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Laravel News:
New Blade Directives Coming to Laravel 5.6
Dec 13, 2017 @ 14:24:12

On the Laravel News site there's a new post sharing some of the new Blade directives coming in the 5.6 version of the Laravel framework.

Laravel 5.6 will include two new form blade directives for cross-site request forgery (CSRF) and HTTP method input, thanks to Taylor Otwell.

The new CSRF handling replaces the previously used format with a simple @csrf tag in the Blade template (inside of the form). The other is related to the method used to submit the form. The new addition allows you to submit the form via something other than POST using the method_field function.

tagged: laravel blade feature upcoming template csrf method submit

Link: https://laravel-news.com/new-blade-directives-laravel-5-6

Mark Baker:
Extending final Classes and Methods by manipulating the AST
Nov 20, 2017 @ 10:38:32

Mark Baker has an interesting post to his site where he shares a suggestion for making it easier to create unit tests for some of the more difficult parts of your unit tests. In the article he shows how to extend final classes and methods by manipulating the AST (abstract syntax tree structure) of the current code under test.

We know that we should always write unit tests for our code, and mock dependencies; but that isn’t always easy when we need to mock classes define as final, or that contain final methods. This isn’t normally a problem when we’re only working with classes within our own libraries and applications, because we control whether they are final or not, and we can type-hint these dependencies to interfaces. However, when the dependencies that we use are from external libraries, we lose that control; and it can become harder to test our own classes if we do need to mock final classes and they haven’t been built to interfaces.

He talks about how one tool, Mockery, allows some of this with its functionality but can still cause issues when mocks are passed instead of actual class instances. He then starts on a solution he has been trying to implement - a mocking library that makes use of the PHP_Parser package to make it possible to modify the structure of the code itself, not just put a wrapper (mock) around it. He includes a bit of code showing how to use that and the BetterReflection library to do some class introspection, locate files for testing and how to the tool to "de-finalize" a class (make it no longer "final").

tagged: extend class method manipulate ast testing unittest final mockery tutorial

Link: https://markbakeruk.net/2017/11/19/extending-final-classes-and-methods-by-manipulating-the-ast/

Stefan Koopmanschap:
Your unit test methods need docblocks too
Oct 12, 2017 @ 11:48:02

In a post on his site Stefan Koopmanschap suggests something that, while not as commonly done as writing docblocks for the actual code, could help with a better understanding of the application's tests: writing docblocks on tests too.

If you've met me at any time in the previous 20 years and you discussed unit testing with me, chances are pretty big that I'd have told you that your test methods in your unit tests don't really need docblocks, because the test methods would be named in such a way that they were descriptive.

[...] Tests can be hard to real though, especially (but not exclusively) when testing legacy code. You may have lots of mocks to configure, for instance, or you may have several similar tests that are testing specific situations, edge cases or bugs you found along the way that you wanted to test before you them.

[...] Documentation is important. It lowers the bus factor, makes it easier to on-board new developers (or temporary external developers, waves) and makes you think about your own code in a different way. We're (getting?) used to documenting our software, but why not document our tests by giving it a bit more context?

He starts by talking about his process for testing (outline the desired tests then fill them in) and how adding docblocks helped him avoid a "nonsensical" test that wouldn't have provided much value. He then briefly discusses what would be useful to document in the test docblocks and provides some examples to illustrate. Finally he suggests something called "Docblock Driven Testing" where the docblock descriptions help to define what is to be tested and help to make more human-readable sense of what can be tested effectively.

tagged: unittest method docblock opinion testing definition

Link: https://leftontheweb.com/blog/2017/10/11/your_unit_test_methods_need_docblocks_too/

thePHP.cc:
Don't call instance methods statically
Jul 25, 2017 @ 11:16:39

In this new post on thePHP.cc site they talk about calling instance methods statically, more specifically that it should be avoided.

There are quite a few things in PHP 4 that were a bit strange. One example is that PHP 4 allowed static calling of instance methods. [...] To keep backwards compatibility with PHP 4, this code works up to PHP 5, even though [the method in the example[ is not declared static.

[...] Now things will get really weird. When calling an instance method of another class statically, the $this context would carry over from the caller to the called class. In other words, $this suddenly refers to another object instance. While in PHP 5, this used to be an E_STRICT error, PHP 7 will emit an E_DEPRECATED error.

They point out that, while this is definitely odd behavior that shouldn't exist, it hasn't been removed because of PHP's backwards compatibility principles and only removing functionality like this in major versions. So, instead, they recommend calling all non-static methods using an instance of the class injected rather than directly calling them.

tagged: instance method call static object avoid error

Link: https://thephp.cc/news/2017/07/dont-call-instance-methods-statically

Robert Basic:
Complex argument matching in Mockery
May 09, 2017 @ 10:40:15

Robert Basic has written up a new tutorial for the unit testers out there showing how to do some complex argument matching in Mockery, a popular testing tool that offers an alternative to PHPUnit's own mocking functionality.

This past weekend I did some issue maintenance and bug triage on Mockery. One thing I noticed going through all these issues, is that people were surprised when learning about the Mockery::on() argument matcher. I know Mockery’s documentation isn’t the best documentation out there, but this still is a documented feature.

He starts with a simple mock example, mocking out AClass and defining two method criteria (one with a once and another with a never). He points out that things are not always that simple and sometime more complex argument matching is required. The Mockery:on handler allows you to pass in a closure and do more complex evaluation of the values passed in. He includes an example of this, evaluating the result of a set of arguments passed in and ensuring they're all set.

tagged: complex mocking mockery argument tutorial on method closure tutorial

Link: https://robertbasic.com/blog/complex-argument-matching-in-mockery/

QaFoo Blog:
Basic Refactoring Techniques: Extract Method
Mar 09, 2017 @ 11:24:35

On the QaFoo blog there's a tutorial posted to their blog sharing one of their basic refactoring techniques: the "extract" method:

Refactoring is the process of restructuring code without changing its behaviour and the technique "Extract Method" is one of the most important building blocks of refactoring.

With extract method you move a fragment of code from an existing method into a new method with a name that explains what it is doing. Therefore this technique can be used to reduce complexity and improve readability of code.

In this post I want to explain the mechanics of extract method using an example so that you have a checklist of steps when performing this refactoring. Extract method is a technique that you can use even without tests, because the potential risks of breaking are manageable when you follow the steps.

While things like PHPStorm provide their own "extract" functionality to help with refactoring, they want you to understand the manual steps involved. They start with a sample method that mixes controller logic with low level query logic. They break the process down into a few steps:

  • Identify code fragment to extract
  • Create empty method and copy code
  • Identify undeclared variables that must be arguments
  • Identify variables that are still used in old method
  • Call new method from original method

They also include a "risky" checklist with a few questions to ask about the refactor to see what extra steps might need to be considered.

tagged: refactor extract method technique tutorial

Link: https://qafoo.com/blog/098_extract_method.html

Laravel News:
Laravel Collection “tap” Method
Feb 20, 2017 @ 10:05:55

In this recent post to the Laravel News site Eric Barnes introduces a new method that's included in Laravel 5.4.10: the "tap" method.

Laravel 5.4.10 introduces a new tap method on collections which allow you to “tap” into the collection at a specific point and do something with the results while not affecting the main collection.

He includes an example, showing a sample array of user data and how, after converting it into a collection, he can "tap" into it at any point. He tapping pulls out the name of the current record following a "where" to locate the matching value. The quick post ends with a look at how the "tap" method is different from "pipe". Essentially the difference is that using "pipe" returns a different collection, potentially with modified data while "tap" does not.

tagged: laravel collection tap pipe method introduction

Link: https://laravel-news.com/collection-tap

Matthew Weier O'Phinney:
PSR-7 Request and Method Utilities
Jan 27, 2017 @ 09:52:37

Matthew Weier O'Phinney has written up a new post for his site covering PSR-7 request and method utilities and a package that contains some handy tools to help with just that.

Some time ago, a few folks floated the idea of creating a utility repository related to the PSR-7 psr/http-message package, but containing some useful bits such as constants for HTTP request methods and status codes.

Six months ago, we released it... but didn't publicize it. I remembered that fact today while writing some unit tests that were utilizing the package, and thought I'd finally write it up.

The package is fig/http-message-util, and is available via Composer and Packagist.

He goes on to describe the two interfaces it provides (RequestMethod and StatusCode) and what they're designed to help with. He includes an example of middleware written using these interfaces, defining allowed methods and returning a "method not allowed" status code - based on a constant - in the response message object. He ends the post with two quick points to note in this example: how the interfaces are used and his use of aliases to make using the interfaces just a bit shorter.

tagged: psr7 middleware request method utility package httpmessageutil tutorial

Link: https://mwop.net/blog/2017-01-26-http-message-util.html

Freek Van der Herten:
Making overloaded functions readable
Jan 10, 2017 @ 12:18:19

Freek Van der Herten has a new post to his site sharing some of his ideas around making overloaded functions more readable, functions that can take in variable types of parameters (ex: both a string or an array) and can handle them correctly.

Sometimes you might allow a function to accept multiple data types. I don’t know for certain if it’s the correct term but for the remainder of this post I’m going to call such a function overloaded. In this post I’d like to show you a little trick to make overloaded functions more readable.

He starts off with an illustration from the Laravel framework of a "session" helper method that, in turn, calls "put" and checks for an array versus string input with some interesting logic behind it. He gives another example from a recent pull request where the code could be simplified using the same method as the "put" example, making it much more readable in the end. The post ends with one more example from this package and how the "respond" method was refactored with the same process, simplifying it down to a more readable and less-nested version.

tagged: overloaded method readability refactor loop variable argument

Link: https://murze.be/2017/01/making-overloaded-functions-readable/

Freek Van der Herten:
Method overloading is possible in PHP (sort of)
Oct 21, 2016 @ 09:33:41

Freek Van der Herten has a post to his site showing how PHP functions can (sort of) be overloaded with the help of a trait from Adam Wathan.

PHP does not support method overloading. In case you’ve never heard of method overloading, it means that the language can pick a method based on which parameters you’re using to call it. This is possible in many other programming languages like Java, C++.

However, with some clever coding, Adam Wathan made a trait, aptly called Overloadable, that makes method overloading possible. It works by just accepting any parameters using the splat operator and then determining which of the given functions must be called according to the given parameters.

He shows how to use the trait in a simple example, defining a single "bar" function and using the "Overloadable" trait to handle the switching between the methods based on the input variables. You can find more information about the trait and the source for it in this gist over on GitHub.

tagged: method overload trait custom splat operator variable

Link: https://murze.be/2016/10/method-overloading-possible-php-sort/