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SitePoint PHP Blog:
Getting Started with PHP Underscore
April 17, 2014 @ 13:50:28

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new article posted showing you how to get started with Underscore, a PHP library ported over from Javascript's popular Underscore.js library with many of the same methods intact.

If you've ever used the Backbone framework for JavaScript, you'll already be familiar with Underscore. Indeed, it's become incredibly useful for JavaScript developers in general. But did you know that it's been ported to PHP? [...] Underscore describes itself as a "utility belt library for JavaScript that provides a lot of the functional programming support that you would expect in Prototype.js (or Ruby), but without extending any of the built-in JavaScript objects. It's the tie to go along with jQuery's tux, and Backbone.js's suspenders."

He starts by showing you how to get it installed and some of the basic syntax of the methods it defines (basically replace the period with the double-colon) for both the procedural and OOP handling. He shows examples of a few of the more handy methods it provides including:

  • Each
  • Pluck
  • Minimum and Maximum
  • Filter and Reject
  • sortBy
  • groupBy

...and many more. There's also a bit of talk about templating and extending the library via "mixins".

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underscore port introduction methods functionality

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/getting-started-php-underscore/

NetTuts.com:
Routing Overview & Basics in Symfony 2
April 17, 2014 @ 12:10:12

If you're relatively new to using the Symfony2 framework, you might be wondering about some of the things happening during requests to your application. One of these things is the routing and handling of each request. In this new post from NetTuts.com they introduce you to the foundations of Symfony2 routing in a screencast.

In the last video, I said we'd take a look at controllers next, but I actually feel it may be easier to learn the framework in a slightly different order. Instead, we're going to learn about the basics of Symfony 2 routing, to give our applications clean and pretty URLs and make it easy to manage our applications URLs and links. We're not going to get too detailed, as Symfony's routing can do quite a bit, but we'll at least cover what we need to know by keeping it straight and to the point.

The screencast is a bit less than 10 minutes long and provides an overview of the routing, how it interacts with bundles and controllers. There's also a bit about using annotations to help define routing information directly in the controller.

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routing basics symfony2 introduction screencast demo

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/routing-overview-basics-in-symfony-2--cms-20754

Sameer Borate:
PHP applications on Google App Engine
April 17, 2014 @ 10:40:02

Sameer Borate has posted a guide to his site today showing you how to get started with PHP applications on the Google App Engine now that it natively supports it (well, mostly).

A couple of years back if you needed to run PHP on Google App Engine you were required to use a open source tool like Quercus, a 100% Java implementation of PHP, to run your PHP applications on the App Engine. However, as you would have guessed, it was not easy to work as with using a native PHP implementation. Now that App Engine natively supports PHP and MySQL, you can easily write PHP applications.

He walks you through the setup and configuration of the App Engine SDK to interact with the service and shows how to create a simple "Hello World" PHP application and deploy it. He talks some about the overall advantages of using the Google App Engine for your application including the scalability it offers and the secured infrastructure it runs on. He finishes the post looking at the different options for data storage and how sessions should be handled (hint: memcache).

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google appengine tutorial introduction sdk deploy

Link: http://www.codediesel.com/php/php-applications-on-google-app-engine/

Three Devs & A Maybe Podcast:
Delving into Laravel
April 17, 2014 @ 09:46:43

The Three Devs and a Maybe podcast has release their latest episode hosted by Michael Budd, Fraser Hart, Lewis Cains and Edd Mann. In this new edition, Episode #20, Delving into Laravel, they talk about the Laravel framework in their continuing series covering web application frameworks.

In this weeks show we follow up the discussion on CodeIgniter with an introduction to Laravel. Introduced only a few years ago, the framework has been a 'breath of fresh air' in the PHP framework landscape. Starting with a brief history of the project and how it has evolved, we move on to highlight key features of the framework that set it apart. One such inclusion is the extensive use of an IoC container, and how Facades cater for an expressive code-base.

Other topics include PHP2Python, virtPHP and the history and philosophy of Laravel. You can listen to this latest episode either though the in-page player, grabbing the mp3 or by subscribing to their feed.

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threedevsandamaybe application framework laravel introduction podcast

Link: http://threedevsandamaybe.com/posts/delving-into-laravel/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Getting Started with Assetic
April 14, 2014 @ 10:37:00

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new post from Lukas White today looking at the Assetic asset management library and how you can get started using it in your application.

There was a time when asset management meant little more than inserting a <link> tag or two and a couple of <script> tags into your HTML. Nowadays, though, that approach just won't cut it. There's performance, for one thing. [...] Also, as client-side applications have become more and more sophisticated, managing dependencies amongst scripts and libraries has become increasingly complex. Furthermore, technologies such as Less, Compass and Coffeescript require assets to be compiled, adding yet another step to the process of managing assets. In this article I'm going to look at a PHP package called Assetic which helps manage, compile and optimize assets such as scripts, stylesheets and images.

He briefly discusses asset management first, just to get everyone on the same page as far as what "assets" are and some considerations about their use. Next is an introduction to the Assetic library itself and the install/usage of a simple "AssetCollection" object. He also shows how to add assets to the object and how to configure compression and generation of the files (like with LESS). He also shows how to use the AssetManager and FilterManager object types along with the AssetFactory handler. Finally, he talks about some of the sample output and caching the tool can do with file-based cache handling.

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assetic introduction asset tutorial javascript css less compress

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/getting-started-assetic

ServerGrove Blog:
Deployment of Symfony2 applications with Ansible
April 02, 2014 @ 10:41:54

The ServerGrove blog has a new post today showing you how to deploy Symfony2 applications using Ansible, an automation tool that uses "playbooks" to define steps.

Ansible is a powerful automation engine that simplifies deploying systems and apps. Its popularity has been rising rapidly as developers and system administrators look for simpler ways to manage servers and deploy applications. The selling points of Ansible are: simplicity, agentless and extensible.

ServerGrove, traditionally a Capistrano/Capifony user, decided to give Ansible a try. They include the steps to go through to get the correct environment set up and how to execute commands on the remote servers. There's also an example of a sample task that updates packages on the remote server, moves a config file into place and restarts Apache. With this foundation, they get into the actual Symfony2 deployment, sharing their custom role that sets up the directory, clones the Git repository, runs Composer and executes an Assetic dump.

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ansible tutorial introduction automation symfony2 deploy

Link: http://blog.servergrove.com/2014/04/01/deployment-symfony2-applications-ansible

SitePoint Web Blog:
HTTPS Basics
April 02, 2014 @ 09:06:08

If you're relatively new to web development, you might not know exactly what kinds of benefits that using an HTTPS connection might provide. In this new article from the SitePoint PHP blog, Mufleeh Sadique covers some of the basics of HTTPS and gives some reasons why to "go HTTPS" in your applications.

Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure or Hypertext Transfer Protocol over SSL is used for secure communication over a network, or perhaps more importantly - over the Internet. You would see https:// in the URI and a lock icon in the browser when you access a page that uses HTTPS. [...] If you ever wondered whether and how to go HTTPS with your website, we'll attempt to clear this up in this article by briefly describing what HTTPS is about, and why and how to implement it.

He's broken the rest of the article up into a few different sections. The first answers the question "why HTTPS" with a few reasons including the most important - encrypted communication. In the second section, he starts showing you how to "go HTTPS" using a self-signed certificate to start. With the certificate installed, he moves into the last part, ensuring your application is always using the HTTPS version and redirecting anything else.

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https introduction why how selfsigned certificate install configure

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/https-basics

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Composer Cheatsheet
April 01, 2014 @ 11:22:35

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new post from Matthew Setter today sharing a Composer cheatsheet he recently discovered with an example of the common commands and "composer.json" file structure.

Unless you've been living under a rock, today's PHP isn't your grandmother's PHP; it's an entirely different, much more elegant and mature language with countless improvements and additions. One of the key additions is Composer, the de facto standard for managing PHP project dependencies which, by default, gives you access to hundreds of ready-made libraries, via Packagist.org.

He goes through the parts of the guide, introducing some of the commands and covering the details of the full "composer.json" JSON structure. There's also a video introduction if you'd like the more visual version.

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composer cheatsheet introduction commands json structure

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/composer-cheatsheet

NetTuts.com:
Test Code Coverage From Myth to Reality
March 31, 2014 @ 11:50:09

There's a good post over on the NetTuts.com site today talking about unit testing, the myths around code coverage and why it may not be as important as you think.

Most cubicle workplaces disappeared and programmers started loving their craft. With the advent of Agile techniques and the Software Craftsmanship movement, many new tools emerged to help the programmer and the process. TDD is slowly becoming the de facto way of writing code and the secrets of SCRUM or Kanban were revealed even to the programmers in the darkest corners of the cubicle world. Automated testing and test driven development (TDD) are some of the essential techniques Agile provided to us programmers. And a tool that comes with those methodologies is used to produce test code coverage, which is the topic of this article.

The article starts with a brief definition of code coverage and gets right into an example class, PHPUnit test and the results of a code coverage generation. They show both output options, the text-only output and the full HTML output with clickable links and visualization of the covered lines of code. There's also an example of generating the coverage inside an IDE (PHPStorm). The post finishes with a look at the myths of code coverage including: "100% covered is bug free" and that "gaming the system" is pretty easy.

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codecoverage unittest phpunit tutorial introduction

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/articles/test-code-coverage-from-myth-to-reality--cms-20442

Matthew Weier O'Phinney:
Apigility Using RPC with HAL
March 28, 2014 @ 10:48:37

Matthew Weier O'Phinney has a new post sharing some of the details about using RPC and HAL in the Apigility API tool from Zend. HAL stands for "Hypermedia Access Language" and basically provides a way to define objects in an API and what they relate to.

A few days ago, we released our first beta of Apigility. We've started our documentation effort now, and one question has arisen a few times that I want to address: How can you use Hypermedia Application Language (HAL) in RPC services? Hypermedia Application Language is an IETF proposal for how to represent resources and their relations within APIs. Technically, it provides two mediatypes, application/hal+json and application/hal+xml; however, Apigility only provides the JSON variant.

He introduces some of the basics of HAL and includes an example of JSON output showing metadata about the current object such as a full link to the resource. He also includes an example of the "embedded" data, additional related data, other objects, with their own structure and links. He also briefly mentions what RPC is and how it works before getting into how to set up the endpoints in your Apigility API with the help of "ContentNegotiation" functionality.

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apigility hal rpc tutorial introduction

Link: http://mwop.net/blog/2014-03-26-apigility-rpc-with-hal.html


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