Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Homebrew Made PHP Harder on OS X

With Brew version 1.5, Homebrew announced they were deprecating the PHP tap. There blog post about it seems to understate what really happened. They have migrated the formulas for PHP installation to ONLY install a standard version of PHP with "the most common extensions". If other extensions are required, they have to be installed using Pecl, Pear or compiled manually.

This reminds me of the days when I had to fix dependencies and compile everything. After pulling my hair out for a few hours and reverting the entire local directory twice, I decided to relax and figure out what I needed to do to upgrade to PHP 7.1 (finally).

A month before the announcement of Brew 1.5 I had installed PHP 7.1 on my MacBook with great success including all the additional extensions that I needed for development. When I tried that same thing on my desktop, Brew updated itself, migrated php56 to php@5.6 and I fell into the rabbit hole.

My current projects require the following extensions:

  • mbstring
  • gd
  • memcached
  • xdebug
  • mailparse

The "standard" PHP came with MbString and GD. Memcached and Mailparse were the main problems not to mention I consider Xdebug an absolute requirement for any development environment.


Before installing memcached, pkg-config has to be installed with
brew install pkg-config

To actually install memcache, the package manager PECL is used.
pecl install memcached

But it asks for the libmemcached directory. After several attempts and some Googling, I found that providing the actual path to the library was not correct. Just supply the path to Brew's working directory.
As the comment from mkoppanen states, the supplied directory is just a prefix for the test to find memcached.h.

Pecl states that it adds the extension to PHP but this is not true. To accomplish this I added a file to the conf.d directory to load the extension (for both FPM and CLI)

File: /usr/local/etc/php/7.1/conf.d/20-memcached.ini


Relative to memcache, mailparse ended up being easier. Again use PECL.
pecl install mailparse

And again PECL states that it adds the extension but this is still not true. It requires manually linking it to PHP.

File: /usr/local/etc/php/7.1/conf.d/20-mailparse.ini


The only difference with Xdebug is that it's a Zend extension so the linking is different.
pecl install xdebug

With the extension getting loaded into PHP with a ini file in the conf.d directory.

File: /usr/local/etc/php/7.1/conf.d/10-xdebug.ini
[xdebug] zend_extension="/usr/local/Cellar/php@7.1/7.1.19/pecl/20160303/xdebug.so"

The location of the ini files linking these extensions to PHP is the same as what Brew does as seen with the OPcache extension.

Also since I'm running Nginx not Apache, some changes to PHP-FPM had to happen to make things work. To alleviate permission problems, the user and group are set to me. Also the listen mode has to be set to read/write by everyone so Nginx can connect correctly.

user = davidfairbanks
group = staff
listen.mode = 0666

While all of this is a pain to stop working and figure it out, it's still better than having Apple completely wipe my development environment when updates comes out. Not to mention easier than having to compile everything from source code which is what I used to do.

My local development environment

  • OS X Sierra
  • PHP 7.1
  • Nginx 1.12.2
  • MariaDB 10.3.7
  • Memcached
  • Beanstalkd
  • Node 8.11.2

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Interactive Command Line Directory Picker

Like most developers, I work on multiple projects, and I'm lazy so I don't like to constantly typing in directory paths to change my location in terminal. I used to use a custom bash script to make this task easier but it proved to be hard to maintain and not flexible.

Since I am primarily a PHP developer, I wanted to make a script in PHP to handle the interactive logic bits of determining what project I am trying to navigate to. As an added feature, I wanted to not have to memorize all the possible paths that I've setup in the chooser. To this end, I can enter as little as the function name or the beginning portion of the option or the entire path option:

  • chdir
  • chdir juno
  • chdir juno.api
  • chdir juno.api.logs
If the path entered is the final destination (resulting in a string) then you're redirected to that location. If it's a option (resulting in an array) you're given a choice of where to go.

A simple bash function is created in my ~/.bash_profile. The function takes the first argument it receives and passes it directly to the PHP script. The PHP script then puts the resulting path choice into a temporary file. Then the bash script reads the file. With some additional time spent, I probably could have avoided the temporary file but I didn't feel it was worth it. The PHP script validates the path, so as long as the result in the temporary file is not empty, the bash function changes the current working directory with the cd command.

chdir() {
    echo '' >> /tmp/chdir
    php /Users/david/dev/directory_chooser $1
    rm /tmp/chdir
    if [ "${route}" != '' ]
        cd $route

Because this function is placed into my bash profile script, there is no need to prepend the call with a period so it will result in changing the current working directory. The custom bash script I used previously had to be executed with a dot space prepending it to actually change my working directory.

The bulk of the work happens in a PHP script called directory_chooser. The possible path options are coded into the $routes array. The name displayed is the key. If the value is a string, then it's the destination for that option. If the value of is an array, then it's a deeper set of options. The special case is when an option has no key (index of zero), it's presented as the Root. So choosing juno.api will result in a choice between the Root and logs.

// Command line colors
$colorReset="\033[0m";           # Text Reset
$colorCyan="\033[0;36m";         # Cyan
$colorBRed="\033[1;31m";         # Bold Red
$colorBGreen="\033[1;32m";       # Bold Green
$colorBCyan="\033[1;36m";        # Bold Cyan

// Available path options
$routes = [
    'juno' => [
        'home'   => '/Users/david/dev/juno-home/Juno-Home',
        'api'    => [
            'logs' => '/Users/david/dev/juno-api/Juno-API/storage/logs'
        'app'    => '/Users/david/dev/juno-app/Juno-App',
        'mobile' => '/Users/david/dev/juno-mobile/Juno-Mobile'
    'example' => '/Users/david/dev/example.com'

$input = (isset($argv[1])) ? $argv[1] : null;
$route = null;

// If the input is a dot notation value, get the path option desired
if($input !== null && strpos($input, '.') !== false) {
    $parts = explode('.', $input);

    $route = $routes;
    foreach($parts as $part) {
        if(is_array($route) && isset($route[$part])) {
            $route = $route[$part];
// If the input is provided but is not a dot notation
elseif($input !== null && isset($routes[$input])) {
    $route = $routes[$input];
} else {
    $route = $routes;

// Drill down in the path options until we get to a string path
while(!is_string($route)) {
    $names = array_keys($route);

    if(count($names) == 1) {
        $route = $route[$names[0]];

    foreach($names as $index => $name) {
        if($name === 0) {
            echo "{$colorCyan}\t{$index} - Root{$colorReset}\n";
        } else {
            echo "{$colorCyan}\t{$index} - {$name}{$colorReset}\n";

    echo "{$colorBCyan}Which path (numeric index):{$colorReset}\n";
    $handle = fopen('php://stdin', 'r');
    $line = fgets($handle);
    if(isset($names[(int)$line]) && $route[$names[(int)$line]]) {
        $route = $route[$names[(int)$line]];

// Make sure path actually exists
// On success, write the path to a temporary file so the bash script can get it
if(file_exists($route)) {
    echo "{$colorBGreen}Changing location to {$route}{$colorReset}\n";
    file_put_contents('/tmp/chdir', $route);
} else {
    echo "{$colorBRed}ERROR: The destination does not exist - $route\n";

The while loop makes it so that you can have path options as deep or as shallow as we want.

Because I like a pretty command line tools, I'm colorizing the PHP output with the $colorCyan and similar values. There are libraries to make command line choices like this easy, but I didn't want the overhead of maintaining links to a library, that's why I'm using the basic PHP command line input method of stdin.

The names have been changed to protect the innocent.