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Laravel News:
Improvements to the Laravel unique and exists validation rules
Oct 12, 2016 @ 09:36:42

On the Laravel News site there's a new post sharing some improvements with "unique" and "exists" validation that will be a part of the framework starting in version 5.3.18.

Validating requests in Laravel is simple with its ValidatesRequests trait that is automatically included through the BaseController.

It’s powerful and provides a lot of useful rules for common use cases. Two rules, exists() and unique(), are used to validate against data stored in your database. [...] The style of this is not the easiest to remember and it’s something you almost always have to consult the docs on.

Starting with Laravel v5.3.18 both of these rules have been simplified with an introduction of a new Rule class.

They include some code examples of using this new Rule class and how to use it right along side the current validation rule format for more complex validation needs. There's also a mention of an extra "bonus" that comes with the functionality: a conversion method for translating new rules back into strings.

tagged: laravel improvement unique exists validation rule

Link: https://laravel-news.com/2016/10/unique-and-exists-validation/

Matt Stauffer:
Image dimension validation rules in Laravel 5.3
Jul 26, 2016 @ 09:09:18

Continuing his series looking at the features coming in Laravel 5.3, Matt Stauffer has posted his latest article in the series covering some of the image validation rules that the update will include.

In Laravel 5.3, we have a new validation option: image dimensions for image uploads. The validation rule is called dimensions, and you can pass the following parameters to it: min_width, max_width, min_height, max_height, width, height and ratio.

This provides a simplified version of many of these checks you might have been doing manually in the past (and fits in with the Laravel validation structure). He gives a few examples of verifying images from a basic form submission. The validations are put on the "avatar" field and work much like the other validation definitions with the checks "stacked" and separated by the pipe character ("|").

tagged: laravel v53 feature image dimension validation rules

Link: https://mattstauffer.co/blog/image-dimension-validation-rules-in-laravel-5-3

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Drupal 8 Entity Validation and Typed Data Explained
Mar 30, 2016 @ 12:18:28

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted another in its series looking at Drupal 8 functionality today. In this latest post author Daniel Sipos looks at entity validation and typed data and what functionality the project provides over what was offered in previous versions (built on top of the Symfony validation component).

Data validation is a very important part of any application. Drupal 7 has a great Form API that can handle complex validation of submitted data, which can then be turned into entities. However, form level validation is problematic. [...] With the introduction of subsystems such as the REST API, Drupal 8 needed something better to handle this problem. [...] In this article, and its followup, we will explore the Drupal 8 Entity Validation API, see how it works, and how it can be extended.

He starts by looking at typed data and the consistency it provides in working with the metadata on objects. He includes a few examples of defining a string data type with a maximum length. He then applies this to content entities and enforcing the constraints provided by the types. In the next part of this series he'll look at the validation itself and how it works with these types/constraints.

tagged: drupal8 validation entity typed data tutorial introduction

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/drupal-8-entity-validation-and-typed-data-explained/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
More Tips for Defensive Programming in PHP
Jan 25, 2016 @ 12:07:48

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted a tutorial continuing on from some previous advice with even more defensive programming practices you can use in your PHP applications.

Many people argue against defensive programming, but this is often because of the types of methods they have seen espoused by some as defensive programming. Defensive programming should not be viewed as a way to avoid test driven development or as a way to simply compensate for failures and move on. [...] What are these methods, if not ways to anticipate that your program may fail, and either prevent those, or else ways in which to handle those failures appropriately?

They go on to talk about the ideas of "failing fast" when errors happen in your application with an extra suggestion added on - "fail loud" too. The tutorial then looks at four different places where more defensive programming techniques can be applied (and how):

  • Input validation
  • Preventing Accidental Assignment in Comparisons
  • Dealing with Try/Catch and Exceptions
  • Transactions

They end with a recommendation that, while you should fail fast and loud when issues come up, be sure it's not to the determent of the overall user experience or sharing messages with users that may just confuse them.

tagged: tutorial series defensive programming tips failfast input validation assignment trycatch transaction

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/more-tips-for-defensive-programming-in-php/

Matt Stauffer:
Form array validation in Laravel 5.2
Dec 17, 2015 @ 11:23:35

Matt Stauffer has kicked off a new series on his blog about some of the new features in Laravel 5.2 and how to use them effectively. In this first part of the series he looks at form array validation and using it on more complex form submissions.

Form array validation simplifies the process of validating the somewhat abnormal shape of data HTML forms pass in when the array syntax is used. If you're not familiar with it, a common use case is when you allow a user to add multiple instances of the same type on one form.

[...] But how do we validate this? Prior to 5.2, it's a bunch of manual work. Now, Laravel understands this nesting structure and can validate against it uniquely.

He compares the new validation handling with a standard validator (for a single text string) and shows how a "dot" (period) notation can be used to define the more complex rules. You can even use asterisks for wildcard making at any level. Definitely a nice addition to the validation handling in the framework.

tagged: form validation array laravel5.2 version wildcard complex tutorial series part1

Link: https://mattstauffer.co/blog/form-array-validation-in-laravel-5-2

How to Validate Data
Nov 10, 2015 @ 10:18:52

In this post to thePHP.cc site Sebastian Bergmann looks at validation data, both in the sense of user input and the contents of objects you're application is currently working with.

Validating data seems to be one of the most important tasks of an application. After all, you cannot trust data from external sources. So let us have a look at how to efficiently implement data validation.

He gives an example of a user profile with requirements on the data it should contain. He focuses on the email address property as it's one of the easier options to validate (or is it). He walks through the usual progression from controller injection to setter injection of the value but wonders when the validation should happen to keep the Profile object from becoming invalid. He points out that simply having a validate method perform the checks isn't enough as it may not always be called correctly, leading to potentially invalid objects. Instead he recommends an alternative - using a validator object/tool in the setters of your object instance as the values are set. This prevents the object from getting into an unknown state and provides immediate feedback to the developer when something's wrong.

tagged: data validation object recommendation setter business rules

Link: https://thephp.cc/news/2015/11/how-to-validate-data

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Validating your data with Respect Validation
Jul 20, 2015 @ 10:49:26

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted a tutorial showing you how to validate your data with Respect (well, their validation library) and ensure the data you're getting is exactly what you're expecting.

Validation is an important aspect of every application’s interaction with data. Instead of reinventing the wheel every time, the community collaborated on some useful packages like Symfony, Laravel, Zend, etc. In this article, we’re going to introduce a lesser known package called Respect Validation, which provides some nice new features.

He starts by mentioning some of the other popular validation packages used widely in the PHP community including the Symfony Validator and Laravel's Illuminate package. For each of these he shows code validating an email address, each with their own slight differences. Using this same example he shows how to implement it in the Respect library, first making use of their custom "email" validator class then via custom chained rules. He also shows how to set custom error messages and provides a more "real world" example with a simple Laravel application. His application takes in user data including username, password and credit card information and uses Respect's library to validate it via a full set of rules. He ends the post with a quick look at creating your own custom rule classes and how to "cross pollinate" them with Zend or Symfony validators.

tagged: respect validation library tutorial laravel example custom errormessage

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/validating-your-data-with-respect-validation/

Mattias Noback:
Refactoring the Cat API client (3 Part Series)
Jul 16, 2015 @ 11:25:54

Mattias Noback has posted a three part series of tutorial articles around the refactoring of a "CatApi" class. These articles take the class from a jumbled mess of functionality with both direct file access and remote requests mixed in into something much more maintainable and flexible.

t turned out, creating a video tutorial isn't working well for me. I really like writing, and speaking in public, but I'm not very happy about recording videos. I almost never watch videos myself as well, so... the video tutorial I was talking about won't be there. Sorry! To make it up with you, what follows is a series of blog posts, covering the same material as I intended to cover in the first episodes of the tutorial.

In part one he introduces the current state of the "CapApi" class and some of the problems with it, both in testing and in structure. He does some basic refactoring to split out some of the logic here and moves on to part two. In the second part of the series he focuses on refactoring the HTTP request and the local file system functionality into abstract, injectable objects. Finally in part three he adds in some verification around the data being passed back and forth between objects including both simple checking and the use of value objects.

tagged: refactor api class series part1 part2 part3 filesystem http request xml validation

Link: http://php-and-symfony.matthiasnoback.nl/2015/07/refactoring-the-cat-api-client-part-1/

Mathias Verraes:
Form, Command, and Model Validation
Feb 17, 2015 @ 12:34:38

In his new post Mathias Verraes talks about the separation of concerns that, in his opinion, should exist between form, command and model and the validation of each.

Many of the frameworks I’ve worked with, promise to separate responsibilities with MVC. In practice, the end up coupling everything to everything. The forms are coupled to the models, and there’s a grand unified validation layer. This may be convenient at first, but it breaks down for larger systems, and creates headaches when having to support multiple clients. My approach is to clearly separate the validation for the form itself, from the Command validation and the model validation.

He talks about each of the different types in turn, starting with Commands. He suggests that the validation should happen in Value Objects in the Commands, validation rules in Models and some client-side validation (backed up by backend checking, of course) via Javascript or HTML5 fields.

tagged: form command model validation separation concerns valueobject

Link: http://verraes.net/2015/02/form-command-model-validation/

Rob Allen:
SSL certificate verification on PHP 5.6
Dec 23, 2014 @ 12:15:41

Rob Allen has a quick tip posted today about SSL certificate verification in PHP 5.6 and things that need to be updated thanks to recent improvements in PHP's SSL handling.

I recently updated my local OS X Zend Server installation to PHP 5.6 and when I ran composer self-update, I got this error message: "The "https://getcomposer.org/version" file could not be downloaded: SSL operation failed" [...] Googling around, I finally worked out that there have been various SSL improvements in PHP 5.6 and that the problem was that it couldn't find any OpenSSL certificates on my system. This isn't a total surprise as OS X has been moving away from using OpenSSL internally in favour of its own libraries.

To resolve the issue he found where PHP was looking for certificates (using openssl_get_cert_locations) and how a quick "brew install" of the needed OpenSSL handling resolved the issue. Then, in the php.ini file a quick update to the "openssl.cafile" path points it to the right certificate.

tagged: certificate validation ssl openssl php56 tip fix

Link: http://akrabat.com/php/ssl-certificate-verification-on-php-5-6/