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Quick news

  • 2014-03-27: MongoDB Watchdog module ported to Drupal 8 at the Szeged Dev Days.
  • 2014-01-26: My post on the Symfony web profiler in Silex selected in Week of Symfony. w00t !
  • 2013-10-18: My first commit went into MongoDB today. And, guess what ? It's in JavaScript
  • 2013-09-20 to 29: Working on Drupal 8 EntityAPI at the extended code sprints during and around DrupalCon Prague
  • 2012-08-19: Working on Drupal 8 EntityAPI at Drupalcon Munich
  • 2012-06-15: Working on Drupal 8 EntityAPI at DrupalDevDays Barcelona
  • 2012-03-23: Working on the future Drupal Document Oriented Storage at DrupalCon Denver. D8 or later ? Bets are on Later

PHP Tips and tricks

How to install a Drupal Composer based project when is down

The problem: broken

I was starting my weekly work for the Drupal GraphQL module by the customary composer update --prefer-source -vvv command, ready to watch composer spit out some hundred lines sipping my coffee, but this time something turned out to be wrong:


  The "" file could not be downloaded (HTTP/1.1 404 Not Found)

OK, so is down for now. How can we work around this ?

When PHP won't find existing source files

The mystery

There are a number of issues on StackOverflow and elsewhere about the problems met when upgrading to PHP 7, so when I upgraded a Debian Wheezy server this week, I only upgraded to Jessie with its standard 5.6 version, not expecting problems. But of course, there had to be this mystifying error which seems to be most often associated with PHP 7.0 : like Debian bug 709302:

[Wed May 22 14:20:26 2013] [error] [client] PHP Fatal error: require_once(): Failed opening required './libraries/php-gettext/' (include_path='.') in /usr/share/phpmyadmin/libraries/select_lang.lib.php on line 389
[Wed May 22 14:20:26 2013] [error] [client] PHP Fatal error: /require_once(): Failed opening required /'./libraries/php-gettext/' (include_path='.') in //usr/share/phpmyadmin/libraries/select_lang.lib.php on line 389
[Wed May 22 14:20:26 2013] [error] [client] PHP Fatal error: require_once(): Failed opening required './libraries/php-gettext/' (include_path='.') in /usr/share/phpmyadmin/libraries/select_lang.lib.php on line 389

So how do we fix this for 5.6 ?

Logging for MongoDB

One nice thing during Drupal 7/8 development is the ability, thanks to the devel module, to get a list of all SQL queries ran on a page. As I've been working quite a bit on MongoDB in PHP recently, I wondered how to obtain comparable results when using MongoDB in PHP projects. Looking at the D7 implementation, the magic happens in the Database class:

// Start logging on the default database.
define(DB_CHANNEL, 'my_logging_channel');

// Get the log contents, typically in a shutdown handler.
$log = \Database::getLog(DB_CHANNEL);

With DBTNG, that's all it takes, and devel puts it to good use UI-wise. So is there be an equivalent mechanism in MongoDB ? Of course there is !

Golang tip of the day; PHP-compatible crc32

While porting (well, actually rewriting) an old PHP library to Go, I had to use a CRC (cyclic redundancy check) on a buffer. In old-school PHP, the standard is well established since PHP 4: just use crc32 from the strings package, and beware of the sign bit or, to be a bit more current while still compatible, use the hash() function from the hash package, like this example:

Calling methods on null objects in Go and PHP

Call a method on a nil pointer (null object) ? This is a classical bug. What if it somehow turned out to be a valid and useful construct in some languages, say in Go ? And what about PHP ?

Reducing redundancy in Doctrine Annotations loading

Doctrine Annotations is a central part of the Drupal 8 Plugin API. One of its conceptual annoyances is the need for a separate autoloading process for annotations, which in some scenarios leads to duplicated path declarations. Let us see how to remedy to it.

Tip of the day: Phing, Composer and namespaced Task classes

Among the interesting features of Phing is its extensibility, and of the hallmarks of that exensibility is the ability to define new Task types as PHP classes, which are by default located in the default namespace only. Can we do better ?

Step 0: "Ad-hoc" (inline) tasks

At the simplest, Task classes are created by embedding ad-hoc tasks like:

Have fun with PHP: how to bypass an object constructor

Some of the features in PHP may be surprising. Think for instance of the way PDO is able to create classed results, place the query results into them, and only then invoke the constructor when using PDO::FETCH_CLASS fetch mode without the additional PDO::FETCH_PROPS_LATE. Every wished you could do this in userland code ? Turns out this has long been possible, and is even simpler since PHP 5.4.

When Behat does not find features or bootstrap...

The issue

I was checking a bunch of Behat features left by former developers on a project, and noticed that the Rake rule to run them looked like:

$ behat -c config/behat.yml features

But this looked suspiciously like defaut options. How about running them more simply like just $ behat ? Alas, this would throw something like:

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