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Community News:
PEAR 1.10.0dev1 brings PHP 7 compatibility!
Jul 28, 2015 @ 12:14:42

As was announced on both the PEAR blog and Christian Weiske's blog, the PEAR project has made a major update to add PHP7 support preparing it for the upcoming major release.

The new PEAR installer release adds PHP 7 support while dropping support for PHP 4 - 5.3. It also fixes a nasty SSL issue that made it hard to use on PHP 5.6. With the update, strict warnings about static calls to a non-static PEAR::isError() are a thing of the past.

I've just published the first preview version: PEAR 1.10.0dev1.

Upgrading your version of the PEAR installer is as simple as a call to pear upgrade specifying this dev1 release (command is included in the post). He also links to some pre-release versions of the go-pear and pear-nozlib installers.

tagged: pear php7 compatibility dev1 installer upgrade command

Link: http://cweiske.de/tagebuch/pear-1.10.0dev1.htm

Voices of the ElePHPant:
PHP South Coast Wrap-Up
Jul 28, 2015 @ 11:57:55

The Voices of the ElePHPant has posted their latest episode, a wrap-up of the PHP South Coast, a conference that just wrapped up in the UK earlier in July.

Host Cal Evans talks with the organizers of the conference, Rich Sage, Dave Baker and James Titcumb, about why they started the conference and what they hope to provide. Cal also asks about the bad side of things, what was the worst thing that happened as a part of planning the event. He also asks them about the speaker selection and how they handled the rejection letter. To counter, he also asks them about what the best part about planning and putting on the event was. Finally he asks each of them about their local user groups, when and where they meet and what their format looks like.

You can listen to this latest episode either through the in-page audio player or by downloading the mp3 directly for listening offline. Be sure to subscribe to their feed too if you enjoy the episode!

tagged: voicesoftheelephpant community interview podcast phpsouthcoast richsage davebaker jamestitcumb

Link: https://voicesoftheelephpant.com/2015/07/28/php-south-coast-wrap-up

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Speeding up Existing Apps with a Redis Cache
Jul 28, 2015 @ 10:27:06

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted a tutorial that want to help you speed up your applications with Redis, adding in caching to help reduce the overall processing load your app has to expend.

The application in question, when executing a query, runs off to Diffbot’s API and makes it query the dataset. The subset is then returned and displayed. This can take up to 5 or so seconds, depending on the busyness of Diffbot’s servers. While the situation will undoubtedly improve as they expand their computational capacity, it would be nice if a query executed once were remembered and reused for 24 hours, seeing as the collection is only refreshed that often anyway.

Considering the fact that implementing this cache costs us literally nothing (and actually reduces costs by reducing strain on the servers), adding it in is an easy win, even if it weren’t used as often as one would hope. There is no reason not to add it – it can only benefit us.

He helps you get Redis up and running as a service on the local system and installing the Predis, the PHP library you'll use to talk with Redis for setting and getting the cached information. He includes a few code snippets showing how to send the search off to the DiffBot API, return the results and push them into the cache as serialized data with a day long timeout. He also mentions the phpiredis extension to reduce some of the overhead that could be cause by using a PHP library versus an extension.

tagged: speed performance redis cache tutorial introduction predis phpiredis

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/speeding-up-existing-apps-with-a-redis-cache/

Luciano Mammino:
6 Rules of thumb to build blazing fast web server applications
Jul 28, 2015 @ 09:48:33

Luciano Mammino has posted six tips for blazing fast web applications to his site. These tips aren't as much specific to the code (though they're related) as they are general good practices around architecture, development work and common issues.

In this post I will try to highlight some of the most common principles that you have to take under consideration when you want to achieve a great level of performance while building a web application (specifically on the backend part). I believe the concepts discussed here can be applied to any language and framework even if, due to my specific experience, I will mention some examples, design patterns, conventions and tools that are mostly used in the PHP world.

His post lists out six main rules along with some description and links to other tools for each:

  • Avoid premature optimization
  • Do the minimum amount of work to solve the problem
  • Defer the work you don't need to do immediately
  • Use cache when you can
  • Understand and avoid the N+1 query problem with relational databases
  • Prepare your app for horizontal scalability when possible

There's lots of good tools mentioned here so find one that fits your needs and helps solve the issue. There's also some good articles mentioned, giving more information about a particular topic or other perspectives on how to solve it a different way.

tagged: tips rulesofthumb fast web application optimize work cache nplusone scale horizontal

Link: http://loige.co/6-rules-of-thumb-to-build-blazing-fast-web-applications

Rob Allen:
Checking your code for PSR-2
Jul 28, 2015 @ 08:17:20

Rob Allen has posted a guide showing you how to make your code PSR-2 compliant with the help of some handy tools, both in and out of your editor/IDE.

Most of the projects that I work on follow the PSR-2 coding style guidelines. I prefer to ensure that my PRs pass before Travis or Jenkins tells me, so let's look at how to run PSR-2 checks locally.

He looks at three different methods - not the only ones out there but three quick to implement ones:

  • Using the PSR-2 sniffs for PHP_CodeSniffer
  • Automating the checks with Phing
  • Editor integration (he shows VIM and Sublime Text)

There's links to the tools mentioned here and screenshots/configuration information showing how to get it set up too.

tagged: psr2 code style check phpcodesniffer phing editor vim sublimetext

Link: http://akrabat.com/checking-your-code-for-psr-2/

Community News:
Latest PEAR Releases (07.28.2015)
Jul 27, 2015 @ 23:05:01

Latest PEAR Releases:

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Kevin Ennis:
On Unit Testing
Jul 27, 2015 @ 11:48:31

On Medium.com Kevin Ennis has shared some thoughts on unit testing and how he's "done a 180%" on what kind of value he feels they bring.

There are a lot of really easy ways to rationalize not testing your code, and I’m probably guilty of saying each of them at one point or another. For some engineers, I think the reluctance to embrace unit testing is basically just FUD. Like so many other things, testing seems scary if you haven’t done it before.

But it’s also really difficult to fully understand the benefits of testing unless you’ve worked on a project that has good tests. So it’s easy to see why?—?without fully understanding the upside?—?many developers regard unit testing as an unnecessary step.

He goes through several of the common excuses for not writing unit tests and debunks them one at a time. He also includes a brief section at the end of the post with a recommendation on how to get started testing...essentially "just do it".

tagged: unittest opinion common rationalization fud

Link: https://medium.com/@kevincennis/on-unit-testing-1cc6798f81ee

Symfony Blog:
The Symfony Demo application, three months later
Jul 27, 2015 @ 10:27:02

The Symfony blog has a post that talks about the state of the Symfony "Demo" application three months after its release. The "Demo" application is a simpler way to get an entire Symfony 2 application up and running, giving you a good foundation for either your own development or quick testing.

The [Symfony Demo application](https://github.com/symfony/symfony-demo) was publicly introduced three months ago. In addition to being a learning resource, it's considered the reference implementation of the [Symfony Best Practices](http://symfony.com/doc/current/best_practices/index.html). During the past weeks, we've been busy adding new features to showcase Symfony functionalities. This article is a quick recap of the most important new features.

They talk about four different improvements to the demo setup and configuration process:

  • Full internationalization
  • New console commands
  • New technical requirements checker
  • New JavaScript and Sass/CSS management

They also briefly mention a few other miscellaneous changes at the end of the application around security, debugging helpers and more functional testing.

tagged: symfony demo application improvements symfony2

Link: http://symfony.com/blog/the-symfony-demo-application-three-months-later

Community News:
Latest PEAR Releases (07.27.2015)
Jul 27, 2015 @ 09:36:14

Latest PEAR Releases:

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SitePoint PHP Blog:
Console Wars – PHP CLI Libraries
Jul 27, 2015 @ 09:32:35

The SitePoint PHP blog has a post that compares some of the major PHP CLI libraries, three of them at least: the Symfony console component, Hoa console and the Webmozart solution.

I have always been a big fan of console commands and I try to provide a command line interface (CLI) as much as possible in most of my PHP projects. In this article, I’ll briefly compare three PHP console command libraries.

He starts with a brief history on each of the libraries, talking about their origins and age. He then talks about the necessary dependencies each requires and the overall complexity of the code they include. Next up is some practical examples putting each to use outputting a simple message back to the user using user input for both the message and output color.

tagged: console commandline library symfony hoa webmozart cli compare

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/console-wars-php-cli-libraries/