Writing

Upgrading to CakePHP 3.0

I recently finished upgrading this site to CakePHP 3.0.0-dev from 2.5.5. I thought I’d share my experiences, as they might be helpful to other people attempting to update a CakePHP 2.x application to 3.0.

In terms of scale & size, this site is pretty small and simple. It has a mere 12 tables, and ~5000 lines of code including HTML, and uses 3 plugins.

DebugKit for CakePHP 3.0.0

A few weeks back during CakeFest 2014, I had the opportunity to hunker down and get DebugKit upgraded to CakePHP 3.0. While it was less of an upgrade and more of a re-design and re-write, I think the end results justify the drastic approach I took. First, a few of the problems I was trying to solve in the new version:

1. It is hard to make DebugKit look great as it lives on the same page as your app.

Compatibility Breaks in CakePHP 3.0

There will be a number of backwards compatibility (BC) breaks in the CakePHP 3.0.0 release. I thought it might be helpful to go over some of the reasons breaks in compatibility have been made. Each time we’ve had to break compatibility with 2.x we’ve done so because the existing behaviour fell into a few categories of problems. I’ll go over a few of the bigger categories in detail.

Camera and Audio capture in web browsers

If you’ve ever built a web application that wanted access to the visitor’s camera you know what a painful experience that can be. If used to involve flash or silverlight plugins or clunky java. Thankfully, browsers have started providing new API’s which are collectively referred to as WebRTC or Web Real Time Chat.

PHP Generators - A useful example

PHP5.5 has support for generators which are a powerful language feature available in other languages like Ruby and Python. While generators in PHP are very much like their Python counterparts, I wanted to give them a spin and try a few simple but useful examples of generators in action.

Configuration in CakePHP 3.0 redux

In a previous post, I outlined some changes that would be coming for configuration in CakePHP 3.0. I’ve recently been thinking a great deal about configuration as well as building some prototype applications. I’ve come to the conclusion that configuration needed to change. Coupling all the classes to Configure while convenient and simple, had a big drawback.

Changes to the Events system in CakePHP 3.0

The events system has become an integral part of CakePHP since its introduction in 2.1. When originally introduced, we needed to make a number of compromises in the implementation to facilitate compatibility with the code it was replacing. For 3.0, I wanted to revisit the event subsystem and try to make things more efficient and streamline the API a bit.

Moving to linode

I recently moved hosting for this blog and my wife’s site to a shiny new linode. I did this because I wanted to have control over the versions of PHP, and other server software I ran. I had some issues with email blacklists at my previous host. I chose linode as I’ve heard nothing but good things from friends and my operations folks at work recommended them.

Installing CakePHP with Composer

I really like how composer simplifies dependency management & installation. It can make applications more portable, and simpler to deploy when compared to the pear installer. Another really nice feature of composer is that you can easily install any pear package, making it perfect for installing CakePHP. While installation was simple, some extra work was required to get things up and running smoothly.

Creating custom selectors with jQuery

I recently re-discovered a powerful, but mostly hidden feature of jQuery. If you’ve used jQuery for any length of time you’ve probably used filter selectors like :input, :visible or :hidden. What you may not know is, it is really simple to add your own filter selectors. The secret lies in $.expr.filters which is an object of filters.

Using composer in CakePHP 3.0

For 3.0 the team and I are re-visiting how we’ll recommend installing CakePHP, and as always I wanted to try to provide context on what my thoughts are, and get some feedback on the plans.

Background & context

CakePHP is currently availiable in a few different ways. Generally people either download zip files, or clone the repository. Both of these methods provide a quick easy way to get started.

Configuration in CakePHP 3.0

Early work has started for CakePHP 3.0, and I’ve started re-visiting how CakePHP handles configuration and bootstrapping. I want to focus on configuration for this post, as bootstrapping, while related is worthy of its own post. The goal of this post is to provide some context on the planned changes, and to get feedback on those changes. My hope is that by getting feedback early on we can avoid problems & surprises later on.