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Laravel News:
The Artisan Files Yitzchok Willroth
October 24, 2014 @ 12:26:13

On the Laravel News site today they've posted an interview with a member of the PHP community: Yitzchok Willroth, aka @coderrabbi. They talk some about his past, how he came to be a developer and what tools he works with on a daily basis.

This week I'm happy to introduce you to the most interesting developer in the world, Yitzchok Willroth aka @coderabbi. Yitzchok is the organizer of the ShorePHP User Group, an active participant in the PHPMentoring Initiative, and a conference speaker.

They start with a look at his past and how he made the transition over from rabbi to developer, mainly based around a major change in his family's life. He talks about the classes and programs he took to improve his skills and how he found some of his first work. They also talk about his contributions to mentoring other developers and where he sees the value in it. They talk about his upcoming php[world] talk, how he came to find and work with Laravel and what a typical day is like for him and his work.

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Link: http://laravel-news.com/2014/10/artisan-files-yitzchok-willroth/

Laravel Podcast:
Episode 18 - Laravel 5 Routing, the War over PHP Annotations, and The Secret Weapon
October 20, 2014 @ 11:05:05

The Laravel Podcast has released their latest episode, Episode #18: Laravel 5 Routing, the War over PHP Annotations, and The Secret Weapon(tm). Join hosts Shawn McCool, Taylor Otwell and Jeffrey Way as they talk all things Laravel.

In this episode, we discuss new Laravel 5 features including annotated routing and middlewares. We discuss some motivations and guiding forces that make Laravel what it is. Also, hints about Jeffrey and Taylor's secret new project. The referenced article by @everzet can be found here: http://everzet.com/post/99045129766/introducing-modelling-by-example.

You can listen to this latest episode either by using the in-page audio player, by downloading the mp3 or by subscribing to their feed.

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Link: http://www.buzzsprout.com/11908/212256-episode-18-laravel-5-routing-the-war-over-php-annotations-and-the-secret-weapon-tm

Matt Stauffer:
Laravel 5.0 - Middleware (replacing Filters)
October 15, 2014 @ 10:18:00

In a new post to his site Matt Stauffer looks at a feature of the upcoming version 5 of the Laravel framework, middleware, and how it will replace the current Filter handling. This is part nine in a series about the new features coming in Laravel (the rest are linked at the top of the article).

If you've been following along with my previous blog posts about Laravel 5.0, you may have noticed that route filters were first moved to be their own directory and class structure, and then eventually they mysteriously disappeared. You may have even noticed that references to Middleware showed up in their place.

He starts off by defining what "middleware" actually is and how it fits into the overall execution flow of the application. He describes it as "a series of wrappers around your application that decorate the requests and the responses in a way that isn't a part of your application logic." He then gets into the code examples, showing how to write a simple Laravel-friendly middleware that blocks odd port requests to the application. He includes the configuration updates to integrate it, how to control where it runs and using before and after "filters" inside the middleware.

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Link: http://mattstauffer.co/blog/laravel-5.0-middleware-replacing-filters

NetTuts.com:
Laravel, BDD And You Let's Get Started
October 10, 2014 @ 12:53:57

On NetTuts.com they've kicked off a new series of tutorials teaching you about Laravel development but using the principles and testing of behavior-driven development (BDD). In this first part of the series they get you started with the basic environment and a few simple tests.

Welcome to this series about developing Laravel applications using a behavior-driven development (BDD) approach. Full stack BDD can seem complicated and intimidating. There are just as many ways of doing it as there are developers. In this series, I will walk you through my approach of using Behat and PhpSpec to design a Laravel application from scratch. There are many resources on BDD in general, but Laravel specific material is hard to find. Therefore, in this series, we will focus more on the Laravel related aspects and less on the general stuff that you can read about many other places.

He talks about what it means to "describe behavior" versus other kinds of testing and introduces the sample application they'll be creating to show these principles: a time tracker. Following this, they help you install the needed tools (via Composer) and initialize the directory to be ready for the Behat/Phpspec tests you'll create. An example of a basic Feature is included, testing the initial Laravel "Welcome" page it defaults to and how to execute it. Finally, following the ideals of BDD, they show how to implement the "Given I am logged in" step first in the test then in the Laravel application.

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Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/laravel-bdd-and-you-lets-get-started--cms-22155

Twilio Blog:
How to Build an MMS Ticketing System Using PHP, Laravel and Twilio
October 03, 2014 @ 12:18:54

On the Twilio blog there's a recent post showing the construction of some fundamental parts of a MMS ticketing system using Laravel and Twilio for the messaging.

Have you ever arrived at a movie, flight or concert and realized you've forgotten your paper ticket? Imagine how much worse it would be if you showed up at Willy Wonka's front door, but forgot your golden ticket! To prevent an epic disaster such as this, we're going to build an app that delivers Willy Wonka's golden ticket directly to your phone using MMS. All the Oompa Loompas have to do is scan it. Not Willy Wonka? Don't worry, this code should be useful for any app or company that distributes tickets. Hopefully computers are more helpful with the golden ticket than last time.

The application makes use of a few libraries outside of the Laravel framework structure to handle the various functional pieces: one for creating QR codes and another for sending the messages via Twilio. They walk through some of the basic setup for the first endpoint and the "Golden Ticket Distribution" page. He then uses the Endroid QR code library to generate a code based on a string and outputting it to the user. Using a few pieces of data from the URL (in $_GET), they define the phone number to send to and the name of the user. Finally they tie it into the Twilio messaging system and send the MMS message containing the resulting QR code.

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Link: https://www.twilio.com/blog/2014/09/how-to-build-an-mms-ticketing-system-using-php-laravel-and-twilio.html

NetTuts.com:
Building a Customer Management App Using AngularJS and Laravel
October 01, 2014 @ 11:52:09

The NetTuts site has posted the first part of a tutorial series showing you how to create an application with Laravel and AngularJS to do some customer management. The application lets you track customers and transactions related to them.

When creating a single-page app we should use some kind of framework to do some of the job for us so we can focus on the actual functionality. AngularJS fits here perfectly, because features like dynamic dependency injection and bi-directional data binding are just great. Sometimes we also require some kind of server. If you've chosen PHP then Laravel may be your best option, as it's easy to work with and pretty powerful. In this part of the tutorial, we will build the front-end of our application using AngularJS.

He starts with some of the "preparation work" that has to be put into the main template for Angular to even work, including the loading of the Angular files themselves. He sets up a basic route and, some initial styling (CSS) and talks about the overall structure of the application. He includes the code to create the customer controller and transactions handling (via controllers) and how to do the usual CRUD (create, read, update, delete) operations for each. HTML output templates are also included to handle the forms and other tabluar output needed to display customer details.

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Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/building-a-customer-management-app-using-angularjs-and-laravel--cms-22234

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Ardent Laravel Models on Steroids
September 19, 2014 @ 11:54:34

In Ardent, an enhancement to the model system in the Laravel framework that allows for easy configuration of validation rules.

One of the (few) things I don't like about Laravel is that you cannot move the validation code from your controller to your models easily. When I write software I like to apply the "fat models, skinny controllers" principle. So, for me, writing the validation code in the controller is not a good thing. To solve this, I'd like to introduce Ardent, a great package for Laravel 4. To be more precise, Ardent presents itself as "Self-validating smart models for Laravel Framework 4's Eloquent ORM." In other words: exactly what we need!

He introduces the library as a part of a test application, a To-Do list that includes user and task handling. He starts with the creation of the base Laravel migrations to build the tables and the code for the two necessary models. He then shows how to install Ardent and put it to use in the controller code, adding validation rules and messages for each property on failure. He also shows how to use the model auto-hydration and hooks to make working with the models even easier. He finishes off the post showing how to set up relations "the Ardent way" using a slightly different format as the usual Laravel handling.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/ardent-laravel-models-steroids/

Community News:
Laravel Framework Introduces Liferaft
September 12, 2014 @ 09:25:04

The development group behind the Laravel framework have introduced a new tool that aims to make it easier to report bugs with the framework (not the applications built with them): Laravel Liferaft.

To encourage active collaboration, Laravel currently only accepts pull requests, not bug reports. "Bug reports" may be sent in the form of a pull request containing a failing unit test. [...] A failing unit test or sandbox application provides the development team "proof" that the bug exists, and, after the development team addresses the bug, serves as a reliable indicator that the bug remains fixed.

Following along with this method, Liferaft provides a simple way to download a clean copy of the framework, make the needed changes for the pull request and automatically submit it via GitHub back to the project for handling. In this video on Laracasts Taylor Otwell walks you through a simple example of using it to submit an issue back (and what happens behind the scenes).

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Link: https://laracasts.com/lessons/introducing-laravel-liferaft

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Deploy Your Website Using Laravel and Git
September 08, 2014 @ 09:28:50

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new tutorial by James Dow showing you how to use git and Laravel for application deployment. This isn't just about deploying a Laravel application, though. It includes a method for automating processes once the deployment is complete.

You can't be a successful web developer without using some sort of deployment workflow for your websites. It doesn't matter how good or bad your workflow might be. If you can't get your website up to production then your client will never pay you for your hard work. [...] I wanted something that was as easy as pushing a repository with Git. More important, I wanted to be in full control when pushing content live. I was able to find a similar workflow that used Git to handle the file transferring. On top of that I found out I could also use the PHP framework Laravel to automate the more repetitive tasks.

He starts with the server side of things, showing you how to get the git repository created and structured. He then configures Laravel with a "remote" connection for the production server so it can reach out and execute the tasks. Finally he shows how to make the route (/deploy) that's executed when the route is called. In his example route he sets up a SSH request to the production server that changes to the web server root and makes a "git pull" request to get the latest code. It's an interesting use for something like Laravel, but I wonder if it's a good fit for the deployment need. This kind of thing could pretty easily be replaced with a small shell script.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/deploy-website-using-laravel-git/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Single Page App with Laravel and EmberJS
September 01, 2014 @ 15:28:33

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted the fourth part in their "REST App with Laravel and EmberJS" series today. In this latest tutorial they focus in on the frontend and investigate how Ember works how to get started in your application.

In this part, we will see how Ember works, how to use Ember Data and how to build something simple with it. Router, Route, Model, Template and Store are some of the concepts of Ember. I'm not going to explain every one of those, so if you feel stuck, use the documentation.

They dive right into the code, getting a simple Ember "App" instance set up and configured. They add in a REST adapter to connect it to the backend API and lay out a few of the routes. They then create the models to represent the data and link each to a route. Next they get into views and creating the interface and frontend markup (using Handlebars templating). A gif is included showing the results and how things should look at this point.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/single-page-app-laravel-emberjs/


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