Looking for more information on how to do PHP the right way? Check out PHP: The Right Way

Tomas Votruba:
What's New in PHP 7.3 in 30 Seconds in Diffs
Aug 17, 2018 @ 11:13:30

Tomas Vortuba has put together a post sharing a summary of what's new in PHP 7.3 using a bit different tactic than just descriptions: via diffs (in about 30 seconds).

No time but eager to hear PHP news? PHP 7.3 is out in December 2018 and it brings 173 changes. Which are the most useful ones?

For each item in his list he provides code snippets showing the change for:

  • Comma After the Last Argument
  • First and Last Array Key
  • Countable for Risky Variables
  • Safer JSON Parsing

Each item on the list also links over to the related RFC for the feature that provides more detail on the change.

tagged: php73 diff difference feature comma arraykey countable json tutorial

Link: https://www.tomasvotruba.cz/blog/2018/08/16/whats-new-in-php-73-in-30-seconds-in-diffs/

MySQL Without The SQL - Oh My!
Jul 13, 2018 @ 10:29:17

On the php[architect] site they've posted a full article from their July 2018 issue sharing information about a new kind of data store in MySQL.

Do you work on projects where you begin coding before knowing what your data looks like? Or are you part of the vast majority of developers who have had little or no training in database theory, relational calculus, Structured Query Language, or sets? Could you be working on a project without a database administrator to set up relational tables, indexes, and schemas? Or are you tired of embedding ugly lines of SQL in your pristine PHP code? There is new hope for you.

In the article Dave Stokes (of MySQL/Oracle) covers the new native JSON data type that was added in MySQL 5.7 but enhanced in MySQL 8 as a document store. He shows how to use this new functionality from the command line, what a "document" is and how to install and use the X DevAPI PECL extension to make use of it from your PHP code.

tagged: mysql datastore json tutorial pecl extension

Link: https://www.phparch.com/2018/07/mysql-without-the-sql-oh-my/

Rob Allen:
Using Fractal as your OpenWhisk API's view layer
Jun 27, 2018 @ 09:49:40

Rob Allen continues his series of posts covering the use of PHP on the OpenWhisk platform. In his latest post he shows how to usr Fractal as the view layer for your application (as installed via Composer). Fractal is a project from the PHP League that "provides a presentation and transformation layer for complex data output, the like found in RESTful APIs, and works really well with JSON."

When writing an API, it’s common to produce an output that conforms to a known media type such as JSON API or HAL, etc. I’m a strong believer that even though I’m writing an API, my application has a view layer. It’s not the same as building an HTML page, but you still need to separate out the code that creates the structured output from your model layer. For a couple of APIs that I’ve written recently, I’ve used Fractal for this.

He starts with some example code showing how to use Fractal to transform data that's come from his datasource. This includes both the script to use the Manager and the class defining the "transformer" for the todo data. He then moves this over and integrates it with an OpenWhisk application, making use of the dependency injection container to create transformer and manager instances. His final example shows this setup in action as the result of a call to fetch all current todo items.

tagged: openwhisk view layer fractal phpleague tutorial json transform

Link: https://akrabat.com/using-fractal-as-your-apis-view-layer/

Laravel News:
PHP 7.3: A Look at JSON Error Handling
Jun 13, 2018 @ 10:18:53

On the Laravel News site there's a tutorial posted looking ahead at PHP 7.3 and some of the changes coming for JSON error handling.

One of the new features coming to PHP 7.3 is better error handling for json_encode() and json_decode(). The RFC was unanimously accepted by a 23 to 0 vote. Let’s take a look at how we handle JSON errors in <= PHP 7.2, and the new improvements coming in PHP 7.3.

They start with an example of how PHP developers would normally check for JSON parsing errors and the typical response when it fails. In the proposed functionality for PHP 7.3 and optional JSON_THROW_ON_ERROR would be added to throw a JsonException if there was an issue parsing the provided data. This also means that you no longer need to manually request the error message, it would just come through as a part of the standard exception. You can find out the full details on the change in the RFC.

tagged: php73 json parse error handling throwable exception feature rfc

Link: https://laravel-news.com/php-7-3-json-error-handling

Basic Eloquent Search Techniques
Mar 28, 2018 @ 12:36:01

The Pineco.de blog has a new tutorial posted that the Laravel users out there will find particularly useful. In their latest post, they introduce some basic Eloquent searching techniques that can be used to easily locate data via currently available Eloquent functionality.

When our app is smaller – for example at the beginning – it’s enough to apply small, handmade solutions. It’s true for database searching as well. It’s not necessary to pull in a package instantly. Most of the time we can use some simple techniques to perform searches in Eloquent.

[...] Searching is a vital part of any application. A good interface helps the user to retrieve the information it needs. So it’s essential to bring a good solution both on front-end and back-end. In this post, we are not covering any UI or front-end related topics. [...] So for now, let’s talk about MySQL and Eloquent only.

In the post, they share a few methods for searching data that don't require any additional service or package. They're mostly just taking advantage of features the MySQL database supports but they're showing how to use them in a Laravel environment:

  • simple "where" clauses
  • using the fuzzy matching of the "like" keyword
  • searching JSON columns by a "path"
  • using "sounds like" to find similar values

Each item on the list comes with a few lines of code showing how to use it via an Eloquent model and a brief explanation of what's happening behind the scenes in the database.

tagged: laravel eloquent search where like json soundslike tutorial mysql database

Link: https://pineco.de/basic-eloquent-search-techniques/

Colin O'Dell:
Optimizing colinodell/json5 with Blackfire
Jan 15, 2018 @ 09:50:37

In a post to his site Colin O'Dell shows how he used the Blackfire.io service to optimize the colinodell/json5 package he created to parse JSON5 in PHP. Blackfire.io is a performance profiling service (from the folks behind Symfony) that shows where the pain points are in your code. They also have a "developer" plan that you can use to try out the service.

Back in November, I released colinodell/json5 - a JSON5 parser for PHP. It's essentially a drop-in replacement for PHP's json_decode() function, but it allows things like comments, trailing commas, and more.

Fast forward to this weekend when I received [a] bug report from a user named Antonio [about slowness in parsing large JSON documents]. Yikes! I always knew that a PHP-based implementation would be slower than PHP's native C implementation, but execution time measured in minutes was completely unacceptable!

So I fired up Blackfire (which I've previously used to optimize league/commonmark) and got to work.

He starts off by getting a baseline to work from, executing the parsing on a custom document he created (not quite as large as in the bug report but still large). After locating a few issues he then started in on the optimizations. The first was an issue with the use of mb_substr, the second was around the remainder of the document to parse and the last an optimization for a regular expression. The post ends with a few other micro-optimizations he also made to the package and a check to use json_decode for faster parsing and only kick in the JSON5 parsing when needed.

tagged: optimize json json5 package blackfireio performance

Link: https://www.colinodell.com/blog/201801/optimizing-colinodelljson5-blackfire

Rob Allen:
Implementing CORS in Zend Expressive
Nov 15, 2017 @ 09:20:13

In a new post to his site Rob Allen shows you how to implement CORS in a Zend Expressive application through the use of a simple middleware wrapper that sends the appropriate headers.

On a recent project, I needed to implement CORS support for my Expressive API. The easiest way to do this is to use Mike Tuupola's PSR-7 CORS Middleware.

As this is a standard Slim-Style PSR-7 middleware implementation, we need to wrap it for Expressive, so we make a factory. [...] We then register this in our AppConfigProvider::getDependencies() by adding to the factories key.

He includes the code and configuration changes required to make it all work and includes example output of a request (with headers) from a curl call to the API. He also includes a section on working with JSON error responses and ProblemDetails for when there are issues related to the current CORS policy definition.

tagged: cors tutorial zendexpressive middleware json error problemdetails

Link: https://akrabat.com/implementing-tuupola-cors-in-expressive/

Auth0 Blog:
Building an app with Nette and adding authentication
Sep 21, 2017 @ 10:07:59

On the Auth0 blog there's a tutorial posted that shows you how to build an application with the Nette framework and easily integrate authentication via their own JSON web token functionality.

Nette is a free, open-source PHP framework designed for building web applications. Nette is a set of decoupled and reusable PHP packages that will make your work easier. And Nette is also known as the quick and comfortable web development framework in PHP because it has the tools that allow you to bang out PHP applications rather quickly.

[...] In this tutorial, I'll show you how easy it is to build a web application with Nette and add authentication to it. Check out the repo to get the code.

The tutorial starts by talking about some of the built-in tools the framework includes and some basic use of each. It then gets into building the application, creating the controller, view and template to output a list of characters from Game of Thrones. From there it moves into the authentication piece, showing the integration of the Auth0 plugin and how to hook it into an application on their platform. There's a bit of configuration to set it up as an authenticator but then the framework and the plugin take care of the rest.

tagged: nette framework authentication tutorial auth0 jsonwebtoken json jwt

Link: https://auth0.com/blog/building-an-app-with-Nette-and-adding-authentication/

AWS Developer Blog:
Automated Changelog in AWS SDK for PHP
Sep 01, 2017 @ 10:17:08

On the AWS Developer blog they've posted about a new update in their PHP SDK functionality: a "changelog builder" that helps with automated changelog generation.

Starting with version 3.22.10 of the AWS SDK for PHP, released February 23, 2017, the Changelog Builder automatically processes all changelog entries. Each pull request is required to have a changelog JSON blob as part of the request. The system also calculates the next version for the SDK based on the type of the changes that are defined in the given changelog JSON blob.

The update simplifies the process of adding release notes to the CHANGELOG.md file for each pull request. Each merged pull request that was part of the release results in a new entry to the CHANGELOG.md file. The entry describes the change and provides the TAG number and release date.

This changelog is generated from a required JSON document for each pull request that provides information about the type of change, category and a brief description. They explain each of these items to give a little more context as to what they should contain along with a few examples.

This is something that could definitely help to improve other libraries as well, gathering the required change information from the contributor rather than having a project administrator have to sift through the PR to locate all changes.

tagged: aws sdk automated changelog generation json requirement pullrequest

Link: https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/developer/automated-changelog-in-php-sdk-for-aws/

Mohamed Said:
Laravel/MySQL JSON documents faster lookup using generated columns
Aug 22, 2017 @ 10:55:05

Mohamed Said has an interesting post to his site showing how to use computed columns for faster lookups in a MySQL database containing JSON documents.

Laravel 5.3 is shipped with built-in support for updating and querying JSON type database fields, the support currently fully covers MySQL 5.7 JSON type fields updates and lookups.

He includes an example of using the Eloquent DB handling to search for the data in the JSON and the results. He links to more information about the feature, following it up with an example of the main topic: computed columns. In it he shows how to create (on the SQL side) a generated/computed column that allows for easier extraction of the data directly from the JSON. This makes it even simpler to get the data just as you would in a normal select. He also includes an example of creating it via the Schema functionality in the database migrations.

tagged: mysql json column lookup computed generated sql data laravel tutorial

Link: https://themsaid.com/laravel-mysql-json-colum-fast-lookup-20160709