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Developer Drive:
Simplify your documentation process with Couscous
December 19, 2014 @ 12:14:49

On the Developer Drive site today there's a quick post introducing you to Couscous, a PHP-based documentation generation tool. Couscous translates your Markdown files into HTML output that's professional and clean looking.

If there's one thing I hate more than tracking down bugs, it's documenting code. It takes forever, it's almost a project in itself, and I never seem to factor it into my project lifecycle. Setting out to solve that problem for me, and anyone else whose life is too short, is Couscous. Couscous takes markdown files and converts them into professional standard HTML docs that colleagues, or fellow developers, can easily follow. You can preview the resulting site on your local machine, correct any issues, and then deploy straight to GitHub where it will be hosted for you.

They walk you through the (brief) process of getting the tool installed via Composer and using it to show you a preview of your documentation. The "deploy" command then allows you to easily deploy the results out to a GitHub Pages location on the gh-pages branch. You can find out more about Couscous on the project website.

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documentation couscous tool markdown generate html output

Link: http://www.developerdrive.com/2014/12/simplify-your-documentation-process-with-couscous/

Hari KT:
Aura Input Form Inside Slim Framework
September 08, 2014 @ 10:55:13

Hari KT has a new post to his site today showing how you can integrate the Aura PHP components into a Slim framework application for input handling, like from a form. Aura PHP is a set of decoupled components for things like CLI handling, dependency injection and SQL requests (among others).

Rob Allen wrote about Integrating ZF2 forms into Slim. I did write how you can use Aura.Input and Aura.Html to create standalone form for PHP. This time I felt I should write about integrating aura input inside Slim.

He includes the Composer configuration to install the HTML and Input components as well as an up-to-date version of the Slim framework. Code showing how to create the form class (a "Contact form") is included, showing both the creation of the elements and the filtering/validation checks put on each. He shows how the Slim routes would handle the request as well as how the view processes the request and displays the form via a helper. You can get the full working code in this repository over on GitHub.

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auraphp framework slim form input html tutorial

Link: http://harikt.com/blog/2014/09/02/aura-input-form-inside-slim-framework/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
PHP Streaming and Output Buffering Explained
September 04, 2014 @ 10:17:44

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new performance-related post to the site today from Imran Latif. This new post looks at effective use of output buffering and streaming and explains how it works and some examples of its use.

As a PHP developer, I was wondering whether we can have something similar [to Streaming in Rails] in our favorite language? The answer is yes - we can easily have streaming in PHP applications with little effort, but in order to get this right we have to become familiar with some underlying concepts. In this article, we will see what streaming is, what output_buffering is and how to get our desired result under different webservers (Apache, Nginx) and PHP configurations (CGI, mod_php, FastCGI).

He starts off with a comparison of the two different methods, streaming and output buffering, and how they behave in the output of content. He then gets into some simple examples with PHP with various methods: a simple delay, chunking up output and finally using the actual output buffering handling PHP offers. He also includes an example of streaming content over an Ajax request with a simple test using the sleep function.

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streaming output buffering tutorial introduction beginner ajax

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/php-streaming-output-buffering-explained/

NetTuts.com:
More Tips for Best Practices in WordPress Development
July 25, 2014 @ 09:18:09

NetTuts.com has published a few more WordPress tips and best practices to help you get the most out of your WordPress-based application.

Welcome to the second part of the series. In the first article, we explained the WordPress Coding Standards, how to avoid namespaces collisions, comments in the code, and some basic security tips. Today, we are going to go a bit deeper and write some more code and learn some techniques to improve performance and security of our plugins.

They look specifically at when you should include your scripts and styles, formatting Ajax calls and working with filters and actions. Code snippets are included with each point with links to some other resources for some of the topics to provide more information.

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wordpress bestpractices development ajax scripts styles filters actions

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/articles/more-tips-for-best-practices-in-wordpress-development--cms-21013

php[architect]:
Sending HTML Emails with Drupal 7, Webform, and Mandrill
July 21, 2014 @ 12:42:45

The php[architect] site has a new tutorial posted giving you a step by step guide to sending HTML email with the combination of Drupal 7, Webform and Mandrill (the mail service by Mailchimp).

By default, Drupal is configured to send out plain text emails. For many developers, plain text email is sufficient and preferable to HTML email. HTML email is still, in this day and age, not guaranteed to render the same across email clients, more likely to be labeled as spam, and requires a significant amount of testing to make sure it works. Still, a minimally styled HTML message can be easier for recipients to read and help reinforce your brand/design (if you don't depend on images to do so). In this article, we'll look at the modules to install and configure to enable HTML emails and, specifically, how to change the default Webform email template to send submissions as HTML.

The tutorial comes in four different sections, each with plenty of description and some code to make it happen:

  • Set up your site to send email
  • Allow outgoing email to use HTML
  • Formatting Outgoing Email
  • Send Webform Submission as HTML Emails
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tutorial html email mandrill drupal7 webform

Link: http://www.phparch.com/2014/07/sending-html-emails-with-drupal-7-webform-and-mandrill/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
How to Dynamically Localize TinyMCE
December 02, 2013 @ 10:37:41

The SitePoint PHP blog has a post from Roland Clemenceau about localizing the TinyMCE editor, a web-based Javascript HTML WYSIWYG editor. It's dropped in to make textareas rich-text editing components of your page quickly and easily.

This tutorial assumes you have built a PHP multilingual site/framework and you, or whoever the admin is, would like TinyMCE to automatically switch to the current language of your site. [...] Although TinyMCE is a great wysiwyg editor that provides localized files for almost every known language, it still does not come with an automatic language-switching feature. It's very easy to roll your own solution to this problem, though, so that's what we're going to do now.

He shows how to use extra language files in coordination with a "language" setting. This setting (usually something like "en" or "es") can then be set as a configuration option when the TinyMCE instance is added to the page.

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localize tinymce editor wysiwyg tutorial html

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/dynamically-localize-tinymce/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Coding a Lorem Ipsum Alternative
August 26, 2013 @ 10:54:02

On the SitePoint PHP blog David Francis has written up an example showing how to create a "lorem ipsum" alternative in PHP. The "lorem ipsum" functionality generates text to put into layouts or prototypes of pages. It's named this way because the first two words are traditionally "lorem ipsum."

Lorem Ipsum generators are well known and are useful for generating text copy during website development. [...] t's good that we have a wide selection of text generators, but how exactly are these generators made? Can we use PHP and MySQL to build our own? That's exactly what we'll tackle in this article. We won't develop a fully working website; what we will cover are the essentials for building a site such as Fillerati.

He suggests using something from Project Gutenberg (a collection of public domain books and other written works) with the HTML markup already included. His personal choice is On the origin of the Species. He uses a simple PHP script to extract the content from the downloaded document to find useable paragraphs (don't want ones that are too long or short). He then takes that same data and populates a few database tables with it and includes the script to extract them and place them in the page. This could easily be adapted into a view helper for your favorite templating language or framework.

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loremipsum alternative projectgutenburg tutorial html extract

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/coding-a-lorem-ipsum-alternative/

PHPMaster.com:
Convert HTML to PDF with Dompdf
August 15, 2013 @ 10:39:16

On PHPMaster.com there's a new tutorial from Shameer C showing you how to use Dompdf to convert HTML to PDFs. The handy library makes it (relatively) simple to automatically generate the documents without the need to know the internal PDF file structure.

PDF is a standard format originally created by Adobe for representing text and images in a fixed-layout document. It's not uncommon for a web application to support downloading data, such as invoices or reports, in PDF format, so in this article we'll go through how we can easily generate PDF documents using PHP.

He starts off with the installation (via Composer) and the creation of a simple "Hello World" document, showing how to "stream" it into a PDF file. He also includes some more advanced usage - loading an external HTML, drawing lines, changing fonts, adding page numbers and additional text to the page.

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html pdf convert tutorial dompdf adobe

Link: http://phpmaster.com/convert-html-to-pdf-with-dompdf

David Müller:
Cross Domain AJAX Guide
December 10, 2012 @ 12:17:39

In his latest post David Müller covers some of the things to consider when working with cross-domain ajax requests including CORS and iframes.

As it is widely known, AJAX Requests are only possible if port, protocol and domain of sender and receiver are equal. [...] Having this cleared out, we will cover ways around this restriction.

He covers three main approaches to allowing these cross-domain requests (and some of the security implications that can come with them):

  • CORS (Cross Origin Resource Sharing)
  • JSONP (Javascript with a local domain callback)
  • Iframes

He also briefly mentions things like window.postMessage (HTML5) and the use of a backend script to proxy a request into your application's local code.

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crossdomain ajax cors iframe jsonp tutorial introduction


Rob Allen:
Sending an HTML with text alternative email with ZendMail
November 02, 2012 @ 10:26:20

Rob Allen has a quick tutorial posted to his site today showing you how to send an email with the ZendMail component of the Zend Framework 2 that contains HTML but provides a plain text backup in the same message.

Sending a multi-part email with ZendMail is easy enough, but if you want to send an HTML email with a text alternative, you need to remember to set the content-type in the headers to multipart/alternative. As this is the second time I had to work this out, I'm noting it here for the next time I forget!

The rest of the post is the code you'll need to send a simple email with a text and HTML body sections, configure the headers (to, from, etc) and the "multipart/alternative" header to make the HTML or plain text switching work correctly.

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zendframework2 mail tutorial send alternative html plaintext



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