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SitePoint PHP Blog:
Your Own Custom Annotations – More than Just Comments!
Jun 21, 2016 @ 11:04:14

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted a new tutorial from author Daniel Sipos showing you how you can use custom annotations in your Symfony-based application. You can also do annotation parsing outside of Symfony but that requires other external libraries to accomplish.

In this article, we are going to look at how we can create and use our own custom annotations in a Symfony 3 application. You know annotations right? They are the docblock metadata/configuration we see above classes, methods and properties. You’ve most likely seen them used to declare Controller routes (@Route()) and Doctrine ORM mappings (@ORM()), or even to control access to various classes and methods in packages like Rauth. But have you ever wondered how can you use them yourself?

[...] In this article we are going to build a small reusable bundle called WorkerBundle. [...] We’re going to develop a small concept that allows the definition of various Worker types which “operate” at various speeds and which can then be used by anyone in the application. The actual worker operations are outside the scope of this post, since we are focusing on setting up the system to manage them (and discover them via annotations).

He then gets into the code, creating the WorkerInterface the workers will implement and a sample worker class with an annotation describing it. Next up he creates the WorkerManager to create and get the current set of workers. Then comes the discovery process and the creation of a simple class that looks through files and finds those with the @Worker annotation and makes them available as a worker instance. Finally he "wires it all together" in the services configuration and shows an example of a basic worker instance and using it by calling its work method.

tagged: custom annotations worker example symfony application tutorial

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/your-own-custom-annotations/

Alejandro Celaya:
Improving ZendServiceManager workflow with annotations
Apr 11, 2016 @ 10:19:57

In a post to his site Alejandro Celaya shows you how to make life easier when using the ZendServiceManager with the help of annotations and a package he's developed to make it all work together.

Everyone who regularly visits my blog knows that I'm a complete fan of the ZendServiceManager component. It is always my choice to deal with dependency injection in any kind of project, more now that v3 has been released, which is faster and has a better public API.

The workflow while working with the ServiceManager is usually the same. You create a factory or abstract factory that creates a service and then you register that service into the ServiceManager itself. Of course you have to optimize your code, and you should try to reuse the same factories whenever possible, and try not to abuse of abstract factories and initializers.

He points out the main problem with using services like this in a larger application, namely that you can end up with a large amount of them, making them difficult to manage (and find problems with). He proposed solution uses this library to minimize the amount of code needed buy injecting dependencies into the service based on "inject" annotations. He includes an example of this functionality in action and includes a few things to keep in mind using the package (like the slower parsing of the annotations some limitations it currently has).

tagged: zend servicemanager component services workflow annotations inject tutorial library package

Link: http://blog.alejandrocelaya.com/2016/04/09/improving-zend-service-manager-workflow-with-annotations/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Getting Started with Symfony2 Route Annotations
Nov 06, 2014 @ 09:27:25

On the SitePoint PHP blog today there's a new tutorial posted that gets into the details on one of the powerful (and most used) components of the Symfony framework, the Router, and how to interact with it via annotations. Symfony's route annotations allow you to define functionality at the controller level or via a YAML configuration file.

When you download the Standard Symfony 2 Distribution, it includes an interesting bundle named SensioFrameworkExtraBundle which implements a lot of great stuff, especially the opportunity to use annotations directly within your controllers. The idea behind this article is not to convice developers to embrace this way of doing, but to point the finger at an alternative method to easily configure controllers. Keep in mind that there is no magic recipe, it depends on what you need in each specific scenario. Symfony 2 implements a strong built-in component to manage all the routes of an application: the Routing Component. Basically, a route maps a URL to a controller action.

His example sets up a simple blog and compares the two ways of configuring the routing: one side putting it all in the YAML configuration and the other in the controller docblocks (annotations) themselves. He adds a base page for showing the listing of posts and a single article route, complete with slugs. He also shows how to add in some additional configuration handling to do things like set default values, making things required and enforcing the HTTP method on the request (GET, POST, PUT, etc)

tagged: route annotations introduction docblock tutorial yaml configuration settings

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/getting-started-symfony2-route-annotations/

Web Mozarts:
Defining PHP Annotations in XML
Oct 24, 2014 @ 11:10:53

The Web Mozarts blog has an interesting new post today that talks about using annotations in your PHP code to define the attributes in resulting XML that could be generated dynamically from your objects.

Annotations have become a popular mechanism in PHP to add metadata to your source code in a simple fashion. Their benefits are clear: They are easy to write and simple to understand. Editors offer increasing support for auto-completing and auto-importing annotations. But there are also various counter-arguments: Annotations are written in documentation blocks, which may be removed from packaged code. Also, they are coupled to the source code. Whenever an annotation is changed, the project needs to be rebuilt. This is desirable in some, but not in other cases.

They focus in on Symfony-based applications as a good base to work from (as they've pushed to have annotations work in the code for things like routing and data type definition). He starts with an example Doctrine class - a "best buddy" for Symfony as far as annotations go - and how the annotations define the different properties. He also includes an example of the XML output of the same definition generated through an "AnnotationReader" instance. He talks about having multiple XML documents representing one object with different annotations put in each, including the XML output. The post finishes with some advantages including the ease of validation by XML-friendly tools looking to interface with the application.

tagged: annotations xml tutorial symfony doctrine example

Link: http://webmozarts.com/2014/10/24/defining-php-annotations-in-xml/

Laravel Podcast:
Episode 18 - Laravel 5 Routing, the War over PHP Annotations, and The Secret Weapon
Oct 20, 2014 @ 11:05:05

The Laravel Podcast has released their latest episode, Episode #18: Laravel 5 Routing, the War over PHP Annotations, and The Secret Weapon(tm). Join hosts Shawn McCool, Taylor Otwell and Jeffrey Way as they talk all things Laravel.

In this episode, we discuss new Laravel 5 features including annotated routing and middlewares. We discuss some motivations and guiding forces that make Laravel what it is. Also, hints about Jeffrey and Taylor's secret new project. The referenced article by @everzet can be found here: http://everzet.com/post/99045129766/introducing-modelling-by-example.

You can listen to this latest episode either by using the in-page audio player, by downloading the mp3 or by subscribing to their feed.

tagged: laravel podcast ep18 routing annotations secretweapon

Link: http://www.buzzsprout.com/11908/212256-episode-18-laravel-5-routing-the-war-over-php-annotations-and-the-secret-weapon-tm

Jake Bell:
PHP Annotations Are a Horrible Idea
Oct 18, 2012 @ 09:45:56

In his latest post Jake Bell talks about why he thinks annotations in PHP are a bad idea (not the concept of them, but how developers are currently using them. He's in favor of officil support though).

Both the Symfony 2 and Doctrine 2 libraries and components make liberal use of what have come to be called annotations - special code comments, usually prefixed with an @ that are actually interpreted by the application and affect its functionality. [...] This trend needs to die.

He points out that the use of code comments like this isn't a good practice and applications should never have to rely on them for functionality. He mentions issues with syntax/language functionality (can't use "php -l" on them, can't var_dump an annotation) and that it makes it more difficult to read and interpret the code. He includes an example from Ruby of an alternative and a possible solution in PHP involving a static "mapping" variable.

tagged: annotations code comments opinion doctrine symfony

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Karsten Deubert's Blog:
Zend_MVC, Controller Plugins and Annotations
Nov 28, 2011 @ 12:02:50

Karsten Deubert has a recent post to his blog looking at annotations in Zend Framework applications to enhance functionality already in the framework.

Recently I had the idea to influence Controller Actions with annotations but discarded it with thoughts like "In PHP I will have to use reflection and some black magic to get this working which will have insane performance hits for my applications"... until I set everything up to see that it costs just 1-2ms in average per request without any form of caching.

He includes a few bits of code to show a simple annotation example (setting a layout) and the controller plugin that performs the translation. In his case, it's hard-coded to look for the "@layout" annotation in the docblock comment, but it'd be relatively trivial to extend it to a more full-featured version.

tagged: zendframework mvc controller annotations docblock comment plugin

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Rafael Dohms' Blog:
Filtering objects using annotations
Aug 12, 2011 @ 10:04:37

Rafael Dohms has an interesting new post to his site today looking at a library he's developed (inspired by the Symfony Validation library) to help filtering values with rules defined in annotations.

PHP does not have native Annotations support, however many projects have been using doc blocks to add value and semantics to code, like PHPUnit, Doctrine and Symfony. The Doctrine did a really good job in making available a Annotation parser kit, which allows you to bring the power of annotations into you own project. This opens up a few possibilities.

He shows the current use of the Validation library with a sample check of a $name variable for "not blank". His tool, DMS, extends this functionality and gives you access to both custom filtering methods and standard PHP functions to filter the resulting variable value. He includes an example showing two variables with filters StripTags, StripNewlines and Trim as well as the code to execute the filtering. You can get the library either ready to integrate with Symfony/Doctrine or as a standalone tool.

tagged: filtering symfony annotations validation library

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Symfony Blog:
Symfony2: Annotations gets better
May 23, 2011 @ 11:08:53

Fabien Potencier has posted another in his "getting better" series looking at the features that are included in the Symfony2 framework. In this new post he talks about the improvement annotation support.

Later today, I will release Symfony2 beta2. But first, I wanted to talk about a big change that landed into master yesterday. As you might know, Symfony2 uses annotations for Doctrine mapping information and validation configuration. Of course, it is entirely optional, and the same can be done with XML, YAML, or even PHP. But using annotations is convenient and allows you to define everything in the same file.

Two new bundles were added, SensioFrameworkExtraBundle and JMSSecurityExtraBundle, that let you use annotations in the controller for configuration. Examples of this new feature are included in the post giving the configuration settings a more "native" feel.

tagged: annotations native controller configuration

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Gonzalo Ayuso's Blog:
Function decorators in PHP with PHPDoc and Annotations
Feb 01, 2011 @ 13:13:04

Gonzalo Ayuso has a new post to his blog looking at some of the recent work he's done with PHPDoc and annotations to create "function decorators" in his code.

The idea is to solve the same problem I had when I wrote the previous article. I want to protect the execution of certain functions in a class to only being executed if the user is logged on. [...] The solution with interfaces is clean and simple (no extra libraries need and no reflection need too). The problem is that I can use it only for all the functions of the class.

He gives an example class with four different methods (one with annotations) and his annotation parsing class that runs the predispatch and postdispatch methods based on those annotations. He also shows another examples using an abstract class.

tagged: annotations decorator phpdocumentor tutorial

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