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Matt Stauffer:
What packages do you install on every Laravel application you create?
Jul 19, 2017 @ 12:29:44

On his site Matt Stauffer has a post that asks the readers about the packages they always install for their Laravel applications (and not necessarily just Laravel related packages either).

In preparation for my upcoming [talk](http://customlaravel.com/) at [Laracon 2017](https://laracon.us/), which I'm titling "Custom Laravel," I [asked a quick question](https://twitter.com/stauffermatt/status/885666786036899840) on Twitter to my followers. [...] I wanted to know for my talk, but I was also just curious for my own purposes. Are there any packages I should check out that everyone else already knows about? Here's what I found, in order of the number of recommendations I received...

While most of the packages in his lists (unanimous support, well-loved, etc) are Laravel specific, mostly because of his audience on Twitter, there are some that weren't. These included:

You can check out his full listing in the remainder of the post and a link to another listing from Mike Erickson asking the same kind of question.

tagged: package install laravel application community feedback list

Link: https://mattstauffer.co/blog/what-packages-do-you-install-on-every-laravel-application-you-create

BitExpert Blog:
Mattermost Webhooks and PHP
Jul 19, 2017 @ 10:49:26

On the BitExpert blog Stephan Hochdörfer shares his experience working with Mattermost webhooks and interfacing them with backend PHP scripts. Mattermost is an Open Source Slack clone.

In a recent attempt to automate a few things even more, I was looking for a way to post messages to our [Mattermost](http://mattermost.org/) instance via the [Incoming Webhook](https://docs.mattermost.com/developer/webhooks-incoming.html) feature of Mattermost. I did a quick search on [Packagist](https://packagist.org/search/?q=mattermost) for Mattermost client libraries and as it turns out there a quite a few. I picked the [thibaud-dauce/mattermost-php](https://packagist.org/packages/thibaud-dauce/mattermost-php) package simply because it was the first match.

He then walks through the installation of the package and how it works, using Guzzle, to send messages to the Mattermost service. The incoming request is just a JSON-formatted data set, so it's easily parsed in plain PHP. The output, however, needs to be in a format Mattermost understands. That's where the package comes in, providing a "send" method that allows for the customized text and optional attachment to be sent to the Mattermost server.

tagged: mattermost package webhook messaging message tutorial

Link: https://blog.bitexpert.de/blog/mattermost-webhooks-and-php/

Laravel News:
Bouncer: a Laravel Package for Role and Ability Authorization
Jul 18, 2017 @ 09:23:14

On the Laravel News site there's a new post highlighting a package that can help you enforce roles and permissions in your application, enhancing the existing gates functionality.

Bouncer is an authorization package by Joseph Silber which allows role and ability checks at Laravel’s authorization gate. The package is described as follows: "Bouncer provides a mechanism to handle roles and abilities in Laravel’s ACL. With an expressive and fluent syntax, it stays out of your way as much as possible: use it when you want, ignore it when you don’t."

Bouncer makes it trivial to quickly create roles and abilities with a fluent API that creates them automatically.

The post includes some examples of the library in use, creating roles and abilities with its fluent API and the use of a trait to integrate it into other classes. They also include a bit about how the automatic role creation works and using the functionality in middleware. It also talks about how Bouncer intercepts "can" checks for its own evaluations and how to get all of the abilities for the current user.

tagged: laravel package authorization bouncer tutorial introduction

Link: https://laravel-news.com/bouncer-authorization-package

Freek Van der Herten:
Optimize images in Laravel apps
Jul 17, 2017 @ 09:48:01

In a continuation of his previous post about an image optimization package for PHP Freek Van der Herten covers some refactoring and advancements they've made to the package to make it even easier to use.

A while ago we released image-optimizer. In short this package can make all kinds of images smaller by stripping out metadata and applying a little bit of compression. Read this blogpost to learn more about it. Although it’s pretty easy to work with the package, we felt that we could deliver a more seamless experience in Laravel apps. That’s why we created our newly released laravel-image-optimizer package.

The package uses a bunch of binaries to optimize images. To learn which ones and how to install them, head over to the optimization tools section in the readme of the underlying image-optimizer package. That readme also contains info on <a href="https://github.com/spatie/image-optimizer#which-tools-will-do-what>what these tools will do to your images.

He then includes some code examples putting this new version of the package to work with a Laravel-based application. The examples include replacing the image with an optimized one, saving the optimized one to a new path and resize all images in a request. There's also an example configuration included showing the options you can set to customize your site's image optimization even more.

tagged: optimize image laravel application package tutorial

Link: https://murze.be/2017/07/optimize-images-laravel-apps/

Laravel News:
A Roundup of Laravel Testing Resources and Packages
Jul 12, 2017 @ 09:50:29

On the Laravel News site there's a new post sharing a list of Laravel testing resources and package that you can use for your Laravel-based applications to make testing easier and less work overall.

Testing code is one of the more challenging parts of programming, but luckily Laravel and some other tools are making it easier than ever. Research has even shown implementing a Test-Driven Development (TDD) approach can significantly reduce the number of bugs that make it to production. Testing provides many other benefits, like the freedom to refactor large parts of a system without (as much) fear of breaking things.

With all of the benefits of testing, it’s still challenging to continually test applications. If you are looking to start learning how to test Laravel applications or you want to expand your skills here is a list of great resources to help you.

Included in their list are resources like the official documentation, Laravel Dusk, the Laracasts Laravel Behat extension, the phpspec Laravel extension and Spatie Laravel packages. Each item on the list includes a screenshot, a brief description of the resource/tool and links to get more information about it.

tagged: laravel testing package tool list resource link

Link: https://laravel-news.com/laravel-testing-resources

Freek Van der Herten:
Easily optimize images using PHP (and some binaries)
Jul 07, 2017 @ 10:19:27

Freek Van der Herten has a post on his site sharing a new package that's been developed to help optimize images using some PHP and a few other helpful tools.

Our recently released image-optimizer package can shave off some kilobyes of PNGs, JPGs, SVGs and GIFs by running them through a chain of various image optimization tools. In this blog post I’ll tell you all about it.

He starts off by talking about why they built the package - to make sure the images on their site were as optimized as possible - and what kind of tools are involved in making it work. Those tools are free to use but it does take a little manipulation to ensure the right data is being passed into each. He then gets into the code examples, showing how to optimize an image with just a few lines. The package determines based on the kind of image which optimizing tool to use. He also includes example code showing how to customize the optimization process with extra command line flags. Finally he includes an extra section showing how to integrate it with some of their other packages: the image package, laravel-medialibrary and Browsershot.

tagged: tutorial package optimize image binary imagetype tools

Link: https://murze.be/2017/07/easily-optimize-images-using-php-binaries/

David Négrier:
Type-Hint All The Things
Jul 05, 2017 @ 12:52:53

In this new post to his site David Négrier talks about "type hinting all the things" in response to a recent controversy around "clean code" and "visual debt" in PHP code.

Recently, a video about "visual debt" as sparked a lot of controversy in the PHP world. In this article, I'll present the best practices we are using at TheCodingMachine, and a brand new tool we use to enforce those best practices.

If you haven’t seen the video yet, you can have a look at it on Laracast. At some point, the video advocates to remove the type-hints because they are not needed by the program and are "visually polluting" the code.

He then breaks down his look at type hinting and the benefits they can provide into a few sections:

  • Type-hints are good
  • Type-hints have improved (… but there is still a long road to go)
  • Enforcing type-hints

He also covers some of their own best practices when it comes to type hinting in their code and shares a phpstan package that they use to enforce typing and formatting based on their own standards.

tagged: typehint bestpractice visualdebt package phpstan

Link: https://www.thecodingmachine.com/type-hint-all-the-things/

Freek Van der Herten:
Easily convert webpages to images using PHP
Jul 03, 2017 @ 11:53:35

Freek Van der Herten has an article posted to his site showing how you can use the Browsershot package to convert web pages to images with a bit of PHP.

Browsershot is a package that can easily convert any webpage into a image. Under the hood the conversion is made possible new headless options in Chrome 59. In this post I’d like to show you how you can use Browsershot v2.

He starts with a bit of history about the package and the recent switch from PhantomJS (a now abandoned project) over to Chrome's screenshot handling for creating the web page captures. He then shows how to install Chrome 59, the first version to include this feature, into a unix-based environment. Next comes the package and some example code of it in use: making a simple capture, setting the window size, manipulate the image post-capture and change it to grayscale.

tagged: convert webpage image capture screenshot browsershot package

Link: https://murze.be/2017/07/easily-covert-webpages-to-images-using-php/

Laravel News:
Invisible reCAPTCHA Integration With Laravel
Jun 09, 2017 @ 09:46:15

On the Laravel News site, there's a new post showing you how to use Google's invisible reCAPTCHA in a Laravel application with the help of the "albertcht/invisible-recaptcha" package.

Invisible reCAPTCHA is an improved version of reCAPTCHA v2 (No CAPTCHA) developed by Google, and users now only need to click the button: “I’m not a robot” to prove they are human.

In Invisible reCAPTCHA, there is no longer an embedded CAPTCHA box for users to interact with. It’s totally invisible with only a badge showing on the bottom of the page so users your website know you are using this technology. (The badge can be hidden, but this is not recommended.)

They start with an example of what the output looks like attached to a form and how to install and configure the package. This requires API credentials from the Google side: a sitekey and secretkey. The post finishes with the code you'll need in your forms and as a validator to check the reCAPTCHA code in the response.

tagged: laravel turorial invisible recaptcha integration package

Link: https://laravel-news.com/invisible-recaptcha-integration-with-laravel

TutsPlus.com:
Programming With Yii: Generating Documentation
Jun 02, 2017 @ 11:14:03

The TutsPlus site has posted the latest article in their "Programming with Yii" tutorial series, this time covering the generation of documentation for the API code that's been created to power the application.

Recently, I wrote about building REST APIs for your Yii application and expanded custom APIs for our startup series application, Meeting Planner.

In today's tutorial, I'll introduce you to Yii's apidoc extension, which automatically generates browsable documentation for your code. I'm going to use it to generate API documentation for Meeting Planner.

The tutorial starts off with helping you get the extension installed (via Composer) and links to a few examples of the end result. The tutorial then goes through how to add your own comments to your current files that will be output in the final result directly. This includes open text descriptions and other DocBlock information. It then shows how to generate the documentation, how to navigate the resulting HTML pages and some examples of what it will look like for the current code.

tagged: programming yii2 generate documentation tutorial series package

Link: https://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/programming-with-yii-generating-documentation--cms-27899