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Matt Stauffer:
Introducing Laravel Homestead 2.0
November 17, 2014 @ 10:41:45

In his latest post Matt Stauffer has posted a guide to the latest release of the Laravel Homestead project, version 2.0, walking you through the installation, configuration and validation of this virtual machine.

When Laravel Homestead first came out, it was a Github repository that included a base Homestead.yaml by default. There was no prescribed place to install it, no global commands for accessing the box, and any time you actually customized your Homestead.yaml file you instantly dirtied your Homestead Github clone, making upgrading difficult.

You can guess where I'm going with this. All of these things are problems no more. The latest version of the Homestead ecosystem has just been released, and it's moved Homestead into a globally installable Composer package which copies Homestead.yaml (and any other user-editable files) into ~/.homestead on your machine.

He covers the two different ways you'd get this updated version - the fresh install (no previous VM installed) and the upgrade path. For each all of the commands and configuration updates you'll need are included. He also points out some of the new features and handling as he goes along.

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Link: http://mattstauffer.co/blog/introducing-laravel-homestead-2.0

Laravel News:
Setting up Laravel Elixr with Bootstrap
October 31, 2014 @ 09:27:32

On the Laravel News site today there's a tutorial posted showing you how to set up an application that uses Elixir and Bootstrap for the layout of an application. Elixir is a wrapper for gulp, a build tool for node.js apps.

One exciting feature coming in Laravel 5 is the new Elixir package. At its core it is a wrapper around gulp to make dealing with assets easier. For my first look at this new tool I decided a good use case would be to setup Bootstrap and get everything working just like you would in a real world scenario. If you are not familiar, bootstrap includes three main components. CSS, JavaScript, and custom fonts. So we need to account for all those in our setup.

They walk you through the Elixir installation process (via node) of Gulp and setting up dependencies via Laravel's included "package.json" definition. He then shows how to install bower (another package manager) and use that to install the Bootstrap files (SASS version). Finally they show how to bootstrap these into your application's workflow - the SASS imported from bower, the fonts/javascript pulled in by gulp and finally the Elixir setup to merge them all together.

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laravel elixir bootstrap bower gulp install configure tutorial

Link: http://laravel-news.com/2014/10/setting-laravel-elixr-bootstrap/

Rob Allen:
Setting up PHP & MySQL on OS X Yosemite
October 20, 2014 @ 09:43:36

Rob Allen has posted a quick guide to help you get PHP and MySQL set up on Yosemite, the latest version of Apple's OSX operating system (just released last week).

t's that time again; Apple has shipped a new version of OS X, 10.10 Yosemite. Apple ships PHP 5.5.14 with Yosemite and this is how to set it up from a clean install. However, if you don't want to use the built-in PHP or want to use version 5.6, then these are some alternatives [including the Liip binary package, Homebrew or Zend Server 7.x).

He opts for the Homebrew method, installing it first then getting into the PHP and MySQL packages. This is all done from the command-line, so you'll need to be comfortable there. He includes the commands needed to install PHP, MySQL and Apache along with all configuration changes to make them work together. He also shows how to install Xdebug, PEAR, Composer and the Mcrypt & Intl extensions if needed.

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Link: http://akrabat.com/php/setting-up-php-mysql-on-os-x-yosemite/

Rafael Dohms:
Installing Composer Packages
October 14, 2014 @ 12:04:58

Maybe you've heard about Composer and how it makes working with PHP libraries and packages easier. There's lots of articles (besides the project documentation) that can help you get started but Rafael Dohms has just shared an excellent overview of versioning and the features the tool makes available to fine tune your requirements to just the right level.

I have been putting together a new talk about Composer, and that means looking around the community, doing loads of research and trying to identify the items that need to be covered in a talk. Mostly I have been trying to identify things that people do on a regular basis that according to composer internals is either wrong or not ideal. One such thing that I have found is the proper selection of versions, and that also led me to find a new feature in composer that makes everyone's life so much easier. So let me break this down.

He starts with a look at the selection of the actual version you'll need and how Composer treats each type of version match (strict vs wildcards vs a mix of the two). He shows an example of adding one of these version strings to a "composer,json" file, both manually and via a command line call.

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Link: http://blog.doh.ms/2014/10/13/installing-composer-packages/

NetTuts.com:
Laravel, BDD And You Let's Get Started
October 10, 2014 @ 12:53:57

On NetTuts.com they've kicked off a new series of tutorials teaching you about Laravel development but using the principles and testing of behavior-driven development (BDD). In this first part of the series they get you started with the basic environment and a few simple tests.

Welcome to this series about developing Laravel applications using a behavior-driven development (BDD) approach. Full stack BDD can seem complicated and intimidating. There are just as many ways of doing it as there are developers. In this series, I will walk you through my approach of using Behat and PhpSpec to design a Laravel application from scratch. There are many resources on BDD in general, but Laravel specific material is hard to find. Therefore, in this series, we will focus more on the Laravel related aspects and less on the general stuff that you can read about many other places.

He talks about what it means to "describe behavior" versus other kinds of testing and introduces the sample application they'll be creating to show these principles: a time tracker. Following this, they help you install the needed tools (via Composer) and initialize the directory to be ready for the Behat/Phpspec tests you'll create. An example of a basic Feature is included, testing the initial Laravel "Welcome" page it defaults to and how to execute it. Finally, following the ideals of BDD, they show how to implement the "Given I am logged in" step first in the test then in the Laravel application.

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Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/laravel-bdd-and-you-lets-get-started--cms-22155

SitePoint PHP Blog:
How to Use PHPbrew and VirtPHP
October 06, 2014 @ 13:08:41

Phil Sturgeon has written up a new tutorial for the SitePoint PHP blog showing you how to use PHPbrew and VirtPHP to be able to work with more than one PHP version on the same system.

We've all been in the situation where we have one version installed. Maybe that version is whatever came installed on our operating system. Maybe it is a version bundled into MAMP/WAMP/XAMPP. How do you go about switching that PHP version? How do you switch to one version, then switch back again? How do you go about switching that version of PHP, but only for one single application on your computer? The Ruby and Python communities have had tools for dealing with this for years. PHP has them now too, but there was nowhere near enough fanfare.

He starts with PHPbrew and walks you through a basic install and configuration of a version of PHP 5.6.0. He shows how to add extension support and switch between the different PHP versions at will. Next comes the look at VirtPHP, a similar system that takes a little bit different approach. It creates "environments" that contain the PHP version to a bit more isolated setup. With an environment created, VirtPHP lets you install PECL extensions without changing anything globally. He ends the post with a comparison to how most developers (developing locally) handle their setup and mentions Vagrant, but notes that it may be a bit much for the solo developer.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/use-phpbrew-virtphp/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
How to Deploy Symfony Apps with Capifony
September 25, 2014 @ 10:55:27

The SitePoint PHP blog has a tutorial today showing you how you can use the popular Capistrano tool to deploy Symfony-based applications. More specifically, it's focused in on one tool, Calpifony, that's a bit more tailored to what a Symfony deployment needs.

Say you have a Symfony application. At some point, you would like to deploy it to your server and show it to the world. Of course, you can do it all manually, but these days you can also choose to use a tool like Capifony. If you have developed Ruby applications in the past, you are perhaps familiar with Capistrano. Capistrano is a tool to deploy your Ruby application to your server. Capifony has been created on top of Capistrano, and is basically a collection of deployment recipes. In this article, we are going to deploy a Symfony application to a server with Capifony.

He starts off with a section giving an overview of how the Capifony tool works and how important the directory structure is. He then guides you through the installation of the tool and configuring your first simple project. He includes an example "deply.rb" configuration and walks through each piece, describing what it does and how to add some additional commands to the list. The post ends with the full updates configuration that makes the connection to the server, downloads a copy of a Git repository and executes Assetic and Bower commands on build.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/deploy-symfony-apps-capifony/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
What to Expect from Yii 2.0
September 22, 2014 @ 12:32:17

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new post today from Arno Slatius that talks about some of the features coming in Yii 2.0, a PHP-based MVC framework with a target for a stable release coming very soon.

Yii 2.0 was released into beta last April and the goal for a first stable release was set for the middle of 2014. The GitHub issue list has 300 open issues and 2913 closed while I'm writing this and both numbers are still increasing. The progress to the 2.0RC milestone was at 99%. My guess is that the team is close, but we'll probably have to wait just a little bit longer. While we're all waiting, lets take a look at what we can expect by looking at an already available example.

He starts with a "tiny bit of history" about the framework (its origins, the work done on 2.0) and talks about some of the requirements to get it installed and working. He helps you set up a sample project and shows off the Twitter Bootstrap integration, the debug bar and the "Gii" tool that can help generate code automatically (following the conventions of the framework). He finishes off the post with a look at some of the main things that changed in the 2.0 release including moving some method calls to properties, datetime handling, behavior definitions and model/view updates.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/expect-yii-2-0/

NetTuts.com:
Installing and Using PHPMyAdmin for Web Development
September 09, 2014 @ 10:37:56

The NetTuts.com site has a tutorial posted today walking you through the installation and configuration of one of the most popular and well-known PHP database tools, phpMyAdmin. In this tutorial they wlk you through installing the tool (via packages) and working with a sample database.

PHPMyAdmin (PMA) is an excellent free, open source web-based database client which can be used to interact more easily with MySQL and application databases. I'll describe how to install it, secure it and some common scenarios with which it can assist you in database administration. [...] In addition to offering a visual GUI for database operations, I also appreciate being able to run command line SQL operations via my browser without having to log in to the server via SSH. For example, some WiFi connections and mobile hotspots regularly terminate persistent SSH sessions, making database tasks problematic.

They use the apt-get package manager to get the tool installed on their Apache web server instance. They also show you how to secure it via a web server level configuration item via a htpasswd setup. Then the post gets into the usage of the tool - creating a database, adding users, backing up databases, editing data and testing queries right from within the tool.

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Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/installing-and-using-phpmyadmin-for-web-development--cms-21947

SitePoint Web Foundations:
Quick Tip Install Recki-CT into a Vagrant Ubuntu Box
September 03, 2014 @ 11:14:51

On the SitePoint Web Foundations blog Bruno Skvorc has a quick post showing you how to get Recki-CT installed and working in a virtual machine. The Recki-CT project is a creation of Anthony Ferrara that allows you to compile down PHP into machine code.

If you don't know what Recki-CT is, see @ircmaxell's original post or the repo, we won't go into depth here. This quick tip will merely show you how to install it on a Homestead Improved box, much like we did with other software before.

It's a pretty simple four step process including testing things at the end:

  • Install and configure a Homestead Improved instance
  • Install the JitFu tool
  • Grab the latest Recki-CT library version from GitHub
  • Run the provided test code with the local PHP install and test the performance

You can find out more about the Recki-CT project in its GitHub project.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/quick-tip-install-recki-ct-vagrant-ubuntu-box/


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