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Kevin Schroeder:
Realtime logging for Magento
January 14, 2015 @ 09:47:54

Kevin Schroeder has a new post to his site talking about real-time Magento logging and a library he's worked up to make it possible.

Ever since the Zend Developer Cloud started up it stirred in me some really interesting possibilities of what could be done. Sadly they never happened, but the ideas remained. If that doesn't inspire you it's because I'm not describing what I have in my head. I don't have the time to do that. But this blog post is one part of it. One of the things that is part of what I envision is a realtime logger that shows what is happening, as it is happening. [Zend Server ZRay is] a cool feature but doesn't quite go as far as I have in mind.

With that in mind I spent some time last week working on a very small piece of this vision for Magento. I wrote it really, really quickly and so don't laugh when you look at the code and see obvious errors.

The library makes use of Magento extension and a command line program that uses a combo of Redis and PubSub for messaging back to the waiting logger. It hooks into all Magento events and allows for writing to the log from just about anywhere. It also includes a SQL profiler that will evaluate requests either in real-time or at the end of the request. He provides some additional details about the "watcher" command line tool and explanations for each of its options.

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Rob Allen:
Using Doctrine Migrations as a standalone tool
November 13, 2014 @ 10:14:56

Rob Allen has a recent post to his site showing you how you can use Doctrine migrations as a standalone tool for its migrations functionality. Migrations allow you to script the setup of your database, replacing the need to manually create and configure the system by hand.

My current project has reached the point where a good migrations system is required. As I'm targeting two different database engines (MySQL and MS SQL Server) and we're already using DBAL, it made sense to use Migrations from the Doctrine project.

He walks you through the installation (via Composer and a command-line script to bootstrap the Doctrine environment outside of the usual framework context. He includes an example yaml configuration file and PHP-based connection information config. He finishes off the post by showing how to build a simple migration that creates an "artists" table (with "name" and "id" columns) and run the command to do the work.

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SitePoint PHP Blog:
Interactive PHP Debugging with PsySH
September 30, 2014 @ 12:53:30

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new tutorial posted by i>Miguel Ibarra Romero showing how to use the PsySH tool to do some interactive debugging of your PHP applications via both the command line and a web frontend.

It's 1:00 a.m., the deadline for your web application's delivery is in 8 hours… and it's not working. As you try to figure out what's going on, you fill your code with var_dump() and die() everywhere to see where the bug is. [...] Is this situation familiar to you? PsySH to the rescue. PsySH is a Read-Eval-Print Loop (or REPL). You may have used a REPL before via your browser's javascript console. If you have, you know that it possesses a lot of power and can be useful while debugging your JS code.

He walks you through the install via Composer and some of the basic commands and syntax for executing PHP code inside its shell. Command line testing is good, but debugging full applications is a bit more difficult. He shows how to integrate the tool into a sample application that calls PsySH via a "debug" call and output via a set of "window" objects. He also includes a bit close to the end about debugging with unit tests, executing them from inside the shell as well.

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Running WordPress on OpenShift Part2
July 14, 2014 @ 13:22:52 has posted the second part of their series about getting WordPress up and running on a RedHat OpenShift cloud instance. In part one of the series they looked at OpenShift as a whole and created the initial application. This part focuses more on setting up the right environment and getting WordPress installed using their rhc client tool.

In this tutorial, we will dive deeply into OpenShift to understand the custom build and deployment process. We will also learn the command-line tool for logging and troubleshooting when our application is down. [...] We did almost all of those tasks using the web interface which is great and very convenient; however, in addition to the dashboard, OpenShift offers a powerful client tool call rhc client.

They guide you through the installation of the command-line client (rhc) as a Ruby gem and include the results of the "help" command. They include example commands showing how to: ssh into the instance, deploy the application and add more functionality to prepare for the WordPress install. There's also some information about environment variables and creating a custom build process to deploy WordPress correctly.

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Dutch Web Alliance:
The definitive remote debug and unittest with PHPStorm guide part 6
January 09, 2014 @ 11:20:28

The Dutch Web Alliance has posted the sixth part of their series helping you debug/unit test your applications with PHPStorm and Xdebug. In this new post they focus on working with command-line applications.

So there is already a lot covered: debugging web applications, testing your units, getting code coverage. But one thing that remains is trying to debug your command line applications. Even today more and more applications aren't built for primarily the web, but for other purposes or many web frameworks have some kind of "console" component which allows you to easily create command line tools that deals with asynchronous handling of data, or just mere as cronjobs.

They walk you through the steps you'll need to be sure everything it set up correctly for PHPStorm to catch the debug calls:

  • Ensuring Xdebug is active
  • Validating that PHPStorm is listening for incoming requests
  • Configuring Xdebug on where to connect
  • Setting up the mapping for paths inside PHPStorm
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Cal Evans:
Signaling PHP
October 28, 2013 @ 09:21:42

Cal Evans has a new post to his site today about a book he's published covering a topic not really focused on in the PHP world - command-line usage. The book, "Signaling PHP" covers the use of the process control extension to handle command-line signals.

Most of the PHP I write these days is CLI scripts. I really wanted to be able to trap signals in some of my scripts. I struggled with this for a while; I even spent an entire weekend googling and reading only to find out that most of the information out there was either wrong, confusing, or incomplete. I decided that once I figured it out, I was going to put everything I learned together in one place to help others that were struggling with this topic as well.

The eBook is available for purchase and download now at a suggested price of only $5 USD. If you've been looking for a quick, concise guide to using process control in PHP, you should check it out.

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Say Hello to Boris A Better REPL for PHP
April 02, 2013 @ 10:34:00

On today Shameer C has a new tutorial introducing you to Boris, a REPL (read-eval-print loop tool) that's a bit more enhanced than the basic PHP interactive shell.

As web developers, we know the importance of the JavaScript console provided by the browser in testing out code snippets. We don't need to write an entire HTML page and JavaScript code just to verify the functioning or logic of a small routine we wrote. Instead, we simply run the expressions in the console and immediately see the results. Similarly, a REPL (Read-Eval-Print Loop) is the console of a programming language in which we can write code line-by-line and see what it does. [...] PHP's REPL is very good in what it does, although it does have some limitations. [...] And so, Boris tries to solve these problems and other concerns as well.

He walks you through the installation (via a git clone and, later, through Composer) and shows how to run it as well as some sample output. He also shows how to make a custom command-line Boris runner and how to embed it into your application. His example of a tool that would benefit from this is a command-line web service client using Boris and Guzzle.

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The Wheel Symfony Console
March 13, 2013 @ 11:22:31

In this new post to, Giorgio Sironi kicks off a series that looks at reusable components in the PHP development world. In this first post of that series he looks at the Symfony console component .

Symfony is one of the most popular open source PHP frameworks on the market. The Symfony Components, however, are loosely coupled projects that can be reused as a library outside of an application based on Symfony. The component this article explores is Console (symfony/console on Packagist and GitHub), dedicated to quickly build console applications.

He goes on to talk about some of the "pros" of using the component (including built-in argument/input handing and multiple "commands") and some of the "cons" of is use (including its size and some of the built-in features you can't really work around).

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Your One-Stop Guide to Laravel Commands
March 01, 2013 @ 10:56:44

Over on today they've published a "one stop guide" to creating Laravel commands that can make using the Laravel PHP framework simpler. The format for these commands are more related to the Laravel 4 version of the framework (still in beta).

In this day and age, it's quite normal for a developer to have an understanding of consoles, and how to issue basic commands. But what if you could code your own custom commands to improve your workflow? If we look back to Laravel 3, you might remember that it offered tasks. Tasks were extremely helpful, but still came up short for more complex operations. Thankfully, Laravel 4 packs a beefed up Artisan that will make your life as a developer so much easier!

They start by introducing you to Artisan and what it can do already, then move into how you can create you own custom commands (with code examples). They show you how to add a description, coloring for the output, work with arguments, use confirm/question prompts and working with dependencies you might need.

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Maarten Balliauw:
Working with Windows Azure from within PhpStorm
January 03, 2013 @ 09:54:47

Maarten Balliauw has a new post today showing you how to work with your Azure site from inside the popular PHP IDE phpStorm.

Working with Windows Azure and my new toy (PhpStorm), I wanted to have support for doing specific actions like creating a new web site or a new database in the IDE. Since I'm not a Java guy, writing a plugin was not an option. Fortunately, PhpStorm (or WebStorm for that matter) provide support for issuing commands from the IDE. Which led me to think that it may be possible to hook up the Windows Azure Command Line Tools in my IDE.

He shows how to add a new "framework" to the IDE for the Azure CLI tools and how to get to a command line from inside the editor. From there you can execute any of the Azure CLI calls just as you would outside of the IDE (like his example, creating a new site called "GroovyBaby").

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