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Nikita Popov:
Internal value representation in PHP 7 - Part 2
June 22, 2015 @ 10:45:41

Nikita Popov has posted the second part of a series looking at how PHP 7 represents values internally. In the first part of the series the focus was on the major change from PHP 5: the zval updates and how they're allocated. This new post gets into more of the details on each of the types and how they're handled.

In the first part of this article, high level changes in the internal value representation between PHP 5 and PHP 7 were discussed. As a reminder, the main difference was that zvals are no longer individually allocated and don't store a reference count themselves. Simple values like integers or floats can be stored directly in a zval, while complex values are represented using a pointer to a separate structure.

[...] In the following the details of the individual complex types will be discussed and compared to the previous implementation in PHP 5. One of the complex types are references, which were already covered in the previous part. Another type that will not be covered here are resources, because I don't consider them to be interesting.

He goes through a few of the different types including strings and arrays and then gets into detail on how objects have changed from PHP 5 to PHP7. He also talks about "indirect zvals" (the IS_INDIRECT handling) that points to another zval instance rather than embedding it. Finally, he talks about two other constants, IS_CONSTANT and IN_CONSTANT_AST, and how they're used behind the scenes with some example code to illustrate.

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internal value variable representation php7 zval types string array object constant ast

Link: http://nikic.github.io/2015/06/19/Internal-value-representation-in-PHP-7-part-2.html

MyTechBuilder.com:
Optional Value Control-flows in PHP using Traits and Magic-methods
June 18, 2015 @ 09:44:02

The MyBuilderTech.com site has a new tutorial posted talking about the use of traits and magic methods for optional value handling.

Recently I have been interested in experimenting with different ways to handle optional values. Their are many examples that exist demonstrating the use of the Maybe/Optional structure within the PHP landscape. I would instead like to focus my attention on only looking into the concept of 'orElse', which I have found to be a prominent control-flow whilst using these types of value. Typically, in an imperative mind-set we are accustom to evaluating a value, and based on its existence - defined as falsely in this regard - follow a different course of action, and by-way result.

He gives an example of where a value is checked for null and something else happens when it is. This is a common practice in PHP development, but he's more interested in other ways of handling. The first of these ways is with traits. His example shows an "OrElse" trait that can be used to perform the same evaluation but does some extra magic based on the method name called (his example is "findByIdOrElse"). If the trait method isn't for you, he also offers another possible solution around the use of composition. In this case he uses the same trait but makes it a part of its own class that's then given the object to work with (his "repository").

The post ends with one more "bonus" method for handling optional values - a simple function ("_or") that evaluates the arguments given and returns the first that's "truthy".

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optional value control flow trait magicmethod function truthy

Link: http://tech.mybuilder.com/optional-value-control-flows-in-php-using-traits-and-magic-methods/

Nikita Popov:
Internal value representation in PHP 7 - Part 1
May 06, 2015 @ 08:12:27

Nikita Popov has a new post, the first part of a series, talking about the internal handling of variables in PHP7 and how it has changed from the current/past methods.

My last article described the improvements to the hashtable implementation that were introduced in PHP 7. This followup will take a look at the new representation of PHP values in general. Due to the amount of material to cover, the article is split in two parts: This part will describe how the zval (Zend value) implementation differs between PHP 5 and PHP 7, and also discuss the implementation of references. The second part will investigate the realization of individual types like strings or objects in more detail.

He starts with an introduction to the "zval" struct type and how it relates to the "zvalue" union. He goes on to talk about reference counting on zvals and some of the reasoning/desire to change how these are handled. Finally, he gets to the zval handling coming in PHP7 and the fundamental change in zval handling - they're no longer "individually heap-allocated and no longer store a refcount themselves". This change has several advantages and including improved refcount handling and less pointers involved in determining the actual value. He includes an example of how this new zval structure is defined in PHP7 compare to the previous version too. The remainder of the post looks at other related issues including memory management, supported types and a major change to how variable references are handled.

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internal value variable representation php7 zval zvalue memory reference

Link: http://nikic.github.io/2015/05/05/Internal-value-representation-in-PHP-7-part-1.html

Mathias Verraes:
Resolving Feature Envy in the Domain
August 12, 2014 @ 11:55:24

Mathias Verraes has a new post today about something he calls "feature envy" in the domain, related to this code smell (based on a definition from Martin Fowler).

Benjamin Eberlei did a really nice job of explaining refactoring the Feature Envy code smell on his blog. I wrote a comment because I felt the example could be taken one step further. You should read the original post. Below are Benjamin's code examples (for reference), followed by a repost of my comment.

The "smell" is defined as "a method that seems more interested in a class other than the one it's in". Mathias includes the code examples from the other post showing a datetime calculation and how it could be abstracted out to another class and method. He talks about the migration and how it relates to the "Whole Value" pattern and integrating some of the logic into a factory, generating a "reporting period" instance. He finishes the post with a brief look at an application of domain-driven design concepts to the problem, suggesting that the reporting be even more abstracted from the datetime data and using the "reporting period" object instead.

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Link: http://verraes.net/2014/08/resolving-feature-envy-in-the-domain/

Wojciech Sznapka:
Immutable value objects in PHP
May 16, 2014 @ 09:04:27

Wojciech Sznapka has a quick post to his site today looking at a possible implementation of Value Objects (immutable objects) in PHP applications.

Value objects are one of building blocks in Domain Driven Design. They represents a value and does not have an identity. That said, two value objects are equal if their values are equal. Other important feature is that Value Objects are immutable, i.e. they can not be modified after creation. [...] This post isn't about obvious advantages of representing domain logic with support of Value Object. As well, we wouldn't elaborate here about pros and cons of immutable objects. I'd rather would like to show an attempt to change Value Object.

His change method isn't so much a "change" as a "duplicate with new values" process. In his example he creates a EmailValueObject with "host" and "mailbox" properties. This object has a "changemailbox" method that seems to update the "mailbox" property, but in actuality clones the current object with a new "mailbox" value in the constructor.

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value object immutable clone change property

Link: http://blog.sznapka.pl/immutable-value-objects-in-php/

Federico Cargnelutti:
TDD Checking the return value of a Stub
April 16, 2014 @ 10:25:15

Federico Cargnelutti has a helpful post to his site today for the unit testing/TDD crowd about checking the retuned value from a stub of an object in your tests. He's using the built-in mocking framework here, not something like Mockery.

State verification is used to ensure that after a method is run, the returned value of the SUT is as expected. Of course, you may need to use Stubs on a test double or a real object to tell the object to return a value in response to a given message. [...] In PHP, for example, you dynamically type the return value within the body of the method. This means that PHP mocking libraries cannot check the type of the return value and provide guarantees about what is being verified. This leads to the awkward situation where a refactoring may change the SUT behaviour and leave a stub broken but with passing tests.

He gives an example of a few classes - a Presenter and Collaborator - and a test that mocks out the Collaborator instance, calling a "getStories" method on it. He shows a situation where all tests pass in the initial version, but after some changes to the return type, a test that should fail doesn't. His solution for the issue revolves around DocBlock annotations and the Return Value instead of the built-in mock object return method.

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tdd unittest return value stub passing test returnvalue mock

Link: http://blog.fedecarg.com/2014/04/15/checking-the-return-value-of-a-stub/

Joshua Thijssen:
Dynamic form modification in Symfony2
March 20, 2014 @ 09:42:16

Joshua Thijssen has a new post to his site looking at a way to dynamically modify forms in a Symfony2-based application. Form handling can be a bit tricky (especially with more complex elements), and modifying them on the fly can be even more difficult.

Sometimes (or actually, a lot of the time), handling forms will go beyond the basics. And even though symfony2 gives you out-of-the-box a really clean way of creating forms, it sometimes just isn't enough. Fortunately, you are not alone in writing forms, and many posts exists with information on how to handle complex forms. In this post, I will try and demonstrate how to create a dynamic form where you can select a city based on the chosen province.

His example lets the user pick their province and then populates the other select with cities in that area. He includes the code for the form to create these two selects and how to pull out the list of provinces to populate the first. He goes through each part of the example code explaining the methods, what they're doing and how a pre-submit event can be used to populate the second list.

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Link: https://www.adayinthelifeof.nl/2014/03/19/dynamic-form-modification-in-symfony2

Ross Tuck:
Persisting Value Objects in Doctrine
March 03, 2014 @ 10:11:29

Ross Tuck has submitted a new article he's posted about persisting value objects in the popular PHP database storage and object mapping library, Doctrine. Value objects are immutable objects that " follow value semantics rather than reference semantics".

I've been using more and more Value Objects in my applications over the last year, primarily with Doctrine ORM. Value Objects are an extremely powerful technique and I've been impressed with how much they can clean up a codebase. One of the main questions I've had when starting with Value Objects is how to persist them with Doctrine. This post attempts to create a reference for all the different persistence techniques I've seen so far.

You'll need to be familiar with Value Objects and Doctrine before starting (it's not an "intro to Doctrine" article). His example sets up an "IPRange" and an "IPAddress" that are stored in a "Server" instance. He talks about mapping the value object to the database and the getter/setter to do the work. He also touches on DBAL types, working with multiple columns in the entity and the "promised land" of embeddables. He finishes off the post looking at collections of entities and some of the other options to what he's shown (including serialization).

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Link: http://rosstuck.com/persisting-value-objects-in-doctrine/

Ulf Wendel:
PHP Memcache access to MySQL 5.7, faster? Redis?
December 13, 2013 @ 12:56:50

In a new post to his site Ulf Wendel shows an alternative use for the PHP Memcache functions - using them to query MySQL tables (InnoDB) in much the same way. He also tosses in Redis as another version to compare the performance against (for fetching key/value pairs).

PHP users can use two client protocols to query MySQL 5.6 and later. Not only standard SQL access but also faster key-value access to InnoDB tables is possible using the Memcache protocol. The MySQL benchmark team reports crazy figures. Of course, on hardware that makes the average PHP meetup visitor roll his eyes and say "yeah, Oracle, *yawn*". I've repeated my plain PHP benchmarks on an i3 desktop. And, I've added Redis to the game.

He goes through and compares a few different things with some simple benchmarks around operations per second:

  • MySQL 5.6 Memcache vs. MySQL 5.7 Memcache vs. Memcache vs. SQL
  • MySQL vs. Memcache vs. Redis

For each he's graphed out the results of the benchmarking with some surprising results for those that may thing MySQL isn't as suited as Redis for something like this.

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mysql redis innodb memcache benchmark key value

Link: http://blog.ulf-wendel.de/2013/using-phps-memcache-interface-to-query-mysql-5-7/

Mathias Verraes:
Value Objects and User Interfaces
November 18, 2013 @ 11:35:07

Mathias Verraes has a new post today with a response to an email he received about some comments on a recent Elephant in the Room podcast about Value Object usage. The question asks about usage of Value Objects, specifically when it comes to things like country information.

There's nothing intrinsically wrong with modeling countries as entities and storing them in the database. But in most cases, that overcomplicating things. Countries don't change often. When a country's name changes, it is in fact, for all practical purposes, a new country. If a country one day does not exist anymore, you can't simply change all addresses, because possibly the country was split into two countries. Whenever you have this kind of friction, there's usually some missing concept screaming to be discovered.

He talks some about the concepts around the "country" data and some of the functional concerns around it (duplicate checking, validation of existence, etc). He takes the concept and breaks it out into two different concepts - the actual Value Object of a single country and an "AvailableCountries" set (and "AvailableCountryRepository").

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value object country example registry set

Link: http://verraes.net/2013/11/value-objects-and-user-interfaces/


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