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SitePoint PHP Blog:
More Effective PHP Logging with Loggly
May 08, 2015 @ 11:54:13

The SitePoint PHP Blog has a new tutorial by Yones Rafie showing you how to log more effectively with Loggly, a remote log management service that's easy to connect to your PHP application. (Note: this post is sponsored by Loggly but it's still an interesting tool.)

When logging with PHP, we tend to use the error_log and trigger_error functions, or we can use an error handler to make the logging process more generic. [...] But what would you do if you had to log to multiple places at the same time, or you were sending logs to a given service depending on the error level? Rather than using built-in tools, it's often easier to use logging libraries.

They go on to talk about logging using a PSR-3 compliant logger and show how to integrate the Loggly service with your application via one of the most popular options, Monolog. The integration is made even easier by the fact that Monolog already comes with a LogglyHandler built-in. The post includes the code you'll need to implement the logger, how to integrate it with a Laravel application, setting it up on Heroku and and a tour of the Loggly features for filtering, searching and examples of the graphs showing query results. Loggly is free to try out, so you can see if it will work for your application before making the commitment.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/effective-php-logging-loggly/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Sending Emails in PHP with PHPMailer
April 27, 2015 @ 12:53:56

The SitePoint PHP blog has a tutorial from Narayan Prusty showing you how to effectively use PHPMailer to send emails from your PHP application. PHPMailer provides a simplified interface to send both simple and complex emails.

PHPMailer is one of the most popular open source PHP libraries to send emails with. It was first released way back in 2001 and since then it has become a PHP developer's favorite way of sending emails programmatically, aside from a few other fan favorites like Swiftmailer. In this article we'll talk about why you should use PHPMailer instead of PHP's mail() function and we'll show some code samples on how to use this library.

He starts by answering the obvious question - is it an alternative to PHP's own mail function? He describes the differences, mostly in the way of enhanced functionality PHPMailer offers. He then helps you get it installed via Composer and how to send a first simple email. Next up he shows how to send an email with attachments and connecting the library to an external SMTP server for sending. The tutorial finishes with a quick mention of using POP3 to read emails and how to show local error messages when something goes wrong.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/sending-emails-php-phpmailer/

Rob Allen:
Logging errors in Slim 3
April 07, 2015 @ 10:57:36

Rob Allen continues his posts looking at the use of the Slim PHP framework with this new post about logging errors.

Slim Framework 3 is being actively developed at the moment and has a number of changes in it, including the use of the Pimple DI container and an overhaul of pretty much everything else! In this post, I'm going to look at error handling. The default error handler in Slim 3 is SlimHandlersError. It's fairly simple and renders the error quite nicely, setting the HTTP status to 500. I want to log these errors via monolog.

He includes the code to first set up the Monolog logger and inject it into the dependency injection container. Then he creates a custom error handler that extends the Slim handler but overrides the __invoke method to log the message in addition to displaying it. Finally he registers the error handler into the DI container as the "errorHandler" instance so Pimple correctly knows how to throw errors.

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Link: http://akrabat.com/logging-errors-in-slim-3/

Derick Rethans:
Xdebug 2.3 Munging errors
March 10, 2015 @ 09:15:47

Derick Rethans has posted a new part of his series looking at the improvements that came with the latest Xdebug release (v2.3). In this new article he talks about error handling and intercepting them to make debugging simpler.

One of the first features I added to Xdebug was the interception of error messages, so that it was possible for me to include a stack trace. Xdebug 2.3 has a few additional settings to control the behaviour of interception.

He covers the addition of three new settings: xdebug.halt_level, force_display_errors and force_error_reporting. Each of these is designed to provide you with customizable error reporting. Each setting comes with an example of its configuration and how it modifies the output of the resulting errors.

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Link: http://derickrethans.nl/xdebug-2.3-error-munging.html

ThePHP.cc:
PHPUnit Migration from PEAR to PHAR
January 14, 2015 @ 13:48:34

On The PHPcc's site today Sebastian Bergmann, the creator of the popular PHPUnit unit testing framework, shows you how to move to using the tool's phar file and away from the previously used PEAR install method.

In April 2014 I announced that I would shut down pear.phpunit.de on December 31, 2014. The motivation behind this move was to simplify the release process of PHPUnit by getting rid of an outdated distribution channel. I was afraid that I would leave users of my software behind by this move. [...] I am relieved that the shutdown of pear.phpunit.de went as smooth as it did. [...] In this article I show you how to make the transition from using PHPUnit from a PEAR package to using PHPUnit from a PHP Archive or using Composer as easy and convenient as possible.

There's three main steps to the migration from PEAR to the Composer-based phar installation:

  • Uninstalling PEAR Packages
  • Using PHPUnit from a PHP Archive (PHAR)
  • Installing PHPUnit with Composer

He includes the commands and configuration files/settings you'll need to make the transition happen. He also mentions that older versions are still available if there's a need but only on GitHub/Packagist as phar packages, not via PEAR.

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Link: http://thephp.cc/news/2015/01/phpunit-migration-from-pear-to-phar

Phil Sturgeon:
What is The League of Extraordinary Packages?
October 16, 2014 @ 10:48:29

In his latest post Phil Sturgeon talks about a project that's been running for a while, the The League of Extraordinary Packages and aims to clear up some recent misconceptions about the group and what they strive for in the projects they endorse.

This is the story of group of friends, who decided to write some code, but somehow confused and angered everyone with a keyboard. [...] Where should I release this code [I was super excited about releasing]? Should I release it with a vendor name of Sturgeon? That seemed rather egotistical. I could make something up, but what is the point of a single vendor with a single package? I wondered if any of my buddies were having this problem. [...] Being as hungover as I was, I thought long and hard, for about 5 seconds until something amazing happened in my brain... The PHP Super Best Friends Club! The guys loved it, and we started making plans immediately.

He goes on to talk about The League and some of the goals of the organization including the stated desire for quality code and a constant stream of work on the project (no abandoned or stale projects). He talks about how some of the rules for inclusion were created and some of the members of the various projects it includes. He then gets to the "recent misunderstanding" part of things with the clash of the League and the PHP-FIG (see here). He clears up some of the confusion in that thread by stating that:

  • League != PHPClasses
  • League != PEAR

He finishes off the post talking some about the leadership of the group (hint: it's an organization, not really run by a person or persons) and some of the work he's doing to ensure the future of the League and the packages it includes.

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Link: https://philsturgeon.uk/blog/2014/10/what-is-the-league-of-extraordinary-packages

Rob Allen:
Throw an exception when simplexml_load_string fails
September 09, 2014 @ 09:27:13

In a quick post to his site Rob Allen shares a class that he's created to handle and throw an exception any time that the load from a SimpleXML parsing fails.

I keep having to look up how to stop the warning that are emitted when simplexml_load_string & simplexml_load_file fail, so this time I've written the world's simplest little class to take care of it for me from now on.

His "Xml" class wraps around the SimpleXML functionality and checks to see if the resulting object is false. If it is, it uses some internal error handling to fetch the error message result and throws it as a "RuntimeException". This error string comes from a "getXMLErrorString" function that uses the libxml_get_errors function to get the resulting error list.

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Link: http://akrabat.com/php/throw-an-exception-when-simplexml_load_string-fails/

Amazon Web Services Blog:
End of Life of PEAR Channel
August 20, 2014 @ 11:14:18

If you're a user of the Amazon AWS Web Services SDK software and are using the PEAR channel for installing the tool, you'll need to check out this new post to the AWS blog about its retirement.

There's been a noticeable wave of popular PHP projects recently announcing that they will no longer support PEAR as an installation method. Because the AWS SDK for PHP provides a PEAR channel, we've been very interested in the discussion in the community on PEAR channel support. PEAR has been one of the many ways to install the AWS SDK for PHP since 2010. While it's served us well, better alternatives for installing PHP packages are now available (i.e., Composer) and literally all of the PEAR dependencies of the AWS SDK for PHP are no longer providing updates to their PEAR channels.

He goes through several of the major dependencies the AWS SDK has (like Phirum, PHPUnit and Guzzle) and how they've announced the retirement of their own PEAR channels. Updates to the AWS SDK PEAR channel will cease on September 15th, 2014 but will still be available for downloads of older versions of the library. He also links to the location of the latest Phar and Zip archives if you'd like to use those.

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Link: http://blogs.aws.amazon.com/php/post/TxFFMBZ80DA1OJ/End-of-Life-of-PEAR-Channel

PEAR Blog:
PEAR 1.9.5 is out
July 14, 2014 @ 11:09:24

The PEAR blog has posted a new announcement about the latest release of the PEAR PHP package manager, version 1.9.5.

The PEAR installer version 1.9.5 has been released today. The new version - three years after the last stable 1.9.4 and 2 weeks after the preview - is a bugfix only release. 13 bugs have been fixed.

Fixes include things dealing with broken Windows pathing and a change to report the correct php.ini setting for the installed XDebug.

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pear package manager release bugfix

Link: http://blog.pear.php.net/2014/07/12/pear-1-9-5/

Hannes Magnusson:
I have a dream
May 26, 2014 @ 09:23:54

In his latest post Hannes Magnusson describes his "dream" about a future for PHP where things like upgrading and working with extensions would be simpler, faster and more manageable.

Today we will revolutionize PHP. We will make it easier to upgrade the things you care about. We will make it easier to not upgrade things you don't want to upgrade. We will make it easier to distribute your extensions. We will make it easier to release according to your own schedule. We will make it easier to add functionality. We will make it easier to work. Ok, today is a white lie here maybe... I haven't actually implemented this, but bare with me here for a second.

With the introduction and huge growth of Composer, the PEAR package manager is fading in popularity and is slowly being abandoned. Unfortunately, it's still the primary mechanism for deploying and installing PHP extensions (PECL packages). He talks about some of his recent experience reviving a package and issues he had around the use of the packaging manager. He proposes the creation of a new "pecl install" tool - a package manager dedicated to PHP extensions, decoupled from PEAR.

The manager would just install basic PHP then leave it up to you to pick which features you need from there. The idea is still in its early stages, but the idea has taken roots and plans are being worked through to see if this idea will work for the future of the language.

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Link: http://bjori.blogspot.com/2014/05/i-have-dream.html


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