10 Sublime Text 2 shortcuts you must know

Using keyboard shortcuts is a known way of increasing productivity. We are all aware of the good old Cmd+C and Cmd+V but when did you last memorise a new one? Sublime Text 2 is my preferred editor and has a lot of nice features which are accessible from the keyboard. These are my favourite top 10 shortcuts.

Cmd + Shift + V Paste and indent

Cmd + mouse click Multi cursor

Ctrl + Cmd + up/down arrow Move row up/down

Ctrl + Shift + K Remove row

Cmd + Shift + D Duplicate row

Cmd + / Toggle comment

Cmd + D Expand selection to word

Cmd + L Expand selection to line (click again to select ned line)

Cdm + shift + space Expand selection to scope (click again for expanding to next scope)

Cmd + T "part of file path"@"method name" or Cmd + T "part of file path":"row number" Open file and go to method or row

If you’re having trouble to remind these shortcuts I can strongly recommend CheetCheet on App Store.

Symfony Live in Paris

I, Jon and Magnus visited the Symfony Live conference in Paris. Just wanted to share some photos from the event.

Magnus earned the Certified Symfony developer badge

During the Symfony Live Conference in Paris a few days ago, Fabien announced that it would now be possible to become a certified Symfony developer. Fabien made it clear that this was a very thorough, tough test of 75 questions and not very easy to get.

Magnus, one of our team members, took the test – and made it!He is currently the only Swedish certified developer and one of only 16 in the world. Congrats! :)

/Tom, CTO of E-butik

Gittern — Making git like music for PHP’s ears

In Sweden we have a saying: One time is no time, two times is a habit. We’re hugely excited say that by that reckoning, we now have an open source habit at E-butik.se! Over the last months some of us here have been hinting at a cool new library we’ve been working on from time to time. The time has finally come to unveil it to the world! Gittern is a PHP library for reading from and writing to Git repositories. Without using the git binary.

We’ve got support for many things common in Git repositories. There’s your blobs, trees and commits of course, which can be stored as loose objects or in packfiles. We eat packed refs for breakfast. We also have support for using the Git index, which is a real treat if you’d like to make changes to a repo over multiple HTTP requests.

Now, it wouldn’t be much like music for PHP’s ears if the code wasn’t good, and if we’re allowed to say so ourselves, the code is pretty dang good. The code is nicely decoupled and dependency injected, which means that if you’d like to you can switch out a lot of our implementations for your own. Perhaps you’d like to cache your Git objects in Redis? Go ahead. Separate indexes for separate branches? Very much doable (indeed, we’re doing it internally).

As if all of this wasn’t enough, we’ve sweetened the pot just a little bit more. You know Gaufrette, the awesome filesystem abstraction library from the fine folks at KnpLabs? We’ve got adapters for it. That means super-easy access to Git as if it’s just another kind of filesystem!

We know that we’re not first into the field with this one. Similar libraries exist for other languages (like grit for Ruby, and dulwich for Python), and indeed for PHP too, but we’d like to think that our dependency injected and decoupled approach brings something new at least to the PHP table.

Gittern is licensed under the MIT License, and the code is available at GitHub: e-butik / Gittern. To install, however, we’d recommend using Composer, since that’ll handle all of your dependencies. Gittern is available at Packagist as e-butik/gittern.

By the way, if you think that stuff like this is cool, we’d like to remind you that we get paid for working on stuff just like this. If getting paid to work on cool things like this sounds interesting to you, you should definitely shoot us an e-mail.

Quick tip: Symfony2 rewrite rules

Another quick tip for the (to our knowledge) best rewrite rules for Symfony2 with different web servers:


This one is included in the Symfony2 Standard Edition, but if we’re compiling a list, it still bears mentioning.

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ app.php [QSA,L]

Lighttpd (> 1.4.24)

url.rewrite-if-not-file = (
 "^/(?!app_[dev|test]+\.php/)[^\?]*(\?.*)?$" => "/app.php$1"


# strip app.php/ prefix if it is present
rewrite ^/app\.php/?(.*)$ /$1 permanent;

location / {
    index app.php;
    try_files $uri @rewriteapp;

location @rewriteapp {
    rewrite ^(.*)$ /app.php/$1 last;

Quick MongoDB tip: Copying databases

How do you copy a database between two MongoDB servers? One way is to use mongodump and mongorestore to dump the database into files which you then transfer and restore, and that works fine.

A better way however is to use the db.copyDatabase command. This removes the need for creating any temporary files.

The only downside is that your destination server needs to be able to connect to the source server, but that’s nothing that a little SSH tunneling can’t take care of.

Read more about it on the Copy Database Commands page of the MongoDB docs.

Quick Symfony2 tip: Overriding arguments when using a parent service

Parent services are great. However, sometimes you want to be able to override the arguments to the parent service, not just append to them.

After a bit of digging, it turns out there’s essentially two ways of doing that. Either you can do it in your bundle extension class, by getting the definition, and just calling replaceArgument. However, having to get your definitions and making changes to them in your extension class gets old really quickly.

What you can do instead is to follow a specific naming convention for the keys of your arguments, index_n, where n is the argument number to override. Using this convention, instead of the regular numerically indexed keys, will replace the argument, instead of simply appending it.

YAML example

  class: %some_child_service.class%
  parent: some_parent_service
    index_0: "Some overridden argument"

XML example

<service class="%some_child_service.class%" parent="some_parent_service">
  <argument key="index_0">Some overridden argument</argument>

CoffeeScript is your machete in the JavaScript jungle

We started a new Javascript intensive project a few weeks ago. We’ve previously had the experience that these applications has a tendency to become quite hard to work with. Javascript can accomplish pretty neat things on the client-side. It has actually become a bit fun to code Javascript with libraries like jQuery. And from a developer’s point of view, you get some nice layers of structure with libraries like Knockout. But the actual code is still a hassle. Here CoffeScript can fill a role, that will ease your day as a developer.

You can find CoffeeScript at GitHub (of course). It has a good long one-page-documentation there with examples. Another source of information is The Little Book on CoffeeScript (oh, it’s on GitHub as well, imagine that).

It was a bit of a learning-curve to get going with CoffeeScript. I found myself frequently looking at the compiled/generated Javascript code, so that I could really verify that it was outputed as I wanted (ie, how I would have written it previously in Javascript). And it was a nag when it didnt, so it took quite a bit longer to get the code running as it should. But after a while when I got more used to the CoffeeScript way of doing things, I found myself looking less and less on the Javascript code and just relying on that CoffeeScript would get it right. Also as the project grew larger in files (classes… yeah, you can have nice classes with inheritance etc. in CoffeeScript), the readability of the CoffeeScript code really started to show. And I could focus more on writing clean code.

What made things a bit trickier was the fact that I had Knockout in the mix as well.

So, if you are shuddering at the thought of taking on “big” projects in Javascript. Give CoffeeScript a try, and see if it can help you. It did for us :)

Conditional validation using the Symfony2 Validation Component

Today we ran in to an issue (or more like an unimplemented enhancement request), where we wanted to do conditional validation.

In our use case, we had a checkbox, which is basically an enable/disable switch. We also had three text inputs, parameters to the feature enabled by the checkbox.

In this case, we wanted the validation of the inputs to depend on whether the switch was enabled.

There are a few ways to do this. You could write your own validator specifically for this purpose. You could write a callback validator, that validates the object. Both these approaches have a big drawback. Even though what all we needed was a conditional NotBlank validator, who knows what we might wish to do in the future with it? We wanted to keep the flexibility of the validation component.

It turns out that’s entirely possible, albeit a bit tricky. To illustrate, let’s imagine a petition. Your form is for entering supporters for a petition. Let’s say that you optionally allow the supporter to enter which city they live in, and that you optionally show that city on a public petition page. Something like this POPO:


class PetitionSupporter
  protected $name;

  protected $city;

  protected $is_city_public;

  // Setters, getters etc. are omitted for brevity

Now, of course it wouldn’t be much of a petition if you didn’t require names of the supporters. As for the city, like we’ve said, it’s optional. However, it makes no sense to have the city public unless something is entered.

This can be accomplished using the callback validator, getting the graph walker from the execution context, and validating a separate validation group.


use Symfony\Component\Validator\Constraints as Assert;
use Symfony\Component\Validator\ExecutionContext;

 * @Assert\Callback(methods={"validateCityExistance"})
class PetitionSupporter
  /** @Assert\NotBlank */
  protected $name;

  /** @Assert\NotBlank(groups="public_city_group") */
  protected $city;

  /** @Assert\Type(type="bool") */
  protected $is_city_public;

  public function validateCityExistance(ExecutionContext $ec)
    if ($this->is_city_public) 
      $ec->getGraphWalker()->walkReference($this, 'public_city_group', $ec->getPropertyPath(), true);

  // Setters, getters etc. are omitted for brevity

This way, the non-grouped assertions are always validated, and the assertions in the public_city_group group are validated if is_city_public is true.

Of course, you can have more complex validation rules, and you could also have multiple conditional groups depending on one or more of the instance variables.

Symfony Developer Meetup in Stockholm

If you’re a Swedish Symfony developer, you might have noticed that there’s something in the air. On November 17th the Swedish (or at least the one’s near Stockholm) Symfony developer community will gather for the first of our monthly meetups.

Not only is E-butik sponsoring the event with food and beer, we’re also supplying the main presenter. Your’s truly. I will speak about MongoDB (especially the Doctrine MongoDB ODM) and how we’re using it.

If you’re in the Stockholm area, and interested in Symfony, you should definitely go.

For more information, visit the Symfony-se Google Group.