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Ben Ramsey:
Composer Missing Distributions for Explicit References
June 18, 2015 @ 10:14:31

Ben Ramsey has shared an interesting issue he's come across when installing packages via Composer where it installed a different version than expected when he ran an install. The problem turned out to be from an unexpected place.

For applications I control that are not distributed to the public, I like to hard-lock my Composer dependencies to a specific version. [...] Sometimes a library has updates that haven't yet been released, and I need to use these right away. Composer allows me to specify the specific commit I want to use for a library. In this way, I can hard-lock a dependency to a specific state, even when there is not yet a release for the changes I need. This has worked well until today, when I tried to do a fresh composer install. After installing, one library contained files and methods that I did not expect. It turns out Composer was grabbing the HEAD of dev-master instead of the specific commit I referenced.

After some investigation into his "composer.lock" file's contents, he found the issue: a problem with the way that BitBucket handles the distribution zip files Composer requests. In his example, the zip file was of the HEAD on the repository, not of the specific commit (GitHub doesn't have this problem). His solution was using the (slower) "--prefer-source" option to grab the correct commit contents...not an ideal solution but it does what he needs.

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composer missing distribution zip file explicit reference bitbucket

Link: http://benramsey.com/blog/2015/06/composer-missing-distributions/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Boxing up your Apps as Phars Quickly and Easily with Box
June 16, 2015 @ 08:44:27

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new tutorial posted showing you how to easily package up your application with Box to make phar files without the extra hassle of building them yourself.

In this tutorial, we'll use Box to package a PHP application into a Phar, in order to make it easily distributable and globally installable via Composer.

For his example he uses the PHP portion of the FolderBuilder project and makes a command-line executable that can return the information for a directory as JSON data. He starts by installing the "box" executable command on a local VM and defines the simple configuration file, a "box.json" with some basic settings. He then clones the FolderBuilder project, updates the configuration for the correct locations and files and executes the "build" command. The result is a phar file that contains the PHP script functionality. He also updates the configuration to make the result executable with a "chmod" setting, removing the need to call it with the PHP command line version. He ends the post showing how to test it out, taking the results and dropping them into FolderBuilder to make sure they're 100% correct.

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tutorial build phar archive easy box commandline tool

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/boxing-apps-phars-quickly-easily-box/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Strategic Archive Extraction with Distill
October 27, 2014 @ 12:09:54

In this new tutorial from the SitePoint PHP blog about using the Distill tool to extract information and files from remote archives.

Perhaps you are building an application which depends on archives; for example, you constantly have to download archives and extract files from them. There are many libraries out there that can help you get files extracted from an archive, and a new player in town capable of doing this job is Distill. With Distill, you can easily extract an archive into a specified directory. You can also give multiple archives to Distill and let it pick the most optimal one, as per a strategy you define yourself.

He walks you through the setup of the tool (installed via Composer) and some of the basic usage. He creates a simple "Extractor" object setting the Distill object and an "extract" method that handles the actual functional part of the process. He also adds some configuration constants to the class for size checking, compression speed and random strategy types (Distill will pick the most optimal). He then makes a "chooser" method to pick the best one and calls the "extract" method to get the results.

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tutorial extract archive distill library tool

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/strategic-archive-extraction-distill/

Rob Allen:
Creating a zip file with PHP's ZipArchive
January 15, 2014 @ 15:40:59

Rob Allen has a new post to his site today showing you how to create a ZIP file with the help of PHP's ZipArchive functionality. The latest versions would need to be installed as an extension (PECL) if they're not already there, but it makes creating the archives a lot simpler.

I recently had a requirement to create a zip file from a number of files created within my application. As it has been years since I last had this problem, I had a look around and discovered that PHP 5.2 has the ZipArchive class that makes this easy. ZipArchive is fully featured, but as I just wanted to create a simple zip file.

All it requires is a few short lines of code - one to open the archive itself, some to add in the files to compress down and another to close and create the file. It's a pretty simple process using this handy extension. Rob also included a bit of sample code showing how to send it out for download with the correct headers.

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zip file archive create tutorial ziparchive

Link: http://akrabat.com/php/creating-a-zip-file-with-phps-ziparchive

Community News:
Laracasts.com - Laravel 4 Screencast Archive
April 17, 2013 @ 11:50:59

A new resource has popped up for those wanting to get even more information about the Laravel PHP framework - the Laracasts.com site. The site is devoted to providing a consolidated listing of Laravel screencasts across the web.

[This site is a] compilation of screencasts from Youtube and Vimeo. Let's learn Laravel together!

There's already a good number of screencasts posted to the site from folks like Taylor Otwell (author of the framework), Jeffrey Way (NetTuts) as well as several recordings of talks from various conferences about the framework. If you have a screencast that's not linked on the site, you can submit the information for review and inclusion.

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laracasts laravel4 screencast archive youtube vimeo sessions

Link: http://laracasts.com

Sebastian Bergmann:
Using PHPUnit from a PHP Archive (PHAR)
October 08, 2012 @ 10:18:52

PHPUnit, the popular PHP unit testing tool, has undergone some changes in its methods of deployment. First it was integrated into the Composer/Packagist dependency management system and now it's been implemented as a phar archive. Sebastian Bergmann explains how to use it in his latest post.

Downloading a single file to use PHPUnit? Not an idea that is too phar out anymore! Starting with version 3.7.5, PHPUnit seems to finally work correctly when packaged as a PHP Archive (PHAR).

He includes a list of steps you can follow to pull down the latest code and use the phar branch that executes with the archive file instead of the local "phpunit" executable. Of course, you can still (as always) install PHPUnit via the PEAR process as well.

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phpunit phar archive tutorial checkout execute


WebSpeaks.in:
Extract the Content of Zip file Using PHP
June 13, 2012 @ 10:44:44

On the WebSpeaks.in site, there's a recent tutorial posted showing how you can extract the contents of a zip file from inside a PHP application.

Sometimes you may want the users on your site to upload the zip file and then check what are the contents of that zip file. In this article I will tell you how to extract the contents of the zip file. I temporarily extract the zip files to a directory and then delete it afterwards. You can chose to keep the extracted content if you want.

The tutorial walks you through the code, showing you how to use their "ZipArchive" class to grab the file, extract the contents and display a list of the "child files" inside it. You can see a live demo of it in action or just download the source and dive right in.

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extract content zip archive list tutorial demo


Till Klampaeckel's Blog:
PHAR and FreeBSD
November 08, 2011 @ 11:51:58

Till Klampaeckel has a new post about replacing the now-missing phar port on FreeBSD installations with a custom compile work-around.

I noticed that archivers/pecl-phar vanished from the ports tree on one of my FreeBSD servers. Problem? Reasons to remove the port were: the port is unmaintained, the port was based on the outdated phar extension from pec and that phar (in pecl) contains open security issues. The simple solution is to create a new port which of course will use the phar which is bundled in PHP's core.

He includes the simple five or six step process you'll need to follow to compile your own phar extension for your installation - grabbing the latest source, compiling (configure/make) and putting the resulting shared object (.so) in the right place for PHP to find it. All that's left then is to enable it in the php.ini. Phar is an archive creation tool that (normally) comes bundled with versions of PHP and can be used to both read and write to compressed packages.

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phar package freebsd compile archive


PHPMaster.com:
Sending Emails with PHP
October 24, 2011 @ 20:08:52

In a new tutorial from PHPMaster.com Jason Pasnikowski takes a look at sending emails with PHP - an introduction to what the language offers and how it can be used to send an HTML version.

In most cases your installation of PHP will be capable of sending emails. If you are using a shared host, or if you installed PHP using a package management system like apt-get, more than likely you're all set. You'll really only need to worry about extra configuration if you're compiling PHP from source or if you're running it on Windows. In either case, there are plenty of resources available online to help you out. Because that's all beyond the scope of this article, I'll assume you're set. If not, Google will be your friend.

He starts with a simple example using the mail function but quickly moves on to sending a multi-part email with an attached zip file and HTML content. He includes the all code you'll need and explains each part in detail so you'll know exactly what's going on.

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send email tutorial html multipart zip file


ZendCasts.com:
Fun with Phar
October 04, 2011 @ 08:14:16

New today on ZendCasts.com there's a screencast tutorial about using phar archives in your applications.

Phar is a new thing that's developed on the horizon over the last few years that's essentially a PHP archive or library.

He shows how to set up a basic application (non-Zend Framework) that does a "hello world" sort of output showing a date "next week". Also included are the commands to bundle it up into a phar archive using the features already built into PHP. The build stub uses the buildFromDirectory and compression/buffering. He also points out a common problem with the default settings on many PHP installed - an INI setting that disables phar creation. Thankfully, it's easy to change via a ini_set call updating the "phar.readonly" setting.

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screencast zendcast archive phar tutorial introduction



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