Looking for more information on how to do PHP the right way? Check out PHP: The Right Way

SitePoint PHP Blog:
There’s a Gender Extension for PHP
Jun 26, 2017 @ 13:58:25

On the SitePoint PHP blog there's a new post from editor Bruno Skvorc sharing information about a "gender" extension for PHP that tries to guess the gender of a first name.

Recently, I ventured into a section of the PHP manual which lists extensions that are used to help with Human Language and Character Encoding. I had never looked at them as a whole – while dealing with gettext, for example, I always kind of landed directly on it and ignored the rest. Well, of those others, there’s one that caught my eye – especially in this day and age given the various controversies – the Gender extension.

This extension, in short, tries to guess the gender of first names. As its introduction says: "Gender PHP extension is a port of the gender.c program originally written by Joerg Michael. The main purpose is to find out the gender of firstnames. The current database contains >40000 firstnames from 54 countries."

This is interesting beyond the fact that the author is kinda called George Michael. In fact, there are many aspects of this extension that are quite baffling.

He then walks through some examples of putting the extension to use, evaluating various names in different languages and gauging the results. The extension allows for definite answers (is male/female), relative results, unisex, a "couple" or, when all else fails, erroring or giving a "not found" result. It also can check for "nicknames" for common names. He walks you through getting it installed and shows other functionality for getting similar names and checking for nicknames, showing code examples and the resulting output.

tagged: gender extension language tutorial introduction install example

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/theres-a-gender-extension-for-php/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Getting Started with Sulu CMS on Vagrant The Right Way
Jun 05, 2017 @ 15:15:10

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted a tutorial showing you how to get started with Sulu CMS and Vagrant. Sulu CMS is a content management system based on Symfony.

In this tutorial, we’ll learn how to get started with Sulu CMS the right way – meaning, we’ll deploy a Sulu “Hello World” instance using Homestead Improved and be mindful of performance issues and configuration values while we’re at it. We’ll also cover some common pitfalls, all in an attempt to get a good base set up for future Sulu tutorials. It is recommended you follow along with the instructions in this post and drop a comment with any problems you might run into.

The tutorial walks you through the installation of the Sulu CMS instance but you'll need to have Vagrant already installed and running. Next up they show you how to configure the system to work along with Vagrant including database setup, running the build and ensuring the system is up and running. There's a bit at the end with some pitfalls and FAQs to help you get started on the right foot.

tagged: sulucms vagrant tutorial install configure

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/getting-started-sulu-cms-vagrant-right-way/

DotDev.co:
Using Laravel Mix for Your WordPress Theme
May 12, 2017 @ 10:16:05

On the DotDev.co blog there's a recent tutorial posted from Eric Barnes showing you how to combine Laravel Mix and WordPress to make it easier to manage webpack dependencies.

Laravel Mix is a fluent wrapper around the webpack module bundler, and it provides common tools that help you compile CSS and JavaScript. It’s easy to work with, and although it comes baked into the Laravel framework, you can use it anywhere.

This site is using WordPress, and when I created the theme I used Mix to handle the asset compiling; it was simple to setup. Here is a quick overview of how I did it in four steps. Please note, you will need to have a recent version of Node and npm installed on your machine before continuing.

He then walks you through a four step process to set up the integration between the two:

  • Step 1. Create the package.json File
  • Step 2. Webpack Mix
  • Step 3. Create Your style.scss File
  • Step 4. Create an app.js

He ends the post with some helpful commands you can use while you're in the development process including compiling for both dev and production environments. More information about Mix can be found in the Laravel documentation.

tagged: laravel mix wordpress tutorial npm node css javascript install build

Link: https://dotdev.co/laravel-mix-wordpress/

Fabien Potencier:
Symfony 4: A quick Demo
May 05, 2017 @ 09:39:52

Fabien Potencier has continued his post series covering the next major release of the Symfony framework, Symfony 4. In this latest post he walks you through a quick demonstration of the creation of a new Symfony 4 application including a simple administration system.

Time to test Symfony 4... or at least let's test the experience of developing Symfony 4 projects with Symfony 3.3. Keep in mind that all the tools are in preview mode. Features might evolve over time. I'm waiting for your feedback! The first stable version of Symfony Flex will not be released before Symfony 4 at the end of November 2017. It gives the community plenty of time to discuss the changes I have described in this series of blog posts.

He then walks through the process for creating the application:

  • Using Composer's "create-project" to make a new skeleton application
  • Setting it up as a git repository
  • Defining environment variables
  • Registering the framework bundle
  • Installing the command line tools

With the basic application set up he then shows how to install the EasyAdminBundle to create the simple administrative interface. He's also created a screencast showing this same process so you can see it all in action.

tagged: symfony4 demo screencast skeleton application bundle install

Link: http://fabien.potencier.org/symfony4-demo.html

Hackernoon.com:
How to configure PHPStorm to use PHP-CS-Fixer
Apr 25, 2017 @ 10:47:46

On the Hackernoon site there's a recent tutorial showing you how to hook the PHP-CS-Fixer tool into PhpStorm for easy execution during development rather than after.

The PHPStorm IDE by JetBrains is probably one of my favorite editors. It has its flaws (constant indexing…) but overall its a great tool for me. However, my focus today is not on PHPStorm per say but rather how to add the awesome functionality of using project page. Depending on your platform you will need to make some decisions, namely how you configure the rules of PHP-CS-Fixer. I am currently on Windows but I will try to make sure these instructions work in both *nix and Windows environments.

He then walks you through some prerequisites (both pieces of software installed basically) and the decisions to make based on your platform. He then provides screenshots and descriptions showing where to go in the PhpStorm IDE to add the PHP-CS-Fixer as a new "Tool", the working directory to use and how to set up a keymap to execute the tool. He includes an example of the output when things are correctly configured and working together.

tagged: configure phpstorm phpcs phpcsfixer tool tutorial install combine setup ide

Link: https://hackernoon.com/how-to-configure-phpstorm-to-use-php-cs-fixer-1844991e521f

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/

Zend Framework Blog:
Develop Expressive Applications Rapidly Using CLI Tooling
Apr 12, 2017 @ 09:54:05

On the Zend Framework blog Matthew Weier O'Phinney has posted a tutorial showing off some of the Expressive command line functionality that can help you rapidly develop applications using the Zend Expressive framework.

First impressions matter, particularly when you start using a new framework. As such, we're striving to improve your first tasks with Expressive. With the 2.0 release, we provided several migration tools, as well as tooling for creating, registering, and deregistering middleware modules. Each was shipped as a separate script, with little unification between them.

Today, we've pushed a unified script, expressive, which provides access to all the migration tooling, module tooling, and new tooling to help you create http-interop middleware. Our hope is to make your first few minutes with Expressive a bit easier, so you can start writing powerful applications.

The post starts with the Composer commands to create a new Expressive project and to pull in the "zendframework/zend-expressive-tooling" package to add the CLI tools to the project. It then talks briefly about what functionality the tools bring and helps you use them to create your first module, populating out the directories and files required. Next up is the creation of the middleware for a "list" action and what the resulting code ends up being. They end the post by pointing out that this is just a start to the ultimate functionality of this tool and are open to requests for new commands to add in future releases.

tagged: zendexpressive application tooling commandline expressive tutorial install

Link: https://framework.zend.com/blog/2017-04-11-expressive-tooling.html

Sameer Borate:
Accessing Google Page Insights in PHP
Mar 21, 2017 @ 09:45:12

On his site today Sameer Borate shares a tutorial showing you how to access Google Insights data via your PHP application with the help of the dsentker/phpinsights package.

Google Page Insights is a required tool to have when analyzing the speed and usability of your site. As you may know these metrics influence how google ranks your page in search results. If you frequently make changes to your web site designs than it becomes mandatory to check the metrics after each change to make sure that the design changes has not affected the score in any negative way. If you have many pages to test than manual testing can quickly become cumbersome.

Thankfully there are libraries that you can use to automate this process. Once such is given in this post which allows you to get Google Page Insight metrics using PHP.

He then walks you through the installation of the package (via Composer) and how to use it, along with your Google API key, to fetch the information for a given URL. You can get information for different environments (desktop vs mobile) and even a screenshot of the page that's under test. He ends the post with a helpful hint for those that might get a certificate error when making the request and how to fix it.

tagged: google insights data tutorial package install usage

Link: http://www.codediesel.com/api/accessing-google-page-insights-php/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
The Android Elephpant - Laravel on your Android Phone?
Mar 14, 2017 @ 13:06:05

On the SitePoint PHP blog there's a new tutorial posted with an interesting idea for the use of PHP - running it on an Android phone (a Laravel application specifically).

It was not that long ago that Christopher Pitt wrote an excellent article about writing and running PHP code on an iPad. After reading it, I thought to myself "It would be really cool to do the same on Android": being able to write and edit code on the fly, for example while traveling, and not having to take the laptop everywhere. So I’ve decided to do some research and see what I could come up with.

For this article, you can use any type of Android device. I’ve done it on my phone, but an Android tablet with a Bluetooth keyboard would probably be the ideal setup.

Using the Termux application and using it to install various packages for both development and PHP usage. They also install Vim, Git and Composer to make package management easier. Once the environment is installed it moves on to the Laravel installation (that works just fine), installing SQLite for the database and building out the user authentication and authorization handling with Laravel's "make:auth" artisan command.

tagged: android tutorial phone laravel install configuration

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/android-elephpant-laravel-android-phone/

Laravel News:
Installing Laravel in a Subfolder? Hide your .env file.
Mar 06, 2017 @ 09:42:59

On the Laravel News site they've posted an article with some reminders about installing Laravel in a subfolder including "hiding" your .env file.

If you are new to Laravel you might not be familiar with its directory structure and the reasons why it’s setup the way it is. If you look at the main repository it’s setup like this, and the documentation covers what each of these folders handles.

What is important here is the “public” folder. That is the ONLY directory you want to be exposed through the web. Everything else should be outside of your web root, this way people can’t access any of your important files through the browser.

He gives an example of an instance where a site was in a subfolder and, just by changing the URL, he was able to locate (and view!) the .env file complete with sensitive information. The rest of the post gives instructions on installing it in a subfolder, moving around a few folders and updating the front controller to change the autoload and bootstrap locations.

tagged: laravel subfolder sensitive data install tutorial

Link: https://laravel-news.com/subfolder-install