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Laravel News:
Laravel Scout is now open for developer testing
Aug 16, 2016 @ 10:37:38

The Laravel News site has a new post with an update for those looking forward to trying out Laravel "Scout", the search handling to be released along side the next Laravel framework release. The post announces that Laravel Scout is now open for developer testing directly from the live repository.

Laravel Scout is a driver based full-text search for Eloquent that is going to be available when Laravel 5.3 launches.

The driver is not officially released yet, however, the repository is now live and available for those that want to play with more engines. Taylor said he would be working on docs this week in anticipation of the official 5.3 release and this first release should only be used in testing until it’s officially launched.

If you're interested in more details about Scout, check out this post from Matt Stauffer with details and code examples.

tagged: laravel scout developer testing search functionality

Link: https://laravel-news.com/2016/08/laravel-scout-is-now-open-for-developer-testing/

Alejandro Celaya:
Project Scalability with Zend Expressive
Jul 21, 2016 @ 09:46:10

In a new post to his site (also posted on the Zend Developer Zone) Alejandro Celaya looks at scalability with Zend Expressive, a lightweight framework from Zend, the creators of the Zend Framework.

I've been working with some different frameworks lately. One of them is Zend Expressive, and I've come to the conclusion that I don't need to choose between different frameworks; depending on the project, Expressive always fits my needs and scales from small projects to bigger applications.

He starts off by looking at the "microframework approach" that Zend Expressive takes, making it easier to get up and running for smaller applications. He points out that this setup is fine when the application is small, but what happens as it grows - it just wouldn't scale well and be manageable. He talks about the setup he uses for larger scale applications, moving the configuration to dynamic config files and making use of more complex dependency injection. He also talks some about modularity in applications, the "middleware paradigm" and how he set up controller-style dispatching (versus just the default closures method).

tagged: zendexpressive tutorial scalability framework microframework update functionality

Link: http://blog.alejandrocelaya.com/2016/07/21/project-scalability-with-zend-expressive/

QaFoo Blog:
How to Refactor Without Breaking Things
Jun 09, 2016 @ 20:31:50

On the QaFoo blog there's a new post sharing some helpful hints that you can use to refactor your code without breaking things in a legacy codebase.

Refactoring means to change the structure of your code without changing its behavior. It is an essential part of everyday programming and should become knee-jerk for your whole development team. Refactoring is very helpful to cleanup feature spikes, revise earlier decisions and keep a maintainable codebase in the long run. In a perfect project world - with extensive automated tests of various types - this is just a matter of getting used to. But there are only very few such projects. So getting into proper refactoring is much harder. This article will show you important tips to master this challenge with your team.

They point out two things that can help you ensure you break as little as possible: good tests and "baby steps". They go into a bit more detail on these two sections, mentioning how they help with the refactoring process and techniques to follow in the process.

tagged: refactor break functionality tests babysteps tutorial

Link: https://qafoo.com/blog/085_how_to_refactor_without_breaking.html

Joeri Timmermans:
Testing drag and drop with Behat and Guzzle
Feb 26, 2016 @ 12:28:58

Joeri Timmermans has posted a tutorial to his site showing how you can test drag-and-drop functionality with a combination of the Behat BDD testing tool and the Guzzle HTTP library.

As you could see in previous posts I'm working on a large application for Intracto where they want a lot of fancy visuals and this turned into a mess when it came to write behat tests. This post will help you test position moving with drag and drop.

In his case he was working with a chapter layout that allows for the rearranging of chapters to update their order. The process is then broken up into a few different steps:

  • Creating a new context feature for Behat (based on this example)
  • Making a custom action that makes it easier to move the chapter entries around by just providing positions
  • Calling the move in the Behat test itself

The tricky part here is that the actual test is made for the behavior but the behavior itself is making an API call to rearrange the pages. The test is making this same call and evaluating the result. It's not actually interacting with the page as you might be able to do with something like PhantomJs however.

tagged: testing draganddrop functionality guzzle behat api position chapter tutorial

Link: http://www.pix-art.be/post/testing-drag-and-drop-with-behat-and-guzzle

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Feature Toggling Explained with Qandidate’s Toggle
Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:49:57

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted a tutorial showing you how to use the Toggle library from Qandidate to handle the enabling and disabling of features in your application.

A frequently used development workflow in version control systems is feature branching. The idea is that we develop new features in branches other than the master one. After a feature is tested and ready to be released, it is merged back into the master branch or a release branch for deployment. This approach helps us develop new features without disturbing the main code base.

However, developing a feature branch might take much longer than a normal release cycle. [...] One of the techniques widely used as an alternative to feature branching is feature toggling. Feature toggles (or feature flippers) act like on/off switches. [...] We can temporarily hide a partially built or risky feature (release toggles) or limit finished stable features to a certain group of users (business toggles).

They introduce the basics of the Toggle library and it's main components: the Manager, Toggles, Operators, Conditions and Context. These are all combined together to help determine if a feature should be enabled or hidden. Examples of each are included along the way as well as one showing a toggle in action. They also show how to integrate it with a framework, in this case a Laravel project as middleware. The post ends with a look at strategies, giving you even more customization around the conditions of the toggle (example: Affirmative, Majority and Unanimous), statues and creating the conditions from either YAML or array configurations.

tagged: feature toggle flag qandidate library tutorial introduction functionality

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/feature-toggling-explained-with-qandidates-toggle/

Community News:
Laravel 5 Now Includes Authorization
Sep 01, 2015 @ 10:50:41

In the latest release of the Laravel framework (v5.1.1) they've introduced authorization handling to the native framework. This allows you to integrate permissions checks and perform policy validation both on the backend and in the templates.

In addition to providing authentication services out of the box, Laravel also provides a simple way to organize authorization logic and control access to resources. There are a variety of methods and helpers to assist you in organizing your authorization logic.

The functionality includes the concepts of "abilities" (permissions, essentially) and validate the allow/deny status based on object properties, such as Users. The documentation shows how to perform the evaluations in the controllers, user model, form requests and even in the Blade templates. There's also a section on creating policies for more complex evaluations than just one-off permission checks.

To get a feel for what the community things of this new functionality, be sure to check out this Reddit thread with feedback, both positive and negative, on how it was implemented.

tagged: laravel framework authorization functionality permission policy allow deny

Link: http://laravel.com/docs/5.1/authorization

Julien Pauli:
PHP closures
Jul 10, 2015 @ 10:54:29

Julien Pauli has posted a look at PHP's closures and how they're actually handled internal to the language.

Back in 2009, when PHP 5.3 got released, a new feature (among many others) were introduced : anonymous functions (also called lambdas or closures). The feature was very expected, as closures have proved their utility through several other languages, particularly javascript that web developers master. [...] Let's see together how Closures have been added to PHP, as usual by turning to the truth : the PHP source code.

He starts at the beginning (a good place to start) and talks about the work that needed to be done on the internals before closures could even be introduced. He walks through the changes made to object handling to make them "callable" and the addition of the "zend_closure" object type. He then gets to the part where "the magic happens" and shows how the userland closure is translated and executed. He ends the post with a look at two other topics: scoping with "$this" and the special handling that was needed for reflection and direct calls to "__invoke".

tagged: closure language functionality object callable scope reflection invoke

Link: http://jpauli.github.io/2015/07/08/php-closures.html

Community News:
Packagist.org Gets a Makeover
Jun 16, 2015 @ 11:55:42

If you're a Composer user by now you've noticed a major overhaul that's happened to the Packagist.org website in the last few days. They've made a major improvement to how the site looks and have added some fun new functionality to help make finding packages easier.

According to the Laravel News site, updates include a change in the recommended install method, the addition of more GitHub metadata and the inclusion of the project's README file. The site will also allow you to sort (ascending and descending) by the number of stars the repository has as well as the number of downloads.

The site still includes all of the information it dod before too including version listings, details about what the package requires, license information and links to more information and the actual repository. Check out the new look and see what you think. Packagist is also an Open Source project so if you find an issue, be sure to either report it to the project or get in, fix it yourself and make the pull request to submit it.

tagged: packagist composer makeover functionality update website

Link: http://packagist.org

Programming With Yii2: Sluggable Behavior
May 13, 2015 @ 12:53:33

NetTuts.com has continued their series looking at programming with the Yii2 framework in this latest part of the series covering the "sluggable" behavior the framework includes.

In this Programming With Yii2 series, I'm guiding readers in use of the newly upgraded Yii2 Framework for PHP. In this tutorial, I'm going to show you how to modify Yii's default view URL routes for model objects to be more user friendly and search engine friendly. Yii provides built-in support for this via its sluggable behaviors. For these examples, we'll continue to imagine we're building a framework for posting simple status updates, e.g. our own mini-Twitter.

They start the tutorial off by defining what a "slug" is for those that may not have used them before. From there they show you how to add in the behavior to the current version of their sample application, adding a new "slug" column to their status table. They then update the status model to reflect the changes and test it out with the insert of a new update. They also show how to implement the slug handling in your routing and add the functionality to the controller to handle the different request. They finish off the post with a mention of managing permanence and uniqueness to prevent overlaps.

tagged: series yii2 framework sluggable slug functionality tutorial

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/programming-with-yii2-sluggable-behavior--cms-23222

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Using Traits in Doctrine Entities
Dec 09, 2014 @ 12:16:56

On the SitePoint PHP blog there's a recent post showing you how to use traits with Doctrine entities. PHP's traits allow for the inclusion of functionality into a class without having to extend another class or create an object to use it.

Since PHP 5.4.0, PHP supports a pretty way to reuse code called “Traits” – a set of methods that you can include within another class in order not to repeat yourself. You can read more about traits in previously published SitePoint posts: here, here and here. Today, I am going to show you how they can be used with Doctrine ORM in a Symfony Environment.

He shows how to create two basic Doctrine entities, in this case representing "Article" and "Comment" instances. He then creates the trait, a "TimestampableTrait" class that abstracts out the setting/updating of the create and updated date on the Doctrine record. He refactors the entities to use the trait and shows the results of the "schema create" command.

tagged: traits doctrine entity tutorial introduction functionality

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/using-traits-doctrine-entities/