CakeDC Blog

TIPS, INSIGHTS AND THE LATEST FROM THE EXPERTS BEHIND CAKEPHP

Users plugin 2.1.0 released

We just released version 2.1.0 of the CakeDC Users plugin for CakePHP, and with it a collection of bug fixes and improvements, an update of the code to 2.5, as well as a reformatting of the documentation inline with the CakeDC Plugin Standard. If you haven't used the Users plugin yet, it's a great addition to any application which requires user registration, log in and management. The plugin also provide simple role handling, as well as user search if you combine it with the CakeDC Search plugin. Including the plugin is as easy as adding it to your application, running the schema or migration to add the tables used by the plugin, then simply navigate to one of the actions provided, for example: /users/users/login You may want to provide more specific routes, inline with your application, for example: Router::connect('/login', array( 'plugin' => 'users', 'controller' => 'users', 'action' => 'login' )); However, you’ll usually want to fine tune the experience for your users, for which you can extend the controller provided with the plugin and override the actions it includes to customize your own logic. class ExampleController extends UsersController { } There are also many configuration options available, if you'd simply want to configure how the plugin behaves. But, if you'd like a more decoupled approach you can also take advantage of the events, which are triggered by the plugin at different points of the user workflow. Features such as sign-up, log in, remember me, account verification and password reset are provided by default with the Users plugin. It also sends tokens to users via email as a security measure for certain actions. Additionally, the plugin comes with a basic user management interface, ready for admins to manage users in your application. As always, our plugins are released as Open Source free of charge, and benefit directly from the numerous contributions made by the CakePHP community. We want to thank all of the contributors to the Users plugin, and hope that future involvement helps keep the framework ecosystem strong, with a host of powerful plugins that keep you all building great applications.

CakePHP 3.0 is coming

For those of you who may have missed it, this week we released the first alpha of CakePHP 3.0, with a significant update to begin our move towards beta. I'm really excited to see how the project is evolving, and the amazing work that the members of the core team are doing, as well as what all those contributing are helping to build. But its important to look back in retrospect, and understand from where we've come.

Baking the Cake

If you're not aware, CakePHP has now been almost 10 years in the making. That's a long time for a project to stay as active as it has. Everyone has their favorite framework, and some like a few more than others, but one thing that's clear in my mind is that CakePHP has always been very popular, even until today. The project started when I teamed up with Michal Tatarynowicz, who had created the basic feature set of what would become CakePHP. I had begun work on what is currently the model layer in the pre 3.0 version of the framework, and continued leading the project when Michal left shortly after we open sourced under the MIT license. This was back in 2005, and working with PHP 4. Back then we had to work around the language a lot, as it was lacking the object oriented features which we now all take for granted. We had to emulate or actually build out many of the native aspects now included with PHP, which made the task all the more complicated. Don't get me wrong, it was fun times, as the language was growing fast and we were all pushing it along. It's no secret the Rasmus isn't a huge fan of frameworks, but like Rails for Ruby, many of the frameworks for PHP have also helped the language gain a place in many people's hearts. But time goes by, and like all things, PHP grew up and matured as a language. A lot of the features we had implemented for CakePHP in PHP 4 now became native with PHP 5, so although we'd provided the solutions when they weren't available, these now became redundant. But people and hosting companies were slow to adopt. The framework had grown a large community by then, so it was difficult for us to just drop support for PHP 4 and leave them without their framework. It was also in our interest to support PHP by prompting people to upgrade, so we took the middle road. This is where our infamous backwards compatibility for PHP 4 stems from. There were disagreements between core members of the project, where some advocated for jumping the gun and releasing a version which required the latest version of PHP, but I refused to allow our community to be left behind. These are people who had grown up with the framework, people who relied on us to keep a solution which allowed anyone to use it. In hindsight you could say that those developers weren't worth supporting, but I see our community as a family, and like my Marine training taught me, no man gets left behind. However, the years past, and we went from 1.2 to 1.3, and CakePHP begun to mature into a powerful solution for rapid application development. We also saw how adoption for PHP 5 improved, and hosts begun to offer broad support, which is when we decided to make the move to PHP 5.2 with the release of CakePHP 2. There were mixed feelings about the decision to not jump straight to 5.3, but I still feel today that, in allowing the framework to mature as it has on a stable code base, people who have counted on us would hopefully understand that choice.

Growing up as a Community

Like the years that have come before us, we all grow up as developers, and PHP the language grows with us. The impulse we've seen over the past years with the releases of 5.3, 5.4 and 5.5 have shown how the community can really build a powerful language. But it's not only the language that grows, but the community around it as well. We've seen over the past years how interoperability between frameworks has become a requirement, and the technical expectations of developers have become consistently more demanding. We've seen how the rise of packages managers, like Composer, have facilitated this distributed and modular approach to building PHP applications. So when we looked at what we expected for 3.0, as Jose Lorenzo said in the technical keynote at CakeFest, our annual conference, "we're all older and wiser", so it's time to put those years of experience to good use. So, for CakePHP 3.0 we decided that now is a good time to take our community and move everything towards a stronger and brighter future. This means that we've made some of the important decisions, which align the framework with the coming features in the language, and provide the same framework goodness people are used to, but deliver it with new features which upgrade the solution for another 10 years to come. This also means breathing new life into many of the core aspects of the framework, which in some cases have become its winning features, and in others the infamous trademarks of CakePHP. I invite you all, those who love CakePHP and even those who don't, to give this alpha of the latest major version of the framework a try, and let us know how well it tastes. We hope that this is the beginning of a great new chapter in the history of CakePHP, and one which lets us grow further, and together, as a community. Thank you.

CakeDC Git Workflow - Tips and Tricks

Over the past months we've had many people ask us about how to integrate and work with the CakeDC Git Workflow as we do. So, here are few tips and tricks on how to use our workflow for the git version control system, to help you keep a clean commit history on every CakePHP project.

Using ticket numbers in commit messages

One thing which becomes pretty obvious early on is how handy it can be to have commits tied to your issue tracker. The easiest way to do this is to use the issue or ticket ID in your commit messages. $ git commit -m "#1234 changed this and that" Following this pattern (starting the commit message with #ID), with a bit of git rebase sauce, makes the lines of your updates read like a story of your code.

Automation with use of commit-msg hook

It's possible that you may not using a git bash prompt, so you don't see the name of the current branch in console all the time. Alternatively, the dialog window of your preferred UI for git may not clearly disclose the name of the branch you're working on. Or, maybe you're just too lazy to write ticket number every time you commit something to the repository. Using our workflow, where non-permanent branches are named after the related ticket number, you can create an executable file .git/hooks/commit-msg in the project's root directory with following content: #!/bin/sh TICKET=$(git rev-parse --abbrev-ref HEAD | awk -F '/' '{print $2}') if [ -n "$TICKET" ]; then echo "#$TICKET `cat $1`" > $1 fi From now on, the message of every commit to any branch with a forward slash in the name (in our case, its always the ID of the related feature/issue/hot-fix ticket), will start with a hash and the ticket number. Also, lets assume that you're using our workflow for all of your projects. In that case, it could be better to install the git hook globally: $ mkdir -p ~/.git_template/hooks ... add global hook(s) to this directory ... $ git config --global init.templatedir '~/.git_template' After setting this up, every created or cloned repository will use this template directory (will make copy of its content). Existing repositories could be reinitialized with the new template by running git init in their root folders.

Temporary local branches

With the previous commit-msg hook in place, we can now go crazy with temporary local branches, while still maintaining a readable project timeline with references to tickets. Changes don't have to be committed directly to published branches, and here are some examples how to do that.

Local branch for debugging

Debugging sometimes takes a lot of code to be written, and sometimes a few of the changes made during debugging need to be merged and propagated. $ git checkout -t origin/feature/1234 $ git checkout -b debug/1234 Now we have local branch debug/1234 based on feature/1234. Lets do some work in loop, like adding tests, debugging code, applying fixes... everything in commits as small as possible, with meaningful commit messages: $ git commit -m "Added debug code for debugging this and that" $ git commit -m "Added test case proving this and that" $ git commit -m "Tried to fix this and that" The history of the debug/1234 branch will look like the following: #1234 Added debug code for debugging this and that #1234 Added test case proving this and that #1234 Tried to fix this and that We'll still have the feature branch free of debugging related code. You can then merge to this branch to keep it updated with progress from feature branch, but you can also commit fixes to it that you'll want to publish, and then use cherry-pick for including them elsewhere. And if you changed something in your debug/1234 branch, that you'll want to still see in the feature/1234 branch, then simply perform the following: $ git checkout feature/1234 ... merge, cherry-pick, rebase ... $ git push Then, finally some clean up, like so: $ git branch -D debug/1234 We hope you found something useful here, to make working with the workflow more engaging, and help you keep building awesome applications with CakePHP.

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Comments plugin 1.3.0 released

We've just released version 1.3.0 of the CakeDC Comments plugin for CakePHP, with a collection of revisions and fixes, as well as an update of the code for 2.5, and a reformat of the documentation inline with the CakeDC Plugin Standard. The Comments plugin lets you easily add comments to any model in your application. The comments structure can also be defined as "flat", "threaded", or as a "tree". To use the plugin simply include it in your application, run the schema or migration to add the comments table, then add the following to your controller: public $components = array('Comments.Comments'); Then, all that's needed is to include the comments in your view, using the following: echo $this->CommentWidget->display(); You'll probably notice that we did nothing with the model. This is handled internally by the plugin, although you can customize the behavior, or use the callbacks provided. The component also boasts a selection of configuration options, to help customize the integration. The plugin also includes an admin interface, for managing your comments, and you can also use the widget helper to define the output or customize via templates. This plugin as well as many others are released as Open Source, free of charge, and maintained by contributions from the CakePHP community. We thank all of our contributors to the Comments plugin, and hope the continued involvement helps keep your favorite framework ecosystem healthy and strong, with a wide range of great plugins to help build your applications.

The annual CakePHP conference

As most of those in the community know, CakeFest is our annual conference, dedicated to everything CakePHP. It's an impressive event, where developers from all over the world come together, share their secret recipes, and talk about baking awesome apps. It's an invaluable opportunity to mix with other talented developers, learn new approaches and techniques, and network with the community at large. With the third major version of CakePHP on the horizon, and a celebration of the project's nearly 10 years of Open Source goodness, this really is an event you don't want to miss. The event itself lasts 4 days, and is broken into two areas. The first area, covering the first 2 days, are the developer workshops. These are hands on sessions with the core developers of the framework, where we show you the best practices and methods to getting the most out of CakePHP. They really are an awesome introduction to the framework, and a headfirst dive into the internals of the project. These are also divided into both beginner and advanced sessions, so everyone attending can get as much out of the workshops as possible. We're also really friendly and involved in the process, to you can reach out to any of us for hands on tips and tricks, or just to get an opinion on your own approaches. The second 2 days are dedicated to the conference part of the event, where a wide array of international speakers will be giving over 20 talks and presentations on CakePHP and related technologies. It's also where we have some of our conference activities, such as the core team Q&A session, where you can pitch your questions directly to the core developers of the framework; an hour of lightning talks, for both newcomers and those with little experience at speaking to give it a shot; the Hour of Contribution, where we introduce you to the Open Source process and open collaboration; as well as our raffle and prize giveaways. And, of course, what would an event like this be without some real cake? At CakeDC we've always been actively involved in organizing, sponsoring and running the conference over the years. For those who don't know, Larry Masters, founder of CakePHP, is also the president of the commercial entity behind the framework. Over the past 8 years we've held the event around the world. From Buenos Aires, Argentina and Berlin, Germany, to Manchester, England and San Francisco in the United States, we've gone all around to make sure we can reach out to as much of the community as possible, and give everyone a chance to get their piece of the cake. This year's event will be hosted in the beautiful city of Madrid, Spain, from the 21st until the 24th of August. So be sure to grab your ticket now, and join us for a jam packed event. You or your company may even be interested in sponsoring this year. Either way, don't miss out on the landing of the big three point oh! See you there.

We Bake with CakePHP