Category Archives: Software Development

Simple User Management in Silex

This article shows an easy way to set up user accounts (authentication, authorization, and user administration) in the Silex PHP micro-framework, by employing the Silex SimpleUser library.

To just hit the ground running, see the quick start instructions in the SimpleUser README, and check out the source code of the online demo (especially src/app.php).

For a walkthrough of how it works and what you can do with it, read on.

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Using Doctrine 2 in Zend Framework 2

Zend Framework 2 is getting close to release, and among the changes are new ways to handle dependency injection, and new ways to work with third-party code as modules. Rob “Akrabat” Allen has updated his iconic Getting Started with Zend Framework tutorial for ZF2, and it’s a great place to start.

After working through that tutorial, the next thing I wanted to do was figure out how to get the Doctrine 2 ORM up and running.

This article shows how to set up and use Doctrine 2 in Zend Framework 2, by extending Rob’s Getting Started tutorial to use Doctrine instead of Zend_Db.

See the complete source code for this tutorial on Github.

Updated 20 September 2014: Brought up to date with current versions of the ZF tutorial and updated Doctrine composer package name.
Updated 18 June 2012: Added support for new Doctrine config file format.

Updated 2 June 2012: Added support for ZF2 beta 4 and the new composer-based installation methods.

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Using Apache Ivy to manage directory dependencies in non-Java projects

The sweet hereafter, by Eddie Van 3000

Web development projects often rely on third-party libraries that don’t really belong in version control alongside the application source code. For example, a PHP web application might depend on Zend Framework, Doctrine 2, and jQuery. To support a fully automated build process, I want to be able to retrieve and install the right versions of these dependencies into my application code base automatically.

There are several package management tools out there that support this kind of thing, but most seem overly complex or overly restrictive. Enter Apache Ivy, a simple and flexible dependency manager that integrates with the Apache Ant build tool. Unlike the other dependency managers I found, Ivy makes it easy to run your own repository and choose your own directory layouts and file formats.

The one drawback is that Ivy is designed to work with individual Java JAR files: archives that are typically extracted in memory by Java at runtime. I want to work with dependencies that are directories of library code, already extracted from their archives. This article shows how to set up Ivy and Ant to work together to manage such directory dependencies.

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Using a custom collection class with Zend_Paginator

Zend_Paginator is a Zend Framework component for paginating collections of data–for example, breaking a list of blog posts or search results into multiple pages. The easiest way to use Zend_Paginator is by passing it a Zend_Db_Select object, which lets it automagically modify the select query to fetch only the results for the desired page.

But designing your models to work with Zend_Paginator in this way can be messy and inelegant.  It often involves either creating a Zend_Paginator instance inside your model or data mapper, or else passing a select object back out of your data mapper. Either approach seems clunky, and violates the encapsulation of your models.

A cleaner approach is to fetch a collection of your models in a custom collection class, and then pass that collection directly to Zend_Paginator. You can write your collection class in such a way that it only fetches data as needed, handling large result sets just as efficiently as passing a select object directly to Zend_Paginator.

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Automatically announce Subversion commits on Yammer with svn2yammer

The staff at use the private social networking tool Yammer to post internal status updates. It’s an easy way to stay in the loop and know what everyone else in the company is up to.

I wrote a PHP script that posts to our Developers group on Yammer every time someone commits to our Subversion repository, to help keep on top of changes in the codebase.

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