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SitePoint PHP Blog:
Automated Testing of Drupal 8 Modules
May 04, 2015 @ 11:06:08

The SitePoint PHP blog has a tutorial posted talking about the automated testing of Drupal 8 modules, the components of the popular PHP-based content management system. In it author Daniel Sipos shows how to create a few tests for some functionality created in previous articles.

In this article we are going to look at automated testing in Drupal 8. More specifically, we are going to write a few integration tests for some of the business logic we wrote in the previous Sitepoint articles on Drupal 8 module development. [...] But before doing that, we will talk a bit about what kinds of tests we can write in Drupal 8 and how they actually work.

He makes use of the SimpleTest unit testing tool for PHP (versus something like PHPUnit) as it has become a standard for Drupal's own testing. He talks briefly about what SimpleTest is, how it integrates with Drupal and what kinds of tests already exist. He then gets into testing his own functionality - checking route information, that the page exists, the contents of the resulting page and the addition of a custom block plugin. He shows how to create these simple tests, extending the WebTestBase class, and checking each item on the list. He also includes an example of the resulting output of the successful testing, including time to execute and the detailed results of each test.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/automated-testing-drupal-8-modules/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Creating Custom Field Formatters in Drupal 8
March 12, 2015 @ 12:29:01

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new tutorial posted today showing how to create custom field formatters in a Drupal 8 application. Custom formatters allow you to enhance the current functionality of objects in the application and extend them with additional functionality.

With the introduction of annotated plugins, a lot has changed in Drupal 8. We have a more streamlined approach to describing and discovering pieces of functionality that extend the core. Along with many other components, the former Field API (part of the larger and consolidated Entity API) is now based on plugins. In this tutorial we will go through defining a custom field formatter for an existing field (image). What we want to achieve is to make it possible to display an image with a small caption below it. This caption will be the title value assigned to the image if one exists.

They start with a new custom module, starting with just the YAML configuration. Then they help you create the field formatter as a plugin in the "Plugin/Field/FieldFormatter" namespace (code included). They explain how this code works and show how to add it as a hook to make it available to the template layer. Finally they show it in use and how it places the title value into the image caption in the result.

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Link: Creating Custom Field Formatters in Drupal 8

Zend Blog:
Developing a Z-Ray Extension
February 25, 2015 @ 11:54:41

Zend recently introduced their Z-Ray inspection tool that allows you to see inside your application and know what's happening in your code, your database and has support for major PHP projects. In this new post to their blog they show you how to develop a custom extension for the Z-Ray system.

One of the coolest features in Z-Ray is the ability to plug in your own extensions. Meaning, you can customize existing Z-Ray panels or add your own personalized Z-Ray panel for displaying information you think is important for developing your specific application. This short tutorial will describe how to write a basic extension for Z-Ray. More specifically, we'll be writing a Z-Ray extension for WordPress that extracts and displays a list of loaded WordPress plugins.

They give you a list of things you'll need to set up before you can get started including a simple WordPress installation on a Zend Server instance. With these in place they help you create the "zray.php" file to define the extension, how to enable it and setting up a "trace" on a function to hook it into the execution. They then dump the WP plugin information and reformat it a bit to show only the list of names and versions in the output panel. As a last touch, they add a logo to the panel to show in the bottom menubar with the WordPress logo.

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Link: http://blog.zend.com/2015/02/25/developing-z-ray-extension

NetTuts.com:
Using Plugins to Speed Up WordPress
February 23, 2015 @ 09:54:06

On the NetTuts.com site today they've posted the first part of their "Speeding Up WordPress" series - Using Plugins to Speed Up WordPress. In this start to the series, they show you how to use two methods to speed up your WordPress installation: using caching and database optimization.

One of the most popular talking points in the WordPress community is speeding up WordPress and optimizing web pages. I don't think there is a WordPress blog without an "X Tips to Speed Up WordPress" article. Don't get me wrong, it's a good thing. But we need better articles about this topic instead of dull plugin round-ups. This may look like yet another "tips for speeding up WordPress" tutorial, but in this three-part series, we're going to go through every aspect of optimizing and speeding up your WordPress website.

They start with caching and show how do both client and server-side caching using techniques both inside and outside of WordPress itself. They also link to two plugins to help with the server-side handling. Following the caching talk they look at optimizing the database. They point you towards the WP-Optimize plugin as the best way to squeeze the most performance from your database (without breaking how WordPress works).

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Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/using-plugins-to-speed-up-wordpress--cms-22055

JetBrains Blog:
Laravel Development using PhpStorm
January 21, 2015 @ 09:03:16

The JetBrains blog has posted about an update to their popular PHPStorm IDE tool. In this new post they talk about the next level of integration they've introduced for those developing Laravel-based applications.

Last summer, we introduced support for Blade, the template language used by Laravel. Support for artisan, the command line tool for Laravel developers, is baked into PhpStorm as well. Using the Laravel plugin and the Laravel IDE helper, we can further extend PhpStorm's support for Laravel applications.

They walk you through each of these two new updates, showing what kind of features they enable and some screenshots of the interface in use. For more information and to check out other features in this new plugin/helper setup, see this documentation page.

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Link: http://blog.jetbrains.com/phpstorm/2015/01/laravel-development-using-phpstorm/

NetTuts.com:
Using Google Two-Factor Authentication With WordPress
January 05, 2015 @ 13:38:39

NetTuts.com has a new tutorial for the WordPress users out there wanting to enhance the security of their application. In it they show you how to set up Google's two-factor authentication as a part of your standard login prompt.

Brute force login attacks targeting WordPress sites are quite common, such as in April 2013 when more than 90,000 sites were targeted. There are a handful of good ways to protect yourself against these attacks: choosing a strong administrator password and installing a plugin that guards against brute force logins, such All in One WP Security or BruteProtect Changing the default wp-admin url with a plugin such as HC Custom URL. However, I prefer to use a two-factor authentication method that requires a code from my phone to complete the login process.

Thanks to a handy WordPress plugin, adding in support is relatively easy. They walk you through the installation of the plugin, activation and how to set up your Google Authenticator (or similar) application on your mobile device via a scannable QR code.

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Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/using-google-two-factor-authentication-with-wordpress--cms-22263

SitePoint PHP Blog:
More Useful Jenkins Plugins for PHP Projects
December 08, 2014 @ 13:27:32

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted the latest article in their Jenkins + PHP tutorial series (part four) with a look at some other useful plugins for use in your projects.

In the previous articles in this series, we set up Jenkins and our project and did an analysis of the first few builds. So far, we have seen interesting results come back regarding the quality of our project. In this article, we are going to take a look at some more tools and plugins which we can use for inspecting the front end assets.

The list includes tools for evaluating a wide range of technologies involved in web development like:

  • CSSLint
  • JSHint
  • Open tasks (aka @todo)

Each tool has an example of what the output looks like and how to integrate it into the Phing build and in the Jenkins setup.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/useful-jenkins-plugins-php-projects/

NetTuts.com:
Integrating Zendesk With WordPress
November 14, 2014 @ 11:31:41

The NetTuts.com site has a new tutorial posted today showing how to integrate Zenddesk with WordPress, making it easier to handle customer relationships directly from your WordPress applications.

Timely and efficient customer service is one of the core components of any successful business. With multiple customer touch points and interaction platforms like blogs, social networks, email etc., keeping track of what your customers are saying about your services is becoming harder by the day. For this reason, managing all your customer communication from a centralised platform has become a mandatory business requirement. Zendesk is one of the leading web based customer support and relationship management services with more than 40,000 companies as registered clients, including Shopify and Groupon.

They start with some of the benefits about using Zenddesk for those not familiar with the software (including email management, blog integration and live chat). From there they walk you through a few steps to get the integration up and running using the Zendesk WordPress plugin. They include screenshots of the setup and some of the configuration options you can use to customize the install.

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Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/integrating-zendesk-with-wordpress--cms-21411

Piotr Pasich:
CakePHP with Symfony's2 router
August 13, 2014 @ 09:46:27

Piotr Pasich has a new post to his site today showing you how you can use the Symfony2 router with CakePHP, another popular PHP framework. He talks about some of his own experiences using CakePHP and how one module "left a bitter aftertaste" when using it - the route handling.

The second version of CakePhp still has a lot old-fashioned patterns, singletons or lack of tests, but I can live with that. I saw a lot of better or worse frameworks in my life.

He goes through an example of the CakePHP routing including some sample code and a walk-through of the code that actually handles the request. He points out some of the "clean code" violations it makes and gets started integrating the Symfony2 router instead. He extends the CakePHP router and uses this plugin to bridge between the two. He then can call the Symfony router with only slight modifications to things like the "getPath" calls.

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cakephp symfony2 router integrate plugin tutorial

Link: http://piotrpasich.com/cakephp-with-symfonys2-router/

Master Zend Framework:
Accessing ServiceManager Services in Controller Plugins
July 31, 2014 @ 09:43:49

Matthew Setter has posted another new tutorial to his Master Zend Framework site today showing you how to access ServiceManager services in controller plugins. Controller plugins are a Zend Framework feature that allows certain events to trigger the plugin code during the lifetime of the controller.

I've seen some questions on Google+ and StackOverflow of late, regarding how to get access to the Zend Framework 2 database adapter, along with other ServiceManager-defined services, in a custom controller plugin. This type of setup can come in handy for a number of situations. You may want to access services such as caching, logging or databases and want to provide a simple interface for doing so. People seem really interested in how to do it, but how to get access to services from the ServiceManager doesn't seem to be as clear as it could be. Gladly, there's not much involved in actually doing it.

He shows you how to create a plugin for an existing module, creating the two needed classes and adding a new function to configure it. He starts with the plugin factory that can be used to generate an instance of the plugin. Next is the plugin class itself that extends the abstract plugin and controller plugin classes. The required database adapter is injected into it via a constructor injection. Finally, in the Module.php configuration, he creates a "getControllerPluginConfig" method that registers the new plugin and points to its class. A screencast is also provided showing the active development of the code.

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Link: http://www.masterzendframework.com/servicemanager/accessing-servicemanager-services-controller-plugins


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