Symfony2 Doctrine Migrations with Unique Indexes (Slugs)

This is something me and my colleagues encounter from time to time.

The Problem

One of the problems of adding unique indexes to existing data, like adding the sluggable Doctrine behaviour using the StofDoctrineExtensionsBundle, is that the generated migration will end up throwing an error:



Since the default values for the new MySQL column are not unique, adding the unique index is not possible - which is what the error above is telling us. So we will need to change the migration to also generate the unique values before adding the index.


In order to do so, we will have to split the generated migration into 2 different migrations, one for adding the new column, which could be a slug, and the other to add the unique index. After running the first migration, we need to execute the code that generates the unique values needed for the index. We can use the postUp method in a Doctrine migration to execute code after the “up” migration finished. We will also need to instantiate and boot the kernel in order to gain access to the Symfony framework and build our functionality like we would do in a controller:

For the second migration file we only add the code necessary to add/remove the unique indexes:
You can generate an empty migration file using the doctrine:migratios:generate command.

If you now run the doctrine:migrations:migrate command everything should be fine and the database should be populated with the unique values we needed in the first place.


Luckily I solved this issue before an important deadline. Let me know if you found any other way around it, or a quicker solution to this issue.

An Introduction to Artificial Intelligence: Facts and Fallacies

One way or another, we all heard of Artificial Intelligence. It's been there since we were born and it will surely outlive us. It’s a promise of a Utopian future and could be a harbinger of our own demise. It could help us end poverty, disease and pollution or it could see us a threat and decide to take us out. Whatever the future might hold, one thing's certain: Artificial Intelligence is (or will be) the Pyramids of a generation and most likely mankind's greatest creation.

Read more

How to Fix Common Errors When Testing in RSpec

If you are a Software Test Engineer or Quality Control Engineer and you want to automate your API call tests, then you should try RSpec (Ruby's testing framework). I didn’t exactly chose it (the QC team was already using it), but I tend to believe that I would have picked it in the future for my own tests because when it comes to the installation of the program, the process is not that complicated at all.

Actually, let me show you how little you need to do in order to start writing your own tests:
Yep, that’s all. Now you can automate your tests and run them with the following command:
I will now show you some common error messages that I've encountered, so that you can avoid them during your work. These errors are caused by very small mistakes, but usually in the rush of delivering quality we skip some things or words.


1. syntax error, unexpected keyword_end, expecting end-of-input (SyntaxError)

Let’s take a look at the following examples:
So, if you get the above error, you most probably forgot to put a ‘do’ after ‘describe’ or ‘it’ methods.


2. syntax error, unexpected end-of-input, expecting keyword_end (SyntaxError)

I will use the same example again:
What is wrong with this? Well, I missed an ‘end’. I’ll take it you can figure out by yourself where it should be placed.


3. JSON::ParserError: 757: unexpected token

Take a look:
Supposedly, sometimes you will get as an answer a JSON and you will want to parse it for better tests. You will get the above error if the answer is not a JSON and the parser can’t find there what it expects.

I hope you will find this short guide useful, I plan to continue writing about common errors that we may encounter while using RSpec.

How to Create a Custom Symfony2 Password Encoder

As you advance through your Symfony2 developer life, you will probably encounter the need to create a custom password encoder for you Symfony2 project. One of the most common reasons to do this, is when you migrate from an old project (different technology) and you have to keep users together with their working passwords. As you probably cannot find out the plain passwords to be able to just save them to your new database, you will need to replicate the algorithm used to encode them so they will keep working when the transition is over.

In order to add a new, custom, password encoder to your Symfony2 project, you will need to create the encoder class, register it as a service and then specify it in the security.yml configuration file of your project.

Below you will find the necessary code to implement this: