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Marc Scholten:
Accidental Complexity Caused By Service Containers In The PHP World
May 24, 2016 @ 11:25:30

In this post to his site Marc Scholten talks about something that's become a side effect of using the inversion of control design pattern in PHP applications (specifically related to dependency injection): added accidental complexity.

Modern PHP development favors the use of inversion of control to keep software more configurable and flexible. This leads to the problem that one now has to create a big graph of objects to use the application. As a solution to avoid redundant setup code, service containers like the symfony2 dependency injection component are used.

The goal of a service container is to centralize the construction of big object graphs. [...] Simple, right? Actually it’s not. Commonly used service containers are complex solution for simple problems.

He illustrates with an example using the Symfony services container, a piece of the framework that allows the definition of dependency relationships via a YAML formatted file. While this configuration seems simple enough, he points out that more complex dependencies (ones that could easier be set via a "set" method) become more difficult to define when limited by the service container config structure. He also points out that it makes static analysis of the code much more difficult with dependencies being dynamically fetched from the container instead of directly related. He offers an alternative to this complex container setup, however: a simple method (or methods) inside of a factory class that creates the objects, injects the required dependencies. This makes it much easier to call from the service container instance and configuration and even a "create container" call to set all of the dependencies up at once. He ends the post with some advantages of this approach and a takeaway or two to keep in mind when managing your object dependencies.

tagged: complexity service container accidental configuration simplex complex example symfony

Link: https://www.mpscholten.de/software-engineering/2016/05/21/accidental-complexity-caused-by-service-containers-in-the-php-world.html

Anthony Ferrara:
All About Middleware
May 23, 2016 @ 11:06:10

Anthony Ferrara has written up a post for his site sharing more information about middleware and the PSR-7 proposal that's being discussed to help standardize interfaces with this popular form of application processing.

Last week, a proposal to standardize middleware for PSR-7 was introduced to the PHP-FIG. The general concept of middleware is not a new one, and has been in use in the PHP world for many years. Several people have raised significant concerns with the proposal, which have gone completely unheeded by the author. Let me go through the most major of these concerns, as well as show what a better proposal might look like.

He starts off with a brief look at the current proposal - the interface it defines and an example of a real world usage of it to check some attributes on the request/response. He gives a few more examples before getting into what he sees as the fundamental problem with the interface: that it passes in a response instance rather than creating its own ("what does $response mean inside the middleware?"). He's mostly talking about context and not knowing from one middleware to the next what kind of changes may have been made to the response. He also includes some of the arguments on the "for" side of including the parameter and an interesting list of middleware that does this modification prior to the next() call, making it difficult to determine the actual state.

He ends the post with a few other issue he has with the proposal including the use of the __invoke method name, a restriction on typing and the next method being callable. He makes a few suggestions of modifications to the proposal that he thinks could help make it better, correcting these issues.

tagged: middleware psr7 proposal opinion example problem

Link: http://blog.ircmaxell.com/2016/05/all-about-middleware.html

Ignace Butera:
DatePeriod demystified
May 17, 2016 @ 12:16:37

Ignace Butera has shared a post to his site giving some advice about using the DatePeriod functionality from PHP's DateTime handling. The DatePeriod makes it easier to work with dates at certain intervals without having to calculate them manually.

With the introduction of the DateTimeImmutable object in PHP5.5, and a subsequent bug fix to DatePeriod in PHP5.5.8, the object results became rather interesting. To sum it up, when iterating over a DatePeriod, the datepoint returned is of the same instance as the starting datepoint. Let’s illustrate this by taking the first example and using a DateTimeImmutable object instead as the starting datepoint.

The post starts with a brief overview of the DatePeriod functionality and a code example of it in use (along with two DateTime objects for start/end dates). He shows how it returns DateTimeImmutable objects and the properties they expose to get more information about the objects. He points out a few buggy points in the API, though, and makes a recommendation of a library that's a bit more consistent.

tagged: datetime dateperiod example introduction api

Link: http://nyamsprod.com/blog/2016/dateperiod-demystified/

Matthew Weier O'Phinney:
Programmatic Expressive
May 17, 2016 @ 11:45:34

In this new post to his site Matthew Weier O'Phinney looks at a common misconception there seems to be for people using the Expressive framework from Zend - that their applications should be entirely configuration-driven.

Enrico just returned from phpDay, where he spoke about Expressive and the upcoming Zend Framework 3. One piece of feedback he brought back had to do with how people perceive they should be building Expressive applications: many think, based on our examples, that it's completely configuration driven!

As it turns out, this is far from the truth; we developed our API to mimic that of traditional microframeworks, and then built a configuration layer on top of that to allow making substitutions. However, it's not only possible, but quite fun, to mix and match the two ideas!

Matthew goes on to share an experiment he tried using his own code to "tweak" things away from being configuration-driven to a more programmatic approach. He shares a few tips to remember when trying the same with your application too. The post ends with an example of this migration and some of the benefits/issues that could come from the change.

tagged: programmatic expressive framework configuration migrate example

Link: https://mwop.net/blog/2016-05-16-programmatic-expressive.html

Loïc Faugeron:
Towards CQRS, Command Bus
May 12, 2016 @ 12:07:21

Loïc Faugeron has made a new post to his site talking about moving towards CQRS and Command Bus architecture in PHP applications.

By following the Command / Query Responsibility Segregation (CQRS) principle, we separate "write" logic from "read" logic. This can be applied on many levels, for example on the macro one we can have a single "Publisher" server (write) with many "Subscribers" servers (read), and on a micro level we can use this principle to keep our controllers small.

However, transitioning from a regular mindset to a CQRS one can be difficult. In this article, we'll explore the "Command Bus" pattern, to help us to get the Command (write) part right.

He starts with an example of a "create profile" happens and all logic lives in the controller. He then gets into the basics of the Command Bus handling and how the concept of "middleware" relates. He then shows how to migrate over to the Command Bus handling in his controller example, creating a CreateNewProfile command (with unit tests) and its handler. He then refactors the controller to put it to use. He points out that the initial version is tightly coupled to Doctrine so he refactors it too via some simple interfaces.

tagged: commandbus tutorial cqrs example refactor controller command handler

Link: https://gnugat.github.io/2016/05/11/towards-cqrs-command-bus.html

Adam Wathan:
Writing Your Own Test Doubles
May 11, 2016 @ 10:19:58

In this recent post to his site Adam Wathan about writing your own custom test doubles (fakes) to help make your tests cleaner and improve their overall readability/maintainability.

Once in a while I run into a situation where trying to use a mocking library hurts the readability of my test. For example, say I’m building out a basic user registration flow where someone signs up and receives a welcome email. [...] To test that an account is created correctly, I can make a request to the endpoint and verify that the new account exists in a test database. [...] This covers creating the account itself, but what’s the best way to test the welcome email?

He goes through a few of the options that could be used to test this including using Mockery to replace the mailer class with a spy or actually sending emails. There's downfalls to both of these methods and he suggests using a custom "fake" where the mailer class is swapped out with an "in-memory" option with the same kind of interface. He does point out a few issues with this method, however, and offers a few tips to remember when using them.

tagged: custom test unittest doubles email example video screencast

Link: http://adamwathan.me/2016/01/25/writing-your-own-test-doubles/

James Wade:
Getting started with Docker and Wordpress
May 06, 2016 @ 11:57:31

James Wade has posted a tutorial to his site showing you how to combine Docker and WordPress after some experimentation of his own.

I’ve been meaning to get started with Docker since hearing about it in 2014. Having really enjoyed working with Vagrant, I’ve struggled to make a leap into the Docker realm. [...] My understanding at the moment is that docker takes up less resources, which for me is becoming more and more of an issue as I attempt to expand my development environments. Also, I’ve recently inherited a number of Vagrants that I discovered have varying operating systems and application versions, that vary from production.

This has unravelled a dependency hell when I came to build a continuous integration process. In light of this, at this stage, a complete rewrite of the architecture seems to be emerging as the most sensible way to being all the services in to line. I’ll be looking whether I can solve these problems (amongst others) with Docker.

He starts by helping you get all the tools you'll need installed with examples for multiple platforms (OSX, Windows, Unix-based). With those in place he helps you set up a VM as a Docker machine then get WordPress installed (complete with its database). He also shows how to use Docker Compose, using an existing WordPress instance and creating a custom image from the results (including database, environmental settings and hostname configuration).

tagged: docker wordpres tutorial example compose setup configure vm virtualmachine

Link: http://wade.be/development/2016/05/02/docker.html

Liip Blog:
Using the new Drupal 8 Migration API / Module
May 06, 2016 @ 10:14:23

On the Liip blog there's a post from Jon Minder talking about the new Drupal 8 migration API/module and includes a guide to get you started using it in your Drupal application.

We at Liip AG believe, that the migration API is the best and most efficient way to import data into Drupal. [...] The Migrate 8 module in core is only an API. There is no user interface. This makes it difficult for new developer to start with Migrate 8.

I suggest you, to install the [several] extension modules right away before you start developing if you want to realize the full potential of migrate.

The post starts with a list of reasons they see to use the migration module over other methods including the fact that it's sponsored and supported by Acquia. He provides a list of modules to install before getting started with Migrate and links to a GitHub repository if you'd like a "quickstart" environment to follow his examples. He then compares the previous version (from Drupal 7) of the migration handling with the newer Drupal 8 functionality, most notably the change over to YAML configuration rather than PHP code. He helps you understand the structure of these files and gives an example. He shows how to run the migration, gives a more advanced JSON source example and mentions the included process plugin.

tagged: drupal8 migrate module api drupal7 example yaml configuration

Link: https://blog.liip.ch/archive/2016/05/04/using-the-new-drupal-8-migration-api-module.html

TutsPlus.com:
Deploy Your PHP Application With Rocketeer
May 04, 2016 @ 14:19:01

On the TutsPlus.com site there's a new tutorial posted that aims to help you deploy your PHP application with Rocketeer, a PHP-based deployment tool with lots of built in functionality for more complex deployments.

There used to be a time when PHP developers had to use deployment tools that were aimed at general web applications. [...] But nowadays, we're blessed with a few deployment tools written in our language that enable deeper integration. One of these tools is Rocketeer, a tool that takes inspiration from Capistrano and the Laravel framework.

Rocketeer is a modern tool that brings a great approach for your deployment needs. That is to run tasks and manage your application across different environments and servers.

They start with a brief introduction to the Rocketeer tool (basically a SSH driven command execution engine) and show you how to get it installed on your system. They then help you initialize the setup directory (.rocketeer) and describe each of the pieces and how the deployment happens. They show you how to configure events and tasks in the system to perform during execution. They also show the definition of "strategies" to execution events/tasks in groups, work with plugins and, finally, running an example deployment.

tagged: rocketeer deployment tool introduction configuration example

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/articles/deploy-your-php-application-with-rocketeer--cms-25838

Mark Ragazzo:
Immutable objects
May 04, 2016 @ 13:55:42

In a post to his site Mark Ragazzo looks at immutable objects - what they are and how they can be used in a PHP application with some "final" functionality.

In this short article we will see what immutable objects are and why we should consider to use them. Immutable object is an object that does not change its state after it was created. Immutable objects usually are very simple. You may already seen them as enum types or primitives like DateTimeImmutable.

Further in this article you will learn that making simple objects immutable may save significant amount of your time by making impossible to make certain types of mistakes.

He starts with a list of a few things to remember when implementing immutable objects (like using the "final" keyword) and problems that can come without them. He then gets into some examples, showing how to create immutable Address and Money objects and how to use them when you need to update/get values from the object. He also covers some common "accidental mutability" cases like leaking internal object references and inheritance problems.

tagged: immutable object introduction example mutability accidental tutorial

Link: https://ragazzo.github.io/immutability/oop/2016/05/03/immutability.html