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Community News:
Laravel Framework Introduces Liferaft
September 12, 2014 @ 09:25:04

The development group behind the Laravel framework have introduced a new tool that aims to make it easier to report bugs with the framework (not the applications built with them): Laravel Liferaft.

To encourage active collaboration, Laravel currently only accepts pull requests, not bug reports. "Bug reports" may be sent in the form of a pull request containing a failing unit test. [...] A failing unit test or sandbox application provides the development team "proof" that the bug exists, and, after the development team addresses the bug, serves as a reliable indicator that the bug remains fixed.

Following along with this method, Liferaft provides a simple way to download a clean copy of the framework, make the needed changes for the pull request and automatically submit it via GitHub back to the project for handling. In this video on Laracasts Taylor Otwell walks you through a simple example of using it to submit an issue back (and what happens behind the scenes).

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Link: https://laracasts.com/lessons/introducing-laravel-liferaft

Reddit.com:
Which is a better way to learn PHP?
September 09, 2014 @ 15:54:59

In the /r/PHP community on Reddit there's a discussion going on about the best way to learn PHP. The op wonders:

Now a days there are numerous PHP Framework popping out and being fully supported, just to put it straight. Should i jump on one of those like CI, etc. and forget about doing a native code? I'm a new in PHP and now i'm confused which to choose.

There's lots of good answers to the questions with people leaning both ways. Suggestions include:

  • "The answer is that you should do both raw php programming as well as get familiar with frameworks. This might sound like a copout, but it's really not."
  • "I would agree with the others that it's best to learn the basics of PHP first. Understand PHP and its various constructs, particularly if you're a new programmer."
  • "PHP frameworks ARE PHP. [...] Regardless, frameworks are generally pretty advanced PHP, and may be hard to get into without a good grounding in PHP generally, and OOP specifically."
  • "Learn PHP. You might be able to make a site if all you do is focus on a particular framework, but by focusing on learning to use the language itself you'll be able to switch from one framework to another. "
  • "If you don't have at least some understanding of the basics, learning a framework to start off it a bit of overkill and may or may not actually help you much. I think it's hard to appreciate what a good framework does for you if you don't have a fair understanding of how things are often done without one."

Have some thoughts of your own? Check out the full post and share them!

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Link: http://www.reddit.com/r/PHP/comments/2frwdy/which_is_a_better_way_to_learn_php/

Hari KT:
Aura Input Form Inside Slim Framework
September 08, 2014 @ 10:55:13

Hari KT has a new post to his site today showing how you can integrate the Aura PHP components into a Slim framework application for input handling, like from a form. Aura PHP is a set of decoupled components for things like CLI handling, dependency injection and SQL requests (among others).

Rob Allen wrote about Integrating ZF2 forms into Slim. I did write how you can use Aura.Input and Aura.Html to create standalone form for PHP. This time I felt I should write about integrating aura input inside Slim.

He includes the Composer configuration to install the HTML and Input components as well as an up-to-date version of the Slim framework. Code showing how to create the form class (a "Contact form") is included, showing both the creation of the elements and the filtering/validation checks put on each. He shows how the Slim routes would handle the request as well as how the view processes the request and displays the form via a helper. You can get the full working code in this repository over on GitHub.

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Link: http://harikt.com/blog/2014/09/02/aura-input-form-inside-slim-framework/

Michael Kimsal:
Is your code portable to subfolders?
September 02, 2014 @ 09:12:53

In a quick new post to his site Michael Kimsal asks an interesting question that some PHP developers don't think about in the course of their development: "Is your code portable to subfolders?.

Have been dealing with a couple of PHP projects recently which have been a far bigger pain in the backside than I anticipated, and both had some of the same stumbling blocks. In both cases, and in other projects I've seen, there's a huge assumption that the code will be run from the root of a domain, and all url and routing management have this assumption baked in to everything they touch. What's the answer?

Some projects just suggest making a new virtual host in the web server configuration and moving on, but this isn't always a real possibility for some projects. In some recent experience, he's found several of the major PHP frameworks assume this kind of setup. He mentions a Java framework, Spring, that allows for this kind of redirect and wonders why it's not that easy in something like Slim.

Maybe try grabbing your own code sometime and reinstalling it in a 'non-traditional' way, and see how many assumptions you've baked in are really necessary, vs just using defaults.
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Link: http://michaelkimsal.com/blog/is-your-code-portable-to-subfolders/

NetTuts.com:
Five Hidden Gems of Laravel
August 22, 2014 @ 11:51:20

The NetTuts.com site has posted a list of their five hidden gems in Laravel, a popular PHP framework. They look at a wide range of these "hidden" features that can help make your Laravel experience even better.

Many developers who use Laravel are probably only barely scratching the surface of what the framework has to offer. While the documentation does cover the most common use cases and the obvious features, it doesn't cover everything. Don't get me wrong, the documentation is fine, it's just that there's so much you can do, it's hard to document everything. Because of that, we're going to take a look at some of the hidden gems that lurk within Laravel.

The five items on their list come complete with summaries about the feature, when they were added, if they're documented and a code sample with them in use:

  • Cascading Views
  • Collections (with sorting, filtering and pagination)
  • Regular Expression Filters
  • The Message Bag
  • Fluent
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Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/articles/five-hidden-gems-of-laravel--cms-21907

Sanisoft Blog:
Themes in CakePHP 3, A step by step HowTo
August 21, 2014 @ 11:45:38

On the Sanisoft blog there's a recent post that gives you a step-by-step guide to working with themes in the upcoming version 3 release of the CakePHP framework.

Almost every application I code has themes which either the end user can change or the admin can set or can be changed on the fly. Doing all these things was easy in CakePHP 2.x. With the first alpha release of CakePHP 3.x I was naturally keen to try out how theming worked with V3.

He shows how to convert an existing theme into one that will be compatible with the 3.x version of the framework. He breaks it down into seven steps (well, technically eight) to make it easier to follow along:

  • Step 0: Make the "posts" table
  • Step 1: Bake the model, controller and views for the Posts
  • Step 2: Bake in the "Twit" plugin
  • Step 3: Download and install the Twitter Bootstrap
  • Step 4: Create the "default.ctp" file with the content given
  • Step 5: Make the "index.ctp" template with the given content
  • Step 6: Add the line to the AppController to use the new theme
  • Step 7: Reload and verify the results
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Link: http://www.sanisoft.com/blog/2014/07/21/themes-in-cakephp-3-howto/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Data Validation in Laravel - Introduction & Custom Validators
August 12, 2014 @ 13:59:16

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted the first two parts of a new series looking at how to do data validation in Laravel, a popular PHP framework. Laravel comes with a set of included validators that can easily be used to check incoming data. This article series introduces them and the features they can provide.

If an app was a world then data would be its currency. Every app, no matter what its purpose, deals in data. And almost every type of app works with user input, which means it expects some data from users and acts on it accordingly. But that data needs to be validated to make sure it is of correct type and a user (with nefarious intent) is not trying to break or crack into your app. Which, if you are making an application which requires user input, is why you would need to write code to validate that data as well before you do anything with it.

In the first part of the series they start with an example of doing validation the "old way". They reproduce this same validation using the Laravel validators and show how to introduce it as a service to the overall application. Their "RocketCandy" validation service can then handle the same validations and make for a cleaner interface in the calling script. It's refactored even more to include exceptions when the validation fails and the HTML for outputting the error messages thrown. Unit tests are also included to ensure things are working as they should.

In the second part of the series they build on the examples from part one and introduce custom validators. An example of validation around dashes, spaces and alphanumeric data is included (using regular expressions) and how they can be defined as custom validation rules.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/series/data-validation-in-laravel-the-right-way/

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

Symfony Blog:
Improving REST in Symfony
July 11, 2014 @ 12:15:56

On the Symfony blog there's a recent post about a new effort being started to help improve REST in Symfony-based applications. William Durand talks about some of the current tools and some of the missing features/difficulties each has. This effort wants to help change that.

Building APIs with Symfony is not new. We've done that since the early beginning of Symfony: Askeet, Jobeet, it's been a long time! Nowadays, more and more web applications are made of an API and a client side application. Sharing data across applications using APIs also became an essential feature. [...] For most of us, it is not as clear as it should be, and we can certainly do better than what we have right now! Hence the creation of a working group to gather both people and knowledge for REST in Symfony: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/resting-with-symfony.

The target of the group is just about anyone associated with the development of APIs: developers who build them, developers to contribute to Symfony's REST functionality, people with questions about REST and, really, anyone else interested. It's a part of their wider developer experience initiative they've recently ramped up.

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Link: http://symfony.com/blog/improving-rest-in-symfony

Developer's Lane:
Top 20 CakePHP Interview Questions and Answers
July 04, 2014 @ 13:48:25

The Developer's Lane site has posted a top ten list of questions answered about the CakePHP framework. The idea is that they could be used as a part of an interview to see how well the candidate knows the framework.

Here there are many questions and answers about How CakePHP Framework works? and basic questions related to CakePHP framework functionality.

Questions include:

  • What are are drawbacks of Cakephp?
  • What is the name of Cakephp database configuration file name and its location?
  • What are commonly used components of Cakephp?
  • Why does Cakephp have two vendor folders?
  • Can you remember what is the directory structure when you download Cakephp?

The questions provide a good overview of the framework, but won't tell you if the developer is any good...you still need to figure out that one on your own.

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Link: http://www.developerslane.com/top-20-cakephp-interview-questions-and-answers/


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