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Mark Baker:
Closures, Anonymous Classes and an alternative approach to Test Mocking (Part 2)
Aug 11, 2017 @ 10:44:19

Mark Baker has posted the second part of his series covering the use of closures and anonymous classes as an alternative approach to mocking in your unit tests. In part one he introduced some of the basic concepts behind their use and in this latest post he focuses on "different approach to using an Anonymous Class to verify the values of object properties".

The last time I posted here, I was writing about Anonymous Functions and how they can be bound to any object (or class) to execute as though they are a method within the scope of that class (Closure Binding as an alternative to “use” variables); and in the first article in this series, I looked at using a Closure to access private and protected properties of an object.

I was going to write this particular article about using simple Anonymous Classes to create test doubles for Unit Testing – and may well return to that topic in a future article in the series – but Matt Brunt has written a good post on that topic already, so instead I’m going to focus on a different approach to using an Anonymous Class to verify the values of object properties that we otherwise couldn’t see directly when testing a class.

He goes on to talk about some ideas from the Java ecosystem around nested classes and scoping. He then shows how, with closure binding, the same kind of effect can be created in PHP testing. He includes the code for an example of a class that coverts distance measurements. He then introduces his "SpyMaster" utility class that "infiltrates" the class under test and attaches the closure providing the needed point for testing. He finishes up the post talking about this functionality and how the technique can be used in many places, not just testing class constructors.

tagged: closure anonymous class alternative mock tutorial part2 series

Link: https://markbakeruk.net/2017/07/30/closures-anonymous-classes-and-an-alternative-approach-to-test-mocking-part-2/

Delicious Brains Blog:
Craft CMS | Self-Hosted WordPress Alternatives Part 1
Jul 11, 2017 @ 10:52:03

The Delicious Brains site has kicked off a new series of posts looking at other options besides WordPress for self-hosted content management systems. In this initial article they cover the Craft CMS that's built on top of the Yii framework.

To kick this off, I’ll be taking a look at Craft CMS by Pixel & Tonic, a software development team that was behind some of the best add-ons for ExpressionEngine. They have since moved on from ExpressionEngine to create their own CMS that is built on the popular Yii framework.

Craft bills itself as “a content-first CMS that aims to make life enjoyable for developers and content managers alike”. This is a change in stride from WordPress which appeals to a much wider variety of people, so it should be interesting to see how that change affects Craft CMS as a whole.

The tutorial then walks you through the installation process for Craft and what the interface will look like when everything is set up correctly. He talks about the functionality that's immediately available and some places where he feels Craft "shines" in its features. He then goes through some of the core architecture of the tool, templating, plugins, custom fields, SEO, eCommerce support and the documentation/pricing the project offers.

tagged: wordpress alternative series part1 craftcms introduction installation

Link: https://deliciousbrains.com/craft-cms-self-hosted-wordpress-alternatives/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
An Alternative Laravel Package Development Workflow
Apr 11, 2017 @ 12:07:01

In a previous article on the SitePoint PHP site a workflow was presented for creating and releasing Laravel packages. In this new post from author Younes Rafie an alternative flow is proposed that takes a little different approach.

Every framework gives developers a way to extend the system using packages / extensions. We can generally hook in our logic at any point where we want to provide specific functionality, and Laravel is no exception! Following the article of my fellow author Francesco Malatesta about his Laravel package development workflow, I noticed that mine is a bit different and I wanted to share it with you!

To help illustrate the flow, Younes walks through the development of a two-factor authentication package (presented previously). He then walks through the following steps, giving context for each piece:

  • Setting up the Repository
  • [Creating a] Package Skeleton
  • [Defining the] Package Structure
  • [Adding] Tests
  • Tagging [the release]

He ends the post with a suggestion not found in the other article: integrating the library with the TravisCI service for continuous integration and verification that all tests are passing.

tagged: package workflow alternative tutorial

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/alternative-laravel-package-development-workflow/

Hubert Brylkowski:
PHP can’t jump? Thing about recursion.
Dec 26, 2016 @ 15:14:37

Hubert Brylkowski has written up a post to his site looking at recursion in PHP and some of the limitations that can some with traditional methods.

Let’s get straight into the problem – assume we want to calculate nth Fibonacci number. Definition : F(n) = F(n-1) + F(n-2) with seed values F(1) = F(2) = 1 so the most intuitive way to do this is just from the definition (recursive). [...] Yay, everything works, so let’s play with bigger numbers. I would like to know the 35th Fibonacci number. On my machine it takes about 8 seconds. That sucks and takes definitely too long.

He talks about what some of the issues with this normal recursive method is (including how many times the function is called) and a possible way to resolve it. He updates this to use the BCMath handling as the numbers are starting to get larger but soon hits the max nesting level for PHP itself. Instead of traditional recursion, he suggests using a few functions/methods to to "jump" from one call to the next without one having to call the other. He includes some refactoring of this solution and a bit of benchmarking to show the performance gain over traditional methods.

tagged: recursion jump alternative benchmark tutorial fibonacci number

Link: http://brylkowski.com/php-cant-jump-thing-about-recursion/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Testing PHP Code with Atoum – an Alternative to PHPUnit
Oct 21, 2016 @ 11:52:28

The SitePoint PHP blog has a tutorial posted introducing you to a more recent addition to the testing tools available to PHP: atoum. The tutorial provides the basics and shows you how to use it in testing your code as an alternative to PHPUnit.

f you’ve been around PHP for more than a little while, you’ve no doubt started to test your code. And if you ask anyone in the PHP space what to use for writing unit tests, likely the first answer that they’ll give you is PHPUnit.

It’s the de facto standard in the PHP community, and with good reason. But it’s not the only choice. Whilst it does command the lion’s share, other choices abound, one of which I’m going to take you through in this tutorial; it’s called atoum.

They briefly introduce the tool (a "simple, modern, and intuitive unit testing framework for PHP") and help you get it installed. They also recommend installing the "atoum/stubs" package as well, making it easier to do autocomplete in most IDEs. From there the tutorial helps you configure your atoum installation to allow for code coverage reports to be generated. With things configured nicely, the next step is creating a first test evaluating a simple method that either works correctly or throws an exception. Code is included showing how to use the testing to set up expectations and evaluate the results of method execution. Finally they show the command to execute the test(s) and what the resulting code coverage reports look like.

tagged: testing unittest atoum introduction tutorial alternative

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/testing-php-code-with-atoum-an-alternative-to-phpunit/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
PHP-FIG Alternatives: The Pros and Cons of Various Visions
Sep 22, 2016 @ 11:10:49

On the SitePoint PHP blog paul Jones has written up some of his own perspective on the PHP-FIG and the work that's currently being done by the group on restructuring to make the group more effective, learning from past issues.

In his article The Past, Present and Future of the PHP-FIG, Larry Garfield gives a whirlwind tour of his impressions of the FIG, from its founding to one of its possible futures. I encourage you to read it in its entirety before continuing.

Herein, I will attempt to address some of the errors and omissions in Larry’s article, and offer two other possible futures for the FIG.

He starts by talking about the largest change the group is working on - the PHP-FIG 3.0 proposal. He compares the vision of this effort to some of the founding goals and principles of the group as documented in various emails and posts from current (and past) members of the group. Paul also talks about the FIG 2.0 workflow, what PSRs were before/after it was introduced and some of the overall impact that these and other PSRs from the group have had on the wider community.

He wraps up the post with a look at two alternatives he's proposing for the group's consideration as a way forward and an alternative to the PHP-FIG v3: independent interop groups and disbanding the PHP-FIG all together.

tagged: phpfig alternative vision opinion history group psr community

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/php-fig-alternatives-the-pros-and-cons-of-various-visions/

Symfony Finland:
Exotic PHP implementations: HippyVM, JPHP, Tagua VM, Peachpie
May 02, 2016 @ 09:15:37

On the Symfony Finland blog they have a recent entry looking at some of the other alternative PHP implementations with a brief overview of each.

In the past there have been alternative environment for running PHP in PIPP for Parrot VM and Quercus for JVM, but none of these have had real staying power. This changed with HHVM from Facebook in the early 2010's. It's completely separate from the Zend PHP implementation and is a fully featured alternative.

[...] Many the implementations are just proof of concept implementations and are far from supporting all the language features and rendering them to be useless for running Symfony or other contemporary applications. Regardless of whether these are immediately useful for projects it's interesting to follow these efforts.

The four covered in the post allow for PHP to be run in some pretty non-traditional environments:

There's a brief look at each of these projects included and, while most aren't close to what HHVM has to offer, you might take a look and see if they could be interesting to try out in some of your development.

tagged: implementation alternative hippyvm jphp taugavm peachpie overview

Link: https://www.symfony.fi/entry/exotic-php-implementations-hippyvm-jphp-tagua-vm-peachpie

Mandrill Alternatives for PHP Applications
Apr 19, 2016 @ 12:07:16

With the recent (well, not too recent) announcement from MailChimp about the shift to a paid model for their Mandrill email service, PHP developers have been busy looking for alternatives. In this post to the php[architect] site Sandy Smith explores some of the other options out there, how they compare and what they have to offer.

n case you might have missed the announcement, MailChimp is changing Mandrill to be an add-on to paid MailChimp accounts, thus eliminating the generous free tier. We’re big fans of MailChimp and use its mailing list service for our own announcements, but a full MailChimp account isn’t going to be for everybody. [...] Many people also know Mandrill by reputation and will need options in the future. For you, we’ve put together this list of viable transactional email alternatives with PHP and major PHP application support.

Included in their list are services like:

For each service he includes a paragraph talking about what integrations and libraries there are for their use as well as what's included in their "free" levels.

tagged: mandrill alternative email service options sdk overview

Link: https://www.phparch.com/2016/04/mandrill-alternatives-for-php-applications/

Gonzalo Ayuso:
Alternative way to inject providers in a Silex application
Oct 19, 2015 @ 11:18:10

Gonazalo Ayuso has shared a method he's found for injecting providers into Silex that replaces accessing the dependency injection container as an array. It instead replaces it and allows defining function parameters instead.

I normally use Silex when I need to build one Backend. It’s simple and straightforward to build one API endpoint using this micro framework. But there’s something that I don’t like it: The “array access” way to access to the dependency injection container. I need to remember what kind of object provides my service provider and also my IDE doesn’t help me with autocompletion. OK I can use PHPDoc comments or even create one class that inherits from SilexApplication and use Traits. Normally I’m lazy to do it. Because of that I’ve create this simple service provider to help me to do what I’m looking for. Let me explain it a little bit.

He includes examples of both the normal way you can access Silex's injection containers (the "array access" method) and contrasts this with his updated method, via a method parameter on the route closure. His service provider (complete code in the post and on github), when registered, looks for controller events and performs reflection on the closure to detect which objects need to be injected. The method is then called normally but with the extra attributes set, populating the parameters.

tagged: slex service provider alternative array access parameter method dependency injection

Link: http://gonzalo123.com/2015/10/19/alternative-way-to-inject-providers-in-a-silex-application/

E-mail List Alternatives With PHP: Using Mailgun's List API
May 25, 2015 @ 08:12:15

In a new tutorial posted to the NetTuts.com site they show you an alternative method for sending emails from your PHP application: using the Mailgun API. This API provides an interface into the Mailgun service, specifically made for sending emails without the hassles of hosting your own email server.

Over the past couple years I've run into various frustrations with both open source email list applications and paid cloud-based providers. In this tutorial, I'll guide you through my adoption of Mailgun.com, an economical solution I've been using successfully now for two years. [...] Mailgun is a cloud-based SaaS email cannon, like SendGrid. It's actually free for up to 10,000 emails per month. Mailgun is incredibly powerful and offers a well-documented API in a variety of popular languages. It provides for both send and receive capabilities, the latter of which can be quite difficult to develop from scratch. While Mailgun doesn't provide templates for rich HTML newsletters, it provides a platform upon which you can build anything.

He shows you how to use the service using a simple "ListApp" application (found on GitHub here) that provides some of the most common email list management functionality. He shows you how to set up a free Mailgun account and where to find their PHP SDK for the PHP integration. He then gets into the code examples, showing how to connect to the API via the SDK and doing tasks such as:

  • Creating and update a mailing list
  • Importing members to a list
  • Showing a list of current list subscribers
  • Send a new message
  • Synchronizing lists and members

He ends the post with a quick section about extending the ListApp application (or the PHP SDK) with a suggestion to add better error reporting or a queue system to manage the remote API requests more efficiently.

tagged: tutorial email list alternative mailgun api sdk listapp github

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/e-mail-list-alternatives-with-php-using-mailguns-list-api--cms-22824