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/Dev/Hell Podcast:
Episode 53 Let's Get This Thing Over With
December 22, 2014 @ 12:18:20

The /Dev/Hell podcast has posted their latest episode with hosts Chris Hartjes and Ed Finkler: Episode 53: Let's Get This Thing Over With.

Guest-less and listless, Chris and Ed slouch their way back to their studios. Chris talks about the time he tried to murder a disabled woman with his new luxury sedan, we discuss artisanal PHP-Nuke sites, and how we got our local user groups started. Then It really goes off the rails with a discussion of the awesomeness of Dragon Age: Inquisition, and what happens to games and other services that rely on Internet connectivity.

You can listen to this latest episode either through the in-page audio player or by downloading the mp3 for listening at your leisure. If you enjoy the episode be sure to subscribe to their feed and get the latest episodes as they're released.

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devhell podcast ep32 letsgetthisthingoverwith

Link: http://devhell.info/post/2014-12-18/lets-get-this-thing-over-with/

Cal Evans:
Five influencers you should thank this year for making the PHP community so awesome
December 22, 2014 @ 11:47:56

Cal Evans, PHP community member extraordinaire, has a new post sharing his suggestions of the top five influencers in the PHP community that "make it awesome" and help make it one of the best he's been involved in.

It is no surprise to anyone who has talked to me for more than five minutes that I think the PHP community is the most vibrant and engaging developer community out there. So as we approach the end of the year, I am going to list out the influencers that help keep this community at the top. These are the people that you need to seek out and thank because without them, the PHP community would not be what it is today.

He goes with categories rather than mentioning names (because, really, there's way too many too name them all):

  • 5: Core Developers
  • 4: User Group Leaders
  • 3: Conference Organizers
  • 2: Conference Speakers, Bloggers, and Teachers
  • 1: Any developer using PHP

That last one, while it might seem like an "everyone else" kind of category, is one of the most important in my opinion. After all, what is a language without its users. Core developers and community group/event leaders wouldn't have anything to talk about if no one was there to talk. There would be no one to teach or be taught to and the core developers wouldn't have any reason to drive the language forward. Even if you're not well-known in the PHP community, you and your code are making a contribution to the community, even if only in a small way.

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top5 influencers thank opinion list core usergroup conference users blogger teacher

Link: http://blog.calevans.com/2014/12/21/five-influencers-thank-year-making-php-community-awesome/

Anthony Ferrara:
On PHP Version Requirements
December 22, 2014 @ 10:13:59

In his latest post Anthony Ferrara talks about PHP version requirements and how it's a bit of "chicken and egg" problem. If hosting providers are slow adopting even PHP 5.4, can we realistically bump up the minimum to PHP 5.4+ and potentially shun users not at that level yet?

Most people agreed with me [saying new software with a PHP requirement <= 5.2 is beyond irresponsible, it's negligent], saying that not targeting 5.4 or higher is bad. But some disagreed. Some disagreed strongly. So, I want to talk about that.

[...] Now, these are pretty interesting arguments. It boils down to making the logical argument that if hosts don't support 5.4+, then moving to require 5.4+ would leave the users who use those hosts abandoned. And some projects don't want to abandon users. It's a warm and logical idea; Open your arms to everyone, and include them all. Don't leave anyone behind. Really, it's a good argument. The problem is, is it based on a flawed premise...?

He suggests that it sounds somewhat like an appeal to emotion and that by enforcing a bump up like this would be "abandoning the users". He gets into some of the statistics he worked up regarding PHP versions, WordPress usage and how, because of these large numbers, hosting companies would make the move if only for business reasons. He talks about the "Go PHP5" initiative and the impact it made on versions supported across the board. He also looks at some of the reasons why keeping up with these versions is good for the hosting companies too: security, education of users and the new features that come with later versions.

So I put this to you, WordPress, CodeIgniter and every other CMS and Framework still supporting PHP 5.2 and 5.3 (and earlier versions): Step up and lead. Step up and be the change you want to see. Don't follow and react, lead and be proactive. After all, if we can move forward together, we can all benefit. But if we walk separate paths, we build walls and we all lose...
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version requirements opinion hosting project support

Link: http://blog.ircmaxell.com/2014/12/on-php-version-requirements.html

SitePoint PHP Blog:
No More var_dump - Introducing Symfony VarDumper!
December 22, 2014 @ 09:05:25

The SitePoint PHP blog has a recent post about an addition to the Symfony framework that can make debugging (or just outputting errors) a more pleasant experience: the VarDumper component.

Recently, Symfony went from Zend-like bloat and rigidity to extreme decoupling and modularity. [...] One factor that contributes to this factor a lot is their continuous pushing out of new components that are incredibly useful outside of Symfony's context. One such component is the new VarDumper.

He talks first about the "why" the component was created and why you might want to use it. He links to the documentation and what kinds of features come along with it. He also shows a quick install of the component, some usage of it in the code and the resulting output of both simple and complex data structures, including method structure, visibility and closure information.

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symfony, component, vardumper, introduction, framework

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/var_dump-introducing-symfony-vardumper/

Community News:
Packagist Latest Releases for 12.22.2014
December 22, 2014 @ 08:03:42

Recent releases from the Packagist:

Community News:
Latest PEAR Releases for 12.22.2014
December 22, 2014 @ 07:02:15

Latest PEAR Releases:
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Community News:
Packagist Latest Releases for 12.21.2014
December 21, 2014 @ 08:00:48

Recent releases from the Packagist:
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Community News:
Packagist Latest Releases for 12.20.2014
December 20, 2014 @ 08:02:33

Recent releases from the Packagist:

Developer Drive:
Simplify your documentation process with Couscous
December 19, 2014 @ 12:14:49

On the Developer Drive site today there's a quick post introducing you to Couscous, a PHP-based documentation generation tool. Couscous translates your Markdown files into HTML output that's professional and clean looking.

If there's one thing I hate more than tracking down bugs, it's documenting code. It takes forever, it's almost a project in itself, and I never seem to factor it into my project lifecycle. Setting out to solve that problem for me, and anyone else whose life is too short, is Couscous. Couscous takes markdown files and converts them into professional standard HTML docs that colleagues, or fellow developers, can easily follow. You can preview the resulting site on your local machine, correct any issues, and then deploy straight to GitHub where it will be hosted for you.

They walk you through the (brief) process of getting the tool installed via Composer and using it to show you a preview of your documentation. The "deploy" command then allows you to easily deploy the results out to a GitHub Pages location on the gh-pages branch. You can find out more about Couscous on the project website.

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documentation couscous tool markdown generate html output

Link: http://www.developerdrive.com/2014/12/simplify-your-documentation-process-with-couscous/

E
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/


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