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Amazon Web Services:
PHP application logging with Amazon CloudWatch Logs and Monolog
Apr 24, 2017 @ 09:46:47

On the Amazon Web Services blog there's a new post showing you how to use the Monolog logging library and a custom AWS extension to ship your logs to Amazon CloudWatch quickly and easily.

Logging and information debugging can be approached from a multitude of different angles. Whether you use an application framework or coding from scratch it’s always comforting to have familiar components and tools across different projects. In our examples today, I am going to enable Amazon CloudWatch Logs logging with a PHP application. To accomplish this, I wanted to use an existing solution that is both already popular and well used, and that is standards compliant. For these reasons, we are going to use the open source log library, PHP Monolog (https://github.com/Seldaek/monolog).

They start by introducing the Monolog library for those not familiar with it and how it relates to the PSR-3 standard. The ultimate goal with their implementation is to allow for the logs to be shipped to CloudWatch and implement some alerting around them. The tutorial then kicks in and they show you how to use Composer to install Monolog and an add-on to interface with CloudWatch. Code is provided to set up the initial logger and how to have it to log messages to different places. They then move over to CloudWatch and define a filter for the JSON data to find successful logins to your application. They also show how to use this same functionality in a Laravel application, contained in a test route.

tagged: aws amazon logging cloudwatch monolog tutorial install usage filter

Link: https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/developer/php-application-logging-with-amazon-cloudwatch-logs-and-monolog/

Fabian Schmengler:
Collection Pipelines in PHP
Dec 28, 2016 @ 12:24:24

In a new post to his site Fabian Schmengler has written up an introduction to collection pipelines and how it could be applied to a Magento-based environment.

If you read the book “Refactoring to Collections” or saw screencasts and talks by Adam Wathan about collection pipelines, but do not work with Laravel, you might have asked yourself how to apply these techniques to other PHP applications, for example Magento.

[...] This is very similar to Unix pipes, where the individual commands are the operations, and the lines passed through input and output stream, the collection.

He starts by illustrating the idea in Bash and Ruby, showing the three main types of collection operations: map, filter and reduce. He talks about the advantages these methods have over traditional looping and what kind of value they can provide in both Laravel and plain old PHP. He illustrates the PHP-only versions using the array_filter, array_map and array_reduce functions and some thoughts on when it's good to use them over normal looping (and when it's not). He then gets into the Magento-specific handling and making use of a package to handle collections: Knapsack. He shows how to use the library to work with collections and, as another option, a "home-grown" version that lives in a single class. The post wraps up with the Magento integration of this functionality, a brief mention of functional programming and "the hard part" of issues with debugging.

tagged: collection pipeline package knapsack magento integration tutorial introduction map reduce filter

Link: https://www.schmengler-se.de/en/2016/12/collection-pipelines-in-magento/

Sherif Ramadan:
Bloom Filters in PHP
Jun 22, 2016 @ 10:56:26

On his site Sherif Ramadan has posted an interesting tutorial covering implementing bloom filters in PHP. Bloom filters are data structures that make it easier to determine if something is a member of a set.

Let's imagine you have built a music app like Spotify. You've finally grown this thing to sizeable amount of users and you have a decent number of titles in your content library. Let's also say this app has social elements to it so your users can connect with their facebook friends or twitter followers. Now, let's say each time your users play a song in your app you want to ask the question Which of this user's friends have NOT listened to this song yet? The intention being that you may recommend that song to them if they haven't listened to it.

One solution to this problem is to use a data structure known as a bloom filter. A bloom filter is basically a very space-efficient hash set with probabilistic tendency. If you aren't familiar with a hash set or sets in general, let's do a quick review of what they mean.

He goes on to explain what a bloom filter is and how it differs from normal sets, hash sets and hash maps. He then introduces some of the basic concepts involved in creating and using bloom filters. To help make things clearer, he provides a "contrived example" using lightbulbs and the probably that they've been turned on. From there he starts to get into something more practical, something more in the world of PHP. He includes a basic Bloomfilter class example and some of the results (performance) of using it over something like in_array (especially for large data sets).

tagged: bloom filter example tutorial introduction probability set

Link: http://phpden.info/Bloom-filters-in-PHP

Writing advanced Eloquent search query filters
Jun 15, 2016 @ 11:10:04

In a new post from the Dotdev.co site there's a tutorial from Amo Chohan helping you write advanced search query filters for Eloquent in your Laravel application.

I recently needed to implement a search feature in an events management project I was building. What begun as a few simple options (searching by name, e-mail etc), turned into a pretty large set of parameters.

Today, I’ll go over the process I went through and how I built a flexible and scalable search system. For those of you who are eager to see the final code, head over to the Git repository to see the code.

He starts off by outlining what he'll be creating and where the need comes from for this more advanced filtering. He uses a company-wide calendar example with events and meetings/clients shown for all users. He defines the filters he knows he'll want to search by and the models relating to the data needed for those queries. He then spends the rest of the post going through the code needed to implement the filtering, starting with a rough (but working) version and refactoring from there. He moves away from the procedural method of applying filters to a query object directly and over to "applying" them more dynamically using a set of filter instances via a Decorator design pattern approach.

tagged: advanced eloquent filter search decorator apply refactor tutorial

Link: https://dotdev.co/writing-advanced-eloquent-search-query-filters-de8b6c2598db#.16sfoe3a8

Rob Allen:
Filtering the PSR-7 body in middleware
May 16, 2016 @ 09:25:30

Rob Allen has a post to his site showing how you can filter the body content of your response in a PSR-7 compatible system via some simple middleware.

Sometimes, there's a requirement to alter the data in the Response's body after it has been created by your controller action. For example, we may want to ensure that our brand name is consistently capitalised. One way to do this is to create middleware that [uses str_ireplace to replace a string]. That's great, but what happens if the new string is shorter than the old one? For instance, suppose I want to replace all uses of "nineteen feet" with "19FT".

In his example, replacing that part of the content would result in an odd string because of how they'd be replaced in the stream. He shows how to use the in-memory handling of PHP's fopen to create a new content instance to push back into the response and back out to the waiting application.

tagged: psr7 middleware filter content strireplace stream fopen tutorial

Link: https://akrabat.com/filtering-the-psr-7-body-in-middleware/

Edd Mann:
Mapping, Filtering and Reducing in PHP
Mar 03, 2016 @ 09:28:27

Edd Mann has a post to his site talking about the use of things like "map" and "reduce" in his own development and how to use it in PHP to help reduce data sets and filter them based on certain criteria.

Over the past couple of years I have transitioned from boilerplate-heavy, imperative code, to begin using the more intuitive map, filter and reduce higher-order functions. In this article I hope to highlight the transformation that occurs, along with simplification, when moving away from the imperative and onto the declarative. We shall be performing a simple process which transforms a collection of user entries into a filtered collection of their names. Although trivial in nature, it is a great place to highlight the power of the paradigm shift.

He starts with a simple array of data: a set of users with their respective IDs and names. He shows a typical approach, using a method that loops through the data to find only the "name" values. He then shows an alternative that makes use of PHP's own array_filter and array_reduce functions to perform the same operation with just a bit more internal handling.

tagged: filter reduce array arrayfilter arrayreduce example simple

Link: http://eddmann.com/posts/mapping-filtering-and-reducing-in-php/

Mark Baker:
A Functional Guide to Cat Herding with PHP Generators
Jan 19, 2016 @ 10:05:13

In this post to his blog Mark Baker looks at a feature added in PHP 5.5 - generators - and how to use them with some of the array handling functionality PHP provides.

When working with arrays in PHP, three of the most useful functions available to us are array_map(), array_filter() and array_reduce().

[...] However, these functions only work with standard PHP arrays; so if we are using Generators as a data source instead of an array, then we can’t take advantage of the functionality that they provide. Fortunately, it’s very easy to emulate that functionality and apply it to Generators (and also to other Traversable objects like SPL Iterators), giving us access to all of the flexibility and power that mapping, filtering and reducing can offer.

He starts with a more "real world" example of using a generator in a handler for GPX files, XML files storing GPS data. He gives an example of the typical file contents and shows a simple generator script (class) that he uses to grab chunks of the file at a time instead of reading it all in and parsing it from there. He then uses this generator along with a bit of extra handling to mimic array filtering, transformation and reducing the data being returned.

tagged: functional generator tutorial array filter reduce transformation

Link: http://markbakeruk.net/2016/01/19/a-functional-guide-to-cat-herding-with-php-generators/

Michelangelo van Dam:
PHP Arrays - Associative Arrays or Hash Maps
Jan 14, 2016 @ 10:50:54

Michelangelo van Dam has continued his introductory series looking at arrays in PHP with this latest post covering associative arrays (otherwise known as hash maps).

Associative array or hash maps are listings of key and value pairs with a possibility to nest additional keys and values. An associative array is a very powerful construct within PHP.

He mentions the previous article and its examples of numerically indexed arrays. He then shows how to use strings as the keys instead, pointing out that these are widely used in things like framework configurations. He shows how to use a foreach to work with the associative array and loop through each of the values, yielding the index and value for each. He also includes examples of for and do-while loops using the array_keys method to get the indexes before hand. He ends the post with a look at using the array_filter function to iterate over and find a certain record.

tagged: assoicative array hashmap tutorial introduction loop filter

Link: http://www.dragonbe.com/2016/01/php-arrays-associative-arrays-or-hash.html

Ignace Nyamagana Butera:
Q&A: Enforcing enclosure with LeagueCsv
Sep 04, 2015 @ 11:19:44

Ignace Nyamagana Butera has a post has a post to his site showing how to use the LeagueCsv library for encapsulation in CSV output.

It is common knowledge that PHP’s fputcsv function does not allow enforcing the enclosure on every field. Using League CSV and PHP stream filter features let me show you how to do so step by step.

He walks you through the process of getting the library installed and using it (seven easy steps) to correctly contain the CSV values according to its contents:

  • Install league csv
  • Choose a sequence to enforce the presence of the enclosure character
  • Set up you CSV
  • Enforce the sequence on every CSV field
  • Create a stream filter
  • Attach the stream filter to the Writer object

Each step includes the code you'll need to make it work and a final result is shown at the end of the post. He does offer a few extra tips at the end of the post around some extra validation he added and where you can register the stream filter.

tagged: leaguecsv csv data output encapsulation stream filter

Link: http://nyamsprod.com/blog/2015/qa-enforcing-enclosure-with-leaguecsv/

BitExpert Blog:
Think About It: PHPExcel Performance Tweaks (Part 1)
Jul 07, 2015 @ 10:34:21

Florian Horn has posted the first part of a series of performance tweaks for using PHPExcel to work with Excel spreadsheets and CSV data.

A few weeks back I covered a small article about a CSV-Tool optimized for memory usage and additionally tweaking performance. Our performance optimization sprint contained the improvement of read file data, processing and persist it. While the file data is relatively small referred to the file size, the amount of data sets can vary between 5.000 and more then 40.000 entities on an average, but may be a lot more in some cases.

This article is the first of a three-part series and describes how we tweaked PHPExcel to run faster while reading Excel and CSV files.

In this first part of the series he goes through three different tips to improve some of the basic performance:

  • Cache Cell Index in Memory
  • Iterators and GC Optimization
  • Use Custom Read Filters

You can find out more about the PHPExcel library on the project's main page.

tagged: phpexcel performance tweak series part1 cache iterators filter

Link: https://blog.bitexpert.de/blog/think-about-it-phpexcel-performance-tweaks-part-1/