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Doctrine ORM and Laravel 5
Nov 19, 2015 @ 10:55:39

On the NetTuts site there's a tutorial posted helping you get familiar with Doctrine 2 (the ORM) and how to integrate it with a Laravel 5 application via a simple service provider.

As a PHP developer, you might have come across the term ORM. ORM is a way to work with databases in the same way you work with classes and objects. If you were to delve deeper into how web applications are designed and built, after doing some exploring in their ORM you would find two well-known patterns: Active Record and Data Mapper.

[...] With Data Mapper the in-memory objects needn’t know that there is even a database present. They need no SQL interface code or knowledge of the database schema. One such solution is Doctrine.

The tutorial walks you through some of the basic concepts in using the Doctrine 2 ORM including Entities and Repositories. Also included is how to pull it in via Composer and update your Laravel configuration to use this bridge library for integrating it into your current application. Code examples are included showing you how to build out an entity, repository and a validator class for a basic blog post.

tagged: introduction integration tutorial laravel orm doctrine2 entity repository validator

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/doctrine-orm-and-laravel-5--cms-24914

BitExpert Blog:
Prophiler PSR-7 Middleware
Oct 27, 2015 @ 10:42:54

On the BitExpert blog Stephan Hochdörfer shares a new tool, a PSR-7 compliant middleware, that allow easy integration with your current application of the Prophiler debugging/profiling tool.

Prophiler is a PHP Profiler & Developer Toolbar which is part of the Phalcon project but can also be used as a stand-alone component, kind of like the Symfony Web Debug Toolbar or Z-Ray. What I like about Prophiler is that on the one hand hand it is super easy to install and on the other hand offers a few nice adapters (e.g. PSR-3 logging or Doctrine integration) out-of-the-box.

The middleware is a simple Composer install away. He includes the code you'll need to make the Prophiler instance and how to hook in the middleware for use. His example uses the Zend Framework Stratigility structure but because it's a PSR-7 compliant package, it can integrate just as easily with any PSR-7 framework/library. He also includes a sample of running a request and mentions the automatic addition of the toolbar to the output.

tagged: prohpiler profiling psr7 middleware integration zendframework stratigility tutorial composer

Link: https://blog.bitexpert.de/blog/prophiler-psr-7-middleware/

Marc Morera:
Composer Install in CI
Sep 29, 2015 @ 10:48:38

In this post to his site Marc Morera talks about Composer dependencies and an issue that can come up with two things: having a large number of dependencies and minimum PHP version requirements (and when they change).

Any final project needs a lot of dependencies, and even if your composer.json file is small, you may need a dependency with a lot of dependencies. [...] Computing the real dependencies in my environment seems a great solution, right? I run composer update in my computer, I update the composer.lock version in the repository, and then I only need to do composer install. What I reduce here is the computing time of all recursive dependencies from 20+ minutes to less than 5 minutes. [...] Why this is a bad solution?

He explains that some projects will change the PHP version requirement in a minor version, potentially causing your build to break on other versions without you changing anything. He points out that there's "no good solution" he sees but does recommend good upkeep of your composer.json as a composer update is the best course of action. He also makes recommendations to the library developers about keeping requirements scope as wide as possible and only defining specifics when the project is finalized.

tagged: composer install continuous integration update dependencies

Link: http://mmoreram.com/blog/2015/09/28/composer-install-in-ci/

Lakion Blog:
Easy debugging on CI with Mink
Sep 18, 2015 @ 09:44:12

On the Lakion blog there's a post showing you how to debug your application's Behat tests easily as a part of your continuous integration process. In thieir case, they were trying to figure out why builds were breaking on a Travis-CI build instance.

Debugging Behat scenarios while using Mink to simulate the user is not always an easy job. Especially, if they are run on Continuous Integration server. That is why I came up with an idea to make it easier. During repairing our javascript test suite on Sylius everything went as bad as it could go. There were many errors that happened on Travis, but I was not able to reproduce them locally. [...] MinkDebugExtension was written to speed up that boring and tiring part of debugging on CI server. It consists of two parts: Behat extension and useful scripts.

The extension fires after failed steps and makes a log of the issue with content needed to recreate the issue (including possible screenshots). He also describes the scripts that come with it to help you browse through the results, uploading the resulting logs and screenshots to a place for public consumption.

tagged: mink easy debug travisci continuous integration extension log screenshot

Link: http://lakion.com/blog/mink-debug-extension

Symfony Blog:
How we Auto-Deploy Documentation Pull Requests with Platform.sh
Sep 10, 2015 @ 12:42:38

On the Symfony blog Ryan Weaver shares a "behind the scenes" look at how the project handles and has automated their documentation generation process with the help of the Platform.sh service.

[Symfony's documentation](https://github.com/symfony/symfony-docs) is an open source project with more than 800 contributors. That’s great! But our goal is to always make it easier to contribute and faster to merge in changes. And today, we’ve started doing something really cool to improve our workflow: integration with [Platform.sh](https://platform.sh).

Platform.sh is a hosting solution that provides out-of-the-box continuous deployment for Symfony, Drupal and any other PHP applications. It extends the concept of a Git branch at the infrastructure level. Basically, this means that it’s easy to deploy every branch and/or Pull Request to its own URL.

He talks about the documentation's format (Sphinx) and how, while it does provide flexibility it also can lead to maintenance issues too. Changes can't be seen immediately and it's difficult to review. Instead they worked up a process where each pull request was automatically deployed to its own unique URL. This reduces both issues they were setting around instant feedback and review problems and provides a better experience for the developer overall.

tagged: integration platformsh documentation request pull symfony continuous deployment

Link: http://symfony.com/blog/how-we-auto-deploy-documentation-pull-requests-with-platform-sh

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Logging with Monolog: From Devtools to Slack
Sep 02, 2015 @ 11:48:15

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted a tutorial showing you how to connect Monolog with Slack, a popular logging tool for PHP and a well-used communication (chat) service for development groups and projects. The basic idea is that, when something goes wrong, it's communicated directly to the chat channel versus just to a log somewhere for later analysis.

Logging is an important part of the app development/maintenance cycle. It’s not just about the data you log, but also about how you do it. In this article, we are going to explore the Monolog package and see how it can help us take advantage of our logs.

They start by helping you get Monolog installed in your project via Composer and how to create their "general" logger. He then explains the use of "handlers" in the Monolog system and how to add them to the logger instance. They also explain Monolog's "bubbling" of messages in a browser/error log example. Next they show how to integrate the SlackHandler into the logger, providing it with an access token, the channel to send to and a name to log in with. The article also shows how to format the message, giving it a bit nicer look than just the standard text error. Finally they touch on preprocessors that can add extra information to the log messages without having to touch every instance where it's used.

tagged: monolog slack integration message error realtime chat introduction

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/logging-with-monolog-from-devtools-to-slack/

Andrew Embler:
Q&A: Using Composer in a concrete5 Package
Aug 21, 2015 @ 11:30:46

Andrew Embler has posted a guide to his site showing you how to use Composer with concrete5 to integrate third party libraries quickly and easily. concrete5 is an open source content management system under the MIT license and is flexible and easy to extend.

Let's say I'm creating a statistics package and I want to use LavaCharts in it. For those who don't know, LavaCharts is a PHP library that abstracts Google's JavaScript Chart API to PHP. Instead of writing JavaScript, you build your charts with object-oriented PHP. It's nice. LavaCharts is available through Composer, so I'll include it that way.

He uses this particular package as an example, showing you how to create the composer.json file to include the LavaCharts library and run Composer to install it. He then shows the integration of the package with the concrete5 CMS instance, including the Composer autoloader in the "on start" handling. From there it's just a matter of referencing the library via its namespace and using it to populate and generate the resulting chart.

tagged: composer lavacharts tutorial integration library package concrete5 cms

Link: http://andrewembler.com/2015/08/q-using-composer-concrete5-package/

Amine Matmati:
Testing PDF content with PHP and Behat
Jul 31, 2015 @ 13:49:52

In this post to his site Amine Matmati shows you how to use Behat (with a bit of additional PHP) to test the contents of a rendered PDF file.

If you have a PDF generation functionality in your app, and since most of the libraries out there build the PDF content in an internal structure before outputting it to the file system (FPDF, TCPDF). A good way to write a test for it is to test the output just before the rendering process.

Recently however, and due to this process being a total pain in the ass, people switched to using tools like wkhtmltopdf or some of its PHP wrappers (phpwkhtmltopdf, snappy) that let you build your pages in html/css and use a browser engine to render the PDF for you, and while this technique is a lot more developer friendly, you loose control over the building process.

He shows how to get all of the required software installed including the smalot/pdfparser library used to read in the contents of the PDF file. He initializes a Behat test directory and writes a simple test, checking for a string of some "Lorem ipsum" text in the document's title and that it contains only one page. Some additional methods have to be created to integrate the PDF parsing and string location/page counting and code is included for each. When all the pieces are put in place, executing the test passes for both checks. You can find the code for the tutorial in this repository that also includes two sample PDFs to work with.

tagged: integration test behat contents string pages tutorial

Link: http://matmati.net/testing-pdf-with-behat-and-php

JSON Web Token Authentication for Lumen
Jun 29, 2015 @ 12:07:36

The Laravelista.com site has a new tutorial posted showing you how to integrate JSON Web Tokens (JWT) into a Lumen application. JWTs provide a simple, portable way to share authentication and session information in a more robust way than just a single randomly generated token.

This is my third post on how to build an API with Fractal, but in this post I will be focusing on authentication using JWT (JSON Web Tokens). [...] In Build an API with Lumen and Fractal I have shown you a way of creating an API using Lumen and Fractal. In this post we will continue with the same project called Treeline and implement authentication and protected routes. Also at the very end of the post is a small chapter on when to use Lumen over Laravel.

They make use of the tymon/jwt-auth library to handle the actual JWT functionality including a service provider making it simple to integrate. They talk about "improving Lumen" by adding a configuration directory for the JWT package to put its configuration file. From there they add in the necessary facades and configuring the library itself. Next comes the actual authentication handling that, post login, generates the token and resending it along with each response. Finally, they show you how to set up the protection on routes and verifying the token contents on each request.

tagged: lumen tutorial jsonwebtoken jwt tutorial integration provider authentication

Link: http://laravelista.com/json-web-token-authentication-for-lumen/

Matt Stauffer:
Sublime Text (3) for PHP Developers
Jun 29, 2015 @ 09:25:55

Matt Stauffer has posted a set of helpful hints for developers using Sublime Text (3) to help make them more efficient and writing code much easier.

A lot of folks in the PHP community have been checking out PHPStorm lately, including myself and most of the developers I work with. We love the code intelligence we get from PHPStorm, but still miss the speed, quick boot-up, and convenience of Sublime Text. Before I blindly assume PHPStorm is the only way to go, I wanted to see: Can I bring the things a PHP-focused IDE provides PHP developers back to Sublime Text and get the best of both worlds?

He starts with a list of "must haves" for him to be able to move from PHPStorm, features it provides that Sublime, an editor not IDE, might not come with out of the box. Most of his suggestions use the Package Control functionality in Sublime so you'll need that installed to try out his examples. He then shows several tools you can install including:

  • Sublime PHP Companion (package)
  • AllAutocomplete (package)
  • Cmd-click for function definition
  • Integrating Code sniffing and PHP_CodeSniffer
  • DocBlockr (package)
  • Git helpers

...and many more. If you're a Sublime Text user, definitely take a look at his list and see if you can find something to help make your development easier.

tagged: sublimetext phpstorm editor ide features package tips integration

Link: https://mattstauffer.co/blog/sublime-text-3-for-php-developers