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Rob Allen:
Throw an exception when simplexml_load_string fails
September 09, 2014 @ 09:27:13

In a quick post to his site Rob Allen shares a class that he's created to handle and throw an exception any time that the load from a SimpleXML parsing fails.

I keep having to look up how to stop the warning that are emitted when simplexml_load_string & simplexml_load_file fail, so this time I've written the world's simplest little class to take care of it for me from now on.

His "Xml" class wraps around the SimpleXML functionality and checks to see if the resulting object is false. If it is, it uses some internal error handling to fetch the error message result and throws it as a "RuntimeException". This error string comes from a "getXMLErrorString" function that uses the libxml_get_errors function to get the resulting error list.

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simplexml load string file fail exception error handling

Link: http://akrabat.com/php/throw-an-exception-when-simplexml_load_string-fails/

Three Devs & A Maybe Podcast:
Understanding Character Sets and Encodings
May 14, 2014 @ 13:12:06

The Three Devs & A Maybe podcast (with hosts Michael Budd, Fraser Hart, Lewis Cains and Edd Mann) has posted their latest episode (#24) talking about character sets and encodings.

Having only just recently been bit by the character encoding issue again, we thought it would be a good time to bring it up on the podcast. Starting from the beginning with ASCII, we move on to discuss how 8-bit compatible machines brought way to the ISO-8859-* standards. This leads us on to Unicode, with the goal to develop a single character-set encoding standard that could support all of the world's scripts. Finally, we discuss the de-factor character encoding implementation used on the web today 'UTF-8', and reasons why this is the case.

Lots of different topics are mentioned including reversing a Unicode String in PHP using UTF-16BE/LE, portable UTF-8 and a YouTube video covering Pragmatic Unicode. You can listen to this new episode though the in-page player, by downloading the mp3 or subscribing to their feed.

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threedevsandamaybe podcast ep24 unicode character set encoding utf8

Link: http://threedevsandamaybe.com/posts/understanding-character-sets-and-encodings/

Three Devs & A Maybe Podcast:
Exception and Error Handling
May 01, 2014 @ 11:28:48

In the latest episode of the Three Devs and a Maybe podcast Michael Budd, Fraser Hart, Lewis Cains and Edd Mann look at error and exception handling in PHP applications.

In this weeks show we introduce error handling, focusing on how exceptions are used. Initially touching on a brief history of exception's origins, we move on to highlight how languages such as PHP and JavaScript implement them. We round up the chat with a 'pros and cons' breakdown and a fun-packed quiz.

You can listen to this latest episode either through the in-page player or by downloading the mp3 directly. You can also subscribe if you like what you hear and want more great episodes.

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threedevsandamaybe podcast ep22 exception error handling

Link: http://threedevsandamaybe.com/posts/exception-and-error-handling/

JetBrains.com:
Just-In-Time debugging and PHP Exception Breakpoints with PhpStorm and Xdebug
December 19, 2013 @ 09:30:59

On the JetBrains site there's a recent post showing you how to use just-in-time debugging and breakpoints in their PHPStorm IDE combined with the popular PHP debugging tool Xdebug.

In every project comes a moment where code stabilizes and we don't want to keep the debugger attached to our code all the time. Or maybe we just want to run our code and only attach the debugger when an error occurs or an exception is thrown. Meet Xdebug's just-in-time (jit) mode and PHP Exception Breakpoints in PhpStorm!

This feature makes use of the "jit" setting for the "remote_mode" setting that Xdebug offers to only send debugging information back to the remote debugger with an error occurs. They show you how to set up PHPStorm for these debugger connections and some example screenshots of it in action. The breakpoints feature compliments this functionality by allowing you to set breakpoints on which kind of errors you want to see information about (ex. warning, notice or deprecated issues).

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phpstorm debug exception xdebug justintime remotemode breakpoint

Link: http://blog.jetbrains.com/phpstorm/2013/12/just-in-time-debugging-and-php-exception-breakpoints-with-phpstorm-and-xdebug/

Mathias Verraes:
Value Objects and User Interfaces
November 18, 2013 @ 11:35:07

Mathias Verraes has a new post today with a response to an email he received about some comments on a recent Elephant in the Room podcast about Value Object usage. The question asks about usage of Value Objects, specifically when it comes to things like country information.

There's nothing intrinsically wrong with modeling countries as entities and storing them in the database. But in most cases, that overcomplicating things. Countries don't change often. When a country's name changes, it is in fact, for all practical purposes, a new country. If a country one day does not exist anymore, you can't simply change all addresses, because possibly the country was split into two countries. Whenever you have this kind of friction, there's usually some missing concept screaming to be discovered.

He talks some about the concepts around the "country" data and some of the functional concerns around it (duplicate checking, validation of existence, etc). He takes the concept and breaks it out into two different concepts - the actual Value Object of a single country and an "AvailableCountries" set (and "AvailableCountryRepository").

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value object country example registry set

Link: http://verraes.net/2013/11/value-objects-and-user-interfaces/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Responsive Images Using Picturefill and PHP
October 10, 2013 @ 10:08:11

On the SitePoint PHP blog there's a new post from Lukas White showing you how to use the Picturefill plugin (Javascript) along with PHP to make responsive images.

One of the key challenges with responsive web design, and a subject of much discussion in recent years, is how to deal with images. Setting a max-width on image elements enables designers to allow their size to adapt to the page dimensions, but in itself that approach can lead to far bigger images being downloaded than are required. [...] You can use a similar approach [to "source sets" of images] straight away and in a cross-browser compatible manner by using Javascript; one such method is the Picturefill plugin. In essence, Picturefill allows you to specify different src attributes for an image, each image file corresponding to a different media query. Thus

The tutorial helps you create an application, powered by the Slim framework and the ImageMagick extension, for the basic structure. He then grabs the Picturefill library and drops them into place. Some sample code is also included showing how to create the HTML structure for the images and the Javascript to handle the switching.

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responsive image picturefill tutorial resolution source set

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/responsive-images-using-picturefill-php/

Chris Jones:
Using PHP and Oracle Database 12c Implicit Result Sets
July 26, 2013 @ 09:12:40

Chris Jones has a new post to his site showing you how to use Oracle 12c's implicit result sets in your code. Note: this functionality is still in development, so the naming/exact functionality might change.

The new Oracle Database 12c "Implicit Result Sets" (IRS) feature allows query results to be returned from a stored PL/SQL procedure (or a PL/SQL anonymous block) without requiring special PHP code. Support for IRS is available in PHP OCI8 2.0.0-devel extension when it is compiled and used with Oracle Database 12c. (OCI8 2.0 can be compiled and used with other versions of Oracle Database but the available feature set is reduced).

He shows a normal fetch loop that calls the oci_* functions and grabs each row with a oci_fetch_row call. He updates this to use an anonymous PL/SQL block (a string) instead that allows for more flexibility. He includes examples that fetch from one table, multiple tables and returns multiple result sets (that can be fetched one at a time) from the same single call.

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implicit result set oracle 12c tutorial multiple single sql plsql

Link: https://blogs.oracle.com/opal/entry/using_php_oci8_2_0

Sameer Borate:
Debugging Laravel with MonoLog and FirePHP
June 07, 2013 @ 09:08:37

Sameer Borate has a new post to his site showing you how to debug a Laravel application with Monolog and FirePHP.

By default, Laravel is configured to create daily log files for your application, and are stored in app/storage/logs. All Laravel logging features are handled by the wonderful MonoLog library. Monolog includes various log handlers you can use - FirePHP, ChromePHP, CouchDB, Stream and many more. One of my favorites is FirePHP while debugging PHP apps.

Getting Monolog to write out to FirePHP is pretty easy and he includes the sample code to make it happen - basically pushing a "FirePHPHandler" into the Monolog instance and using it from there.

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debug laravel monolog firephp handler tutorial

Link: http://www.codediesel.com/laravel/debuggin-laravel-with-monolog-and-firephp

Chris Hartjes:
Testing Smells - Try/catch
May 01, 2013 @ 11:42:29

In this new post to his site Chris Hartjes gives an example of what he calls a "testing smell". This particular illustration deals with the poor handling of testing and exceptions with try/catch blocks.

As part of a project to migrate the PHP code at work from PHP 5.2 to PHP 5.4, I'm using our extensive test suite to look for instances where something that changed between the versions of PHP that we are using has caused some unexpected behaviour. In one of our code bases, I found some tests that are exhibiting a test smell through their use of a try / catch block in the test itself.

He includes a (contrived) example showing the use of an exception in a unit test to run an assertion in the "catch" for the test to pass. He points out that this particular check is being done to see if the user input is valid...and that it's a bad way to enforce it using exceptions. He also suggests that if you have an "if" situation, don't use one test with logic in it, write two tests. He mentions a disenting opinion but notes that a failing test is a failing test, regardless of what caused the failure.

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unittest smells try catch exception handling if

Link: http://www.littlehart.net/atthekeyboard/2013/04/30/testing-smells-try-catch

Rob Allen:
Simple logging of ZF2 exceptions
April 25, 2013 @ 10:31:40

In this new post to his site Rob Allen shows you how to implement a simple logging method for catching exceptions in your Zend Framework 2 application.

I recently had a problem with a ZF2 based website where users were reporting seeing the error page displayed, but I couldn't reproduce in testing. To find this problem I decided to log every exception to a file so I could then go back and work out what was happening. In a standard ZF2 application, the easiest way to do this is to add a listener to the 'dispatch.error' event and log using ZendLog.

He uses an event listener to attach a service that contains a "logException" method. This method uses the ZendLog component to write out the error message to a local log file including a backtrace of where the issue occurred.

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simple logging exception handling service event listener tutorial

Link: http://akrabat.com/zend-framework-2/simple-logging-of-zf2-exceptions


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