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TutsPlus.com:
Working With PHP Arrays in the Right Way
Apr 26, 2017 @ 11:57:09

If you're relatively new to the PHP language and are just getting your feet wet, the massive amounts of array functionality included in the language could be confusing. This is where this new article on the TutsPlus.com site comes in, showing you how to work with PHP arrays "the right way".

n this tutorial, I am going to make a list of common PHP array functions with examples of usage and best practices. Every PHP developer must know how to use them and how to combine array functions to make code readable and short.

Also, there is a presentation with given code examples, so you can download it from the related links and show it to your colleagues to build a stronger team.

He starts out with some of the basics around using arrays in PHP and then quickly moves into other topics:

  • shortening code with functions like list
  • using the filtering functions
  • walking through array values
  • joining arrays
  • generating arrays
  • sorting the contents of arrays

He ends the post with a look at combining array functions to make it simpler to do things like remove empty values or return just the top three values.

tagged: tutorial introduction array functionality language

Link: https://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/working-with-php-arrays-in-the-right-way--cms-28606

Tighten.co:
The Magic of Laravel Macros
Apr 13, 2017 @ 11:18:50

On the Tighten.co blog there's a recent post showing off some of the magic of Laravel macros and how they can make extending the basic framework functionality simpler.

Ever wanted a piece of functionality in a part of Laravel that doesn’t exist? Let me introduce you to Laravel macros. Macros allow you to add on custom functionality to internal Laravel components.

He gives an example of adding a simple "introduce" macro on the Request facade and how to put it to use. He refactors this into something more useful: returning a true/false result when checking the TLD on the current domain. He includes the code to set up the macro in the AppServiceProvider and the addition of an enhancement that adds a "where" clause to a model query when the TLD matches. He wraps up the post giving some guidance on where they should be defined and what components in the Laravel framework are "macroable".

tagged: laravel macro feature provider functionality extend tutorial

Link: https://blog.tighten.co/the-magic-of-laravel-macros

Laravel News:
Laravel Forge PHP SDK
Apr 05, 2017 @ 10:56:24

On the Laravel News site there's an announcement about the release of an SDK for the Forge API to make it easier to use the Laravel Forge API to manage your sites and servers.

Laravel Forge announced it’s first official API back in February and we have seen a lot of interesting uses like the F-Bar Mac app. Today, Mohamed Said released a PHP SDK for the API that covers all the features.

The post includes an example of using the SDK to create a new server on your Forge account, providing settings like size, name, region and provider. The post also lists out some of the other methods available in the SDK including:

  • revokeAccess
  • rebootMysql
  • installBlackfire
  • installPapertrail

You can find out more about this SDK on its GitHub repository.

tagged: laravel forge sdk github release functionality server management

Link: https://laravel-news.com/laravel-forge-php-sdk

Laravel News:
Laravel Scout is now open for developer testing
Aug 16, 2016 @ 10:37:38

The Laravel News site has a new post with an update for those looking forward to trying out Laravel "Scout", the search handling to be released along side the next Laravel framework release. The post announces that Laravel Scout is now open for developer testing directly from the live repository.

Laravel Scout is a driver based full-text search for Eloquent that is going to be available when Laravel 5.3 launches.

The driver is not officially released yet, however, the repository is now live and available for those that want to play with more engines. Taylor said he would be working on docs this week in anticipation of the official 5.3 release and this first release should only be used in testing until it’s officially launched.

If you're interested in more details about Scout, check out this post from Matt Stauffer with details and code examples.

tagged: laravel scout developer testing search functionality

Link: https://laravel-news.com/2016/08/laravel-scout-is-now-open-for-developer-testing/

Alejandro Celaya:
Project Scalability with Zend Expressive
Jul 21, 2016 @ 09:46:10

In a new post to his site (also posted on the Zend Developer Zone) Alejandro Celaya looks at scalability with Zend Expressive, a lightweight framework from Zend, the creators of the Zend Framework.

I've been working with some different frameworks lately. One of them is Zend Expressive, and I've come to the conclusion that I don't need to choose between different frameworks; depending on the project, Expressive always fits my needs and scales from small projects to bigger applications.

He starts off by looking at the "microframework approach" that Zend Expressive takes, making it easier to get up and running for smaller applications. He points out that this setup is fine when the application is small, but what happens as it grows - it just wouldn't scale well and be manageable. He talks about the setup he uses for larger scale applications, moving the configuration to dynamic config files and making use of more complex dependency injection. He also talks some about modularity in applications, the "middleware paradigm" and how he set up controller-style dispatching (versus just the default closures method).

tagged: zendexpressive tutorial scalability framework microframework update functionality

Link: http://blog.alejandrocelaya.com/2016/07/21/project-scalability-with-zend-expressive/

QaFoo Blog:
How to Refactor Without Breaking Things
Jun 09, 2016 @ 20:31:50

On the QaFoo blog there's a new post sharing some helpful hints that you can use to refactor your code without breaking things in a legacy codebase.

Refactoring means to change the structure of your code without changing its behavior. It is an essential part of everyday programming and should become knee-jerk for your whole development team. Refactoring is very helpful to cleanup feature spikes, revise earlier decisions and keep a maintainable codebase in the long run. In a perfect project world - with extensive automated tests of various types - this is just a matter of getting used to. But there are only very few such projects. So getting into proper refactoring is much harder. This article will show you important tips to master this challenge with your team.

They point out two things that can help you ensure you break as little as possible: good tests and "baby steps". They go into a bit more detail on these two sections, mentioning how they help with the refactoring process and techniques to follow in the process.

tagged: refactor break functionality tests babysteps tutorial

Link: https://qafoo.com/blog/085_how_to_refactor_without_breaking.html

Joeri Timmermans:
Testing drag and drop with Behat and Guzzle
Feb 26, 2016 @ 12:28:58

Joeri Timmermans has posted a tutorial to his site showing how you can test drag-and-drop functionality with a combination of the Behat BDD testing tool and the Guzzle HTTP library.

As you could see in previous posts I'm working on a large application for Intracto where they want a lot of fancy visuals and this turned into a mess when it came to write behat tests. This post will help you test position moving with drag and drop.

In his case he was working with a chapter layout that allows for the rearranging of chapters to update their order. The process is then broken up into a few different steps:

  • Creating a new context feature for Behat (based on this example)
  • Making a custom action that makes it easier to move the chapter entries around by just providing positions
  • Calling the move in the Behat test itself

The tricky part here is that the actual test is made for the behavior but the behavior itself is making an API call to rearrange the pages. The test is making this same call and evaluating the result. It's not actually interacting with the page as you might be able to do with something like PhantomJs however.

tagged: testing draganddrop functionality guzzle behat api position chapter tutorial

Link: http://www.pix-art.be/post/testing-drag-and-drop-with-behat-and-guzzle

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Feature Toggling Explained with Qandidate’s Toggle
Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:49:57

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted a tutorial showing you how to use the Toggle library from Qandidate to handle the enabling and disabling of features in your application.

A frequently used development workflow in version control systems is feature branching. The idea is that we develop new features in branches other than the master one. After a feature is tested and ready to be released, it is merged back into the master branch or a release branch for deployment. This approach helps us develop new features without disturbing the main code base.

However, developing a feature branch might take much longer than a normal release cycle. [...] One of the techniques widely used as an alternative to feature branching is feature toggling. Feature toggles (or feature flippers) act like on/off switches. [...] We can temporarily hide a partially built or risky feature (release toggles) or limit finished stable features to a certain group of users (business toggles).

They introduce the basics of the Toggle library and it's main components: the Manager, Toggles, Operators, Conditions and Context. These are all combined together to help determine if a feature should be enabled or hidden. Examples of each are included along the way as well as one showing a toggle in action. They also show how to integrate it with a framework, in this case a Laravel project as middleware. The post ends with a look at strategies, giving you even more customization around the conditions of the toggle (example: Affirmative, Majority and Unanimous), statues and creating the conditions from either YAML or array configurations.

tagged: feature toggle flag qandidate library tutorial introduction functionality

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/feature-toggling-explained-with-qandidates-toggle/

Community News:
Laravel 5 Now Includes Authorization
Sep 01, 2015 @ 10:50:41

In the latest release of the Laravel framework (v5.1.1) they've introduced authorization handling to the native framework. This allows you to integrate permissions checks and perform policy validation both on the backend and in the templates.

In addition to providing authentication services out of the box, Laravel also provides a simple way to organize authorization logic and control access to resources. There are a variety of methods and helpers to assist you in organizing your authorization logic.

The functionality includes the concepts of "abilities" (permissions, essentially) and validate the allow/deny status based on object properties, such as Users. The documentation shows how to perform the evaluations in the controllers, user model, form requests and even in the Blade templates. There's also a section on creating policies for more complex evaluations than just one-off permission checks.

To get a feel for what the community things of this new functionality, be sure to check out this Reddit thread with feedback, both positive and negative, on how it was implemented.

tagged: laravel framework authorization functionality permission policy allow deny

Link: http://laravel.com/docs/5.1/authorization

Julien Pauli:
PHP closures
Jul 10, 2015 @ 10:54:29

Julien Pauli has posted a look at PHP's closures and how they're actually handled internal to the language.

Back in 2009, when PHP 5.3 got released, a new feature (among many others) were introduced : anonymous functions (also called lambdas or closures). The feature was very expected, as closures have proved their utility through several other languages, particularly javascript that web developers master. [...] Let's see together how Closures have been added to PHP, as usual by turning to the truth : the PHP source code.

He starts at the beginning (a good place to start) and talks about the work that needed to be done on the internals before closures could even be introduced. He walks through the changes made to object handling to make them "callable" and the addition of the "zend_closure" object type. He then gets to the part where "the magic happens" and shows how the userland closure is translated and executed. He ends the post with a look at two other topics: scoping with "$this" and the special handling that was needed for reflection and direct calls to "__invoke".

tagged: closure language functionality object callable scope reflection invoke

Link: http://jpauli.github.io/2015/07/08/php-closures.html