Tag Archives: php

The Visitor Pattern in PHP

Implementing the Visitor Pattern requires the ability to dynamically determine the type of the Visitor and the type of the “Element” (aka: object receiving the visitor).

In PHP (>= 5.0.0), this can easily be achieved with the get_class() function as we will see shortly.

Let’s start by looking at how the Visitor Pattern will look within user code;

$updateVisitor = new UpdateVisitor();
$deleteVisitor = new DeleteVisitor();
$element = new Foo();


Looking at the UpdateVisitor class, we want the visitFoo() function to be called;

interface Visitor { }
class UpdateVisitor implements Visitor {
    public function visitFoo(Foo $theElement) {
        // ...

You may already be (correctly) thinking “Why not just call $updateVisitor->visitFoo($element) directly?”.
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Inserting a function into all classes in a directory via Terminal

Or; Multi-line Search and Replace regular expression on the Command Line.

The situation

You have a single abstract class which is extended multiple times in 10 or 100 different classes throughout your codebase.

You’ve found a need for a new abstract method which all classes must now implement.

The problem

Who wants to manually insert that new code into all those classes!? (I don’t).

We need an automated way to do this
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Zend Framework Quickstart with MySQL

The Zend Framework Quickstart guide is a great place to start with the Framework, however it bases the example program on SQLite. As MySQL is the choice of the rest of the world (and even Zend’s own Stack installation), here is the Zend Framework Quickstart done with MySQL.

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PHPUnit Bootstrap and Autoloading classes

The PHPUnit Bootstrap is perfect when there is code to be run before tests are executed. The limitation however is there can only be one bootstrap per PHPUnit configuration file.

This is an issue if there are a set of classes that need to be included – we don’t want to manually include every class every test could possibly need.

PHP’s Autoloading feature comes to the rescue, allowing us to seamlessly include classes as they’re required for tests.
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Testing using Mocks & Stubs with PHPUnit

Now that we’ve got PHPUnit setup, we need to start writing the unit tests.

My immediate needs are to Unit test two classes, the first being a basic structure with getters and setters with small calculations performed. The PHPUnit manual provides a great starting point for testing this class in chapters 4 and 6, so I wont cover those here.

The second class, however, maintains a list of objects of the first type as well as performing some calculations based on them. Since we’re doing unit tests and not integration tests, we need to make sure that the results of our second class are predictable which means decoupling it from the first class. This obviously presents a problem whereby it would no longer function without the first class. This is where Mocks and Stubs come in.
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