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SitePoint PHP Blog:
Introduction to Elasticsearch in PHP
Aug 04, 2015 @ 09:31:05

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted an introduction to using Elasticsearch in your PHP applications. In it author Wern Ancheta covers some of the basics of this powerful tool and helps you get an example script up and running for testing.

In this tutorial, we’re going to take a look at Elasticsearch and how we can use it in PHP. Elasticsearch is an open-source search server based on Apache Lucene. We can use it to perform super fast full-text and other complex searches. It also includes a REST API which allows us to easily issue requests for creating, deleting, updating and retrieving of data.

He starts by helping you get Elasticsearch itself installed via the apt-get package manager (may slightly differ depending on your OS of choice) and tested with a simple web-based request to the port the server is running on. With the server set up he then moves on to the PHP aspect, helping you get the elasticsearch library installed via Composer and creating a new client instance. He then includes code examples of some of the main operations you'll perform with entries in the Elasticsearch instance: inserting a document, updating a document, deleting and - of course - searching for documents matching certain simple and more complex criteria.

tagged: introduction tutorial elasticsearch install library insert update delete search

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/introduction-to-elasticsearch-in-php/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Turning a Crawled Website into a Search Engine with PHP
Jul 06, 2015 @ 10:19:43

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted the second part of their "Powerful Custom Search Engines with Diffbot" series with part two showing how to take the Diffbot results and make them searchable.

In the previous part of this tutorial, we used Diffbot to set up a crawljob which would eventually harvest SitePoint’s content into a data collection, fully searchable by Diffbot’s Search API. We also demonstrated those searching capabilities by applying some common filters and listing the results. [...] In this part, we’ll build a GUI simple enough for the average Joe to use it, in order to have a relatively pretty, functional, and lightweight but detailed SitePoint search engine. What’s more, we won’t be using a framework, but a mere total of three libraries to build the entire application.

For those interested in the end result, you can skip to the demo. Otherwise, they'll walk you through the full process:

  • Bootstrapping the environment and needed libraries
  • Creating a simple "home" page with a Diffbot client
  • Creating the frontend interface (a form allowing for various search terms)
  • Making the Javascript to catch the form submission
  • Adding CSS to style the page
  • Building out the PHP backend to perform the different search types (author and keywords)

Finally he ties it all together and create the output of the search results, providing links to each of the matching pages, posting date, author information and a brief summary. He ends the post with a look at paginating the results via a "PaginationHelper" class that will drop a navigation item at the bottom of the results and handle moving from page to page, interfacing with the Diffbot client.

tagged: search engine diffbot tutorial series part2 results crawled website

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/turning-crawled-website-search-engine-php/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Crawling and Searching Entire Domains with Diffbot
Jul 02, 2015 @ 09:41:39

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new tutorial posted, the first part in a new series, showing you how to create a "powerful custom search engine" with the help of the Diffbot service. In this first part they help you get everything you need set up (including a VM to run it from).

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to build a custom SitePoint search engine that far outdoes anything WordPress could ever put out. We’ll be using Diffbot as a service to extract structured data from SitePoint automatically, and this matching API client to do both the searching and crawling. I’ll also be using my trusty Homestead Improved environment for a clean project, so I can experiment in a VM that’s dedicated to this project and this project alone.

He walks you through each step of the process, first creating the "crawljob" script and then executing it to gather the results. He also shows how to show this information via a simple GUI when searches are performed. A Diffbot PHP client library makes creating the crawljob simpler and lets you configure things like max number of items to crawl, patterns to match and what URLs to follow on the pages. Running the script creates the job which is then executed immediately. The same library makes search the data simpler too, using a "search" method along with some special tagging, and returning a JSON result with the matching records.

tagged: crawl domain diffbot search engine part1 series tutorial

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/crawling-searching-entire-domains-diffbot/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Youtube Videos in PHP: Categories, Search and Suggestions
May 20, 2015 @ 11:47:14

The SitePoint PHP blog continues their series showing how to integrate content from the YouTube API into your application with this new tutorial. It covers the use of categories, searching and suggestions.

In the first part, we introduced the Youtube API and built a small demo to list the most popular videos on Youtube. In this part, we will extend our application to have search functionality, and we’ll also list the available categories on Youtube to let the user narrow down their area of interest.

He starts with with the updates you'll need to make to the routes and controllers for the "categories" functionality and the API call needed to popular the content. He updates the "videos" page to show the category information and integrate the category into the pagination. Next up is the search, allowing the users to find videos based on a search string. The search route/controller/view functionality is added as well. He ends the post talking about a way to extend the demo and advice to keep an eye on quotas and implementing cache.

tagged: tutorial series part2 youtube api categories search suggestion

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/youtube-videos-php-categories-search-suggestions/

Phillip Shipley:
Creating a PHP Nexmo API Client using Guzzle Web Service Client – Part 3
Apr 10, 2015 @ 09:25:40

Phillip Shipley has posted the next part in his series about making a client with Guzzle for the Nexmo API. In this latest post he adds functionality to the client made in previous parts of the series (part1, part two) to allow for message searching.

Now let’s go ahead and add another SMS related API to show how easy it is since we already have the base client and description in place. Nexmo also has APIs to search for a specific message, multiple messages based on some criteria, as well as for rejected messages. Let’s go ahead and add these three interfaces to our SMS description and see what it takes.

He includes the code to add to the current client and configuration to enable the "SearchMessage" functionality and the correct handling of the result. He shows how to update the client class with a new "searchMessage" method and the searching of the rejections with the Insight API.

tagged: nexmo api tutorial client guzzle series part3 webservice search rejected

Link: http://www.phillipshipley.com/2015/04/creating-a-php-nexmo-api-client-using-guzzle-web-service-client-part-3/

Efficient Chinese Search with Elasticsearch
Dec 19, 2014 @ 11:56:41

On the SitePoint PHP blog a new tutorial has been posted showing you how to effectively search Chinese content with ElasticSearch. ElasticSearch is a "powerful open source search and analytics engine that makes data easy to explore" and plays nice with PHP via a JSON based query format.

If you have played with Elasticsearch, you already know that analyzing and tokenization are the most important steps while indexing content, and without them your pertinency is going to be bad, your users unhappy and your results poorly sorted. Even with English content you can lose pertinence with a bad stemming, miss some documents when not performing proper elision and so on. And that’s worse if you are indexing another language; the default analyzers are not all-purpose. When dealing with Chinese documents, everything is even more complex, even by considering only Mandarin which is the official language in China and the most spoken worldwide.

He starts by explaining exactly what the problem is with searching Chinese content including the fact that some words can actually be a combination of two or more characters (words). He then lists out a few plugins and tools that can be integrated with ElasticSearch to help with analyzing the content. He goes through each of them and provides instructions on installation and usage. He ends the post with a sample of the results for a set of three search terms, comparing the matches each found.

tagged: chinese search elasticsearch tutorial tokenization analysis

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/efficient-chinese-search-elasticsearch/

Reddit.com:
Composer files being indexed by Google
Dec 10, 2014 @ 11:36:55

In an interesting thread on the /r/php subreddit on Reddit.com, a user noticed that Google is indexing Composer files that are in the document root of PHP applications. These files, like "composer.json" and "composer.lock" can provide detailed information about which packages and libraries are in use in the application (information disclosure).

The problem is that these files are placed in the web root of the application and not in a folder one level up, a recommended practice. The post links to a Google search that shows an example of current sites with the issue.

Another comment in the same post also reminds users not to have things like their ".git" files in the document root either as they can provide valuable information to would be attackers about your application's code. Things can be done to prevent direct access to these files in the web server configuration but it's far better to restructure the application to have them in a parent directory of the actual web root.

tagged: composer files composerlock composerjson index google search engine security

Link: http://www.reddit.com/r/PHP/comments/2ourf7/composer_files_being_indexed_by_google/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Geospatial Search with SOLR and Solarium
Nov 25, 2014 @ 13:55:56

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new post from Lukas White that gets into the details of combining SOLR searching with Solarium to perform geospatial queries.

In a recent series of articles I looked in detail at Apache’s SOLR and Solarium. To recap; SOLR is a search service with a raft of features – such as faceted search and result highlighting – which runs as a web service. Solarium is a PHP library which allows you to integrate with SOLR – whether local or remote – interacting with it as if it were a native component of your application. If you’re unfamiliar with either, then my series is over here, and I’d urge you to take a look. In this article, I’m going to look at another part of SOLR which warrants its own discussion; Geospatial search.

He uses a simple example, locating airports near a given location, to give a more "real world" idea of how it all works. He starts by introducing the concept of geospatial searching and the idea of "points" as they relate to a specific location. He then gets into the actual setup of the application, including the SOLR schema configuration and making the queries on the data. The Solarium library allows for simple location queries when given just the "latlong" helper type and the location/distance to use for the starting point. He uses the data from the OpenFlights service to gather the airport data and creates a search form and basic list output of the results from searches on it. If you'd like to see the end result in action, check out this demo website.

tagged: solr search solarium library tutorial geospatial query airport demo

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/geospatial-search-solr-solarium/

Sameer Borate:
Creating Twitter Apps in PHP
Sep 29, 2014 @ 09:28:42

Sameer Borate has a post today showing how you can create a simple Twitter application in PHP making use of their REST API and the twitter-api-php library.

In this post we will look into accessing Twitter REST API in PHP. This can be useful if you need to post Tweets from your PHP application or anaylze, search Tweets. In the following examples we will use the twitter-api-php PHP wrapper for Twitter v1.1 API. Although there are a few wrappers around, this one I like for its simplicity.

He helps you get the library installed (via Composer) and create an application on the Twitter side at apps.twitter.com. Sample code is included showing how to connect to the API with your credentials, including handling the OAuth authorization piece. From there he shows two examples of action to make on the API: posting a new tweet and searching for new tweets based on a query string.

tagged: twitter application tutorial introduction library oauth search post tweet

Link: http://www.codediesel.com/social/creating-twitter-apps-in-php/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
PINQ – Querify Your Datasets – Faceted Search
Aug 26, 2014 @ 10:58:22

The SitePoint PHP blog has continued their series showing the use of the PINQ library for PHP (a PHP implementation of the LINQ tool). In part one they introduced the tool and showed how to it could be used to query and sort data. In this second part they move on and show how to perform a multi-faceted search on data from a MySQL database.

We are not going to cover the full aspect of faceted search in this series. Interested parties can refer to relevant articles published on Sitepoint and other Internet publications. [...] Unfortunately, faceted search is not a built-in feature provided by MySQL yet. What can we do if we are using MySQL but also want to provide our users with such a feature? With PINQ, we’ll see there is an equally powerful and straightforward approach to achieving this as when we are using other DB engines – at least in a way.

Building from the code from the first part of the series, they create a few more simple routes that let you define the different facets to use for the searching/sorting. He creates a custom facet class that uses the "traversable" handling of the PINQ to do the data manipulation. He creates a few different facet objects, each creating a customized filter. finally, he ties it all back into the endpoint and includes the updated markup to show the results. He finishes up the post mentioning a few limitations and improvements that could be made on the example as well.

tagged: pinq query dataset mysql faceted search tutorial series part2

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/pinq-querify-datasets-faceted-search/