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Andreas Möller:
Makefile for lazy developers
Jan 26, 2018 @ 11:45:18

In a post to his site Andreas Möller shares a tool that he uses to get an application up and running quickly, providing a makefile for lazy developers.

Whatever the size of the software project, I believe in, subscribe to, and promote Continuous Integration. Personally, I rely on Travis CI as an automated build system. Regardless of whether an automated build system can be set up and used for a project or not, I prefer to be able to run build steps locally. This prevents stress testing the automated build system and taking away resources from other developers. Also, it gives me more confidence before committing and pushing changes upstream.

[...] For a couple of years now I have been using make, after having been introduced to it when working on a project in 2014. While it has its limitations, it’s short and simple, and most of all, it get’s the job done.

He then talks about the repository he's created to get up and running quickly that creates a simple Makefile to define several make commands and shortcuts for some common tasks. The make it task is the most used, executing all of the other tasks to ensure that all tests pass, the code is well-structured and generates a coverage report to ensure as much of the code is covered by tests as it should be.

tagged: makefile make tutorial repository common task lazy

Link: https://localheinz.com/blog/2018/01/24/makefile-for-lazy-developers/

TutsPlus.com:
Deferring Tasks in Laravel Using Queues
Dec 18, 2017 @ 12:55:39

The TutsPlus.com site has a new tutorial posted for the Laravel users showing how to defer tasks to queues using functionality already included in the framework.

In this article, we're going to explore the Queue API in the Laravel web framework. It allows you to defer resource-intensive tasks during script execution to enhance the overall end user experience. After introducing the basic terminology, I'll demonstrate it by implementing a real-world example.

The article starts by talking about some of the advantages of using queues to help with reducing page load times and improving the overall performance/quality of your site's user experience. It then starts in on the Laravel-specific pieces of the queuing puzzle including the queue drivers, connection types and the queues themselves. Next they move on to the code, showing how to create a simple first job that will manipulate the images a user uploads. The post includes the code to create the "jobs" table, build the "Images" model and the "ProcessImageThumbnails" job that will build the smaller thumbnail images from larger ones. Finally they create the controller and views for the upload handling, show how to delegate it to the job for the image processing and run the queue processor do to the actual work.

tagged: laravel tutorial task queue delegate image processing thumbnail

Link: https://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/deferring-tasks-in-laravel-using-queues--cms-29957

TutsPlus.com:
Task Scheduling in Laravel
Dec 04, 2017 @ 10:51:52

On the TutsPlus.com site there's a new tutorial posted introducing you to task scheduling in Laravel, a feature that allows you to run code in the application periodically similar to a cron job.

In this article, we’ll go through one of the exciting features of the Laravel web framework—task scheduling. Throughout the course of this article, we’ll look at how Laravel allows you to manage scheduled tasks in your application. Moreover, we’ll also end up creating our own custom scheduled tasks for demonstration purposes.

The Laravel framework allows you to set up scheduled tasks so that you don't have to worry about setting them up at the system level. You can get rid of that complex cron syntax while setting up scheduled tasks since Laravel allows you to define them in a user-friendly way.

The article starts with a brief introduction to cron jobs, how they're set up and some issues that come along with them. Next the article describes the "Laravel Way" of handling task scheduling, showing how to use Laravel's artisan command to run the scheduler. With the basics laid out, the author then walks through how to create a custom task either using a closure/callable, making an artisan command or using the exec command. Code examples are included for each and more information about scheduling options and functionality can be found in the Laravel manual.

tagged: task schedule tutorial laravel artisan closure exec command

Link: https://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/tasks-scheduling-in-laravel--cms-29815

Unnikked.ga:
How To Schedule User Generated Cron Jobs In Laravel
Oct 10, 2017 @ 09:55:05

On the Unnikked.ga site there's a tutorial posted by Nicola Malizia showing you how to schedule user-generated cron jobs in Laravel using the built-in job handling functionality.

While developing a personal project I was in the need to let user defines actions that run periodically.

My first thought was to use the Task Scheduling component of Laravel. The solution that I came up with is quite simple, yet effective.

He then walks through the process of setting up a "tasks" table where users can define their jobs and how to pull and execute them as a part of the Kernel.php configuration. He ends the post asking readers if there's another way they might go about this and still allow users to define their own jobs without having to write the code for each type.

tagged: laravel schedule user job tutorial task kernel

Link: https://unnikked.ga/how-to-schedule-user-generated-cron-jobs-in-laravel-8a1e0400bb10

Jeff Madsen:
PhpStorm: Tasks & Contexts with Your Git Branches
Sep 26, 2017 @ 09:37:29

On his Medium.com site Jeff Madsen shows you how to use contexts in the PhpStorm IDE to switch between environments or current work using a more streamlined process.

Switching context is a pain.

Not just because you need to mentally switch the complex web of ideas in your head. Think about all the physical files on different git branches you have to remember in order to answer a “quick question about task #123”. [...] PhpStorm has a lot of great context links and shortcuts to help you navigate among all these, but it is still a royal pain whenever you need to put one set of files aside and work in a different area of the codebase.

[...] When I finished something and pushed it up for review if there was even a small request to change a default or label I had to reopen the branch and track down the correct files where the work was done. How could I turn that all into a single, easy step?

Enter Contexts and Tasks!

He starts off by defining what a "context" is in the world of PhpStorm - a group of open files with a name attached - and how they can be created/saved inside the IDE. Next is the idea of "tasks" that help with performing operations and relating them to contexts and groupings of files. He then shows how to switch between tasks related to a certain feature and how to close it out when you're done.

tagged: phpstorm custom task context group file switch tutorial

Link: https://medium.com/@codebyjeff/phpstorm-tasks-contexts-with-your-git-branches-92d9d1c5a34b

Zend Developer Zone:
Scheduling ElePHPants (DateTime math is HARD)
Nov 18, 2016 @ 12:49:38

On the Zend Developer Zone there's a new post talking about scheduling in applications ("scheduling elePHPants") including both library recommendations and advice about code reuse.

It was while I was creating the 100th or so cronjob to do some very similar to the other 99 that I thought, “Hey! Why not just put all this in a database and check it once a minute instead?” [...] It would be so much easier to deal with in PHP. Also, cron does not scale well at all either in performance or management.

The problem is that cron is an elegant solution for “Do this at that time” type of problems. Every solution I came up with was basically re-creating cron. That in itself isn’t a bad thing, but the logic involved in doing what cron does is mind-melting.

[...] Then it hit me, I am probably not the first person that has had this need. There have probably been other people who needed to implement “Do this at that time” within a PHP application. So I started looking around. What I found was encouraging.

The author then mentions several packages that he went through searching for the right solution to his problem, noting that while Laravel-based solutions seemed nice, they wouldn't work with his framework choice (Slim). He decided on the cron-expression package, finding it to be the best fit for the project's needs.

I had spent countless hours trying to create the solution myself. [...] I got so lost in solving the problem, I forgot to look to see if someone had already solved it. [...] After I finally came to my senses, I tweeted that out to remind myself to “Use the Source”.
tagged: schedule task cron experience package code reuse datetime

Link: https://devzone.zend.com/7418/scheduling-elephpants-datetime-math-is-hard/

Toptal.com:
Handling Intensive Tasks with Laravel
Apr 05, 2016 @ 12:48:36

The Toptal blog has a post for the Laravel users out there showing you how to handling intensive tasks in your applications. In this case it's creating a background job (run via cron) to import information from Excel spreadsheet formatted file into the database.

When dealing with time consuming resource intensive tasks, most PHP developers are tempted to choose the “quick hack route.” Don’t deny it! We’ve all used ini_set('max_execution_time', HUGE_INT); before, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

In today’s tutorial, I demonstrate how an application’s user experience may be improved (with minimal developer effort) by separating long-running tasks from the main request flow using Laravel. By making use of PHP’s ability to spawn separate processes that run in the background, the main script will respond faster to user action.

He starts with why PHP isn't particularly a good choice for long running requests and how making users wait for it to complete is a bad thing. He then walks you through the setup of a basic Laravel application that includes the maatwebsite/excel library for the Excel handling. He shows his configuration setup, both in the Nginx and Laravel side, to handle serving up the app. He uses Laravel migrations to set up the database and the models, routing and logic (controller) to handle the incoming Excel file for import. With this in place he then creates the command type to process the file and save the information it contains to the database. Finally, he ends the post with the cron configuration you'll need to handle the import, running it nightly at midnight.

tagged: tutorial intensive task excel import database laravel

Link: https://www.toptal.com/laravel/handling-intensive-tasks-with-laravel

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Crash Course of Wunderlist’s API with Guzzle
Jan 11, 2016 @ 11:14:31

The SitePoint PHP blog has a tutorial posted giving you a crash course on the Wunderlist API and using Guzzle to connect with it. Wunderlist is a task-tracking, to-do list kind of application with support for multiple platforms and, for developers, a nice and relatively easy to use API.

Wunderlist is one of the most popular task management and list keeping applications out there. It allows you to create lists to which you can then add tasks that are easily checkable and have all sorts of functionality built into them. It has native apps for all the major OS’s and all your data syncs effectively over the cloud. It’s very nice to work with if you are trying to keep yourself organized and you can get a lot done even with the free version.

They've posted the final product in a demo repository but they still walk you through the whole process of setting up a simple application that can get, submit and update data via the API:

  • Creating the Wunderlist class (a HTTP client)
  • Returning data using the Wunderlist API
  • Creating and updating data with the Wunderlist API

They also talk a bit more about the OAuth flow the API uses for authentication and points out that the repository also includes a bit more functionality allowing you to get a list and mark the items as complete with a little Ajax.

tagged: crash course wunderlist api guzzle tutorial task list todo

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/crash-course-of-wunderlists-api-with-guzzle/

Laravel News:
Laravel Quick Start – Learn to build a task list
Oct 28, 2015 @ 09:46:44

On the Laravel News site they mention a new quickstart guide that's included in the official Laravel manual now, walking you through the creation of a simple "to do" list application and introducing you to the framework.

The Laravel documentation now includes a dedicated quick start section to guide you through creating a basic task list. For those new to the framework, this is an excellent guide to show you the basics but even the experienced can pick up new tricks. [...] To go along with the tutorial is a Github repo where you can view all the source and easily check it out to play around yourself.

The quickstart steps you through the entire process of creating the application, from a Composer create-project out to the task CRUD (create, read, update, delete) functionality. It shows the use of the Eloquent ORM, routing functionality, views, Blade templates and more. If you're new to the framework and want to check out what it's all about this is a great place to get started.

tagged: laravel framework qickstart task list todo introduction

Link: https://laravel-news.com/2015/10/laravel-quick-start-learn-to-build-a-task-list/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Look, Ma! No NodeJS! – a PHP front end workflow without Node
Aug 20, 2015 @ 09:26:54

The SitePoint PHP has posted an interesting tutorial describing a Node.js frontend workflow without Node.js, instead using PHP tools to replace the Node.js functionality needed for the build.

If you’re intimidated, exhausted or irritated by Gulp, Grunt, NPM, Yeoman, and all the other NodeJS tools that aim to help but often do the opposite, a good asset management workflow is possible in PHP, and this tutorial aims to prove it. In this article, we’ll go through a NodeJS-free PHP front end asset management setup.

He uses three tools to create the build process: BowerPHP for installing assets, markstory/mini-asset for minification and Robo for automation. He sets up a Homestead virtual machine instance as a testing ground first then creates a basic Slim-based application from the slim3-skeleton package. He gets the necessary tools installed via Composer then gets into the details of the process. He adds (Twitter) Bootstrap into his assets, shows how to set up the minification and creates a Robo task to watch the CSS for any changes. This task then re-runs the minifaction on the CSS and created the condensed version automatically.

tagged: workflow nodejs bowerphp miniasset minification robo task tutorial

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/look-ma-no-nodejs-a-php-front-end-workflow-without-node/