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December 19, 2014 @ 11:56:41

On the SitePoint PHP blog a new tutorial has been posted showing you how to effectively search Chinese content with ElasticSearch. ElasticSearch is a "powerful open source search and analytics engine that makes data easy to explore" and plays nice with PHP via a JSON based query format.

If you have played with Elasticsearch, you already know that analyzing and tokenization are the most important steps while indexing content, and without them your pertinency is going to be bad, your users unhappy and your results poorly sorted. Even with English content you can lose pertinence with a bad stemming, miss some documents when not performing proper elision and so on. And that's worse if you are indexing another language; the default analyzers are not all-purpose. When dealing with Chinese documents, everything is even more complex, even by considering only Mandarin which is the official language in China and the most spoken worldwide.

He starts by explaining exactly what the problem is with searching Chinese content including the fact that some words can actually be a combination of two or more characters (words). He then lists out a few plugins and tools that can be integrated with ElasticSearch to help with analyzing the content. He goes through each of them and provides instructions on installation and usage. He ends the post with a sample of the results for a set of three search terms, comparing the matches each found.

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chinese search elasticsearch tutorial tokenization analysis

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/efficient-chinese-search-elasticsearch/

PHP.net:
Release of PHP 5.4.36, 5.5.20 and 5.6.4 (Includes Security Fix)
December 19, 2014 @ 10:39:54

The PHP.net has announced the releases of several new versions in all of the current major series, all correcting several bugs including a CVE-related (security) related to unserialization. This security issue was reported in CVE-2014-8142 and relates to this bug report. It is highly recommended that you upgrade your versions to correct this potential security vulnerability. The latest versions are:

As always, you can download these latest releases directly from the downloads page or http://windows.php.net/download for the Windows users. If you're interested in the other bugs fixed in these releases, check out the full Changelog.

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Link: http://php.net/archive/2014.php#id2014-12-18-3

Sound of Symfony Podcast:
Episode 6 - The SymfonyCon Special
December 19, 2014 @ 09:02:53

The Sound of Symfony podcast has released their latest episode today: Episode #6, The SymfonyCon Special. This episode was recorded at SymfonyCon Madrid 2014 that happened in Spain at the end of November.

In this episode we're all about SymfonyCon. So much so that we in fact recorded this episode at the SymfonyCon Hack day. As usual, we go over the news and community update, but the rest of the episode is focused on discussing the conference with our guests.

Among the topics discussed are things like:

You can listen to this latest episode either through the in-page audio player or by downloading the mp3. If you enjoy it, you can subscribe to their feed too.

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Link: http://www.soundofsymfony.com/episode/episode-6/

Community News:
Packagist Latest Releases for 12.19.2014
December 19, 2014 @ 08:09:21

Recent releases from the Packagist:


Lee Blue:
How PHP Frameworks Affect Profitability
December 18, 2014 @ 11:37:19

Lee Blue has posted his next article in a series covering some of the real costs and considerations around using PHP for your applications. In this latest post he talks about frameworks and what kind of effect they could have on the overall profitability of your business.

Last week we talked about application shelf life an aspect of PHP development that often goes overlooked. This week let's talk about how the web development framework you use contributes to the shelf life of your app and the profitability of your web application. [...] The main goal of all web frameworks is to improve the developer's ability to get ordinary things done so we can focus on the primary goals of what we're building.

He talks about how PHP was "made for the web" and why there are so many different kinds of frameworks out there (though most are generally MVC-ish). He talks about one of the standard arguments, learning curve vs efficiency, and how it compares to the "no framework framework" ideals. He then gets into some of the dark side of using frameworks, specifically how they can shorten the shelf life of an application and how difficult migration can sometimes be. He points out the irony of large frameworks: the bigger the app/framework, the harder it can be to migrate (and cost more). He encourages sticking with smaller, lighter frameworks instead and suggests coding standards, common packages and using custom libraries only where needed to create your application.

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Link: http://leehblue.com/php-frameworks-affect-profitability/

Matthieu Napoli:
Test against the lowest Composer dependencies on Travis
December 18, 2014 @ 10:53:58

Recently the "prefer-lowest" option of Composer was mentioned in relation to testing for Symfony-based applications. In this new post to his site Matthieu Napoli shows how you can do it on any project that uses the Travis-CI continuous integration service.

Composer just got a new awesome addition thanks to Nicolas Grekas: prefer the lowest versions of your dependencies. [...] This amazing option will install the lowest versions possible for all your dependencies. What for? Tests of course!

He includes all the instructions you'll need to get your Travis build using this command line option, starting with testing it on your own system first. He shows a basic ".travis.yml" file with the configuration you'll need to provide it use the "prefer-lowest" (check out line 17). He does point out that you'll need to run a "composer self-update" first though, as Travis hasn't quite caught up with the latest Composer that includes this option.

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Link: http://mnapoli.fr/test-lowest-dependencies/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Getting Started with Medoo - Examples of Use
December 18, 2014 @ 09:45:26

On the SitePoint PHP blog, there's a new tutorial that introduces you to the Meedoo library, a tool to make working with databases even easier. In this tutorial Wern Ancheta walks you through some of the basics of the tool and shows you how to use it with a Pokemon-based example.

In this article I'm going to walk you through Medoo, a lightweight database abstraction library for PHP. Its main features include: support for multiple databases, being secure and easy to use. [...] While Medoo is nothing revolutionary, and the fact that it sports a very small filesize matters little to few, it's still an interesting project that went from being outright dismissed to vaguely accepted, as evident in these threads. It's on its way up, and that's our reason for taking a look at it.

Once installed (he recommends using Composer) you can follow along with his examples showing how to connect to the database, make a simple select and define something a bit more complex (like multiple other requirements in the SQL statement's "where"). He shows how to execute manual queries and handling more complex operations like joins. He then gets into the other parts of the usual CRUD handling - inserting new data, updating data and deleting data.He finishes the post by mentioning aggregate functions and some of the debugging options the tool includes.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/getting-started-medoo-examples-use/

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