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Freek van der Herten:
Dropbox will turn off v1 of their API soon. It’s time to update your PHP appli
Apr 24, 2017 @ 10:12:59

Freek van der Herten has a new post with both a reminder and a solution to an upcoming change from the Dropbox service: the disabling of their v1 API (and a PHP package you can use to be prepared).

Last year on 28th of June Dropbox deprecated v1 of their API. On the same date this year they will turn off all v1 endpoints. If you’re using using Flysystem, Laravel or the official PHP SDK to work with Dropbox, it’s the time to update.

Last week my company released a Dropbox API client and a Flysystem Dropbox adapter that both use v2 of the dropbox API. In this blogpost I’d like to explain how to install and use these packages.

He then shows you how to update your Flysystem adapters to use this new adapter for Dropbox - basically a simple code change once the package is installed. He then moves on to updating a Laravel application, configuring it's built-in file abstraction with the new adapter via a DropboxServiceProvider. The post ends with a bit talking about the update of other types of PHP applications (not using Flysystem) that could make use of other packages to make the required updates.

tagged: dropbox v1 adapter flysystem laravel tutorial update package

Link: https://murze.be/2017/04/dropbox-will-turn-off-v1-of-their-api-soon-its-time-to-update-your-php-application/

Amazon Web Services:
PHP application logging with Amazon CloudWatch Logs and Monolog
Apr 24, 2017 @ 09:46:47

On the Amazon Web Services blog there's a new post showing you how to use the Monolog logging library and a custom AWS extension to ship your logs to Amazon CloudWatch quickly and easily.

Logging and information debugging can be approached from a multitude of different angles. Whether you use an application framework or coding from scratch it’s always comforting to have familiar components and tools across different projects. In our examples today, I am going to enable Amazon CloudWatch Logs logging with a PHP application. To accomplish this, I wanted to use an existing solution that is both already popular and well used, and that is standards compliant. For these reasons, we are going to use the open source log library, PHP Monolog (https://github.com/Seldaek/monolog).

They start by introducing the Monolog library for those not familiar with it and how it relates to the PSR-3 standard. The ultimate goal with their implementation is to allow for the logs to be shipped to CloudWatch and implement some alerting around them. The tutorial then kicks in and they show you how to use Composer to install Monolog and an add-on to interface with CloudWatch. Code is provided to set up the initial logger and how to have it to log messages to different places. They then move over to CloudWatch and define a filter for the JSON data to find successful logins to your application. They also show how to use this same functionality in a Laravel application, contained in a test route.

tagged: aws amazon logging cloudwatch monolog tutorial install usage filter

Link: https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/developer/php-application-logging-with-amazon-cloudwatch-logs-and-monolog/

How to Create a Laravel Helper
Apr 21, 2017 @ 15:15:28

On the NetTuts.com site there's a new tutorial from author Sajal Soni showing you how to create a custom Laravel helper, a set of helper functions that can be used through out the entire application.

Laravel includes a variety of global "helper" PHP functions. Many of these functions are used by the framework itself; however, you are free to use them in your own applications if you find them convenient. So, basically, helpers in Laravel are built-in utility functions that you can call from anywhere within your application. If they hadn't been provided by the core framework, you might have ended up developing your own helper classes.

Although the core provides a variety of helpers already, there’s always a chance that you’ll need your own and would like to develop one so you don’t have to repeat the same code here and there, thus enforcing better maintainability. You'll learn how to create a custom Laravel helper in this tutorial.

They start by talking about some of the current helpers and the functionality they relate to (arrays, paths, strings, etc). It then goes into the creation of the custom helper including the skeleton of the code layout, where to place them and how to load them into the application via a service provider.

tagged: custom laravel helper function creation tutorial

Link: https://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/how-to-create-a-laravel-helper--cms-28537

QaFoo Blog:
How You Can Successfully Ship New Code in a Legacy Codebase
Apr 21, 2017 @ 13:39:13

On the QaFoo blog there's a new post sharing some ideas on how you can add new code to a legacy application and ship it successfully without too much interruption to the current code.

Usually the problems software needs to solve get more complex over time. As the software itself needs to model this increased complexity it is often necessary to replace entire subsystems with more efficient or flexible solutions. Instead of starting from scratch whenever this happens (often!), a better solution is to refactor the existing code and therefore reducing the risk of losing existing business rules and knowledge.

[...] Instead of introducing a long running branch in your version control system (VCS) where you spend days and months of refactoring, you instead introduce an abstraction in your code-base and implement the branching part by selecting different implementations of this abstraction at runtime.

They then give a few examples of methods that can be use to get the new code in:

  • Replacing the Backend in a CMS
  • Rewriting a submodule without changing public API
  • Github reimplements Merge button

The final point is broken down into the process they recommend including the refactor of the current code, starting in on the new implementation and deleting the old code.

tagged: refactor ship new code legacy application tutorial

Link: https://qafoo.com/blog/101_branch_by_abstraction.html

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Getting to Know and Love Xdebug
Apr 20, 2017 @ 17:55:59

On the SitePoint PHP blog editor Bruno Skvorc has posted a tutorial introducing you to Xdebug, the powerful debugging tool for PHP applications.

It’s been 15 years since Xdebug first came out. We think this is the perfect opportunity to re-introduce it to the world, and explain how and why it does what it does. Xdebug is a PHP extension (meaning it needs to be compiled and installed into a PHP installation) which provides the developer with some features for debugging.

It starts off by explaining some of the functionality that Xdebug brings to your debugging practices and the features that can help make it flow a little easier. It talks about how it differs from some of the IDE debugging tools and services like Blackfire.io. Next up is the example putting it to use and what the resulting errors look like. The post then gets into the integration of Vagrant with PhpStorm, using the profiler and how to force the rendering in Laravel output (it normally overrides the exception output with its own formatting).

tagged: tutorial know love xdebug introduction php debug debugging

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/getting-know-love-xdebug/

Zend Framework Blog:
Manage your application with zend-config-aggregator
Apr 20, 2017 @ 16:09:14

The Zend Framework blog has a new post sharing a method for managing your application's configurations with the help of the zend-config-aggregator package, a product of work on the Zend Expressive framework.

With the rise of PHP middleware, many developers are creating custom application architectures, and running into an issue many frameworks already solve: how to allow runtime configuration of the application.

configuration is often necessary, even in custom applications. [...] Faced with this reality, you then have a new problem: how can you configure your application, as well as aggregate configuration from other sources?

As part of the Expressive initiative, we now offer a standalone solution for you: zend-config-aggregator

The post walks you through the installation of the package and introduces some of the included configuration providers. The tutorial then shows how to put the component to use, aggregating several different kinds of configuration files. It also shows how to use caching on the results and auto-enabling third party and custom providers.

tagged: zendexpressive configuration aggregation component tutorial

Link: https://framework.zend.com/blog/2017-04-20-config-aggregator.html

Laravel News:
An Introduction to Laravel Authorization Gates
Apr 20, 2017 @ 15:21:20

On the Laravel News site there's a new post introducing you to "authorization gates" in Laravel, a feature that allows you to ensure a user has the permissions to perform the action being requested.

Laravel Gate has an elegant mechanism to ensure users are authorized to perform actions on resources. Before version 5.1, developers used ACL packages such as Entrust or Sentinel along with middlewares for authorization.

The problem with this approach is the permissions you attach to users are just flags; they don’t encode the complex logic of the permission for some use cases. We have to write the actual access logic within controllers.

They mention some advantages to using Gate over other external packages (like Sentinel or Entrust) by being "opinionated" about its use and the decoupling of access logic from business logic. They then share an example in a basic Laravel application, protecting "posts" based on the user's current roles. Models, migrations the auth generation are all included. They then show how to define policies in the AuthServiceProvider for CRUD operations on the posts and how to enforce their checks in the Post controller execution flow.

tagged: laravel gates authorization introduction tutorial

Link: https://laravel-news.com/authorization-gates

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Building a Social Network with Laravel and Stream? Easy!
Apr 19, 2017 @ 13:53:03

Christopher Vundi has continued his series covering the integration of Laravel and the Stream service in this new tutorial. In the first post he showed how to add "follow" handling to the application, complete with a real-time stream event when it happens. In this new post he uses some of the same handling to enhance this to a larger "social network" type application.

In the previous post, we saw how to add the follow functionality to a Laravel app. We also looked at how to configure our app to use Stream. This part will focus on: configuring our models in order to make it possible to track activities, the different types of feeds that Stream provides, getting feeds from Stream [and] rendering the different types of feeds in a view.

He starts in with the "activity field" functionality, a base level object that stores each event that happens in the system and is then relayed to Stream. Then, using the included "feed manager" in the Stream package, he shows how to use built-in feeds and add in a custom feed for follow and unfollow events. The tutorial then walks through the output process of the events, handling of the updates from Stream and routing those back out to the waiting news feed on the frontend.

tagged: social network follow event stream streamio service tutorial series part2

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/building-social-network-laravel-stream-easy/

Zend Framework Blog:
Caching middleware with Expressive
Apr 19, 2017 @ 12:12:32

On the Zend Framework blog Enrico Zimuel has posted a tutorial showing you how to use middleware caching in Zend Expressive to help increase the overall performance of your application.

Performance is one of the key feature for web application. Using a middleware architecture makes it very simple to implement a caching system in PHP.

The general idea is to store the response output of a URL in a file (or in memory, using memcached) and use it for subsequent requests. In this way we can bypass the execution of the previous middlewares starting from the second request.

Of course, this technique can only be applied for static contents, that does not require update for each HTTP request.

He shows how to implement the "cachable" middleware, starting with a version that caches the return content based on the URL requested. He then shows how to configure the caching system to specify settings like path, lifetime and the enabled/disabled state. This is stored as a PHP configuration where the autoloader can get to it and the class as a dependency on the middleware itself.

tagged: cache middleware output zendexpressive tutorial response content

Link: https://framework.zend.com/blog/2017-04-19-caching-middleware.html

Laravel News:
Learn How to Send an Email on Error Exceptions
Apr 18, 2017 @ 10:25:03

On the Laravel News site there's a quick tutorial posted showing you how to send an email when an exception is thrown in your Laravel-based application using the "mailable" functionality.

You’ve created a new Laravel app for your client and deployed it on the production server. Everything was working fine till a customer has a problem with the app because of some buggy code. He immediately leaves the app, and the same thing happens with multiple customers before you know about the bug. You fix the bug, and then everything is on track.

But what if you were notified immediately through e-mail (or another service) about the bug and you fix it ASAP. In Laravel, this can be done easily and in this post, we’re going to learn how.

The post talks about how errors and exceptions are handled in Laravel applications and how, with a bit of custom code, you can create you own handler and a "mailable" class it can use (an ExceptionOccured mailer) to send a full stack trace when an error is thrown. There's also a link to a package that can be installed that helps to make setup even easier.

tagged: send email laravel exception tutorial mailable handler

Link: https://laravel-news.com/email-on-error-exceptions