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Debugging a PHP application with strace
Mar 28, 2017 @ 11:24:43

On the Hackernoon.com site there's a recent post from Paolo Agostinetto showing you how to debug your PHP application with a different tool that most might use: strace.

Every once in a while it happens that you have a tricky bug, and when it does you risk to lose hours or even days fixing it.

[...] Yet, sometimes there is that one bug that makes you lose your shit after a whole afternoon spent looking for the root cause. In my experience, bugs that I introduce are generally very quick and easy to spot and fix. But the real challenge is finding bugs in other people’s code like third party libraries, PHP extensions or even PHP itself.

He then talks about a time when his situation was a bit different - he was getting 500 errors from his code that weren't being caught correctly by error handling. He found that Apache was out-of-memory-ing but debugging the exact cause (a suspect Doctrine query) would take more time. Instead he turned to strace and, with a bit of hunting in the resulting output, he tracked the issue down to XDebug being enabled (and a setting that was generating a memory leak).

tagged: debug application strace memory error xdebug process

Link: https://hackernoon.com/debugging-a-php-application-with-strace-4d0ae59f880b

Alejandro Celaya:
My thoughts after migrating some projects to Zend Expressive 2
Mar 28, 2017 @ 10:15:20

Alejandro Celaya has a new post to his site sharing some of his thoughts after migration applications to Zend Expressive 2 and some of his experiences along the way upgrading to this latest version.

The day Zend Expressive 2 was released I was super excited. I have been using it a lot for both professional and personal projects, so I'm quite used to it.

Since I've been using it in many projects, being able to update all of them to version 2 was a challenge, but I can say, I have succeed.

He talks about the projects themselves first, his own site at alejandrocelaya.com and shlink.io, and what kind of functionality they have. He then briefly covers the process to get them migrated and some of the changes he needed to make including:

  • adding an error hander
  • moving to the new error handling middleware strategy
  • using the support for interop middleware (single-pass)
  • small router changes due to using a custom router

He ends the post looking at the shift in programmatic approach Zend Expressive 2 uses (versus v1 handling) and changes he made to his middleware handling to reflect it.

tagged: zendexpressive2 zendexpressive upgrade application process changes

Link: https://blog.alejandrocelaya.com/2017/03/27/my-thoughts-after-migrating-some-projects-to-zend-expressive-2/

Thijs Feryn:
My Varnish book is now available (O'Reilly)
Feb 16, 2017 @ 12:43:25

If you've ever been interested in using Varnish as a caching layer for your application but weren't sure where to start, you're in luck. In a post to his site Thijs Feryn has announced the release of his book covering Varnish and helping you get started integrating it into your infrastructure.

I’m proud to announce that my Varnish book is out now. It’s called “Getting Started With Varnish Cache” and it’s available for download through Varnish Software. For the next 30 days, Varnish Software has the exclusive rights to distribute the book. After that, O’Reilly will also be distributing physical copies and the digital version of the book, while Varnish Software will continue to distribute the book on their website.

Varnish Software is currently offering the book for free (well, "free" after you give your personal info). Thijs gets into a bit of detail around the book, the process he followed creating it and what kinds of things Varnish can help with. He points out that it was "one hell of a ride" writing the book and getting it published but notes that it was a "fun experience" and probably won't be the last book he writes.

tagged: varnish caching book oreilly process contents benefits

Link: https://blog.feryn.eu/my-varnish-book-is-now-available/

MyBuilder Tech Blog:
Managing Background Processes within Symfony
Dec 02, 2016 @ 11:19:47

Edd Mann has written up a tutorial for the MyBuilder.com Tech blog about managing background processes in a Symfony application with the help of Supervisor.

When a web application reaches a sufficiently large size, it can become infeasible to perform all actions required within a single web request/response life-cycle. You may find yourself wishing to for example - batch up and send queued emails at particular intervals, or process payments asynchronous to the point in-time the user made the initial request. In this post I would like to discuss our changing use of background processes (both time-dependent and continuous) due to increasing throughput demands.

He starts out with the first approach most applications take when needing to run automated, asynchronous processes - cron. Using it and a custom bundle they created for it, Edd shows how to directly integrate the cron timing of commands into the class attributes. However, after a while the system grew and it needed something a bit more powerful than cron, something that could correctly handle long running processes. Ultimately they decided on Supervisor, a processes manager and control system that makes managing these processes simpler. He talks about the transition they made from cron over to Supervisor (safely) and how they integrated the signaling functionality Supervisor allows into their application.

tagged: symfony background process manage cron supervisor tutorial bundle

Link: http://tech.mybuilder.com/managing-background-processes-within-symfony/

Intracto Blog:
How to save a kitten by writing clean code
Jun 03, 2016 @ 12:52:50

On the Intracto blog there's a new post from Joeri Timmermans talking about writing clean code with some good suggestions you can easily incorporate into your current processes.

So you came here to save a kitten? That's wonderful, but the real reason we're both here is to talk about clean code. In this blog post I'll be sharing some of my personal experiences and tips. But before we dive into the tips and tricks part, let's talk about what we, as developers, do and why we do it.

He touches on several topics including:

  • Best vs Fastest
  • Reading vs Writing
  • File and Folder Organization
  • Naming [conventions and clarity]

He also makes the recommendation to "return often", keep things DRY and makes a few recommendations of PHP-specific tools that can help.

tagged: clean code recommendation process development opinion

Link: http://blog.intracto.com/how-to-save-a-kitten-by-writing-clean-code

How To Process Tweets in Real-Time with Laravel
Apr 29, 2016 @ 09:10:16

The Scotch.io site has a tutorial posted showing you how to combine Laravel and the Twitter Streaming API to process tweets in real time inside your application.

This tutorial will show how to use the Twitter Streaming APIs to process tweets in real-time from a Laravel application. There are a variety of use cases for this: perhaps you want to auto-respond to mentions of your company, run a contest via Twitter, or create support tickets when users complain about your product. For this tutorial, we'll build a "featured tweets" widget to display approved tweets on our app's home page.

He starts with an overview of the tools and terms you'll need to know about for the tutorial and a few notes of things to watch out for. He then describes the overall structure of the application (an app just to show the tweets) and links to a repository for the impatient. He then breaks up the rest of the tutorial into several steps:

  • Creating a new Laravel application and installing the Phirehose library
  • Building a "process tweet" job and matching TwitterStream class to use Phirehose and dispatch the job
  • Make the artisan command to connect to the API and the application you created
  • Configure your queue driver and run the processing command
  • Set up a "Tweet" model to connect the application and database table

He finishes the post showing how to make the ProcessTweet Job useful, set up some basic authentication and pass the currently processed tweets into the default "Welcome" view.

tagged: realtime tweet twitter process stream api laravel job queue tutorial

Link: https://scotch.io/tutorials/how-to-process-tweets-in-real-time-with-laravel#step-11-make-the-processtweet-job-useful

Matthew Weier O'Phinney:
Benefits of multiple repositories (Zend Framework)
Apr 26, 2016 @ 12:09:34

Matthew Weier O'Phinney, of Zend and the Zend Framework project, has put together a Storify stream of tweets he posted about some of the benefits of having multiple repositories in a project.

I've seen a number of critiques and write-ups recently about how monolithic repositories are intrinsically better for developing large projects than using a multi-repository approach. In the past year, we went the other direction, splitting our monolithic repository into individual component repositories, each with their own history, tests, and documentation. This is a summary of our experience.

He goes through a list of six different things they learned as a part of splitting up the (Zend) framework into multiple repositories instead of one monolithic one. He includes the contents of each Tweet and a paragraph or two giving it a bit more context and some examples of the changes that were involved. There's also a bit in there about changes they made to the documentation for the project as a result of these repository splits.

I'm quite happy with the switch from a monolithic repository to individual component repositories. I think our code quality is improving dramatically as a result, and I'm excited about the future of these various code bases.
tagged: multiple repository storify twitter zendframework learn process

Link: https://storify.com/mwop/zf-components

Symfony Blog:
PHP-PM grows up to be a credible option for high performance PHP
Apr 25, 2016 @ 12:29:58

On the Symfony Finland site there's a post about a relatively new way to run PHP applications and how it's "growing up" to become a viable option: PHP-PM.

PHP-PM is a novel way of running PHP applications. Instead of creating an exotic high performance runtime for the PHP language, it takes an alternative route to mechanism of running PHP applications with existing runtimes.

This translates to real performance gains with existing complex applications, not just impressive theoretical benchmark results.

Instead of the usual complete bootstrap that normal PHP process goes through in its lifecycle, PHP-PM runs them as a continuous process, making for a huge boost in overall performance. The project has started gathering more momentum and is being worked on to make it a more credible platform for PHP applications.

From the humble beginnings the PHP-PM now has over 1700 stars on GitHub and a number of developers working on it. Great strides have been done since the early stages with the documentation and ease of use, but most importantly the platform now supports multiple frameworks: Symfony, Zend and Laravel.
tagged: phppm process option high performance application project symfony

Link: https://www.symfony.fi/entry/php-pm-grows-up-to-be-a-credible-option-for-high-performance-php

Paul Jones:
Producer: Validate and Release PHP Library Packages
Mar 23, 2016 @ 09:40:44

In this post to his site Paul Jones introduces a tool that aims to help you and your Composer-centric workflow, making it easier to validate and release packages for your projects: Producer.

Back when I was working on Solar, we needed a process to package up each release of the entire framework and make sure I hadn’t forgotten anything. [...] After Solar was done, we began extracting its individual components as 30 or so separate packages in Aura.

[...] But now I have started some non-Aura projects: Relay, Radar, Arbiter, Bookdown, and most recently Atlas. These projects do not have the benefit of the automated release process, with all of its checks and validation, that Aura does.

With that in mind, then, I have extracted a substantial amount of the Aura package release process into a new project, Producer, so that I can use it with any non-Aura library package. That means you can use it with your library package, too.

He goes on to talk about why you might want to use Producer in your workflow and its functionality for validating and releasing packages. He also answers some of the common questions he's gotten about the tool, mostly around the steps it takes during the validation/release process.

tagged: producer composer package library release validate workflow process

Link: http://paul-m-jones.com/archives/6301

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Your First Drupal 8 Migration
Mar 10, 2016 @ 12:20:06

In this tutorial on SitePoint.com author Daniel Sipos introduces you to the concepts behind the Migrate module in Drupal 8 and how it can be used to move content over from other sources.

Migrate is one of the most established modules in the Drupal ecosystem. So much so that with Drupal 8, a decision has been made to get some of its functionality ported and added to Drupal core. An important reason was that the traditional upgrade between major releases was replaced with a migration of Drupal 6 or 7 content and configuration to Drupal 8.

[...] In this article we are going to look at how migration works in Drupal 8 by migrating some content into node entities. For simplicity, the data we play with resides in tables in the same database as our Drupal installation.

He starts but outlining the "migration theory" and parts of the process to get the data in to your Drupal 8 instance: the source, the process and the destination. He uses a movie content example to show the setup needed to create the tables and define the configuration for the relationship to genres. He then shows how to make the migration configuration, defining the three parts and how to define the related migration classes. He ends the post with the drush command to execute the migration, get the current migration status and roll them back if something unexpected happens.

tagged: drupal8 migration data import source process destination

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/your-first-drupal-8-migration/