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Mattias Noback:
Refactoring the Cat API client (3 Part Series)
Jul 16, 2015 @ 11:25:54

Mattias Noback has posted a three part series of tutorial articles around the refactoring of a "CatApi" class. These articles take the class from a jumbled mess of functionality with both direct file access and remote requests mixed in into something much more maintainable and flexible.

t turned out, creating a video tutorial isn't working well for me. I really like writing, and speaking in public, but I'm not very happy about recording videos. I almost never watch videos myself as well, so... the video tutorial I was talking about won't be there. Sorry! To make it up with you, what follows is a series of blog posts, covering the same material as I intended to cover in the first episodes of the tutorial.

In part one he introduces the current state of the "CapApi" class and some of the problems with it, both in testing and in structure. He does some basic refactoring to split out some of the logic here and moves on to part two. In the second part of the series he focuses on refactoring the HTTP request and the local file system functionality into abstract, injectable objects. Finally in part three he adds in some verification around the data being passed back and forth between objects including both simple checking and the use of value objects.

tagged: refactor api class series part1 part2 part3 filesystem http request xml validation

Link: http://php-and-symfony.matthiasnoback.nl/2015/07/refactoring-the-cat-api-client-part-1/

Davey Shafik:
Class Constants, How Do They Work? (Or: You Learn Something New Every Day...)
Jul 09, 2015 @ 08:24:43

Davey Shafik has posted a quick article to his site talking about class constants and something new he learned about them (and how it relates to the uniform variable syntax handling in PHP7).

Yesterday on Twitter there was a conversation started by Marco Pivetta regarding a particularly horrible bit of code he had spotted [that] creates a string using sprintf() by prefixing ::PARAMNAME with the result of calling get_class() on the $api variable, and then passes that string into constant() which will give you the value of a constant using it’s string name.

The conversation continued with comments from Elizabeth Smith about why this workaround was needed in the past. Davey also suggests that it won't work as expected if the input is an object and not a string but a test from Trevor Suarez proved that incorrect as well (it does work). He ends the post talking about PHP7 and showing how, thanks to the uniform variable syntax changes, this same kind of handling can be done in many other ways too.

tagged: class constant php7 uniform variable synatx getclass object string

Link: http://daveyshafik.com/archives/69193-class-constants-how-do-they-work-or-you-learn-something-new-every-day.html

Julien Pauli:
Zoom on PHP objects and classes
Mar 26, 2015 @ 12:50:49

Julien Pauli has a recent post to his site that "zooms in" on objects and classes with a look behind the scenes at how they're handled in the PHP source (at the C level) with plenty of code examples and explanations as to how they work.

Everybody uses objects nowadays. Something that was not that easy to bet on when PHP5 got released 10 years ago (2005). I still remember this day, I wasn't involved in internals code yet, so I didn't know much things about how all this big machine could work. But I had to note at this time, when using this new release of the language, that jumps had been made compared to old PHP4. The major point advanced for PHP5 adoption was : "it has a new very powerful object model". That wasn't lies. [...] Here, I will show you as usual how all this stuff works internally. The goal is always the same : you understand and master what happens in the low level, to make a better usage of the language everyday.

The article does a great (if lengthy) job of covering everything that happens with PHP's objects and class system, including stats about memory consumption. He includes both the PHP code and the C code to illustrate what's happening with classes, interfaces, traits and object methods/attributes (including object references). He also talks about what "$this" is and how class destructors are handled.

tagged: object class behindthescenes detail c code memory usage

Link: http://jpauli.github.io/2015/03/24/zoom-on-php-objects.html

Matt Stauffer:
Extending Laravel's Application
Jan 27, 2015 @ 10:48:37

Matt Stauffer has a new post to his site today showing you how to extend Laravel's Application class to enhance its handling with other handy features.

It's seldom that we need to extend Laravel's core, and even when we do, it's most likely we're going to extend specific components, which is detailed in the docs. However, all of these instructions presume you're using the core Laravel Application (IOC Container) to extend the other classes. What if you want to extend the Application itself?

The example he provides is from his own real-world experience, based around changes they wanted to make in the default folder paths for things like the "storage" or "public" directories. He shares the three simple steps to making this custom handling work:

  • Extend the class
  • Register it in your application's bootstrap
  • Override/extend the current methods to add in your own functionality

In this case, changing the default paths is something that's under discussion already, but it gives a good simple example of changing that default functionality.

tagged: extend laravel application class override register tutorial

Link: http://mattstauffer.co/blog/extending-laravels-application

Edd Mann:
Implementing Streams in PHP
Jan 16, 2015 @ 10:09:22

Edd Mann has a new post today looking at implementing streams in your PHP applications. In this case we're not talking about the streams built into PHP but the concept of a source of information that only produces the next item when requested (aka "lazy loading").

Typically, when we think about a list of elements we assume there is both a start and finite end. In this example the list has been precomputed and stored for subsequent traversal and transformation. If instead, we replaced the finite ending with a promise to return the next element in the sequence, we would have the architecture to provide infinite lists. Not only would these lists be capable of generating infinite elements, but they would also be lazy, only producing the next element in the sequence when absolutely required. This concept is called a Stream, commonly also referred to as a lazy list, and is a foundational concept in languages such as Haskell.

He talks about how streams of data should be interacted with differently than a finite list of data and the promises they're based on to provide the right data. He shows two different approaches to implementing a an object to stream data from - a class-based method and one that uses generators. Sample code is provided for each with the generator approach being a bit shorter as they're designed to lazy load items as requested.

tagged: stream data lazyload generator class iterator tutorial

Link: http://eddmann.com/posts/implementing-streams-in-php/

Matthias Noback:
Decoupling from a service locator
Nov 12, 2014 @ 09:58:06

In his latest post Matthias Noback shares a few hints on how yuo can decouple from using a service locator in your application. A service locator (much like a dependency injection container) is a centralized place for storing and creating instances of objects in your apps with a bit more structure than just random "new" calls.

"Decoupling from a service locator - shouldn't that be: don't use a service locator?" Well, not really, since there are lots of valid use cases for using a service locator. The main use case is for making things lazy-loading (yes, you can also use some kind of proxy mechanism for that, but let's assume you need something simpler).

He starts with an example dispatcher class and shows how to modify the flow so that "expensive" listeners are only created in the correct context. He also suggests a few other methods for handling the idea of dependency inversion a service locator provides: using closures/callables instead of classes and using something called a "synthetic service", one set up at runtime as synthetic and used as needed on a manual basis (like in his bundle example).

tagged: decouple servicelocator dependency closure synthetic class tutorial

Link: http://php-and-symfony.matthiasnoback.nl/2014/11/decoupling-from-a-service-locator/

Mathias Verraes:
Resolving Feature Envy in the Domain
Aug 12, 2014 @ 11:55:24

Mathias Verraes has a new post today about something he calls "feature envy" in the domain, related to this code smell (based on a definition from Martin Fowler).

Benjamin Eberlei did a really nice job of explaining refactoring the Feature Envy code smell on his blog. I wrote a comment because I felt the example could be taken one step further. You should read the original post. Below are Benjamin’s code examples (for reference), followed by a repost of my comment.

The "smell" is defined as "a method that seems more interested in a class other than the one it's in". Mathias includes the code examples from the other post showing a datetime calculation and how it could be abstracted out to another class and method. He talks about the migration and how it relates to the "Whole Value" pattern and integrating some of the logic into a factory, generating a "reporting period" instance. He finishes the post with a brief look at an application of domain-driven design concepts to the problem, suggesting that the reporting be even more abstracted from the datetime data and using the "reporting period" object instead.

tagged: feature envy whole value designpattern class object abstraction domaindriven

Link: http://verraes.net/2014/08/resolving-feature-envy-in-the-domain/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Repository Design Pattern Demystified
Jun 02, 2014 @ 09:12:40

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new post today that hopes to "demystify" the Repository design pattern with an overview of its structure and ow your code can put it to use.

What is the Repository Design Pattern? To put it simply, it is an implementation of a brokering layer between the application and a data source. Neither party needs to be be aware of the other to perform their respective jobs which allows us to have a decoupled architecture which in turn helps in the scaling of the application in the big leagues without having hard dependencies.

He includes an example case where the Repository pattern might be used, to "proxy" requests to multiple types of data sources from many different inventory systems. He includes some pros and cons of using the functionality too, like a positive separation of concerns but a negative additional abstraction layer. The remainder of the post includes a code example basing it on a Laravel framework installation. He creates a simple Repository class and shows how to extend it with a layer specific to one city type.

tagged: repository designpattern introduction tutorial laravel class

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/repository-design-pattern-demystified/

Master Zend Framework:
Creating Custom ZFTool Diagnostic Classes
May 21, 2014 @ 11:23:59

Continuing on from his previous post introducing you to the ZFTool for Zend Framework 2 applications, Matthew Setter has posted part two of the series focusing on the creation of custom diagnostic classes for the tool.

In this week’s tutorial, we’re going to see how to step beyond the in-built classes and write our own custom checks. Specifically, we’re going to write a check which runs php lint on the module’s config file, module.config.php. The reason for doing this is because this file is so important in the configuration of a ZF2 module, that we should have a helpful sanity check for it.

He starts by helping you get all the needed dependencies in place, the ZFTool and ZendDiagnostics modules, installed via Composer. He includes code to help get started on the new diagnostic class and accompanying files. He implements some required methods from an interface, and shows how to enable its checking and define the configuration file. He includes a screenshot of the output so you can ensure things are working as they should be.

tagged: zendframework2 zftool custom diagnostic class tutorial

Link: http://www.masterzendframework.com/zftool-2/creating-a-custom-zftool-diagnostic-class

Stephan Hochdörfer:
Controller classes vs. Action classes
May 19, 2014 @ 10:52:31

In this new post to his site Stephan Hochdörfer covers some of his own thoughts about the recently proposed application structure from Paul Jones, the "Action-Domain-Response" pattern. In this post Stephan compares the typical controller classes with an action class.

First of all I do have the feeling that controller classes make it harder to structure your logic. I have seen a lot of "God Controllers" that do a shitload of stuff. Stuff that is not really related to each other. [...] action classes tend to be rather small, typically less than 100 loc for us. That also helps a lot when trying to understand what`s going on. I am aware that there are developers out there who are afraid when it comes to dealing with a lot of classes. [...] That`s another bonus point for action classes: It is easier to search for a class name than a method name in most IDEs.

He goes on to talk more about "God controller" classes, their dependencies and how that compares to action classes only taking in what they need. He touches on the reusability of action classes as opposed to controllers and how they come in handy for storing common logic.

tagged: controller action class compare logic dependency

Link: http://blog.bitexpert.de/blog/controller-classes-vs.-action-classes