Looking for more information on how to do PHP the right way? Check out PHP: The Right Way

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

Scotch.io:
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/

Matthew Weier O'Phinney:
Automating GitHub Pages Builds with MkDocs
Feb 01, 2016 @ 10:49:57

In this new post to his site Matthew Weier O'Phinney details the process they (Zend) used to create the documentation for the latest release of their Expressive PSR-7 compatible framework (now in v1.0).

One of the final tasks in prepping for the Expressive 1.0 release was setting up the documentation site. We'd decided to use GitHub Pages for this, and we wanted to automate builds so that as we push to the master branch, documentation is deployed.

The process turned out both simple and bewilderingly difficult. This post is intended to help others in the same situation.

While they decided on MkDocs for the actual document generation (written in Python) Matthew how he integrated it with the builds they'd already created for the Expressive framework. He talks about reusability for the process, eventually using it again on the Zend Framework side. He also shows the full process for creating the resulting documentation and pushing it over to GitHub Pages including the setup of the credentials, which events should trigger the build and handling environment variables and software dependencies. It's a great post with plenty of details on each step of the process - I'd highly recommend it if you're looking into building these sorts of documents for your project.

tagged: github pages build travisci mkdocs python tutorial process

Link: https://mwop.net/blog/2016-01-29-automating-gh-pages.html

Laravel News:
Laravel Release Process
Jan 21, 2016 @ 09:22:33

On the Laravel News site they've posted about the framework release schedule for the next few minor version releases and the support levels each will include.

At Laracon 2013 in Washington D.C., Taylor announced the first official release cycle for the framework. [...] By having an official release cycle, it allows us as end users to plan around when we need to perform upgrades and also the dev team a way of knowing what is coming and when. Since this announcement all new releases have followed this schedule.

He talks briefly about the 5.1 release of the framework and how it changed up the flow by adding long term support (two years for bugfixes, three for security). He then outlines the release schedule from the 5.1 LTS release out to 5.5, the next LTS release. This is only a guideline for now and could possibly change in the future but at least it gives an idea of the schedule of things to come.

tagged: laravel framework release process schedule longtermsupport version

Link: https://laravel-news.com/2016/01/laravel-release-process/

Jani Hartikainen:
Why is fixing bugs so slow? (and how to make it faster)
Dec 17, 2015 @ 12:06:32

On his CodeUptopia blog Jani Hartikainen has posted a great article with some of his thoughts about why fixing bugs is so slow and includes a few suggestions on how to make it happen faster and streamline the process for the future.

Have you ever wondered why sometimes fixing bugs seems to take much longer than it should? When you finally find the problem, it turns out all you need is one small change. Yet, it took a lot of time to find what’s going on. This happens to me more often than I’d like.

[...] Why is it that sometimes fixing bugs takes a lot of work even when the problem is simple, and other times, it’s really quick to fix the problem – maybe even when it isn’t so trivial? Is there something we can learn from the bugs that are easy to fix, so that we could spend less time fixing bugs in general?

He starts off by describing a typical bug fixing process after the initial discovery and reporting of the issue down to the actual fix being deployed. He then breaks down each of these six steps and provides more context around them:

  • Understanding the problem
  • Reproducing the bug
  • Finding the problematic piece of code
  • Identifying the root cause
  • Fixing the bug
  • Ensuring the bug is fixed

He then goes back and talks about the pain points in this typical process citing things like a lack of good information around the bug and the time constraints that often come with the "time to fix" allowance. He makes some suggestions about how to gather better information around the issue before the fix begins and points to effective logging as one possible source. He also talks about how unit testing can help verify the bug is actually fixed and help to prevent and locate future issues.

tagged: bugfix speed slow opinion process unittest faster advice

Link: http://codeutopia.net/blog/2015/12/16/why-is-fixing-bugs-so-slow-and-how-to-make-it-faster/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Drupal 8 Queue API – Powerful Manual and Cron Queueing
Dec 14, 2015 @ 11:54:38

On the SitePoint PHP blog Daniel Sipos has written up a tutorial spotlighting a powerful feature of Drupal 8, the latest major release of this popular project: the Queue API. Queueing in Drupal allows you to offload tasks to be handled outside of the current web request.

The Queue API in Drupal allows us to handle a number of tasks at a later stage. What this means is that we can place items into a queue which will run some time in the future and process each individual item at that point and at least once. Usually, this happens on CRON runs, and Drupal 8 allows for a quick set up for cronjob based queues. It doesn’t necessarily have to be CRON, however.

They use two examples to help illustrate how to use the queueing system: one that uses the cron-based approach and another that's more manually triggered. They start out with the theory behind it all, talking about the different pieces (objects/classes) and how they fit together to make the queueing system. With that out of the way the article starts in on the code and the "Node Publish" queue, defining its basic structure and hooking it in to the framework. It shows you how to create the cron worker to process the queue and how to build the manual worker to do the same but only when specifically called.

tagged: drupal8 queue manual cron process defer processing tutorial

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/drupal-8-queue-api-powerful-manual-and-cron-queueing/