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Edd Mann:
Tuples in PHP
April 18, 2014 @ 09:48:38

Edd Mann has a new post today sharing some of his exploration into implementing tuples in PHP. A tuple is a common data structure in other languages consisting of an immutable, ordered list of items.

Since exploring languages such as Scala and Python which provide the tuple data-structure, I have been keen to experiment with how to clearly map it into a PHP solution. Tuples are simply a finite, ordered sequence of elements - usually with good language support to both pack (construction) and unpack (deconstruction) of the values. I have found that many use-cases of the common place array structure in PHP could be better suited to n-tuple's. [...] I discussed briefly that what makes tuples so powerful in the highlighted languages is their good support for handling their contents, for example unpacking a user tuple into separate id and name variables. PHP supports this form of unpacking in regard to arrays using the 'list' function, which I frequently use to return multiple values from a function/method invocation.

He shares the code for his basic implementation, extended from the SplFixedArray, and shows an example of it in use. He also includes samples showing how to make typed tuples via a "type" method call.

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Link: http://eddmann.com/posts/tuples-in-php/

Edd Mann:
Storing PHP Sessions/File Caches in Memory using TMPFS
April 17, 2014 @ 11:19:59

Edd Mann (of the Three Devs & A Maybe podcast) has shared a method of session storage he worked up to help increase performance in his application. He shows how to store sessions in memory with the help of TMPFS.

Yesterday I was looking through some application logs and noticed a significant bottleneck with I/O reads in the implemented file cache. [...] This was when I found 'tmpfs', saving me from all sorts of issues relating to adding yet another application to the production stack. 'tmpfs' appears as a mounted partition on your system, however, under the hood it allocates and uses a section of physical memory (non-persistent through reboots). [...] his results in the desired speed boosts, without tampering with the application logic itself. Even better, if the mount is unsuccessful for some reason, it will safety fall-back to using the persistent hard-disk solution.

Since PHP sessions make it easy to change the "save_path" location for the data in an ini value, setup is easy. He includes the needed configuration change and the commands you'll need to mount the tmpfs partition on your local file system.

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Link: http://eddmann.com/posts/storing-php-sessions-file-caches-in-memory-using-tmpfs

Sameer Borate:
PHP applications on Google App Engine
April 17, 2014 @ 10:40:02

Sameer Borate has posted a guide to his site today showing you how to get started with PHP applications on the Google App Engine now that it natively supports it (well, mostly).

A couple of years back if you needed to run PHP on Google App Engine you were required to use a open source tool like Quercus, a 100% Java implementation of PHP, to run your PHP applications on the App Engine. However, as you would have guessed, it was not easy to work as with using a native PHP implementation. Now that App Engine natively supports PHP and MySQL, you can easily write PHP applications.

He walks you through the setup and configuration of the App Engine SDK to interact with the service and shows how to create a simple "Hello World" PHP application and deploy it. He talks some about the overall advantages of using the Google App Engine for your application including the scalability it offers and the secured infrastructure it runs on. He finishes the post looking at the different options for data storage and how sessions should be handled (hint: memcache).

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Link: http://www.codediesel.com/php/php-applications-on-google-app-engine/

Master Zend Framework:
Howto Use Constructor Injection In ZF2
April 15, 2014 @ 12:50:33

The Master Zend Framework site has a new tutorial posted today introducing you to constructor injection in Zend Framework 2 applications, specifically in controller classes.

s it right to use setter injection? Or is it evil, to be avoided at all costs, for the explicitness of constructor injection? In today's post, we explore that and how to implement constructor injection in ZF2 controller classes. Recently on Master Zend Framework, I wrote about using Setter Injection in Zend Framework 2, to supply dependencies to Controller classes.

He talks about the "magic" that can come with frameworks and how constructor injection of the ServiceManager can help clarify and remove some of the problems associated with "magic". He walks you through three steps to getting the ServiceManager injected into the classes:

  • Implement a Class Constructor
  • Initialise your controllers via FactoryInterface
  • Use factories Instead of invokables

He also points out a few benefits to this method of injection, including that it makes the controllers easier to test and the main goal - lack of "magic" in dependencies.

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Link: http://www.masterzendframework.com/tutorial/howto-constructor-injection-in-zf2

NetTuts.com:
How to Use New Relic With PHP & WordPress
April 15, 2014 @ 11:43:04

The NetTuts.com Code blog has posted the second part of their series showing how to use the New Relic monitoring service in various kinds of web applications. In the previous article they looked at using it in a Ruby application, but in this new post it's all about PHP.

Today, we will look at how to monitor a PHP application using New Relic. More specifically, we will set up a basic WordPress installation and get some performance data about it, in the New Relic dashboards. [...] With the PHP version of the agent, the environment is a lot more important, as the agent is installed and lives on the box where the application will be deployed, rather than being part of any particular app.

They use an EC2 instance for their example, but the steps can be applied on other systems. They help you get the needed software installed, validate they're correctly configured and do a basic setup of WordPress. Next up is the steps to install the New Relic "newrelic-php5" software and get it fully installed. They also include the updates you'll need to make to your Apache configuration to configure the New Relic instance and how to keep the agent up to date.

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Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/how-to-use-new-relic-with-php-wordpress--cms-20465

InfoTuts.com:
Create Login With Google Plus in Your Website With PHP
April 15, 2014 @ 10:20:31

On the InfoTuts.com site they've posted a tutorial showing you how to make a "Log in with Google" button for your application and make it work with a little PHP magic on the backend.

So you want to allow users to login into your website using their gmail credentials? You have seen various websites that allow their users to login in their websites using gmail, facebook, linked in, Microsoft, git hub credentials. It's time to integrate it in your website. We will cover all the login system in our posts one by one and this one is dedicated to create Google Plus login for your website with PHP using OAuth2. Google offers many APIs like Google Maps, translate API, Analytics ApI etc. Today we will use its Google Plus API so lets proceed with our tutorial.

They break the process down into about five steps:

  • Login to Google API Console. Go to APIs and you will have to turn on Google Plus API.
  • Go to APIs and Auth and then under credentials tab. Click on create new client ID as shown below.
  • Now when you will have to enter your website path and the file path (redirect URI) to get your new client ID.
  • Now you have to set Consent screen.
  • In consent screen if you have entered Google Plus page path then you will have to approve connection.

The code for the actual connection is in the last step. It uses Google's PHP client libraries to configure and make the request, fetch the access token and grab the Google+ user's data.

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Link: http://www.infotuts.com/login-with-google-plus-in-your-website-php

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Getting Started with Assetic
April 14, 2014 @ 10:37:00

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new post from Lukas White today looking at the Assetic asset management library and how you can get started using it in your application.

There was a time when asset management meant little more than inserting a <link> tag or two and a couple of <script> tags into your HTML. Nowadays, though, that approach just won't cut it. There's performance, for one thing. [...] Also, as client-side applications have become more and more sophisticated, managing dependencies amongst scripts and libraries has become increasingly complex. Furthermore, technologies such as Less, Compass and Coffeescript require assets to be compiled, adding yet another step to the process of managing assets. In this article I'm going to look at a PHP package called Assetic which helps manage, compile and optimize assets such as scripts, stylesheets and images.

He briefly discusses asset management first, just to get everyone on the same page as far as what "assets" are and some considerations about their use. Next is an introduction to the Assetic library itself and the install/usage of a simple "AssetCollection" object. He also shows how to add assets to the object and how to configure compression and generation of the files (like with LESS). He also shows how to use the AssetManager and FilterManager object types along with the AssetFactory handler. Finally, he talks about some of the sample output and caching the tool can do with file-based cache handling.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/getting-started-assetic

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Introduction to JadePHP
April 10, 2014 @ 10:30:30

Lukas White has posted an introduction to JadePHP to the SitePoint PHP blog today. JadePHP is a port of the popular Jade templating language more often used in Javascript.

There are dozens of templating engines out there, with options such as Smarty, Twig (used in the upcoming version of Drupal) and Blade (the default for Laravel) among the best known - as well as vanilla PHP, of course. [...] One which differs quite significantly from most is Jade, an engine usually associated with Javascript applications - it's supported out-of-the-box by Express for Node.js, for example. It's Jade I'm going to look at in this article; or more specifically the PHP port JadePHP.

He starts by briefly talking about HAML, a markup language that aims to make it easier and cleaner to write well-formatted HTML documents. Jade creates the entire document this way, meaning you could use it even without any templating needs (just outputting normal HTML pages). He shows you how to get started with the code and provides a simple example of a basic HTML page without any template objects to replace.He explains the markup and what each part does before moving on and showing how to add in the dynamic content and logic. He finishes off the tutorial by answering the question "Why use Jade?" touching on some of the good and bad of the templating engine.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/introduction-jadephp

Edd Mann:
Securing Sessions in PHP
April 09, 2014 @ 12:14:23

In his most recent post Edd Mann shows you how to secure your session in PHP applications via a custom SessionHandler class and a bit of encryption. For those interested in the full code right away, check out this gist over on Github.

Following on from my previous post on Self-signed SSL certificates, I would now like to address the second most common Web application vulnerability (Broken Authentication and Session Management). When delving into the subject I was unable to find a definitive resource for an PHP implementation. Due to this, I set out to combine all the best practice I could find into a single Session handler, to help protect against the common attack vectors. Since PHP 5.4, you are able to set the Session handler based on a class instance that extends the default 'SessionHandler' class.

He walks through the code talking about some of the functionality it offers, how it encrypts the data and integrates expiration and validation (fingerprinting). There's also an interesting set of methods (get and set) to access values in the current session. One thing to note, this example is only for PHP 5.4 and above as it makes use of the newer SessionHandler interface.

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Link: http://eddmann.com/posts/securing-sessions-in-php

PHPClasses.org:
Did You Mean Advanced Email Validation in PHP
April 09, 2014 @ 11:50:21

In this most recent post to the PHPClasses.org blog Manuel Lemos talks about invalid email addresses and shows the use of this package to evaluate them.

When you take users' email addresses, for instance in a site sign-up form, there are great chances that the addresses may be incorrect because of a typing mistake or it is not possible to deliver the message to the specified address for some reason. This e-mail validation package can detect and prevent that users enter incorrect addresses even before you accept them.

He starts the post with a list of six types of invalid email addresses including everything from simple typing mistakes out to temporary rejection from "gray listing". He shows how set up the class and briefly covers some of its methods and what they do. Also included is an example if it in use to validate the address. There's also a brief section at the end talking about using OAuth to work around users not wanting "yet another account" or to share their details with an untrusted application.

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Link: http://www.phpclasses.org/blog/package/13/post/2-Did-You-Mean-Advanced-Email-Validation-in-PHP.html


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