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Laravel News:
Easily Test Email with MailThief
Jun 24, 2016 @ 11:50:56

The Laravel News site has a post that gives you a quick introduction to MailThief, a library created by the developers at Tighten Co. to make mail testing simpler.

MailThief is a new package by Tighten Co. that provides a fake mailer for your Laravel application. This makes it easy to test email without actually sending any.

They include a simple example of a script that sends an email on user registration using Laravel's own Mail library. They also include a test for the registration action showing how MailThief can be used to "hijack" the mailer and make it simpler to get information about the mail being sent. You can find out more about the tool and what prompted it in this video from Adam Wathan.

tagged: mailthief testing unittest mailer email example introduction

Link: https://laravel-news.com/2016/06/mailthief/

Richard Bagshaw:
Prophecy
Jun 24, 2016 @ 09:11:01

Richard Bagshaw has a post to his site sharing some of his experience with the Prophecy testing tool and how it compares to Mockery for creating test doubles (mocks and stubs).

For a while now I have been using Mockery as my test double framework of choice, however recently I have been taking a look at Prophecy as an alternative.

[...] "Prophecy is a highly opinionated yet very powerful and flexible PHP object mocking framework. Though initially it was created to fulfil phpspec2 needs, it is flexible enough to be used inside any testing framework out there with minimal effort."

He then gets into some basic usage of the tool - creating a basic mock, assigning expectations and behaviors and performing the test. He steps through each line of the example explaining what's happening and what can be expected as a result. He ends the post with some final thoughts comparing Prophecy to the normal PHPUnit mocking tools and points out several other features it makes easier to work with as well.

tagged: prophecy unittest doubles mock stub example introduction tutorial

Link: http://www.richardbagshaw.co.uk/prophecy/

Torben Köhn:
PHP Generators – A Guide and Tutorial
Jun 22, 2016 @ 13:45:44

For those that may have heard about generators but aren't too familiar with them or what they do, Torben Köhn has posted a great introduction to them and their functionality.

In my in-depth guide about iterators I talked about what iterators are exactly and how you can use them. At the end I told you that I’ll also write one for generators. Here it is.

First off, if you don’t know what an iterator is and you’d not be able to explain to someone else what it is, you will not have much fun with this because you won’t exactly recognize the use-cases. I suggest you read my iterator-guide first. After this, don’t get scared off by some confusing words used here, I’ll try to clarify every single one.

He breaks up the rest of the post into different sections, each walking you through different aspects of generators:

  • What is a generator?
  • The yield-keyword
  • Iterating a generator
  • Yielding keys
  • Yielding in a loop
  • An infinite generator

He wraps up the post sharing some real use-cases for generators to help you understand them with a bit more practical application (including stacking them, file system handling and co-routines).

tagged: generators tutorial introduction guide beginner

Link: http://tk.talesoft.io/2016/06/06/php-generators-a-guide-and-tutorial/

Sherif Ramadan:
Bloom Filters in PHP
Jun 22, 2016 @ 10:56:26

On his site Sherif Ramadan has posted an interesting tutorial covering implementing bloom filters in PHP. Bloom filters are data structures that make it easier to determine if something is a member of a set.

Let's imagine you have built a music app like Spotify. You've finally grown this thing to sizeable amount of users and you have a decent number of titles in your content library. Let's also say this app has social elements to it so your users can connect with their facebook friends or twitter followers. Now, let's say each time your users play a song in your app you want to ask the question Which of this user's friends have NOT listened to this song yet? The intention being that you may recommend that song to them if they haven't listened to it.

One solution to this problem is to use a data structure known as a bloom filter. A bloom filter is basically a very space-efficient hash set with probabilistic tendency. If you aren't familiar with a hash set or sets in general, let's do a quick review of what they mean.

He goes on to explain what a bloom filter is and how it differs from normal sets, hash sets and hash maps. He then introduces some of the basic concepts involved in creating and using bloom filters. To help make things clearer, he provides a "contrived example" using lightbulbs and the probably that they've been turned on. From there he starts to get into something more practical, something more in the world of PHP. He includes a basic Bloomfilter class example and some of the results (performance) of using it over something like in_array (especially for large data sets).

tagged: bloom filter example tutorial introduction probability set

Link: http://phpden.info/Bloom-filters-in-PHP

Scotch.io:
Understanding Laravel Middleware
Jun 16, 2016 @ 13:20:48

The Scotch.io site has posted a tutorial that aims to help you understand middleware in Laravel applications - how they work and how to create ones based on your custom needs.

HTTP Middlewares provide a convenient mechanism for filtering HTTP requests entering your application. Laravel, for example, has a middleware for verifying a user's authentication.

These are some cases where I have had to resort to using middleware. There are many more cases where you would like to use a middleware. [...] By the end of this article, you should be able to create a middleware, registers it and use it in your projects. We will be illustrating the creation till usage of middlewares by creating one of our own. Our middleware will enable maintenance either site-wide or on some routes.

They start by creating a middleware (theirs is DownForMaintenance) and how to register it with Laravel as a valid middleware option. By default they will execute with every request but you can narrow them down to only happening on certain routes (examples included). There's also mentions of middleware parameters, grouping middleware and deferring the response return until after other code is executed.

tagged: laravel middleware introduction tutorial create execute configure

Link: https://scotch.io/tutorials/understanding-laravel-middleware

Loïc Faugeron:
Mars Rover, Introduction
Jun 15, 2016 @ 10:40:44

Loïc Faugeron has started off a new series of posts with an introduction to a "Mars Rover" exercise that aims to help you refactor a "monolithic" codebase with CQRS, event sourcing and TDD practices.

In this introductory article, we're simply going to describe our Mars Rover specifications.

Note: This programming exercise originally comes from Dallas Hack Club, which is now unfortunately down. This Mars Rover kata has been adapted for the needs of this series.

He starts by outlining the goals the software will need to achieve and the complete functionality to provide. This is just the series kickoff though, so there's not much by way of code. Next in the series is the "MonoRepo" section and the setup of the actual project.

tagged: marsrover kata introduction monorepo cqrs eventsourcing tdd

Link: https://gnugat.github.io/2016/06/15/mars-rover-introduction.html

TutsPlus.com:
Using PHP CodeSniffer With WordPress: Understanding Code Smells
Jun 13, 2016 @ 12:37:54

On the TutsPlus.com site there's a tutorial posted about using PHP CodeSniffer with WordPress, a popular PHP coding standards tool that helps enforce common coding practices and style in your application.

Oftentimes, the way in which we write code depends on how we got started with programming. [...] In this article, we're going to take an introductory look at code smells. We're going to examine what they are, what they look like, and how they often manifest themselves in the work we do. We'll be using PHP for our examples.

They start with an introduction to the topic of "code smells" including a few examples along with matching code snippets:

  • Example 1: Clear Naming Conventions
  • Example 2: Stay DRY
  • Example 3: Long Parameter Lists

They also include some solutions that can help you avoid these "smells" in your code and refactor out ones that might already exist.

tagged: phpcodesniffer smells introduction examples style bestpractice

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/using-php-codesniffer-with-wordpress-understanding-code-smells--cms-26352

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Phinx – the Migration Library You Never Knew You Needed
Jun 02, 2016 @ 13:15:36

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted a tutorial about the migration library you never knew you needed for your PHP applications - Phinx (for database migrations).

You’re building an application, and you need to share the database’s structure with your team. After all, you want everyone to be up and running as soon as possible. What do you do? SQL dumps of table structures? You could… but that’s so very primitive – and can be time consuming to import, too! More often than not, database migrations are the answer.

In this tutorial, we’ll go through a framework-agnostic package for building and executing database migrations called Phinx.

He starts by helping you get the tool installed via Composer and initializing your environment for migrations and seeds. He covers the configuration of the tool via a simple YAML file and the creation of first migration files based on an existing table structure. He walks through the code involved to create the tables, add indexes and foreign keys. He shows how to run the migrations, gives an example of the error output and modifying the current database structure.

tagged: migration phinx library tutorial agnostic introduction

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/phinx-the-migration-library-you-never-knew-you-needed/

Ignace Butera:
DatePeriod demystified
May 17, 2016 @ 12:16:37

Ignace Butera has shared a post to his site giving some advice about using the DatePeriod functionality from PHP's DateTime handling. The DatePeriod makes it easier to work with dates at certain intervals without having to calculate them manually.

With the introduction of the DateTimeImmutable object in PHP5.5, and a subsequent bug fix to DatePeriod in PHP5.5.8, the object results became rather interesting. To sum it up, when iterating over a DatePeriod, the datepoint returned is of the same instance as the starting datepoint. Let’s illustrate this by taking the first example and using a DateTimeImmutable object instead as the starting datepoint.

The post starts with a brief overview of the DatePeriod functionality and a code example of it in use (along with two DateTime objects for start/end dates). He shows how it returns DateTimeImmutable objects and the properties they expose to get more information about the objects. He points out a few buggy points in the API, though, and makes a recommendation of a library that's a bit more consistent.

tagged: datetime dateperiod example introduction api

Link: http://nyamsprod.com/blog/2016/dateperiod-demystified/

Symfony Finland:
GraphQL with PHP and the Symfony Framework
May 16, 2016 @ 12:19:09

The Symfony Finland site has a recent post giving an overview of GraphQL and Symfony, combing the GraphQL query language (RESTish handling) from Facebook with your application.

The origins of GraphQL stem from the needs that Facebook's mobile applications had (and continue to have). They needed a data-fetching API that was flexible enough to describe all the different kinds of data that the social network had available. [...] Back in September 2015 GraphQL was already powering Billions of API calls a day at Facebook. [...] The core idea of GraphQL is to send a simple string to the server. This string is then interpreted by the server and it sends back a JSON payload that responds to follows the structure of the query itself.

The post includes an example of what the request and response from a GraphQL query might look like for a social network's data. They also link to several PHP libraries that have come up around the functionality making it easier to integrate. There's also links to some Symfony bundles that provide functionality to make your own GraphQL servers.

tagged: graphql symfony bundle introduction facebook rest query json library

Link: https://www.symfony.fi/entry/graphql-with-php-and-the-symfony-framework