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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/

Symfony Blog:
Improving the Symfony Release Process
Dec 11, 2015 @ 10:49:10

On the Symfony blog there's a new post from Javier Eguiluz talking about improvements to the Symfony release process that will be starting with the 3.0.0 stable release (already release so already in place).

The Symfony Release Process is arguably one of the best selling points of the Symfony project. Thanks to our predictable and transparent process, companies can plan years in ahead their Symfony integration.

The recent launch of Symfony 2.8, which will be the last minor version of the 2.x branch, made us think about further tweaks in the release process. That's why during his past SymfonyCon Paris 2015 keynote, Fabien Potencier announced the new Symfony release process.

The main changes for the process are around how many minor versions will be published, standard vs long term support status of these releases and the timing of major/minor releases. With this schedule in place, it's projected that Symfony 4 will be released in November of 2017.

tagged: symfony release process improvement schedule minor major version

Link: http://symfony.com/blog/improving-the-symfony-release-process

Zaengle Blog:
Laravel as an Intermediary
Dec 03, 2015 @ 11:11:21

In this tutorial on the Zaengle blog Jesse Schutt shows you how to use a Laravel application as an "intermediary" between several services and tie them together so a single action could kick off a series of events.

One of our clients recently came to us with the following workflow they'd like the Zaengle team to implement for them: They wanted to compose a blog entry in their CMS. Upon publishing of the entry, they wanted the content of the blog entry to be emailed to a filtered group of their customer database (stored in Marketo). Finally, they wanted to be able to track email metrics from within their customer database.

[...] After brainstorming with the team and client, we decided that since there were at least 3 different systems in play (CMS, Customer Database, & Mail Processor), we needed to write a custom application that would bring all of them together.

He then walks you through the solution they came up with, showing how it makes use of webhooks, API requests and work with their own database. He talks briefly about some of the benefits of the setup and how they arranged the testing of the data flow between the pieces of the system.

tagged: laravel intermediary multiple system process action

Link: http://zaengle.com/blog/laravel-as-an-intermediary

Madewithlove Blog:
Thread carefully
Nov 16, 2015 @ 11:55:58

In a post to the Madewithlove blog Maxime Fabre takes a look at threading in PHP using the pthreads support that can be included into your PHP installation.

As far as I can remember, PHP has always had a terrible reputation at handling very heavy (or asynchronous) tasks. [...] But PHP can do threading, and more importantly it's a lot easier than you probably think.

[...] In this article I'm going to dive into the pthreads extension (short for POSIX Threads). It has been around for a while (since 2012) but I feel like too many people forget it exists or assume it is going to be painful to use – mostly because the official documentation is rather slim about it.

They start by getting the pthreads support installed locally (it assumes you use OS X and the "brew" package manager but it can be installed manually too). The article starts off by defining some basic nomenclature from the pthreads world and gives a diagram of how it all fits together. From there it gets into some examples, showing a simple thread class to fetch Google results and how to fire off multiple instances at the same time. They then extend this even further and look at the concept of "workers" and using them to manage individual jobs. It then moves up the next level and looks at "pools" of workers and processing multiple workers at the same time.

There's also a section dealing with one "gotcha" that can happen with class inheritance between parent and child threads. They show how to work around this with a custom Worker class that performs the autoloading for you and is executed at the start of a Pool. Finally they cover the messaging between the child threads and, as a bonus, how threading could be used in a command bus setup.

tagged: threading tutorial pthreads example worker thread pool process commandbus messaging

Link: http://blog.madewithlove.be/post/thread-carefully/

Rob Allen:
The beginner's guide to rebasing your PR
Oct 09, 2015 @ 10:30:12

If you've ever contributed to an Open Source project on GitHub (or really even just used Git in general) chances are there's been a time when you needed to rebase your branch with what's on master. It can be a bit confusing to Rob Allen is here to help with this brief guide to walk you through the steps for a successful rebase.

You've successfully created a PR and it's in the queue to be merged. A maintainer looks at the code and asks you to rebase your PR so that they can merge it. Say what?

The maintainer means that there have been other code changes on the project since you branched which means that your branch cannot be merged without conflicts and they would like to you to sort this out. These are the steps you should take.

He breaks it down into three main steps and includes the commands you'll need and how to push the result back up into the waiting repository:

  • Update your target branch from upstream
  • Rebase your branch
  • Push your newly rebased branch to origin

There's really about six steps involved but that's only when you break it down to the individual commands. It's a relatively simple process that, while a bit confusing from the outside, can be very helpful to a project maintainer when it comes merge time.

tagged: rebase pullrequest project opensource process tutorial contribute

Link: http://akrabat.com/the-beginners-guide-to-rebasing-your-pr/

Phil Sturgeon:
A Quick Note on PSR Numbering
May 06, 2015 @ 09:41:55

With a lot of talk happening around the PSR-7 HTTP request/response proposal and PSR-4 being the last "official" standard to be posted, some people are wondering what happened to PSR-5 and 6. Phil Sturgeon, a previous member of the PHP-FIG, has posted some clarification to how the PSR process works and where those seemingly missing PSR numbers are at.

The last PSR from the FIG to be sent out into the world, to be used by whoever felt like using it, was PSR-4: Autoloader. Now people are starting to hear about PSR-7, and they’re starting to “lolphp”, wondering what has happened to PSR-5 and PSR-6. [...] This is not like The Neverending Muppet Debate of PHP 6 v PHP 7, despite it being the first though to pop into many peoples heads. Instead, this is down to the Workflow Bylaw I put into place last year.

He goes on to talk about the current workflow stages and how, unlike systems in other languages, the PHP-FIG's process gives proposals a PSR number even before they're published and accepted. He also briefly talks about PSR "nicknames", naming to differentiate between similar proposals and how, despite the need for these names, they're just reference points for conversations more than anything.

tagged: psr7 psr proposal workflow process numbering naming phpfig

Link: https://philsturgeon.uk/php/2015/05/05/psr7-numeric-workflow/

Engine Yard Blog:
Composer & Continuous Integration
Apr 29, 2015 @ 09:14:11

In a new post to the Engine Yard blog Nils Adermann provides an overview of using Composer with continuous integration, its role in the overall process and some good practices to follow in its use.

Continous Integration (CI) is the practice of continuously (and automatically) testing every change a developer makes. So automated tests become an integral part of the development process providing direct feedback on changes made. [...] Davey Shafik's article on Composer's Lock File explains the typical usage of composer install and update. The key takeaway is that developers should run composer update manually to explicitly update individual dependencies while composer install should be used in automated processes. This principle includes automated test environments.

He points out that using the lock file method reproduces the vendor directory exactly as it is in production and what it means for failures in your automated tests. He also talks about methods to improve the build performance to reduce time spent during the generation of the environment, including the use of the Composer cache data. He includes a few flags you can pass to Composer to reduce not only the libraries it installs but also how it fetches their contents.

tagged: composer continuous integration build process performance automated test composerlock

Link: https://blog.engineyard.com/2015/composer-continuous-integration