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SitePoint PHP Blog:
First Look at Flarum – Next Generation Forums Made Simple
Oct 19, 2015 @ 13:54:29

On the SitePoint PHP Blog Jeff Smith introduces Flarum, a project that bills itself as "forums made simple" that's easy to set up and includes both the standard features you'd expect from a forum and some interesting "power" ones as well.

Flarum is a forums solution that is currently in public beta and is under active development. Today we’re going to take a look at it, get it set up in a Homestead Improved Vagrant virtual machine, and look at the configuration and the features that Flarum offers. Then, we’ll compare it to some other forums platforms to see how it stacks up at a glance.

They start with a bit of environment setup including the creation of the Homestead virtual machine. The tutorial then roughly follows the installation guide and helps you get the software installed, the web server configured and configuring the software via the Admin interface. They help you set up some of the basics, permissions, change the appearance of the site and work with tags and extensions. They get more into this last topic, introducing some of the things you can customize in the layout and links to more information on both extensions and themes. The post ends with a brief overview of some of the general features that the forum offers including it being touch friendly, "friendly" URLs and easy moderation functionality.

tagged: homestead configuration installation introduction software forum flarum tutorial

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/first-look-at-flarum-next-generation-forums-made-simple/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Debugging WordPress on Azure with Z-Ray
Oct 13, 2015 @ 11:23:55

On the SitePoint PHP blog there's a tutorial showing you how to integrate the Z-Ray tool into WordPress to make debugging it on an Azure instance simpler. The steps make major use of the Azure control panel handling, so it's not quite as useful as a cross-platform guide but at least it gives you an idea of what you could expect from the Z-Ray+WordPress integration.

We all know that WordPress is an amazingly rich, extendable and simple platform. That’s probably one of the reasons it powers so much of the web today. But in some cases this richness can be the downfall of your site. [...] This means you need an easy, safe and reliable way to profile your WordPress app that will help you identify the bottlenecks slowing it down.

This article demonstrates a simple way to do just this. It describes how to debug a WordPress application deployed on Microsoft Azure’s web app service, using Z-Ray for Azure – a new technology that was announced a few months ago and is now in preview mode.

He walks you through the entire process (assuming you already have an account on Azure:

  • Creating the sample WordPress application on Azure
  • Enabling Z-Ray
  • Developing WordPress with Z-Ray

In that last step he includes some screenshots of the kinds of results you can expect from the plugin including details about cache objects, plugin statistics, hooks being executed and WP Query use. He ends the post looking at using Z-Ray for mobile debugging and how to use it in "secured mode" in a production environment.

tagged: tutorial wordpress azure microsoft zray debugging installation configuration

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/debugging-wordpress-on-azure-with-z-ray/

Laravel News:
Homestead now with PHP 7 support
Oct 02, 2015 @ 10:52:41

In a quick post on the Laravel News site they point out that the Laravel Homestead virtual machine now has support for PHP 7:

Laravel Homestead just received a new update with support for PHP 7 which is due out this month.

If you are already using the PHP 5.x Homestead box, you can upgrade your installation to PHP 7.0 by cloning the php-7 branch of the laravel/homestead repository into a new folder.

With two other simple steps you can quickly upgrade your box to be running PHP 7 - updating the Homestead.yml configuration and running a vagrant up. You can find out more information about this update in the official documentation.

tagged: laravel homestead php7 support upgrade configuration vagrant

Link: https://laravel-news.com/2015/10/homestead-now-with-php-7-support/

Matt Stauffer:
Environment-Specific Configuration for CraftCMS Using PHPDotEnv
Sep 25, 2015 @ 10:13:21

In this post to his site Matt Stauffer shows a more real-word example of how the phpdotenv library can make configuration of your application simpler. He shows how it can be applied to a Craft CMS installation to manage domain-specific configuration details.

Craft is a fantastic CMS, but every CMS shows some pain points when you have a large team working on the same site at the same time. One of these points for me is Craft's native multi-environment configuration options, which allow you to define configuration options based on the domain name.

[...] This is great, but it's limited: You're hard-coding the configuration details into your code, which sometimes means putting sensitive information into your version control. Every developer's local installs either all have to have different domains, or if they use the same domain they need to all have the same configuration settings. And something just feels dirty about the codebase having such knowledge of every place it's going to be deployed.

He introduces the phpdotenv library and how you define its simple .env file with a basic INI structure. He then shows how to add the phpdotenv library to your installation:

  • adding it to the list of Composer installed libraries
  • update your front controller to load the configuration
  • define the .env file with your settings
  • ignore it via .gitignore

With these steps in place you can then update the Craft configuration with calls to getenv in all the right places to pull items from the phpdotenv configuration.

tagged: phpdotenv env configuration craftcms example environment tutorial

Link: https://mattstauffer.co/blog/environment-specific-configuration-for-craftcms-using-phpdotenv

Rob Allen:
Simple Ansible file for Z-Ray preview
Sep 15, 2015 @ 10:12:07

For those wanting to check out the latest preview of the Zend Z-Ray stand-alone version, Rob Allen has posted a full Ansible script to help building the environment much easier.

Recently, Zend made available a Z-Ray Technology Preview which takes the Z-Ray feature of Zend Server and makes it stand-alone. This is very interesting as it means that I can run it with the PHP 5.6 on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Vagrant set up that I prefer. I decided to create an Ansible playbook to install Z-Ray into my VM. The Z-Ray instructions are clear enough, so it was simply a case of converting them to a set of YAML steps as who wants to do manual installation nowadays?!

The configuration is set up to run on a Ubuntu machine with PHP 5.6 installed. It will download the Z-Ray plugin, extract it and copy over all necessary configuration files to get it up and running. This stand-alone version can help to make debugging your applications simpler with real-time information right in your browser.

tagged: zray preview standalone version ansible configuration ubuntu php56

Link: http://akrabat.com/simple-ansible-file-for-z-ray-preview/

Joeri Verdeyen:
How I develop in PHP with CoreOS and Docker
Jul 29, 2015 @ 11:41:14

Joeri Verdeyen has posted a tutorial showing you how to use a combination of CoreOS and Docker as a PHP development environment. This is an alternative to the more frequently used Vagrant VM provisioning popular among developers.

I’ve been using the Vagrant provisioned-with-Ansible-setup for a while now. But for the last month(s) I’ve been playing around with things like: Docker, boot2docker, CoreOS, etcd, .. I managed to setup a fast and easy way to develop my PHP applications. Symfony2 is my preferred weapon of choice, so I’ll explain how I’m developing a Symfony2 app.

He starts with the software you'll need installed to get his example up and running, all installable via "brew". He shows how to configure the CoreOS via Vagrant and bring the box up. He then sets up the Docker client to point to the newly created VM as its server. He then creates a docker-compose.yml file to set up the necessary services including nginx, MySQL and (of course) PHP. He then shows the command to run the container, execute the configuration and ensure that all containers are configured correctly. Finally he runs the Composer installation command (Symfony2, remember) and clear the cache.

tagged: coreos docker vagrant development environment tutorial configuration symfony2

Link: https://www.jverdeyen.be/docker/how-php-symfony-coreos-docker/

Cees-Jan Kiewiet:
Composer cache on Travis
Jul 29, 2015 @ 08:46:52

Cees-Jan Kiewiet has posted an article covering the cache directive on The popular Travis-CI continuous integration service and how it can have an effect on your builds.

Ever since the Test lowest, current, and highest possible on Travis post I wanted to dive into caching composers cache and vendor on Travis. My experiments started the day after that post.

He starts with an example of a simple .travis.yml build configuration that includes the cache directive, showing the caching of entire directories. He points out that, while this can speed up builds, it also comes with a few problems - one being that cache inconsistencies could cause unintended side effects when major changes are made. He points out that most of these risks are worth the gain, though. He's seen a gain of around 40 seconds for a normally 50 second job.

tagged: composer travisci cache configuration caveats

Link: http://blog.wyrihaximus.net/2015/07/composer-cache-on-travis/

MyBuilder Tech Blog:
Managing Jenkins Project Builds and Configuration using PHP
Jul 08, 2015 @ 09:57:22

The MyBuilder.com Tech blog has posted a tutorial showing you how to manage your Jenkins builds and configuration using PHP via the Jenkins REST API interface and a few handy curl calls.

I decided to create a simple PHP console script that can be run (or added as a git-hook) to maintain synchronization between the branch you are working on and the branch Jenkins is building. Whilst developing this script, it dawned on me that many other automated use-cases could be achieved with the ability to easily update a projects configuration file. [...] Jenkins fortunately provides us with a RESTful interface to manage typical tasks and activities. Included in this is the ability to read the XML configuration file for a specified project.

The tutorial includes examples of requests you can make to the API to do things like:

  • Reading the Projects Configuration
  • Writing to the Projects Configuration
  • Sending a Project Build Request

The post ends with the full script, a procedural process that executes each of the above steps in order (with an interesting use of the "goto" functionality).

tagged: manage jenkins build project configuration rest api tutorial curl

Link: http://tech.mybuilder.com/managing-jenkins-project-builds-and-configuration-using-php/

Symfony Finland:
Serving PHP on HTTP/2 with H2O and HHVM (Symfony, WordPress, Drupal...)
Jun 23, 2015 @ 11:48:27

On the Symfony Finland blog there's a new post showing you how to serve PHP over HTTP/2 with HHVM and H2O. H2O describes itself as a "new generation HTTP server providing quicker response to users when compared to older generation of web servers".

This article is not about improvements made in HTTP/2 - as there are plenty of locations for you to read up on the internals. It's a hands on article to get started using HTTP/2 today with popular tools such as Symfony, WordPress and Drupal with the HHVM PHP runtime from Facebook. You can just as well use PHP-FPM.

They start with a bit of a look at the current state of PHP and HTTP/2 on the various major web server types. H2O, while younger, natively supports HTTP/2, he does offer the caveat that "waiting won't kill you". Despite this, they go on to show you how to set up the PHP+H2O+HHVM combination complete with configuration examples and what to look for in the logs to ensure HTTP/2 functionality.

tagged: serve http2 h2o hhvm tutorial webserver configuration

Link: https://www.symfony.fi/entry/serving-php-on-http-2-with-h2o-and-hhvm-symfony-wordpress-drupal

Marc Morera:
Defeating Expression Language
May 18, 2015 @ 08:38:27

Marc Morera has a new post to his site wanting to help you defeat Symfony's expression language and perform the same functionality, just more on the code side (another option).

How beautiful Expression Language definitions are, right? I mean, inserting that complex expressions in a Dependency Injection configuration file is so nice and fast if you need to inject the result of a method in a service (one of the multiple examples we can see). [...] This is not a bad idea, really, but because we are engineers and we should have as much information as possible in order to be able to choose between the best option, always, I will show you another way of defining this piece of code.

He shows how to write some code using the Factory design pattern structure to reproduce a bit more complex piece of expression language. He shows the setup of the services.yml file to define the "managers" and classes/services to be injected. He also notes that this removes the need for the "symfony/expression-language" dependency and makes things more portable in the future.

tagged: expression language symfony alternative factory dependencyinjection services configuration

Link: http://mmoreram.com/blog/2015/05/18/defeating-expression-language/