Command-Line Output: Consider Logging Over Streams

When writing command-line applications for PHP, consider using a logger for screen output. This is something I’ve done with great success in several projects. Producer, for example, uses a very light standard I/O logger class that writes output to STDOUT and STDERR resource/stream handles. Every command that generates output uses that standard I/O logger (cf. the issues command).

This has a couple of advantages:

  • Your command-line code gets stdout/stderr output separation practically for free, using a common PSR-3 interface.

  • If you incorporate that command-line tool into another class, you can easily inject a different PSR-3 logger so that output is captured elsewhere, instead of writing to stdout/stderr. Among other things, that makes it relatively easy to test the output of your command-line code without having to use output buffering.

I think this approach works best for non-interactive commands. If you have to read keyboard input from the user as part of the command, using a logger for output might not make a lot of sense. But if all of the command inputs are handled as options or flags, using a logger for output can be great.

Multi-Project Issue Tracking With Producer

With Producer, you can get a list of the open issues from your remote origin by running producer issues from the project repository:

$ cd ~/Code/radarphp/Radar.Adr
$ producer issues
radarphp/Radar.Adr

    14. Separate Package for ResponderAcceptsInterface?
        https://github.com/radarphp/Radar.Adr/issues/14

    29. Service level actions?
        https://github.com/radarphp/Radar.Adr/issues/29

$

However, I’m the lead on about 40 different packages and projects, and at one point or another many of them have issues to be tracked on Github. It’s tedious to go to each package repository to list its issues separately. I want to be able to see a list of all issues on all my projects; then I can review them all at once to see what gets my attention.

To get a list of all open issues on several projects, you can create a bash script that changes to each project directory and runs project issues in each one:

cd ~/Code/atlasphp/Atlas.Cli; producer issues;
cd ~/Code/atlasphp/Atlas.Orm; producer issues;
cd ~/Code/auraphp/Aura.Accept; producer issues;
; ...
cd ~/Code/radarphp/Radar.Project; producer issues;
cd ~/Code/relayphp/Relay.Relay; producer issues;
cd ~/Code/relayphp/Relay.Middleware; producer issues;

Call the script all-issues.sh, make it executable with chmod +x all-issues.sh, and then you can issue ./all-issues.sh to get a list of all open issues on all your projects. Pipe the result to a file for easy viewing if you like!

Producer 2.0.0 Released!

Just a short note to say that most (all?) of the feedback from last month’s inital release of Producer has been incorporated into today’s 2.0.0 stable release!

The major changes are:

  • You are no longer required to install Producer globally. You can now install it as a require-dev in your project and call it as ./vendor/bin/producer. (Personally, I prefer to have it global, but that’s mostly because I manage so many different libraries.)

  • Along with that, Producer now recognizes a project-specific .producer/config file so you can override Producer settings on a per-project basis.

  • Finally, Producer does not install phpunit and phpdoc any more. You will need to install them yourself, either globally or as part of your package. The benefit here is that you can now specify custom paths to phpunit and phpdoc commands in your .producer/config file.

(Producer is a command-line quality-assurance tool to validate, and then release, your PHP library package. It supports Git and Mercurial for version control, as well as Github, Gitlab, and Bitbucket for remote origins.)