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PHPBuilder.com:
Creating Real Time Applications with PHP and WebSockets
July 29, 2014 @ 12:13:07

On PHPBuilder.com today there's a new tutorial introducing you to the combination of PHP and WebSockets to make real-time requests to fetch data in your application.

This article will explore the main PHP libraries used to create real time, bi-directional applications between clients and servers over WebSockets. WebSocket is full-duplex client/server communication over TCP. It is also a new feature available in browsers as a part of the HTML5 specs that allows JavaScript clients to open bi-directional socket connections to a server. [...] WebSocket connections are basically TCP socket connections that following the WebSocket rules to communicate. The WebSocket Protocol is an independent TCP-based protocol.

They introduce some of the basic concepts behind WebSockets (including an example URL) and show how to use the PHPWebSockets library to handle some sample requests. They also include some basic JavaScript to make the request to the backend PHP script and send or fetch content on the server. They also show you how to implement a simple chat server using a few other libraries like Ratchet, Elephpant.io and Socket.io.

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Link: http://www.phpbuilder.com/articles/application-architecture/optimization/creating-real-time-applications-with-php-and-websockets.html

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Paginating Real-Time Data with Cursor Based Pagination
July 11, 2014 @ 11:52:13

On the SitePoint PHP blog today a new tutorial has been posted introducing you to cursor-based pagination of real-time data, showing the results and allowing for easy click-through functionality.

Pagination is a technique for breaking large record sets into smaller portions called pages. As a developer, you should be familiar with implementing pagination, but implementing pagination for real time data can become tricky even for experienced developers. In this tutorial, we are going to discuss the practical use cases and solutions for real time data pagination and cursor based pagination.

He uses results from the Twitter and Facebook APIs in his examples, grabbing tweets matching the search term "php". He briefly explains some of the issues with real-time pagination and how it compares with standard pagination techniques. He uses the "after" and "before" functionality of each API to only pull the data needed, not the entire list of latest posts. This is added to a list in order and shown when the user view is refreshed. He includes the code for implementing the cursor-based handling and how to echo the results back out to a view.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/paginating-real-time-data-cursor-based-pagination/

Joshua Thijssen:
Realtime PHPUnit
February 05, 2014 @ 09:22:52

Joshua Thijssen has a new post to his site sharing an interesting tool for those using PHPUnit for testing. It's a real-time plugin that executes your tests as soon as something in your files change.

Not all IDEs (actually, i haven't seen even one IDE that does this), can run your unit-tests as soon as something changes. Inspired by Greg Young's Mighty Moose system, the following script runs inside a shell, will wait for changes in your PHP-files, and runs the corresponding unit-test as soon as something changes. It doesn't run the WHOLE unit-tests suite, but merely the test that matches up the source file.

His tool, found here on Github and uses a simple bash script that uses the file name being saved to locate the matching test and execute it, reporting back any errors that might have popped up. This could easily be hooked into most IDEs out there and keep the developer in one place.

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Link: https://www.adayinthelifeof.nl/2014/02/02/realtime-phpunit/

VilkomenJuist.nl:
Laravel 4 and NodeJs/Redis pub/sub realtime notifications
October 23, 2013 @ 11:48:36

On VilkomenJuist.nl there's a recent post showing you how to create a real-time notification system with PHP using Laravel, NodeJs and Redis.

Currently I am building an application where we can fill in live scores and I needed something to update all my visitors whenever a score has been updated by one of the admins. Whenever an admin updates the score via the Laravel 4 backend I fire an event and publish it to Redis. I've setup a simple NodeJS server which listens to Redis for incoming changes. NodeJS will redirect the message to all Socket.IO clients.

The post has all of the code and configuration you'll need to reproduce the setup. This includes the Laravel Redis config, code for the event handler and the Node server listening for the socket connection.

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Link: http://www.volkomenjuist.nl/blog/2013/10/20/laravel-4-and-nodejsredis-pubsub-realtime-notifications/

PHPMaster.com:
Using Facebook's Realtime Updates and Subscription API
August 19, 2013 @ 11:35:47

On PHPMaster.com there's a new tutorial showing you how to use the Facebook API and get real time subscription information and updates using this code as a base.

Facebook's real-time updates allow us to declare our interest in certain information about our users and have Facebook notify us when it changes instead of us continually querying the API. [...] There are of course other uses for real-time updates - and indeed we'll take a look at one in this article: an example application which emails people when others "unfriend" them. (Actually that's not strictly true - it tells you when someone is no longer your "friend" regardless of who did the unfriending.)

He helps you get everything you'll need installed (via Composer) including the Facebook SDK, PHPMailer for emails and Underscore for output handling. The sample interface uses a Slim-based structure (a PHP microframework) to make a callback URL that the Facebook application uses for it's real-time notifications. There's also an endpoint that's called when people allow the application access to their accounts, complete with the redirect URL. They show you how to handle the incoming JSON message from Facebook and how to create the email contents and send it out.

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Link: http://phpmaster.com/using-facebooks-realtime-updates-and-subscription-api

Saran Chamling:
Simple Chat Using WebSocket and PHP Socket
July 30, 2013 @ 10:38:41

While not a recent article, this post from Saran Chamling is definitely interesting. In it he shows you how to create a real-time chat by combining PHP and WebSockets.

The WebSocket is a feature of HTML5 for establishing a socket connections between a web browser and a server, once the connection has been established with the server, all WebSocket data (frames) are sent directly over a socket rather than usual HTTP response and requests, giving us much faster and persistent communication between a web browser and a server. Let's create a simple chat system using this cool technology (HTML5 WebSocket and PHP).

He includes all the code you'll need to get things up and running, starting from the WebSocket side. With a simple socket connection and some jQuery to control it, the system connects to the backend PHP script. The PHP script reads directly from the socket (using the socket_* functions) and binds to it, waiting for incoming requests. There's also some sample code showing how to work with the "handshake" between the WebSocket and PHP and how to respond. If you want something a bit easier to work with and more functional, consider checking out Ratchet, a WebSocket server for PHP.

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Link: http://www.saaraan.com/2013/05/chat-using-websocket-php-socket

Nomad PHP July 2013:
Corey Ballou - Creating Realtime Applications with PHP and Websockets
July 04, 2013 @ 13:19:26

The Nomad PHP virtual user group has announce the latest meeting - this time it's Corey Ballou presenting about realtime applications and WebSockets in July.

We'll start out with a brief introduction to WebSockets to get everyone up to speed before jumping in to high level scaffolding code of the frontend and backend implemetations (the spec). Once the groundwork has been laid, I'll introduce you to a both client and server side tools for implementing WebSockets directly in your PHP code. From here, we'll jump into multiple interactive demos of increasing complexity utilizing the open source Ratchet library. I'll walk through the source code of the first two intro demos to give you a better sense of how to structure your own WebSockets applications

If time allows, I'll run through a complex demo where I introduced WebSockets to an existing CRUD todo application. The last demo is not for the faint of heart. By the end of the presentation, you'll walk away with access to a github repository containing all of the presentation slides and demos ready to run yourself!

You can pick up your tickets for this meeting (happening July 25th) directly from the Nomad PHP site.

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Link: http://nomadphp.com/2013/06/06/july-2013/

James Morris:
A WebSockets, Ratchet, Silex and Redis PubSub Implementation
January 23, 2013 @ 12:09:33

James Morris has an interesting new post to his site about the creation of a real-time web service that could be used for iOS applications via Websockets. He chose Ratchet for the handling (a PHP-based websocket tool) combined with Redis and Silex.

I was approached by a betting/gambling development company who potentially needed a middleware building that would pull from an existing gambling web service and basically transmit to connected iPhone clients the changes from the web service. At first, the obvious answer might be to create another REST web service that the iPhone clients could just ping for changes. However, one of the devs explained that this wouldn't be fast enough, or scale - they'd need changes to be transmitted as soon as possible, as the app would be a real-time betting app and there'd be thousands of connections to the server.

His solution involved hooking together Ratchet, Redis, Silex and Predis-async to create this sample tool for handling the websocket requests. it uses the "pubsub" mechanism of Redis to push the updates out to listening clients.

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NetTuts.com:
Getting Real-Time with Pusher
October 05, 2011 @ 08:39:52

On NetTuts.com today there's a new tutorial showing you how to implement the Pusher service that gives you real-time messaging for your application. Their backend for the project is written in PHP using Pusher's library.

Do you want to spice up your web applications by making them real-time - but don't want to create new infrastructures for the sole purpose of getting web sockets to work? In this article, we'll explore how to use and implement Pusher, an HTML5 WebSocket-powered real-time messaging service for your applications.

Pusher uses HTML5 WebSockets to handle the messaging, so you'll need a browser that supports it to follow along with the tutorial. The Pusher API provides and endpoint for authorization and the push and pull of messages. In the tutorial, they create a simple chat application that gives a "Who's Online" and a window with the latest messages. You can download the full source (Javascript and PHP) here or view a demo here.

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realtime messaging pusher service websockets tutorial


Gonzalo Ayuso's Blog:
Real time monitoring PHP applications with websockets and node.js
May 09, 2011 @ 11:02:28

Gonzalo Ayuso has a new post to his blog today looking at a method you can use for real-time monitoring of your PHP applications with a combination of websockets and Node.js. The trick is to handle the PHP errors and send them over to a Node.js server for processing.

The inspection of the error logs is a common way to detect errors and bugs. We also can show errors on-screen within our developement server, or we even can use great tools like firePHP to show our PHP errors and warnings inside our firebug console. That's cool, but we only can see our session errors/warnings. If we want to see another's errors we need to inspect the error log. tail -f is our friend, but we need to surf against all the warnings of all sessions to see our desired ones. Because of that I want to build a tool to monitor my PHP applications in real-time.

The service will work similar to a chat server, sending messages one at a time to the remote server via a web client (HTML5-based) and some backend PHP. He includes all the code you'll need to create the HTTP and web socket server as well as the web client (with some Javascript) and some example server-side PHP. It throws an exception and catches it to send to the waiting Node.js server. A screencast is also included showing the full process. You can get the complete code for this example in this repository on Gonzalo's github account.

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