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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

Paul Jones:
PECL Request Extension: Beta 1 Released!
Dec 21, 2016 @ 10:06:38

As Paul Jones has announced in this post to his site the PECL "Request" extension has reached the beta stage with the release of beta v1.

I am happy to announce that the PECL extension for server-side request and response objects has reached beta status! (Documentation here.)

[...] This completes the intended initial functionality of the extension. You should install it and try it out, because it might be make your work easier.

The post also lists out some of the new functionality introduced in this beta mostly focused around the fetching of the "forwarded for" information. You can find out more about the extension on the pecl.php.net website.

tagged: request extension beta release http

Link: http://paul-m-jones.com/archives/6461

Michelangelo van Dam:
Sessions in PHP 7.1 and Redis
Dec 19, 2016 @ 12:09:17

Michelangelo van Dam has a new post to his site looking at using Redis for PHP sessions storage and changes related to the use of PHP 7.1.

In case you have missed it, PHP 7.1.0 has been released recently. Now you can’t wait to upgrade your servers to the latest and greatest PHP version ever. But hold that thought a second…

With PHP 7 lots of things have changed underneath the hood. But these changed features can also put unexpected challenges on your path. [...] One of these challenges that we faced was getting PHP 7.1 to play nice storing sessions in our Redis storage. In order to store sessions in Redis, we needed to install the Redis PHP extension that not only provides PHP functions for Redis, but also installs the PHP session handler for Redis.

When he installed the extension, the latest version (redis-3.1.0), he was given an error message about a failure to read the session data. He shares a bit of code he used to try to debug and diagnose the problem (and a Docker environment) that still resulted in the error. Ultimately they narrowed it down and discovered that it was the Redis extensions causing the problems. Downgrading it from 3.1.0 to 3.0.0 solved the issue right away.

tagged: session redis php71 extension tutorial troubleshoot error connection

Link: http://www.dragonbe.com/2016/12/sessions-in-php-71-and-redis.html

Derick Rethans:
Not Finding the Symbols
Dec 01, 2016 @ 09:58:22

In this new post to his site Derick Rethans about an issue that was discovered with the newer version of the PHP MongoDB driver dealing a JSON encoding/decoding error.

Yesterday we released the new version of the MongoDB Driver for PHP, to coincide with the release of MongoDB 3.4. Not long after that, we received an issue through GitHub titled "Undefined Symbol php_json_serializable_ce in Unknown on Line 0".

The driver makes use of the JSON extension's "JsonSerializable" interface to handle some of the BSON types (like binary data). They were surprised that, despite running their tests on a wide range of builds they never came up with this same issue, compiling them from source. The key here is that the JSON extension is bundled along with the binary when compiled this way however some linux distributions do things differently. They ship it as a separate module and, because this could potentially be missing, a JSON error like the one reported could occur. He goes on to talk about some specific examples from various distributions and the simple fix - ensure the JSON extension is loaded before the MongoDB driver is loaded in your installation. This prevents the JSON handling from being missing and the JSON-related error message from popping up.

tagged: mongodb driver undefined symbol error message extension troubleshoot

Link: https://derickrethans.nl/undefined-symbol.html

Alex Zorin:
Shimming PHP for Fun and Profit
Nov 28, 2016 @ 09:45:48

On his site recently Alex Zorin posted an article about shimming PHP for fun and profit making use of the runkit functionality to override some of the basic PHP handling.

I had spent a short amount of time profiling the application some months ago. By all indications, the framework upon which the site was built was doing something really stupid.

[...] For somebody who is comfortable finding and fixing hotspots like this, it sounds like a dream come true. Not so. A quick grep through the code indicated that that particular hotspot existed in at least a dozen different points in the code base. As my role in this scenario was an ops. engineer, touching the client’s codebase was a no-no.

He first looked into something he could add at the Zend Engine level itself but then veered more towards custom functionality that overrides some base64 handling in the language. There were some difficulties following this path so he shifted to another tactic - using runkit. He implemented this "monkey patching" solution using the runkit handling and integrated it into his client's installation reducing the load time by about 10 seconds on the largest, slowest request he could find. He also includes a link to the code if you're interested in seeing how he accomplished this optimization.

tagged: shim runkit language optimize base64 extension

Link: https://id-rsa.pub/post/shimming-php-for-fun-and-profit/

Paul Jones:
The PHP 7 “Request” Extension
Nov 23, 2016 @ 14:37:09

Paul Jones has a new post to his site introducing the "Request" extension he and John Boehr have worked up to make working with HTTP requests in PHP simpler.

You’re tired of dealing with the $_GET, $_POST, etc. superglobals in your PHP 7 application. You wish $_FILES was easer to deal with. You’d prefer to wrap them all in an object to pass around to your class methods, so they’d be easier to test. [...] You could maybe adopt a framework, but why do that for your custom project? Just a pair of server-side request and response objects would make your life so much easer. Why can’t there be set of internal PHP classes for that?

Well, now there is. You can install the request extension from John Boehr and myself to get ServerRequest and ServerReponse objects as if PHP itself provided them.

He gives an example of using the extension to work with both the request and response (ServerRequest and ServerResponse). This includes cookie values, files handling, content length and much more. There's code examples showing it in use and a link to the repository for the extension where you can find out more.

tagged: request extension language serverrequest serverresponse

Link: http://paul-m-jones.com/archives/6416