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

Symfony Finland:
Cache enhancements in Symfony 3.1 and 3.2: PSR-6 and tag invalidation
Jun 23, 2016 @ 09:17:04

On the Symfony Finland site there's a post talking about caching enhancements in Symfony 3.1 & 3.2 using the PSR-6 structure as defined by the PHP-FIG standard.

Symfony 3.1 was the first version of the new Symfony3 family to offer new features. The first 3.0 release had feature parity with the last of the Symfony2 series. Symfony 3.1 was launched in May 2016, with a moderate list of added individual features, but one that was a big step in terms of caching: [an] implementation of the cache PSR (PSR-6). The new component is also automatically wired in FrameworkBundle and Symfony Standard Edition."

He talks about how following the PSR-6 standard allows for caching tools to only need to worry about the underlying implementation, not the interface. The post also talks about a new feature coming in Symfony 3.2 around caching: cache tagging. This allows you to "link" cache entries together using tags as related items. One potential use of this is invalidating cache records linked to a specific resource or page in the application without having to check each entry.

tagged: symfony cache invalidation tagging psr6 phpfig

Link: https://www.symfony.fi/entry/cache-enhancements-in-symfony-3-1-and-3-2-psr-6-and-tag-invalidation

Yappa Blog:
Symfony Components in a Legacy PHP application
Jun 21, 2016 @ 12:50:13

On the Yappa Tech blog Joeri Verdeyen has written up a post covering the integration of modern Symfony components into a legacy application with a relatively simple container setup and configuration.

Symfony Components are a set of decoupled and reusable PHP libraries. They are becoming the standard foundation on which the best PHP applications are built. You can use any of these components in any of your applications independently from the Symfony Framework.

[...] The purpose of this post is to roughly describe how to implement some of the Symfony Components. I've created a set of gists to get started. You should already know how Symfony Components work in the Symfony Framework.

He starts with an example Composer configuration pulling in some of the more popular Symfony packages (like VarDumper and FormBuilder). He then includes the code to bootstrap the container instance and the services.yml he's come up with to bootstrap and integrate all of the components. The tutorial ends with examples of putting some of these components to use in resolving controllers, using the FormBuilder, using the command line and outputting errors with the VarDumper.

tagged: symfony component legacy application tutorial container example

Link: http://tech.yappa.be/symfony-components-in-a-legacy-php-application

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Your Own Custom Annotations – More than Just Comments!
Jun 21, 2016 @ 11:04:14

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted a new tutorial from author Daniel Sipos showing you how you can use custom annotations in your Symfony-based application. You can also do annotation parsing outside of Symfony but that requires other external libraries to accomplish.

In this article, we are going to look at how we can create and use our own custom annotations in a Symfony 3 application. You know annotations right? They are the docblock metadata/configuration we see above classes, methods and properties. You’ve most likely seen them used to declare Controller routes (@Route()) and Doctrine ORM mappings (@ORM()), or even to control access to various classes and methods in packages like Rauth. But have you ever wondered how can you use them yourself?

[...] In this article we are going to build a small reusable bundle called WorkerBundle. [...] We’re going to develop a small concept that allows the definition of various Worker types which “operate” at various speeds and which can then be used by anyone in the application. The actual worker operations are outside the scope of this post, since we are focusing on setting up the system to manage them (and discover them via annotations).

He then gets into the code, creating the WorkerInterface the workers will implement and a sample worker class with an annotation describing it. Next up he creates the WorkerManager to create and get the current set of workers. Then comes the discovery process and the creation of a simple class that looks through files and finds those with the @Worker annotation and makes them available as a worker instance. Finally he "wires it all together" in the services configuration and shows an example of a basic worker instance and using it by calling its work method.

tagged: custom annotations worker example symfony application tutorial

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/your-own-custom-annotations/

Stefan Koopmanschap:
Command or Controller
Jun 20, 2016 @ 12:04:18

In a post to his site Stefan Koopmanschap takes a look at the technical term "command" and tries to clear up some of the confusion around its use and how it differs from the idea of a "controller".

A couple of weeks ago while walking towards lunch with Jelrik we were having a bit of a discussion about the use of the term Command. Not long before that, Jelrik had asked a question about naming of Commands in our Slack channel, which led to some confusion.

He starts off by defining what a command is and why it's called a "command" instead of a controller (hint: it "just works" with the Symfony Console). He then gives an example of a command in a Symfony bundle structure and how a CLI "controller" can extend the Command and automatically be integrated into the command structure.

tagged: command controller clarification example difference symfony bundle

Link: http://leftontheweb.com/blog/2016/06/18/Command-or-Controller/

Vic Cherubini:
Writing Functional Tests for Services in Symfony
Jun 16, 2016 @ 12:35:07

Vic Cherubini has written up a tutorial on his site showing you how to write functional tests for Symfony services in your application. He provides a practical example of testing a basic Symfony service and the configuration/code to go with it.

The dependency injector is an amazingly simple and flexible addition to Symfony, and one you should be using to properly structure your application. But what happens when you want to write a functional (or integration) test for a service that depends on another service? This article will show you an easy way to test complex services.

He sets up a simple InvoiceGenerator service that takes in a Doctrine entity manager and a "payment processor" instance. He stubs out a simple PaymentProcessor class and shows the configuration needed to set it all up for correct injection. He then gets into the testing of this setup, creating a simple test case that requests the invoice generator from the service container. In this call the services_test definition overrides the default and injects the test payment processor instead of the actual one.

tagged: symfony functional test services example tutorial configuration container injection

Link: https://viccherubini.com/2016/06/writing-functional-tests-for-services-in-symfony

Marc Scholten:
Accidental Complexity Caused By Service Containers In The PHP World
May 24, 2016 @ 11:25:30

In this post to his site Marc Scholten talks about something that's become a side effect of using the inversion of control design pattern in PHP applications (specifically related to dependency injection): added accidental complexity.

Modern PHP development favors the use of inversion of control to keep software more configurable and flexible. This leads to the problem that one now has to create a big graph of objects to use the application. As a solution to avoid redundant setup code, service containers like the symfony2 dependency injection component are used.

The goal of a service container is to centralize the construction of big object graphs. [...] Simple, right? Actually it’s not. Commonly used service containers are complex solution for simple problems.

He illustrates with an example using the Symfony services container, a piece of the framework that allows the definition of dependency relationships via a YAML formatted file. While this configuration seems simple enough, he points out that more complex dependencies (ones that could easier be set via a "set" method) become more difficult to define when limited by the service container config structure. He also points out that it makes static analysis of the code much more difficult with dependencies being dynamically fetched from the container instead of directly related. He offers an alternative to this complex container setup, however: a simple method (or methods) inside of a factory class that creates the objects, injects the required dependencies. This makes it much easier to call from the service container instance and configuration and even a "create container" call to set all of the dependencies up at once. He ends the post with some advantages of this approach and a takeaway or two to keep in mind when managing your object dependencies.

tagged: complexity service container accidental configuration simplex complex example symfony

Link: https://www.mpscholten.de/software-engineering/2016/05/21/accidental-complexity-caused-by-service-containers-in-the-php-world.html

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Benchmarking: Can AppServer Beat Symfony’s Performance?
May 19, 2016 @ 10:45:51

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted a new article comparing AppServer and Symfony on a performance level and wonders if the AppServer platform can outperform the framework on some base level functionality.

After the release of the first part of our Appserver series, it was clear through the ensuing discussions on both SitePoint and Reddit that we had touched a nerve for a good number of PHP channel’s devoted readers. I also quickly realized this new (for PHP) technology had a good number of serious doubters. One of the most poignant responses in the discussions was something along the lines of,

Needless to say, those doubtful and critical comments sounded like a real challenge. I was also very interested in finding out where appserver would land, if it were to be benchmarked against another well known PHP framework. [...] I decided to use my favorite framework, Symfony, to make the comparison. This is because appserver, as a stock PHP application server, also offers a good bit of important application functionality similar to Symfony.

They start with the approach they took to the comparison and how they set up the systems to evaluate the difference between the two (including hardware specs). The remainder of the post shares the results of several Apache Bench runs - the raw command line output - and more graphical versions of the same information (bar graphs). While there are a few "wins" on the AppServer side, overall it came in a bit slower (mostly because of the technologies involved in every request, however).

tagged: appserver appserverio performance symfony comparison benchmark results

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/benchmarking-can-appserver-beat-symfonys-performance/

Symfony Finland:
GraphQL with PHP and the Symfony Framework
May 16, 2016 @ 12:19:09

The Symfony Finland site has a recent post giving an overview of GraphQL and Symfony, combing the GraphQL query language (RESTish handling) from Facebook with your application.

The origins of GraphQL stem from the needs that Facebook's mobile applications had (and continue to have). They needed a data-fetching API that was flexible enough to describe all the different kinds of data that the social network had available. [...] Back in September 2015 GraphQL was already powering Billions of API calls a day at Facebook. [...] The core idea of GraphQL is to send a simple string to the server. This string is then interpreted by the server and it sends back a JSON payload that responds to follows the structure of the query itself.

The post includes an example of what the request and response from a GraphQL query might look like for a social network's data. They also link to several PHP libraries that have come up around the functionality making it easier to integrate. There's also links to some Symfony bundles that provide functionality to make your own GraphQL servers.

tagged: graphql symfony bundle introduction facebook rest query json library

Link: https://www.symfony.fi/entry/graphql-with-php-and-the-symfony-framework

Symfony Blog:
Announcing the Fourth Symfony Docs Hack Day
May 13, 2016 @ 09:58:29

On the Symfony Blog they've posted the official announcement of their Fourth Symfony Docs Hack Day happening on May 21st. This hack day is focused on just improving the documentation for the framework, not handling bugs in the main codebase itself.

The Symfony project is proud to announce its fourth Symfony Docs Hack Day. This Hack Day will be an online event to give a push to the Symfony Docs before the Symfony 3.1 release at the end of this month.

[...] Hosts Ryan Weaver, Wouter de Jong and Christian Flothmann along with you and all your friends from the Symfony community. The Hack Day is for everyone - we need Symfony experts and newcomers. If you're new to Symfony, you give us a fresh look at the documentation!

The post gives you a bit of an idea what the event will be like and what you can expect, especially as a first time submitter. It will be happening completely online via the "#symfony-docs" channel on the Freenode IRC network. You can prepare by following some of the links in the post to pending pull requests and a list of missing documentation contents.

tagged: symfony hackday documentation update event irc freenode framework

Link: http://symfony.com/blog/announcing-the-fourth-symfony-docs-hack-day

Symfony Finland:
Learn Symfony and modern PHP with Bolt 3.0 - a Silex powered CMS
May 11, 2016 @ 09:36:53

On the Symfony Finland site there's a new article posted about the recently released v3.0 of the Bolt CMS and details about this Silex-powered, modern PHP-based system.

On Tuesday 10th of May the development team released a new major version of Bolt CMS. The Open Source content management system is a lightweight and easy to use tool for managing websites and blogs. In addition it's perfect for learning modern PHP development practises.

The third major version of Bolt continues on the path, being an evolution rather than a revolution. The CMS is built on the Silex microframework based on the Symfony PHP components.

The article talks about the "solid foundation" of Silex and good project management skills of the team behind it. They then get into the installation of the tool and some of the libraries that it uses to get the job done (including Twig and YAML handling). They also list some of the things that are new in the v3.0 of the CMS including:

  • A new extensible Storage layer
  • Backend UI refresh
  • Improved tests / code coverage
  • New documentation
  • Web asset queues, and easier to keep files out of webroot

There's also mention of some of the things that were removed and didn't make the cut to be included in the release. The post ends with links to other resources where you can find out about Bolt, get its source and a few other articles about people putting it to use.

tagged: bold cms silex symfony modern release v3 overview installation

Link: https://www.symfony.fi/entry/learn-symfony-and-modern-php-with-bolt-3-0-a-silex-powered-cms