100 episodes

This is the 'PHP Internals News' podcast, where we discuss the latest PHP news, implementations, and issues with PHP internals developers and other guests.

PHP Internals News Derick Rethans

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This is the 'PHP Internals News' podcast, where we discuss the latest PHP news, implementations, and issues with PHP internals developers and other guests.

    PHP Internals News: Episode 101: More Partially Supported Callable Deprecations

    PHP Internals News: Episode 101: More Partially Supported Callable Deprecations

    PHP Internals News: Episode 101: More Partially Supported Callable Deprecations


    London, UK

    Thursday, May 19th 2022, 09:05 BST



    In this episode of "PHP Internals News" I talk with Juliette Reinders Folmer (Website, Twitter, GitHub) about the "More Partially Supported Callable Deprecations" RFC that she has proposed.

    The RSS feed for this podcast is https://derickrethans.nl/feed-phpinternalsnews.xml, you can download this episode's MP3 file, and it's available on Spotify and iTunes. There is a dedicated website: https://phpinternals.news


    Transcript

    Derick Rethans 0:14

    Hi, I'm Derick. Welcome to PHP internals news, the podcast dedicated to explaining the latest developments in the PHP language. This is episode 101. Today I'm talking with Juliette Reinders Folmer, about the Expand Deprecation Notice Scope for Partially supported Callables RFC that she's proposing. That's quite a mouthful. I think you should shorten the title. Juliette, would you please introduce yourself?


    Juliette Reinders Folmer 0:37

    You're starting with the hardest questions, because introducing myself is something I never know how to do. So let's just say I'm a PHP developer and I work in open source, nearly all the time.


    Derick Rethans 0:50

    Mostly related to WordPress as far as I understand?


    Juliette Reinders Folmer 0:52

    Nope, mostly related to actually CLI tools. Things like PHP Unit polyfills. Things like PHP Code Sniffer, PHP parallel Lint. I spend the majority of my time on CLI tools, and only a small portion of my time consulting on the things for WordPress, like keeping that cross version compatible.


    Derick Rethans 1:12

    All right, very well. I actually did not know that. So I learned something new already.


    Juliette Reinders Folmer 1:16

    Yeah, but it's nice. You give me the chance now to correct that image. Because I notice a lot of people see me in within the PHP world as the voice of WordPress and vice versa, by the way in WordPress world to see me as far as PHP. And in reality, I do completely different things. There is a perception bias there somewhere and which has slipped in.


    Derick Rethans 1:38

    It's good to clear that up then.


    Juliette Reinders Folmer 1:39

    Yeah, thank you.


    Derick Rethans 1:40

    Let's have a chat about the RFC itself then. What is the problem that is RFC is trying to solve?


    Juliette Reinders Folmer 1:46

    There was an RFC or 8.2 which has already been approved in October, which deprecates partially supported callables. Now for those people listening who do not know enough about that RFC, partially supported callables are callables which you can call via a function like call_user_func that which you can't assign to variable and then call as a variable. Sometimes you can call them just by using the syntax which you used for defining the callable, so not as variable but as the actual literal.


    Derick Rethans 2:20

    And as an example here, that is, for example, static colon colon function name, for example.


    Juliette Reinders Folmer 2:26

    Absolutely, yeah.


    Derick Rethans 2:27

    Which you can use with call_user_func by having two array elements. You can call it with literal syntax, but you can't assign it to a variable and then call it. Do I get that, right?


    Juliette Reinders Folmer 2:36

    Absolutely. That's it. There's eight of those. A

    PHP Internals News: Episode 100: Sealed Classes

    PHP Internals News: Episode 100: Sealed Classes

    PHP Internals News: Episode 100: Sealed Classes


    London, UK

    Thursday, March 24th 2022, 09:04 GMT



    In this episode of "PHP Internals News" I talk with Saif Eddin Gmati (Website, Twitter, GitHub) about the "Sealed Classes" RFC that he has proposed.

    The RSS feed for this podcast is https://derickrethans.nl/feed-phpinternalsnews.xml, you can download this episode's MP3 file, and it's available on Spotify and iTunes. There is a dedicated website: https://phpinternals.news


    Transcript

    Derick Rethans 0:14

    Hi, I'm Derick. Welcome to PHP internals news, the podcast dedicated to explaining the latest developments in the PHP language. This is episode 100. Today I'm talking with Saif Eddin Gmati about the sealed classes RFC that they're proposing. Saif, would you please introduce yourself?


    Saif Eddin Gmati 0:31

    Hello, my name is Saif Eddin Gmati. I work as a Senior programmer at Les-Tilleuls.coop. I'm an open source enthusiast and contributor.


    Derick Rethans 0:39

    Let's dive straight into this RFC. What is the problem that you're trying to solve with it?


    Saif Eddin Gmati 0:43

    Sealed classes just like enums and tagged unions allow developers to define their data models in a way where invalid state becomes less likely. It also eliminates the need to handle unknown subtypes for a specific model, as using sealed classes to define models gives us an idea on what child types would be available at run time. Sealing also provides us with a way for restricting inheritance or the use of a specific trait. For example, if we look at logger trait from the PSR log package that could be sealed to logger interface. This way, we ensure that every use of this trait is coming from a logger not from any other class.


    Derick Rethans 1:24

    I'm just reading through this RFC tomorrow, again, and something I didn't pick up on reading to it last time. It states that PHP already has sort of two sealed classes.


    Unknown Speaker 1:35

    Yes, the throwable class in PHP can only be implemented by extending either error or exception. The same applies for DateTime interface, which can only be implemented by extending DateTime class or DateTime Immutable class.


    Derick Rethans 1:52

    Because PHP itself doesn't allow you to implement either throwable or DateTimeInterface. I haven't quite realized that that these are also sealed classes really. What is sort of the motivation behind wanting to introduce sealed classes?


    Unknown Speaker 2:06

    The main motivation for this feature comes from Hack the programming language. Hack contains a lot of interesting type concepts that I think personally, PHP could benefit from and sealed classes is one of those concepts.


    Derick Rethans 2:18

    What kind of syntax are you proposing?


    Saif Eddin Gmati 2:21

    The syntax I'm proposing actually there is three syntax options for the RFC currently, but the main syntax is inspired by both Hack and Java. It's more similar to the syntax used in Java as Hack uses attributes. Personally, I have been I guess, using attributes from the start as I personally see sealing and finalizing similar as both effects how inheritance work for a specific class. Having sealed implemented as an attribute while final uses a keyword brings more inconsistency into the language which is why I have decided not to include attributes as a syntax option.


    Derick Rethans 2:56

    In my opinion, attributes shouldn't be used for any kind of syntax things. What they shoul

    PHP Internals News: Episode 99: Allow Null and False as Standalone Types

    PHP Internals News: Episode 99: Allow Null and False as Standalone Types

    PHP Internals News: Episode 99: Allow Null and False as Standalone Types


    London, UK

    Thursday, March 10th 2022, 09:04 GMT



    In this episode of "PHP Internals News" I talk with George Peter Banyard (Website, Twitter, GitHub, GitLab) about the "Allow Null and False as Standalone Types" RFC that he has proposed.

    The RSS feed for this podcast is https://derickrethans.nl/feed-phpinternalsnews.xml, you can download this episode's MP3 file, and it's available on Spotify and iTunes. There is a dedicated website: https://phpinternals.news


    Transcript

    Derick Rethans 0:15

    Hi, I'm Derick. Welcome to PHP internals news, a podcast dedicated to explain the latest developments in the PHP language. This is episode 99. Today I'm talking with George Peter Banyard, about the Allow null and false at standalone types RFC that he's proposing. Hello, George Peter, would you please introduce yourself?


    George Peter Banyard 0:36

    Hello, my name is George Peter Banyard. I work on the PHP language, and I'm an Imperial student in maths in my free time.


    Derick Rethans 0:44

    Are you're trying to say you're a student in your free time or contribute to PHP in your free time?


    George Peter Banyard 0:49

    I feel like at this time, it's like, both are true at the same time.


    Derick Rethans 0:53

    Let's hop into this RFC. It is titled allow null and false as standalone types. What is the problem that it is trying to solve?


    George Peter Banyard 1:02

    This is the second iteration of this RFC. So the first one was to just allow null initially, and null is the unit type In type theory parlance of PHP, ie the type which only has one value. So null is a type and a value. And the main issue is that when for leads more with like inhabitants, and like the Liskov substitution principle. If you have like a method, like the parent method, which can be told like either null or an object, and your implementation in a child class always returns null, for various reasons, maybe because it doesn't support this feature, or whatever is out, or... If your child method only returns null, currently, you can't document, that you can't type this properly, you can document it in a doc comment or something like that. But due to how PHP type handling works, you need to specify at least like another type with null in the union. Basically resort to always saying like mimicking the parent signature, when you could be more specific. This was the main use case I initially went into.


    Derick Rethans 2:08

    If I understand correctly, you can't just have an inherited method that has hinted as to just return null?


    George Peter Banyard 2:14

    Exactly. If you always return null, maybe because you always work or something like that, then you must still declare the return type as like null or exception, which is not a concrete because you say what, like why never fail. And like static analysers, if they can figure it out that you're using a child class, they can't maybe like do some assumptions or work further down that like what you're doing is redundant or things like that. So that's one of the main reasons I initially went with it. And I didn't add false initially, because it was like, well, false, it's not really a type properly. It's, it's what's called a value type. False is one value from the Boolean type. And I was like, Well, okay, we're just going to limit it to like, being the type theory purist, limited to proper types, where null is a proper type, although it's a bit sometimes misunderstood, I feel in the PHP community at large. And then people were like, well, if

    PHP Internals News: Episode 98: Deprecating utf8_encode and utf8_decode

    PHP Internals News: Episode 98: Deprecating utf8_encode and utf8_decode

    PHP Internals News: Episode 98: Deprecating utf8_encode and utf8_decode


    London, UK

    Thursday, March 3rd 2022, 09:02 GMT



    In this episode of "PHP Internals News" I chat with Rowan Tommins (GitHub, Website, Twitter) about the "Deprecate and Remove utf8_encode and utf8_decode" RFC.

    The RSS feed for this podcast is https://derickrethans.nl/feed-phpinternalsnews.xml, you can download this episode's MP3 file, and it's available on Spotify and iTunes. There is a dedicated website: https://phpinternals.news


    Transcript

    Derick Rethans 0:14

    Hi, I'm Derick. Welcome to PHP Internals News, a podcast dedicated to explaining the latest developments in the PHP language. This is episode 98. Today I'm talking with Rowan Tommins about the "Deprecate and remove UTF8_encode and UTF8_decode" RFC that he's proposing. Hi, Rowan, would you please introduce yourself?


    Rowan Tommins 0:38

    Hi, I'm Rowan Tommins. I'm a PHP software architect by day and try and contribute back to the community and have been hanging around in the internals mailing list for about 10 years and contributed to make the language better, where I can.


    Derick Rethans 0:57

    Excellent. Yeah, that's how I started out as well, many, many more years before that, to be honest. This RFC, what problem is this trying to solve?


    Rowan Tommins 1:08

    PHP has these two functions, utf8_encode and utf8_decode, which, in themselves, they're not broken. They do what they are designed to do. But they are very frequently misunderstood. Mostly because of their name. And because Character Encodings in general, are not very well understood. People use them wrong, and end up getting in all sorts of pickles that are worse than if the functions weren't there in first place.


    Derick Rethans 1:37

    What are you proposing with the RFC then?


    Rowan Tommins 1:39

    Fundamentally, I'm proposing to remove the functions. As of PHP 8.2, there will be a deprecation notice whenever you use them, and then in 9.0, they would be gone forever, and you wouldn't be able to use them by mistake, because they just wouldn't be there.


    Derick Rethans 1:56

    I reckon there's going to be a way to actually do what people originally intended to do with it at some point, right?


    Rowan Tommins 2:02

    So yeah, there are alternatives to these functions, which are much clearer in what you're doing, and much more flexible in what you can do with them so that they cover the cases that these functions sound like they're going to do, but don't actually do when you understand what they're really doing.


    Derick Rethans 2:20

    I think we'll get back to that a little bit later on. You're wanting to deprecate these functions. But what do these functions actually do?


    Rowan Tommins 2:27

    What they actually do is convert between a character encoding called Latin-1, ISO 8859-1, and UTF-8. So utf8_encode converts from Latin-1 into UTF-8, utf8_decode does the opposite. And that's all they do. Their names make it sound like they're some kind of fix all the UTF 8 things in my text. But they are actually just these one very specific conversion, which is occasionally useful, but not clear from their names.


    Derick Rethans 3:01

    It's certainly how I have seen it used in the past, where people just throw everything and the kitchen sink at it, and expecting it to be valid UTF 8, and then at the end, decode. I mean, the decoding was not even part much of this, right? It's just throw everything at it, and t

    PHP Internals News: Episode 97: Redacting Parameters

    PHP Internals News: Episode 97: Redacting Parameters

    PHP Internals News: Episode 97: Redacting Parameters


    London, UK

    Thursday, January 27th 2022, 09:09 GMT



    In this episode of "PHP Internals News" I chat with Tim Düsterhus (GitHub) about the "Redacting Parameters in Back Traces" RFC.

    The RSS feed for this podcast is https://derickrethans.nl/feed-phpinternalsnews.xml, you can download this episode's MP3 file, and it's available on Spotify and iTunes. There is a dedicated website: https://phpinternals.news


    Transcript

    Derick Rethans 0:00

    Before we start with this episode, I want to apologize for the bad audio quality. Instead of using my nice mic I managed to use to one built into my computer. I hope you'll still enjoy the episode.


    Derick Rethans 0:30

    Hi, I'm Derick. Welcome to PHP internals news, a podcast dedicated to explaining the latest developments in the PHP language. This is episode 97. Today I'm talking with Tim Düsterhus about Redacting Parameters in Backtraces RFC that he's proposing. Tim, would you please introduce yourself?


    Tim Düsterhus 0:50

    Hi, Derick, thank you for inviting me. I am Tim Düsterhus, and I'm a developer at WoltLab. We are building a web application suite for you to build online communities.


    Derick Rethans 0:59

    Thanks for coming on this morning. What is the problem that you're trying to solve with this RFC?


    Tim Düsterhus 1:05

    If everything is going well, we don't need this RFC. But errors can and will happen and our application might encounter some exceptional situation, maybe some request to an external service fails. And so the application throws an error, this exception will bubble up a stack trace and either be caught, or go into a global exception handler. And then basically, in both cases, the exception will be logged into the error log. If it can be handled, we want to make the admin side aware of the issues so they can maybe fix their networking. If it is unable to be handled because of a programming error, we need to log it as well to fix the bug. In our case, we have the exception in the error log. And what happens next? In our case, we have many, many lay person administrators that run a community for their hobby, they're not really programmers with no technical expertise. And we also have a strong customers help customers environment. What do those customers do? They grab their error log and post it within our forums in public. Now in our forum, we have the error log with the full stack trace, including all sensitive values, maybe user passwords, if the Authentication Service failed, or something else, that should not really happen. In our case, it's lay person administrators. But I'm also seeing that experienced developers can make this mistake. I am triaging issues with an open source software written in C. And I've sometimes seeing system administrators posting their full core dump, including their TLS certificates there, and they don't really realize what they have just done. That's really an issue that affects laypersons, and professional administrators the same. In our case, our application attempts to strip those sensitive information from this backtrace. We have a custom exception handler that scans the full stack face, tries to match up class names and method names e.g. the PDO constructor to scrub the database password. And now recently, we have extended this stripping to also strip anything from parameters that are called password, secret, or something like that. That mostly works well. But in any case, this exception handler will miss sensitive information because it needs to basically guess what parameters are sensitive values and which don't. And also our exception handler grew very complex because to match up thos

    PHP Internals News: Episode 96: User Defined Operator Overloads

    PHP Internals News: Episode 96: User Defined Operator Overloads

    PHP Internals News: Episode 96: User Defined Operator Overloads


    London, UK

    Thursday, December 16th 2021, 09:24 GMT



    In this episode of "PHP Internals News" I chat with Jordan LeDoux (GitHub) about the "User Defined Operator Overloads" RFC.

    The RSS feed for this podcast is https://derickrethans.nl/feed-phpinternalsnews.xml, you can download this episode's MP3 file, and it's available on Spotify and iTunes. There is a dedicated website: https://phpinternals.news


    Transcript

    Derick Rethans 0:14

    Hi, I'm Derick. Welcome to PHP internals news, a podcast dedicated to explaining the latest developments in the PHP language. This is episode 96. Today I'm talking with Jordan, about a user defined operator overloads RFC that he's proposing. Jordan, would you please introduce yourself?


    Jordan LeDoux 0:33

    My name is Jordan LeDoux. I've been working in PHP for quite a while now. This is the second time I have ventured to propose an RFC.


    Derick Rethans 0:44

    What was the first one?


    Jordan LeDoux 0:45

    The first one was the "never for parameter types", which was much more exploratory. And we talked about it a little bit. And it generated a lot of good discussion that contributed to kind of the idea formation, which was what I hope to get out of it.


    Derick Rethans 1:01

    Okay, but that didn't end up making it into a PHP release. As far as I understand, right?


    Jordan LeDoux 1:07

    No, I withdrew it actually, it was clear that the better way to approach the problem it was trying to solve was with a much more comprehensive solution. That particular solution was something that only required a seven line change to the engine. So I wanted to see if it was something people were okay with, or thought was a decent idea for that particular problem, much more comprehensive, like template classes, or something like that is probably the better route to go.


    Derick Rethans 1:35

    Well, I think the RFC that we're talking about today, is going to require quite a bit more than seven lines of code?


    Jordan LeDoux 1:41

    Quite a bit more. Yeah.


    Derick Rethans 1:42

    So what is this RFC that we're talking about today?


    Jordan LeDoux 1:45

    Well, user defined operator overloads is a way for PHP developers to define the ways in which objects interact with specific operators. So for instance, the plus operator, the plus sign. It's a way for those objects to kind of define their own logic as far as how that's handled, which right now, as of PHP 8.0, those were all switched to type errors. So it's not possible currently to write any code that doesn't result in a fatal error, where objects are used with operators.


    Derick Rethans 2:25

    Usually, I ask about every RFC, what problem are you trying to solve this? So what problem are you trying to solve this RFC?


    Jordan LeDoux 2:31

    The biggest problem that this solves is that objects contain, so objects in most programs represent a value or multiple values that have a program context. That's the most powerful thing about objects is they're contextual, and they understand the state, they understand what state the object is in, and sometimes even what state the whole program is in. And that's necessary for a lot of things. Like for instance, if you're tracking a distance, you know, you might measure that meters, and that would have a number you might have 30 meters of distance, but it also has a unit of meters. You could j

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