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Voices of the ElePHPant:
Interview with Chris Tankersley
April 28, 2015 @ 08:31:39

The Voices of the ElePHPant podcast has posted their latest episode in theri community interview series. This time host Cal Evans talks with Chris Tankersly, regular conference speaker and

Chris and Cal talk some about Chris' experience with devops and what kind of services that entails. He also does PHP development, but provides support and setup of systems and servers. They also talk some about what Chris sees as some of the major problems between devs and operations. Cal also asks Chris for some advice to developers so they can be more successful on their understanding of the servers their applications run on. There's also a brief mention of WurstCon, an impromptu "conference" that started around just getting some hotdogs.

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

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Community News:
Latest PECL Releases for 04.28.2015
April 28, 2015 @ 07:01:44

Latest PECL Releases:
  • msgpack 0.5.6 - support str8 type (wudikua) - Fix a warning and a possible crash (Mike) - Fix crash with memcached (Mike)

  • timezonedb 2015.4 Updated to version 2015.4 (2015d)

  • apfd 1.0.1 * Fix bug where non-POST payloads with mixed case boundaries would not be parsed

  • mongodb 0.5.1 * PHPC-241: Don't try to use local timezone * PHPC-241: mongodb.debug improvements * PHPC-270: Several test fail because of missing enableTestCommands * PHPC-270: add TESTCOMMANDS() skipif to confirm mongod is running with required options * PHPC-269: Fix travis setup * PHPC-268: Update tests to declare which environments they need * PHPC-268: Add NEEDS() function to check if that environment is available * PHPC-247: Remove 'faker' as prerequisite from running our full test suite * PHPC-247: Remove on-the-fly composer generated fixtures * PHPC-247: Use the bundled pregenerated fixtures * PHPC-89: Bundle generated fixtures and make them easily loadable * PHPC-260: Allow/use "object" in setTypeMap() as alias/preferred for "stdclass" * PHPC-267; _id generated on embedded document * PHPC-265: BSON encoding unsupoprted types (Resource) should fail * PHPC-266: Add MongoDBDriverUnexpectedValueException * PHPC-75: Improve code coverage * PHPC-258: make all filed needed for test as role="test" * PHPC-259: add --with-libbson option

  • gmagick 1.1.7RC3 setImagePage() and getImagePage() added

  • couchbase 2.0.7 This is a patch update to the PHP 2.0 SDK. Changes: * PCBC-339: Add support for using N1QL with CB Server 4.0.0. * PCBC-343: Added missing touch method to CouchbaseBucket.

  • mongodb 0.5.0 * PHPC-241: Include lib versions and uri in the logs * PHPC-240: Rely on libmongoc for command cursor iteration * PHPC-240: Regression tests for command cursor getmore * PHPC-254: Remove unused RINIT and RSHUTDOWN handlers * PHPC-253: bump mongoc after CDRIVER-611 fix * PHPC-249: empty array should be serialized as array * PHPC-248: Allow ->setTypeMap() to set 'array' and 'stdclass' * PHPC-245: Allow embedding objects in updates * PHPC-245: executeUpdate() converts objects to arrays * PHPC-244: Cannot use object of type Person as array * PHPC-243: Manager->executeUpdate() option is supposed to be 'multi' * PHPC-239: Cursor refcount issues * PHPC-237: Update PHP version requirement in package.xml

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SitePoint PHP Blog:
Sending Emails in PHP with PHPMailer
April 27, 2015 @ 12:53:56

The SitePoint PHP blog has a tutorial from Narayan Prusty showing you how to effectively use PHPMailer to send emails from your PHP application. PHPMailer provides a simplified interface to send both simple and complex emails.

PHPMailer is one of the most popular open source PHP libraries to send emails with. It was first released way back in 2001 and since then it has become a PHP developer's favorite way of sending emails programmatically, aside from a few other fan favorites like Swiftmailer. In this article we'll talk about why you should use PHPMailer instead of PHP's mail() function and we'll show some code samples on how to use this library.

He starts by answering the obvious question - is it an alternative to PHP's own mail function? He describes the differences, mostly in the way of enhanced functionality PHPMailer offers. He then helps you get it installed via Composer and how to send a first simple email. Next up he shows how to send an email with attachments and connecting the library to an external SMTP server for sending. The tutorial finishes with a quick mention of using POP3 to read emails and how to show local error messages when something goes wrong.

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PHP Roundtable:
018 F8 Afterglow & The PHP SDK
April 27, 2015 @ 11:35:38

The PHP Roundtable Podcast has posted their latest episode today, hosted by Sammy Powers and featuring guests Fosco Marotto and Nathan Stokes. In this new episode they talk about their experiences at the Facebook F8 conference and their PHP SDK.

A short afterglow discussion about the 2015 F8 Facebook Developer Conference in San Francisco, CA & a look at the new Facebook PHP SDK and where it's headed.

You can catch this latest episode through the in-page video player. If you enjoy the episode, be sure to subscribe to their feed to get the latest as they're released.

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Creating a Dating Application with Sinch RESTful API
April 27, 2015 @ 10:19:26 has kicked off a new tutorial series today about building a dating application with a combination of Laravel, MongoDB and the Sinch service allowing for messaging between users. The Sinch service has several features including voice/messaging/SMS communication methods and device verification.

In this tutorial, we're going to create a dating application for iOS similar to Tinder. For voice and messaging, we will leverage the Sinch platform, making use of its powerful SDK. In the first part, we will focus on the development of a RESTful API to store and retrieve user information. In the second part, the iOS client will hook into this API to find nearby users based on the user's current location. We will use Laravel 5.0 for the RESTful service and will be covering basic concepts, such as routes and controllers. We are also going to define custom models to support MongoDB integration in an ActiveRecord-like manner.

This first part of the series is mostly about just getting things set up so they walk you through:

  • Basic setup of the Laravel application
  • Creation of the Base model (for MongoDB connection)
  • Creating helper methods
  • Building out CRUD functionality for the database layer
  • Making a User model
  • Creating the BaseController class
  • Making a SessionController class (and working with sessions)
  • Building a UserController

They end this part of the series by hooking all of this functionality together with some simple RESTful routing for GET, POST, PUT and DELETE request handling for the various endpoints.

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Marc Morera:
Behat and Data-test
April 27, 2015 @ 09:55:08

In a new post Marc Morera makes a suggestion for a testing practice to add to the use of the popular BDD PHP testing framework Behat - a "data-test" option to help with decoupling the tests from implementation.

Tests should be as robust as possible. I think you will agree with me with that phrase. If your tests are too coupled with your implementation, a simple modification of your code will need the modification of your tests, and that's so annoying, right? [...] My question is… should the frontend of your website be aware of the how your Behat tests are built? In my opinion, nope. Your tests should live in a simple layout on top of your application, emulating some cases and ensuring that your users will be able to do what they should be able to.

He points out the main problem with the current testing methods, mainly that the real issue is in the hard-wiring of the test functionality to the name/id/type of the interface elements. He also brings up the aspect of translations and ensuring that your tests take into account that the text may not always be in English. He also mentions Symfony forms and how they define their own structure and naming, not necessarily what you manually generate. He instead proposes a "data-test" property that could be added to elements both indicating that they're used by the testing process and can help in locating the elements during the testing process.

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Luciano Mammino:
Developing a web application with Lumen and MySql
April 27, 2015 @ 08:24:09

Luciano Mammino has a tutorial posted to his site showing you how to create a Lumen application that ties into a MySQL database from start to finish. It's a simple "display a famous quote" application, but it shows the full process you'll need to follow to hook it all together.

Lumen is a new Php micro-framework developed by Taylor Otwell, the same author of the famous Laravel framework. I wanted to give it a try and I am here to share my experimentations. I am not an expert of Lumen (yet), but I think one of the best characteristics of this framework is that it makes really really easy to bootstrap a new project. So to prove this, we will now build a fully functional app backed by a MySql database in less than 30 minutes. Are you ready to start?

His goal is a create a simple application that displays a quote, "randomized" based on the day. He shows you how to set up a new Lumen project, configure the database and create a migration to create the table in MySQL. He also includes the code for the data seeder and the main application routing (just two routes). Finally, he includes the output template and the CSS needed to make the end result look as expected.

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Community News:
Latest PEAR Releases for 04.27.2015
April 27, 2015 @ 07:04:20

Latest PEAR Releases:
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DigitalOcean Community Blog:
Horizontally Scaling PHP Applications A Practical Overview
April 24, 2015 @ 13:06:49

On the Digital Ocean blog there's a new post with a "practical overview" of how to effectively scale PHP applications, specifically as it relates to horizontal scaling not vertical.

Shipping a website or application to production has its own challenges, but when it gets the right traction, it's a great accomplishment. It always feels good to see the visitor numbers going up, doesn't it? Except, of course, when your traffic increases so much that it crashes your little LAMP stack. [...] But fear not! There are ways to make your PHP application much more reliable and consistent. If the term scalability crossed your mind, you've got the right idea.

The article starts with a brief overview of what scalability is and the main difference between horizontal and vertical scaling (scaling out vs scaling up). They then get into a bit more detail about what horizontal scaling is and how it commonly works in relation to the average PHP application (complete with diagrams). They also talk about some things you can do inside your code to help make things flow a bit more smoothly including decoupling between services and user session/file consistency measures. There's also a bit at the end about load balancing but as that depends a good bit on what technology you're using and the actual load, they just provide an overview and some links to other articles and tutorials with more information.

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Christoph Rumpel:
Hello world, I am Laravel (5)
April 24, 2015 @ 12:46:22

With Laravel 5 out in the wild, you may be wondering what this new version has to offer either as someone already using the framework or brand new. In this recent post from Christoph Rumpel you can find out some of the highlights of this new release along with some code samples to illustrate.

So there is this thing called Laravel. You may have heard of it already, but you're not sure what it is actually about? Or you do, but want to know more about it and its great new features in version 5? Great, this post is especially for you! Laravel is at the same time one of the youngest and most popular PHP frameworks out there. So how does this work together? Let us take a closer look at why it is that popular and how it could be of use for you too. We will go through the main functionalities and talk about brand new features in version 5.

He touches on several different topics including: routing, use of the Eloquent ORM, the "artisan" command line tool, controllers, migrations and form request handling. Each section has some example code and a brief description of the feature. Obviously the Laravel documentation is a much more complete resource for each of these topics, but at least this gives you a feel for the framework and what it can do.

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