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SitePoint PHP Blog:
APIfy Your Legacy App with Toro
August 19, 2014 @ 12:09:39

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new post that wants to help you API-ify your legacy application with ToroPHP, a router that's "designed for minimalists" to make routing and handling RESTful requests easier.

For the Google Summer of Code 2014, I was selected for a project to create a REST API for ATutor. ATutor has hundreds of thousands of lines of code, yet is written in core PHP. Introducing a PHP router class for the API was necessary, but we needed something unintrusive.

The result was the ToroPHP library. He introduces the library with some background about why it was created and some of the goals it was trying to achieve. Next he shows you how to create a simple "Hello World" endpoint that just defines the endpoint and echoes back the string. He shows how to separate out the logic from the route handling via the "urls.php" definition file. He also shows the handling of URL prefixes and mentions user authentication, making a "backbone" for the API and reuse of classes for similar objects.

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tutorial legacy application torophp library api rest

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/apify-legacy-app-toro/

Cal Evans:
Learn from NO
August 19, 2014 @ 11:51:56

Cal Evans has posted the next in his series offering advice to companies (and recruiters) out there looking to hire good, qualified and technically competent candidates. In this new post he suggests that these organizations learn something from when they get a "no" from the candidate.

Most companies have some variation of [the same] process for interviewing developers. [...] Between each bullet point is a decision point on the part of both your company and the candidate whether to move to the next step. Don't assume that just because you have a job, the candidate will be willing to move forward at each step. Some candidates will excuse themselves from the process for a variety of reasons.

He suggests that it's important to learn from the "no" and change things up accordingly. If you can find out the "why" behind the "no", you can make a change for the better. He reminds companies that "no" could also mean "not right now" or "not without extra information I don't have".

Set aside some time in your schedule soon after the break, but not immediately after - to contemplate why [the candidate said no]. Yes, this is largely navel gazing but it is important navel gazing. Did they see something in your team that you can correct? Is there a problem you can work on? Not every NO will be something you can fix, or even your fault, but make sure you spend a little time thinking about it.
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Link: http://blog.calevans.com/2014/08/18/learn-from-no

Rob Allen:
Globally overriding validation messages for ZF2 forms
August 19, 2014 @ 10:46:27

Rob Allen has posted a quick hint about overriding validation messages in a Zend Framework v2 based application. This override is related to the output of a standard form and works globally instead of just on a single form.

One thing that I always do when creating a Zend Framework 2 form is override the validation messages for a number of validators - EmailAddress in particular. I recently decided that I should probably sort this one out once and be done with it. Turns out that it's quite easy assuming that you use the FormElementManger to instantiate your forms.

The post includes all the code you'll need to do the override: a custom validator example, the changes you'll need to make to the configuration and an example of a form that uses the custom handling. He explains each of the parts too, showing how they fit together in your module.

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zendframework2 override validation message form tutorial

Link: http://akrabat.com/zend-framework-2/globally-overriding-validation-messages-for-zf2-forms/

Voices of the ElePHPant:
Interview with Tess Flynn and Larry Garfield
August 19, 2014 @ 09:37:18

The Voices of the ElePHPant podcast has posted a new episode in its series of community interviews today. In this latest episode host Cal Evans talks with Tess Flynn and Larry Garfield, both well-known members of the Drupal community.

The episode was recorded at Twin Cities Drupal Camp and features Larry playing the guest host role interviewing Tesss Flynn, a module maintainer for Drupal. They talk about Drupal sessions presented by both Larry and Tess as well as another from Fredric Mitchell. They also talk about the idea of "Contrib Champions" that can help share major changes (and answer questions) about large changes that might effect them.

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

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voicesoftheelephpant tessflynn larrygarfield drupal podcast episode

Link: http://voicesoftheelephpant.com/2014/08/19/interview-with-tess-flynn-and-larry-garfield/

Community News:
Packagist Latest Releases for 08.19.2014
August 19, 2014 @ 08:02:38

Recent releases from the Packagist:
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Community News:
Latest PECL Releases for 08.19.2014
August 19, 2014 @ 07:05:54

Latest PECL Releases:
  • SeasLog 1.1.0 - fixed Mac under the compiler error - Buffer optimization methods, improve operation efficiency - Optimization of the internal structure, concurrent fault

  • SeasLog 1.0.2 - Add buffer_size config bar,when buffer_size full will write log - Code format remove tab to 4space

  • binpack 1.0.1 - add version info - fix bug: array index which is lower than 0 will not encode correctly in i386 - fix bug: value of integer greater than LONG_MAX using BIN_LONG_MAX instead of LONG_MAX - Make the tests passed on both i386 and x86_64. Thank you remicollet.

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Alex Bilbie:
Open Source Guilt
August 18, 2014 @ 13:29:43

Alex Bilbie has an interesting new post to his site looking at the idea of open source guilt. He uses the term to describe the feeling you can get when a project falls by the wayside and you're not putting as much effort into it as you had before. He uses his own real-world project work as an example (an Oauth2 server and client).

I've willingly and happily poured hours of my life into both projects. [...] After leaving the university I moved to London and my life "got flipped-turned upside down" (as Will Smith once put it) which naturally resulted in a reduction in the number of commits that went into the projects. [...] I did my best with the emails piling up in my inbox but I also ignored many. [...] Releasing open source projects is a great feeling however there are a number of considerations one should bear in mind.

He makes the suggestion of four things to keep in mind when working on and releasing an open source project. These are things that can remind you (and keep you away from) some of the issues he's had in his own work:

  • Actions have consequences
  • People want to help
  • Your personal reputation is on the line
  • Popular open source projects work well when the authors are using the project regularly themselves

He also includes a few personal things he's going to do to try to make life easier and happier including roadmaps for projects, documenting via FAQs and being more honest about his own availability.

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opensource guilt project maintenance personal

Link: http://alexbilbie.com/2014/08/open-source-guilt/

Cal Evans:
The secret to writing a job post to attract PHP developers
August 18, 2014 @ 12:17:42

Cal Evans has posted another in his series looking at the right things to do when writing job posts and trying to attract developers for your company. In his previous posts he's talked about building a good team and getting the jobs page right. In his latest post he talks about a secret to writing the post itself: keeping it simple.

Is your company trying to hire a developer? Are you a recruiter responsible for helping your client hire a PHP developer? Do you have a job post out on the net? Get this one thing right and you'll find your PHP developer. Yes, that's the entire secret; keep it simple. Make it easy for us to scan, easy for us to understand, easy for us to figure out how to apply.

He includes a few points to follow to help guide you into the "keep it simple" approach including avoiding "semantically null terms" and listing the minimum skills for the job, not everything you could possibly need.

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jobpost attract developer secret simple

Link: http://blog.calevans.com/2014/08/15/the-secret-to-writing-a-job-post-to-attract-php-developers/

Giorgio Sironi:
PHPUnit Essentials review
August 18, 2014 @ 11:52:00

Giorgio Sironi has posted a quick book review of a recent publication from Packt Publishing: "PHPUnit Essentials". The author, Zdenek Machek, has written a "practical guide featuring a step-by-step approach that aims to help PHP developers who want to learn or improve their software testing skills."

The first thing that struck me about the book was the breadth of subjects: you start from mocks and command line options, to get even to Selenium usage. [...] There is a bit of what may seem outdated information in the book such as how to perform a PEAR-based installation, but it's identified as such (PEAR being deprecated and dismissed by the end of the year.) Another seemingly outdated tool is Selenium IDE, but once upgraded with a formatter for Selenium2TestCase like explained in this book it becomes usable again. This kind of advice demonstrates the real world experience of the author and makes you trust the content.

He suggest that the book is more for those just starting out on their testing journey and wanting to get up to speed quickly with a wide range of tools, not just the base PHPUnit handling.

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phpunit essentials review bookreview introduction

Link: http://www.giorgiosironi.com/2014/08/phpunit-essentials-review.html

Jani Hartikainen:
In order to become a better developer, you must first become a teacher
August 18, 2014 @ 10:35:28

In his latest post Jani Hartikainen makes a recommendation for those wanting to become better developers: first become a teacher. He suggests that communication is the second most important skill a developer can have.

What is the most important skill for a developer besides actually writing code? Communication. What do you typically do when you communicate as a developer with someone else? You explain problems, you describe solutions, you talk to non-programmers about what you're doing. You could also say that you're teaching others about what you're doing. [...] Being a good communicator is often completely overlooked.

He looks at why it's important for a developer to have good communication skills and what it means to "communicate well" with fellow developers. He suggests that real teaching can start when developers understand the domain and code they're working with. He also talks about the flip side of things, the importance of listening to other developers and those trying to help. Listening well means understanding the question and being open to different ideas, even if they contradict your own.

As with all aspects of programming, the best way to improve communication and your ability to reason about code on a higher level is practice.
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better developer teacher listening learn mentor

Link: http://codeutopia.net/blog/2014/08/18/in-order-to-become-a-better-developer-you-must-first-become-a-teacher/


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