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Delicious Brains Blog:
Dependency Management and WordPress: A Proposal
Mar 23, 2017 @ 09:11:47

On the Delicious Blog Ian has written up a post with a proposal for WordPress suggesting that it introduce some functionality to help with dependency management and possible conflicts between the needs of plugins.

Dependency hell’ is a problem faced by all software, and it has been rearing its ugly head in the WordPress space over the last few years with more and more plugins using third-party libraries of code. [...] The most frustrating thing about this issue is that it’s caused by having the best of intentions! Developers use third-party code to be efficient and avoid reinventing the wheel. The code has been written by others and used and battled tested by many.

The WordPress community has a hard enough time already trying to get onboard with Composer (unlike the rest of the PHP world), without it getting tarred with the wrong brush!

He points out that, while this does have to do with packages installed through it, Composer itself isn't the issue. He offers a few suggestions and what he sees as an "ideal approach" to the problem based on some of the ideas presented here. He breaks it down into four types of code: third-party installed via Composer, Composer packages in core, custom Composer behavior and the idea of "package sandboxing". He includes some of the considerations to make this happen and plans on how the idea can move forward.

tagged: wordpress package dependency conflict proposal solution

Link: https://deliciousbrains.com/dependency-management-wordpress-proposal/

Zend Framework Blog:
Create ZPKs the Easy Way
Mar 22, 2017 @ 09:05:17

On the Zend Framework blog Enrico Zimuel has posted a tutorial showing you how to easily create ZPKs and package up your application for deployment on Zend Server.

Zend Server provides the ability to deploy applications to a single server or cluster of servers via the ZPK package format. We have offered zf-deploy for creating these packages from Zend Framework and Apigility applications, but how can you create these for Expressive, or, really, any PHP application?

They start by listing out some of the requirements you'll need to get started (the zip binary, Composer, etc). The tutorial then walks you through the setup including the contents of the .htaccess and deployment.xmlconfiguration files. It then walks through the installation of dependencies and actually creating the ZFK (via the zip binary). It wraps up with a simple example of the creation of a ZPK containing a single index.php file.

tagged: zendframework zendserver zpk zip package deployment tutorial

Link: https://framework.zend.com/blog/2017-03-21-create-zpks-the-easy-way.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:
My Laravel Package Building Workflow
Mar 20, 2017 @ 11:19:04

On the SitePoint PHP blog they've posted a tutorial from author Francesco Malatesta covering his Laravel package building workflow.

Packages are a really important part of the Laravel experience (just like with any other framework). Whatever we need to do, there’s probably already a package for it out there; ready for a composer require to bring some magic in.

Some weeks ago, I had an idea for a new one. I work for AdEspresso, where we have a Symfony FeatureBundle, which handles feature toggling in our projects. It’s a really nice piece of code that we use to release new features only for specific subsets of users. So, I asked myself… why not port it for Laravel? That’s how my Laravel Feature package idea was born.

[...] In this article, I will try to explain how I prepared my development environment for it, and which choices I made when building the package. Not the development of every line of code per-se, but the actual workflow of getting from nothing to a full package.

He starts by talking about a handy addition to an application that can make the rollout of your new package easier: feature flags. He then starts in talking about the Composer configuration of the package and its "skeleton" (default directory and file structure). The tutorial then starts in on the code in the package itself covering the abstraction of domain code and implementing the features including the configuration, Blade template and the matching facade.

tagged: laravel package workflow tutorial skeleton featureflag implementation

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/laravel-package-building-workflow/

Cloudways Blog:
User Authentication In Yii2 With Email Verification
Mar 13, 2017 @ 13:54:47

The Cloudways blog has a new tutorial posted showing you how to set up a system for user authentication via email in a Yii2-based application. The concepts would be the same in just about any other framework, it's just the code to implement it would be slightly different.

User authentication is an essential component of every web app. Whether it is a simple to-do list or a complex corporate portal, user authentication remains a common factor across all types of PHP applications.

[...] In this tutorial, I will show you how to develop a user authentication component in Yii2 that features a SMTP email verification. If you are new to Yii2, you must first read previous tutorials to get an introduction to Yii2. Next read about form handling in Yii 2 and database management in Yii 2.

The tutorial makes use of this extension for the traditional user handling as a more flexible option than the built-in framework features. They then walk you through the process of creating the new Yii2 project and getting the component installed. It also helps you:

  • run the migrations to create the required tables
  • set up the SMTP mailer
  • update the navigation with the links for logged in/logged out users
  • configuring the email settings

The end result is a signup form that, when submitted will send an email to the user's email address to verify it and allow the user to continue the registration process.

tagged: user authentication yii2 framework tutorial signup package

Link: https://www.cloudways.com/blog/user-authentication-yii2/

Leonid Mamchenkov:
Validating JSON against schema in PHP
Mar 13, 2017 @ 11:13:53

In this new post to his site Leonid Mamchenkov talks about validating JSON content sent to your application to ensure it matches a JSON schema definition.

GitHub was rather slow yesterday, which affected the speed of installing composer dependencies (since most of them are hosted on GitHub anyway). Staring at a slowly scrolling list of installed dependencies, I noticed something interesting.

Of course, I’ve heard of the seld/jsonlint before. It’s a port of zaach/jsonlint JavaScript tool to PHP, written by Jordi Boggiano, aka Seldaek, the genius who brought us composer dependency manager and packagist.org repository.

But JSON schema? What’s that?

From there he gets into a high level definition of what JSON schema is and the similarities it has to XML's structure. He then links to a PHP package that can help with the validation and how to use it (defining a simple JSON file, a schema and the code to perform the evaluation).

tagged: json schema validation package composer tutorial

Link: http://mamchenkov.net/wordpress/2017/03/11/validating-json-against-schema-in-php/http://mamchenkov.net/wordpress/2017/03/11/validating-json-against-schema-in-php/

Twilio Blog:
Google Spreadsheets and PHP
Mar 08, 2017 @ 09:48:31

On the Twilio blog they've posted an article from Matt Stauffer looking at the combination of Google Sheets and PHP to perform some of the normal CRUD (create, read, update, delete) operations via the Google Sheets API.

Have you ever needed to pull some data from a Google Spreadsheet? My default in the past would be to export the data and upload it to the app directly, but it turns out it’s not very difficult to read directly from Google Spreadsheets using the Google Drive API.

In this tutorial, we’ll read, write, update, and delete data from a Google Spreadsheet with just a few lines of PHP.

He clones an example spreadsheet to use in the tutorial and shows how to prepare it for programatic access (basically exposing it for use). He then gets to work using the google/apiclient and asimlqt/php-google-spreadsheet-client packages to connect to and work with the API. He includes the code to:

  • connect to the API and get a usable token
  • pull data from the sheet by title
  • update individual cells data
  • updating entire rows
  • deleting rows
  • insert new rows

You'll need to be a bit familiar with how the Google API Console works to get things set up, but there's an animation that helps walk you through some of it.

tagged: google sheets tutorial package api crud operation console

Link: https://www.twilio.com/blog/2017/03/google-spreadsheets-and-php.html

Matthias Noback:
Duck-typing in PHP
Feb 27, 2017 @ 13:45:55

In this new post to his site Matthias Noback talks about a topic not normally discussed outside of languages that support it natively - duck typing.

For quite some time now the PHP community has becoming more and more professional. "More professional" in part means that we use more types in our PHP code. Though it took years to introduce more or less decent types in the programming language itself, it took some more time to really appreciate the fact that by adding parameter and return types to our code, we can verify its correctness in better ways than we could before. And although all the type checks still happen at runtime, it feels as if those type checks already happen at compile time, because our editor validates most of our code before actually running it.

[...] think that nowadays many PHP developers agree that silent type conversions is not something which is very useful, nor safe. But sometimes it's good to remember what's possible with PHP, due to it being a dynamic scripting language.

He goes on to give an example of the flexibility of PHP and how the most basic functionality usually provides the most "loose" level of abilities. He talks about type enforcement, limiting interfaces and the things PHP does natively to help keep it simpler instead. He then introduces the duck-typing-library package and what it offers to help you run validation against values to ensure they're correctness and type.

tagged: ducktype package example flexibility interface

Link: https://php-and-symfony.matthiasnoback.nl/2017/02/convenient-ducktyping-in-php/

Laravel News:
Tips For Building Your First Laravel Package
Feb 23, 2017 @ 09:42:08

On the Laravel News site there's a tutorial posted from Dmitry G. Ivanov giving you some helpful tips on building your first Laravel package.

Laravel is a powerful and modern framework. It has tons of different features, which make our work faster and easier. But you can’t push everything into the single box. At one time or another, we’ve all been in need of something not implemented in the framework out of the box.

[...] A package can be a solution. Write your code once and use it in any number of projects. Maybe you found a bug, or want to make some changes? Do it just once in your package code and then pull required changes in all of your projects. Sounds good?

The article then breaks down the information into a few different categories:

  • The First Step (checking Packagist for something pre-existing)
  • Development
  • Testing
  • Documentation
  • Release

He ends the post by pointing out that there's several other things to consider when creating your package but they're a bit more in-depth than a short post like this could tackle.

tagged: laravel package tips development documentation testing release tutorial

Link: https://laravel-news.com/first-laravel-package-tips

Freek Van der Herten:
Packages that make developing Laravel apps easier
Feb 13, 2017 @ 09:46:12

Freek Van der Herten has a new post to his site sharing what he considers some of the most helpful Laravel package to help with your debugging.

In this post I’d like to share some of the packages that make developing a Laravel app easier.

His list of packages includes a wide range of testing tools like:

For each item on his list he includes a screenshot of it in action (either of a terminal or a UI) and a brief explanation of how it can help.

tagged: framework help debugging package laravel development

Link: https://murze.be/2017/02/packages-make-developing-laravel-apps-easier/