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SitePoint PHP Blog:
No More var_dump - Introducing Symfony VarDumper!
December 22, 2014 @ 09:05:25

The SitePoint PHP blog has a recent post about an addition to the Symfony framework that can make debugging (or just outputting errors) a more pleasant experience: the VarDumper component.

Recently, Symfony went from Zend-like bloat and rigidity to extreme decoupling and modularity. [...] One factor that contributes to this factor a lot is their continuous pushing out of new components that are incredibly useful outside of Symfony's context. One such component is the new VarDumper.

He talks first about the "why" the component was created and why you might want to use it. He links to the documentation and what kinds of features come along with it. He also shows a quick install of the component, some usage of it in the code and the resulting output of both simple and complex data structures, including method structure, visibility and closure information.

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symfony, component, vardumper, introduction, framework

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/var_dump-introducing-symfony-vardumper/

Lee Blue:
How PHP Frameworks Affect Profitability
December 18, 2014 @ 11:37:19

Lee Blue has posted his next article in a series covering some of the real costs and considerations around using PHP for your applications. In this latest post he talks about frameworks and what kind of effect they could have on the overall profitability of your business.

Last week we talked about application shelf life an aspect of PHP development that often goes overlooked. This week let's talk about how the web development framework you use contributes to the shelf life of your app and the profitability of your web application. [...] The main goal of all web frameworks is to improve the developer's ability to get ordinary things done so we can focus on the primary goals of what we're building.

He talks about how PHP was "made for the web" and why there are so many different kinds of frameworks out there (though most are generally MVC-ish). He talks about one of the standard arguments, learning curve vs efficiency, and how it compares to the "no framework framework" ideals. He then gets into some of the dark side of using frameworks, specifically how they can shorten the shelf life of an application and how difficult migration can sometimes be. He points out the irony of large frameworks: the bigger the app/framework, the harder it can be to migrate (and cost more). He encourages sticking with smaller, lighter frameworks instead and suggests coding standards, common packages and using custom libraries only where needed to create your application.

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framework profitability cost migration small mvc

Link: http://leehblue.com/php-frameworks-affect-profitability/

Symfony Blog:
Testing minimal versions of Symfony requirements
December 17, 2014 @ 12:02:47

On the Symfony blog today there's a quick tip from Nicolas Grekas about using Composer to install a Symfony2 project and the definition of minimum version requirements.

Setting up Composer package versions for complex projects is not an easy task. For starters, there are a lot of different ways to define package versions. Then, you must check that declared package versions really work when installing or updating the project, specially for the minimal versions configured. In order to improve testing the minimal versions of Symfony Components requirements, Composer now includes two new options: prefer-lowest and prefer-stable. [...] Thanks to these two new options, it's really easy to check whether your project really works for the minimal package versions declared by it.

He includes definitions of what impact each of the options has on the packages Composer installs and the work that's been done recently to define the correct package versions for the 2.3, 2.5 and 2.6 branches of Symfony. He also offers some steps to follow in your own projects to ensure that the "prefer-lowest" packages installed work correctly.

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symfony framework package version preferlowest preferstable

Link: http://symfony.com/blog/testing-minimal-versions-of-symfony-requirements

NetTuts.com:
Digging in to Laravel's IoC Container
November 25, 2014 @ 12:23:07

NetTuts.com has a new tutorial posted that digs into the Laravel IoC (Inversion of Control) container, one of the key features of the framework making it easy to create and use objects all around your applications.

Inversion of Control, or IoC, is a technique that allows control to be inverted when compared to classical procedural code. The most prominent form of IoC is, of course, Dependency Injection, or DI. Laravel's IoC container is one of the most used Laravel features, yet is probably the least understood.

He starts with an example of basic dependency injection (constructor injection) and how this relates to the Laravel framework's IoC handling (hint: it's all IoC). He includes examples of some built-in Laravel bindings and talks about the difference between shared and non-shared bindings. He also looks at conditional binding, how dependencies are resolved and how you can define your own custom binding implementations. Other topics mentioned include tagging, rebounds, rebinding and extending. He ends the article with a look at how you can use the IoC outside of Laravel too.

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laravel ioc container inversionofcontrol framework tutorial introduction detail

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/digging-in-to-laravels-ioc-container--cms-22167

Dejan Angelov:
Experimental upgrading to Laravel 5 How I did it
November 24, 2014 @ 12:57:18

In a recent post Dejan Angelov shares the process he went through to upgrade an application to Laravel 5, yet to be released (at least at the time of this post).

Over the past weeks, Taylor introduced many great changes and new features that we'll be able to use in the new version, firstly numbered 4.3 and later 5. According to the framework's six month release cycle, it should had hit stable late this month or in early December. Because of that, I started to play with it and to apply the changes to make my application use it.

However, a couple of days ago, Taylor wrote a blog post on the Laravel's blog saying that because of the importance of this release, the release date will be postponed to January. Considering this, everything you'll read here MUST NOT be applied to applications that are currently in production.

He starts with some of the major differences, including changes in the dependencies required and the removal of the "start.php" file for bootstrapping the application. He talks about the changes in startup and shutdown as well as autoloading. He looks at directory structure changes and the addition of a base namespace. He then gets into how to fix these issues, one at a time, including code and configuration changes that need to be made. This includes updates to the facades, changes for middleware, environment configuration, pagination and routing. There's lots of other changes happening with Laravel 5, so be sure to check out the full post if you're interested in the steps you might need to take when this latest version is released.

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upgrade laravel5 framework change configuration code fix

Link: http://angelovdejan.me/2014/11/22/experimental-upgrading-to-laravel-5-how-i-did-it.html

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Yii 2.0 ActiveRecord Explained
November 20, 2014 @ 09:08:31

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new tutorial posted introducing you to using ActiveRecord in the Yii2 framework to access the information in your databases. The Active Record design pattern where a single object corresponds to a record in the database (and can be manipulated as such).

The ActiveRecord class in Yii provides an object oriented interface (aka ORM) for accessing database stored data. Similar structures can be found in most modern frameworks like Laravel, CodeIgniter, Symfony and Ruby. Today, we'll go over the implementation in Yii 2.0 and I'll show you some of the more advanced features of it.

He introduces the "Model" class first, the based of the ActiveRecord handling, and its parts: attributes, validation and scenarios. He then gets into the creation of the a model instance based off of a table (SQL structure provided) around authors and articles. He includes the code showing how to create a simple model, add in relations and putting it to use. He also shows how to use the built in "find" handling to locate records. Finally he gets into some of the more advanced topics including checking if attributes are "dirty", the "arrayable" functionality and using events/behaviors/transactions on the models.

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yii2 framework activerecord tutorial introduction

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/yii-2-0-activerecord-explained/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Re-introducing FuelPHP
November 10, 2014 @ 10:51:23

On the SitePoint PHP blog today they've posted a new tutorial that reintroduces you to FuelPHP, the framework that was (sort of) the successor to the CodeIgniter framework. It was started by some of the ex-CI developers in an effort to make a more robust, yet simple PHP framework for PHP 5.3+.

As a PHP developer, I have been a consistent user of different PHP frameworks, mostly focusing on CakePHP. Recently, I felt the need to go framework shopping and I have many valid reasons for choosing FuelPHP. It has a built-in modular structure and complete flexibility with emphasis on community. Before Fuel, I was a CakePHP user and just like Cake, Fuel is a huge community driven framework.

The author walks you through the installation process (via the framework's own "oil" command line tool) and dives into some example code quickly after that. He shows how to create a simple "Hello World" route and generate the scaffolding (code generation for the MVC pieces) including migrations. He creates a simple "users" table and adds some authentication checking to the controller. Then in the view he sets up a simple login form, requesting username and password and outputting any errors that might pop up during the authentication process.

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fuelphp framework introduction mvc authentication example

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/re-introducing-fuelphp/

Symfony Blog:
Symfony November Camp in Sweden
November 06, 2014 @ 10:53:05

On the Symfony blog they've made the announcement about the Symfony November Camp happening in Sweden (back for their second time) November 14th in Stockholm.

As an organizer of the Swedish Symfony community I'm happy to say that we are hosting our second Symfony Conference. It is a one-day, single-track conference with speakers from 6 countries. The event takes place in Stockholm on November 14th. We will have two workshops the day before the event with Matthias Noback and Magnus Nordlander. One is a workshop on getting started with Symfony, and the other is for advanced Symfony application architecture. Both of our workshops are small groups, to ensure that you'll have plenty of access to the trainer.

They have a great list of speakers lined up for the day's event including Matthias Noback, Mathias Verraes and Raul Fraile. Tickets for the conference itself are 109 Euro and the training is 439 Euro. You can find out more about the event and pick up tickets on the November Camp website.

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symfony framework community conference sweden camp november

Link: http://symfony.com/blog/symfony-november-camp-in-sweden

Zumba Tech Blog:
Caching CakePHP 2.x routes
October 28, 2014 @ 10:47:02

On the Zumba Tech Blog today there's a new post with some helpful hints around caching routes in CakePHP 2.x to help optimize the requests and response time even further.

At Zumba we are continuously looking for optimization in our applications. These optimizations help to reduce the server loads, consequently reducing the number of servers and saving money. Besides that, it gives a better user experience for the end user by serving content faster and in some cases saving on consumer bandwidth (specially for mobile users). This week we profiled our app using Xdebug profiler and we identified the router was responsible for a big part of the request time. [...] In order to optimize the routing time, we started looking at options to optimize our routing process. After some research and deep checking in our codebase as well as CakePHP's code, we found we could cache the routes easily.

Taking a cue from how FastRoute does their caching, their implementation uses a temporary file with the routes completely resolved and written out for easier handling. Since the routing is relatively static, this method works well and can be much faster than resolving them every time. They talk about some of the work done to optimize their method and some of the issues they came across during the process.

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cakephp framework cache route file resolve

Link: http://tech.zumba.com/2014/10/26/cakephp-caching-routes/

Angular Tips:
Working With a Laravel 4 + Angular Application
October 28, 2014 @ 09:11:31

On the Angular Tips site today they have a tutorial posted showing you how to combine the power of the Angular JS frontend framework with a Laravel backend. They walk you through the full process of getting an application up and running, including a bit of actually functionality (not just a "Hello World").

So you decided that Laravel is a great choice for a backend and that Angular is going to fit perfectly as the framework of choice for the frontend. Yeah! That is correct and I am starting to like you. How to start? So many question, so little time.

They start by getting everything you'll need installed, both on the Laravel and Angular sides. Then it gets into the actual development of the application, changing up the default Laravel page to include Angular and a little test to be sure it's working correctly. With this working correctly (after a little route updating too) they get to the more real-world application: a listing of TV shows generated from a dataset on the Laravel backend. They include all the code you'll need to create the frontend app and display the results.

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laravel tutorial angularjs application frontend framework

Link: http://angular-tips.com/blog/2014/10/working-with-a-laravel-4-plus-angular-application/


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