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Master Zend Framework:
Preparing Legacy Applications for PHP 7 with Phan
Sep 08, 2016 @ 12:07:42

The Master Zend Framework site has posted a new tutorial for those making the move in their legacy applications up to the world of PHP 7. In it Matthew Setter shows how to use phan, a static analysis tool, to locate issues that could cause breakage in the upgrade.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock these last 12 - 18 months, you will have heard about PHP 7; the latest version of PHP. Not only is it fast, by some reports it’s up to twice as fast as PHP 5.6, and far less memory hungry.

[...] Unfortunately, your application’s source code may not be 100% compatible with version 7. Upgrading may well leave you with a broken application and a set of unhappy customers. So before you go breaking your site in the interests of speed and being one of the cool kids, find out if your code’s compatible. How? By using a static code analyser, one which gives you all the changes you need to make on your code, so that you can upgrade with confidence.

He then shows how to install the Phan tool via Composer and execute it against your codebase. The result of his commands are a file that contains the issues found during the scan. If there are some "false positives" you'd like to ignore he also shows you how to create a config.php file with these and other values set to make it all more reusable.

tagged: php7 upgrade phan detect static analysis code tutorial

Link: http://www.masterzendframework.com/preparing-for-php7-with-phan/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Static analysis with PHPSA: PHP Smart Analyzer
Sep 08, 2016 @ 09:25:33

On the SitePoint PHP blog there's a post from Claudio Ribeiro introducing you to a new static analysis tool to help improve the quality of your code - PHP Static Analyzer, or "PHPSA" for short.

One requirement that never changes whether you are working on your projects alone or in a team, on small projects or big, is Code Quality. The bigger the project and the team, the harder it gets to maintain it.

A good way of slowing this increase in difficulty down is to use static analysis tools. Static analysis is the process of analyzing software without actually executing the program – a sort of automatic code review. Static analysis tools will detect common errors, enforce coding standards, and even clean up code blocks. The days of php -l filename are not over, but we now have a number of great tools that go the extra mile in helping us create and maintain high quality code.

They start with an example of using the tried and true "php -l" to lint an example PHP file but note that the yes/no answer it provides doesn't help give much feedback on the quality of the code, just its syntax. Enter PHPSA, a Composer-installable tool that does much more than lint checking. It also provides information about things like missing docblocks, function alias use and undefined property usage. they show an example of it in use on the command line, the results it provides and the changes made to the example class to fix the issues it found.

tagged: phpsa smart analyzer static analysis tool tutorial example

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/static-analysis-with-phpsa-php-smart-analyzer/

Sculpin Blog:
Deprecating Phar Distribution and Embedded Composer
Sep 02, 2016 @ 12:18:29

On the Sculpin blog Beau Simensen has posted an update about a change in how the project will be released in the future, most notably deprecating the phar release and switching to an embedded Composer installation.

If you are currently using a globally installed phar distribution for Sculpin you should migrate to a per-project Composer installed version of Sculpin as soon as you can. [...] Any plans for Sculpin 3 would have required reworking the phar build and distribution process

In typical programmer fashion, I let myself get bogged down in the details of eventually needing to deploy Sculpin 3 phar builds rather than working on Sculpin 3. What little time I had to spend on Sculpin last year was sunk on solving this problem. [...] The last officially available Sculpin phar is not compatible with PHP 7.

He talks about his earlier goals to make v3 of Sculpin PHP 7-only but, in the process of the work to get to that point, several roadblocks came up preventing it. He talks about self-updating phars and finally realizing that, for the good of the project, a move to the embedded Composer setup is the best method for keeping dependencies in sync. He ends the post with the steps you'll need to take to migrate from the phar release to the managed version and an example commit of how the Sculpin site itself was migrated.

tagged: sculpin static generator project phar embedded composer update

Link: https://blog.sculpin.io/2016/08/31/deprecating-phar-distribution-and-embedded-composer

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Sculpin Extended: Customizing Your Static Site Blog
Aug 19, 2016 @ 12:22:56

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new tutorial posted helping those Sculpin users out there get the most from their site with some helpful customization tips. Sculpin is a PHP-based static site generation tool that converts Mardon files and Twig templates into HTML documents ready for use.

If you’re a PHP developer and currently running a blog with a static site generator such as Octopress or Jekyll, wouldn’t it be great if you could use your primary language for it? Yes, it’s healthy for us developers to use more than one language, but let’s be honest – we often want to add some functionality to our blogs, but it’s difficult to accomplish in unfamiliar syntax. In this article, we’ll set up Sculpin, a static site generator for PHP. Just like any other static site generator, it uses markdown files and HTML templates to generate your blog, so the transition should be easy.

The tutorial starts by helping you get Sculpin installed (as a phar executable) and move it to where it's globally accessible. With that installed the article then helps you make a simple blog, customize some of the basic settings and start in on a new blog post. With that in place it then gets into the customization, adding in:

  • syntax highlighting
  • Disqus commenting
  • blog archive links

The post finishes up showing you how to deploy the resulting blog into a GitHub pages repository and pushing them out for public consumption.

tagged: sculpin extended tutorial static site github pages syntaxhighligh disquis archive

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/sculpin-extended-customizing-your-static-site-blog/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Can We Have Static Types in PHP without PHP 7 or HHVM?
Jul 26, 2016 @ 11:34:57

On the SitePoint PHP blog Younes Rafie asks the question "Can we have static types in PHP without PHP 7 or HHVM?" One of the main features introduced by both of these versions (or platforms) is the ability to type things strictly and enforce more correct data handling. Previously PHP has been a "lazy typing" language and would regularly shift the type of a variable depending on the immediate need. Obviously, this can lead to unpredictable behavior.

Now that PHP 7 has been out for a while with interesting features like error handling, null coalescing operator, scalar type declarations, etc., we often hear the people still stuck with PHP 5 saying it has a weak typing system, and that things quickly become unpredictable.

Even though this is partially true, PHP allows you to keep control of your application when you know what you’re doing.

They show how, through a series of examples, to add a bit of additional validation with exceptions to ensure the input is the correct type. However this can be a bit more time consuming and difficult to remember so the team at Box put together the augmented types extension that brings some of the static typing to PHP 5.x. They help you get it installed and working in your PHP installation and include an example of it in use with DocBlock-based type hints. The extension provides handling for the basic types as well as arrays, multiple arguments, default values and return types.

tagged: static types php7 hhvm extension augmented types tutorial

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/can-we-have-static-types-in-php-without-php-7-or-hhvm/

TutsPlus.com:
Drupal 8: Properly Injecting Dependencies Using DI
May 20, 2016 @ 09:23:41

On the TutsPlus.com site today there's a new tutorial posted for the Drupal-ers out there showing you the right way to inject dependencies in a Drupal 8 application.

As I am sure you know by now, dependency injection (DI) and the Symfony service container are important new development features of Drupal 8. However, even though they are starting to be better understood in the Drupal development community, there is still some lack of clarity about how exactly to inject services into Drupal 8 classes.

They start by talking about how most of the current examples just show the static injection of dependencies but that that's not the only way. The article shows how to inject other services into existing services via a simple change to the service definitions. They also talk about "non-service classes" and injecting values there as well (including controllers, forms and plugins).

tagged: drupal8 inject dependency container dynamic static tutorial

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/drupal-8-properly-injecting-dependencies-using-di--cms-26314

Tighten.co:
Introducing Jigsaw, a Static Site Generator for Laravel Developers
Apr 20, 2016 @ 13:33:40

On the Tighten.co blog there's a new post introducing Jigsaw, a static site generator for Laravel developers they've created in the course of their own work.

That's right, Tighten has created a Laravel-based static site generator named Jigsaw, and we think it's pretty great.

Before I write another line of this post, I want to address the looming question: Why create another static site generator? In PHP alone there are two, and since we soft-launched Jigsaw there's already been another Blade-based static site generator launched.

The first part of the article lists three reasons for making the tool, pointing out the ecosystem they used (different from others), the focus on Laravel developers and the easy transition from a Jigsaw site to a full Laravel one. From there the post talks about what Jigsaw is and how you can get started using it (installation and configuration guide included). It also includes examples of "first pages" to help you get started and the result. The post finishes with a look at variable handling, custom front matter values, deployment and how to convert the site from Jigsaw to Laravel should the need arise.

tagged: jigsaw static site generator laravel introduction installation tutorial

Link: http://blog.tighten.co/introducing-jigsaw-a-static-site-generator-for-laravel-developers

Matthew Weier O'Phinney:
Serve PSR-7 Middleware Via React
Apr 20, 2016 @ 12:07:56

Matthew Weier O'Phinney has a post to his site showing you how to combine PSR-7 request/response handling (his examples use Zend Expressive) with React and middleawre in your application.

I've been intending to play with React for some time, but, for one reason or another, kept putting it off. This past week, I carved some time finally to experiment with it, and, specifically, to determine if serving PSR-7 middleware was possible.

He starts with a brief introduction to React and what kind of functionality it brings to the table. He includes a bit of sample code showing it in use creating a basic HTTP server responding to any request with a simple "Hello World" message. He then starts on the React+PSR-7 integration, wrapping the request and response handling from one in the other to keep the expected responses the same. He also talks about serving up static files using the React+PSR-7 handling via a middleware on the Expressive side. Finally he shares the work he's done via a library to help make it easier to reuse in other situations. He shows the installation and usage of this library and sample requests you can use to test it out.

tagged: react psr7 request response example library handler static file tutorial

Link: https://mwop.net/blog/2016-04-17-react2psr7.html

Nginx.com:
Maximizing PHP 7 Performance with NGINX, Part I: Web Serving and Caching
Feb 29, 2016 @ 13:55:10

On the Nginx.com site they've posted the first part of a series showing you how to maximize your performance with PHP 7 and this already speedy web server.

PHP is the most popular way to create a server-side Web application, with roughly 80% market share. (ASP.net is a distant second, and Java an even more distant third.) [...] Now the PHP team is releasing a new version, PHP 7 – more than a decade after the introduction of PHP 5. During this time, usage of the web and the demands on websites have both increased exponentially.

[...] This blog post is the first in a two-part series about maximizing the performance of your websites that use PHP 7. Here we focus on upgrading to PHP 7, implementing open source NGINX or NGINX Plus as your web server software, rewriting URLs (necessary for requests to be handled properly), caching static files, and caching dynamic files (also called application caching or microcaching).

They start by looking at why "PHP hits a wall" in its execution in high load situations, stepping through the process it follows to handle each request. They also share some of the common ways PHP developers have combatted these issues including more hardware, better server software and multi-server setups. They then get into the actual tips themselves:

  • Tip 1. Upgrade to PHP 7
  • Tip 2. Choose Open Source NGINX or NGINX Plus
  • Tip 3. Convert Apache Configuration to NGINX Syntax
  • Tip 4. Implement Static File Caching
  • Tip 5. Implement Microcaching

For each tip there's a summary with more information on why they make the suggestion and, for some, how to make the transition happen. In the next part of the series they'll get into reverse proxy servers and a multi-server Nginx implementation to boost performance even more.

tagged: performance php7 nginx series part1 maximize tutorial static cache apache conversion

Link: https://www.nginx.com/blog/maximizing-php-7-performance-with-nginx-part-i-web-serving-and-caching/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Building an Spress Svbtle Theme – Responsive Static Blogs!
Feb 11, 2016 @ 12:47:11

On the SitePoint blog there's a tutorial posted showing you how to create a responsive site template in Spress, a static site generator written in PHP.

You may have heard of Sculpin – a static site generator for PHP. [...] While easy to use and fast to set up, Sculpin’s development has stagnated a bit and the documentation leaves much to be desired. Spress is, in a way, its spiritual successor. Much better documentation, much more flexible configuration, much easier to extend, and just as easy to use with almost the same API and commands.

He starts by helping you set up a basic site to work with on a Homestead Improved instance. Once that's up and running (including an install of Spress) he creates the simple site and starts in on the rebuild of the Svbtle theme. He briefly explains how Spress themes work and then includes the code/layouts you'll need to reproduce the theme. The post includes a screenshot of what the end result should look like in two different browser sizes (responsive, remember).

tagged: spress static site generator responsive theme svbtle tutorial

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/building-an-spress-svbtle-theme-responsive-static-blogs/