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Freek Van der Herten:
Debugging collections
Jun 17, 2016 @ 09:47:42

Freek Van der Herten has a post to his site with a guide about debugging collections in Laravel applications. He quickly shows how to use the "macro" functionality to gather more insight into what's happening inside.

Lately I’ve been working a lot with collections in Laravel. If you’re not in the know: a collection is a sort of super charged array with a lot of powerful functions to transform the data inside it. The only thing I found a bit of a hassle is how to debug the various steps in a collection chain. Here’s how I improved the workflow.

He shows a simple collection setup with a chain of functions being applied to transform the data inside (ex: filter, map, sortBy). He was able to get a bit more information by using the dd helper Laravel provides but it's not the most "clean" way to just wrap the collection on it. Instead he proposes he use of a "macro" to call the dd function and keep it in the flow of the methods called on the collection (as ->dd()).

tagged: debug collection laravel dd helper function macro

Link: https://murze.be/2016/06/debugging-collections/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Fun and Functional Programming in PHP with Macros
Apr 04, 2016 @ 10:13:37

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new tutorial posted from author Christopher Pitt continuing on his look at macros in PHP (part one is here). In this new tutorial he gets beyond the basic example he provided in part one and recreate some expressive syntax from Javascript and prefixing strings.

I was so excited about my previous article about PHP macros, that I thought it would be fun for us to explore the intersection of macros and functional programming. PHP is already full of functions, with object oriented patterns emerging relatively late in its life. Still, PHP’s functions can be cumbersome, especially when combined with variable scope rules…

[...] It’s not significantly more code [to append the prefix in PHP vs Javascript], but it isn’t as clear or idiomatic as the JavaScript alternative. I often miss JavaScript’s expressive, functional syntax, when I’m building PHP things. I want to try and win back some of that expressive syntax!

He starts with a quick install of the yay library used in the first part of the series. Instead of the manual prefixing from his first example, he creates a macro that uses the array_map handling to generate the necessary code once the pre-compiler has done its job. He then expands on this simpler solution and updates it to allow for the setting of the prefix string. It gets a little complex but he walks through each step of the way, explaining the code that's added and what it expands out to. The result is a map method that generates a bit of code that's eval-ed to handle the prefixing automatically.

tagged: macro series part2 tutorial array map prefix advanced precompile yay library

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/functional-programming-in-php-with-macros/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
PHP Macros for Fun and Profit!
Mar 21, 2016 @ 13:47:17

On the SitePoint PHP blog they've posted another tutorial from Christopher Pitt, this time about macros in PHP, and how you can use the Yay library to add in custom pre-processed macros to your code.

I get really excited when developers feel empowered to create new tools, and even new languages with which to solve their problems. You see, many developers come to PHP from other languages. And many PHP developers can code in more than one language. Often there are things in those languages — small syntax sugars — that we appreciate and even miss when we’re building PHP things.

Adding these to a language, at a compiler level, is hard (or is it?). That is unless you built the compiler and/or know how they work. We’re not going to do anything that technical, but we’re still going to be empowered.

He starts off by describing the goal: a simple "range" macro that creates an array and fills it with integers. He helps you get the library installed and shows how to use it to pre-process a file and output the PHP version. He shows how to create the syntax for the macro in the format Yay is expecting for the array_slice shortcut. He also includes handling letting you slice out a portion of an array using the same notation. Finally he shows the resulting code after the pre-processing has happened and the macros have been resolved.

tagged: macro library yay tutorial range integer string array

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/php-macros-for-fun-and-profit/

Igor Wiedler:
Evolving syntax
Jul 31, 2013 @ 11:44:07

In a new post to his site Igor Wiedler looks forward and suggests some alternate syntax for PHP based around the idea of macros from Lisp. These macros would be parsed at runtime and handled directly as code, compiled down from their custom format.

A very common problem that many software projects have is lack of adoption of new versions. Browsers are an excellent example of this, But it exists on the server as well. [...] This leads to this recursive problem of hosting companies not upgrading because they don't have to, and software not requiring newer versions of their programming language, because they don't want to lose their users. The longer your dependency chain is, the more you suffer from this.

He points out that the easier it is to update these lower level pieces, the simpler it is to introduce new things into your system. He suggest that macro-like functionality for PHP could aid in this goal. He talks some about backporting features and how these marcos could make it easier to upgrade just the things we wanted (or all of them) without having to upgrade PHP itself. He even went so far as to create a tool (galapagos) that does this kind of parsing. His examples implement the 5.4 features of short arrays, $this in closures, function array dereferencing and callable typehinting.

Being able to invent your own syntax is very useful, which instantly becomes apparent when you look at the past. Features get added to languages all the time. What if you could do that easily, within minutes instead of months?
tagged: evolve syntax lisp macro feature galapagos parse ast language

Link: https://igor.io/2013/07/26/evolving-syntax.html

Dikini.net:
Rewriting macros - the peculiar case of php
Aug 17, 2006 @ 07:29:04

On Dikiki.net today, there's a new post that's a continuation of a series (first post, second post) dealing with macro programming in PHP.

Without going into theoretical details, some of which are quite alien to me, I'll try to describe some of the challenges that pattern patching rewriting macros might pose for a language like php. After brief explanation what kind of a beast is this, I try to explore some of the finer points, which might cause problems. The intent of this post is to sketch a design and highlight some of the possible issues.

He breaks up the post into a few sections:

  • pattern matching rewrite only macros - a bird eye view
  • Transformation time
  • Basic/skeleton shapes and intermediate shapes
  • Code generation issues specific to php
  • Hygiene
  • A rough macro shape outline
  • Output/Status of the project
There are code examples (of how it should work) and explainations of the issues PHP would face to accomplish this goal.

tagged: rewrite macro pattern match transformation skeleton generation hygiene rewrite macro pattern match transformation skeleton generation hygiene

Link:

Dikini.net:
Rewriting macros - the peculiar case of php
Aug 17, 2006 @ 07:29:04

On Dikiki.net today, there's a new post that's a continuation of a series (first post, second post) dealing with macro programming in PHP.

Without going into theoretical details, some of which are quite alien to me, I'll try to describe some of the challenges that pattern patching rewriting macros might pose for a language like php. After brief explanation what kind of a beast is this, I try to explore some of the finer points, which might cause problems. The intent of this post is to sketch a design and highlight some of the possible issues.

He breaks up the post into a few sections:

  • pattern matching rewrite only macros - a bird eye view
  • Transformation time
  • Basic/skeleton shapes and intermediate shapes
  • Code generation issues specific to php
  • Hygiene
  • A rough macro shape outline
  • Output/Status of the project
There are code examples (of how it should work) and explainations of the issues PHP would face to accomplish this goal.

tagged: rewrite macro pattern match transformation skeleton generation hygiene rewrite macro pattern match transformation skeleton generation hygiene

Link:

Dikini.net:
Poor man's macro programming in php (revisited)
Aug 01, 2006 @ 06:16:38

In refernece to his previous post on macro programming in PHP, vlado is back with this new post answering the question "How exactly can you do macros in php now?"

Macros have (let's say) two main responsibilities - adding syntactic sugar and abstraction of common patterns. The syntactic sugar bit is something which probably should happen at compile time, at least in a weakly typed language like php. So I'll skip them. The abstraction of computation, well this is wat codified design patterns are.

He illustrates what a macro might look like, using the generic functions and partial evaluation patterns to accomplish it. He also shows it being possible with something built around a create_function call.

So what do these example prove? Well, php has decent abstraction mechanisms. The fact that we can do indirect function calls and indirect variable (symbol) resolution can give us useful means to code in different design patterns. How can we make proper macros? Is it too complicated to have something like dylan macros (a nice paper from 1999)
tagged: macro programming design patterns revisited macro programming design patterns revisited

Link:

Dikini.net:
Poor man's macro programming in php (revisited)
Aug 01, 2006 @ 06:16:38

In refernece to his previous post on macro programming in PHP, vlado is back with this new post answering the question "How exactly can you do macros in php now?"

Macros have (let's say) two main responsibilities - adding syntactic sugar and abstraction of common patterns. The syntactic sugar bit is something which probably should happen at compile time, at least in a weakly typed language like php. So I'll skip them. The abstraction of computation, well this is wat codified design patterns are.

He illustrates what a macro might look like, using the generic functions and partial evaluation patterns to accomplish it. He also shows it being possible with something built around a create_function call.

So what do these example prove? Well, php has decent abstraction mechanisms. The fact that we can do indirect function calls and indirect variable (symbol) resolution can give us useful means to code in different design patterns. How can we make proper macros? Is it too complicated to have something like dylan macros (a nice paper from 1999)
tagged: macro programming design patterns revisited macro programming design patterns revisited

Link:

Dikini.net:
Poor man's macro programming in php
Jul 26, 2006 @ 13:27:48

vlado, thinking more about a previous post, started wondering what exactly you'd need to do to get macros working in PHP. Read on for his answers.

What is the closest we can get to that without actually changing anything in php (poor man's version? What minimal sugar does php need to make it comfy? What is the natural syntax for macros in php? I definitely don't know the answers to these questions but let's try.

He doesn't create working code, but he does make it a PHP-ish looking solution. He also suggests that while PHP doesn't have this ability (yet?), the generic function pattern can help mimic its functionality pretty closely.

tagged: macro programming poor man generic function pattern macro programming poor man generic function pattern

Link:

Dikini.net:
Poor man's macro programming in php
Jul 26, 2006 @ 13:27:48

vlado, thinking more about a previous post, started wondering what exactly you'd need to do to get macros working in PHP. Read on for his answers.

What is the closest we can get to that without actually changing anything in php (poor man's version? What minimal sugar does php need to make it comfy? What is the natural syntax for macros in php? I definitely don't know the answers to these questions but let's try.

He doesn't create working code, but he does make it a PHP-ish looking solution. He also suggests that while PHP doesn't have this ability (yet?), the generic function pattern can help mimic its functionality pretty closely.

tagged: macro programming poor man generic function pattern macro programming poor man generic function pattern

Link: