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Christoph Rumpel:
Build a newsletter chatbot in PHP - Part 3
Mar 27, 2018 @ 10:57:24

Christoph Rumpel has continued his series covering the creation of a chatbot using the Botman package in a new post to his site. The latest post, part three in the series, builds on the base created in parts one and two and integrates the bot with his project website.

In part one and two we created a Facebook Messenger chatbot that let your users subscribe to your newsletter. We stored that information in the database and sent out our first newsletter. In the last third part, we integrate this bot to a website and write our first tests.

He then walks you through the process of using the Facebook Customer Chat Plugin to integrate it into the site (using the Facebook JavaScript SDK). He includes instructions on whitelisting your domain and including the plugin into the site's source using a few custom configuration options. With the integration complete he then takes a step back and shows the creation of several tests evaluating the fallback handling and subscription conversation responses.

tagged: chatbot tutorial series part3 integrate facebook testing fallback subscribe

Link: https://christoph-rumpel.com/2018/03/build-a-newsletter-chatbot-in-php-part-3

Christoph Rumpel:
Build a newsletter chatbot in PHP (Part 1 & 2)
Mar 02, 2018 @ 09:56:21

On his site has posted parts one and two of a series showing how to build a chatbot that can help provide more direct interaction with your users via a "newsletter" feature.

Since the beginning of the year, I am working on a new project of mine. It's a book called Build Chatbots with PHP. Follow the link to find out what it is about and who it is for.

More interesting to us is the newsletter, to which you can subscribe on the book's website. About once or twice a month I will send out an email with news on the development of the book.

He starts part one by outlining the general plan and functionality for the bot and its integration with Facebook. The tutorial then walks through the installation and configuration of the BotMan Studio project. It also shows the setup of the application on the Facebook service and how to connect it to the BotMan application. He walks through the setup of a few commands to welcome the user and start the conversation. Part two continues the process showing how to store the user and subscription information and how to send the newsletter notifications. He also makes some suggestions of extra functionality you might want to add like a typing indicator, a "fallback" for unknown commands.

tagged: introduction part2 part1 series tutorial chatbot newsletter facebook

Link: https://christoph-rumpel.com/2018/02/build-a-newsletter-chatbot-in-php-part-1

HHVM Blog:
The Future of HHVM
Sep 19, 2017 @ 09:45:03

The HHVM project (an alternative PHP runtime from Facebook) has made a major announcement on their blog - beginning with version 3.24 they'll no longer be trying to keep parity with the PHP language now that it has moved into PHP 7.

The HHVM team is happy about the direction PHP has taken with PHP7, and we’re proud of the role we’ve played in pushing the language and runtime to where they are today. Since the PHP community is finally saying goodbye to PHP5, we’ve decided to do so as well.

Our next LTS release, 3.24, will be cut about four months from now and will receive support for one year thereafter. It will also be the last HHVM release that commits to PHP5 support. This aligns with PHP’s own timeline of sunsetting PHP5 at the end of 2018.

[...] PHP7 is charting a new course away from PHP5, and we want to do the same, via a renewed focus on Hack. Consequently, HHVM will not aim to target PHP7. The HHVM team believes that we have a clear path toward making Hack a fantastic language for web development, untethered from its PHP origins. We’d do ourselves and our users a disservice by positioning HHVM as an uncommon, less well-documented, less compatible PHP7 runtime.

The post then lists out some of their goals for the HHVM/Hack projects moving forward including reinvesting in open source and staying focused on their needs for the platform and language. It then talks about some of the upcoming changes you can expect around support of current versions of popular PHP tools and work on tools created specifically for Hack.

tagged: hhvm facebook platform hack language project goals php5 php7

Link: http://hhvm.com/blog/2017/09/18/the-future-of-hhvm.html

Christoph Rumpel:
Build a Facebook Messenger chatbot in Laravel with BotMan Studio 2.0
Sep 08, 2017 @ 09:26:01

Christoph Rumpel has written up a tutorial on his site showing you how to use Larave and the Botman package to create a simple chatbot for use on Facebook.

With BotMan it is really easy to setup a Facebook chatbot. This week the new 2.0 version was released. We will checkout how to setup a Facebook Messenger chatbot in this new version with BotMan Studio.

He starts with a list of requirements to be sure you have installed before proceeding. He then helps you get the Botman software installed and the command to bootstrap a Facebook bot instance. He includes instructions on how to test the bot and how to configure it to work with a Facebook application (requiring relevant token/secret information). From there he shows you how to set up the Facebook application and connect the bot to it via a webhook. The ngrok tool makes this easier as it exposes your local Laravel application on an external URL for testing. Finally, he shows how to test the integration by sending a few sample messages to the bot and getting responses.

tagged: facebook messenger chatbot laravel botman studio tutorial

Link: http://christoph-rumpel.com/2017/09/build-a-facebook-chatbot-with-laravel-and-botman-studio/

Stefan Koopmanschap:
Customizing Sculpin: Highlight image and Facebook
Jul 28, 2017 @ 11:14:15

Stefan Koopmanschap has a new post to his site showing the Sculpin users out there how to customize the system for a highlight image and Facebook integration.

Over the past months I've been slowly customizing my Sculpin installation for this blog to fit my own liking a bit more. I've added a bit more styling including a beautiful background image and a transparent white background for the content column. Today I wanted to add a bit more. Two things specifically: I wanted to control a bit more about how my blogposts are displayed when they are shared on Facebook [and] I wanted to have an optional image at the top of blogposts to make them look a bit better.

It turns out this was actually quite easy, so here's a short description of what I did to make it work.

He splits the article into these two parts, showing how to add in custom markup and add custom frontmatter to modify the Facebook posts. He then shows how to add a block to the main templates for the highlight image and a small section to credit the photo back to the original.

tagged: sculpin facebook integration highlight image tutorial meta template credit

Link: https://leftontheweb.com/blog/2017/07/28/Customizing-Sculpin-highlight-image-and-facebook/

Hackernoon.com:
Automatically Running PHPUnit With Watchman
Apr 12, 2017 @ 10:40:55

On the Hackernoon site today Sebastian De Deyne has written up a tutorial showing you how to use Watchman to automatically run PHPUnit tests for your application when things change. Watchman is a tool from Facebook that watches files and directories for updates and execute actions based on the changes.

Watchman watches files and triggers actions when they change. The reasoning behing choosing Watchman: it’s easy to install, simple to configure, and reliable.

The watchman-make command - which ships with Watchman - is a specialised interface for Watchman to invoke build tools in response to file changes - exactly what we need!

In the setup he creates, Watchman is used to look for changes on files in either the project's src/ or tests/ directories and execute a bash script (code provided) that runs the tests and outputs the results. He walks through each line of the script and Watchman command, explaining how it works and what the option points to. You can see the results here of an edit to a test and the output in a Terminal window once it's saved.

tagged: watchman phpunit test automatic execution change facebook tutorial

Link: https://hackernoon.com/automatically-running-phpunit-with-watchman-e02757e733e7

Christoph Rumpel:
Build a Telegram group bot in PHP
Mar 06, 2017 @ 13:48:41

Christoph Rumpel has a tutorial posted on his site showing how to create a Telegram group bot using a bit of PHP and the BotMan library.

Working with Facebook Messengers bots is great, but there is one thing still missing: group bots! This is why we will built a little Telegram bot today and use it inside my FantasticBurger group.

First thing to keep in mind here is that a group chatbot can be very different from a 1:1 conversation chatbot. In groups chatbots are often not a direct conversation partner but more a quiet assistant.

He briefly talks about why he created the bot and how to go and set up your own Telegraph bot with a simple first command. He then walks through the set up of the BotMan library and connecting it back to the Telegraph service (via an API call) and a simple handler that returns a "Hi there" message when the bot hears the string "Hello".

tagged: tutorial telegraph bot botman group facebook

Link: http://christoph-rumpel.com/2017/03/Build-A-Telegram-Group-Bot/

Scotch.io:
Laravel Social Authentication with Socialite
Nov 17, 2016 @ 12:17:41

The Scotch.io site has posted a tutorial for the Laravel users out there showing you how to use the Socalite package in your application to make authentication handling with external services simpler.

Laravel introduced a built in Authentication module in version 5.2. To set this up, you just have to run php artisan make:auth and everything is generated for you, from the views to the controllers and the routes.

[...] And that is a great thing. However, this command will only make you a traditional login. In most sites nowadays when signing up, users have the option of signing up with a social provider such as Facebook. In this tutorial, I will teach you how to add multiple social providers to a Laravel app using Socialite package. For this tutorial we will add Facebook, Github and Twitter signups.

They start off with a new Laravel application (but, of course, you can use your current one), setting up a new database and creating a custom "users" table that includes "provider" information. The User model is then updated to allow the population of this data and the "make:auth" command is run. The Socialite package is then included and the application is configured to include its service provider. The tutorial then steps you through creating Github, Twitter and Facebook applications, getting the keys needed to drop into your app's configuration. Finally they update the login/registration pages with the social login buttons and how they'll now "magically" work.

tagged: tutorial socalite authentication laravel github twitter facebook

Link: https://scotch.io/tutorials/laravel-social-authentication-with-socialite

Fred Emmott:
Greenfield Projects with Hack
Nov 03, 2016 @ 12:14:06

Fred Emmott has a new post to his site sharing some of his experience with creating a "greenfield" project in Hack, the language Facebook developed to work with its HHVM runtime for PHP.

Until late 2015, the Hack and HHVM documentation site was a fork of PHP's own documentation site. This had many shortcomings, and ultimately we decided that the best approach would be something custom. As most of the public Hack code at that point was toy examples, we decided to also make the site itself open, and start investigating the greenfield problems.

There are 3 basic approaches to 'library code' in Hack if there isn't already a Hack version:

  • Use a PHP library, without typechecker support
  • Use a PHP library, and add HHI files so that Hack understands it
  • Write something new

The Hack/HHVM site uses a mix of all three, though mostly #2 and #3.

He talks some about using plain PHP libraries in Hack projects and how you won't get the full benefit of Hack's features without some of the type-checking enforced (sometimes required to get some libraries working). Following this he covers the integration of three projects/structures, changed a bit for supporting Hack: FastRoute, PHPUnit and the things based on the PSR-7 request/response structure. He wraps up the post talking about writing "something new" and things to consider to make its APIs more "Hack-like".

tagged: hack greenfield project new facebook hhvm fastroute phpunit psr7

Link: https://fredemmott.co.uk/blog/posts/greenfield-projects-with-hack

Christoph Rumpel:
Build a PHP chatbot in 10 minutes
Aug 15, 2016 @ 09:45:23

Christoph Rumpel has written up a tutorial showing you how to build a PHP chatbot in 10 minutes by hooking a PHP 7 based script in, via webhooks, to a Facebook Messenger application.

The chatbot topic is huge right now. Finally there is something quite new again and nobody knows what's happening next. This is the perfect time to start experimenting with chatbots and to build your own one right now. Give me 10 minutes of your time and I will give you your first chatbot!

He then walks you through the full process if setting up the Facebook Messenger application, a page to host it from and using the Chatbot boilerplate code to connect the application back to the Facebook platform. This includes both the code needed and screenshots along the way of what you can expect to see during setup. The result is a bot that can respond with, at first, a static string then is modified to show simple exchange rate data.

tagged: chatbot facebook tutorial boilerplate code example application webhook

Link: http://christoph-rumpel.com/2016/08/build-a-php-chatbot-in-10-minutes/