Developing software in the Real World

OuputBuffer Middleware for Expressive

When developing an Expressive application, if you use var_dump(), echo, print_r(), etc when you get this error:

This occurs after your data has been displayed and makes perfect sense as Expressive is unable to send headers as you've already started sending the body. To solve this, you need some middleware. It looks like this:

This middleware wraps all subsequent middleware in an output buffer and then either appends or prepends the contents to… continue reading.

Displaying errors in Expressive with Twig

If you're not using the Whoops error handler with Expressive and are using the Twig renderer, then you are given no information about the problem that occurred, even in debug mode. To fix this, I changed error.html.twig to this:

The new part is the within the {% if error %} block. In debug mode, error is set to the exception that was thown and is blank otherwise, so you won't leak sensitive information (as… continue reading.

"Software architecture is failing" by Alex Hudson

Alex Hudson's article, "Software architecture is failing" is a really interesting article and resonates with me as I come across this a lot. I recommend reading it. I'm very much in the camp of designing for the business requirements first and my biggest successes are the apps which solve my clients' problems. To call one of my apps "legacy" is a compliment; it means that I've written something that works and is solving real-problems for… continue reading.

Pretty print curl -i

My favourite tool for working with APIs is curl, though I recognise that lots of people like HTTPie and seem very keen to tell about it every time I mention curl… With curl, I particularly like using the -i switch to view the status line and headers too without the additional cruft of -v: This generates an output that looks like this:

What I would like to do is pretty print the body if… continue reading.

Converting a Composer dependency to git for editing

I'm adding a new feature to ZF's Problem-Details component and it's easiest to do this within the context of the application I'm developing. The component lives in vendor/zendframework/zend-problem-details and was installed using composer require so doesn't have its own git repository as the distribution zip file was used to install it. To change it to a git repository, we can use the –prefer-source option and specify a branch like this:

I now have a… continue reading.

Custom URLs for a Cloud Foundry application

Now that I have my application deployed to Cloud Foundry, I need it to work with my own domain, such as rather than We can do this via the command line which is useful. To do this we need to create a domain and then we can create a route. Create a domain To create a domain, we use the command cf create-domain {organisation name} {domain name}. For me, my organisation is "19FT",… continue reading.

CORS and OpenWhisk web actions

By default, OpenWhisk will handle the relevant responses for CORS. Specifically, it will respond to an OPTIONS request with these headers:

If you need to change what is sent or you don't want to send these headers at all, then you need to do set the annotation web-custom-options to true and handle the OPTIONS header yourself. Note that if you don't set this annotation, you must not set any of these headers yourself as… continue reading.

CLI credentials for a Cloud Foundry database

If you need access to your Cloud Foundry database from the command line the easiest way to get a set of credentials is to create a service key. This is done using the command cf create-service-key {service-name} {key-name}. You can call the key anything, so to connect to my database that I created previously: $ cf create-service-key slim-bookshelf-db ROB_CLI Creating service key ROB_CLI for service instance slim-bookshelf-db as… OK Now that we've set up… continue reading.

Using PostgreSQL with PHP in Cloud Foundry

Having successfully deployed a PHP application to Cloud Foundry, I needed a PostgreSQL database for persistent storage. I found Lorna Mitchell's Connecting PHP to MySQL on Bluemix helpful and this article expands on that information. I want to create a cloud-based PostgreSQL database and connect it to Laravel's Eloquent in a Cloud Foundry application. This is how to do it. Create the database instance As I'm using Bluemix for my Cloud Foundry hosting, I'm using… continue reading.

Deploying a PHP application to Cloud Foundry

I recently had a requirement to deploy a Slim application somewhere. As I already have a Bluemix account, it seemed sensible to deploy it to their Application Runtimes service which is an installation of the Open Source Cloud Foundry project. This turned out to be quite easy, but there are a number of steps involved, so I'm documenting it here. Setup the CLI tools I'm a command line person, so did it all via the… continue reading.