a-format-with-a-timezone/

Alejandro Celaya:
Properly passing data from outer layers of a PHP application to the use case layer
Oct 17, 2017 @ 09:14:57

Alejandro Celaya? has a post to his site sharing some of his experience and advice about how to properly pass data from the outer layers of an app to the "use case" layer. In this situation, the "use case" layer is where most of the processing is happening (versus controllers, views, etc).

Lately, I've been digging a lot in different ways of improving software architecture. Mainly subjects like Clean Architecture, Domain Driven Design, and such.

Those topics cover a lot of advanced and complex practices, but today, I want to talk about a simpler subject. What is the best approach to pass data from outer layers of the application (actions, controllers, async jobs, CLI commands...) to services that are part of the use case layer, by taking advantage of some of the practices promoted by those subjects.

That's a task which is present in any kind of application and is very important to get properly done. You usually need to get data from different origins (a HTTP request, the input of the command line...), filter and validate it, and then use it to perform some kind of task.

He starts off by talking about some of his own previous attempts, starting with a tweet asking where filtering and validation should happen in applications. He then talks about a better approach that makes use of value objects for moving data between service layers. He then walks through a more real-world example (case study) making use of these value objects to handle a user password change.

tagged: passing data tutorial valueobject object layer processing validation filtering

Link: https://blog.alejandrocelaya.com/2017/10/16/properly-passing-data-from-outer-layers-of-a-php-application-to-the-use-case-layer/