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Vladimir Goncharov:
Computer vision and machine learning in PHP using the opencv library
Jun 22, 2018 @ 12:02:15

Vladimir Goncharov has a tutorial posted to his Medium.com site showing how to integrate machine learning and computer vision into a PHP application using the opencv library. The php-opencv library is a C-level implementation (via an extension) making it easer to use it directly from PHP.

Now, “Machine learning” is developing very fast, it has already written a lot of articles, including the ones on the medium, and almost every developer would like to start using it in their work tasks and home projects, but where to start and what to use is not always understandable. Most articles for beginners offer a bunch of literature, on the reading of which there is not enough life, “inexpensive” courses, etc.

[...] I was considering writing a php-opencv module by myself using SWIG and spent a lot of time on it, but I did not achieve anything. [...] Then I found the library of php-opencv on the github space, it is a module for php7, which makes calls to opencv methods.

He then starts in on the code making use of the library to read in images, perform face detection, facial recognition, and locating facial marks/landmarks. He also includes a section covering the use of neural networks to improve the quality of images, classify them and the use of Tensorflow models to detect certain kinds of objects. The post ends with a look at getting the requirements installed to use the tool and links to other examples.

tagged: computer vision machine learning opencv library tutorial extension

Link: https://medium.com/@morozovsk/computer-vision-and-machine-learning-in-php-using-the-opencv-library-3131fe9df94b

Laravel News:
Speed Up Laravel on Top of Swoole
May 07, 2018 @ 10:47:09

On the Laravel News site there's a tutorial posted showing you how to use the Swole extension to speed up your Laravel-based application. Swole is a PHP extension written in C that provides missing asynchronous functionality to the language.

Swoole is a production-grade async programming framework for PHP. It is a PHP extension written in pure C language, which enables PHP developers to write high-performance, scalable, concurrent TCP, UDP, Unix socket, HTTP, WebSocket services in PHP without too much knowledge of the non-blocking I/O programming and low-level Linux kernel. You can think of Swoole as something like NodeJS but for PHP, with higher performance.

The post covers the "why?" question of using Swoole with Laravel, explaining how the traditional PHP request flow works. Swoole provides a way to reduce come of this processing overhead and increase performance. They then help you integrate Swoole and Laravel using a custom package (swooletw/laravel-swoole), installing both the package and using PECL to install the Swoole extension. Once the extension is enabled and the service provider is added, all it takes is an artisan command to start the web server up.

The post finishes with some quick benchmarks using wrk comparing it against a typical Nginx setup with PHP-FPM. Not surprisingly, Swoole outperforms the other setup well.

tagged: laravel swoole extension performance tutorial package install

Link: https://laravel-news.com/laravel-swoole

Zend Framework Blog:
Async Expressive? Try Swoole!
Mar 22, 2018 @ 09:28:22

On the Zend Framework blog there's a new tutorial posted that wants to help you use Expressive for asynchronous request handling with the help of the Swoole extension.

When we were finalizing features for Expressive 3, we had a number of users testing using asynchronous PHP web servers. As a result, we made a number of changes in the last few iterations to ensure that Expressive will work well under these paradigms.

Specifically, we made changes to how response prototypes are injected into services.

The article starts by talking about the issue with the previous response prototype handling, mostly that, in an async world, all responses would be sharing the same instance rather than rebuilding a new one for each request. It then explains their reasoning behind even worrying about async support in the framework's response handling noting that the major reason had to do with the performance gain. The post mentions the Swoole extension and shows how to install it via PECL but you'll need to check out the project's documentation to see how to create a server that makes use of it.

tagged: asynchronous swoole extension zendframework zendexpressive v3

Link: https://framework.zend.com/blog/2018-03-21-expressive-swoole.html

Derick Rethans:
Mar 06, 2018 @ 10:28:20

In a new post to his site Derick Rethans talks about "analemmas" and shows how to use PHP's own DateTime handling to determine the locations of the sun at different intervals (that's what an "analemma" tracks).

Last week I listened to an The Sceptics' Guide to the Universe where the word of the week was "But as I am currently starting to update the Guide to Date and Time Programming for a second edition, I was wondering whether I could create an analemma from existing PHP functions. Unfortunately, PHP only provides functionality to calculate when the Sun is at its highest point, through date_sun_info().

He includes an example of this function in use to determine the time the sun was at its zenith. While PHP by itself can't calculate the position, Derick remembered a PHP extension he wrote that could help: php-solarsystem. He includes some code using this functionality to iterate and locate the sun via its azimuth and altitude based on his choice of location (London). The result is a CSV export of data that he then drops in to gnuplot to create the graph of the analemma during that time.

tagged: analemma sun location diagram extension tutorial datetime graph calculate

Link: https://derickrethans.nl/analemma.html

Caleb Porzio:
My VS Code Setup
Dec 14, 2017 @ 09:53:50

Caleb Porzio has put together a post for those out there either considering using Microsoft's Visual Code Studio IDE or just want to see what it would be like for PHP development. In his post he shares his setup since making the switch over to the IDE full time.

I’m using VS Code as my primary editor these days and am really digging it. My setup is by no means perfect, but I've made lots of little tweaks along the way that you may benefit from.

I've set up these nifty categories, so feel free to jump around and try stuff out as you go, or come back later and use it as a reference.

Categories in the post include useful extensions, "must-have" settings, changing up the look and useful keybindings. There's plenty of links, output examples, screenshots of the IDE and the configuration options you'll need to change to update the settings to match his.

tagged: visualstudiocode vscode ide setup configuration extension setting

Link: http://calebporzio.com/my-vs-code-setup-2/

Pawel Mikolajczuk:
Create custom Twig node and parser
Aug 28, 2017 @ 09:16:47

On his Mdeium.com site Pawel Mikolajczuk has written up a post showing you how to create a custom Twig node and parser to extend the powerful functionality already included in this popular PHP templating package.

If You want to create custom twig node then this tutorial is for You. I will show you step by step how to create custom twig syntax (DSL) called gimme (we build it for our Superdesk Publisher project).

He starts with the required changes to your composer.json file to pull Twig in and a sample index.php file to build the Twig instance and add in the new extension (the "gimmie" handling). He then provides the code needed to create the extension based on Twig_Extension for the new node type. Next is an example of the "gimmie" handling in action in a template, dumping out the user information when the article is requested. He explains what each part of the tag is doing and shares the code to create the parser for its contents. Finally he shares the code required to create the "node" class, converting it over to its parsed PHP equivalent.

tagged: tutorial twig template custom node tag gimmie extension

Link: https://medium.com/@pawel.mikolajczuk/create-custom-twig-node-and-parser-b9cc056102ee

SitePoint PHP Blog:
There’s a Gender Extension for PHP
Jun 26, 2017 @ 13:58:25

On the SitePoint PHP blog there's a new post from editor Bruno Skvorc sharing information about a "gender" extension for PHP that tries to guess the gender of a first name.

Recently, I ventured into a section of the PHP manual which lists extensions that are used to help with Human Language and Character Encoding. I had never looked at them as a whole – while dealing with gettext, for example, I always kind of landed directly on it and ignored the rest. Well, of those others, there’s one that caught my eye – especially in this day and age given the various controversies – the Gender extension.

This extension, in short, tries to guess the gender of first names. As its introduction says: "Gender PHP extension is a port of the gender.c program originally written by Joerg Michael. The main purpose is to find out the gender of firstnames. The current database contains >40000 firstnames from 54 countries."

This is interesting beyond the fact that the author is kinda called George Michael. In fact, there are many aspects of this extension that are quite baffling.

He then walks through some examples of putting the extension to use, evaluating various names in different languages and gauging the results. The extension allows for definite answers (is male/female), relative results, unisex, a "couple" or, when all else fails, erroring or giving a "not found" result. It also can check for "nicknames" for common names. He walks you through getting it installed and shows other functionality for getting similar names and checking for nicknames, showing code examples and the resulting output.

tagged: gender extension language tutorial introduction install example

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/theres-a-gender-extension-for-php/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Parallel Programming with Pthreads in PHP – the Fundamentals
Mar 24, 2017 @ 10:40:07

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted a tutorial that introduces some of the fundamentals of parallel programming in PHP. In their examples they make use of the pthreads extension to help bring simpler parallel programming to the language (otherwise you'd have to do odd things with shell commands and foreground/background controls).

PHP developers seem to rarely utilise parallelism. The appeal of the simplicity of synchronous, single-threaded programming certainly is high, but sometimes the usage of a little concurrency can bring some worthwhile performance improvements.

In this article, we will be taking a look at how threading can be achieved in PHP with the pthreads extension. This will require a ZTS (Zend Thread Safety) version of PHP 7.x installed, along with the pthreads v3 installed.

Despite the article being about the use of pthreads, it starts out talking about when not to use it, possibly saving you some time in the long run. With that out of the way it then starts in on the handling of "on-off tasks" with an example of fetching the "title" value from Google.com. This is then enhanced showing how to use the "Threaded" base class to define other classes that can be used inside of threads. The article moves on covering other topics including:

  • recycling threads
  • pthreads and (im)mutability
  • synchronization of threads

Each item in the list comes with plenty of example code showing you how to create the classes that execute the threads and the output they should generate.

tagged: parallel programming fundamentals tutorial introduction pthreads extension

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/parallel-programming-pthreads-php-fundamentals/

Robert Basic:
Loading fixtures for a Symfony app in Behat tests
Mar 23, 2017 @ 10:38:58

Robert Basic has a new post to his site with some advice for the Behat users out there testing their Symfony applications. He shows how to easily load up fixture data with the help of Doctrine.

Performing end to end testing of any application requires from us to have a set of reliable test data in the database.

If we write a Symfony application and use Behat to do the end to end testing, the we can use the Doctrine fixtures bundle to create the required fixture loaders and load them in our Behat scenarios when required.

He walks you through the installation of the Doctrine fixtures bundle (via Composer, naturally) and how to enable it via the Symfony kernel configuration. He then includes an example of the fixture loader class from the FOSUserBundle and how it works. Next up is the installation of the Behat Symfony 2 extension and a bit of extra code to make a new feature context for Behat containing a "loadDataFixtures" method to do the heavy lifting.

tagged: fixture symfony application behat load extension bundle tutorial

Link: https://robertbasic.com/blog/loading-fixtures-for-a-symfony-app-in-behat-tests/

Remi Collet:
ZipArchive with encryption
Mar 03, 2017 @ 12:56:56

In this new post Remi Collet focuses on the use of the zip extension and using the ZipArchive functionality to create encrypted archives with PHP.

Point of the situation with the development of zip extension version 1.14.0 which implements support of encrypted archives.

This new feature implementation rely on libzip library new version 1.2.0. For now, only build using system library is supported for this new feature, but an update of the bundled library is planed. When everything will be validated, version will be released and merged in php sources (ext/zip), probably in PHP 7.2.

This development is in progress, nothing final, proposed methods still can change.

The tutorial shows how to get the package installed (via a clone of the GitHub repository) and how to work with encrypted archives, creating and reading their contents.

tagged: tutorial ziparchive zip extension encrypted

Link: https://blog.remirepo.net/post/2017/03/01/ZipArchive-with-encryption