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SitePoint PHP Blog:
Single Page App with Laravel and EmberJS
September 01, 2014 @ 15:28:33

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted the fourth part in their "REST App with Laravel and EmberJS" series today. In this latest tutorial they focus in on the frontend and investigate how Ember works how to get started in your application.

In this part, we will see how Ember works, how to use Ember Data and how to build something simple with it. Router, Route, Model, Template and Store are some of the concepts of Ember. I'm not going to explain every one of those, so if you feel stuck, use the documentation.

They dive right into the code, getting a simple Ember "App" instance set up and configured. They add in a REST adapter to connect it to the backend API and lay out a few of the routes. They then create the models to represent the data and link each to a route. Next they get into views and creating the interface and frontend markup (using Handlebars templating). A gif is included showing the results and how things should look at this point.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/single-page-app-laravel-emberjs/

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

Geshan Manandhar:
3 Bundles to get started with REST in Symfony 2 and some tips
August 13, 2014 @ 12:18:05

Geshan Manandhar has a recent post that shares three Symfony bundles that can help you out greatly when creating RESTful applications and APIs. Links and a summary of each bundle are provided.

"I found out that you guys just build an amazing mobile app for your e-commerce venture, I heard you are using Symfony 2 for your back-end APIs. How did you make it that fast?" This is not very different that what I was asked some months back. The answer is we use a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) where all back-end service follow the REST architecture to communicate with all the clients. The client can be built in any language as longs a they can do HTTP calls. Lets look at what Symfony 2 bundles you can use to build a similar scalable, fast and cacheable REST APIs.

His suggested bundles (all available to be installed via Composer) are:

The first two help more with the overall API structure and handling while the last (Lexi) is an effective way for handling authentication for the requests to your application.

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Link: http://geshan.blogspot.ae/2014/07/3-bundles-to-get-started-with-rest-in.html

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Fractal a Practical Walkthrough
August 06, 2014 @ 13:07:49

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new tutorial posted by Alexander Cogneau that gives you an introductory walkthrough of Fractal, a PHP-based library that provides a translation and presentation layer for the output of your APIs.

If you ever developed for an API, you might have had troubles with changes of your database schema. If you didn't happen to have a good implementation, you had to rework your whole model when changing some column names. In this article I will demonstrate how you can use Fractal as a layer between your models and JSON output. This post will show you how this package will make API development easier.

He walks you through getting the library installed (via Composer) along with Silex for the application handling and the Illuminate/database package from the Laravel framework. He also provides a SQL file to create the database for the application. The sample app handles music information, providing a simple song and artist list. It uses the Fractal package to transform the data using Transformer objects for each data type.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/fractal-practical-walkthrough/

7PHP.com:
Know Thy Conference - Know The EndPoint API Conference
August 05, 2014 @ 13:55:21

The 7PHP.com site has a new interview posted with Ivo Jansch about a conference this year that's not specifically targeted at PHP developers but is inclusive of them: EndPoint API Conference. The interview touches on topics such as the origin of the conference, what some of the goals are and some of Ivo's own background.

This conference is all about APIs. We use more and more smart devices in our daily lives and many of these devices communicate with the internet by ways of APIs. Once, the web was the dominant way of consuming content, but these days it's all about smart devices. Watches, Glasses, TVs - I can see a future where every device becomes smart and can run apps.

This means that web development is experiencing a major shift. Websites become clients too, just like other apps. This means developers need to start thinking more in client/server terms, and we think Endpoint can help developers do that as efficiently as possible.

Ivo also answers other questions about:

  • Where the motivation for the conference came from
  • What kind of attendance they're expecting
  • What kinds of opportunities it offers
  • Where it excels/lacks compared to other similar events
  • If it could be an inspiration for a user group to start up

Check out the full interview for answers to these and more questions about this new conference. You can also find out more about the conference itself on the event's website.

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Link: http://7php.com/api-conference-endpointcon/#gtgt_Can_we_tag_this_as_a_PHP_API_Conf_or_a_general_API_conf_regrouping_any_programmers_usingcoding_APIs

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Diffbot Crawling with Visual Machine Learning
August 01, 2014 @ 11:37:12

On the SitePoint PHP blog Bruno Skvorc has posted a tutorial showing you how to use the Diffbot service to extract data from any page. He introduces both the service itself and walks you through a simple request via Guzzle.

Have you ever wondered how social networks do URL previews so well when you share links? How do they know which images to grab, whom to cite as an author, or which tags to attach to the preview? Is it all crawling with complex regexes over source code? Actually, more often than not, it isn't. [...] If you want to build a URL preview snippet or a news aggregator, there are many automatic crawlers available online, both proprietary and open source, but you seldom find something as niche as visual machine learning. This is exactly what Diffbot is - a "visual learning robot" which renders a URL you request in full and then visually extracts data, helping itself with some metadata from the page source as needed.

He uses a combination of a Laravel installation (via a Homestead instance) and a Guzzle request using a fetched token. The service offers a 10k call limit on a 7 day free trial, so you can sign up and grab your token there. He includes code for an example request fetching a SitePoint page and parsing out the tags. He also briefly looks at the custom handling diffbot allows based on CSS-type rules.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/diffbot-crawling-visual-machine-learning/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Best Practices REST API from Scratch - Implementation
July 24, 2014 @ 13:11:22

PHPMaster.com has posted the second part of their best practices in REST APIs series with this new post focusing more on the implementation part of things.

We ended the first part of this tutorial with all the basic layers of our API in place. We have our server setup, authentication system, JSON input/output, error management and a couple of dummy routes. But, most importantly, we wrote the README file that defines resources and actions. Now it's time to deal with these resources.

They move on and add more functionality for creating (POST) and updating (PUT/PATCH) contacts in the system. They also show how to list contacts and add in some search handling allowing for sorting and returning only certain data. There's also some code for pagination handling, locating a single contact record, basic caching and simple rate limiting.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/best-practices-rest-api-scratch-implementation/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Best Practices REST API from Scratch - Introduction
July 22, 2014 @ 09:39:12

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted the second part of their series looking at building up a REST API "from scratch". In this latest post Vita Tardia introduces some of the basic topics and the best practices that are around their use.

The current internet ecosystem has literally been invaded by APIs, and for good reasons. By using third party APIs in your products or services, you have access to a ton of useful features - such as authentication or storage services - that can benefit both you and your users. By exposing your own API, your application becomes "part of the mix" and will be used in ways you've never thought before… if you do it the right way, obviously. In this two part series I'll show you how to create a RESTful API layer for your PHP applications, using a collection of real world best practices.

He talks about how a REST API is a "user interface for developers" and the actions the different verbs could take on the same endpoints (PUT, POST, GET, etc). He uses the Slim framework in his examples and helps you get an instance all set up and working. He includes a bit about getting SSL/HTTPS up and running for all requests to the site too. From there he gets into the bootstrapping of the application and the first version of controller handling. He also includes code examples touching on JSON handling, authentication and good error handling.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/best-practices-rest-api-scratch-introduction/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Paginating Real-Time Data with Cursor Based Pagination
July 11, 2014 @ 11:52:13

On the SitePoint PHP blog today a new tutorial has been posted introducing you to cursor-based pagination of real-time data, showing the results and allowing for easy click-through functionality.

Pagination is a technique for breaking large record sets into smaller portions called pages. As a developer, you should be familiar with implementing pagination, but implementing pagination for real time data can become tricky even for experienced developers. In this tutorial, we are going to discuss the practical use cases and solutions for real time data pagination and cursor based pagination.

He uses results from the Twitter and Facebook APIs in his examples, grabbing tweets matching the search term "php". He briefly explains some of the issues with real-time pagination and how it compares with standard pagination techniques. He uses the "after" and "before" functionality of each API to only pull the data needed, not the entire list of latest posts. This is added to a list in order and shown when the user view is refreshed. He includes the code for implementing the cursor-based handling and how to echo the results back out to a view.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/paginating-real-time-data-cursor-based-pagination/

Master Zend Framework:
How to view an Instagram Photo Stream in Zend Framework 2
July 09, 2014 @ 10:53:59

On the Master Zend Framework site Matthew Setter has a new tutorial showing how to pull in Instagram photo feeds in a Zend Framework 2 application via their on developer functionality.

In today's tutorial, we're going to learn how to retrieve and display an Instagram photo stream in Zend Framework 2. We're going to cover the essentials of adding the libraries we'll need to composer.json, handling authentication and then retrieving and displaying our photo stream in a controller action. We'll be doing all of this by using composer to create a new Zend Framework 2 project, based on the ZF2 Skeleton App project and then add a new controller and action which will handle the work involved.

The tutorial uses a basic skeleton application and a PHP Instagram library to make the connection to their API. He shows you how to register your application with Instagram and set up the OAuth configuration to handle the authorization process. He walks you through the creation of the controller, setup of session support and the creation of a "photosAction" to view the results of the photo feed pull. He includes a screenshot of what the end result should look like with it all up and working.

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Link: http://www.masterzendframework.com/api/view-instagram-photo-stream


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