Archive | June, 2005

Seagull 0.4.3 Released

Posted on 27 June 2005 by Demian Turner

Seagull 0.4.3, just out, is mainly a bugfix release with a few important new features:

  • I’ve added a bug reporter to help encourage user feedback (the insect icon can be disabled in Config)
  • improved FCK editor integration
  • more user-friendly error messages during install for db probs
  • SGL_Emailer now suports multiple backends (Ferdinand Hoffmann)
  • session security improved (tip from Ilia Alshanetsky)
  • DB_DataObject schema prefix bug fixed for postgres users (Pierpaolo Toniolo)
  • DB schema/data synchoronised for MySQL, Postgres and Oracle
  • CSS/XHTML continues to be improved (Riccardo Magliocchetti)

Also, we’ve moved to svn at last, thanks to Andrew for setting things up, and Trac is in the pipeline which will help manage release goals and give visibility to the project roadmap.

Other things coming up:

  • automated unit testing framework built on top of SimpleTest PEAR package
  • xml-rpc interface to securely expose data access layer
  • improved task-based installer to allow minimal install and module selection
  • branches starting for shopping cart module and Translation2 integration

Download the latest release or browse the source in svn. Svn anonymous checkout is as simple as:

$ svn co http://seagull.phpkitchen.com:8172/svn/seagull/trunk

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Mailing List versus Forum

Posted on 21 June 2005 by Demian Turner

A thread kicked off last week on seagull-general that became quite heated when some users started demanding we use a forum to track project activity/feedback instead of the standard mailing list.

To my mind there’s 1001 disadvantages involved in using a forum, I would never dream of such a thing, but luckily seagull dev Mike Wattier managed to express the matter quite succinctly:

Developers can use RSS to receive post to the forum in their email boxes.
hmm.. no thanks.. that sound klunky to me , consider this..

FORUM:
**read RSS feedclick on link
**log into account
**click over to proper forum
**click over to thread
**click back
**click over to thread xN 
**click over to check PM's**

EMAIL LIST:
**hit check mail boxdownload mail
**click on Seagull-General folderReadclick on subject
**wait for data/page/site to load

So a mailing list it will remain. Keep in mind there’s a great gmane view if subscribing is too much overhead for you.

 

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What is Unit Testing?

Posted on 20 June 2005 by Demian Turner

You might be surprised to hear that some developers have no idea what unit testing is – I know I was, but I have recently spoken to a suprising number of people who had never run across the ‘concept’.

I do have the advantage that one of the key proponents of unit testing and PHP, Marcus Baker, is a founding member of PHPlondon whose meetings I attend regularly, so I’ve had a pretty good exposure to testing and agile methodologies in general.  At work we have also been quite ‘test infected’ for some time now, this became more obvious recently when we had to complete an assignment where no testing framework was accessible, and quickly realised how dependent we had become.

For a good overview of the SimpleTest framework check out this excellent introductory article (cancel the print dialogue, this view is easier to read than the paged one), before heading over to Marcus’ extensive docs on the SimpleTest website.  SimpleTest is also available as a PEAR package which can be downloaded from the SF site.

Give it a try, see if you get addicted, can test-driven development work for your organisation? Also be sure check out Mock objects for help with isolating layers and resources in your application.

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Auto-complete for PEAR commandline

Posted on 04 June 2005 by Demian Turner

First of all let me reiterate that if you’re not taking advantage of the PEAR commandline installer you’re missing out on one of the best aspects of PHP.

Now, thanks to Tobias, using PEAR at the commandline has become easier than every with auto-complete enabled:

I always wanted to have the PEAR commands get auto completed on my bash. Here is how it works:

complete -W "`pear 2>&1 | awk '{ORS=" "} /[a-zA-Z-]+  / {print $1}'`" -f pear

Simply run the command in your shell and/or add it to e.g. your
.bashrc. You will have autocompletion for all PEAR Installer commands
and for filenames in parallel.

With this tweak enabled, and the imminent arrival of a more powerful commandline environment (a la Python), PHP is becoming really fun to use. I suppose another exciting addition would be .phpc files or compiled PHP files, also like Python, but given Zend’s position in the ‘performance suite’ market I guess this is unlikely to happen – shame.

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Seagull 0.4.1 Released

Posted on 01 June 2005 by Demian Turner

After more than a month in development, a new Seagull release is out. It is recommended you upgrade, a lot of annoying bugs have been fixed, not to mention a few new features added:

  • FCK editor now replaces the discontinued htmlArea: it’s better, faster and smaller, with good image upload functionality
  • blocks are working better
  • navigation is easier to create
  • the instant messaging module had an overhaul (Louay Gammo)
  • the newsletter module is greatly improved (Rares Benea, AJ Tarachanowicz)
  • an SGL_Locale object has been added, this integrates the extensive functionality provided by PEAR’s I18Nv2 (Jacob Singh)
  • functionality to import users from CSV file added
  • lots of html/css cleanup (Riccardo Magliocchetti)
  • homepages (index.php) can now be set to any type of framework content
  • the module generator has more functionality (Werner M. Krauss)

There are also some exciting things in CVS that will make their way into the next release (or perhaps the one after)

  • a very functional shopping cart solution (Rares Benea)
  • integration with PEAR’s Translation2 package for full internationlisation support, including GUI, content, and navigation (AJ Tarachanowicz)
  • XML/RPC web service integration – drag and drop authenticated services to be exposed by your Seagull installation

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