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SitePoint PHP Blog:
Piping Emails to a Laravel Application
February 17, 2014 @ 09:13:48

On the SitePoint PHP blog there's a new tutorial posted about piping emails to Laravel (well, a Laravel-based application). He shows how to have your application take data in from the current input, parse it and insert the data into a database.

In project management or support management tools, you will see this a lot: you can reply to an email message and it is automatically visible in a web application. Somehow, these tools were able to get those email messages right into their system. In this article, we are going to have a look at how we can pipe emails to our Laravel 4 application.

He walks you through the creation of an Artisan command, "email.parse", and using the PHP MIME Mail Parser library to extract data. He gets the to, from, title and message contents from the email and shows how to work with attachments too. Finally, he shows how to set up the mail server to pipe the incoming email though the PHP script for parsing.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/piping-emails-laravel-application/

Ben Ramsey:
The Fall of PEAR and the Rise of Composer
November 27, 2013 @ 09:17:35

Ben Ramsey has an interesting post to his site today looking at what he calls the Fall of PEAR and the rise of Composer when it comes to package management in the PHP community.

PEAR's biggest selling-point -the curation of packages by a governed community - was also its biggest problem. There was no choice, and things moved slowly. If a package stagnated in development, I couldn't find another actively supported one to solve the same need. In theory, the maintenance of the package could be taken over by someone else, but this didn't always happen, and contributing patches was not clear or easy.

Ben talks about how, despite the PEAR development's best efforts, the proposed new package manager (Pyrus and PEAR2) couldn't keep up. Then, from a discussion had at a conference, the idea of a standards group was formed, the PHP-FIG, and the first standard soon followed, PSR-0 for autoloading. With this in hand and becoming widely adopted, a new tool was created to make it easier to share and install packages with this new standard - Composer.

Composer is what PEAR should have been. Through Packagist, Composer is the democratization of PHP userland libraries. Many libraries in the repository implement similar functionality, but through a show of popularity, the community self-selects the packages that are of the best quality. [...] In just a few short years, Composer has revitalized the PHP community and changed the way we do development.
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Link: http://benramsey.com/blog/2013/11/the-fall-of-pear-and-the-rise-of-composer/

Rob Allen:
Setting up PHP & MySQL on OS X Mavericks
November 04, 2013 @ 09:52:25

For those that have made the switch to OSX Mavericks and are wondering how to get PHP and MySQL into a working state, Rob Allen has posted a quick guide to getting it all set up.

With OS X 10.9 Mavericks, Apple chose to ship PHP 5.4.17. This is how to set it up from a clean install of Mavericks. Note: If you don't want to use the built-in PHP or want to use version 5.5, then these are [other] alternatives: a binary package from Liip, Zend Server and a Homebrew install.

He provides all the commands you'll need to get things up and running including checking file/directory permissions, installing MySQL and using the command line to work with Apache (no more "Web Sharing"). He also includes the configuration changes to be made to the php.ini including how to enable Xdebug. There's lots of other good things included in the guide as well like setting up Composer, PHPUnit and how to compile a few handy extensions.

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Link: http://akrabat.com/computing/setting-up-php-mysql-on-os-x-mavericks/

PHPMaster.com:
Sending Email with Swift Mailer
December 04, 2012 @ 11:34:54

On PHPMaster.com today there's a new tutorial showing you how to use Swift Mailer, a popular (and well-established) mailing tool.

Sending emails programmatically is a common task that programmers must deal with often. Although you can use PHP's native functions, they can be too low-level, especially when you want to attach one or more files to your message. If you don't want to use the native functions, or if you want to send mail using an object-oriented approach, then this is the article for you. I'll introduce you to Swift Mailer, a powerful component-based library that let's you send emails easily. Started in 2005, Swift Mailer is a library that provides several classes that allow you to send emails from within your PHP scripts or web applications.

Included in the post are a basic example of sending a plain-text email, working with attachments and including a template into the body of the message (with spots to fill text in).

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Rob Allen:
Sending an HTML with text alternative email with ZendMail
November 02, 2012 @ 10:26:20

Rob Allen has a quick tutorial posted to his site today showing you how to send an email with the ZendMail component of the Zend Framework 2 that contains HTML but provides a plain text backup in the same message.

Sending a multi-part email with ZendMail is easy enough, but if you want to send an HTML email with a text alternative, you need to remember to set the content-type in the headers to multipart/alternative. As this is the second time I had to work this out, I'm noting it here for the next time I forget!

The rest of the post is the code you'll need to send a simple email with a text and HTML body sections, configure the headers (to, from, etc) and the "multipart/alternative" header to make the HTML or plain text switching work correctly.

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zendframework2 mail tutorial send alternative html plaintext


Rob Allen:
Setting up PHP & MySQL on OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion
August 30, 2012 @ 09:09:12

Rob Allen has posted some notes to his site helping you get PHP set up on OSX Lion (10.8) successfully.

With OS X 10.8, Apple continues to ship PHP 5.3 with Xdebug, PEAR, GD and PDO_MYSQL. This is how to set it up from a clean install of 10.8.

He's broken it up into a few sections including the MySQL setup, Apache configuration , updating the main php.ini and setting up PHPUnit ("and friends") for your testing. He also includes setup instructions for the mcrypt and the PECL OAuth extensions.

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setup osx lion mysql apache mcrypt oauth pecl pear xdebug phpunit


Lorna Mitchell:
Installing PEAR Packages Offline
July 30, 2012 @ 12:09:41

Since you can't always be online when you need to install new libraries you'll need for your PHP work, Lorna Mitchell has posted a quick guide to downloading and installing PEAR packages when you're offline.

As with most tools that work really well, I know very little about PEAR. I mean, I use it all the time, and I love it for getting all the extensions installed that I need for the work I do. [...] However I'm now in a situation where I might need to install PEAR packages with a connection that may or may not be working, and I'm not sure exactly which packages I might need, so I wanted to know whether I could use PEAR as my packaging tool even when I wasn't able to reach the usual channels. And guess what? I can!

The install is a pretty simple two-step process - just download the package(s) you'll need for your development and point the PEAR installer (you'll need this installed first, obviously) at the archive file. It's smart enough to take care of the rest.

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pear package install offline installer tutorial


Arvind Bhardwaj's Blog:
How to Test PHP Emails on Localhost
June 09, 2012 @ 12:02:20

In this quick tutorial Arvind Bhardwaj shows a method for testing your scripts that need to send emails, but on your localhost system.

While developing web applications on localhost you must have always missed the functionality to send mails. As localhost does not support email service, so it has always been a bottleneck for email testing on localhost. But I have found a simple way to test emails on localhost using PHP. I have overridden the default mail() function of PHP to create a text/html file based on the email format. If the email is in html format, an HTML file is created otherwise a text file is created. You can see in this file what exactly is the content sent in your mail. See how does it work.

He shows how to override the mail function with your own custom "mail" function, just in a difference namespace. He includes the sample code to send the email (the "mail" function), a basic HTML template you can use and and example of it in use.

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Stuart Herbert's Blog:
Getting PEAR Working On Windows 7
May 10, 2012 @ 10:43:49

Stuart Herbert has a new post today showing how to get the well-established PEAR package management system working on Windows 7 so you can easily call "pear install" on whatever your needs might be.

So that I don't forget how to do this next time around. Worked for me, your mileage may vary. First step is to get a working install of PHP. [...] At this point, you should be able to open up a Command Prompt, and type 'php -v', and see the response 'PHP v5.4.latest ' appear as expected. Now for PEAR itself.

He gives step-by-step instructions on how to get PEAR up and running - downloading and configuring it with the correct Windows-based paths and using the PEAR_ENV.reg file to update your registry.

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pear windows7 install tutorial registry


Phil Sturgeon's Blog:
Packages The Way Forward for PHP
March 07, 2012 @ 08:29:57

In this new post to his blog Phil Sturgeon talks about what he (and apparently several others) think is the "way forward for PHP" to make it a better language and ecosystem - packages.

What is a package? A package is a piece of reusable code that can be dropped into any application and be used without any tinkering to add functionality to that code. [...] Most package systems also allow for something called dependencies. [...] This is how most modern programming languages work, but to make a generalisation: PHP developers hate packages. Why? Well while other languages have great systems like CPAN for Perl, Gems for Ruby, PIP, PHP has had a terrible history with package management going back years.

He talks about one of the main current packaging systems, PEAR, and how, despite its attempts, it just hasn't seen the adoption the package management of other languages has. Phil makes a recommendation that is slowly becoming more and more popular in the PHP community - building "unframeworks". These sets of reusable components (similar to the ideas behind Aura, Symfony and Zend Framework 2) are designed to be dropped in and used without the dependencies of the frameworks they live in. He points to the Composer/Packagist dynamic duo as a way through all of the current packaging issues - a simple way to make any project an installable package just by adding a configuration file.

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