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Adam Wathan:
Preventing API Drift with Contract Tests
Feb 03, 2016 @ 12:11:21

In this post to his site Adam Wathan shares a screencast talking about changing APIs (the structure of your code, not like REST/SOAP APIs) and how "API drift" could cause problems in your testing.

One of the risks of writing your own test doubles is that the API of the double can fall out of sync with the API of the real implementation.

In this screencast I walk through an example that explains: how interfaces can provide a false sense of security, why tests make better contracts than interfaces and how to run multiple implementations against a shared set of contract tests.

You can watch the screencast either through the in-page video player or over on Vimeo directly. It's about 10 minutes long but it covers an interesting topic that could throw you if you're not careful in your testing/code changes.

tagged: screencast contract test unittest api drift interface changes

Link: http://adamwathan.me/2016/02/01/preventing-api-drift-with-contract-tests/

Zend Developer Zone:
Introspecting your Code with Z-Ray for Azure
Jan 13, 2016 @ 12:38:38

On the Zend Developer Zone blog Daniel Berman has posted a guide showing how to use their Z-Ray plugin to inspect code running on Azure for statistics around performance, queries and errors thrown by the code.

Quick experimentation, easy collaboration, automated infrastructure and scalability, together with advanced diagnostic and analytical tools – all provide PHP developers with good reasons to develop in the cloud.

[...] The combination of Z-Ray and the Azure cloud means PHP developers building apps on the Azure web app service get the best of both worlds – Z-Ray’s powerful introspection capabilities and Azure’s rich cloud infrastructure.

The post walks you through the steps to create a new Azure-based web application, how to upload your code and enable the Z-Ray feature directly from the Azure "Tools" menu. The Z-Ray toolbar is then automatically injected into your application for your immediate profiling needs.

tagged: azure microsoft hosting zray profiling tool interface tutorial

Link: http://devzone.zend.com/7093/introspecting-code-with-z-ray-for-azure/

Sarfraz Ahmed:
Coding to Interface
Dec 29, 2015 @ 09:27:48

On his Code in PHP site *Sarfraz Ahmed * has a post talking about coding to interfaces, how its done and why he thinks it's an essential part of any application.

One of the nicest things you can add to your programming skills is coding to interface.

One of the nicest things you can add to your programming skills is coding to interface. One of the five principles of S.O.L.I.D is Dependency inversion principle which states: [...] High-level modules should not depend on low-level modules. Both should depend on abstractions [and] abstractions should not depend on details. Details should depend on abstractions.

He elaborates on this "pretty formal definition" with an example MySQL wrapper class used in a User class, making them tightly coupled to each other. He also points out the same with a `UserController. As a solution to this tight coupling problem, he suggests using dependency injection (inversion of control) to pass in instances of the classes rather than creating them internally. This still couples them, though a bit more loosely, so he suggests using an interface for the dependency instead of a concrete class. This way any number of potential classes could be passed in and the class internally knows how to use them.

tagged: code interface dependency injection ioc solid principles objectoriented coupling

Link: http://codeinphp.github.io/post/coding-to-interface/

Matthieu Napoli:
Approaching coding style rationally
Nov 13, 2015 @ 11:51:07

In a post to his site Matthieu Napoli shares some of his thoughts about "code style rationality" including code formatting in general and some suggestions on one of the harder things in development - naming things.

Habits are sometimes making us blind. We think X looks prettier than Y but that’s just the habit speaking. In this article I’ll try to take a rational approach at coding style. That means leaving the “it looks ugly/better” at the door.

If at any point you feel like something “just doesn’t look good”, breath in, breath out, and try it! Nothing beats hands-on experience, not even some random article on the internet.

He looks at a few subjects specifically (there's way too many to cover them all in detail):

  • the use of trailing commas
  • alignment of values in docblock comments
  • keeping docblock comments minimal
  • using the "Interface" suffix
  • using the "Exception" suffix

He ends the post by reminding readers that the point is to think about code style logically and that no rules are written in stone.

tagged: code style formatting rational approach opinion comma docblock interface exception

Link: http://mnapoli.fr/approaching-coding-style-rationally/

Developer Drive:
How to build an auto-ranking Twitter list with WordPress
Oct 23, 2015 @ 13:55:36

On the Developer Drive site there's a tutorial posted showing how to create a dynamic auto-ranking Twitter list in a WordPress-based application.

My team and I recently built an awesome list template on WordPress that ranks a set of Twitter users based on follower count. It allows a content writer to easily add a list of Twitter handles, and generate a well designed post.

They start with a list of requirements the end result needs to meet including the Twitter information, features it should offer and the resulting output. The rest of the post walks you through every step of the process to get the system set up including:

  • installing the Advanced Custom Fields Pro WordPress plugin
  • Showing an "infinite list" in WordPress
  • Code to loop through the Twitter data
  • using the TwitterAPIExchange PHP library to get Twitter data

All code and steps you'll need to make the system work are included and they've posted a demo so you can see the result first hand.

tagged: autorank wordpress list twitter follower count api interface tutorial

Link: http://www.developerdrive.com/2015/10/how-to-build-an-auto-ranking-twitter-list-with-wordpress/

Symfony Blog:
Paving the way for Symfony 3 with the "Deprecation Detector" tool
Oct 22, 2015 @ 10:48:31

On the Symfony blog there's a post talking about a tool they've introduced that is helping to "pave the way" for the upcoming version 3 release of the Symfony framework - the Deprecation Detector tool.

Symfony 3 will be released at the end of November 2015. Learning from our own history, the transition from Symfony 2 to 3 will be much more pleasant than the transition from symfony 1 to 2 that happened in July 2011.

Technically speaking, Symfony 3 includes no new features comparing it with Symfony 2.8, which will be released at the same time. [...] This means that your Symfony applications won't work on Symfony 3 unless you remove all their deprecations. In order to simplify the task of finding which deprecations affect your applications, a new tool called Deprecation Detector has just been released.

The tool runs static analysis against your codebase and finds locations where you're using deprecated methods/classes/interfaces/etc and reports them back for fixing. The post includes the commands you'll need to get the tool installed and how to run it against your code. You can find out more about the project and get details on command line options on its GitHub repository.

tagged: deprecation detector symfony2 symfony3 method interface class service tool tutorial

Link: http://symfony.com/blog/paving-the-way-for-symfony-3-with-the-deprecation-detector-tool

Aaron Piotrowski:
Throwable Exceptions and Errors in PHP 7
Jun 29, 2015 @ 11:45:32

Aaron Piotrowski has a new post to his site talking about a feature of the next major release of the PHP language (PHP 7) around error and exception handling: working with throwable exceptions and errors.

Handling fatal errors in the past has been next to impossible in PHP. A fatal error would not invoke the error handler set by set_error_handler() and would simply halt script execution.

In PHP 7, an exception will be thrown when a fatal and recoverable error (E_ERROR and E_RECOVERABLE_ERROR) occurs, rather than halting script execution. Fatal errors still exist for certain conditions, such as running out of memory, and still behave as before by immediately halting script execution. An uncaught exception will also continue to be a fatal error in PHP 7. This means if an exception thrown from an error that was fatal in PHP 5.x goes uncaught, it will still be a fatal error in PHP 7.

He goes on to talk about the new interface that both Fatals and Errors implement to make catching them possible in PHP7: Throwable. He provides an example of what the interface would look like in PHP code and how to catch them (a simple try/catch). He then gets into each of the types and looks at the error and exception types they cover including TypeError, ParseError and AssertionError. He also includes an interesting part at the end of the post showing you how to write your error/exception handling to work correctly with both PHP 5 and PHP 7 at the same time.

tagged: throwable exception error php7 catch try interface introduction

Link: https://trowski.com/2015/06/24/throwable-exceptions-and-errors-in-php7/

HHVM Blog:
Trait and interface requirements in Hack
Jun 19, 2015 @ 09:56:23

On the HHVM blog there's a recent post looking at some of the requirements around traits and interfaces in the Hack language. More specifically, they talk about type checking with traits and how interfaces can be used to help provide extra structure.

In PHP, traits are a mechanism of code reuse that, while very powerful, are also difficult to type check both efficiently and exhaustively. In this post we’ll dive more deeply into the reasons for that and see how Hack solves those problems, allowing you to use traits in a safe way without limiting their expressiveness.

They start by talking about the main problem with PHP's handling of traits (essentially copy and paste into the current class) and how they felt Hack should "just work" in allowing type checking on these "pasted" methods too. Performance limitations prevented them from handling it how they do with other variable types, so they changed things up, using a "require extends" syntax to tell the Hack engine how to allow the checking based on an interface. There's a lot more to it than this, so be sure to read the rest of the post on how they came to that conclusion.

tagged: trait interface requirement hack require extends syntax

Link: http://hhvm.com/blog/9581/trait-and-interface-requirements-in-hack

Paul Jones:
Semantic Versioning and Public Interfaces
Jun 03, 2015 @ 09:16:33

Paul Jones has an interesting post to his site that makes the link between software versioning and public interfaces your code provides. He points out that, despite semantic versioning helping to define how to version your code, there's still some ambiguity about it and backwards compatibility.

Adherence to Semantic Versioning is just The Right Thing To Do, but it turns out you have to be extra-careful when modifying public interfaces to maintain backwards compatibility. This is obvious on reflection, but I never thought about it beforehand. Thanks to Hari KT for pointing it out. Why do you have to be extra-careful with interfaces and SemVer? [...] If we remove a public method, that’s clearly a BC break. If we add a non-optional parameter to an existing public method, that’s also clearly a BC break. [...] However, if we add a new public method to the concrete class, that is not a BC break. Likewise, changing the signature of an existing method to add an optional parameter is not a BC break either. [...] But what happens with an interface?

He suggests that changing current functionality (such as adding a non-optional parameter) is a backwards compatibility break but in an interface so is adding a new method. By adding a method you "break" the implementation someone already has, causing plenty of trouble for the users. He wonders about the right approach for making these updates, if it's creating a new interface or just extending the current one and having users migrate. He also includes a few update notes about abstract classes and how Symfony handles BC breaks too.

tagged: versioning public interface backwardscompatibility break bc abstract symfony

Link: http://paul-m-jones.com/archives/6136

Ross Tuck:
How I Use Traits
May 18, 2015 @ 12:56:47

Ross Tuck has posted a new article to his site today talking about how he uses traits in his applications and where he sees them having the most value.

Recently, a few folks asked about a trait in a new project I wrote. Right around the same time, Rafael Dohms showed me his new talk about complex cognitive processes we don’t notice. Because my brain is a big mushy sack, the two blended together. The result was this post, which tries to capture how I use traits but also how I decide to use them in the first place.

He starts off with a bit of talk about leverage versus abstraction and how the concepts relate to code. He includes a brief example of each and points out that, while each is good, abstraction tends to be more useful. He then applies this back to the world of traits, how they compare to the use of normal static methods and how they have an advantage of encapsulation without oversharing. He suggests that assertions are more fit as static methods and that traits are a better fit in cases where multiple inheritance is needed. He also touches in interfaces in traits and his opinion on when is the best time to use them.

tagged: using traits opinion leverage abstraction static interface inheritance

Link: http://rosstuck.com/how-i-use-traits/