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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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version support timeline page phpnet release bugfix security

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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query database performance join similar tips

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/

Voices of the ElePHPant:
Interview with Erika Heidi Reinaldo
October 28, 2014 @ 12:54:17

The Voices of the ElePHPant podcast has released their latest PHP community interview episode. In this new episode Cal interviews Erika Heidi Reinldo, a developer and author from Amsterdam.

They talk about how she got started speaking and in the PHP community. She also offers some advice to those wanting to get into speaking at conferences. They also talk about her subject matter of choice, Vagrant, and how she decided to focus on it. They also talk some about her new job as a developer advocate at Digital Ocean.

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

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voicesoftheelephpant erikaheidireinaldo community interview podcast

Link: http://voicesoftheelephpant.com/2014/10/28/interview-with-erika-heidi-reinaldo/

Pascal Martin:
PHP Version Statistics - October 2014
October 28, 2014 @ 11:23:13

Pascal Martin's latest post (in French, but the English version is coming soon) shares some statistics he's gathered around the usage of various software around the web, more specifically those involved in web-based applications.

I've collected statistics about the use of different PHP versions several times. The first time was in September 2011 and the most recent was in November 2013. At this point, PHP 5.2 still accounted for 34.4% of all PHP installations with PHP 5.3 moving up to 48.7%. This new data was collected the weekend of October 19th, 2014. At this point, the current stable versions of PHP are 5.4.34, 5.5.18 and 5.6.2. PHP 5.3 is no longer maintained (since August 14th 2014) and PHP 5.2 hasn't been supported for 4 years now.

He's broken up the statistics into a few different sections:

  • Web server software
  • Usage of major versions of PHP
  • Usage of minor versions of PHP
  • Versions in use under each of the major version numbers

He includes both the raw numbers (percentages) and some graphs showing the results in a bit more consumable fashion. It's interesting to see that, despite it being quite an old version now, PHP 5.3.x still has the largest share in the usage results.

UPDATE: He's posted the English version now as well.

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usage statistics oct2014 version major minor webserver

Link: http://blog.pascal-martin.fr/post/statistiques-versions-php-2014-10


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