Introduction to PHP OOP

This is the first in a series of articles about using PHP to do objected oriented programming, or OOP. They were originally published elsewhere but are no longer available at that location, so I'm reposting them here.

Since the introduction of PHP 5 in 2004, PHP has had an object model worthy of that description and became a truly modern language for use on the web. Earlier PHP scripts would have been of the kind where, to quote from Alice's Adventures, you would "Begin at the beginning, and go on till you come to the end: then stop." Nowadays that very procedural approach is less common in PHP, so this article takes a look at some of the basic object oriented features available in the language and shows some examples of using them with code examples.

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Installing PEAR Packages Offline

As with most tools that work really well, I know very little about PEAR. I mean, I use it all the time, and I love it for getting all the extensions installed that I need for the work I do. But I've never made a PEAR package, or channel, and I've been happy to leave all those things in the hands of the smart people who have created what we have today.

However I'm now in a situation where I might need to install PEAR packages with a connection that may or may not be working, and I'm not sure exactly which packages I might need, so I wanted to know whether I could use PEAR as my packaging tool even when I wasn't able to reach the usual channels. And guess what? I can! Continue reading

Google OAuth 403 Response

I had an issue this week on a system which has been working fine for a while, but stopped fetching some data from google's user account API. I was getting a 403 response from the API, which seemed odd. Luckily I was logging OAuth::getLastResponse() to my error logs (this is PHP code, and you need to call OAuth::enableDebug() before you make the request to get this output) so I could see that I was getting the following back from Google:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<errors xmlns="http://schemas.google.com/g/2005">
  <error>
    <domain>GData</domain>
    <code>sslRequired</code>
    <internalReason>SSL is required to perform this operation.</internalReason>
  </error>
</errors>

Closer inspection shows that for one of the google endpoints, I had a prefix of http:// rather than https://. Those single-character bug fixes that take hours to find are my favourite!

Building a RESTful PHP Server: Output Handlers

This is the third installment in my series about writing a RESTful web service in PHP (the previous entries are about understanding the request and routing it. It is probably the last one but there are a few other things I'd like to cover such as error handling, so I might keep adding to it, especially if I get any particular requests or interesting questions in the comments. So far we've covered parsing requests to determine exactly what the user is asking for, and also looked at routing to a controller to obtain the data or perform the action required. This post gives examples of how to return the data to the client in a good way. Continue reading

PHP 5.4 Built In Webserver

One of the big features arriving with PHP 5.4 is the addition of a built-in basic webserver for use in development environments. Quite a few of the other scripting languages have something like this so I'm very pleased to see it in PHP. Using a server like this makes it easy to quickly try out some scripts without needing to configure apache or really do anything much! I had to look up a few things to get started, so I thought I'd write them down for posterity. Continue reading

Building A RESTful PHP Server: Understanding the Request

Once upon a time, what seems like a lifetime ago, I was away for a couple of weeks, and I wrote a series of posts about serving RESTful APIs from PHP to keep my blog going while I was away. Fast forward a few years and those posts are outdated and still wildly popular - so I thought it was about time I revisited this and showed how I'm writing RESTful PHP servers today!

In the first part of this (probably) 3-part series, we'll begin with the basics. It might seem boring, but the most important thing to get right with REST is parsing all the various elements of the HTTP request and responding accordingly. I've put in code samples from from a small-scale toy project I created to make me think about the steps involved (should I put the code somewhere so you can see it? Let me know). Without further ado, let's dive in and begin by sending all requests through one bootstrap script: Continue reading

PHP OAuth Provider: Access Tokens

I've been working with OAuth, as a provider and consumer, and there isn't a lot of documentation around it for PHP at the moment so I thought I'd share my experience in this series of articles. This relates to the stable OAuth 1.0a spec, however OAuth2 has already started to be adopted (and differs greatly). This article uses the pecl_oauth extension and builds on Rasmus' OAuth Provider post. This entry follows on from the ones about the initial requirements, how to how to handle request tokens, and authenticating users.
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