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

Toptal.com:
Jumpstart Your PHP Testing with Codeception
May 26, 2016 @ 12:41:35

The Toptal.com blog has posted a new tutorial that wants to help you make the most of your application via testing. They show you how to use Codeception to create a set of tests to ensure your application is working as expected.

Before moving on to Codeception and PHP, we should cover the basics and start by explaining why we need testing in applications in the first place. Perhaps we could complete a project without wasting time on tests, at least this time?

Sure, you don’t need tests for everything; for example, when you want to build yet another homepage. [...] However, you definitely do need testing when: your team uses BDD/TDD, your Git repo contains more than a couple commits, [and] you are a proper professional, working on a serious project.

They start with a look at the kinds of things testing solves in your development process and the different kinds of tests you can create. From there they introduce Codeception, an alternative testing tool to the widely used PHPUnit. The tutorial helps you get it installed and shows you how to make a simple, first test. It helps you execute the test, debug issues that might pop up and the different assertions you can use. With the fundamentals in place, they move on to more details on using it for functional and unit testing.

tagged: jumpstart testing codeception tutorial functional unit

Link: https://www.toptal.com/php/php-testing-with-codeception

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Finding Differences in Images with PHP
May 26, 2016 @ 10:56:33

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted a new tutorial from author Christopher Pitt on an interesting topic that could come in very handy in the right situations: finding differences in images with PHP.

I recently stumbled across a fascinating question: how could I tell whether an image had changed significantly? As PHP developers, the most troublesome image problem we have to deal with is how to resize an upload with an acceptable loss of quality. In the end I discovered what many before me have – that this problem becomes relatively simple given the application of some fundamental mathematical principles.

He starts off by talking about images as "bitmaps", basically a collection of pixels composed in a grid. He also mentions images as sets of vectors, but in PHP the bitmap approach is simpler and more understandable. He includes some code showing the breakdown of an image into its RBG colors values and what the data represents. He then moves into measuring the distance "in three dimensions" with a bit of geometry and applies them to a simple State class. This class breaks down the image given into RBG details then, eventually, compares the other image based on the euclidean distance between the points on the original and the ones from the new image. He filters some of these results through a standard deviation view to weed out problems with almost identical images.

tagged: image difference evaluation tutorial gd similar euclideandistance standarddeviation

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/finding-differences-in-images-with-php/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Localizing Dates, Currency, and Numbers with Php-Intl
May 23, 2016 @ 12:52:32

On the SitePoint PHP blog Younes Rafie has continued his series about the PHP "Intl" extension for use in internationalizing an application. in this second part of the series he moves away from just strings and looks at using it for currencies and numbers.

The first part of this series was an introduction of the PHP Intl extension and of how to localize your application’s messages. In this part, we’re going to learn about localizing numbers, dates, calendars, and similar complex data.

The post is broken down into a few different sections, each with their own examples:

  • Localizing Decimals
  • Localizing Currencies
  • Timezones
  • Calendars

The "Intl" extension makes these operations relatively simple with plenty of built-in objects and methods to help with the translations between the formats. You can find out more about this extension in the PHP manual.

tagged: date currency localization number tutorial intl extension series part2

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/localizing-dates-currency-and-numbers-with-php-intl/

Freek Van der Herten:
Getting package statistics from Packagist
May 23, 2016 @ 10:18:07

In a post to his site Freek Van der Herten shows you how to gather information from the Packagist website about the number of times that your packages have been downloaded.

At my work I’m currently creating a new dashboard. That’s a fancy term for an html page sprinkled with some Vue magic that will be displayed on tv screen at the wall of our office. I won’t say much about the dashboard itself on this post, but I’ll make sure to write something on that in the near future.

One of the things I want to display on our dashboard is how many times our packages get downloaded (yeah it’s a vanity project, sorry about that :-)). To make this real easy our intern Jolita and I cooked up a new package called packagist-api. It uses the packagist api to fetch data about published packages.

They include an example of the package in use, fetching the list of packages for the "spatie" vendor and getting the details by package name. The results include more information than just the download count as well (including current version, maintainers and the basic description). The post ends with an example of filtering out the downloads counts and putting them into a collection for later use.

tagged: package statistics packagist library results tutorial

Link: https://murze.be/2016/05/getting-package-statistics-packagist/

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

Zsolt Szend:
Dynamic dependency injection
May 18, 2016 @ 13:32:25

In this new tutorial Zsolt Szende talks about dependency injection and how to handle objects and related needs at runtime rather than the pre-configured method that some injection containers/systems have defined.

In this short article I would like to demonstrate a way to inject dependencies that are not known until runtime. There are many use cases for this and in essence it is about choosing between concrete implementations of some common interface. In object oriented design this is known at the Strategy pattern. The choice itself can be made in various ways, for example via a configuration option or a command line parameter in case of a console command, and I think the dynamic nature of the choice is the most interesting part of the pattern.

The article provides a practical example of an XML/JSON reader pulling information from an external source. A simple interface is defined and two implementation classes put it to use. Then the "command" pattern is used to apply it to an executable script and how injecting a reader type directly overrides the one from the provided option. This is taken a step further and refactored into a "resolver" to determine the best logic to apply based on the input argument.

tagged: dynamic dependency injection xml json reader tutorial resolver

Link: http://pwm.github.io/dynamic-dependency-injection/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Localization Demystified: Php-Intl for Everyone
May 17, 2016 @ 09:44:39

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted a tutorial from Younes Rafie that wants to help demystify internationalization functionality in your PHP application...with the help from a handy extension, the intl extension.

Most applications perform locale aware operations like working with texts, dates, timezones, etc. The PHP Intl extension provides a good API for accessing the widely known ICU library’s functions.

He walks you through the installation of the extension if you don't have it already for both PHP 5 and PHP 7 (the second requires adding a custom apt-get repository). With that all installed and configured he starts in on the code to output a simple message with formatting using the MessageFormat functionality. His first example is in English but he also shows the difference between that and Arabic and Bengali and they're related output. He looks at a few other topics including pluralization, "choices" (different messages for different values) and more complex cases. He ends the post briefly looking at message parsing - extracting a value according to the provided format.

tagged: localization internationalization i18n messageformat intl extension tutorial

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/localization-demystified-understanding-php-intl/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
We’re Building a Marvel Catalog Reader! Avengers, Assemble!
May 16, 2016 @ 13:23:08

On the SitePoint PHP blog they've shared a tutorial covering the construction of a Marvel Catalog Reader that hooks in to the Marvel API for its data.

In this tutorial, we’re going to take a look at the Marvel API, a tool provided by Marvel for developers to get access to the 70-plus years of Marvel comics data. First, we’ll walk through the steps in which one can acquire the keys needed to make requests to the API. Then, we’ll look at the tools we can use to test out the API. Finally, we’re going to build a website that uses the API.

They start out on the API side of things, showing you how to sign up for an account, get your token information and include a note about using the API (rate limiting and referencing the source of the images). There's a mention and example of working with the interactive API documentation and the first part of the code you'll need to make the connection. They then get into the construction of the site itself using the Laravel framework and a simple caching command. This is used to store the results from a query made via a Guzzle client. The focus then shifts to the frontend where they create the HomeController and define both the main endpoint and two others: one for viewing a specific comic and the other for the character listing. The tutorial continues on showing you how to handle the (paginated) responses from each of the calls and push the results into a cache record. Finally, they create the matching views of the API query results and some example screenshots of the results.

tagged: marvel api tutorial laravel frontend cache reader guzzle

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/were-building-a-marvel-catalog-reader-avengers-assemble/

Gonzalo Ayuso:
Sharing authentication between socket.io and a PHP frontend
May 16, 2016 @ 10:56:30

In a post to his site Gonzalo Ayuso shows you how to combine authentication between Socket.io and a PHP frontend running a simple Silex-based application.

Normally, when I work with websockets, my stack is a socket.io server and a Silex frontend. Protect a PHP frontend with one kind of authentication of another is pretty straightforward. But if we want to use websockets, we need to set up another server and if we protect our frontend we need to protect our websocket server too.

If our frontend is node too (express for example), sharing authentication is more easy but at this time we we want to use two different servers (a node server and a PHP server). I’ve written about it too but today we`ll see another solution.

He sets up a simple Silex application with three routes - the root (/), a login route and a "private" one requiring a user to be logged in. This last route makes the connection to the websocket server in the template. This connection sends the current session ID to the backend where it's verified with a simple Socket.io middleware. Sometimes the session ID cookie will be set as HttpOnly so he provides an alternative for that: a new endpoint just for getting the current session ID for the websocket request.

tagged: socketio websocket server frontend sharing authentication session silex tutorial

Link: https://gonzalo123.com/2016/05/16/sharing-authentication-between-socket-io-and-a-php-frontend/

Rob Allen:
Filtering the PSR-7 body in middleware
May 16, 2016 @ 09:25:30

Rob Allen has a post to his site showing how you can filter the body content of your response in a PSR-7 compatible system via some simple middleware.

Sometimes, there's a requirement to alter the data in the Response's body after it has been created by your controller action. For example, we may want to ensure that our brand name is consistently capitalised. One way to do this is to create middleware that [uses str_ireplace to replace a string]. That's great, but what happens if the new string is shorter than the old one? For instance, suppose I want to replace all uses of "nineteen feet" with "19FT".

In his example, replacing that part of the content would result in an odd string because of how they'd be replaced in the stream. He shows how to use the in-memory handling of PHP's fopen to create a new content instance to push back into the response and back out to the waiting application.

tagged: psr7 middleware filter content strireplace stream fopen tutorial

Link: https://akrabat.com/filtering-the-psr-7-body-in-middleware/