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

SitePoint PHP Blog:
How to Search on Securely Encrypted Database Fields
Jun 02, 2017 @ 12:53:59

On the SitePoint PHP blog today they've reposted an article that was originally posted on the ParagonIE blog about searching encrypted information in database fields from author Scott Arciszewski.

This question shows up from time to time in open source encryption libraries’ bug trackers. This was one of the “weird problems” covered in my talk at B-Sides Orlando (titled Building Defensible Solutions to Weird Problems), and we’ve previously dedicated a small section to it in one of our white papers.

You know how to search database fields, but the question is, How do we securely encrypt database fields but still use these fields in search queries?

Our secure solution is rather straightforward, but the path between most teams asking that question and discovering our straightforward solution is fraught with peril: bad designs, academic research projects, misleading marketing, and poor threat modeling.

They start off with some of the examples of bad ways to perform the searching of encrypted information, mostly around either using poor encryption levels or custom created encryption solutions. With those out of the way, the tutorial moves on to their recommended method: using an authenticated encryption scheme (libsodium) and blind indexing. The key to the method is to use a secondary column for the actual searching process, encrypting the value provided and running the search against that, not the encrypted value itself. The article then covers two questions that need to be asked before putting this method to use. The article ends with a method to enhance the previous searching to allow for "fuzzier" searching through the generation of some additional index values in a joined table.

tagged: search security encryption database field tutorial libsodium

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/how-to-search-on-securely-encrypted-database-fields/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Taming the Snoo: Playing with the Reddit API
Feb 14, 2017 @ 11:56:58

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new tutorial posted by author Claudio Ribeiro looking at how to "tame the snoo" - using PHP to work with the Reddit API via an OAuth application.

Reddit is a social networking, entertainment, and news website where the content is almost exclusively submitted by users.

[...] Reddit also offers its own API. This way, we can use all the information available on Reddit to enrich our own websites or build our own Reddit clients. In this article, we will tackle some basic Reddit API usage with PHP.

The tutorial starts with a brief overview of the Reddit API and the functionality they're focusing on: the "search" method. Example URLs are included showing the searching of terms, pagination options, sorting and other restrictions. They then bring PHP into the mix, using the Guzzle HTTP library to create a basic "Searcher" class. They also use the Twig templating system to output the results (simple template included). Finally they show how to make the OAuth application on your Reddit account, pull in the "adoy/oauth2" package and the code to connect your service via OAuth to the Reddit API.

tagged: snoo reddit api tutorial guzzle twig search

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/taming-the-snoo-playing-with-the-reddit-api/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Build Your Own Dropbox Client with the Dropbox API
Nov 04, 2016 @ 09:36:55

On the SitePoint PHP blog there's a new tutorial posted by author Wern Ancheta showing you how to make your own DropBox client with the help of a bit of PHP and the DropBox API.

There are lots of file hosting solutions out there, but few things compare to Dropbox because of its simplicity, auto-sync feature, cross-platform support and other cool features.

As a PHP developer you can even take advantage of their API in order to create apps that use its full capabilities. In this article, you’ll learn how to build one such app to perform different operations in a user’s Dropbox account. You will be using the Dropbox API version 2 in this tutorial. If you want to follow along, you can clone the project from Github.

They start off by walking you through the creation of an application on the DropBox side (required to connect to the API) and how to get its credentials (complete with screenshots). With that set up they get into the application - a simple Laravel-based setup that lets you connect to your account and get information like current file lists, user info and even upload new files. The tutorial includes all of the code for the controllers, models, views, routes, etc. you'll need to make it all work. There's even search functionality letting you look through current files/folders and locate certain items.

tagged: dropbox client api tutorial laravel application upload search list crud

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/build-your-own-dropbox-client-with-the-dropbox-api/

Laravel News:
Learn how to use the TNTSearch driver with Laravel Scout
Oct 19, 2016 @ 11:52:50

On the Laravel News site there's a new tutorial posted showing you how to hook in the TNTSearch package with the Laravel Scout functionality replacing the default Algolia driver.

Laravel Scout provides a simple, driver-based solution for adding full-text search to your Eloquent models.

Out of the box, Laravel 5.3 ships with Algolia driver. However, we can easily write custom drivers; that’s exactly what TeamTnt has done by providing a TNTSearch driver for Laravel Scout.

The tutorial then walks you through getting the TNTSearch driver installed and integrated into your Laravel application (via Composer). They they show it in use on a sample database of film information and creating the related models. They show how to add in the "Searchable" trait for Scout, indexing the data and using the "search" method to locate matching results.

tagged: tntsearch driver scout laravel tutorial search

Link: https://laravel-news.com/2016/10/tntsearch-with-laravel-scout/

Laravel News:
Laravel Scout is now open for developer testing
Aug 16, 2016 @ 10:37:38

The Laravel News site has a new post with an update for those looking forward to trying out Laravel "Scout", the search handling to be released along side the next Laravel framework release. The post announces that Laravel Scout is now open for developer testing directly from the live repository.

Laravel Scout is a driver based full-text search for Eloquent that is going to be available when Laravel 5.3 launches.

The driver is not officially released yet, however, the repository is now live and available for those that want to play with more engines. Taylor said he would be working on docs this week in anticipation of the official 5.3 release and this first release should only be used in testing until it’s officially launched.

If you're interested in more details about Scout, check out this post from Matt Stauffer with details and code examples.

tagged: laravel scout developer testing search functionality

Link: https://laravel-news.com/2016/08/laravel-scout-is-now-open-for-developer-testing/

Peter Steenbergen:
How to use PHP solarium in a Laravel project
Jul 29, 2016 @ 10:22:09

In this post to his site Peter Steenbergen shows you how to integrate SOLR searching into your Laravel application via the PHP Solarium library.

This is my second blog in a series about SOLR with the PHP Solarium library. My first blog was about the usage of OR filters to create Multi-Select facets with SOLR. With this blog item I will show you how easy it is to implement the PHP Solarium library in the Laravel framework.

He starts off with a fresh Laravel install and configures it to connect to a local SOLR server (he assumes you already have one running at this point). The he installs the Solarium library through Composer and makes a new service provider to create the client and bind it to the dependency injection container (app). To test the connection he makes a basic controller with one endpoint and an injected version of the Solarium client. With this working, he introduces the code from his previous post allowing for multi-select facet searching to return matching results.

tagged: solarium laravel project introduction solr search multiselect facet

Link: http://petericebear.github.io/laravel-php-solarium-integration-20160725/

Scotch.io:
Implementing Smart Search with Laravel and Typeahead.js
Jul 14, 2016 @ 12:12:41

The Scotch.io blog has posted a tutorial combining Laravel and the Typeahead.js library to create a "smart search" in your application. Most of the tutorial centers around the Typeahead.js code though, so with a bit of tweaking it could sit on top of just about any framework out there.

In a big web application, like an online market or a social network, one of the most important parts of the app is the search functionality. Having a great search feature will help your users find the right content(users, products, articles) quickly and easily.

In this tutorial, we are going to learn, how to enhance your default search field in your site with real-time suggestions from the database. We will be using Laravel, jQuery and Typeahead (Bloodhound as the suggestion engine) to implement the smart search and Bootstrap for the styling. So, let's get started.

He starts off by introducing the Typeahead.js library and the Bloodhound suggestion engine. He shows the installation (either via Bower, standalone download or included from a CDN) and a simple template with a search form and other Javascript requirements included. The tutorial covers some of the options you can set, what kinds of datasets it can work with and templates to use for the results. Next up, he brings in a default Laravel project and a "search" endpoint that queries user data and returns a JSON dataset of the results. The two pieces are then finally tied together with a few updates to the Javascript already created.

tagged: smart search tutorial laravel typeaheadjs javascript bloodhound

Link: https://scotch.io/tutorials/implementing-smart-search-with-laravel-and-typeahead-js

Dotdev.co:
Writing advanced Eloquent search query filters
Jun 15, 2016 @ 11:10:04

In a new post from the Dotdev.co site there's a tutorial from Amo Chohan helping you write advanced search query filters for Eloquent in your Laravel application.

I recently needed to implement a search feature in an events management project I was building. What begun as a few simple options (searching by name, e-mail etc), turned into a pretty large set of parameters.

Today, I’ll go over the process I went through and how I built a flexible and scalable search system. For those of you who are eager to see the final code, head over to the Git repository to see the code.

He starts off by outlining what he'll be creating and where the need comes from for this more advanced filtering. He uses a company-wide calendar example with events and meetings/clients shown for all users. He defines the filters he knows he'll want to search by and the models relating to the data needed for those queries. He then spends the rest of the post going through the code needed to implement the filtering, starting with a rough (but working) version and refactoring from there. He moves away from the procedural method of applying filters to a query object directly and over to "applying" them more dynamically using a set of filter instances via a Decorator design pattern approach.

tagged: advanced eloquent filter search decorator apply refactor tutorial

Link: https://dotdev.co/writing-advanced-eloquent-search-query-filters-de8b6c2598db#.16sfoe3a8

Symfony Blog:
The New Symfony Documentation Search Engine
Apr 29, 2016 @ 10:49:27

In an effort to improve their "developer experience" (DX) around using the Symfony framework the development team has introduced new searching functionality to help more effectively find what you're looking for in the expansive Symfony documentation.

Symfony boasts one of the largest documentation pools ever written for an Open- Source project. Considering the ten different Symfony versions (from 2.0 to master) and including the code samples, Symfony Documentation has around 3.6 million words, more than three times the word count of the entire Harry Potter series.

They share some of the things they learned around creating a search engine ("it's hard") and what they ultimately ended up using - the Algolia service. The post talks about how they indexed the current documentation and broke it up into "chunks" of meaningful content. They also include the simple Javascript they use that links the search field to the Algolia service and renders the results using a view partial.

The proof of concept for the new search engine was a success and we decided to stop the ElasticSearch integration and stick with Algolia. The new search engine is greatly faster than the previous one and the search results are more accurate and relevant.
tagged: symfony documentation search engine new algolia service

Link: http://symfony.com/blog/the-new-symfony-documentation-search-engine

Cal Evans:
Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television…But Can Apparently Say In Code
Apr 01, 2016 @ 11:49:39

In a lighthearted post for this April Fool's Cal Evans has released some interesting research ("research" here is "searching on GitHub") for the statistics behind the use of profanity in code. (As you'd expect, there's profanity in the post, so don't read if you're offended by that).

The late great George Carlin had many awesome comedy skits. One of them – possibly his most famous – is “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television” from the comedy album “Class Clown”. In it he gives his list of seven words that – at the time – were inappropriate for over the air broadcast in the United States.

I thought it would be fun – if for no other reason than clickbait – to run the 7 dirty words against Github to see who is using what, and where. I took screenshots so that you can see each word and which languages use it the most. I also list PHP’s rating for each word out of the top 10 languages.

While I won't go into the list of actual words in this post, it's interesting to see which languages come out on top for certain words. In most cases PHP came in somewhere in the middle with a few exceptions either way.

tagged: profanity words code results search github ranking

Link: https://blog.calevans.com/2016/04/01/seven-words-you-can-never-say-on-television-but-can-apparently-say-in-code/