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

Building maintainable PHP apps using Composer
Apr 03, 2017 @ 12:14:02

The BugSnag blog has a post by guest author Graham Campbell sharing some best practices when using Composer in your PHP applications. It's written mainly for those that haven't used Composer much yet and want to get started quickly and easily.

Composer has made big waves in the PHP community in recent years. Thanks to Composer’s creators, Jordi Boggiano and Nils Adermann, Composer has become the absolute backbone of PHP’s package infrastructure today.

In this blog post, we shall be introducing Composer, from the ground up. We will see what packages are, how they should be versioned, and how to install them into your application. Learn about Composer and never look back!

He starts out by defining what a package is in the world of Composer and how it differs from a "library". He then briefly touches on the early days of the tool before showing how to get it installed and creating your first "composer.json" configuration file. He then gets into one of the more tricky subjects when dealing with Composer and packages - versioning. Finally he covers a few of his suggested best practices when using Composer including defining your own package installation constraints and how the autoloading works to your benefit.

tagged: composer bestpractices introduction configuration package library tool

Link: https://blog.bugsnag.com/best-practices-using-composer/

Zend Framework Blog:
Migrating to Expressive 2.0
Mar 14, 2017 @ 12:36:17

The Zend Framework blog has a tutorial they've posted showing you how to migrate up to Zend Expressive v2.0 from a v1.x application and some of the things that could break along the way.

Last week, we released Expressive 2. A new major version implies breaking changes, which often poses a problem when migrating. That said, we did a lot of work behind the scenes to try and ensure that migrations can happen without too much effort, including providing migration tools to ease the transition.

In this tutorial, we will detail migrating an existing Expressive application from version 1 to version 2.

Using this repository for a testbed, they walk through the steps for the update:

  • Creating a migration branch
  • Updating dependencies
  • using the zendframework/zend-expressive-tooling to aid in the migration
  • scanning your code to find possible breaking locations
  • moving over to the programmatic pipeline structure

They also include some bonus information covering self-invoking functions, the zend-config-aggregator and development mode. The post ends with the updates you'll need to make to middleware to implement the http-interop/http-middleware MiddlewareInterface.

tagged: zendframework zendexpressive v2 migration guide tool

Link: https://framework.zend.com/blog/2017-03-13-expressive-2-migration.html

Community News:
Exakat - Static analysis tools for PHP
Feb 27, 2017 @ 14:25:25

On the Exakat GitHub account Damien Seguy has put together a pretty complete list of static analyzers you can use for your PHP applications.

The list is broken down into the types of scanners:

  • Bugs finders
  • Coding standards
  • DIY
  • Fixers
  • Metrics
  • SaaS
  • Misc

Each section includes a good list of tools and links to each of them (usually just to other GitHub repositories but some go to actual project pages). There's a lot of them to look through but be careful to evaluate the current state of the project. Just because it's linked here doesn't mean it's a complete tool.

tagged: static scanner tool language bug standard metrics saas list

Link: https://github.com/exakat/php-static-analysis-tools

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Testing Frenzy – Can We BDD Test the Units?
Jan 30, 2017 @ 12:50:10

On the SitePoint PHP blog editor Bruno Skvorc has written up a tutorial about using the Peridot tool to do BDD style testing but on the units of code rather than the behavior of your integrated application (your business logic).

We’ve done our share of testing posts here at SitePoint, with more coming soon, but I wanted to show you a relatively new testing tool I found that caught my attention because of how unconventional it seemed.

Peridot is a BDD testing framework (so behavior driven testing) but for your units of code – not your business logic. Wait, what? Yes.

He gives an example of the test structure and how a similar kind of test would reduce down to assertions evaluating your units of code. He also includes an example of Peridot's human-friendly output for both passing and failing tests. He goes on to talk about the concurrency the tool allows, the feature to focus on/skip certain tests, use events and plugins, and output a code coverage report. Several more features are also discussed including custom scopes and the ability to define custom DSL definitions you might find easier to work with in your testing.

tagged: bdd test unittest peridot tool package tutorial introduction

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/testing-frenzy-can-we-bdd-test-the-units/

Master Zend Framework:
How To Generate Dependency Configuration's Easily with ConfigDumper
Jan 24, 2017 @ 13:45:26

The Master Zend Framework site has a new tutorial posted showing how to generate dependency configurations easily with the help of the ConfigDumper component is a Zend Framework based application.

Want to save time generating dependency configuration files for your Zend ServiceManager dependencies? In today's tutorial, I'll show you how, by using ConfigDumper, available in ServiceManager 3.2.0.

In the previous tutorial, we saw how to use FactoryCreator’s command-line tool, generate-factory-for-class, to quickly and easily create factories for classes.

In this, the follow-up tutorial, we’re going to see how to use generate-deps-for-config-factory, the command-line tool for ConfigDumper, to save time when generating dependency configuration files for use with our classes.

He starts by helping you get the correct version of the ServiceManager installed (3.2.0) and provides an overview of the generate-deps-for-config-factory tool. He moves on to a simple example using one of the included classes (the PingAction) and calls the generator with an example of the results. From there he includes a more complex example using the HomePageAction as its source. He points out that this tool doesn't work for every class and gives an example of a failure around a missing type hint. The post wraps up with a look at the ConfigAbstractFactory and how you can use the configurations that result from using the generation tool.

tagged: zendframework dependency configuration configdumper tool servicemanager tutorial

Link: http://www.masterzendframework.com/dependency-config-generation-with-configdumper/

Laravel News:
Checking the Code Complexity of your App
Jan 11, 2017 @ 11:52:58

On the Laravel News site there's an article posted showing you how to determine the complexity of your application using the phploc tool from Sebastian Bergmann.

Yesterday, Taylor made a post comparing the code complexity between Laravel and other frameworks. The tool he used to generate these reports is called phploc and it’s very easy to run on your own code base.

I decided as a means of comparison I would run that on the codebase for this site and just see what the results are.

The tutorial walks you through the installation of the tool (as a globally installed Composer package), how to execute it and what the results look like. These results include a lot of data including:

  • Average Class Length
  • Average Complexity per LLOC
  • (Use of) Global Constants
  • (Number of) Namespaces

phploc is useful for getting the overall numbers but he wanted something a bit more specific. For that he chose the PhpMetrics package that allows for deeper introspection into files and classes in your code to locate the complexity and find spots for refactoring.

tagged: code complexity tool phploc phpmetrics example composer tutorial

Link: https://laravel-news.com/code-complexity-tools

Derick Rethans:
Good Bye PHP 5
Jan 11, 2017 @ 10:13:53

On his site Derick Rethans has posted an announcement about a major change in the Xdebug project (a widely used PHP debugger) he leads, saying goodby to PHP 5.

A few days ago I merged a patch into on GitHub. Maintaining PHP 5 and PHP 7 support in one code base is not particularly easy, and even more complicated for something like Xdebug, with its deep interactions with PHP's internals.

As PHP 5.6's active support has ended on December 31st, I also felt it no longer needed to support PHP 5 with Xdebug any more. It saves more than 5000 lines of code.

He shares some of the responses to the change (via Tweets) from the community ranging from full support to outcry over the change. He points out that the current version of Xdebug (2.5) will continue to operate on PHP 5 systems but when Xdebug 2.6 rolls around, the 2.5 branch will only receive bugfixes and no new features. You can find out about those upcoming features here.

tagged: xdebug debugging tool php7 php5 upgrade support

Link: https://derickrethans.nl/xdebug-php5.html

Laravel News:
Laravel Dusk Is Coming to Laravel 5.4
Dec 28, 2016 @ 09:53:48

On the Laravel News site there's an announcement posted about a new tool coming to the Laravel ecosystem - Laravel Dusk. Dusk is a browser testing tool that makes it easier to test Laravel-based Javascript-heavy applications.

When you write end-to-end tests, Laravel provides a set of useful helper methods which make it easy to click a link, fill an input field, or submit a form. Under the hood, Laravel uses the Symfony BrowserKit component to simulate the behavior of the web browser. However, if your app uses JavaScript and AJAX to load the page, BrowserKit will not work for you.

Laravel Dusk is a new tool that will be introduced in Laravel 5.4 to solve this problem.

The post goes on to talk about the tool and what kind of functionality powers it - a combination of ChromeDriver and the Facebook PHP-Webdriver packages. The testing process is claimed to be faster than normal Selenium tests and feels more "natural" than BrowserKit testing. Dusk will save screenshots of failures automatically and comes with helper methods, multiple window support and a Dusk-specific environment file.

tagged: laravel dusk browser testing chromedriver webdriver tool ecosystem

Link: https://laravel-news.com/laravel-dusk-is-coming

Leonid Mamchenkov:
Quick and easy introduction into PHP Mess Detector (PHPMD)
Dec 13, 2016 @ 10:07:54

Leonid Mamchenkov has posted a "quick and easy introduction" to PHPMD, the "PHP mess detector" tool. PHPMD automatically scans your code looking for potential issues including "suboptimal code, overcomplicated expressions and unused parameters, methods, properties".

PHP Mess Detector is yet another one of those tools that help to keep the code base manageable and clean. Here is how you can jump right in. It’s super easy. It only takes 6 steps.

He gives an example of it in use on a CakePHP plugin showing the process to install, execute and view the report it provides. He looks in detail at one of the issues it found, an unused local variable, and how he fixed the issue and pushed the result back to the main repository. He finishes up with some suggestions about ways to run the tool, integrating it into your automated workflow and using it on other Open Source projects to find "low hanging" issues to fix and contribute back.

tagged: phpmd mess detector tool automation introduction tutorial code quality

Link: http://mamchenkov.net/wordpress/2016/12/12/quick-and-easy-introduction-into-php-mess-detector-phpmd/

PHPStan: Find Bugs In Your Code Without Writing Tests!
Dec 05, 2016 @ 13:25:38

In this post on Medium.com Ond?ej Mirtes introduces a tool that can be use to statically analyze your PHP application and locate bugs without the need for tests - PHPStan.

Keeping up with modern PHP practices leads to codebases where we can be sure about types of a lot of data, converging with statically typed languages, although the dynamic nature is still present. Modern PHP codebases are similar to the ones in languages people make much less fun of. Object-oriented code, dependency injection and usage of established design patterns are truly common nowadays.

Which led me to the idea of a static analysis tool for PHP that would substitute the role of the compiler from other languages. I’ve spent a lot of time working on it and I’ve been employing its various development versions checking our codebase for more than a year.

It’s called PHPStan, it’s open-source and free to use.

The post goes on to talk about some of the checks that PHPStan performs (with more information available in the project's README). He also talks about the performance of the tool, how to extend it and configuring it for "strictness". He ends the post by pointing out that, despite the title of the article, he still encourages writing tests, just making sure they're "meaningful ones" that test more than just syntax.

tagged: phpstan static analysis tool tests evaluation

Link: https://medium.com/@ondrejmirtes/phpstan-2939cd0ad0e3#.23491arlh