PHP Logo

Creating A Game With PHP Part 2: Tic Tac Toe

9th November 2020 - 12 minutes read time

Following on from my last post about creating a command line game in PHP we now have a mechanism to listen to keypresses. The next step from here is to create a simple game. After thinking about a game that would fit into the command line I decided that something simple like tic tac toe (also called noughts and crosses) would be a good starting point. The game board is small and the conditions for winning are pretty simple to understand.

PHP Logo

Creating A Game With PHP Part 1: Detecting Key Input

8th November 2020 - 6 minutes read time

I was watching a documentary about old computers on YouTube recently and it showed a video of an early computer game creating using the command line. This wasn't a text based adventure game, but a game creating using text for the graphics running as a program on the command line. This got me thinking that creating something like this should be possible using PHP. If it was possible on a 30 year old computer then surely it's possible to get PHP to do it, right? I thought it might be interesting to create a series of posts showing how to put this together.

Drupal Logo

Drupal 8: Creating A Subquery In Views

7th November 2020 - 6 minutes read time

You've probably been there before. A Drupal View you are working on looks great and has all the data and fields you need, but when you look a little closer at the results you realise that something is off. After looking at the generated SQL query you see that there is a problem with one of the joins which causes your counts to be off a little. Ultimately, you need to remove this join, but you really need that data included in your results.

Creating a subquery can allow you to pull out data from a specific field without adding another join that would cause the results to be out.

Drupal Logo

Drupal 9: Creating Custom Twig Functions And Filters

1st November 2020 - 6 minutes read time

Whilst Twig is a powerful tool in its own right there are occasions when you need to pull out data from Drupal or manipulate it in certain ways. I normally do this using preprocess steps, but I recently found that it was also possible to extend Twig within the Drupal framework to provide your own functions and filters. This can be useful if you have custom templates and need to perform special actions on data items to format them in different ways.

Setting Up

Before we can create Twig filters and functions in Drupal we need to tell Drupal that we have a class that contains them. This is done by creating an entry in the your module services file that contains the tag tag.extension. In a module called "custom_twig" the file would be called custom_twig.services.yml and would contain the following.

PHP Logo

New Features And Breaking Changes PHP8

29th October 2020 - 19 minutes read time

PHP8 will be released on November 26th 2020 and there is lots being written about the upcoming features in this release has now been released! As this is a major version there will be new features as well as breaking changes so it's important to be aware of what is changing. This will make it easier to think about how PHP8 will effect your applications and what actions you will need to take to ensure you can upgrade without incident.

I thought I would go through a few of the main changes to see whats going to be in the next PHP release.

Running PHP8

A good first step is to look at how to install PHP8 so that you can check it out for yourself. If you are using Ubuntu then the simplest way to install PHP8 is to use the existing ondrej/php PPA library. This can be installed using the following commands.

Drupal Logo

Drupal 9: Getting Setup Quickly With DrupalVM

11th October 2020 - 7 minutes read time

I like working with DrupalVM and I've worked with Ansible based Vagrant setups for years and so I'm very familiar with it's setup. More than that, I find I have very few problems with running it. I normally run it with Vagrant, but you can run it with Docker if you like.

When starting a new site project I normally add DrupalVM to the codebase so that I can get the site up and running quickly. This is especially useful if something like Solr is involved as setting that up is a pain. I thought I would go through the steps involved in adding DrupalVM to your codebase as it's pretty simple and will get you up and running with a Drupal site in about 10 minutes.

Start out with a Drupal site in a composer setup. I normally run the Drupal recommended composer setup file so that I have a up to date Drupal codebase, so let's do that here.

Drupal Logo

Drupal 9: 7 Composer Tips

1st October 2020 - 14 minutes read time

I've been using composer with Drupal for a few years now and I've picked up a few things along the way that have really helped me out. Following on from my post about the anatomy of the recommended Drupal 9 composer file I thought it would be good to expand on that to present some tips.

Here are 7 tips that will help you out when using composer with Drupal.

Automatic Patches With Composer

One of the most useful things I have found is using composer to manage patches to projects. This is possible using a project called composer-patches. You can require this into your project like this.

Drupal Logo

Drupal 9: Anatomy Of The Drupal Recommended Composer File

20th September 2020 - 12 minutes read time

According to the official Drupal documentation, to create a new site using composer you should use a composer template project called drupal/recommended-project. This has a default composer.json file setup with some values that will help you get up and running swiftly with a new Drupal project.

It's a good initiative to get you up and running with a standard Drupal site pretty quickly. I've used this composer project a number of times now, but I haven't really looked at what's in it. I thought I would dive in and see exactly that's in there and dissect it line by line.

To reiterate what's in the Drupal documentation, to create a brand new Drupal project using composer use the following command.

Drupal Logo

Drupal 8: Adding Events To Existing Behaviours

15th September 2020 - 8 minutes read time

I recently needed to add functionality to the Password Policy module so I thought I would outline the steps I took in a blog post. The Password Policy module is used to enforce a stricter password policy on users on a Drupal site. This means that when a user creates or changes their password they must conform to certain rules like the password length, or if it contains upper and lower case characters. There are a set of rules to chose from and they can be fully customised by the site administrators. It's a good module, you should check it out.

PHP Logo

Committing The Composer Vendor Directory

13th September 2020 - 21 minutes read time
When installing composer dependencies those dependencies are downloaded and stored in the 'vendor' directory. There are options available to install this into a different location than the composer.json file, but it's generally found in the same directory. The vendor directory contains quite a bit of code, which is especially the case if your project contains quite a lot of dependencies. More often than not though, this directory will not contain any code that you have actually written. It will contain the necessary third party libraries that allow your code to work correctly.