1. Jan B.: @BarnabyWalters @ZacharyTong but doesn't work on Debian Squeeze and depends on a specific minor version of PHP

    @bracki pity it doesn’t work on Squeeze (why is that?), as far as I can see it doesn’t depend on a particular version of PHP, just anything greater than 5.3.9 — "php": ">=5.3.9", to be exact.

  2. Igor Wiedler: @BarnabyWalters regarding your #stackphp question, I believe this answers it: https://github.com/stackphp/run 

    @igorwhiletrue thanks! I was aware of stackphp/run, but wondered if there was an alternative which left the run method in place — Silex is such an exquisitely designed and concise abstraction it’s a pity to have to give that up and introduce extra packages, namespaces and functions (more surface area to learn and remember).

  3. Emil Björklund: #PHP folks: when fetching from an API, would it be wise to use function_exists to check for cURL, and else fall back to file_get_contents()?

    @thatEmil that should work fine — one thing to bear in mind is that by default they both treat redirects differently. IIRC, cURL doesn’t follow redirects by default whereas file_get_contents will.

  4. New in this version of :

    • Improved styling (still WIP, as always)
    • stream on homepage, currently just notes but will add other things too
    • content creation/editing UIs publicly viewable (take a peek!)
    • profile photo as the icon
    • complete code restructure, now using silex for HTTP routing
    • removed tonnes of nonsense framework code, replaced with small number of ≈200 line functional libraries. Clearer, easier to navigate and much more fun to work with
    • no more SQL databases — content is indexed using a custom built 209 LOC CSV index which is surprisingly speedy, and suits my needs perfectly
    • no more support for rendering content in many forms using content negotiation (HTML, JSON, ATOM etc.) — now only HTML+microformats2 representations of content are given
    • ATOM feed shimmed with microformats2 to ATOM converter
    • Pingbacks no longer natively accepted (though they are sent), using webmention.io to shim them into webmentions for easier handling

    The local maximum has been overcome, for now. There is still much to do.

  5. psysh.org is the REPL shell we have been waiting for. How to start an interactive shell with a given context:

    require 'vendor/autoload.php';
    $app = require 'src/app.php';
    Psy\Shell::debug(['app' => $app]);

    Supports readline, pcntl, registering custom commands, automatic semicolon insertion, clean+concise string representations of evaluated values. Amazing work Justin Hileman!

  6. Had many basic software development lessons hammered in by personal experience over the last couple of years: hierarchy bad. side effects bad. many moving parts bad. undue complexity bad. inconsistency bad. SQL databases fragile. always be reducing.

    It’s amazing just how seductive complex, unproductive tools can be. Successfully overcome+abandoned:

    • Codeigniter
    • Doctrine ORM
    • Bootstrap
    • Backbone, Ember, Angular
    • Symfony Security component

    PHP remains productive and speedy (with composer, delightful dependency management), python nice with some irritations. jQuery useful when absolutely necessary, plain with small libraries loaded via requirejs handle most progressive enhancement concisely. node.js nice for some things, preferring go’s approach to async programming but still not much everyday need for it.

    Avoiding middlemen: LESS, SASS, Coffeescript. Unnecessary for most of my work, and more moving parts is bad.

    Now bothering me is the frameworky nonsense accumulating in . Need to cleanse.

  7. How to emulate standard front-controller behaviour of routing static assets statically, otherwise calling index.php using the PHP 5.4 built-in server:

    // file: index.php
    // Route static assets from CLI server
    if (PHP_SAPI === 'cli-server') {
        if (file_exists(__DIR__ . $_SERVER['REQUEST_URI']) and !is_dir(__DIR__ . $_SERVER['REQUEST_URI'])) {
            return false;
    // do usual front-controller stuff
  8. I just faked having a task queue for note posting tasks using Symfony HttpKernel::terminate() and it was the easiest thing ever.

    Instances or subclasses of HttpKernel have a terminate($request, $response) method which, if called in the front controller after $response->send(); triggers a kernel.terminate event on the app’s event dispatcher. Listeners attached to this event carry out their work after the content has been sent to the client, making it the perfect place to put time-consuming things like POSSE and webmention sending.

    Once you’ve created your new content and it’s ready to be sent to the client, create a new closure which carries out all the the time consuming stuff and attach it as a listener to your event dispatcher, like this:

    $dispatcher->addListener('kernel.terminate', function() use ($note) {
        $note = sendPosse($note);

    Then, provided you’re calling $kernel->terminate($req, $res); in index.php, your callback will get executed after the response has been sent to the client.

    If you’re not using HttpKernel and HttpFoundation, the exact same behaviour can of course be carried out in pure PHP — just let the client know you’ve finished sending content and execute code after that. Check out these resources to learn more about how to do this:

    Further ideas: if the time consuming tasks alter the content which will be shown in any way, set a header or something to let the client side know that async stuff is happening. It could then re-fetch the content after a few seconds and update it.

    Sure, this isn’t as elegant as a message queue. But as I showed, it’s super easy and portable, requiring the addition of three or four lines of code.