SitePoint PHPBuilding an Ad Manager in Symfony 2 (24.10.2014, 16:00 UTC)

Just this once won’t hurt - I am not going to write about Sass but Symfony. I had to do a little bit of backend at work and ended up with an interesting problem to solve, involving quite a lot of things so I thought it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to write an article about it.

But first, let me explain. The main idea was to build an ad manager. What the hell is an ad manager you say? Let’s say you have some places on your site/application to display ads. We do have things like this on our site, and one of our teams is (partially) dedicated to bringing those places to life with content.

Now for some boring reasons I won’t list here, we couldn’t use an existing tool, so we were doomed to build something from scratch. As usual, we wanted to do a lot without much coding, while keeping an overall simplicity for the end user (who is not a developer). I think we came up with a fairly decent solution for our little project.

Here are the features we set up:

  • YAML configuration + FTP access;
  • Either images, videos or HTML content;
  • Ability to customize cache duration;
  • Either sliders (yes, the pattern sucks) or random item in collection.

Continue reading %Building an Ad Manager in Symfony 2%

Anthony FerraraWhat's In A Type (24.10.2014, 16:00 UTC)
There has been a lot of talk about typing in PHP lately. There are a couple of popular proposals for how to clean up PHP's APIs to be simpler. Most of them involve changing PHP's type system at a very fundamental level. So I thought it would be a good idea to talk about that. What goes into a type?

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Bernhard SchussekDefining PHP Annotations in XML (24.10.2014, 09:48 UTC)

Annotations have become a popular mechanism in PHP to add metadata to your source code in a simple fashion. Their benefits are clear: They are easy to write and simple to understand. Editors offer increasing support for auto-completing and auto-importing annotations. But there are also various counter-arguments: Annotations are written in documentation blocks, which may be removed from packaged code. Also, they are coupled to the source code. Whenever an annotation is changed, the project needs to be rebuilt. This is desirable in some, but not in other cases.

For these reasons, Symfony always committed to supporting annotations, XML and YAML at the same time – and with the same capabilities – to let our users choose whichever format is appropriate to configure the metadata of their projects. But could we take this one step further? Could we build, for example, XML support directly into the Doctrine annotation library?

Let’s start with a simple example of an annotated class:

namespace Acme\CRM;
use Doctrine\ORM\Mapping\Column;
use Doctrine\ORM\Mapping\Entity;
use Symfony\Component\Validator\Constraints\Length;
use Symfony\Component\Validator\Constraints\NotNull;
 * @Entity
class Address
     * @Column
     * @NotNull 
     * @Length(min=3)
    private $street;
     * @Column(name="zip-code")
     * @NotNull
    private $zipCode;

Right now, if toolkits (such as Doctrine ORM or Symfony Validation) want to support annotations and XML schemas, they have to write separate parsers that duplicate a lot of common code. Wouldn’t it be nice if they could use a generic parser instead?

Let’s try to map the annotations to a generic XML file:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<class-mapping xmlns=""
<class name="Acme\CRM\Address">
    <orm:entity />
    <property name="street">
        <orm:column />
        <val:not-null />
        <val:length min="3" />
    <property name="zipCode">
        <orm:column name=

Truncated by Planet PHP, read more at the original (another 10342 bytes)

Nomad PHPJanuary 2015 (24.10.2014, 00:01 UTC)

/Regex makes me want to (weep|give up|(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻)\.?/i

Presented By
Brett Florio
January 22, 2015 20:00 CST

The post January 2015 appeared first on Nomad PHP.

thePHP.ccBuilding Testable Applications (23.10.2014, 05:30 UTC)
SitePoint PHPWhere are you? Implementing geolocation with Geocoder PHP (22.10.2014, 16:00 UTC)

GeoCoder PHP

The beauty of SitePoint, to me, is that you can get inspired to try something or be told about some cool project out there. The internet is simply too big for one person to scout out on their own. GeoCoder was one of those for me. I had never heard about it and came across it on the authors Trello board.

I love working with maps and geographic information and I use (reverse) geocoding heavily for a project I did for a client; CableTracks. We actually use a paid service for this although not for everything. The paid results hold much more information than you get from free services. I found out that GeoCoder PHP actually is what I was missing for the integration of various services that we use.

GeoCoder PHP provides: “an abstraction layer for geocoding manipulations”. The library is split into three parts: an HttpAdapter for doing requests, several geocoding Providers and various Formatter/Dumpers to do output formatting.


Installation of GeoCoder is most easily done using composer. Add the following to your composer.json:

    "require": {
        "willdurand/geocoder": "@stable"

Or get one of the archives from the GeoCoder PHP website.

Continue reading %Where are you? Implementing geolocation with Geocoder PHP%

Anthony FerraraWhen Rocks Falter (22.10.2014, 16:00 UTC)
I've never been a rock. I'm about as passionate as someone can be when I choose to do something. Unfortunately that means I tend to throw myself (my raw unadulterated self) at my interests. It's just who I am and who I've always been. This has positives and negatives associated with it (especially from a personal perspective).

Throwing yourself at a passion has enormous benefits. You get a lot done, you can truly touch people's lives. You can really change the world. But you also take on a lot of risk. Putting yourself out there is the easiest way to get burned. When you're passionate, it's hard to not take things emotionally. It's hard to not care. After all, caring is where you draw your power from.

I have always been held up by those that I knew were rocks. I always leaned on people who I know weren't just abiding a flight-of-fancy, but who could wear the tide. But what happens when you start to see those who you thought were rocks, falter...?

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Christian WeiskeUsability: Anchors everywhere (22.10.2014, 15:58 UTC)

After adding clickable anchor links to every headline I longed for more: Make it possible to reference every paragraph and list item on my blog posts.

Adding IDs

The first step was adding an id attribute to every tag I wanted to link. Doing that manually is a pain, so I had to get it automated.

My idea was to take the ID of the previous headline and add some counting suffix. For example, the first paragraph following a headline with id="foo" would get id="foo-p1". Prefixing the number with a letter (p for paragraph, h for heading, l for list item) is necessary to keep the IDs stable when regenerating them. Adding a new list item does for example not change the numbers of the paragraphs.

The resulting code can be found in my pastebin: add ID attributes to all content tags of an xhtml page .

Showing clickable links

I followed the same pattern as before by adding empty anchor links at the end of a content tag:

I gave the content tags a position: relative and the anchor link tags position: absolute so I could put them at a position relative to the content tag.

Then they got a left position of -3ex and a padding of 3ex to keep them aligned to the content tag:

*[id] {
    /* make anchor links positionable */
    position: relative;

/* show IDs for anchors */
*[id]:hover > a.anchorlink:before {
    content: "\00B6";/* pilcrow */
    color: #888;
    font-size: smaller;
a.anchorlink {
    text-decoration: none;
    margin-left: 0.5em;
    font-size: smaller;
    position: absolute;
    top: 0px;
    left: -3ex;
    padding-right: 3ex;
    height: 100%;


Cal EvansInterview with Ross Tuck (21.10.2014, 05:00 UTC)

Twitter: @rosstuck

Show Notes

Brandon SavageIn Defense Of Self-Publishing (20.10.2014, 16:57 UTC)
Back in 2009, I signed a contract to write a book. The book was published by php|architect, and was called The PHP Playbook. It was published in 2011. Being my first book, I assumed that going the route of a traditional publisher made sense, but after publishing a book this way, I opted for self-publishing […]
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