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Marco Bunge:
Application logic done right
Aug 14, 2017 @ 12:13:13

In a recent post to his site Marco Bunge offers some suggestions on how to write good application logic in a "clean, testable and reusable" way.

Web based enterprise applications are often accessible via different user interfaces through protocols like HTTP, Sockets, RPC, CLI. The Model-View-Controller is still present as a user-interface pattern. But requests and responses needs to be handled in the way of their interface requirements.

We don’t want to write the same logic for each required interfaces. Furthermore we don’t want to test and maintain code for each required interfaces. We want to write, test and maintain reusable source code at a central point of the application eco-system.

He then talks about the ideas behind the "three-teir architecture" and how this structure can be used to split logic into layers: presentation, logic and data. He mentions domain driven design as a development method to help achieve this structure and his meaning of the word "clean". He then gets into the implementation of this structure, defining the major pieces of functionality for each tier (with code for each included). He ends the post with some suggestions of points for additional reading about things like presenters, the ADR pattern and the "Inversion of Control" principle.

tagged: application logic opinion threetier clean tutorial example code

Link: http://www.marco-bunge.com/2017/08/05/application-logic-done-right/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
What Are the New Features in Laravel 5.5?
Aug 14, 2017 @ 11:22:03

On the SitePoint PHP blog there's a recent article posted by Christopher Vundi looking at the new features coming in Laravel 5.5, the next major release of the popular PHP framework.

Laravel 5.5 will require PHP 7.0+. For the features this modern PHP version brings, please see our recap.

Laravel 5.5 will also be the next LTS (Long Term Support) release. This means bugfixes for two years and three years of security updates. That was also the case with Laravel 5.1, but its two-year window of bug fixes is coming to an end this year. Without further ado, let’s see what this new version has to offer.

Instead of just describing the new features, the article opts to walk you through the installation of v5.5 and showing examples of each. Topics covered include:

  • Rendering Mailables to the Browser
  • Exception Helper Functions
  • Introducing the migrate:fresh Command
  • Automatic Package Discovery
  • Whoops is Back!
  • Custom Exception Report Method
  • Validation Data Return
  • Custom Blade::if() Directives
  • Autoregistering of New Artisan Commands in the Kernel

...among many others. There's a long list of new features coming in this release and the tutorial covers each nicely and provides the code examples it would take to make it all work.

tagged: laravel new feature v55 framework example code

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/new-features-laravel-5-5/

Jason McCreary:
Writing Clean Code
Aug 14, 2017 @ 10:42:02

In a new post to his site Jason McCreary makes a case for writing clean code in your development processes. He makes three main suggestions of practices you can integrate into your workflow to help make the code you write cleaner.

I noticed [legacy codebases] all suffer from the same fundamental issue - inconsistency. Often the result of years of code patching, large teams, changing hands, or all of the above.

This creates a problem because we read code far more than we write code. So as I read a new codebase these inconsistencies distract me from the true code. My focus shifts to the mundane of indentation and variable tracking instead of the important business logic.

In my experience, I find I boy scout a new codebase in the same way. Three simple practices to improve the readability of the code.

His three suggestions for improving the overall code quality center around standardized formatting rules, consistent naming practices and avoiding nested code. He uses an example piece of code to help illustrate these recommendations with explanations for each.

tagged: clean code top3 suggestions formatting naming nested

Link: https://jason.pureconcepts.net/2017/08/writing-clean-code/

BitExpert Blog:
Why using code as DI config is a win!
Jul 26, 2017 @ 10:58:21

In a post to the bitExpert.de site Stephan Hochdörfer explains why he thinks that using code over configuration in a DI container is a better approach than static configuration definitions.

In my recent talk on introducing Disco - the DI container with the damn coolest name(tm) - I talk about why I believe that using XML or any other non-code configuration (YAML, JSON, ...) is not a good idea. This stirred some twitter discussion recently which led to this blog post.

Just for the record, for a very long time I was part of the XML camp - just browse my collection of old talks to see for yourself. I praised XML a lot as being the only true DI configuration format.

He then goes through some of the main issues he sees with using something like XML for the dependency container's configuration:

  • An XML editor won't give you code-completion for PHP classes or methods.
  • Refactoring won't work properly in an XML configuration file.
  • An XML editor is not capable of doing proper type checks.
  • XML is just too verbose.

For each item he provides a brief explanation and an example of XML where it helps to illustrate the point.

tagged: xml configuration code disco dependency injection container opinion

Link: https://blog.bitexpert.de/blog/why-using-code-as-di-config-is-a-win/

ThePHP.cc:
Why Developers Should Not Code
Jul 19, 2017 @ 11:16:01

On thePHP.cc blog Stefan Priebsch offers up an interesting opinion about code, developers and understanding - developers shouldn't code.

The ultimate problem with program code seems to be that no human really understands it. Sure, we can look at a short piece of code and be relatively clear on what it does, but can we still do the same thing with programs that span tens or even hundreds of thousands of lines?

[...] Well, sometimes I get a strong feeling that there is a shortage of good programmers, because I often find myself looking at legacy code, being unable to tell what it does, at least with reasonable certainty. [...] Personally, I already consider code to be problematic when there is a reasonable amount of doubt as to what it does (and why it exists). To me, uncertainty and discussions are a sure sign of bad code. Call me picky, but years of experience have taught me that this level of strictness makes sense.

He suggests that the fact a developer cannot recognize what current code is doing doesn't make you a poor developer, but the opposite. He talks some about the meaning of the word "code" and how it is written for a machine to understand, not a human. He ends the post talking about testing your code to provide an "executable specification" and, despite having this, a human-readable spec is still a requirement (like it or not).

tagged: developer code opinion specification testing

Link: https://thephp.cc/news/2017/07/why-developers-should-not-code

Jason McCreary:
You changed the code, you didn't refactor the code.
Jul 13, 2017 @ 11:16:27

Jason McCreary has a post with an interesting perspective about code refactoring and what it means to refactor. He suggests that just changing code isn't refactoring and that it's more about changes in the observable behavior.

There was a good discussion on Twitter yesterday regarding a code contribution to the Laravel framework. It ended with some good questions about the distinctions between “refactoring” vs “changing” code.

While I want to focus on these distinctions, let’s first focus on the code change.

He gives an example of some code from the suggested change that reduced the number of lines in a before function call that still satisfied the requirements defined by the unit tests. He suggests that, while this change allowed the method to work as expected, it was more of a "change" than a "refactor". He suggests that because the code internal to the method changed that the "observable behavior" changed because of a special case with the return value. Existing tests didn't catch the change so it was assumed the refactor was successful even when it wasn't. Adding this test and fixing the issue then resulted in a true refactor and not just a change.

Given the symbiotic relationship between refactoring and testing, some consider the tests to be the requirements. So if all tests pass, you met the requirements. I think that’s a slippery slope. For me, the definition of “refactoring” again provides the answer through its own question - did we change the observable behavior?
tagged: code change refactor opinion unittest patch laravel

Link: https://jason.pureconcepts.net/2017/07/refactor-vs-change-code/

PHP Roundtable:
064: PHP 7 Source Code: A Deep Dive
Jul 12, 2017 @ 13:35:41

The PHP Roundtable podcast, hosted by PHP community member Sammy K Powers, has posted their latest episode: Episode #64 - PHP 7 Source Code: A Deep Dive. In this show Sammy is joined by Sara Golemon, a core language contributor and XHP.

We take a deep-dive into the underlaying structure of the the PHP source code and talk about the scanner, parser, the new AST layer (and the evil things we can do with it), and the Zend engine. Let's see how the PHP sausage is made!

You can catch this latest episode either through the in-page audio or video player, directly on YouTube or by downloading the mp3 directly. If you enjoy the episode, be sure to follow them on Twitter and subscribe to their feed to get updates when future shows are being recorded and are released.

tagged: phproundtable podcast ep64 php7 deepdive source code saragolemon

Link: https://www.phproundtable.com/episode/php-7-internals-scanning-parsing-ast-and-engine

SitePoint PHP Blog:
How to Build a Cryptocurrency Auto-Trader Bot with PHP?
Jun 15, 2017 @ 11:11:27

On the SitePoint PHP blog they've posted an article from author Joel Degan showing you how to create a bot to auto-trade cryptocurrency with a bit of PHP and this boilerplate code.

This tutorial will walk you through the full process of building a bitcoin bot with PHP – from setup, on to your first execution of an automated trade, and beyond.

[...] But, you say, I am a coder who likes to automate things, surely we can fire up some BTCbot and we can have it just do the work for us, it will make us millions in our sleep, right? Probably not. I don’t want to write a bot and publish it with a single strategy and just say “here, use this”, I don’t think that is helpful to anyone, I would rather give you the tools and show you how to write strategies yourself, show you how to set up data collection for the strategies and how to implement them in a trading system and see the results.

He then walks you through the installation of the boilerplate code and the list of commands/scripts that come with it. He shows how to set up the Redis/MySQL connections and each of the sites you'll need to set up an account on to either perform trades or get the latest currency information. With all of that installed and set up he starts in on the code and functionality, grab the latest data, write a bit of code to manipulate that data and create other handling to manage your own preferences and trading rules.

tagged: cryptocurrency autotrade tutorial boilerplate code

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/build-cryptocurrency-auto-trader-bot-php/

Paul Jones:
“Action Injection” As A Code Smell
May 17, 2017 @ 11:53:16

In this recent post to his site Paul Jones suggests that "action injection" in PHP applications should be considered a "code smell" (that is, a bad practice that could indicate that the controller class is doing too much).

Circumstance has conspired to put Action Injection discussions in front of me multiple times in the past few days. Having seen the approach several times before, I have come to think that if Action Injection is the answer, you might be asking the wrong question. I find it to be a code smell, one that indicates the system needs refactoring or reorganizing.

He first covers what "action injection" is and provides an example of how it would fit in with the use of a dependency injection container. He also points to some of the frameworks that currently support this functionality natively. With that defined, he then moves into the main idea of the post - that using functionality like this is a "code smell" that could signal something that is in need of refactoring. He then provides some suggestions on things to change and mental shifts in thinking about how your application is organized. He finishes by pointing to the Action-Domain-Responder pattern as a way of implementing this and how single-action controllers can help.

tagged: action injection code smell actiondomainresponder

Link: http://paul-m-jones.com/archives/6589

Medium.com:
Expressive Code & Real Time Facades
May 10, 2017 @ 11:13:54

On his Medium.com blog Laravel project lead Taylor Otwell shares some of his thoughts on expressive code and real-time facades and how they make things simpler, event for testing/mocking.

Recently, I worked on some code that surfaced my most common use-case for Laravel 5.4’s “real-time” facades. If you’re not familiar with this feature, it allows you to use any of your application’s classes as a Laravel “facade” on-demand by prefixingFacades to the namespace when importing the class. This is not a feature that is littered throughout my code, but I find it occasionally provides a clean, testable approach to writing expressive object APIs.

To illustrate he uses the code from the Laravel Forge service talking about service providers (like DigitalOcean, Linode, etc) and "service" classes to contain API methods. He then shifts over to the controller to see how he'd like to access it, making a generic Provider class with a make method to create the instance. This has an issue, however, with testing making it very difficult. Instead he shifts over to the real-time facades and a factory where the test can more easily manually mock the method into a stub provider (example included).

tagged: expressive code realtime facade testing factory tutorial

Link: https://medium.com/@taylorotwell/expressive-code-real-time-facades-41c442914291