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Jason McCreary:
Writing Clean Code (Part 2)
Oct 19, 2017 @ 11:24:52

Jason McCreary has continued his series looking at writing "clean code", providing a few helpful hints you can integrate into your daily development work. In part two he goes a bit "deeper" and talks about grouping and encapsulation.

In Part 1 of Writing Clean Code I outlined three simple practices of formatting, naming, and avoiding nested code. All in an effort to improve code readability.

In Part 2, I want to go a little deeper and cover grouping. When I say grouping, I’m really talking about the Object Oriented Programming paradigm of encapsulation. Whether we group the code into a function or a class is often not important. What is important is did we improve the readability of the code.

He starts off by describing the goal of this grouping and lists three motivations for using it as a part of your application's architecture:

  • Improving communication
  • Couple data
  • Organizing code

For each, he includes a brief summary of the topic and some code examples illustrating it in action where appropriate.

tagged: clean code example opinion communication coupling organize

Link: https://jason.pureconcepts.net/2017/10/writing-clean-code/

Asmir Mustafic:
How do I deploy my Symfony API - Part 4 - Deploy
Oct 11, 2017 @ 10:23:12

Asmir Mustafic has posted the next part of his series covering the deployment of Symfony applications. In this latest article (part four) he focuses on some of the final steps of the deployment process.

This is the forth post from a series of posts that will describe the whole deploy process from development to production. The first article is available here, the second here and the third here.

After covering the steps 1-3 and having prepared our infrastructure, we can see how to deploy our application to production. Almost the same approach can be used to deploy not only to production but also to test environments.

He starts with the workflow for the deployment process, creating a flow where the "git push" should trigger other actions based on the branch pushed. Then CircleCI will fire off a series of jobs to handle environment setup tasks, connecting to a VPN and deploying the code. This includes a bit of preparation, credential handling and the Docker setup and push. Each step along the way also includes all of the YAML configurations you might need to replicate the deployment.

tagged: symfony api deployment part4 series docker configuration example

Link: https://www.goetas.com/blog/how-do-i-deploy-my-symfony-api-part-4-deploy/

Mahmoud Zalt:
Eloquent Relationships Cheat Sheet
Oct 06, 2017 @ 11:10:24

Mahmoud Zalt has a recent post to his Medium.com site that shares a cheat sheet for Eloquent relationships you can use with the Eloquent database layer in a Laravel application.

He goes through each of the relationship types and provides both a diagram showing the relationship and some sample code to make it work:

  • One to One
  • One to Many
  • Polymorphic One to Many Relationship
  • Many to Many Relationship
  • Polymorphic Many to Many Relationship

The post ends with a combined table of all of the relationships, how they connect with the other models, the number of tables involved and how to set values to a related model.

tagged: eloquent relationship cheatsheet example diagram laravel

Link: https://medium.com/@Mahmoud_Zalt/eloquent-relationships-cheat-sheet-5155498c209

Sergey Zhuk:
Understanding ReactPHP Event Loop Ticks
Sep 29, 2017 @ 09:46:14

Sergey Zhuk has a new post to his site that hopes to help you better understand "ticks" in ReactPHP. Ticks are a feature of the tool that are used to track when a process or queue has been executed.

Tick is one loop iteration where every callback in the queues has been executed synchronously and in order. ReactPHP event loop implementation has two main methods to work with ticks: nextTick [and] futureTick.

Both methods can be used to schedule a callback to be invoked on a future iteration of the event loop. When being executed a callback receives an instance of the event loop as an argument. But then what’s the difference between next and future ticks? Let’s figure this out.

He then starts in talking about the difference between "future" and "next" ticks, illustrating with a simple "stream select" loop. He then shows how to work with the tick queue for both the future and next ticks and what the result is of each function call inside them. He includes the output of his sample scripts and what happens if a few things change.

Consider a tick as one loop iteration where every callback in the queues has been executed synchronously and in order. That means that a tick could be long, it could be short, but we want it to be as short as possible. So, don’t place long-running tasks in callbacks, because they will block the loop. When a tick a being stretched out, the event loop won’t be able to check the events, which means losing performance for your asynchronous code.
tagged: reactphp tutorial tick iteration next future example

Link: http://seregazhuk.github.io/2017/09/25/reactphp-event-loop-ticks/

Jen Segers:
Goodbye controllers, hello request handlers
Sep 26, 2017 @ 11:12:21

In a post to his site Jen Segers says "goodby to controllers" in favor of request handlers. Request handlers are a concept similar to the ideas in the ADR pattern but are defined a bit differently.

If you have worked on large applications before, you might have noticed that you end up with bloated controllers sooner or later. Even if you use repositories or service classes to extract logic from the controller, the amount of dependencies, methods and lines of code will grow over time.

Let me introduce you to request handlers. The concept is very simple, yet very unknown to a lot of PHP developers. A request handler is basically a controller, but limited to one single action.

He suggests using invokable classes to build out request handlers in your PHP code, making use if the magic __invoke method to make them callable. He gives a "hello world" kind of example and talks about how Laravel and Slim already implement this idea in their routing. He then looks at how these responders help you adhere to the Single Responsibility Principle (part of SOLID) and how they make the code easier to test and simpler to refactor.

tagged: controller request handler invokable class example tutorial

Link: https://jenssegers.com/85/goodbye-controllers-hello-request-handlers

Asmir Mustafic:
How to add custom error codes to your Symfony API responses
Sep 22, 2017 @ 11:10:01

Asmir Mustafic has posted a guide on his site showing how to create custom error codes in the API responses from your Symfony-based application.

When writing APIs, a proper error handling is fundamental. HTTP status codes are a great start, but often when we deal with user inputs is not enough. If out model has complex validation rules, understanding the reason behind an 400 Bad Request error can be not trivial.

Fortunately when for symfony developers there are many libraries to deal with it. Symfony Validator, <a href="https://github.com/symfony/form>Symfony Form, <a href="https://github.com/FriendsOfSymfony/FOSRestBundle>FOS REST Bundle and JMS Serializer combined allows you to have nice error messages to be shown to your users.

He walks you through the code required to create the default error handling with an "author" example. This includes the creation of the entity as well as the form and controller to handle the request/response. He then refactors this away from the default to create the custom error handler with handlers for the message and code to be returned. The post ends with the configuration changes to register it with the application and what the result ends up looking like.

tagged: symfony tutorial custom error code api example

Link: http://www.goetas.com/blog/how-to-add-custom-error-codes-to-your-symfony-api-responses/

Jason McCreary:
SMS admin in 8 lines of code
Sep 21, 2017 @ 09:45:06

In a new post to his site Jason McCreary shows how he integrated SMS for account administration for the Laravel Shift service. It's his method of providing good support for the project from anywhere, even when he's away from his machine.

In the end, all I need is a quick way to run a Shift on the go. Looking back on almost two years of support, I often have the Shift number readily available. Creating the job and adding it to the queue is at most two lines of code. So the steps are not the pain point.

The pain point is connecting to the server. [...] What do I carry around with me all the time? My phone. I’m already reviewing the support emails from my phone. Wouldn’t it be great when I need to run a Shift manually to just reply or send a text.

He then shares the code he used to create the administration interface via SMS through the Nexmo service. He uses the information the Nexmo service sends to hiswebhook via a special number and handles it via a special endpoint on his side. In this case the interface allows him to re-run a "shift" that was previously requested if there was an error. The code is pretty simple, made up of a controller and route for the endpoint and a "FormRequest" class for the message processing.

tagged: sms administration laravel shift example nexmo

Link: https://jason.pureconcepts.net/2017/09/nexmo-sms-admin-laravel/

Zend Framework Blog:
Emitting Responses with Diactoros
Sep 15, 2017 @ 09:14:05

On the Zend Framework blog they've posted a tutorial from project lead Matthew Weier O'Phinney showing how to use the Diactoros package to create response emitters. These emitters are just methods of output related to HTTP handling (like headers, response codes and normal text output).

When writing middleware-based applications, at some point you will need to emit your response.

PSR-7 defines the various interfaces related to HTTP messages, but does not define how they will be used. Diactoros defines several utility classes for these purposes, including a ServerRequestFactory for generating a ServerRequest instance from the PHP SAPI in use, and a set of emitters, for emitting responses back to the client. In this post, we'll detail the purpose of emitters, the emitters shipped with Diactoros, and some strategies for emitting content to your users.

He starts by describing what "emitters" are in the context of PSR-7 applications and shows the code definition of the EmitterInterface, the base of all emitter classes. After covering some of the emitters that Diactoros includes he shows how to create one to emit file information and how you can mix and match them in a emitter "stack" to perform more that one operation on the output.

tagged: diactoros tutorial emitter response output example interface

Link: https://framework.zend.com/blog/2017-09-14-diactoros-emitters.html

Jeff Madsen:
Custom Pivot Table Models, or Choosing the Right Technique in Laravel
Sep 11, 2017 @ 11:17:09

Jeff Madsen has some helpful hints for the Laravel (or just Eloquent) developers out there when it comes to models. In this new post to his Medium site he looks at using custom pivot table models (and choosing the right technique to use them).

Laravel is “opinionated”, but that usually just means that there are a lot of defaults set up that push you toward a certain style. Over the years I have found very few cases where you can’t easily override these; more often than not, it is simply a case of adding another function call when you instantiate something.

As I thought about the way I would normally code around Mark’s problem, and then searched and found the more direct answer from the docs, it occurred to me that this was a perfect example.

He starts with the more "standard" way of working with pivot tables in Laravel (code example include) using the updateExistingPivot method. He talks about the difference between writing the code and designing the code, making it more maintainable and well-architected. He talks about moving the logic into a service class but points out a few issues with that approach as well. Finally, in his last option, he covers the special "Pivot" model included with Eloquent and shows it in use.

tagged: custom pivot table model laravel tutorial example

Link: https://medium.com/@codebyjeff/custom-pivot-table-models-or-choosing-the-right-technique-in-laravel-fe435ce4e27e

Jeff Madsen:
What’s all this “immutable date” stuff, anyway?
Sep 06, 2017 @ 10:18:42

Jeff Madsen has a post on his Medium blog sharing some of his thoughts about immutable DateTime types, what the difference is between mutable and immutable and "why you should care".

I’m going to show you the difference between the two using two popular Php DateTime libraries? - Carbon and Chronos, and then demonstrate the danger of using the mutable one of those.

You have probably used Carbon? - ?it is a wonderful library put together by Brian Nesbitt that takes all the pain out of working with dates. It has got one “short-coming”, if you will?- ?it is built on top of the DateTime object.

He gives an example of why this is a problem with Carbon (mutable) and how it's handled differently in Chronos (immutable). He makes the point that, unless your date values are immutable, you don't have any idea of they've changed elsewhere in the processing. He gives a more real-world example of working with immutable objects with a "user" model class and the "name" properties attached to it.

tagged: immutable date carbon chronos bug example code tutorial

Link: https://medium.com/@codebyjeff/whats-all-this-immutable-date-stuff-anyway-72d4130af8ce