php

Watch out if composer update keeps replacing a dependency

Recently, while working on the codebase for this very site, I tried running composer update to upgrade from Drupal 8.8.4 to 8.8.5. Apparently I did this at just the wrong time, as there was an issue with Drupal's dependencies in 8.9.x-dev which caused it to be selected as the upgrade candidate, and the default drupal/core-recommended Composer setting was to allow dev stability, so my site got updated to 8.9.x-dev, which was a bit of a surprise.

"No worries," I thought, "I use git, so I'm protected!" A git reset later, then change my composer.json to use "minimum-stability": "stable", and all is well with the world, right?

Well, no. You see, the problem is Drupal 8.9.x changed from an abandoned package, zendframework/zend-diactoros, to a new package, laminas/laminas-diactoros, that replaces the abandoned package.

Install Drupal Coder and PHP CodeSniffer to your Drupal project to lint PHP code

In the official Coder Sniffer install guide on Drupal.org, it recommends installing Coder and the Drupal code sniffs globally using the command:

composer global require drupal/coder

I don't particularly like doing that, because I try to encapsulate all project requirements within that project, especially since I'm often working on numerous projects, some on different versions of PHP or Drupal, and installing things globally can cause things to break.

So instead, I've done the following (see this issue) for my new JeffGeerling.com Drupal 8 site codebase (in case you haven't seen, I'm live-streaming the entire migration process!):

Quick and dirty way to strip ANSI terminal output in PHP

From time to time, I write up little PHP scripts to run a command via exec() and dump the output to the screen. Most of the time these are quick throwaway scripts, but sometimes I need them to persist a little longer, or share the output with others, so I make them look a little nicer.

One annoying thing that happens if you interact with CLI tools that generate colorized output is that PHP doesn't translate the terminal (ANSI) color codes into HTML colors, so you end up looking at output like:

Kubernetes master is running at https://10.96.0.1:443

Sensio Labs maintains an excellent ansi-to-html PHP library, and if you're building anything that should be persistent or robust, you should use it. But I wanted a one-line solution for one simple script I was working on, so I spent a couple minutes building out the following regex:

Drupal VM 5.1 ('Recognizer') brings PHP 7.4 support

PHP 7.4.0 running on Drupal VM with Drupal 8's status report page

Drupal VM 5.1.0 was just released (release name Recognizer), and the main feature is PHP 7.4 support; you can now begin running and testing your Drupal sites under PHP 7.4 to check for any incompatibilities.

PHP 7.4 includes some new features like typed properties, arrow functions, and opcache preloading which could help with certain types of code or site deployments (I'm interested to see if opcache preloading could help the startup time of Drupal inside container environments like Kubernetes!).

Running 'php artisan schedule:run' for Laravel in Kubernetes CronJobs

I am working on integrating a few Laravel PHP applications into a new Kubernetes architecture, and every now and then we hit a little snag. For example, the app developers noticed that when their cron job ran (php artisan schedule:run), the MySQL container in the cluster would drop an error message like:

2019-03-27T16:20:05.965157Z 1497 [Note] Aborted connection 1497 to db: 'database' user: 'myuser' host: '10.0.76.130' (Got an error reading communication packets)

In Kubernetes, I had the Laravel app CronJob set up like so:

Cleaning up after adding files in Drupal Behat tests

I've been going kind of crazy covering a particular Drupal site I'm building in Behat tests—testing every bit of core functionality on the site. In this particular case, a feature I'm testing allows users to upload arbitrary files to an SFTP server, then Drupal shows those filenames in a streamlined UI.

I needed to be able to test the user action of "I'm a user, I upload a file to this directory, then I see the file listed in a certain place on the site."

These files are not managed by Drupal (e.g. they're not file field uploads), but if they were, I'd invest some time in resolving this issue in the drupalextension project: "When I attach the file" and Drupal temporary files.

Since they are just random files dropped on the filesystem, I needed to:

The best way to get the full PHP version string

Recently, to automate building, tagging, and pushing my geerlingguy/php-apache Docker Hub image (see this issue), I needed to find a way to reliably determine the PHP major.minor.release version string. You'd think this would be simple.

Well, using Docker, I would run the image and then try:

# php --version
PHP 7.3.0-1+0~20181206202713.23+stretch~1.gbp076afd (cli) (built: Dec  6 2018 20:27:14) ( NTS )
Copyright (c) 1997-2018 The PHP Group
Zend Engine v3.3.0-dev, Copyright (c) 1998-2018 Zend Technologies
    with Zend OPcache v7.3.0-1+0~20181206202713.23+stretch~1.gbp076afd, Copyright (c) 1999-2018, by Zend Technologies

That's great; it outputs the version right at the start. But there are a few problems here:

Drupal startup time and opcache - faster scaling for PHP in containerized environments

Lately I've been spending a lot of time working with Drupal in Kubernetes and other containerized environments; one problem that's bothered me lately is the fact that when autoscaling Drupal, it always takes at least a few seconds to get a new Drupal instance running. Not installing Drupal, configuring the database, building caches; none of that. I'm just talking about having a Drupal site that's already operational, and scaling by adding an additional Drupal instance or container.

One of the principles of the 12 Factor App is:

IX. Disposability

Maximize robustness with fast startup and graceful shutdown.

Disposability is important because it enables things like easy, fast code deployments, easy, fast autoscaling, and high availability. It also forces you to make your code stateless and efficient, so it starts up fast even with a cold cache. Read more about the disposability factor on the 12factor site.

Converting a non-Composer Drupal codebase to use Composer

A question which I see quite often in response to posts like A modern way to build and develop Drupal 8 sites, using Composer is: "I want to start using Composer... but my current Drupal 8 site wasn't built with Composer. Is there an easy way to convert my codebase to use Composer?"

Convert a tarball Drupal codebase to a Composer Drupal codebase

Unfortunately, the answer to that is a little complicated. The problem is the switch to managing your codebase with Composer is an all-or-nothing affair... there's no middle ground where you can manage a couple modules with Composer, and core with Drush, and something else with manual downloads. (Well, technically this is possible, but it would be immensely painful and error-prone, so don't try it!).

Installing PHP 7 and Composer on Windows 10, Using Ubuntu in WSL

Note: If you want to install and use PHP 7 and Composer within Windows 10 natively, I wrote a guide for that, too!

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Since Windows 10 introduced the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), it has become far easier to work on Linux-centric software, like most PHP projects, within Windows.

To get the WSL, and in our case, Ubuntu, running in Windows 10, follow the directions in Microsoft's documentation: Install the Windows Subsystem for Linux on Windows 10, and download and launch the Ubuntu installer from the Windows Store.