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Build a Real-Time Chat Application With Modulus and Laravel 5
Sep 02, 2015 @ 10:17:16

On NetTuts.com they've posted a tutorial showing you how to create a real-time chat system using Laravel 5, Modulus and Pusher (with a PostregSQL backend).

In this tutorial, I will show you how to implement a real-time chat application with Laravel 5, PostgreSQL, and Pusher. Then we will deploy this application to Modulus together. We will use Laravel 5 for the back-end service, HTML5 and jQuery for a simple front-end application, PostgreSQL for the database, and Pusher for real-time communication between the server and clients.

They start with the scenario they want to solve and a look at the overall architecture of the solution. Then they start setting up the software and services needed to bring it all together:

  • installing a fresh copy of Laravel (as a project)
  • setting up a new database using the ElephantSQL service
  • creating a Pusher account and the credentials you'll need for the application
  • creating an Nginx configuration for the Modulus setup

Next comes the design of the application, creating the models for message data (author, content, etc) and the simple controller to handle the requests. They show how to configure the connection to Pusher and build the routes for getting, listing and saving messages. Finally they create the view complete with Javascript to connect it to Pusher and transfer messages back and forth. All that's left then is the deployment using the modulus command line tool (installed via npm).

tagged: realtime chat tutorial application laravel5 pusher postgresql modulus

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/build-a-real-time-chat-application-with-modulus-and-laravel-5--cms-24284

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Writing PHP Git Hooks with Static Review
Sep 01, 2015 @ 11:16:01

On the SitePoint PHP blog Matthew Setter introduces the use of git hooks to help with automatic static analysis of your application's code, integrating it directly into your current workflow. He shows how to use this library to make creating and installing them as easy as a single command (and they're written in PHP).

If you’ve been using Git for more than a short length of time, you’ll hopefully have heard of Git hooks. [...] There are hooks for pre- and post-commit, pre- and post-update, pre-push, pre-rebase, and so on. The sample hooks are written in Bash, one of the Linux shell languages. But they can be written in almost any language you’re comfortable or proficient with. [...] Thanks to Static Review, by Samuel Parkinson, you can now write Git hooks with native PHP, optionally building on the existing core classes. In today’s post, I’m going to give you a tour of what’s on offer, finishing up by writing a custom class to check for any lingering calls to var_dump().

He walks you through the installation of the library and helps you create a simple working example that ensures you've correctly set up your (Composer) dependencies. He explains a bit about what's involved in the StaticReview package and the three "introspection" objects initialized for each run. He ends the post by walking you through the creation of a custom, more real-world check that evaluates your code (via a simple grep) to ensure no var_dump statements were left in.

tagged: static review git hook analysis tutorial

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/writing-php-git-hooks-with-static-review/

Edd Mann:
Developing a Resizable-Indexed Array as a PHP Extension with Joe Watkins
Aug 31, 2015 @ 12:43:11

Edd Mann has a post to his site sharing a new screencast about developing PHP extensions by Joe Watkins, specifically about using a resizable-indexed array.

Following on from our first screencast, which touched upon how to setup a PHP extension development environment and creating a simple ‘array_sum’ like function. We now further this topic by implementing a resizable-indexed array class which supplies very similar functionality to that of the SplFixedArray class. Throughout this discussion we look into creating a custom Zend object class, using this to invoke an implemented data-structure located in another file, implementing internal interfaces, object handlers and the importance of PHP extension tests.

You can watch the video either through the in-page video player or directly on YouTube if you'd like a bit more control over the sizing. You can find the resulting code for the extension in this repository on Joe's account.

tagged: resizable indexed array extension tutorial screencast youtube threedevsandamaybe

Link: http://eddmann.com/posts/developing-a-resizable-indexed-array-as-a-php-extension-with-joe-watkins/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Voice controlled PHP apps with API.ai
Aug 31, 2015 @ 09:36:14

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted a tutorial showing you how to help your applications understand natural language with the help of the Api.ai service.

In this tutorial we’ll be looking into Api.ai, an API that lets us build apps which understand natural language, much like Siri. It can accept either text or speech as input, which it then parses and returns a JSON string that can be interpreted by the code that we write.

They start by explaining some of the concepts you'll need to know in using the service: agents, entities, intents, contexts, aliases and domains (each with a summary and examples). In their example, they show how to get the current time from any given places using their API. He shows you how to set up a free account and create a new agent. He then uses Guzzle (the HTTP client library) to make the request to the API with your API and subscription keys. They show the result of a query for "What's the current time in Barcelona Spain?" and how to extract the "location" value from the results. With this they then search the Google API for the local time of "Barcelona Spain". With the time in hand, they then use the responsive-voice.js library to convert the text to speech at the click of a button.

With all these concepts under your belt, they also walk you through a second application, a currency converter. It uses the same workflow as the previous example with the exception of using the CurrencyLayer.com API to perform the financial conversion. All code needed for this example is included as well. If you'd like to just jump to the end, they've also shared the complete code for both examples over on Github.

tagged: voice control api apiai tutorial localtime currency convert

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/voice-controlled-php-apps-with-api-ai/

Social Network with PHP: Introduction (Video Series)
Aug 28, 2015 @ 11:50:47

Codecourse.com has released a video series walking you through the creation of a simple social network site with PHP, Laravel and Bootstrap.

[This tutorial shows you how to create] a social network built with Laravel and Bootstrap. Authenticate, add and accept friend requests, post to a timeline, reply to and like statuses.

The videos are pretty "bite sized" at just a few minutes each, but they walk you through all of the code you'll need to get the site up and running as well. There's 36 videos in the playlist but with the playlist on auto-play you'll go through them quickly.

tagged: playlist video tutorial series screencast social network laravel bootstrap

Link: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLfdtiltiRHWGGxaR6uFtwZnnbcXqyq8JD

PHP 7 Up and Running (Video Series)
Aug 28, 2015 @ 10:38:14

The Laracasts site has posted a set of videos that can help you learn all about PHP7 and get you up to speed before this next major release is available for download (well, a stable release anyway).

Slated for release in October, 2015, PHP 7 brings a wealth of new features, bug fixes, and performance improvements. If you're curious, come with me, as I demonstrate what's new!

The videos cover some of the major new features coming to the language including:

More videos are coming too, including one already listed showing how to use anonymous classes. Keep an eye on this series to learn all about PHP 7 before it's even released.

tagged: php7 video series introduction major version tutorial

Link: https://laracasts.com/series/php7-up-and-running

Marc Moreram:
EventListeners as Collectors in Symfony
Aug 28, 2015 @ 08:25:07

Marc Moreram has posted a guide on his site to using event listeners as collectors in Symfony 2 based applications. He shows how to hook into the eventing system and both gather events fired (matching your criteria) and view the current collection.

Some of my concerns during the last couple of years have been how to collect data from all installed bundles using available tools in Symfony packages. I say concerns because I don’t really know if is there a tool for that. Some people have told me that the EventDispatcher component can do this work greatly, but then I have the same question once and again… is this component designed for such?

He uses an example of gathering mmoreram.wake_up events from his codebase, triggered when it "wakes up". He shows how to create a simple class for the event with a "rested" value. He modifies this to set up an array of "feelings" inside the event and a method to add new instances to the internal array. Finally he shows how to dispatch an event of the mmoreram.wake_up type and access the resulting set of "feelings" directly from the event.

tagged: event listener collector symfony feelings fire wakeup tutorial

Link: http://mmoreram.com/blog/2015/08/28/eventlisteners-as-collectors-in-symfony/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Re-introducing PDO – the Right Way to Access Databases in PHP
Aug 25, 2015 @ 11:10:14

On the SitePoint PHP blog they have a post that "reintroduces PDO" or as they describe it, the "right way to access databases in PHP". The PDO functionality in PHP provides extra handling around database connections and queries as well as making it easier to connect to multiple types of databases with similar code.

PDO is the acronym of PHP Data Objects. As the name implies, this extension gives you the ability to interact with your database through objects. [...] PHP is rapidly growing, and it is moving toward becoming a better programming language. Usually, when this happens in a dynamic language, the language increases its strictness in order to allow programmers to write enterprise applications with peace of mind.

In case of PHP, better PHP means object-oriented PHP. This means the more you get to use objects, the better you can test your code, write reusable components, and, usually, increase your salary. Using PDO is the first step in making the database layer of your application object-oriented and reusable.

He starts by answering the question most ask about PDO versus mysql/mysqli by pointing out that PDO is more OOP friendly, it allows for parameter binding and the fact that the mysql extension is no longer supported. He shows how to check and ensure PDO is installed on your setup and, if not, how to add it in (for both linux and Windows systems). The tutorial then walks you through using PDO: making the connections to the server, running queries and returning the results. This includes a section on prepared statements and bound parameters and their benefits including SQL injection prevention.

tagged: pdo database access tutorial introduction prepared statements phpdataobjects

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/re-introducing-pdo-the-right-way-to-access-databases-in-php/

Laravel News:
Installing Zend Z-Ray on Homestead
Aug 25, 2015 @ 10:45:01

On the Laravel News site there's a tutorial posted showing you how to Install the Zend Z-Ray tool on Homestead, the popular Laravel-related virtual machine environment. This tool helps with debugging applications by giving you an inside look (a sort of "x-ray") into its inner workings as it executes.

For the past week or so I have been running Zend Z-Ray in Laravel Homestead. Every time using it, new features come to light that are fantastic for debugging your apps in development! What follows is a quick preview of Z-Ray, along with all the steps necessary to install it on Laravel Homestead.

He talks some about the Z-Ray tool and the features it has to offer as well as some of the technologies it supports. He also covers some of the Laravel specific features included like project information, route inspection and current user information. He then gets into the Administration panel, what kinds of information it provides and, finally, how to get it all installed and working. It's not a super simple process but all the commands you'll need are included in the post.

tagged: install zray zend tool plugin laravel tutorial inspect

Link: https://laravel-news.com/2015/08/installing-zend-z-ray-on-homestead/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Using the Selenium Web Driver API with PHPUnit
Aug 24, 2015 @ 12:54:56

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted a tutorial showing you how to use the Selenium web driver API from inside of your PHPUnit tests. Selenium is an automation tool that makes testing frontends of applications simpler.

Previously, we demonstrated using Selenium with PHPUnit and used a user subscription form example throughout the article. In this one, we are going to explore Facebook’s webdriver package for emulating a browser. PHPUnit partially supports the Selenium WebDriver API and the work is still in progress. One of the most popular WebDriver API implementations is the Facebook/webdriver package. We will try to accomplish the same validation tests from the previous article using this package.

They help you get the Facebook package installed (via Composer) and create a first simple test class. They create an instance of the RemoteWebDriver object and point it at their local application. A test is then created to navigate to a form, fill in a bit of data and submit it. The results are then checked for a string ("Everything is Good!") to pass the test. He also shows how to have the driver wait for an element to load, possibly one that uses an AJAX request. The post finishes off with a look at some of the other interaction methods (drag and drop, handling popups) and how to run the tests in a "headless" mode not requiring a browser to execute through your system.

tagged: selenium phpunit webdriver api tutorial frontend testing

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/using-the-selenium-web-driver-api-with-phpunit/