Using PrismJS with RequireJS and loading plugins asynchronously

Whilst developing my site, I came across a beautiful syntax highlighter called PrismJS which I wanted to use, however, it is not built out of the box for use with AMD APIs such as RequireJS.

I wanted to enable a few features with PrismJS and RequireJS, namely, the ability to:
  • Load PrismJS through RequireJS and have it highlight code elements.
  • Dynamically load the necessary language files so that code blocks can be highlighted with the correct language definitions.
  • Load plugins so that I could use...
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Doctrine PrePersist and PreUpdate functions not working

Whilst developing my site, I was finding that my PrePersist (on creation) and PreUpdate (on update) doctrine2 lifecycle callbacks weren't being triggered:

/**
 * @ORM\PrePersist
 */
protected function prePersist()
{
    $this->dateCreated = new \DateTime();
    $this->deleted = false;
}

/**
 * @ORM\PreUpdate
 */
protected function preUpdate()
{
    $this->dateUpdated = new \DateTime();
}

The Solution

PrePersist and PreUpdate function must be public functions in your entities. Chan...
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Symfony2 Assetic with LESS generating empty files on Unix

Yesterday, I tried running the following command using the symfony console to dump my LESS files into a static CSS file, for my site:
php app/console assetic:dump --env=prod --no-debug
On doing so, when I visited my site, no CSS styling had been applied, and when checking the generated file in the /web/bundles/ folder, it was empty.

I'd recently had issues installing and running composer on my fresh installation of Ubuntu, so I assumed it would be a similar issue, namely around the php.ini settin...
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Issues with globally installing Composer on Ubuntu under root

Whilst trying to install composer globally, using my root account, I was running into a strange problem when running the command
curl -sS https://getcomposer.org/installer | php
At first, I was only seeing the following:

root@machine:/home/websites$ curl -sS https://getcomposer.org/installer | php
#!/usr/bin/env php
All settings correct for using Composer
root@machine:/home/websites$
PHP was hiding any errors I was meant to see, as I had set my system to use production settings. I turned on PH...
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Symfony2 Web Debug Toolbar 500 Internal Server Error based on getTemplateClass

I came across a strange issue today whilst developing on symfony2. On a very bare installation of symfony, every time I refreshed the page, I came across the following error:

An error occurred while loading the web debug toolbar (500 internal server error)
I'd then have the option to view the profiler or cancel.
On viewing the profiler, I saw the following:

Error: Maximum function nesting level of '100' reached, aborting!
500 Internal Server Error - FatalErrorException
and the initial stack tra...
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Secure Password hashing using PHP, bcrypt and the password hash function

PHP 5.5 gives us a secure way to hash and store passwords in our database, using a simple built in function called password_hash. We can then easily verify that password using it's sibling function password_verify.

Using the function is very simple, and incredibly secure. password_hash actually bakes in a lot of good practices when storing passwords, so we don't have to worry about doing it manually.

Good Practice: Cost Factor

The function allows a cost factor to increase the complexity of the h...
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Cache Design Patterns: Namespacing and Cache Expiration

Memcached is a caching daemon used in PHP to speed up dynamic data driven applications by store objects and data in memory; it's main use is to reduce the number of times we have to recall these objects from external data sources (e.g. DBs and APIs), as reading from these sources is generally slower than reading from memory.

However, on large scale applications, it's not trivial to implement a good caching system, usually because of invalidation issues. When a user performs an action to update ...
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Setup Mail on Ubuntu using Postfix ready for PHP and GMail

Recently, I switching hosting to dedicated, and needed to update my server to allow it to send and receive email to all of my accounts, which are managed by Google Apps account. After a bit of research, I finally found out what I needed to do to allow this.

A few things I wanted:
  • All emails which were forwarded to any email address on my domain should go to 1 main account
  • I should be able to send emails using PHP
  • All received emails should be managed by Google

Install a Mail Transfer Agent (MTA)

Th...
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