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Web Mozarts:
Resource Discovery with Puli
January 15, 2015 @ 11:14:53

Bernhard Schussek has written up a new post to the Web Mozarts blog talking about resource discovery with Puli. Puli is a management tool for the non-PHP files in your applications (CSS, Javascript, YAML, etc). In this post he talks about the use of the discovery component and its use of resource binding.

Many libraries support configuration code, translations, HTML themes or other content in files of a specific format. The Doctrine ORM, for example, is able to load entity mappings from special XML files. When setting up Doctrine, we need to pass the location of the *.dcm.xml file to Doctrine's XmlDriver. That's easy as long as we do it ourselves, but what if someone else uses our package? How will they find our file? What if multiple packages provide *.dcm.xml files? How do we find all these files? We need to remove the appropriate setup code after removing a package [and] we need to adapt the setup code after installing a new package. Multiply this effort for every other library that uses user-provided files and you end up with a lot of configuration effort. Let's see how Puli helps us to fix this.

He talks about the concept of package roles in the tool, breaking them down in resources and providers. He then shows how Puli makes it possible to discover resources by defining a type via Puli and the code for the discovery process. He then binds the XML configuration definition and executes a "find" to ensure it's configured correctly. Finally, he shows the process to use Puli in this Doctrine example allowing it to locate and use the XML mappings dynamically via a custom driver.

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Link: http://webmozarts.com/2015/01/14/resource-discovery-with-puli/

Joshua Thijssen:
Debugging Symfony components
January 02, 2015 @ 09:44:53

Joshua Thijssen has a quick new post today talking about debugging Symfony components, sharing a simple but useful hint.

Don't you hate it when you are stepping through your debugger during a Symfony application debug session, and all of a sudden it cannot find files anymore as Symfony uses code located in the bootstrap.php.cache instead of the actual Symfony component. Symfony creates these cache-classes in order to speed up execution, but it makes that xdebug cannot find the correct code to step through anymore.

He found a solution in a few changes to his "app_dev.php" bootstrap file to alter the location of the autoloader and disable cache loading. This prevents issues with Symfony trying to access cached versions and use the actual files and locations, making debuggers much more happy.

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Link: https://www.adayinthelifeof.nl/2014/12/31/debugging-symfony-components/

Phil Sturgeon:
Composer It's ALMOST Always About the Lock File
November 05, 2014 @ 11:44:49

In his latest post Phil Sturgeon talks about a point that's been argued on both sides of the Composer users out there - whether or not to commit the "composer.lock" file. Phil talks some about it in his article and suggests that you should commit it for applications but not for components.

If you and your employees are a little vague with your composer.json specifications and you don't have a composer.lock then you can end up on different versions between you. Theoretically, if component developers are using SemVer and you're being careful then you should be fine, but keeping your lock in version control will make sure that the same version is on your dev teams computers. This will happen every time you run $ composer install. If you are on Heroku or EngineYard then this will be used for the deployment of your production components as a built in hook, which is awesome.

He mentions an article from Davey Shafik, this being his reaction to it. He suggests, though, that an absolute of "always commit for components" may be too much and could potentially cause other problems. He points out that since the "composer.lock" handling is local to the directory, you can hit up against version requirement issues between them in your application as a whole. He wonders "how strict is too strict" when defining dependencies and some things to think about (like your users) when making the choice to upgrade the libraries you use.

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Link: https://philsturgeon.uk/blog/2014/11/composer-its-almost-always-about-the-lock-file

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Drupal 8 Hooks and the Symfony Event Dispatcher
October 21, 2014 @ 13:14:53

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new tutorial posted today showing the interaction between Drupal 8 hooks and the Symfony dispatcher in the last part of their series showing how to build a custom Drupal 8 module.

With the incorporation of many Symfony components into Drupal in its 8th version, we are seeing a shift away from many Drupalisms towards more modern PHP architectural decisions. For example, the both loved and hated hook system is getting slowly replaced. Plugins and annotations are taking away much of the need for info hooks and the Symfony Event Dispatcher component is replacing some of the invoked hooks. Although they remain strong in Drupal 8, it's very possible that with Drupal 9 (or maybe 10) hooks will be completely removed.

He starts off with a brief introduction to what the event dispatcher is and how it currently interacts with the Drupal 8 system. He uses a simple form example with two text fields and how to hook in the dispatcher to fire a "demo_form.save" event when the user submits the form. He ties this into a DemoEvent and sets up a simple subscriber. He ends the article with a look at using hooks to achieve the same kind of goal.

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drupal8 tutorial hooks event dispatcher symfony component

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/drupal-8-hooks-symfony-event-dispatcher/

Joshua Thijssen:
Deepdive into the symfony2 security component part 1
October 20, 2014 @ 10:26:33

On the latest post on his site Joshua Thijssen has kicked off a series taking a deep dive into the Symfony security component, a key piece in the security of Symfony-based applications. In this first part of the series he introduces the component and starts in on some of the features it offers.

Once in a while I like diving into code and see how things work under the hood. And as the symfony2 framework consists of many different components, bundles and bridges, there is a lot to discover. But ultimately, the code itself mostly isn't really as complex as it might seem from the outside world: just like a good magic trick, once unraveled, it all seems very simple and makes sense.

However, this is not true for one of those components: the security component. This black box full of dark magic doesn't like to give up its secrets, and after some (miserably) failed attempts, I am trying to unravel it once more in a few blog posts. Either we achieve complete victory, or fail yet again.. At this point, I will give both fair odds.

He starts off with an overview of the component, pointing out the two main things is handles: authentication and authorization. He also pulls in a few other things to do with security in Symfony to give a more complete, well rounded picture - the component itself, the security bundle and security bridges. He gets into a bit more detail about this last one and describes their specific use.

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symfony security bundle component overview deepdive series part1

Link: https://www.adayinthelifeof.nl/2014/10/19/deepdive-into-the-symfony2-security-component-part-1/

Dutch Web Alliance:
Technology Choices
October 13, 2014 @ 09:17:07

On the Dutch Web Alliance blog today Stefan Koopmanschap talks about making technology choices, how flexibility comes into play and suggestions on what to do when things go wrong. He uses some of his own experience (and problems) to illustrate his points.

The amount of times I come into an organization that says any of the above is impossible to keep track of on one hand. Or even two. Most development shops for some reason have decided that they have a single tool that will fit the job. Always. I have to admit the current market is good for developers. There are many projects available, and not enough developers or agencies to work on all of them. [...] But too many times have I encountered projects where the used tool actually was not optimal for the project. I would like to make a case against starting with a full stack from the start. Obviously, this approach does not work for all projects, but too many projects start out small but with a full stack. I'm going to take an old project of mine as an example of how to start out small and not grow until you need to.

He talks about the project first, a transcoding tool that used a third-party service and generate a playlist once the process was complete. He shares some of his thinking about the technology involved (Symfony2 without the full Symfony2 stack) and the decision to go with Cilex. He also talks about database choices (PDO over Doctrine) and how starting with small pieces like this makes it easier to change things in the future (or when a roadblock looms ahead). Then comes the "what went wrong" part of the development - debugging the system without the direct access needed to view the logs. Instead he worked around it, made a simple endpoint to show the logs and output it via Twig templates.

The result of all this work, including changes and extensions, was still a very small and lean application that combined the power of the commandline with a simple but effective web interface. I am sure I could have done a similar thing with Symfony2, but the code would've been overkill. [...] It is important to realize that there is not always a need for full stack frameworks or huge CMS'es like Drupal. Sometimes you need to start small and just let it grow.
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Link: https://dutchweballiance.nl/techblog/technology-choices/

Joshua Thijssen:
Symfony2 logging out
October 10, 2014 @ 10:51:03

In this new post to his site Joshua Thijssen talks about something that's usually considered a common task and might be overlooked when it comes to security: logging out (specifically in Symfony-based applications).

One of the "golden rules" of symfony2 is to never hardcode urls or paths inside your code or templates. And letting symfony deal with the generation of your urls and paths makes your life a lot easier as a developer. But one of the things I see regularly is that people are still hardcoding their logout urls like using "/logout". But logging out is actually a bit more complex than it might seem, and using a simple /logout might work for most cases, but there are better ways to deal with this.

To give some context, he starts with an overview of the Security component of the Symfony framework, mentioning how it can be configured with different "secure" areas and how they handle the user authentication. He includes an example configuration of one of these "firewalls" in a YAML document with three different sections: "dev", "superadminstuff" and "main". He explains what each of these sections are configuring and how they will react when the user visits them. He talks some about the "logout: true" handling and what kind of defaults are also included when it's called. He suggests that, instead of a hard-coded "logout" URL in your application, you make use of the "logout_url" and "logout_path" functions to create the link for you, making it consistent across the application and easier to configure.

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symfony logout security user login component link

Link: https://www.adayinthelifeof.nl/2014/10/06/symfony2-logging-out/

Marc Morera:
Bye Bye Symfony
September 04, 2014 @ 12:41:00

In his most recent post Marc Morera says bye bye to Symfony and "hello to PHP". Confused? His point is that using the Symfony components as a whole in the framework isn't the only option anymore. You can use them just as effectively as pieces of a larger PHP project, puling them in as needed.

The reason of this post is just to tell you, with a simple example, how to say Bye Bye, Symfony! and say Hi PHP!. This really means uncouple from Symfony Components and still use them as the default implementation, while we can securely remove, from the composer require block, our Symfony dependencies.

He starts off with a simple example showing how to use Symfony's "UrlGeneratorInterface" to create a URL output class that can be injected to use in the route handling of the application. He then moves on to a more real-life example (a metaphor) using a USB connection and the adapters/cables that could be involved to connect various devices. He then shifts back over to the world of code and describes a specification interface that can be used with the URL generation and remove the Symfony dependency from it. On top of this he builds an adapter object that brings the Symfony component back into the picture and abstracts it out a level to make for more flexibility and testability in the long run.

We win maximum implementation flexibility and minimum coupling. Would be wise to say that a PHP project should tend to this thought, but once again, it depends on many factors. [...] Using ports and adapters is really a great tool for those who want to uncouple from implementations and a great pattern if you develop open source. Open source should satisfy as people as possible, so remember, specify and then implement.
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symfony component abstract tutorial interface specification

Link: http://mmoreram.com/blog/2014/09/01/bye-bye-symfony/

Hari KT:
Aura Framework V2 The Missing Manual
July 16, 2014 @ 10:14:52

Hari KT has a new post to his site today about a book he's been working around around the Aura framework that provides the missing manual for v2 of the project. He's publishing it as a book over on Leanpub too, so it's easy to grab...and for free too.

Aura has an awesome collection of libraries for different purpose. [...] If you are new to aura, there is probably something you may want to figure out yourself. Some of the components have version 1 and version 2 releases. There is a question of which branch corresponds to which version. [...] But people new to aura may be having hard time to find the specific documentation or may be stuck sometime. [...] I was talking with Paul M Jones regarding the documentation lately, and he too shared some concerns. Talking with him gave me some inspiration to start the missing manual for the aura framework.

The goal of the book it to provide a good resource for people to learn about the framework/components and their use and to help promote Aura. The book is available for free either on Github or Leanpub (or, to help support Hari and the project consider purchasing a copy).

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aura framework component missing manual leanpub github

Link: http://harikt.com/blog/2014/07/15/aura-framework-v2-the-missing-manual/

Acquia Blog:
5 PHP Components every Drupal 8 Developer should know Part 1 - Composer
June 25, 2014 @ 12:04:23

On the Acquia blog there's a new post from Kris Vanderwater, Developer Evangelist, starting off a series of "Five PHP Components Every Drupal 8 Developer Should Know". In this first post he covers something that's more of a tool to deal with components and dependencies - working with Composer.

Drupal 8 has made a lot of changes. Architectural and technical changes abound, but Drupal 8 has also brought social changes. We're not really feeling the full effects of those changes quite yet, but with time, I believe the implications of Drupal 8's new direction will have an amazing impact for the good of our community. A big part of those changes was the decision to adopt outside code. [...] Interoperability is the driving force of this renaissance and that interoperability has been fueled by a combination of: [a few things including] the timely appearance of a tool known as Composer.

He briefly introduces the tool to those not familiar with it and its purpose. He links to some of the installation instructions, both global and local to a single project. He includes an example "composer.json" (to install the popular Guzzle HTTP tool) and running the "install" command. He gets into the directory structure and files that are created as a part of the installation. He also looks more deeply at the classmap file and how that relates to the files downloaded.

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acquia component introduction drupal8 top5 composer

Link: https://www.acquia.com/blog/5-php-components-every-drupal-8-developer-should-know-part-1-composer


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