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SitePoint PHP Blog:
Integrate Elasticsearch with Silex
April 13, 2015 @ 08:38:55

The SitePoint PHP blog has continued their look at integrating Elasticsearch into a simple Silex-based PHP application. In this latest part of the series (part two) they move away from the full Drupal example in part one and go a bit more simple and create a basic site to show a node's detail (content and title).

In the previous article I started exploring the integration between Drupal 7 and the Elasticsearch engine. The goal was to see how we can combine these open source technologies to achieve a high performance application that uses the best of both worlds. [...] We'll now create a small Silex application that reads data straight from Elasticsearch and returns it to the user.

Using Silex and the same Elasticsearch PHP SDK they create this simple site. The tutorial walks you through the installation of both tools, the configuration of the Elasticsearch client and creating the controllers to respond to the view requests. They also show how to use the Twig templating engine to render the results as a simple page containing the node title, any images attached to it and the body content. The tutorial ends with a brief mention of how this same data could also be rendered as JSON output with a different view handler.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/integrate-elasticsearch-silex/

Evert Pot:
An XML library for PHP you may not hate.
April 02, 2015 @ 11:13:55

Evert Pot has posted about an XML library you may not hate, the sabre/xml library.

If you are writing or consuming API's in PHP, chances are that you need to work with XML. In some cases you may even prefer it. You may have started with SimpleXML and after a while switched to using the DOM after realizing SimpleXML is really not that simple if you strictly use xml namespaces everywhere.

For writing XML, you may have found that using the DOM requires far too much code, or you may simply generate your XML by echoing strings, knowing that it may not be the best idea. sabre/xml hopes to solve your issues, by wrapping XMLReader and XMLWriter, and providing standard design patterns.

He includes some example code showing how it works, extending the XMLReader/Writer functionality with a simplified interface. He includes examples of both writing a new XML file or reading in and working with the contents of a given one. He does point out one issue, though - the library cannot really read in XML contents, modify it and send it back out (it's a "single pass" system). He wraps up the post talking about the various interfaces and elements in the library and some of the overall benefits it provides.

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Link: http://evertpot.com/an-xml-library-you-may-not-hate/

NetTuts.com:
Design Patterns The Simple Factory Pattern
January 27, 2015 @ 11:53:20

NetTuts.com has posted the next part of their series focusing on design patterns (and more specifically implementing them in PHP). In this latest post they look at a simple version of the Factory design pattern.

When you think of a factory, what comes to mind? For me, it's a place where things are created - that is, it's a centralized placed where things are produced. Later, the delivery of said products are done by the factory based on an order. Let's say that you're requesting a car. A factory will create one based on the specifications of the work order and will then deliver it once it's complete. Just as their real world counterparts, a software factory (that is, software that implements the factory design pattern), is an object that is responsible for creating and delivering other objects based on incoming parameters.

They mention the three different versions of the factory pattern but focus in on the simplest one (hence the "simple" in the title). They continue on with the car example, showing how to use a simple factory (a "carFactory") to build an instance of the "Car" class based on different classes of car types. The object is constructed when a "build" method is called with the type.

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Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/design-patterns-the-simple-factory-pattern--cms-22345

Anthony Ferrara:
Foundations Of OO Design
October 30, 2014 @ 09:36:24

In his newest post Anthony Ferrara looks at some of the things he calls the foundations of object-oriented design, as set of three things (and principles) to keep in mind when working on OOP applications.

It's quite easy to mix up terminology and talk about making "easy" systems and "simple" ones. But in reality, they are completely different measures, and how we design and architect systems will depend strongly on our goals. By differentiating Simple from Easy, Complex from Hard, we can start to talk about the tradeoffs that designs can give us. And we can then start making better designs.

He starts with the "simple vs easy" concept and how sometimes making the two meet can be difficult. He includes an example of interdependent interfaces and how they add complexity (and, in turn, make them less easy to use). He also talks about accidental versus essential complexity and how, sometimes, "accidental" isn't always a bad thing. Finally, he wraps it up with a few principles to remember in your development including recommendations to reduce (accidental) complexity and keeping the target developers in mind, making it easiest for them to use.

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Link: http://blog.ircmaxell.com/2014/10/foundations-of-oo-design.html

Cal Evans:
The secret to writing a job post to attract PHP developers
August 18, 2014 @ 12:17:42

Cal Evans has posted another in his series looking at the right things to do when writing job posts and trying to attract developers for your company. In his previous posts he's talked about building a good team and getting the jobs page right. In his latest post he talks about a secret to writing the post itself: keeping it simple.

Is your company trying to hire a developer? Are you a recruiter responsible for helping your client hire a PHP developer? Do you have a job post out on the net? Get this one thing right and you'll find your PHP developer. Yes, that's the entire secret; keep it simple. Make it easy for us to scan, easy for us to understand, easy for us to figure out how to apply.

He includes a few points to follow to help guide you into the "keep it simple" approach including avoiding "semantically null terms" and listing the minimum skills for the job, not everything you could possibly need.

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Link: http://blog.calevans.com/2014/08/15/the-secret-to-writing-a-job-post-to-attract-php-developers/

Master Zend Framework:
Create a Simple File Upload Form in Zend Framework 2
June 04, 2014 @ 11:51:06

On his "Master Zend Framework" site today Matthew Setter has a new tutorial showing you how to create a simple file upload through the forms handling in Zend Framework 2. The form will include three parts: an input filter, a form class and a controller action to request to show the resulting form.

Having trouble getting file uploads integrated into your forms in Zend Framework 2? Or are you just curious about how to do it, and you want a quick rundown? If either of these is you, come walk through today's post with me as I show you a simple example of how it's done - along with how to combine it with filters and validators. Before we get started, I could have composed the code in a much shorter form than have I've composed it. But my assumption is that you're likely using the full-stack framework.

He includes summaries describing each of the three parts of the setup and the code you'll need to create each. The validator checks for things like "too big", "too small" and the correct MIME type on the file given. The form itself only includes the file upload element with a description of "Attachment". The controller action creates the form instance and calls an "isValid" when the upload happens to execute the validation. He also throws in the view template to display the form itself.

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Link: http://www.masterzendframework.com/forms-2/simple-file-upload-form

SitePoint Web Blog:
Is Ghost Really a WordPress Killer?
November 13, 2013 @ 11:19:32

The WordPress platform has become one of the de-facto standards when it comes to blogging and content management sites. In this new post, though, SitePoint wonders if a new competitor in the market is enough to unseat WordPress from its high ranking - Ghost.

When someone mentions the term blogging platform your mind likely brings up thoughts of WordPress, or maybe Blogger.com. It did, didn't it? While those two platforms have clearly carved out a respectable slice of the world's blogging population, there remains a void left unfilled. This gap in platforms was largely created by the incredible popularity and growth of the blogging world itself. [...] This new entrant goes by the stealthy moniker Ghost. A fitting name really, given it's unapologetic focus on no­frills web publishing.

They go through this new tool, spotlighting some of the features it offers and the extensibility it offers (complete with screenshots). While Ghost is a Node application (unlike its PHP counterpart) it's still relatively easy to get up and running. They do admit, however, that the title of the article is a bit inflammatory. Ghost and WordPress have different target audiences and widely different feature sets, but in the blogging realm, Ghost provides an interesting alternative.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/ghost-really-wordpress-killer/

Rasmus Larsson:
Building a template engine in PHP
May 31, 2013 @ 11:11:27

Rasmus Larsson has a recent post to his site showing how to build a basic templating engine in PHP that uses the "__toString" to help render the result.

Possibly the most common sign of bad code is tight coupling, especially between logic and presentation. It might seem like a good idea to print out the HTML while the data is being generated, but it more often than not leads to a big incoherent mess of tangled code. [...] While PHP makes it unnecessarily easy to write shitty code it also provides a lot of ways to avoid it. I'll use this post to show you how ridiculously easy it is to create a template engine in PHP in three easy steps.

He includes the sample code for a "Template" class and shows the combination of exporting variables and output buffering to return the resulting template populated with values. The "__toString" method makes it so that you can just echo out the object and get the results.

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Link: http://www.rasmuslarsson.se/2013/05/a-template-engine-in-php

Lorna Mitchell:
Simplest PHP Generator Example
May 23, 2013 @ 10:31:02

On her blog Lorna Mitchell has posted an example of a basic generator written in PHP, a feature of the upcoming PHP version 5.5.

I really like the generators feature that's arriving in PHP 5.5, and since we're now into release candidate releases, it's actually not that far away. I've been speaking on this topic and I thought I'd share my trivially simple code example from my slides.

She includes an example of a very basic generator using the new "yield" keyword and how to implement it in a simple foreach loop. There's also a little talk about when is a good time to use generators in your applications (two examples: complex number calculation and working with large data sets a chunk at a time). For more information on how these generators will work, check out this page in the PHP manual.

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Link: http://www.lornajane.net/posts/2013/simplest-php-generator-example

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


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