Bruno ŠkvorcCan Great Apps Be Written in PHP – An Interview Series (12.4.2014, 18:00 UTC)

I read an old post, circa 2010, on the MailChimp blog a little while ago, about their experience using PHP.

It struck a chord with me, because the sentiments they shared I’ve felt myself, and heard echoed many times over the years. What are these sentiments, you may ask?

They’re the ones which infer that PHP, despite all its successes, really isn’t a true programming language. They’re the ones which intimate that, no matter how good you are, no matter what you’ve achieved, if you’re a PHP programmer, well, you’re really not a true developer, yet.

They’re the ones which suggest, or is that presuppose, that you should really become one of the cool kids developing in Ruby, Python, or Go; basically anything other than PHP. After all, what can you really do with PHP, right?

Continue reading %Can Great Apps Be Written in PHP – An Interview Series%

Link
Bruno ŠkvorcGetting Started with Assetic (11.4.2014, 17:00 UTC)

There was a time when asset management meant little more than inserting a tag or two and a couple of <script> tags into your HTML.

Nowadays, though, that approach just won’t cut it. There’s performance, for one thing. Assets are a significant performance drain both in terms of file size and the number of HTTP requests - optimizing both has become an essential part of the development process. This has been exacerbated by the proliferation of mobile devices.

Also, as client-side applications have become more and more sophisticated, managing dependencies amongst scripts and libraries has become increasingly complex.

Furthermore, technologies such as Less, Compass and Coffeescript require assets to be compiled, adding yet another step to the process of managing assets.

In this article I’m going to look at a PHP package called Assetic which helps manage, compile and optimize assets such as scripts, stylesheets and images.

Continue reading %Getting Started with Assetic%

Link
PHP: Hypertext PreprocessorPHP 5.6.0beta1 released (11.4.2014, 00:00 UTC)
The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 5.6.0beta1. This release adds new features and fixes bugs and marks the feature freeze for the PHP 5.6.0 release. All users of PHP are encouraged to test this version carefully, and report any bugs in the bug tracking system. THIS IS A DEVELOPMENT PREVIEW - DO NOT USE IT IN PRODUCTION! PHP 5.6.0beta1 comes with a number of new features, including: A new method called fread() to the SplFileObject classA new static method called createFromMutable() to the DateTimeImmutable classA new function called hash_equals()Support for marks to the PCRE extensionSupport for asynchronous connections and queries to the Pgsql extensionFor more information about the new features you can check out the work-in-progress documentation or you can read the full list of changes in the NEWS file contained in the release archive. For source downloads of PHP 5.6.0beta1 please visit the download page. Windows binaries can be found on windows.php.net/qa/. Our second beta should show up on the 24th of April. Thank you for helping us make PHP better.
Link
Ulf WendelPHP mysqlnd memory optimizations: from 49MB to 2MB (10.4.2014, 18:58 UTC)

Inspired by Antony, Andrey has implemented a memory optimization for the PHP mysqlnd library. Depending on your usage pattern and the actual query, memory used for result sets is less and free’d earlier to be reused by the PHP engine. In other cases, the optimization will consume about the same or even more memory. The additional choice is currently available with mysqli only.

From the network line into your script

Many wheels start spinning when mysqli_query() is called. All the PHP MySQL APIs/extensions (mysqli, PDO_MySQL, mysql) use a client library that handles the networking details and provides a C API to the C extensions. Any recent PHP will default to use the mysqlnd library. The library speaks the MySQL Client Server protocol and handles the communication with the MySQL server. The actions behind a users mysqli_query() are sketched below.

The memory story begins in the C world when mysqlnd fetches query results from MySQL. It ends with passing those results to the PHP.

PHP script mysqli extension/API mysqlnd library MySQL
*.php *.c
mysqli_query()  
  PHP_FUNCTION(mysqli_query)  
  MYSQLND_METHOD(query)  
  simple_command(COM_QUERY)  
  COM_QUERY
  store_result()  
  return result set  

The new memory optimization is for buffered result sets as you get them from mysqli_query() or a sequence of mysqli_real_query(), mysqli_store_result(). With a buffered result set, a client fetches all query results into a local buffer as soon as they become available from MySQL. In most cases, this is the desired behaviour. The network line with MySQL becomes ready for a new command quickly. And, the hard to scale servers is offloaded from the duty to keep all results in memory until a potentially slow client has fetched and released them.

The result buffering happens first at the C level inside the mysqlnd library. The buffer holds zvals. A zval is internal presentation structure for a plain PHP variable. Hence, think of the mysqlnd result buffer as a list of anonymous PHP variables.

PHP script mysqli extension/API mysqlnd library MySQL
*.php *.c
  store_result()  
  Buffer with zvals (MYSQLND_PACKET_ROW),
think: PHP variables
 

The default: reference and copy-on-write

When results are to be fetched from the mysqlnd internal buffers to a PHP script, the default behaviour of mysqlnd is to reference the internal buffer from the PHP script. When code like $rows = mysqli_fetch_all($res) is executed, first $rows gets created. Then, mysqlnd makes $rows reference the mysqlnd internal result buffers. MySQL results are not copied initially. Result set data is kept only once in memory.

PHP script mysqli extension/API mysqlnd library MySQL
*.php *.c
  store_result()  
  Buffer with zvals (

Truncated by Planet PHP, read more at the original (another 16365 bytes)

Link
Bruno ŠkvorcHow to Speed Up Your App’s API Consumption (10.4.2014, 16:00 UTC)

In the process of creating a PHP application you may come to a point when keeping it isolated from remote resources or services may become a barrier in its development. To move along with the project you may employ different API services to fetch remote data, connect with user accounts on other websites or transform resources shared by your application.

The ProgrammableWeb website states that there are currently more than ten thousand APIs available all over the web so you’d probably find a lot of services that can be used to extend your PHP app’s functionality. But using APIs in an incorrect way can quickly lead to performance issues and lengthen the execution time of your script. If you’re looking for a way to avoid it, consider implementing some of the solutions described in the article.

Continue reading %How to Speed Up Your App’s API Consumption%

Link
PHP ClassesOpenSSL Serious Security Bug: Does it Affect Your PHP sites? (10.4.2014, 09:39 UTC)
By Manuel Lemos
Just a few days ago it was publicly announced a serious security bug called Heartbleed that affects secure sites based on the OpenSSL library.

Read this article to learn more about this security problem, how to test if your Web server or SSH server is vulnerable, how it may affect your PHP sites, what you should do to fix the problem.
Link
Bruno ŠkvorcIntroduction to JadePHP (9.4.2014, 17:32 UTC)

There are dozens of templating engines out there, with options such as Smarty, Twig (used in the upcoming version of Drupal) and Blade (the default for Laravel) among the best known - as well as vanilla PHP, of course. Stepping away from PHP specifically, eRuby / ERB and Haml for Ruby / Ruby on Rails, and Javascript has scores of popular choices including Mustache, Handlebars, Hogan and EJS. Some have subtly different syntax, some more markedly so.

One which differs quite significantly from most is Jade, an engine usually associated with Javascript applications - it’s supported out-of-the-box by Express for Node.js, for example. It’s Jade I’m going to look at in this article; or more specifically the PHP port JadePHP.

Haml and Jade

It would be remiss to talk about Jade without mentioning Haml, from which Jade takes its inspiration - and indeed there are several libraries for using Haml with PHP. Jade shares its overall philosophy, which is to make templating “beautiful” and use what the authors describe as templating “haiku”. Whatever that actually means, there’s no denying Haml and Jade do share some characteristics which make them fundamentally different to most templating languages.

What’s the Difference?

Most templating engines involve writing the target markup and “injecting” it with placeholders and / or basic logic - a superset, in a sense. Jade still has placeholders and logic, but also provides a shorthand for writing XML-like elements. Generally that means HTML, although you can also use it for things like RSS as well as XML itself.

In fact if you wanted to, you could just use Jade as a shorthand for HTML without taking advantage of its more “traditional” templating features.

How to use the Repository

Rather frustratingly, the code is not currently available via Composer - although it should be a simple enough task to package it up, if anyone has an hour or two. You can get it to to work, however, by cloning the repository and include‘ing or require‘ing the included autoload.php.dist (the Github repository includes Symfony’s UniversalClassLoader).

Here’s an example, adapted from the one in the project’s README, which assumes that the repository has been downloaded into a directory called jade:

require('./jade/autoload.php.dist');

use Everzet\Jade\Dumper\PHPDumper,
        Everzet\Jade\Visitor\AutotagsVisitor,
        Everzet\Jade\Filter\JavaScriptFilter,
        Everzet\Jade\Filter\CDATAFilter,
        Everzet\Jade\Filter\PHPFilter,
        Everzet\Jade\Filter\CSSFilter,
        Everzet\Jade\Parser,
        Everzet\Jade\Lexer\Lexer,
        Everzet\Jade\Jade;

$dumper = new PHPDumper();
$dumper->registerVisitor('tag', new AutotagsVisitor());
$dumper->registerFilter('javascript', new JavaScriptFilter());
$dumper->registerFilter('cdata', new CDATAFilter());
$dumper->registerFilter('php', new PHPFilter());
$dumper->registerFilter('style', new CSSFilter());

// Initialize parser & Jade
$parser = new Parser(new Lexer());
$jade   = new Jade($parser, $dumper);

$template = __DIR__ . '/template.jade';

// Parse a template (both string & file containers)
echo $jade->render($template);

This will compile the file template.jade and echo its contents.

Where you actually use this depends on your workflow, whether you’re using a framework, and so on. You could, perhaps, use a service such as Watchman, Guard or Resource Watcher to watch the filesystem for changes to your Jade templates, and compile them at the appropriate time during the development process.

Continue reading %Introduction to JadePHP%

Link
Derick RethansCursors and the Aggregation Framework (9.4.2014, 08:29 UTC)

Cursors and the Aggregation Framework

With MongoDB 2.6 released, the PHP driver for MongoDB has also seen many updates to support the features in the new MongoDB release. In this series of articles, I will illustrate some of those.

In this article, I will introduce command cursors and demonstrate how they can be applied to aggregations. I previously wrote about the Aggregation Framework last year, but since then it has received a lot of updates and improvements. One of those improvements relates to how the Aggregation Framework (A/F) returns results. Before MongoDB 2.6, the A/F could only return one document, with all the results stored under the results key:

<?php $m = new MongoClient;
$c = $m-?>demo->cities;

$pipeline = [
     [ '$group' => [
          '_id' => '$country_code',
          'timezones' => [ '$addToSet' => '$timezone' ]
     ] ],
     [ '$sort' => [ '_id' => 1 ] ],
];

$r = $c->aggregate( $pipeline );
var_dump( $r['result'] );
?>

This code would output something like:

array(242) {
  [0] =>
  array(2) {
     '_id' => string(2) "AD"
     'timezones' => array(1) { [0] => string(14) "Europe/Andorra" }
  }
  [1] =>
  array(2) {
     '_id' => string(2) "AE"
     'timezones' => array(1) { [0] => string(10) "Asia/Dubai" }
  }
  [2] =>
  array(2) {
     '_id' => string(2) "AF"
     'timezones' => array(1) { [0] => string(10) "Asia/Kabul" }
  }
  …

MongoCollection::aggregate() is implemented under the hood as a database command. The method in the PHP driver merely wraps this, but you can also call A/F through the MongoDB::command() method:

<?php $m = new MongoClient;
$d = $m-?>demo;

$pipeline = [
     [ '$group' => [
          '_id' => '$country_code',
          'timezones' => [ '$addToSet' => '$timezone' ]
     ] ],
     [ '$sort' => [ '_id' => 1 ] ],
];

$r = $d->command( [
     'aggregate' => 'cities',
     'pipeline' => $pipeline,
] );
var_dump( $r['result'] );
?>

Because a database command only returns one document, the result is limited to a maximum of 16MB. This is not a problem for my example, but it can can certainly be a limiting factor for other A/F queries.

MongoDB 2.6 adds support for returning a cursor for an aggregation command. With the raw command interface, you simply add the extra cursor element:

$r = $d->command( [
     'aggregate' => 'cities',
     'pipeline' => $pipeline,
     'cursor' => [ 'batchSize' => 1 ],
] );
var_dump( $r );

Instead of a document with all results inline, you get a cursor definition back:

array(2) {
  'cursor' =>
  array(3) {
     'id' => class MongoInt64#5 (1) {
          public $value => string(12) "392201189815"
     }
     'ns' => string(11) "demo.cities"
     'firstBatch' => array(1) {
       [0] =>
       array(2) {
          '_id' => string(2) "AD"
          'timezones' => array(1) { [0] => string(14) "Europe/Andorra" }
       }
     }
  }
  'ok' => double(1)
}

The cursor definition contains the cursor ID (in id), the namespace (ns), and whether the command succeeded (in ok). The definition also a portion of the results. The number of items in firstBatch is configured by the value given to batchSize in the command.

To create a cursor that you can iterate over in PHP, you need to convert this cursor definition to a MongoCommandCursor object. You can do that with the MongoCommandCursor::createFromDocument() factory method. This factory method takes three arguments: the MongoClient object ($m in my example), the connection hash, and the cursor definition that was returned. The hash is required so that we can fetch new results from the same connection that executed the original command.

To obtain the connection hash, we need to include a by-ref variable as the third argument to MongoCollection::command():

<?php $m = new MongoClient;
$d = $m-?>demo;

$pipeline = [
     [ '$group' => [
          '_id' => '$country_code',
          'timezones' => [ '$addToSet' => '$timezone' ]
     ] ],
     [ '$sort' => [ '_id' => 1 ] ],
];

$r = $d->command(
     [
          'aggregate' 

Truncated by Planet PHP, read more at the original (another 2607 bytes)

Link
Liip My HHVM talk slides from yesterday's Webtuesday (9.4.2014, 06:39 UTC)

Yesterday I gave a talk about HHVM and Hack at the monthly webtuesday here in Zurich. The slides can be found here

It was a great evening, thanks to Netcetera for hosting it, thanks to Joel and the webtuesday crew for organizing it and also thanks to Johannes for chiming in when we talked about PHP internals.

If you have any question abut HHVM or related things, just ask in the comments, contact me on twitter or meet me personally, if you're nearby (aka in Switzerland).

Link
Brandon SavageThree Great New Speakers! (9.4.2014, 00:24 UTC)

This summer’s Crafting Code Tour is coming together, and we have confirmed three speakers to come along to various locations!

We are proud to announce that Adam Culp will be joining the tour for stops in Tampa Bay, Atlanta and Nashville. Adam will be speaking on Refactoring 101, offering up his wisdom on how to refactor legacy applications.

Paul M. Jones will be joining the tour for Dallas, Austin, Oklahoma and Kansas City, speaking about code modernization, a great talk that he’s given at numerous conferences in the past year.

And Larry Garfield will join the tour for Minneapolis, Milwaukee and Cincinnati. He’ll be doing a reprise of his SunshinePHP keynote, so if you missed it, don’t miss it on these stops!

Plus, we are pleased to announce that Mandrill will be providing pizza for all the tour stops.

Link
LinksRSS 0.92   RDF 1.
Atom Feed   100% Popoon
PHP5 powered   PEAR
ButtonsPlanet PHP   Planet PHP
Planet PHP