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SitePoint PHP Blog:
5 Easy Ways to Get Started with PHP on Vagrant
October 30, 2014 @ 10:44:49

On the SitePoint PHP blog there's a new tutorial showing you how to get started with Vagrant and PHP to create easier, more flexible development environments via virtual machines.

Vagrant is a tool for creating and managing virtual environments that help many developers not have to care about the "works on my machine…" problem. Vagrant creates reusable development systems that can be used again and again, helping you keep your system clean of too many installations.

They offer "five easy ways" to get started including various tools and services:

You can find summaries about each of the items on the list as well as links to more information in the full post.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/5-easy-ways-getting-started-php-vagrant/

Anthony Ferrara:
Foundations Of OO Design
October 30, 2014 @ 09:36:24

In his newest post Anthony Ferrara looks at some of the things he calls the foundations of object-oriented design, as set of three things (and principles) to keep in mind when working on OOP applications.

It's quite easy to mix up terminology and talk about making "easy" systems and "simple" ones. But in reality, they are completely different measures, and how we design and architect systems will depend strongly on our goals. By differentiating Simple from Easy, Complex from Hard, we can start to talk about the tradeoffs that designs can give us. And we can then start making better designs.

He starts with the "simple vs easy" concept and how sometimes making the two meet can be difficult. He includes an example of interdependent interfaces and how they add complexity (and, in turn, make them less easy to use). He also talks about accidental versus essential complexity and how, sometimes, "accidental" isn't always a bad thing. Finally, he wraps it up with a few principles to remember in your development including recommendations to reduce (accidental) complexity and keeping the target developers in mind, making it easiest for them to use.

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Link: http://blog.ircmaxell.com/2014/10/foundations-of-oo-design.html

Community News:
Packagist Latest Releases for 10.30.2014
October 30, 2014 @ 08:06:57

Recent releases from the Packagist:
  • azt3k/non-destructive-archive-installer (0.2.11) A composer installer type that allows you to unpack archives to a specific location in a non destructive way - it is very useful when some packages need to be installed inside another package folder - e.g. drupal and module

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PHP.net:
New Supported Versions Timeline Page
October 29, 2014 @ 11:18:40

The PHP.net website has introduced a new feature to help make it a bit clearer which versions of PHP are supported and which have reached their end-of-life mark. This new Supported versions page off the main site provides listings of currently supported versions and graphical timelines of past (and future) support milestones.

Each release branch of PHP is fully supported for two years from its initial stable release. During this period, bugs and security issues that have been reported are fixed and are released in regular point releases. After this two year period of active support, each branch is then supported for an additional year for critical security issues only. Releases during this period are made on an as-needed basis: there may be multiple point releases, or none, depending on the number of reports.

The page includes information on when the initial release in a series was made (like the 5.4.x or 5.5.x series), when active support did/will end and how long the timeline is for security fixes and support. As of the time of this post, PHP 5.3.x is the only series that has reached end-of-life, but the 5.4.x series is coming close being in security fix only mode now and EOL-ing completely in ten months.

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Link: http://php.net/supported-versions.php

Anna Filina:
Reduce number of queries
October 29, 2014 @ 10:53:10

In her most recent post Anna FIlina makes a recommendation to those looking to increase the performance of an application, especially one that's already in place: simply reduce the number of queries. It sounds simple enough, but can sometimes prove to be difficult depending on the application.

Customers often call me because their site is slow. One of the most common problems I found was a high number of queries that get executed for every single page hit. When I say a lot, I mean sometimes more than 1000 queries for a single page. This is often the case with a CMS which has been customized for the client's specific needs.

In this article, aimed at beginner to intermediate developers, I will explain how to figure out whether the number of queries might be a problem, how to count them, how to find spots to optimize and how to eliminate most of these queries. I will focus specifically on number of queries, otherwise I could write a whole tome. I'll provide code examples in PHP, but the advice applies to every language.

She suggests starting from "the top", looking at the browser's own information on which pieces of data are taking the longest to return back to the client (the latency). This gives a starting direction and tells you where to look for the worst offenders. She talks about a technique to locate and count the queries being made and some common issues found in multiple kinds of software (hint: loops). Then she gets down to the optimization - combining similar queries and better queries through joins.

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Link: http://afilina.com/reduce-number-of-queries/

Beth Tucker Long:
How to Submit a Talk to a Conference
October 29, 2014 @ 09:21:00

If you've ever considered taking the leap and trying your hand at speaking at (technology) conferences but weren't sure where to start Beth Tucker Long, well known PHP community member and speaker, has posted a guide to help you submit a talk to your conference of choice.

I've been on both sides of the proverbial conference table. I have been the one submitting proposals, hoping against hope that they will pick mine, and I have been on the selection committee, struggling to choose between hundreds of awesome proposals when you only have a few talk slots available. Through these varied experiences, I've learned a few things about what works and what doesn't when submitting a conference proposal.

She provides a "checklist" of sixteen things that she's learned over the years about submitting ideas to events and what to do/not do when giving the actual presentation including:

  • First and foremost, remember to hit spell-check
  • Don't talk about yourself in your talk description
  • Explain the practical applications of your topic
  • Share past feedback in the comments or notes section
  • Submit a lot of proposals
  • Don't submit multiple topic ideas or variable time lengths in one submission

The final three on her list have more to do with the presentation itself than the proposal and, in my opinion, are almost more important: don't talk down to your audience, be brief and be interesting.

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conference talk submission tips top16 list submit

Link: http://www.alittleofboth.com/2014/01/how-to-submit-a-talk-to-a-conference/

Community News:
Packagist Latest Releases for 10.29.2014
October 29, 2014 @ 08:06:01

Recent releases from the Packagist:
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Community News:
Recent posts from PHP Quickfix
October 29, 2014 @ 07:05:25

Recent posts from the PHP Quickfix site:
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SitePoint PHP Blog:
Building an Ad Manager in Symfony 2
October 28, 2014 @ 13:29:31

In a recent post to the SitePoint PHP blog Hugo Giraudel shows you how to create an ad manager as a Symfony-based application. His ad manager allows you to use videos, images or HTML content to create and cache advertisements to add to any application.

The main idea was to build an ad manager. What the hell is an ad manager you say? Let's say you have some places on your site/application to display ads. We do have things like this on our site, and one of our teams is (partially) dedicated to bringing those places to life with content. Now for some boring reasons I won't list here, we couldn't use an existing tool, so we were doomed to build something from scratch. As usual, we wanted to do a lot without much coding, while keeping an overall simplicity for the end user (who is not a developer). I think we came up with a fairly decent solution for our little project.

He uses ESI rendering with Twig templates to identify the ad to return, grab its configuration and render it back to the requesting client. He includes a global configuration (URI and allowed types) an an example of a per-ad configuration file that includes the cace settings, data type and link. The code is also included to consume the request for the ad and render the result. There's also a "randomize" method that picks a random item from the array by weight. Finally, he includes the view templates that can be used to render the results - one for the main ad layout and a few for each type (video, image or HTML).

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advertisement manager symfony2 application tutorial

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/building-ad-manager-symfony-2/


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