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Medium.com:
PHPStan: Find Bugs In Your Code Without Writing Tests!
Dec 05, 2016 @ 13:25:38

In this post on Medium.com Ond?ej Mirtes introduces a tool that can be use to statically analyze your PHP application and locate bugs without the need for tests - PHPStan.

Keeping up with modern PHP practices leads to codebases where we can be sure about types of a lot of data, converging with statically typed languages, although the dynamic nature is still present. Modern PHP codebases are similar to the ones in languages people make much less fun of. Object-oriented code, dependency injection and usage of established design patterns are truly common nowadays.

Which led me to the idea of a static analysis tool for PHP that would substitute the role of the compiler from other languages. I’ve spent a lot of time working on it and I’ve been employing its various development versions checking our codebase for more than a year.

It’s called PHPStan, it’s open-source and free to use.

The post goes on to talk about some of the checks that PHPStan performs (with more information available in the project's README). He also talks about the performance of the tool, how to extend it and configuring it for "strictness". He ends the post by pointing out that, despite the title of the article, he still encourages writing tests, just making sure they're "meaningful ones" that test more than just syntax.

tagged: phpstan static analysis tool tests evaluation

Link: https://medium.com/@ondrejmirtes/phpstan-2939cd0ad0e3#.23491arlh

Deployer Blog:
How to deploy Laravel application
Nov 22, 2016 @ 12:39:30

In a new post to their blog the Deployer project (a PHP-based deployment tool) has shared a quick tutorial about deploying Laravel applications using the tool and just a few simple commands.

Apparently you already have some Laravel application and some server or shared hosting. Now you need to automate the process of deployment. Deployer will helps you in this as it ships with some ready to use recipes for Laravel based application.

They start with the details about installing the tool then share the single "dep init" command to create the deployment configuration needed to deploy a default Laravel application. There's a few modifications you'll need to make for your own project (like repository location, server information and the path to your SSH key) but that's basically it. The "dep deploy" command can then be used to push the release to the remote server in a "current" directly ready and waiting for your web server to serve up.

tagged: deployer deployment tool tutorial laravel application setup

Link: https://deployer.org/blog/how-to-deploy-laravel

Zend Developer Zone:
A Reverse Debugger for PHP…wait…WHAT?
Nov 16, 2016 @ 11:51:28

On the Zend Developer Zone they have a post talking about an interesting project - a reverse debugger for PHP making it simpler to step forward and backwards through breakpoints in your PHP code (instead of just forward).

Honestly, when I originally tweeted this out I really wasn’t 100% sure what it did. You never know when you see things like “reverse debugger”. It’s one of those “I understand the words separately…” type of things. Then I watched the short video. HO-LY CRAP! Seriously, it is exactly what it says, it allows you to step debug forward AND backwards. Well, almost. You have to record the session first and then you can step forwards and backwards. Still it is a powerful tool.

The project, Don'tBug, hooks directly into any IDE that supports XDebug (just about all of them) making it easy to integrate into your current workflow. You can see it in action in this video over on YouTube.

tagged: reverse debugger language tool dontbug project xdebug

Link: https://devzone.zend.com/7400/reverse-debugger-php-wait/

Exakat.io Blog:
Automatically Enforcing Coding Reference For PHP
Nov 10, 2016 @ 09:42:07

On the Exakat.io blog there's a post continuing on from a "dos and donts" article about programmer practices. In this new post cover some of the rules in a bit more detail from the original article.

Last week, I ran into ‘PHP Dos and Don’ts aka Programmers I Don’t Like‘ on reddit’s PHP group. It features a list of 11 points that the author hates finding in PHP code. [...] The most interesting point is that coding references are used to asses code. They may very well be automated, thanks to static analysis. I thought it was a good challenge for Exakat.

The list covers several of the rules in the list, providing a brief explanation (and a bit of how it relates back to PHP) including:

  • Unnecessary casting
  • Extra bracket and braces
  • Lack of coding standard
  • Too many nested if statements

He ends the post with a bit of detail about how the Exakat service is checking for these "failures" in it's newer "RadwellCode" report. He even gives the scores of some of the more well-known and used PHP projects including the Zend Framework (v1.12), WordPress, Composer and even Exakat itself.

tagged: enforce coding reference exakat code staticanalysis tool oliverradwell

Link: https://www.exakat.io/enforcing-coding-reference/

Kévin Gomez:
Digging into: Humbug
Oct 27, 2016 @ 12:12:36

Kévin Gomez has a recent post to his site sharing some of the knowledge he gained when digging into Humbug, a mutation testing tool for PHP development.

While I’ve already used Humbug a few time, a recent article made my realise that I didn’t really know how it worked.

That’s when I got the idea to dig into Humbug to learn how it works, and publish my findings here.

He starts with a brief overview of Humbug for those not familiar with it - a mutation testing tool that reviews your unit tests to see how well they actually cover your code. It performs various operations (mutations) on the tests and evaluates the response. He then gets into how Humbug does this and what tools it uses to break down and understand your tests. He then goes through the actual code of the tool, walking through the tests, tokenizing the code and performing small changes to re-test and see how the results differ from the original results.

tagged: humbug mutation testing tool indepth library token variation

Link: http://blog.kevingomez.fr/2016/10/23/digging-into-humbug/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Static analysis with PHPSA: PHP Smart Analyzer
Sep 08, 2016 @ 09:25:33

On the SitePoint PHP blog there's a post from Claudio Ribeiro introducing you to a new static analysis tool to help improve the quality of your code - PHP Static Analyzer, or "PHPSA" for short.

One requirement that never changes whether you are working on your projects alone or in a team, on small projects or big, is Code Quality. The bigger the project and the team, the harder it gets to maintain it.

A good way of slowing this increase in difficulty down is to use static analysis tools. Static analysis is the process of analyzing software without actually executing the program – a sort of automatic code review. Static analysis tools will detect common errors, enforce coding standards, and even clean up code blocks. The days of php -l filename are not over, but we now have a number of great tools that go the extra mile in helping us create and maintain high quality code.

They start with an example of using the tried and true "php -l" to lint an example PHP file but note that the yes/no answer it provides doesn't help give much feedback on the quality of the code, just its syntax. Enter PHPSA, a Composer-installable tool that does much more than lint checking. It also provides information about things like missing docblocks, function alias use and undefined property usage. they show an example of it in use on the command line, the results it provides and the changes made to the example class to fix the issues it found.

tagged: phpsa smart analyzer static analysis tool tutorial example

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/static-analysis-with-phpsa-php-smart-analyzer/

php[architect]:
Testing Your Drupal Site with Behat
Aug 11, 2016 @ 11:32:45

On the php[architect] site there's a new tutorial posted from Oscar Merida about testing Drupal sites with Behat, a popular PHP-based "Behavior Driven Development" testing tool to help ensure your application is performing correctly from the outside.

If automated testing is not already part of your development workflow, then it’s time to get started. Testing helps reduce uncertainty by ensuring that new features you add to your application do not break older features. Having confidence that your not breaking existing functionality reduces time spent hunting bugs or getting reports from clients by catching them earlier.

Unfortunately, testing still does not get the time and attention it needs when you’re under pressure to make a deadline or release a feature your clients have been asking for. [...] After reading all the theory, I only recently took the plunge myself. In this post, I’ll show you how to use Behat to test that your Drupal site is working properly.

He starts by listing some of the requirements you'll need to get started (packages installed via Composer) including the installation of a Drupal specific plugin to make testing these sites easier. From there he shows how to configure the Behat tool and write a simple feature to test the visiting of a certain page and looking for matching results. He also includes tips about testing with user authentication, using custom contexts and Selenium integration.

tagged: behat testing bdd tool tutorial drupal application introduction

Link: https://www.phparch.com/2016/08/testing-your-drupal-site-with-behat/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Composer Global Require Considered Harmful?
Jun 08, 2016 @ 09:53:05

The SitePoint PHP blog has a post about a feature Composer provides to help make tools and libraries easier to use - the ability to install things globally. In this post editor Bruno Skvorc wonders if this feature should be "considered harmful" and a bad practice.

We’ve discussed Composer best practices before, and I’ve always advocated using composer global require when installing packages that can be used across several projects – particularly command line tools. Then, the other day, I ran into this discussion. The short of it is – the majority of people now seem to feel like global require is bad practice, unless the globally installed package has zero dependencies.

The article he references offers an alternative option however: install locally to the project and just update your paths to allow for it to be easily found. This can be difficult and hard to maintain so Bruno offers a counter-suggestion, the "[consolidation/cgr]"(https://github.com/consolidation-org/cgr) tool. This tool handles the "global" install in a way that still isolates it and then automatically updates your .bash_aliases with the command and path to make it easier to use.

tagged: composer global require harmful cgr tool local project

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/composer-global-require-considered-harmful/

SitePoint Web Blog:
Please: Automated CMS and Framework Installs in Vagrant
May 25, 2016 @ 10:29:08

On the SitePoint.com site's "Web" category they're posted a tutorial showing off an interesting piece of software that helps make automated installs of CMS/frameworks easy: a simple bash script tool called Please.

If you’re a web developer, possibly one of your most boring and repetitive tasks is the configuration of the basic setup for every new project. Configuring your my-project.dev domain, creating the database, installing WordPress (or any other CMS/Framework) for the thousandth time: you already know how to do it. What if you could automate all of that?

Well, actually, you can. Please is a simple bash script that helps to automate the installations of many CMSs and Frameworks by configuring them automatically into your Vagrant box, adding a development domain name into your host file, and even a database if needed.

They start off by helping you get a Vagrant box up and running to use for the Please handling. You then clone the Please repository locally and can use the command line tool to set up the process for multiple CMS/framework types including WordPress, Laravel and React. There's also a section covering the creation of your own environment if you need something more custom. Please is currently in beta at the time of this post so be aware that there may still be issues that need resolving before it becomes stable.

tagged: please automated installation tool commandline cms framework vagrant

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/please-automated-cms-and-framework-installs-in-vagrant/

/Dev/Hell Podcast:
Episode 76: No, YOU'RE a Tool
May 10, 2016 @ 11:23:15

The /Dev/Hell podcast, hosted by PHP community members Chris Hartjes and Ed Finkler, has posted its latest episode: Episode #76: No, YOU'RE a Tool.

Chris and Ed sit down to talk about their recent travels to conference both near and far and to also discuss what tools and languages they have been using at their day jobs.

Some of the topics mentioned include:

  • Editors like PHPStorm, Nano and Vim
  • Libraries/tools like Vue.js, HTTPie and Docker
  • Languages besides PHP including Javascript and Python

You can listen to this latest episode either through the in-page audio player or by downloading the mp3 of the show. If you enjoy it, be sure to subscribe to their feed and get the latest shows as they're released.

tagged: devhell podcast ep76 tool library chrishartjes edfinkler

Link: http://devhell.info/post/2016-05-08/no-youre-a-tool/