Schema Generator 3: A Step Towards Redecentralizing the Web!

I just released API Platform Schema Generator version 3! It’s a command-line tool, part of the API Platform framework, that instantly generates a complete PHP data model (classes, enumerations, ORM mapping, validation rules, web API definitions, PHPDoc…) from RDF vocabularies and ontologies. RDF vocabularies are commonly used to define web-scale (Schema.org), industry-wide (The NASA Air Traffic Management Ontology, The Automotive Ontology, AddictO Vocab) or organization-wide (EU Vocabularies, Volkswagen Vehicles Ontology) concepts and relationships.

New Features

Vocabulary support in versions 1 and 2 of the tool was limited. Only Schema.org was 100% supported. Version 3 is now compatible with most existing vocabularies. To do so, we have implemented support for the Web Ontology Language (OWL) and for XML Schema types.

Also, the generated code now leverages the new features introduced in recent PHP versions, especially the improvements made to the type system: typed properties, nullable type declarations…

Towards a Decentralized Web

As you probably know, I’m very concerned about the centralization of the web:

The web is being weaponized by Tech Giants and governments. What used to be a free and autonomous space, an emancipation instrument where marginalized groups had a voice, is becoming a mass surveillance tool where censorship rules. We must act to redecentralize, just as the original was designed. Following Trump’s ban (which was entirely justified), even the creator of Twitter comes to this conclusion:

Among the various RDF vocabularies, one could be the foundation for this redecentralized web: ActivityStreams. It’s the vocabulary of ActivityPub, a W3C-backed social networking protocol used to build decentralized and federated social media. ActivityPub is already implemented by popular social media software including Mastodon, PeerTube, Mobilizon and WriteFreely. Servers implementing the ActivityPub protocol are interoperable and federated in what we call the Fediverse.

And here we’re back to API Platform Schema Generator v3: this new version has been created especially to bootstrap PHP applications using ActivityStreams! Generating a set of PHP classes implementing the vocabulary is as easy as cherry-picking the types and properties you want in a config file!

And that’s not all. I also created a new experimental component implementing the whole ActivityPub protocol: API Platform ActivityPub!

Thanks to this component, connecting a Symfony or an API Platform application (including existing ones) to the Fediverse is just a matter of installing a bundle! As all other API Platform components, API Platform ActivityPub can also be used as a standalone PHP library in projects not using Symfony.

PHP was the language of choice to build the original (at that time decentralized) web. Over the years, PHP dramatically improved, removing most footguns and becoming one of the fastest programming languages. But PHP is still easy to learn, and usable by hobbyists. I hope that it will become the language of choice to build the redecentralized web, and that API Platform will help to achieve this goal!

Links

Sponsor Me!

To allow me to work more on API Platform, my other free software projects and my experiments to redecentralize the web, consider sponsoring me! (Yes I know, GitHub is a proprietary service and belongs to a Big Tech, but we all have our contradictions, and I hope to be able to switch to radicle at some point.)

API Platform 2.6

API Platform 2.6: PHP 8 support, Next.js and Nuxt.js app generator, Caddy server, ActivityPub and much more!

During my talk at SymfonyWorld, I announced the immediate availability of API Platform 2.6 (alpha version)! Try it now!

Version 2.6 is the result of more than one year of work and hundreds of commits. It contains a huge list of new features, checkout the change logs (core library, distribution) for the full list. In this blog post, I’ll present the major new features! You can also take a look at the slide deck I presented (go on SpeakerDeck for the transcript):

See also the French translation of this article.

PHP 8 Support

PHP 8 was released one week ago, and it comes with a huge list of new features. Among these features, attributes are a game changer for API Platform, as it relied a lot on annotations.

Starting with API Platform 2.6 you can use every annotation classes as PHP 8 attributes:

<?php

namespace App\Entity;

use ApiPlatform\Core\Annotation\ApiResource;

#[ApiResource]
class Book
{
    public function __construct(
        public string $id,
        public string $title
    ) {}
}

API Platform is now also fully compatible with PHP 8 (all deprecations have been fixed), and PHP 8 is now the default in the API Platform Distribution!

Next.js and Nuxt.js Support

API Platform comes with a very practical tool to scaffold client applications: the client generator. This generator uses the Hydra or OpenAPI (experimental) documentation of the API to generate apps using various client-side technologies. It works with any API documented using these formats, not only with APIs using the server-side component of API Platform!

Generating TypeScript interfaces as well as of Progressive Web Apps built with React Native, React/Redux, Vue.js, Quasar and Vuetify was already supported. In API Platform 2.6, this tool gained support for Next.js!

Next.js is the reference framework in the React ecosystem. It is very easy to use, supports Server-Side Rendering out of the box, has a simple yet powerful page-based routing system and supports a wide range of features.

We also updated the API Platform distribution to use Next.js by default. A Docker container and a Docker Compose definition will start a skeleton of a Next.js app automatically and you will be able to scaffold your pages and forms by running a single command!

API Platform Admin is now also integrated in this Next.js app, on the /admin route.

You prefer using Vue instead of React? We’ve got you covered! In API Platform 2.6 we also introduced a Nuxt.js generator. Nuxt.js is similar to Next.js, but using Vue! And, as API Platform, it has been created by French folks!

Simplifying the API Platform Distribution with Caddy Server

In API Platform 2.6, the distribution has been totally revamped. API Platform supports many advanced features out of the box, including the Mercure and Vulcain protocols. To support these features, API Platform came with many Docker containers:

  • PHP FPM
  • NGINX
  • A container to generate TLS certificates
  • Vulcain reverse proxy
  • Mercure Hub
  • Postgres
  • A Node.js container for the client generator
  • A Node.js container for the admin app

In API Platform 2.6, we simplified everything! First, we switched from NGINX to the awesome Caddy web server. Caddy is fast, fully-featured and extensible. For instance, it generates TLS certificates automatically both in production and on local development environment and natively supports PHP FPM. We also created Caddy modules for Mercure and for Vulcain! We’re also working with the Caddy team to create an HTTP cache module that will replace Varnish.

As explained in the previous section, we also replaced Create React App by Next.js and merged the containers for the client and the admin.

The result is a very simplified setup:

  • PHP FPM
  • Caddy web server
  • Postgres (optional)
  • Next.js container (optional)

We also added support for a production mode to the Docker Compose definition included in the distribution.

Better Configuration

Until now, it wasn’t possible to define global configuration defaults applied to all resources and all operations. You had to copy your configuration in all resource definitions. Starting with API Platform 2.6, you can define a global default configuration:

# config/packages/api_platform.yaml
api_platform:
    defaults:
        itemOperations: ["get"]
        collectionOperations: ["get"]
        mercure: true

With the previous config, write routes are disabled for the whole API, and Mercure support (async API) is enabled for all resources!

Access Control for Properties

API Platform supports resource-based access control. In 2.6, we introduced support for property-based access control:

<?php

namespace App\Entity;

use ApiPlatform\Core\Annotation\ApiResource;
use ApiPlatform\Core\Annotation\ApiProperty;

#[ApiResource]
class Book
{
    #[\ApiProperty(security: "is_granted('ROLE_ADMIN')"]
    public $adminOnlyProperty; 
}

Thanks to this rule, the adminOnlyProperty will be serialized only for users having the admin role! Other users will not be able to see it.

ActivityPub Component

As you may know, I’m very worried by the current state of the web, and I think that we must fight to decentralize the web again.

ActivityPub is a specification edited by the W3C unlocking interoperability between social networking applications. It’s part of the solution to fight global censorship and to move out of the walled gardens of big tech companies. ActivityPub is already implemented by many software including Mastodon (Twitter-like), PeerTube (YouTube-like), PixelFed (Instagram-like), Mobilizon (Meetup-like)… This ecosystem is called the Fediverse.

In API Platform 2.6, we introduced a new experimental component allowing to add support for ActivityPub in any API Platform or Symfony application! It’s now way easier than before to build federated apps and to grow the Fediverse!

Community

The biggest strength of API Platform is its community of users and contributors! To celebrate our vibrant community, we added new pages to the website dedicated to the community. Each contributor now has a dedicated page including a summary of their contributions. Discover our awesome community!

And to thank contributors, we’re also offering nice t-shirts to them as part of the Hacktoberfest initiative!

API Platform 3

The next version of API Platform will be API Platform 3! We’ll release API Platform 2.7 at the same time. API Platform 3 will basically be API Platform 2.7 minus the backward compatibility layer with the deprecated code.

API Platform 3 will promote subresources as first-class citizens! They will support write operations. The overall configuration is also being revamped.

Also, to reduce the maintenance burden, API Platform 3 will only support PHP 8 and Symfony 5.2+! Be prepared.

Misc

They are also loads of new features in API Platform 2.6 not listed in this blog post: our GraphQL subsystem gained a lot of new features (including support for subscriptions and page-based pagination), the MongoDB bridge now supports the Mercure protocol, the OpenAPI builder has been totally rewritten, composed identifiers are easier to handle… Read the change logs (core library, distribution) to discover all of them!

I want to thank all contributors having contributed code and documentation for API Platform 2.6! Nothing would be possible without you.

Please try the alpha version and report any bugs!

If you have not yet given a GitHub star to the project, please do, it helps a lot to promote it.

If you like my work on the project, please also consider sponsoring me!

Forum PHP 2019: Mercure – Real-Time for PHP Made Easy

Yesterday at Forum PHP 2019 I presented how easy it is to create real-time apps using PHP (among other languages) and the Mercure protocol.

I also introduced the shiny and new Mercure website (designed by Laury S.)!

A special thanks to Eric Comellas who jumped on stage to explain how iGraal uses Mercure on a large scale to serve simultaneously more than 100,000 of their customers!

API Platform 2.5

API Platform 2.5: revamped Admin, new API testing tool, Next.js and Quasar app generators, PATCH and JSON Schema support, improved OpenAPI and GraphQL support

I’m very excited to announce the immediate availability of API Platform 2.5!

API Platform is a set of standalone server and client components for building and consuming REST (JSON-LD, Hydra, JSON:API…) and GraphQL APIs. The server components use PHP and Symfony while the client-side components (which support any Hydra-enabled web API, even the ones not built using API Platform) are written in JS. If you haven’t tried API Platform yet, it only takes a few minutes to create your first project!

API Platform 2.5 is the best version ever of the framework! Let’s discover its most interesting new features.

API Platform Admin 1.0: the power of React Admin and Material UI unleashed!

API Platform comes with a powerful component to create admin interfaces. It is built on top of React Admin and Material-UI.

Pass the URL of any Hydra-enabled API (including, of course, APIs built with API Platform itself) to the HydraAdmin component, and you instantly get a beautiful, fully-featured admin interface for resources exposed by the API including:

  • CRUD pages;
  • widgets based on the type of the properties;
  • filters;
  • sorting;
  • client-side validation…

The admin interface is dynamically built client-side, by parsing the Hydra metadata of the API. To do so, only a single LLOC is necessary:

import React from "react";
import { HydraAdmin } from "@api-platform/admin";

export default () => <HydraAdmin entrypoint="https://demo.api-platform.com"/>

And you get this (live demo):

demo-admin.api-platform.com

In previous versions, customizing the UI wasn’t straightforward nor idiomatic: you had to post-process the JS object containing the parsed API documentation.

Luckily, the Marmelab (creator of React Admin) and Les-Tilleuls.coop (creator of API Platform) teams got together several times during the summer to create a new version which dramatically improves the DX. Thus API Platform Admin 1.0 was born! While keeping the simplicity of previous versions, it now allows to leverage the power of JSX to customize every part of the UI using React Admin components, Material-UI components, or your custom React components:

import React from "react";
import {
  HydraAdmin,
  ResourceGuesser,
  CreateGuesser,
  InputGuesser
} from "@api-platform/admin";
import { ReferenceInput, AutocompleteInput } from "react-admin";

const ReviewsCreate = props => (
  <CreateGuesser {...props}>
    <InputGuesser source="author" />
    <ReferenceInput
      source="book"
      reference="books"
      label="Books"
      filterToQuery={searchText => ({ title: searchText })}
    >
      <AutocompleteInput optionText="title" />
    </ReferenceInput>

    <InputGuesser source="rating" />
    <InputGuesser source="body" />
  </CreateGuesser>
);

export default () => (
  <HydraAdmin entrypoint="https://demo.api-platform.com">
    <ResourceGuesser
      name="reviews"
      create={ReviewsCreate}
    />
  </HydraAdmin>
);

In the previous example, we add an autocomplete input for a relation by using the dedicated React Admin component while letting API Platform Admin guess which inputs to use for the other properties based on the API docs.

Check out the updated and improved documentation to learn more about these new customization capabilities!

This feature has been contributed by Morgan Auchede, Florian Ferbach, Gildas Garcia, Alexis Janvier, Jean-François Thuillier, François Zaninotto and myself.

Next.js and Quasar support in the Client Generator

API Platform also provides an app generator supporting React, Vue and React Native. And in version 2.5, it is also able to generate high quality Next.js and Quasar apps!

API Platform Client Generator is very similar to Symfony’s MakerBundle and to Rails’ scaffolding, but instead of generating server-side code, it generates a client-side app which uses the API to fetch and persist data. To do so, like the admin component, the generator uses the Hydra specification exposed by the API (built with API Platform or otherwise; support for OpenAPI and GraphQL is in progress).

Next.js is the most popular framework for React, with automatic Server-Side Rendering support, routing, code splitting, CSS-in-JS, static exporting… The Next.js generator, created by Grégory Copin, leverages the 0-config TypeScript support introduced in Next 9: all generated code is written in TS!

To generate a Next app from any API exposing a Hydra specification, run the following commands:

$ npm install next --save # Install next
$ npx @api-platform/client-generator https://demo.api-platform.com src/ --generator next # Scaffold the app

And you get high quality code you can customize to fit your needs:

List screenshot

Refer to the dedicated documentation to learn about all the capabilities of this generator.

Quasar is a framework built on top of Vue.js allowing to write SPAs with Server-Side Rendering support, mobile apps and Electron apps in one go. Its comes with a nice Material Design interface.

To use it, run the following commands:

$ npm install -g @quasar/cli
$ quasar create my-app
$ npx @api-platform/client-generator https://demo.api-platform.com src/ --generator quasar my-app/src # Scaffold the app

A big thanks to Paul Apostol for contributing this generator!

A brand new test client and dedicated API assertions

Currently, there is a lack of satisfactory solutions to write functional tests for web APIs built in PHP (API Platform and Symfony included):

  • Behat+Behatch+Mink is BDD-oriented (which is completely fine, but doesn’t fit with all projects/teams), is a bit complex to set up, has a high barrier to entry and is still not fully compatible with Symfony 4 (you need to rely on a dev version of Behat). It also lacks some utilities, for database testing for instance.
  • BrowserKit/WebTestCase is dedicated to webpage testing through web scraping (DOM Crawler, CSS selectors, simulation of browser actions such as clicking or reloading a page…). Its API doesn’t fit well with API testing. However, it benefits from the large ecosystem of PHPUnit, and gives access to numerous functional testing helpers provided by Symfony.
  • External solutions which don’t manipulate the Symfony Kernel (but are true HTTP clients) such as Postman or Blackfire Player require setting up a web server for the testing environment and don’t provide access to the service container (for instance, to test if the database has been updated, or if a mail has been sent).

It’s time to say hi to ApiTestCase, Test\Client and a bunch of new assertions dedicated to API testing (matching a JSON document or a subset of it, checking the status code and headers of HTTP responses, validating against a  JSON Schema…)! This new set of API testing utilities is built on top of Symfony’s KernelTestCase class, and the Test\Client implements the exact same interface as the brand new Symfony HttpClient component.

This new testing tool also plays very well with Alice (a test fixture generator having an official Symfony/API Platform recipe), which has also gained new powers in the process!

Let’s see how it looks:

namespace App\Tests;

use ApiPlatform\Core\Bridge\Symfony\Bundle\Test\ApiTestCase;
use App\Entity\Book;
use Hautelook\AliceBundle\PhpUnit\RefreshDatabaseTrait;

class BooksTest extends ApiTestCase
{
    // This trait provided by HautelookAliceBundle will take care of refreshing the database content to a known state before each test
    use RefreshDatabaseTrait;
    
    public function testCreateBook(): void
    {
        $response = static::createClient()->request('POST', '/books', ['json' => [
            'isbn' => '0099740915',
            'title' => 'The Handmaid\'s Tale',
            'description' => 'Brilliantly conceived and executed, this powerful evocation of twenty-first century America gives full rein to Margaret Atwood\'s devastating irony, wit and astute perception.',
            'author' => 'Margaret Atwood',
            'publicationDate' => '1985-07-31T00:00:00+00:00',
        ]]);

        $this->assertResponseStatusCodeSame(201);
        $this->assertResponseHeaderSame('content-type', 'application/ld+json; charset=utf-8');
        $this->assertJsonContains([
            '@context' => '/contexts/Book',
            '@type' => 'Book',
            'isbn' => '0099740915',
            'title' => 'The Handmaid\'s Tale',
            'description' => 'Brilliantly conceived and executed, this powerful evocation of twenty-first century America gives full rein to Margaret Atwood\'s devastating irony, wit and astute perception.',
            'author' => 'Margaret Atwood',
            'publicationDate' => '1985-07-31T00:00:00+00:00',
            'reviews' => [],
        ]);
        $this->assertRegExp('~^/books/\d+$~', $response->toArray()['@id']);

        // This new assertions checks that the returned JSON document matches the JSON Schema generated by API Platform for this resource (also included in the OpenAPI file) 
        $this->assertMatchesResourceItemJsonSchema(Book::class);
    }

    public function testUpdateBook(): void
    {
        $client = static::createClient();
        // findIriBy allows to retrieve the IRI of an item by searching for some of its properties.
        // ISBN 9786644879585 has been generated by Alice when loading test fixtures.
        // Because Alice use a seeded pseudo-random number generator, we're sure that this ISBN will always be generated.
        $iri = static::findIriBy(Book::class, ['isbn' => '9781344037075']);

        $client->request('PUT', $iri, ['json' => [
            'title' => 'updated title',
        ]]);

        $this->assertResponseIsSuccessful();
        $this->assertJsonContains([
            '@id' => $iri,
            'isbn' => '9781344037075',
            'title' => 'updated title',
        ]);
    }

    public function testDeleteBook(): void
    {
        $client = static::createClient();
        $iri = static::findIriBy(Book::class, ['isbn' => '9781344037075']);

        $client->request('DELETE', $iri);

        $this->assertResponseStatusCodeSame(204);
        $this->assertNull(
            // Through the container, you can access all your services from the tests, including the ORM, the mailer, remote API clients...
            static::$container->get('doctrine')->getRepository(Book::class)->findOneBy(['isbn' => '9781344037075'])
        );
    }
}

Check out the full documentation, or the screencast which has been published on SymfonyCasts on this topic.

Improved GraphQL support

The GraphQL subsystem has been dramatically improved in version 2.5. Kudos to Alan Poulain who has done an awesome job maintaining and improving this part, and to Lukas Lücke and Mahmood Bazdar for their great contributions.

The main features of this new version are the customization of queries, mutations and types.

Whenever you need to add your own logic in your schema, you can now add custom properties in your resource’s annotations to do it. For instance to add a custom query:

/**
 * @ApiResource(graphql={
 *     "myShinyQuery"={
 *         "item_query"=MyQueryItemResolver::class,
 *         "args"={
 *             "id"={"type"="ID"},
 *             "isShiny"={"type"="Boolean!"}
 *         }
 *     }
 * })
 */

You only need to define the corresponding resolver and it’s done!

<?php

namespace App\Resolver;

use ApiPlatform\Core\GraphQl\Resolver\QueryItemResolverInterface;

final class MyQueryItemResolver implements QueryItemResolverInterface
{
    public function __invoke($item, array $context)
    {
        // Do what you want!

        return $item;
    }
}

Please refer to the documentation for customizing the mutations and the types.

The new version also comes with:

  • a better pagination mechanism (including backwards pagination)
  • a new “stage” mechanism allowing to easily customize the built-in resolvers, and an easier way to customize behaviors using decoration
  • support for GraphQL Playground, in addition to GraphiQL
  • a new command to export the GraphQL schema automatically generated by API Platform
  • support for file uploads
  • support for name converters
  • improved overall performance

All these new features have been documented, check it out!

JSON Merge Patch Support

Until now, API Platform had only supported using the PUT HTTP method for replacing a resource. Supporting proper partial updates through the PATCH method is known to be hard.

In version 2.5, a large refactoring work has been done to properly support the PATCH method, and support for JSON Merge Patch (RFC 7386) has been added (to do so, we’ve contributed the required low-level brick to the Symfony Serializer component). The new infrastructure is designed to support other PATCH formats as well. In the future, other formats such as JSON Patch (RFC 6902) may be added.
The JSON:API PATCH format, which was already supported, is of course still working.

Read the dedicated documentation entry to learn more about API Platform’s PATCH support (including how to enable it for existing projects).

JSON Schema Support

JSON Schema is a popular vocabulary to describe the shape of JSON documents. A variant of JSON Schema is also used in OpenAPI specifications. As of API Platform 2.5, JSON Schema is a first-class citizen. A new infrastructure has been created to be able to generate JSON Schemas for any resource, represented in any format (including JSON-LD). A command has also been added to export these schemas:

$ bin/console api:json-schema:generate 'App\Entity\Review'

The generated schema can be used with libraries such as react-json-schema-form to build forms for the documented resources, or to be used for validation.

To generate JSON Schemas programmatically, use the new api_platform.json_schema.schema_factory service.

Improved OpenAPI support

Thanks to the improvements made in the OpenAPI v3 specification, and to the new JSON Schema infrastructure in API Platform, the generated OpenAPI documentation is now better. It generates a specific JSON Schema per supported format:

JSON-LD specific keys such as @id and @context are now documented.

Grégoire Hebert added the ability to configure the versions of OpenAPI to support, while also  allowing to specify the default version being used:

api_platform:
    swagger:
        versions: [3, 2] # OpenAPI v3 is now the default

Frédéric Barthelet and Ryan Weaver improved the OpenAPI documentation of the built-in order and property filters. Thank you!

Screencasts and improved docs

We are very proud to announce an official partnership between API Platform and SymfonyCasts! SymfonyCasts has published more than 7 hours of high quality and funny video tutorials on API Platform (and counting!). The screencasts are now available directly from the main menu of the website, and referenced in the appropriate documentation entries.

Also, for version 2.5, API Platform’s docs have been dramatically improved. All new features presented in this post (and more) are now documented; many parts of the docs have been fixed, improved and modernized; sections have been reordered to provide a better learning experience; and a new “extending API Platform” entry has been added to centralize how to hook your custom logic in a way which is compatible with both the REST and GraphQL subsystems. But there is still a lot to do, and your help is very welcome!

Community milestones and Hacktoberfest

The main strength of API Platform is its vibrant and diverse community! Recently, the project reached great milestones thanks to the many contributors, evangelists and users improving and promoting the framework: the Slack channel reached 2 000 users a few days ago; the core package of the framework has been downloaded more than 2 000 000 times; and workshops, meetups and talks about the project are being organized all over the world (next big events with API Platform talks: Forum PHP Paris and SymfonyCon Amsterdam)!

The framework is close to reaching 5 000 stars on GitHub! It will be the next big milestone, and we’ll organize a big party to celebrate! If you have not starred API Platform yet, please do! It will help us reach a wider audience. If you love the project, tell your friends about it!

Speaking about community, free software and contribution, Hacktoberfest is about to begin! Hacktoberfest is an event helping free software projects by encouraging contributions (code but also docs and marketing materials). As thanks for your contribution, Digital Ocean offers a limited-edition t-shirt, and nice stickers. This year, Les-Tilleuls.coop will also send you some surprise gifts if you contribute at least 3 Pull Requests on the API Platform repositories. Thanks Les-Tilleuls!

Hacktoberfest is a very good opportunity to start contributing to free software, and to API Platform in particular. To help you get started, we’ve marked some code and docs issues with a specific “Hacktoberfest” label:

If you need help working on this, don’t hesitate to ask us directly on GitHub, or in the API Platform Slack channel!

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-6RjHzvBuxFo/XZH8jV3YDtI/AAAAAAAADWE/kMKfpexyNWMGC3JMgv0Gp4XfDZxghfe-ACK8BGAsYHg/s0/Image%2Bfrom%2BiOS%2B%252812%2529.jpg

Upcoming conferences: AFUP Day, Web2Day, API Platform Meetup and more!

During the spring I’ll speak at several tech events about my projects Mercure (Go), API Platform (PHP, server-side and JS, client-side) and Symfony Panther (PHP/WebDriver):

AFUP Day, May 17th in Lille

Discover Symfony Panther, a brand new end-to-end testing tool using real web browsers for Symfony and PHP.

API Platform pre-Web2day meetup, June 3th in Nantes

Topic to be announced!

Web2Day, May 6th in Nantes

Mercure: UIs always synchronized with data in database

My company Les-Tilleuls.coop will have a booth during every of these events. Come, and let’s have a chat!
Also, I’ll announce my participation to some more events soon, stay tuned!

Symfony and API Platform get “push” and real-time capabilities (Mercure protocol)

Mercure.rocks is a brand new protocol allowing to push data updates to web browsers and other HTTP clients in a convenient, fast, reliable and battery-efficient way. It is especially useful to publish real-time updates of resources served through web APIs, to reactive web and mobile apps.

Both Symfony and API Platform now have an official support for this protocol!

From the ground, Mercure has been designed to work with technologies not able to maintain persistent connections. It’s especially relevant in serverless environments, but is also convenient when using PHP or FastCGI scripts.

Mercure is basically a higher-level replacement for WebSocket. Unlike WebSocket, it is compatible with HTTP/2 and HTTP/3.
It has been designed with hypermedia APIs in mind, is auto-discoverable through the Web Linking RFC and is also compatible with GraphQL.
It natively supports authorization, reconnection in case of network issue (with refetching of missed events), subscribing to several topics, topics patterns (using templated URIs)…

Because it is built on top of Server-sent Events and plain old HTTP requests, it is already compatible with all modern browsers, and requires 0 client-side dependencies.

The protocol is open (available as an Internet Draft), and a reference open source implementation of the server written in Go is available.—

Upcoming conferences and workshops

I’ll speak at several conferences until the end of 2018.

The topics will be varied: Panther, modern JavaScript, HTTP/2 and a brand new project to be announced (teasing: it’s written in Go, and it will be very helpful for serverless architectures!).

See you at:

I’ll also be available to chat, and I’ll carry a lot of API Platform goodies. Don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Introducing Symfony Panther: a Browser Testing and Web Scraping Library for PHP

Today, an introduction blog post to Panther was published on the Symfony blog! Panther is a new browser testing and web scraping library I contributed to the Symfony project,
In the blog post, I showcase how to use Symfony, API Platform and VueJS together to create a small but modern app, and how to test it on Panther:

Mastering the Symfony Serializer (PHP Tour slides)

The Symfony Serializer Component exists since the very beginning of Symfony 2. Years after years, it gained a lot of new features useful to transform various data formats to PHP structures and the opposite. It is also a foundation block of API Platform and a first-class citizen in FOSRest.

Let’s dive into this component. We will cover the basic concepts behind the serialization process: normalization, denormalization, encoding and decoding.

Then we will discover all the little known features of the component: JSON, XML and CSV support, file handling with “data:” URIs, serialization groups, attributes names conversion, trees support, updating existing objects, dealing with circular references.

Finally we will learn how to create custom normalizers and encoders; and how to modify the behavior of the builtin ones using composition.

Be paid to improve API Platform during the Rails Girls Summer of Code

(french translation below)

API Platform (the API-driven Open Source framework I created) has been selected for the Rails Girls Summer of Code program!

The goal of the RCSOC is to improve the diversity in Open Source development. It allows groups of 2 women students to work full-time on a FOSS project (such as API Platform) during the summer. Students are paid and mentored.

Rails Girls Summer of Code is a global fellowship program for women and non-binary coders. Students receive a three-month scholarship to work on existing Open Source projects and expand their skill set.

Our worker cooperative, Les-Tilleuls.coop, will also support the program by providing money, coaches (including me) and desktops (in Lille, France):

In our company, we attempt as much as possible to support associations engaged in the fight against social inequalities, or involved in a better access to culture and respect of the environment. Since our foundation in 2011, we have always upheld diversity in Open Source. Thus, it’s no surprise that we support Rails Girls’s Summer of Code program.

If you’re interested in working 3 months with us to improve cutting-edge Open Source projects, don’t by shy, apply!


API Platform, le framework API-driven que nous développons, compte parmi les projets sélectionnés pour le Rails Girls Summer of Code de cette année !

Ce programme vise à favoriser la diversité dans le mode du logiciel libre. Il permet à des groupes de 2 étudiantes d’être payées durant l’été pour travailler (en binôme) sur des projets Open Source.

Notre SCOP Les-Tilleuls.coop participe également au programme en tant que sponsor, et va fournir des bureaux (à Euratechnologies, Lille) et des “coachs” afin d’accompagner les participantes :

Chez Les-Tilleuls.coop, nous tentons autant que possible d’accompagner des associations ou des entités engagées dans la lutte contre les inégalités sociales, l’accès à la culture, la formation, ou encore le respect de l’environnement.  Notre coopérative s’implique aussi dans une meilleure diversité dans le numérique et c’est donc avec une certaine évidence que nous apportons notre soutien au programme “Summer of Code 2018” organisé par l’association Rails Girls (RGSoC).

Si vous êtes intéressées pour travailler 3 mois sur des projets Open Source innovants, ne soyez pas timides, postulez !