Mac popup notification for a PHP error

Receive a notification when PHP errors are logged on Mac

I have PHP configured to log all of its errors to a single log file. I always have Terminal open and tail watching this file. However, sometimes I don’t realize that new errors have been logged right away, which is annoying. To overcome this, I thought it would be nice if I could get a popup notification each time there was an error, just like many Mac apps do. I found this thread on SO, which helped me solve my problem.

If you have Homebrew installed, all you need to do is run:

$ brew install terminal-notifier
$ brew install fswatch

Then add this function to your .bash_profile:

notify-php-logs() {
	fswatch -0 ~/zebug.log | xargs -0 -n 1 \
		terminal-notifier -title "PHP Error" \
			-message "New errors in zebug.log" \
			-group "php-errors" \
			-activate ""

Then run:

$ notify-php-logs >/dev/null 2>&1 &
$ tail -f ~/zebug.log

You’ll want to replace ~/zebug.log with the path of the log file that you want to listen to, of course.

Now whenever there is a PHP error, you will get a notification, and when you click on it the Terminal app will be brought to the front so you can see the error.

Running Codeception WebDriver Tests For WordPress Plugins on Travis CI

Recently I’ve been exploring creating acceptance tests for my WordPress plugins. I decided that Codeception was the best tool for the job, and WP Browser was a good bootstrap for running WordPress-specific tests. That makes it fairly simple to run WebDriver tests locally using PhantomJS or even a real browser. I also wanted to run my acceptance tests on Travis CI though, and that proved to be a real challenge. After a lot of trial and error I finally got it to work. But rather than trying to tell you all about it, it is much easier just to show you. So I’ve created a demo GitHub repo just for that purpose. Head on over there to check it out and see it in action!

The Law of Software Thermodynamics

I just found this quote, and I wanted to save it for reference:

There’s this little law of thermodynamics that says energy is neither created nor destroy[ed], it just changes form. This law almost holds true for complexity in software development – except that we can and do create complexity in our systems. And it seems that once we create the complexity, it never seems to get destroyed. It only gets moved around.

Source: Backbone.js: Getting The Model For A Clicked Element by Derick Bailey

PHPUnit and the WordPress file system API

If you unit test your WordPress projects with PHPUnit, sooner or later you’ll want to test some code that interacts with the filesystem. If you are interacting with the filesystem properly, you’ll be using the $wp_filesystem object.

A few months ago I found myself needing to test some code that created a file using the WordPress filesystem API. I searched for a good solution, and found the information about mocking the filesystem on the PHPUnit website. But after tinkering with vfsStream, I decided it would be easier to build a simple filesystem mocker myself than to integrate vfsStream with the WP Filesystem API. So I did.

The result is the WP Filesystem Mock.

[It] Provides a class that can be used as a mock filesystem, and also a shim for the WordPress filesystem API that uses it. This is useful in unit tests that include simple filesystem operations.


Unserializing Safely

Avoid object injection with this:

    if ( 1 !== preg_match( '~O:\d~', $maybe_dangerous ) ) {
        // All is well, this is safe to unserialize.

For security it is best if you use json_* or something else instead. But if you are working with a project built by someone else and you have no choice, this will keep you from unserializing any objects.