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Semaphore CI Blog:
Deploying PHP Applications with Rocketeer and Docker
April 10, 2015 @ 11:52:08

The Semaphore CI blog has a new tutorial showing you how to use Rocketeer and Docker to deploy PHP applications, pushing the resulting application out into a Docker container.

Deploying web applications is an integral part of modern web development. From this need, many tools have emerged to make the process as easy as possible. Rocketeer is heavily influenced by Capistrano and Laravel's principle of elegant code. It strives to make the deployment process accessible for everyone. [...] We'll deploy a fresh Laravel installation to a running Docker instance. This enables us to focus on setting up and using Rocketeer while the Docker instance will act as an application server requiring zero configuration and a great environment to experiment with.

They start with a list of requirements you'll need before getting started including Docker running on the server and Composer. They help you get Rocketeer installed and using the Docker command line too to set up and configure the server. Next up they show you how to use the "rocketeer" command to configure the Laravel application to be deployed. Once configured, they show you what updates you'll need to make and, finally, how to run the deployment. They also "dig deeper" and look at the file system setup on the server, stages of deployment, tasks, strategies and plugins.

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Link: https://semaphoreci.com/community/tutorials/deploying-php-applications-with-rocketeer-and-docker

Scotch.io:
Build a Time Tracker with Laravel 5 and AngularJS - Part 1
March 27, 2015 @ 08:49:57

On the Scotch.io site there's a new tutorial showing you how to build a time tracking application with a combination of Laravel and AngularJS. This is the first part of a new series and focuses on the basic principles and getting some of the first parts of the application up and running.

Laravel and AngularJS work great together, but it can be a little tricky to get going at first, especially if you are new to the frameworks. In a previous article, Chris showed you how to make a Single Page Comment App with Laravel and Angular. This tutorial will again bring the two frameworks together as we build out a simple time tracking application.

We'll be going into a lot of detail in this tutorial, so to make things manageable it has been broken into two parts. The first part will focus on getting the front-end setup with AngularJS and the second part on getting the backend setup with Laravel 5.

He starts with an overall look at the application and what functionality it will have. From there he walks you through:

  • Setting up the folder structure
  • Installing dependencies
  • Creating Javascript files
  • Setting up the view
  • Adding extra styling
  • Fetching the time data

He makes use of the Moment.js library to perform some of the time calculations for the difference and total time elapsed. He ends the post by tying up some loose ends with the controller and updating the view with the new calculated time values.

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tutorial laravel angularjs time tracker application series part1

Link: https://scotch.io/tutorials/build-a-time-tracker-with-laravel-5-and-angularjs-part-1

Programming Are Hard:
Structuring my applications, Cont'd
March 09, 2015 @ 12:03:16

The Programming Are Hard site continues its look at structuring Symfony-based applications in part two (it's just two parts) building on the structure and foundation laid out in part one.

It really irks me when I see some design/architecture decisions other developers have made but there's no technical explanation. What packages did they use? What challenges did they face? What trade-offs were made? I'll go over some more specifics in this post.

He recaps some of the things covered in the previous post first, ensuring everyone is on the same page. He then gets into the concept of "bundles" and how they encapsulate functionality. From there he talks about commands, controllers, dependency injection and lots of other topics, each with their own summary and a bit of code where needed for clarification.

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Link: http://programmingarehard.com/2015/03/05/structing-my-application-contd.html

Programming Are Hard:
Structuring my applications
March 06, 2015 @ 11:25:54

On the Programming Are Hard site there's a recent post looking at PHP application structure and how they handled the structure of one of their applications.

One of the biggest struggles for me, as an app developer, is coming up with an architecture that I'm happy with. It's something I wish other developers talked about more often. I thoroughly enjoyed Kris Wallsmith's SymfonyCon talk. It's very raw and real and doesn't come across as him talking down to anyone at all. Do I agree with everything he says? No, but that's not a bad thing. It's very insightful and I really enjoy taking a peak behind the curtains and seeing how other people do things. This is my attempt at doing just that.

He's broken down the structure into the overall parts and provided examples and summaries of each:

  • The use of packages
  • Entities
  • Events and Event Listeners
  • Commands and Handlers
  • Exceptions
  • Providers
  • Repositories
  • Security functionality
  • Services
  • Testing
  • Validation
  • Value Objects

Each section includes sample code and a description of where in the overall directory structure it fits. The setup is largely based on a Symfony application but it can be extracted (since it's mostly concepts) to most frameworks out there, even custom ones.

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application architecture structure symfony tutorial example

Link: http://programmingarehard.com/2015/03/04/structing-my-application.html

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Push your Drupal Site's Events to your Phone with Pushover
February 12, 2015 @ 12:54:12

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new tutorial posted (by Daniel Sipos) about pushing notifications from your Drupal-based application via the Pushover service.

In this article I am going to show you how you can integrate Pushover with your Drupal site. I will illustrate a couple of examples of how you can use Pushover to notify yourself as soon as something happens on your site. The code I write in this article is also available in this repository so you can just clone that if you want to follow along.

He starts with an introduction to Pushover and what kinds of features it offers for the handling of push messages (with the app being not free, but "very affordable"). He help you get everything you need set up including a Pushover account and the Pushover class to use in a custom Drupal module. He includes the code you'll need to configure the module to use the library and a method to create the Pushover class instance. He then shows how to send messages for things like the addition of a new comment and user login via hooks, sending a message when an administrator logs in.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/push-drupal-sites-events-phone-pushover/

Resonant Core:
Building Secure Web Applications in PHP
February 09, 2015 @ 10:26:19

The Resonant Core blog has a post today with a selection of tips and techniques you can use to help build secure applications in PHP, preventing several of the most common issues (several as mentioned in the OWASP Top 10).

There are but two causes for the unintentional creation of insecure web applications: A lack of knowledge about security [and] bad development habits. Developers who don't know about the risks involved with writing a widget a certain way are unlikely to make the secure choice. Thanks to the work of MITRE and OWASP, the most common vulnerabilities (and their consequences) are widely known and accessible. However, when teams are under pressure to meet a tight deadline, bad habits and insecure development practices may still emerge.

Most of the examples (at least the solutions) center around a framework they've created (Tuner) but the concepts are all there and could be adapted to other tools easily. They talk about the "pain" that can come with secure coding and how the right tools can make it much easier for the developer. He talks about how the framework offers a better database interface based on PDO and prepared statements to prevent SQL injection issues (with examples for each of the CRUD operations). He also shares a list of pre-existing PHP libraries that can help make the rest of you application secure too including:

He also mentions a PHP extension that adds in scrypt support, another option for hashing strings and passwords as an alternative to bcrypt.

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secure application database sqlinjection library recommended list

Link: https://resonantcore.net/blog/2015/02/building-secure-web-applications-in-php

Matt Stauffer:
Extending Laravel's Application
January 27, 2015 @ 10:48:37

Matt Stauffer has a new post to his site today showing you how to extend Laravel's Application class to enhance its handling with other handy features.

It's seldom that we need to extend Laravel's core, and even when we do, it's most likely we're going to extend specific components, which is detailed in the docs. However, all of these instructions presume you're using the core Laravel Application (IOC Container) to extend the other classes. What if you want to extend the Application itself?

The example he provides is from his own real-world experience, based around changes they wanted to make in the default folder paths for things like the "storage" or "public" directories. He shares the three simple steps to making this custom handling work:

  • Extend the class
  • Register it in your application's bootstrap
  • Override/extend the current methods to add in your own functionality

In this case, changing the default paths is something that's under discussion already, but it gives a good simple example of changing that default functionality.

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Link: http://mattstauffer.co/blog/extending-laravels-application

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Modernizing Legacy Applications in PHP Review
January 15, 2015 @ 12:46:34

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted a review of Paul Jones' "Modernizing Legacy Applications" book. The book share's Paul's gathered knowledge about migrating legacy code into a more modern, maintainable and robust application.

Chances are you've come across some horrible legacy code once or twice in your lifetime as a PHP developer. Heck, if you've worked with WordPress to any degree, I'm sure you have. I myself have had the satisfying task of modernizing a monolithic ZF1 application, and it was the most mentally exhaustive (but, admittedly, the most educational) year of my career. If only I had had Paul M. Jones' "Modernizing Legacy Applications In PHP" book back then, I would have been done in half the time, and the work I did would have been twice as good.

Bruno talks briefly about the contents of the book and its goals (from legacy to MVC really). He goes on to point out that the target audience for the book is not the beginner PHP developer but someone that's familiar with good software design concepts and application structure. He goes through the technical side of things, commenting that it's "sound - amazingly so" and how it seems to be taken from a real-life project's refactoring. He wraps things up with a list of some of the pros and cons of the book and a recommendation along with a 4.5 of 5 "elephpant" rating.

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modernize legacy application book review pauljones

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/modernizing-legacy-applications-php-review/

Lee Blue:
PHP vs Ruby - Application Shelf Life
December 10, 2014 @ 13:19:15

Lee Blue has started up a series of posts talking about his reasoning for moving back to PHP from Rails in his applications. In his first post of the series, he looks at application "shelf life" and the overall lifespan of the project and how that relates to things like maintainability and upgrade handling.

I plan to write a series of posts about how we develop, deploy, and support our affiliate software and digital downloads applications. And why, after 5 years of Ruby on Rails development we switched back to PHP. One of the reasons is what I refer to as the shelf life of a web application. Let's talk about what happens to a web application if you just let it sit.

He talks about the "rotting on the vine" that one of his clients' Rails 1.0 application faced when the later versions of the Ruby on Rails framework. He talks about how these kinds of upgrades cost money (and time) and how, with the right selections for the deployment stack, some of the costs could be alleviated. He gives the example of a PHP-based deployment setup and how much of the related technology has been stable and (mostly) unchanging over the years, just with new features being added. He offers a few suggestions to avoid this "app rot" and things startups/freelancers can do to help prevent it in their clients' applications.

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Link: http://leehblue.com/php-vs-ruby-application-shelf-life/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
3 Ways to Develop Cross Platform Desktop Apps with PHP
December 04, 2014 @ 10:29:44

In a new post to the SitePoint PHP blog today editor Bruno Skvorc shares a summary of three ways to make desktop applications with PHP that will run across multiple platforms.

PHP as a cross-platform desktop app development language? Blasphemy! Nonetheless, it's possible. A few years ago, everything those interested in bringing PHP to the desktop had had was the now long abandoned GTK PHP. Since then, new players have appeared, though let's first answer the "why".

He answers the "why" question with a list of "several far fetched scenarios" but points out that there's much better tools for the job. He then gets into the three different tools that can be used to make the desktop applications:

He briefly introduces each, explores a bit of what they can do and looks at some of the major hinderances that come with them. He ends with a few links to other, less well-developed options like PHPDesktop, Webinder and PHP GTK.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/3-ways-develop-cross-platform-desktop-apps-php/


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