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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


PSR-4, really ?

Yesterday, Seldaek committed PSR-4 support to Composer, as his New Year's Day gift to the PHP community.

So, since I always supported PSR-4 in FIG discussions, and after the tl;dr discussion about it regarding autoloading in Drupal 8, I jumped on the occasion and converted the code base for PlusVite to PSR-4 to get an idea of how PSR-4 "felt" in practice.

OSInet library converted to PSR0 / PSR1

Over the last few days, I finally decided to revisit the old OSInet PHP library, to dust it off somehow, and convert the class-based parts to PSR0 and the whole to what seems to be liable to become PSR1 at some point.

This library contains a zoo of function helping with PHP-GTK development, and three packages with their demo application:

Class Grapher
Build a graph of inheritance and interface implementations on a directory (and subdirectories) of PHP code
This package uses the Drupal Grammar Paser to parse code, and includes a Drush 5 plugin for easy use within a Drupal site, but can also be used to parse non-Drupal code, as long as the Grammar Parser - which does not depend on Drupal either - is installed in the include path.
It is a more complete version of the Drupal-only Class Grapher sandbox on
In the current version, graphs are generated using GraphViz. An extension to a client-side visualization tool like the Infovis toolkit should come someday. Suggestions for other client-side libraries welcome (please comment!).
Open Document Calc reader
This package provides a few classes and methods to extract the content of OpenDocument (LibreOffice,, ...) spreadsheets.
Finite State Machine
This package is used to build applications designed around a finite state machine, and is mostly intended for use in PHP-GTK applications, to provide asynchronous processing.
The demo application uses the PHP FTP extension to expose its asynchronous notifications in a PHP-GTK UI

Optimizing strings in PHP ?

Every so often, I get asked about whether it is really worth it to chase double quotes and constructs like print "foo $bar baz", and replace them with something like echo 'foo', $bar, 'baz', or even to remove all those big heredoc strings so convenient for large texts.

Of course, most of the time, spending hours to fine comb code in search of this will result in less of a speedup than rethinking just one SQL query, but the answer is still that, yes, in the infinitesimal scale, there is something to be gained. Even with string reformatting ? Yes, even that. But only if you are not using an optimizer.

Just don't take my word for it, Sara Golemon explained it years ago with her "How long is a piece of string" post, in 2006.

Building Hip-Hop, first steps

In case you somehow managed to miss today's announcement, Facebook's Hip-Hop is now available, along with a wiki to show how to build it, and an issue tracker, all on Github.

Debug vanilla

Most of the time, when working on some piece of code, I'll resort to the configured debugger in my current Zend Studio configuration. And you probably do too :-)

However, I often have to access debug-type information on live sites where installing a debugger is out of the question, and I find myself often resorting to parameter dumps like the following:

// lazy version for simple cases
function foo_bar($x, $y, $z) {
// [...]

// less lazy version for more hairy cases
function foo_baz($x, $y, $z) {
dsm(array('in foo_baz, x' => $x, 'y' => $y, 'z' => $z));
// ...

You've probably being using it too and, of course, after the first few dozen times, it becomes a bit used. So here's a tiny snippet that makes such dumps simpler to type and use :

A Gray code generator in PHP

For a recent case, I had to define the behaviour of a system with a lot of independent conditions to check, which could trigger any number of a set of messages and actions on data, and all of this based on a plain english (i.e. non algorithmic) description of the data, which only covered the most commons scenarios for these conditions, leaving lots of undefined combinations of inputs. What's one to do in such cases ?

Spaces in PHP variable names

I just found out a very strange PHP feature by browsing the PHP-GTK2 API with the Reflection classes : spaces can be used in some alien places, like variable names.

But the doc says you can't !

Well, try this in PHP 5.2.5, for instance:

Formatting PHP code in Eclipse PDT and Zend Neon

By default, the current Eclipse-based PHP IDE (PDT) uses an indenting style based on One True Brace, and the upcoming Zend Neon version happens to be also Eclipse-based. For developers working with OSInet Drupal modules or PHP-GTK code, or anyone wishing to apply the OSInet coding style, or another form of Whitesmiths / Symbian PHP formatting, Eclipse allows for customizing the bracing/commenting style by hand-tuning, o

Referrals update

Browsing the referers leading to my blog, I just noticed one of my recent posts about PHP-GTK2 Console encoding had been noticed by PHPDeveloper, where the reviewers apparently take time to actually read feed to which they point to, instead of merely aggregating them, which allows them to sum up content for their own readers. Now that's what one can call a press review.

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