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Marc Morera:
Defeating Expression Language
May 18, 2015 @ 08:38:27

Marc Morera has a new post to his site wanting to help you defeat Symfony's expression language and perform the same functionality, just more on the code side (another option).

How beautiful Expression Language definitions are, right? I mean, inserting that complex expressions in a Dependency Injection configuration file is so nice and fast if you need to inject the result of a method in a service (one of the multiple examples we can see). [...] This is not a bad idea, really, but because we are engineers and we should have as much information as possible in order to be able to choose between the best option, always, I will show you another way of defining this piece of code.

He shows how to write some code using the Factory design pattern structure to reproduce a bit more complex piece of expression language. He shows the setup of the services.yml file to define the "managers" and classes/services to be injected. He also notes that this removes the need for the "symfony/expression-language" dependency and makes things more portable in the future.

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Link: http://mmoreram.com/blog/2015/05/18/defeating-expression-language/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Displaying Youtube Videos in PHP
May 14, 2015 @ 11:49:41

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new post today showing you how to display YouTube videos inside your application as a part of this series. The series is using Laravel as a framework to create the application.

In this two-part article, we're going to learn how to work with version 3 of the Youtube API and we'll build a demo along the way. [...] We're going to build a demo that lets the user browse popular videos on Youtube, search for a video, browse videos by categories, and select a video to watch. I will be using Laravel 5 as my framework of choice, and Vagrant for my development environment.

The end result will show a set of video thumbnails related to the selected category. He walks you through the steps to get the application set up and running including the configuration of your Google API connection. He creates a login controller to allow users to log in with their Google credentials and the callback to handle the API response. From there he makes the YouTube service provider, the "video list" endpoint (and view) and a single video page with an embedded player.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/displaying-youtube-videos-php/

Sameer Borate:
Integrating Googles new reCAPTCHA in PHP
December 17, 2014 @ 09:23:10

Recently Google announced their reCAPTCHA without a CAPTCHA technology to help make preventing automated systems (usually spammers) from causing issues in your applications. In this new post from Sameer Borate, he shows you how to implement this new kind of CAPTCHA in your PHP-based application.

For the past several years Google's reCAPTCHA has helped verify that a user is not a bot by forcing you to decipher warped text. reCAPTCHA's method of protecting websites from spam has always been a kind of burden on the end user who has to solve the captcha to prove that he is human and not a bot. [...] Google recently released a new captcha API called "No CAPTCHA" reCAPTCHA, which utilizes an Advanced Risk Analysis engine that is capable of discerning between users and bots. So instead of solving a jumbled box of text all a user has to do is check a box.

He walks you through the full process of the integration:

  • Signing up for an account/API keys
  • Rendering the HTML for the actual widget (using Google Javascript)
  • Validating the user's response via an API call
  • The PHP you'll need to perform the validation

He also briefly mentions some of the customization available and provides the code as a download so you can see it all working together.

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Link: http://www.codediesel.com/security/integrating-googles-new-nocaptcha-recaptcha-in-php/

Reddit.com:
Composer files being indexed by Google
December 10, 2014 @ 11:36:55

In an interesting thread on the /r/php subreddit on Reddit.com, a user noticed that Google is indexing Composer files that are in the document root of PHP applications. These files, like "composer.json" and "composer.lock" can provide detailed information about which packages and libraries are in use in the application (information disclosure).

The problem is that these files are placed in the web root of the application and not in a folder one level up, a recommended practice. The post links to a Google search that shows an example of current sites with the issue.

Another comment in the same post also reminds users not to have things like their ".git" files in the document root either as they can provide valuable information to would be attackers about your application's code. Things can be done to prevent direct access to these files in the web server configuration but it's far better to restructure the application to have them in a parent directory of the actual web root.

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Link: http://www.reddit.com/r/PHP/comments/2ourf7/composer_files_being_indexed_by_google/

Laravel Podcast:
Episode 19 - Join the Live Stream
November 05, 2014 @ 09:43:08

The Laravel.io podcast has made an announcement that today (Wednesday, Oct 5th) they will be doing a live stream of episode #19 at 2pm EST.

Tomorrow at 2:00 PM EST the latest Laravel.io Podcast will be aired live on Google Hangouts. Currently no topics are listed but you will be able to ask questions live on the air.

If you'd like to join in, head over to this page around 2pm and join in on the conversation. If you're interested in other back episodes of the show and want to listen, check out the podcast page and subscribe to their feed.

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Link: https://plus.google.com/events/clqi0dcpb07vs0qgiorjvd2fdis

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Using the Google Analytics API with PHP Logging In
October 02, 2014 @ 09:47:08

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new tutorial posted from Younes Rafie showing you how to use the Google Analytics API from PHP (part one of a series) using the Google PHP API client library to make the connection.

In this series, we're going to see how we can use the Google Analytics API to interact with our Google Analytics data via PHP. [...] In this article we're going to build an app that looks like Google Analytics Explorer, but to make it short, we're going to limit the functionality and discuss how we can extend our demo.

He starts with an overview of the different parts of the Google Analytics APIs including the metadata and real-time reporting systems. In the tutorial he'll be combining several of these to provide all the data needed. After walking you through the creation of a Google developer account, he starts in on the code. With credentials in hand and the library installed via Composer, he shows how to make the connection, check if it's logged in and makes a simple "home" controller that handles the login and OAuth validation process.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/using-google-analytics-api-php-logging/

Sameer Borate:
PHP applications on Google App Engine
April 17, 2014 @ 10:40:02

Sameer Borate has posted a guide to his site today showing you how to get started with PHP applications on the Google App Engine now that it natively supports it (well, mostly).

A couple of years back if you needed to run PHP on Google App Engine you were required to use a open source tool like Quercus, a 100% Java implementation of PHP, to run your PHP applications on the App Engine. However, as you would have guessed, it was not easy to work as with using a native PHP implementation. Now that App Engine natively supports PHP and MySQL, you can easily write PHP applications.

He walks you through the setup and configuration of the App Engine SDK to interact with the service and shows how to create a simple "Hello World" PHP application and deploy it. He talks some about the overall advantages of using the Google App Engine for your application including the scalability it offers and the secured infrastructure it runs on. He finishes the post looking at the different options for data storage and how sessions should be handled (hint: memcache).

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Link: http://www.codediesel.com/php/php-applications-on-google-app-engine/

Alison Gianotto:
Check User-Submitted URLs for Malware and Phishing in Your Application
April 07, 2014 @ 10:01:59

In her latest post Alison Gianotto looks at a few different ways that you can validate any URLs that your users might give you to ensure they're not anything malicious. She looks at two of the major services, the Google SafeBrowsing API and SURBLs, as well as mentioning a few others.

If you write software for the web that allows users to submit or share URLs (comment systems, mail clients, forums, URL shorteners, etc), you may find yourself in a position where you need to filter out malicious links. Fortunately, there are several free options for you to better protect your systems and your users against bad guys, and they're pretty simple to implement. (My examples are in PHP, but could easily be adapted to whatever language you prefer.)

She starts with an example call to the Google's SafeBrowsing service, making a curl call and parsing the result. The other service, SURBL, makes use of DNS validation calls complete with code examples. She also talks about Phishtank and VirusTotal as other options. She finishes the post with a few suggestions for working with the rate limit restrictions on these services, including things like only checking on click-through and ensuring failure is handled well.

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Link: http://www.snipe.net/2014/04/check-user-submitted-urls-for-malware-and-phishing-in-your-application

Community News:
phpBB Participates in the Google Summer of Code
March 13, 2014 @ 11:54:24

As is mentioned in this new post to the phpBB forums, the project is participating in the Google Summer of Code project this year. phpBB is one of the longest running, widely used open source PHP forums software.

With two years of participation under our belt, I am glad to announce that phpBB is once again taking part in the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) program this year. Google's Summer of Code program encourages students to get involved in free and open source software (F/OSS) by pairing them up with experienced mentors in popular F/OSS projects.

If you're interested in working on the phpBB project this year, check out their Ideas page for some examples of things they're wanting to work on. You'll need to be familiar with the git version control system to do the work and will need to apply to be considered for this year's event.

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Link: https://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=2231996

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Google App Engine and PHP Getting Started
November 26, 2013 @ 12:19:52

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new post from editor Bruno Skvorc showing you how to get started with the Google App Engine support for PHP, specifically through the PHPStorm IDE and it's built in support.

t's been a while since Google announced PHP support on Google App Engine. This article series will take you through all the necessary steps in getting your app up and running on GAE. For this tutorial, we'll be using PhpStorm which supports GAE projects out of the box, but you can use any IDE of your choice. Start by respecting the prerequisites for your platform. This is necessary because the Google App Engine SDK requires certain software to be runnable locally, namely Python which runs the "server".

He goes through the full process, all the way from registering a new application with the Google App Engine service out to configuring and testing a deployment through the IDE. Besides the PHPStorm-based deployment, there's also some brief mentions of how to do the deployment through a normal command line and through git (a push-to-deploy mechanism similar to what other PaaS providers use).

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/google-app-engine-php-getting-started/


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