Wern Ancheta, Nov 11

Amazon Product API Exploration: Let's Build a Product Searcher

Wern Ancheta develops a product search API for Amazon products with Amazon Products Advertisement API
Wern Ancheta, Nov 03

Build Your Own Dropbox Client with the Dropbox API

Wern shows us how to use Laravel and Guzzle to build our own full Dropbox client with the Dropbox API!
Wern Ancheta, Oct 26

Shopify App Development Made Simple with HTTP APIs and Guzzle

Wern shows us how easy it is to get stared with developing Shopify powered PHP apps with Guzzle and Shopify's HTTP API.
Wern Ancheta, Oct 13

Picking the Brains of Your Customers with Microsoft's Text Analytics

Wern develops an app which uses Microsoft's Text Analytics API to recognize positive or negative sentiment in people's reviews of an Amazon product.
Bruno Skvorc, Sep 29

Fighting Recruiter Spam with PHP - Proof of Concept

Connecting to IMAP and SMTP from PHP in order to filter, identify, and reply to recruiter spam - the inbox blight of any decent developer!
Christopher Pitt, Sep 28

9 Hot Tips to Enhance Your Spark Experience

Chris has been using Spark for a while now, and he's compiled a list of 9 tips you shouldn't skip if you want your Spark experience to start a proper fire
Reza Lavaryan, Sep 12

RESTful Remote Object Proxies with ProxyManager

What are proxies? How can we use them? And what kind of advanced use cases can we think of? Let's perform some RESTful remote miracles with ProxyManager!
Bruno Skvorc, Aug 28

Sourcehunt 2016.8 - Contribute to Regression, Regex, ORMs, and More

This sourcehunt we're featuring packages dealing with regex, hardcore math, mini-CMS, ORMs, and more! Come get your Github contributions going!
Wern Ancheta, Aug 26

How to Create a Pokemon Spawn Locations Recorder with CouchDB

Wern Ancheta shows you how to build a Pokemon spawn location recorder app with CouchDB and the Slim Framework, wrapping it up in good security practices!
Bruno Skvorc, Aug 19

Quick Tip: Solution to Paypal IPN Always Returning "Invalid"

A solution to the PayPal IPN Simulator "INVALID" problem - where the verification message always returns invalid, even if everything seems fine
Bruno Skvorc, Aug 08

6 More Must-Do Grav Tweaks: Ready for Hacker News Traffic!

Super-caching, optimization, customization, comments, and much more you simply MUST do for your Grav installation
Wern Ancheta, Jul 22

Can We Use Laravel to Build a Custom Google Drive UI?

Wern Ancheta builds a brand new Google Drive admin UI with Laravel!
Christopher Pitt, Jul 06

PHP, Arduino And... Minecraft? Combining Minecraft with PHP!

Chris Pitt combines Minecraft and PHP to prime the ground for an Arduino implementation, culminating in a real world alarm for a Minecraft door!
Christopher Pitt, Jun 03

Hacking the Fitbit - Emulating a Pager for Twitter DMs!

Chris makes his cheap Fitbit vibrate on new Twitter DMs - emulated pager AND a silent wake-up alarm? WIN!
Bruno Skvorc, Jun 01

Nitpicking over Code Standards with Nitpick CI

Nitpick CI is a service with a singular purpose - making sure your Github PRs respect the PSR-2 code standard. In this post, we'll put it to the test
Wern Ancheta, May 13

We're Building a Marvel Catalog Reader! Avengers, Assemble!

In this tutorial, we're going to take a look at the Marvel API, a tool provided by Marvel for developers to get access to the 70-plus years of Marvel comics data.

Marvel logo

First, we'll walk through the steps in which one can acquire the keys needed to make requests to the API. Then, we'll look at the tools we can use to test out the API. Finally, we're going to build a website that uses the API.

Signing Up

The first thing we need to do is go to the Marvel Developer Website and click the Get a Key link. We'll then be provided with the public and private key which we can use to perform requests to the API. If you plan to use the project in production, you can also add your website's domain name to the list of authorized referrers. This provides a security layer in case you accidentally push your public and private keys to Github.

Important Notes Regarding the Use of the API

For limits and rules, please see the attribution, linking and rate limits page of their documentation. Also be sure to read the Marvel API Terms of Use if you're planning to use the API in production. I've summarized it below:

  • Beware of the API rate limit. At the time of writing of this tutorial the rate limit is 3000 calls per day. That's applicable to all the endpoints.
  • Always attribute Marvel as the source when displaying API data and images. Marvel recommends the use of this text: Data provided by Marvel. © 2016 Marvel.

Playing with the API

The API comes with an interactive documentation which allows you to easily test all the available API endpoints.

There's information on the data one can expect:

expected data

... text fields to specify the different parameters to be submitted for the request:


... error status codes:

error codes

... the request URL, response body, response code and the response headers:

request and response

Do note that the request URL won't actually return anything if you access it outside of the API testing tool. This is because it lacks the required parameters for the request. At the bare minimum, you'll have to supply the public key, the current unix timestamp, and an md5 hash of the timestamp, and private and public key combined.

$ts = time();
$public_key = 'your public key';
$private_key = 'your private key';
$hash = md5($ts . $private_key . $public_key);

Once you have those, only then can you perform a request to the API:

$query_params = [
    'apikey' => $public_key,
    'ts' => $ts,
    'hash' => $hash

//convert array into query parameters
$query = http_build_query($query_params);

//make the request
$response = file_get_contents('http://gateway.marvel.com/v1/public/comics?' . $query);

//convert the json string to an array
$response_data = json_decode($response, true);

We'll take a look at this in more detail when we get to the section where we start making requests for the app that we'll be building.

Christopher Pitt, Apr 29

Starting a Business with Laravel Spark

Chris Pitt goes from zero to hero in a post detailing the process of building an actual business app from scratch with Laravel Spark!
Christopher Pitt, Apr 22

What is SparkPost?

Chris Pitt looks at SparkPost, talks to their devangelist, and demonstrates a simple integration, building the foundation for more complex posts
Daniel Berman, Mar 14

Running an Elastic LAMP Stack on AWS

Daniel goes through the simple process of setting up a powerful LAMP stack on AWS with Zend Server, for high traffic cloud-safe web applications!
Wern Ancheta, Feb 29

Building a Hacker News Reader with Lumen

Wern Ancheta builds a Hacker News reader with a local cache from nothing with the Lumen microframework!
Christopher Pitt, Feb 24

Websockets in Your Synchronous Site

Chris introduces Socketize, a "sockets-as-a-service" layer that helps you implement websockets into apps with zero overhead, then adds them to a PHP script!
Bruno Skvorc, Feb 15

Building Microsoft's What-Dog AI in under 100 Lines of Code

Here's how to use a popular AI engine to classify uploaded images of dogs into breeds - much like Microsoft's What-Dog app, but in only 80 lines of code!
Reza Lavaryan, Jan 13

An In-depth Walkthrough of Supercharging Apps with Blackfire

M. Lavaryen explains the Blackfire profiler in depth and demonstrates its use on a simple script, laying the groundwork for further exploration on your end!
Daniel Sipos, Jan 08

Crash Course of Wunderlist's API with Guzzle

Danny Sipos takes a break from Drupal to teach us about Wunderlist and it's (almost) brand new API - see how easy it is to build custom todo UIs!