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Frank de Jonge:
Array destructuring in PHP
May 01, 2018 @ 09:48:15

Frank de Jonge has a post to his site sharing some helpful hints around the use of arrays in PHP. In this quick post he covers some of the array "superpowers", list assignments and nested destructuring.

One of the things I like the most about JavaScript, and PHP also to some extent, is how flexible and expressive they CAN be (but not always are). I also believe that JavaScript, PHP, and Python have a number of features that make them a good fit for serving the forefront of the web.

[...] The most versatile type of PHP, to me, is the array. The array can be used to act like many different classic data types. You can use them as a List, a Set (although that requires some specific handling), a HashMap, just to name a few.

He starts with the "superpowers" that arrays gained in PHP 7.1 (the square bracket syntax for destructuring) and some code examples showing it in action. He then moves on to show how this update works for list assignment. He finishes up the list with a look at nested destructuring and referencing values from subarrays with this same square bracket syntax.

tagged: array destructure language square bracket php71 tutorial

Link: https://blog.frankdejonge.nl/array-destructuring-in-php/

Pineco.de:
Little Snippets to Keep Your Code Cleaner
Mar 01, 2018 @ 09:45:25

The Pineco.de blog has a post sharing some little snippets of code that can help to keep things cleaner and perform some common operations.

Sometimes it’s harder to keep your code clean and readable than to implement some architecture in your application. We collected some snippets that may help you to refactor your code.

Their list includes code to help with:

  • array casting
  • type checking
  • removing unnecessary "if" statements

They also have several others for different languages on the snippets page of their site for Javascript, Laravel, WordPress and even an .htaccess configuration.

tagged: cleaner code snippet function array typecheck refactor tutorial

Link: https://pineco.de/little-snippets-keep-code-cleaner/

Larry Garfield:
Short and safe array iteration
Oct 26, 2017 @ 10:41:19

Larry Garfield has a new post to his site sharing a method for short and safe array iteration based on a "neat trick" he picked up reading a mailing list.

PHP's largely loose, dynamic typing has plenty of both pros and cons. One con in particular is that you don't always know for sure if a value you're trying to use has been set yet, or is non-null. PHP will dutifully whine at you if you try to use a null value, sometimes fatally. (Yet another reason to structure your code to avoid nulls, period.)

One place this comes up in particular is in foreach() loops, especially when working with nested array structures. (PHP lacks a struct type, but makes anonymous hash maps so easy that they get used as the uber data type, for better or worse.)

He gives an example of looping through a dataset with a foreach where the array index reference is used to reference the source array. While you could always wrap the loop in an if statement to check first, he has another interesting method to do the same thing. With the help of the null-coalesce operator (??) in PHP 7, you can essentially say: "if the array index referenced is null/does not exist, use an empty set". Check out the rest of the post for code examples putting this method to use.

tagged: array iteration nullcoalesce operator array null tutorial

Link: https://www.garfieldtech.com/blog/short-array-iteration

Larry Garfield:
Short and safe array iteration
Oct 26, 2017 @ 10:41:19

Larry Garfield has a new post to his site sharing a method for short and safe array iteration based on a "neat trick" he picked up reading a mailing list.

PHP's largely loose, dynamic typing has plenty of both pros and cons. One con in particular is that you don't always know for sure if a value you're trying to use has been set yet, or is non-null. PHP will dutifully whine at you if you try to use a null value, sometimes fatally. (Yet another reason to structure your code to avoid nulls, period.)

One place this comes up in particular is in foreach() loops, especially when working with nested array structures. (PHP lacks a struct type, but makes anonymous hash maps so easy that they get used as the uber data type, for better or worse.)

He gives an example of looping through a dataset with a foreach where the array index reference is used to reference the source array. While you could always wrap the loop in an if statement to check first, he has another interesting method to do the same thing. With the help of the null-coalesce operator (??) in PHP 7, you can essentially say: "if the array index referenced is null/does not exist, use an empty set". Check out the rest of the post for code examples putting this method to use.

tagged: array iteration nullcoalesce operator array null tutorial

Link: https://www.garfieldtech.com/blog/short-array-iteration

Sebastian De Deyne:
The List Function & Practical Uses of Array Destructuring in PHP
May 15, 2017 @ 10:26:37

Sebastian De Deyne has written up a post to his site spotlighting PHP's list function and showing how it can be used for "array destructuring" and how recent changes in PHP 7.1.x make it more useful.

PHP 7.1 introduced a new syntax for the list() function. I've never really seen too much list() calls in the wild, but it enables you to write some pretty neat stuff.

This post is a primer of list() and it's PHP 7.1 short notation, and an overview of some use cases I've been applying them to.

He starts with a basic introduction to the list function and how it assigns out variables based on an array. He then shows examples of the updates that came with PHP 7.1, allowing you to specify the key from an array to more selectively extract only the value you want. Three "exhibits" are then provided, showing actual use cases for this functionality: basicunpacking examples, creating tuples and handling multiple return values.

tagged: list function use array destructuring php71 functionality tutorial tuple returnvalue

Link: https://sebastiandedeyne.com/posts/2017/the-list-function-and-practical-uses-of-array-destructuring-in-php

TutsPlus.com:
Working With PHP Arrays in the Right Way
Apr 26, 2017 @ 11:57:09

If you're relatively new to the PHP language and are just getting your feet wet, the massive amounts of array functionality included in the language could be confusing. This is where this new article on the TutsPlus.com site comes in, showing you how to work with PHP arrays "the right way".

n this tutorial, I am going to make a list of common PHP array functions with examples of usage and best practices. Every PHP developer must know how to use them and how to combine array functions to make code readable and short.

Also, there is a presentation with given code examples, so you can download it from the related links and show it to your colleagues to build a stronger team.

He starts out with some of the basics around using arrays in PHP and then quickly moves into other topics:

  • shortening code with functions like list
  • using the filtering functions
  • walking through array values
  • joining arrays
  • generating arrays
  • sorting the contents of arrays

He ends the post with a look at combining array functions to make it simpler to do things like remove empty values or return just the top three values.

tagged: tutorial introduction array functionality language

Link: https://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/working-with-php-arrays-in-the-right-way--cms-28606

Exakat Blog:
Moving from array to class
Apr 12, 2017 @ 11:18:42

In a new post to the Exakat blog there's a proposal to replace uses of arrays with classes to make scripts more efficient and handle resources better behind the scenes.

Ever since I started using PHP, arrays have always been my friend. They are versatile, they have a wide range of functions, and they are easy to use. I kept using them versions after versions, and even with PHP 7.2, I still rely on them a lot. Over the years, classes have also made their way into my toolset. They have a different usage : classes are for complex data structures, for business logic. Simple data structures get an array. Until we tried what seemed impossible : a moving from an array to a class.

He mentions some of the recent changes in PHP 7 that make the use of classes over arrays a bit more advantageous. He then gets into how to take advantage of these efficiency benefits in moving from arrays to classes. He uses an example from his own work in the Exacat engine, how he performed the replacement and a small caveat he found when working with functions requiring array input. He ends the post with some of the other benefits from making the move including performance enhancements, readability and reduced memory usage.

tagged: array class performance difference tutorial php7

Link: https://www.exakat.io/moving-from-array-to-class/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Creating Strictly Typed Arrays and Collections in PHP
Mar 27, 2017 @ 12:45:06

On the SitePoint PHP blog there's a new post from Bert Ramakers showing you how to create strictly typed arrays and collections in PHP.

One of the language features announced back in PHP 5.6 was the addition of the ... token to denote that a function or method accepts a variable length of arguments.

Something I rarely see mentioned is that it’s possible to combine this feature with type hints to essentially create typed arrays.

He starts with an example of a class/method that only takes in a certain type of objects as a collection (using the "...") with a fatal thrown if anything else is given. He also shows how to do the same thing with scalar types and the "..." operator with a typed input. He does point out one problem with this approach, namely that if more complex input is required the single type just wouldn't work. His solution involves custom collection classes where the settings are in the collection and not passed directly into the method. This collection then contains some of the base functionality (like getting an average value from a set of floats) and can be enhanced with other typical interfaces to work like any other collection. He also presents another option: using value objects for validation of the input.

tagged: collection array strict typing tutorial operator

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/creating-strictly-typed-arrays-collections-php/

Sameer Borate:
New features in PHP 7.1
Feb 13, 2017 @ 10:57:45

The PHP 7.1.x releases are some of the latest versions of the language. There's plenty of new features that came along with this new release. In this new post to his CodeDiesel blog Sameer Borate looks at some of these new features (including code snippets to illustrate).

The PHP development team announced PHP 7.1.0 on 01 Dec 2016. This release is the first point release in the 7.x series. There are a few features – like the void return type – which have been introduced. Below are a few new selected features in PHP 7.1.

In the post he covers:

  • void functions (return type)
  • nullable types
  • symmetric array destructuring
  • class constant visibility

For each, code samples are provided and some of the benefits (and limitations) that come along with them.

tagged: feature php71 void nullable array class constant summary

Link: http://www.codediesel.com/php/new-features-in-php-7-1/

QaFoo Blog:
Extracting Data Objects
Feb 10, 2017 @ 12:16:36

On the QaFoo blog they have a new post offering some advice on extracting functionality to data objects and reducing the complexity of your application's interfaces.

Extracting data objects from your code will make it easier to read and write, easier to test and more forward compatible. This post shows you the two most common cases where introducing a data object makes sense and how to do it.

The first case covers the extraction when a method ends up with too many parameters. We've all been there and remembering the correct order and values for each (not to mention optional vs required). By making use of value objects you can reduce that down to one or two parameters that act as self-contained "containers" for the same values. They illustrate with a refactor of "product" search criteria into a "ProductCriteria" object. The second example show a refactor away from using an array as an input value and providing a bit more structure with a "Checkout" value object instead.

The post ends with a helpful hint about migrating from one method to the other in legacy systems using a "shim" method to handle the new case right alongside the old one.

tagged: data object refactor simplicity parameters array

Link: https://qafoo.com/blog/096_refactoring_extract_data_objects.html