Looking for more information on how to do PHP the right way? Check out PHP: The Right Way

Michelangelo van Dam:
PHP Arrays - The php array functions
Feb 08, 2016 @ 11:51:02

Michelangelo Van Dam is back with another part of his series covering the use of arrays in PHP. In previous articles he covered some of the basics including operations and associative arrays but in this new post he moves up and talks about some of the other functions you can use to manipulate them even further.

In my previous article about arrays (the basics, simple operations and associative arrays or hash maps) I have shown what arrays are and what you can do with it. Now I want to dive into real fun and explain PHP's array functions with real-world examples and how you can apply them in your day-to-day work.

He then goes through several of the PHP array functions, providing simple code snippets of them in action. To help apply it to a more "real world" situation he uses data based on a "countries" table in a database, making use of the "iso" and "printable_name" columns:

This is only three of the many methods you can use in PHP to manipulate arrays but it gives you a taste of what's there and what's to come in his future articles.

tagged: array tutorial functions arraywalk arraymap arrayintersectkey

Link: http://www.dragonbe.com/2016/02/php-arrays-php-array-functions.html

Mark Baker:
A Functional Guide to Cat Herding with PHP Generators
Jan 19, 2016 @ 10:05:13

In this post to his blog Mark Baker looks at a feature added in PHP 5.5 - generators - and how to use them with some of the array handling functionality PHP provides.

When working with arrays in PHP, three of the most useful functions available to us are array_map(), array_filter() and array_reduce().

[...] However, these functions only work with standard PHP arrays; so if we are using Generators as a data source instead of an array, then we can’t take advantage of the functionality that they provide. Fortunately, it’s very easy to emulate that functionality and apply it to Generators (and also to other Traversable objects like SPL Iterators), giving us access to all of the flexibility and power that mapping, filtering and reducing can offer.

He starts with a more "real world" example of using a generator in a handler for GPX files, XML files storing GPS data. He gives an example of the typical file contents and shows a simple generator script (class) that he uses to grab chunks of the file at a time instead of reading it all in and parsing it from there. He then uses this generator along with a bit of extra handling to mimic array filtering, transformation and reducing the data being returned.

tagged: functional generator tutorial array filter reduce transformation

Link: http://markbakeruk.net/2016/01/19/a-functional-guide-to-cat-herding-with-php-generators/

Michelangelo van Dam:
PHP Arrays - Associative Arrays or Hash Maps
Jan 14, 2016 @ 10:50:54

Michelangelo van Dam has continued his introductory series looking at arrays in PHP with this latest post covering associative arrays (otherwise known as hash maps).

Associative array or hash maps are listings of key and value pairs with a possibility to nest additional keys and values. An associative array is a very powerful construct within PHP.

He mentions the previous article and its examples of numerically indexed arrays. He then shows how to use strings as the keys instead, pointing out that these are widely used in things like framework configurations. He shows how to use a foreach to work with the associative array and loop through each of the values, yielding the index and value for each. He also includes examples of for and do-while loops using the array_keys method to get the indexes before hand. He ends the post with a look at using the array_filter function to iterate over and find a certain record.

tagged: assoicative array hashmap tutorial introduction loop filter

Link: http://www.dragonbe.com/2016/01/php-arrays-associative-arrays-or-hash.html

Michelangelo van Dam:
PHP arrays - simple operations
Jan 06, 2016 @ 09:13:29

Michelangelo van Dam continues his series on some of the basics of PHP with another look at arrays (started in this article).

Like all things in life, we need to start with simple things. So, in order to understand what arrays are in PHP, we need to take a look at the PHP manual to read what it is all about. [...] The thing with PHP is that an array is probably one of the most used data structures in web applications build with PHP and used for a wide variety of purposes.

He covers the basics of:

  • storing multiple values in an array and pushing additional values onto the end
  • removing the last item added to the array
  • pulling the first element off of the array

In his next article, he plans on expanding this introduction to arrays by looking at associative arrays.

tagged: array introduction simple tutorial multiple shift pop

Link: http://www.dragonbe.com/2016/01/php-arrays-simple-operations.html

Matt Stauffer:
Form array validation in Laravel 5.2
Dec 17, 2015 @ 11:23:35

Matt Stauffer has kicked off a new series on his blog about some of the new features in Laravel 5.2 and how to use them effectively. In this first part of the series he looks at form array validation and using it on more complex form submissions.

Form array validation simplifies the process of validating the somewhat abnormal shape of data HTML forms pass in when the array syntax is used. If you're not familiar with it, a common use case is when you allow a user to add multiple instances of the same type on one form.

[...] But how do we validate this? Prior to 5.2, it's a bunch of manual work. Now, Laravel understands this nesting structure and can validate against it uniquely.

He compares the new validation handling with a standard validator (for a single text string) and shows how a "dot" (period) notation can be used to define the more complex rules. You can even use asterisks for wildcard making at any level. Definitely a nice addition to the validation handling in the framework.

tagged: form validation array laravel5.2 version wildcard complex tutorial series part1

Link: https://mattstauffer.co/blog/form-array-validation-in-laravel-5-2

HHVM Blog:
Improving Arrays in Hack
Nov 03, 2015 @ 11:46:14

On the HHVM blog there's a post talking about some of the updates they've made with array handling in Hack to help make it more efficient and overcoming some of the challenges in how they're being used.

Arrays are the ubiquitous data structure in PHP, used to represent everything from lists, associated lists, sets, tuples, or even a bag of data. This flexibility itself makes it challenging for Hack to understand how an array will be used. [...] If this was the only problem with PHP arrays, then the solution would be “simple”; make the type checker smarter (something we are working on). However there are a number of other semantic details around arrays that are nearly impossible to analyze statically.

They talk about some of the issues a bit more specifically including:

  • indexing of non-existent keys
  • key coercion
  • arrays containing references

They also talk about some of the legitimate use cases for arrays over the collections Hack offers, mostly do to with the values they could contain. The post ends with links to some of the other future improvements to the array handling in Hack and a look further out and their vision of replacing PHP arrays with Hack arrays and moving collections to a runtime library.

tagged: hhvm hack array improvement problem values collections

Link: http://hhvm.com/blog/10649/improving-arrays-in-hack

Gonzalo Ayuso:
Alternative way to inject providers in a Silex application
Oct 19, 2015 @ 11:18:10

Gonazalo Ayuso has shared a method he's found for injecting providers into Silex that replaces accessing the dependency injection container as an array. It instead replaces it and allows defining function parameters instead.

I normally use Silex when I need to build one Backend. It’s simple and straightforward to build one API endpoint using this micro framework. But there’s something that I don’t like it: The “array access” way to access to the dependency injection container. I need to remember what kind of object provides my service provider and also my IDE doesn’t help me with autocompletion. OK I can use PHPDoc comments or even create one class that inherits from SilexApplication and use Traits. Normally I’m lazy to do it. Because of that I’ve create this simple service provider to help me to do what I’m looking for. Let me explain it a little bit.

He includes examples of both the normal way you can access Silex's injection containers (the "array access" method) and contrasts this with his updated method, via a method parameter on the route closure. His service provider (complete code in the post and on github), when registered, looks for controller events and performs reflection on the closure to detect which objects need to be injected. The method is then called normally but with the extra attributes set, populating the parameters.

tagged: slex service provider alternative array access parameter method dependency injection

Link: http://gonzalo123.com/2015/10/19/alternative-way-to-inject-providers-in-a-silex-application/

Scott Keck-Warren:
Making dataProviders More Maintainable
Sep 30, 2015 @ 09:44:18

Scott Keck-Warren has a quick post to his site sharing a method for keeping data providers maintainable in your unit tests. Data providers are a quick way to retest the same logic with several different types of data and not have an individual test for each.

I’m a big fan of using PHPUnit’s data providers feature because it allows you to easily run a lot of data through the same kinds of tests over and over again without having a bunch of duplicate code sitting around. But they aren’t always the easiest thing to come back to an understand.

He briefly introduces how data providers are used in PHPUnit testing, including a brief code example. The errors that can come up with this common setup can be cryptic to debug. He recommends a slight alteration to the data provider return structure to use an associative array instead of a single-level array. This way, if there's an error the resulting message refers to the index, not just a number making a bit more sense and aids in debugging.

tagged: dataprovider maintainable phpunit tip associative array

Link: http://www.thisprogrammingthing.com/2015/making-dataproviders-more-maintainable/

Edd Mann:
Developing a Resizable-Indexed Array as a PHP Extension with Joe Watkins
Aug 31, 2015 @ 12:43:11

Edd Mann has a post to his site sharing a new screencast about developing PHP extensions by Joe Watkins, specifically about using a resizable-indexed array.

Following on from our first screencast, which touched upon how to setup a PHP extension development environment and creating a simple ‘array_sum’ like function. We now further this topic by implementing a resizable-indexed array class which supplies very similar functionality to that of the SplFixedArray class. Throughout this discussion we look into creating a custom Zend object class, using this to invoke an implemented data-structure located in another file, implementing internal interfaces, object handlers and the importance of PHP extension tests.

You can watch the video either through the in-page video player or directly on YouTube if you'd like a bit more control over the sizing. You can find the resulting code for the extension in this repository on Joe's account.

tagged: resizable indexed array extension tutorial screencast youtube threedevsandamaybe

Link: http://eddmann.com/posts/developing-a-resizable-indexed-array-as-a-php-extension-with-joe-watkins/

PHPClasses.org:
How to Create a PHP C Extension to Manipulate Arrays Part 2: Adding ArrayAccess and
Aug 13, 2015 @ 12:33:04

Dmitry Mamontov has posted the second part of his "How to Create a PHP C Extension to Manipulate Arrays" series on PHPClasses, building on part one and adding in the ArrayAccess and Traversable interface functionality.

In the first part of this article we learned how to create an extension for PHP written in C to create a class that works like arrays. However, to make the class objects really behave as arrays you need to implement certain interfaces in the class.

Read this article to learn how to make a PHP class defined by a C extension implement ArrayAccess and Traversable interfaces, as well understand how to solve problems that you may encounter that can make your extension slower than you expect.

He takes the class he defined in part one and walks you through the addition of the two interfaces. He shows you where they're defined in the PHP source, what the code looks like and how they integrate with the class. He also shows you how to customize the object class handlers, making it possible to use the custom class (object) as an array. Adding Traversable is easier, adding an iterator return method that allows for the data internal to the class to be iterated through.

tagged: phpclasses series part2 extension class array manipulate arrayaccess traversable

Link: http://www.phpclasses.org/blog/post/306-How-to-Create-a-PHP-C-Extension-to-Manipulate-Arrays-Part-2-Adding-ArrayAccess-and-Traversable-interfaces.html