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TutsPlus.com:
What Are the WordPress PHP Coding Standards?
May 23, 2018 @ 12:51:35

On the TutsPlus.com site they've posted a tutorial sharing some of the current WordPress coding standards when it comes to both the structure and syntax of the code written in WordPress (and suggested for plugins as well).

You can find the full WordPress PHP coding standards in the tagged: wordpress coding standard tutorial example

Link: https://webdesign.tutsplus.com/tutorials/php-coding-standards--cms-31203

Tomas Vortuba:
Is Your Code Readable By Humans? Cognitive Complexity Tells You
May 21, 2018 @ 10:55:07

In his latest post Tomas Votruba shares some of his thoughts around the importance of code readability and the idea of "cognitive complexity".

Cyclomatic complexity is a static analysis measure of how difficult is code to test. Cognitive complexity tells us, how difficult code is to understand by a reader.

Today, we'll see why is the later better and how to check it in your code with a Sniff.

He references this post and this PDF as sources for more information about cognitive complexity but opts for code examples to explain some of the basic concepts. He then gets into the automation of these kinds of checks, using a custom code sniff to check the complexity of the code. He walks through the installation process of the CognitiveComplexitySniff and shares some example results from its evaluation.

tagged: code readability human cognitive complexity example codesniffer tutorial

Link: https://www.tomasvotruba.cz/blog/2018/05/21/is-your-code-readable-by-humans-cognitive-complexity-tells-you/

Exakat Blog:
Weird operators in PHP
May 18, 2018 @ 09:56:29

On the Exakat blog there's a new post sharing some of the weird operators in PHP that you may have not known existed. These are ones outside of the normal = or . that can really do some odd things.

If you read the PHP documentation, you will learn about a ton of operators. If you haven’t learnt about PHP operators, go do that first, we’ll wait for you.

Operators are usually made up with strange symbols, like !, -, =>, <=>, ^ or ~. Really, some are plain readable like and, while some are merely an missed attempt at being readable, and actually hide a double personnality, like xor.

You probably think you know PHP’s documentation in and out, but there is always more to learn. So I dove deep into the core of PHP code, and looked some special PHP operators that are lesser known, but very useful in your daily coding.

There's ten of the odd operators on their list including:

  • the "b" operator for strings
  • the "left object" operator
  • constant names with * and %

Check out the full post for the details (and code examples) on each of these and more.

tagged: weird operator list language example

Link: https://www.exakat.io/weird-operators-in-php/

Laravel News:
Using the Laravel Optional Helper and the New Optional Closure
Apr 09, 2018 @ 10:14:07

On the Laravel News site there's a new tutorial posted showing you how to use the "optional" helper and closure to help control issues where a property or method doesn't exist (or can't be accessed).

The Laravel Optional class and accompanying optional helper were introduced in Laravel 5.5. This class is useful to avoid those pesky Trying to get property of non-object errors in your code.

Joseph Sibler submitted an improvement to the Laravel optional helper that we covered in Laravel 5.6.13 which now allows a closure that is only called when the object is not null

They compare the "optional" functionality to the null coalesce operator and the cases when the former should be used over the latter. A few code snippets also help to illustrate the difference. For more information about this helper and other handy features, check out their other article with a "top 5" list of their favorite helpers.

tagged: optional helper closure tutorial example laravel

Link: https://laravel-news.com/laravel-optional-helper

Marc Baker:
Discharging Static #1
Mar 14, 2018 @ 14:49:47

On his blog Marc Baker about static calls and the trouble they bring in your applications. It's a continuation of ideas that Kore Nordmann shared previously on his site.

It’s been seven years since Kore Nordmann first published “static considered harmful” on his blog, explaining the problems with using static method calls in classes, and the difficulties that they cause when trying to test that class. Seven years on, and those difficulties are still the same, and there is still new code being written using static calls despite that knowledge; but it’s often a more severe problem in legacy code with little or no unit tests.a

So why exactly are static calls so bad? If you’ve read Kore’s article, then you probably have a good idea already; but what that article doesn’t cover is approaches that we can use to make the code testable.

He covers the main issue static methods have when it comes to testing: they introduce coupling by hard-coding a dependency into your code. He talks about the static testing functionality that various PHP testing tools provided: PHPUnit, Phake and Mockery. He then focuses on a newer tool that he's discovered to help make the testing simpler: AspectMock. He gives an example of it in use and some examples of tests using anonymous classes to make it easier to create tests on the fly.

tagged: static testing phpunit example harmful tutorial aspectmock

Link: https://markbakeruk.net/2018/03/13/discharging-static-1/

Laravel News:
User Defined Schedules in Laravel
Mar 09, 2018 @ 11:43:31

On the Laravel News site there's a new post looking at the use of user-defined schedules and some of the "hidden" features the Laravel framework provides to allow for even more customization.

Recently Adam Wathan and Taylor Otwell have used Basecamp to track what they are doing every day–a tech diary. Notably, they are using the check-in feature which allows you to schedule questions to be sent to members about almost anything. Taylor and Adam are using it for “What did you work on today?”

It’s not that it’s the same time of day or even that it’s only weekdays which peaked my curiosity but the fact every check-in has a custom schedule defined by a user. In Laravel, we can quickly schedule a job to run every weekday at 4 pm, and we can use a custom timezone. But out of the box, we cannot set a different schedule for every individual check-in. We would have to store a cron expression and manually check every minute if it’s due.

After some "source code diving" the author figured out that the Schedulable trait allows you to define a more customized version of a schedule to fit your needs, making it simple to implement in any class or model. Code examples of these changes are included in the post as well as some next steps to have it implemented more widely either in the Laravel core or a package.

tagged: laravel schedule custom trait tutorial example

Link: https://laravel-news.com/user-defined-schedules-in-laravel

Frank de Jonge:
Being in control of time in PHP
Mar 08, 2018 @ 10:49:18

Frank de Jonge has a new post to his site covering something that always seems to be a difficult topic in development: time. In his post he suggests that date and time handling in your application is a "dependency" that could be difficult test.

When developers talk about the infrastructural boundaries or external dependencies they often talk about databases and third-party integration. They're the first thing we'll put behind an interface so we can stub them out during our tests. This gives us some control over them. It's become relatively easy to spot these dependencies because we do it frequently. They're the usual suspects.

However, some "dependencies" are much harder to spot. They even live right inside the standard library of PHP and often manage to seep through the cracks. Date/Time handling is such a thing. So what's the problem and how do we fix it?

He goes on to talk about date/time handling programming languages in general and how its variance can can cause issues that might be out of our control. He suggests that when time "gets the best of you" you should opt to be more specific in your date/time handling (the cause is usually precision). He then gets into some code examples of how to "control time" by reducing the impact that direct date/time handling could have on your application. He also includes an example of testing this handling and finishes with the idea of "consuming time as a service".

tagged: datetime control test unittest example dependency

Link: https://blog.frankdejonge.nl/being-in-control-of-time-in-php/

Script-Tutorials.com:
Design Patterns in PHP
Mar 06, 2018 @ 11:18:33

On the Script-Tutorials.com site they've posted a lengthy tutorial that covers many common design patterns - 23 of them - and how they could be implemented in PHP.

Today we are going to talk about design patterns in web development, more precisely – in PHP. Experienced developers are probably familiar with this, but this article will be extremely useful for all novice developers. So, what is it – design patterns? Design Patterns aren’t analysis patterns, they are not descriptions of common structures like linked lists, nor are they particular application or framework designs. In fact, design patterns are “descriptions of communicating objects and classes that are customized to solve a general design problem in a particular context.” In other words, Design patterns provide a generic reusable solution to the programming problems that we encounter every day.

[...] Design patterns not only make software development faster, but also encapsulate big ideas in a simpler way. Also, be careful not to use them in wrong places in order to avoid unpleasant situations. In addition to the theory, we also give you the most abstract and simple examples of design patterns.

The tutorial starts with a table listing out the category (purpose) of the pattern, the design pattern name and some of the aspects of it that could vary depending on interpretation. The article then goes through each of the 23 patterns and includes the code to implement them. There's not much in the way of description about each but there are one or two sentences about its primary use.

tagged: designpattern implementation example code tutorial

Link: https://www.script-tutorials.com/design-patterns-in-php/

Web-Techno.net:
The DRY principle misunderstood
Feb 23, 2018 @ 11:55:36

On the Web-Techno.net site there's a new tutorial posted that talks about the DRY principle in development (Don't Repeat Yourself) and why you might be misunderstanding the intent.

I know what you are thinking: "Again a boring article on DRY? Don't we have enough already?". You might be right. However I see too many developers (junior or senior) applying DRY like they are doing some witch hunting. Totally randomly or everywhere they can. So apparently we never have enough DRY principle articles on Internet.

A little reminder for those in the back who don't follow: the DRY principle means "Don't Repeat Yourself" and was first introduced in the The Pragmatic Programmer. The principle itself was known and applied before this book came to life. However the Pragmatic Programmer defined it precisely and put a name on it.

He starts by defining the original intent of the principle: not repeating knowledge (not necessarily repeating code). He gives an example of a e-commerce site and the logic around "shipments". If there's logic around these shipments happening in multiple places in the application, that can lead to maintenance issues down the line. He suggests creating a single instance of the knowledge about shipment handling rather than just reducing code duplication. He gives an example of a product instance and code duplication happening in some of the data validation. After showing a possible solution for this particular issue he gets into some issues that come from over-DRYing your code including useless abstractions and premature optimization.

tagged: dry dontrepeatyourself principle knowledge example explaination

Link: http://web-techno.net/dry-principle-explained/

Laravel News:
5 Laravel Helpers to Make Your Life Easier
Feb 22, 2018 @ 09:45:32

On the Laravel News site they've posted a new article with a listing of five useful helpers that come standard as a part of the Laravel framework.

There are a ton of helper methods in Laravel that make development more efficient. If you work with the framework, I encourage you to see what helpers you can introduce in your day-to-day work. In this blog post, I’d like to point out a few of my favorites.

The list in the post includes helpers for locating information in an array, pluralizing strings, throwing exceptions based on conditions and accessing object property values. For each item on the list there's a brief explanation and some sample code showing it in action (and what the result ends up being). The post finishes up by linking you over to the helpers page of the Laravel manual for more information and other handy functions to help reduce your own development time.

tagged: laravel helper simple top5 list example code

Link: https://laravel-news.com/5-laravel-helpers-make-life-easier