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SitePoint PHP Blog:
Phalcon 2.0 Alpha Landing
January 20, 2014 @ 09:42:37

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted a new article about the latest version of Phalcon (v2.0) and an example of it in use.

I've written about Phalcon before, and we've got a variety of articles on the framework published already, which is apparent if you just visit the . In fact, not so long ago, I wrote about Zephir, Phalcon's noble initiative to make building PHP extensions accessible to everyone. Today, a new milestone has been reached by the team, and one that definitely warrants discussion. Way ahead of time, the Phalcon team announced the imminent release of Phalcon 2.0 alpha 1.

He introduces this new version, noting that this is a full rewrite of the framework in a new language, Zaphir (a derivative of PHP). He then gets into using Zephir to make an example extension, complete with a screencast and sample code. He finishes off the post with some information about how you can contribute back to the project and help increase its test coverage.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/phalcon-2-0-alpha-landing

QaFoo.com:
PHP Refactoring Browser Alpha Release
April 08, 2013 @ 09:49:33

On the QaFoo blog today the company is introducing a new tool to help PHP developers write better, more optimized code - the PHP Refactoring Browser (written in PHP too).

Without continuous refactoring, code maintainability and extensibility will start to decrease fast, even if it has tests. Until now, only IDEs contained functionality to perform automated refactorings. And then even only PHPStorm contains the most important refactorings such as "extract method". Today we release the PHP Refactoring Browser, a refactoring tool written completely in PHP. It is based on several outstanding open-source libraries.

The browser currently supports multiple refactoring methods including the extract method, renaming of local variables and converting a local variable to an instance. They include some example code and the result from the execution of the tool. The output shows where refactoring would work best with some color coding and formatting.

You can find more about this new tool over on its github repository.

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Link: http://qafoo.com/blog/041_refactoring_browser.html

PHP.net:
PHP 5.5.0 Alpha6 released
March 08, 2013 @ 09:02:18

As is mentioned in this new post to PHP.net today, they've released the latest alpha for the PHP 5.5.x series - PHP 5.5.0alpha6 - for testing. This is not a stable release so do not use it in production by any means.

The PHP development team announces the release of PHP 5.5.0alpha6. This release fixes some bugs from alpha5. It also serves as a delay for our next release, beta1, integrating ZendOptimizer+ OPCode cache which is not ready yet to be merged. All users of PHP are encouraged to test this version carefully, and report any bugs in the bug tracking system.

Updates in this release include a fix for a bug where uninitialized ++$foo->bar; does not cause a notice, an update to the bundled PCRE 8.32, and a bugfix in ext/sockets where sendmsg/recvmsg shutdown handler causes segfault. You can get the complete list of changes here and get the download over on this site (Windows users here).

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PHP.net:
PHP 5.5.0 Alpha4 released
January 24, 2013 @ 09:29:39

On PHP.net today they've announced the tagging and release of the latest alpha for the PHP 5.5.0 series - PHP 5.5.0 alpha4:

The PHP development team announces the release of PHP 5.5.0alpha4. This release fixe some bugs from alpha3 and add some new features. All users of PHP are encouraged to test this version carefully, and report any bugs in the bug tracking system.

There's new improvements included in this non-production release including class name resolution with "class" keyword and the DateTimeImmutable class. You can see the NEWS file for the complete list of changes. If you'd like to help test it out, you can download the preview release here (or here for Windows users).

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PHP.net:
PHP 5.5.0 Alpha3 released
January 11, 2013 @ 11:53:40

PHP.net has announced the release of PHP 5.5 alpha3, the latest alpha in this upcoming release. This is only a preview release and should not be considered (in any way, shape or form) as usable in production.

The PHP development team announces the release of PHP 5.5.0alpha3. This release adds few features and fix some bugs from alpha2. All users of PHP are encouraged to test this version carefully, and report any bugs in the bug tracking system.

There's a few new things that have come with this update including the "Generator::throw()" method, a few additional cURL methods, Max-Age attribute support in setcookie and some bugfixes in mysqlnd and the PHP core code (see here for the full list). Please download this latest alpha and test it out in your application. Windows binaries are here.

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PHP.net:
PHP 5.5.0 Alpha2 released
December 27, 2012 @ 10:22:13

If you'd like to help with testing for the upcoming PHP 5.5.0 version, they've announced the release of the latest alpha on the PHP.net site, ready for download and test execution.

The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 5.5.0alpha2. This release adds new features and fix some bugs from alpha1. All users of PHP are encouraged to test this version carefully, and report any bugs in the bug tracking system.

You can see the full list of the changes in 5.5.0 (so far) in the NEWS file including things like using empty on return values, enabling systemtap by default for dtrace probes and optimized variable accessing. They need your help to make this upcoming release even better, so if you'd like to help out and test, go grab the download (Windows builds).

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PHPClasses.org:
Lately in PHP, Episode 30 - Will PHP 6 feature a JIT compiler?
December 10, 2012 @ 10:50:28

On the PHPClasses.org site they've posted the latest episode of their "Lately in PHP" podcast series - Episode #30, "Will PHP6 Feature a JIT compiler?"

Now that Facebook made some progress with their PHP HipHop VM JIT compiler engine, some PHP core developers are considering having also a JIT compiler implementation of the official implementation based on LLVM, eventually in PHP 6. [...] They also commented on the first alpha release of PHP 5.5.0, proposals for having pure interfaces in the PHP core, the Facebook PHP JIT compiler enhancements, and the new system of levels and missions of the PHPClasses and JSClasses sites.

You can listen to this latest episode either through their in-page player, by downloading the mp3 or by subscribing to their feed. You can also watch the video of the recording as well.

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Anthony Ferrara:
Designing An API Simplified Password Hashing
November 19, 2012 @ 12:42:22

A while back Anthony Ferrara proposed a standardized password hashing feature to be included into the core of PHP. It was voted on and it was decided it would be introduced in the PHP 5.5 releases. Anthony has written up a new post talking some about his process in making this upcoming feature and answering some of the most common questions he's gotten about it.

The other day, PHP 5.5 Alpha 1 was released to the public for the first round of testing the new features that are coming out. One of those new features is the Simplified Password Hashing API that I proposed (and was accepted). I have received a lot of feedback and criticism of the new API in the months since it's been committed. I figured now that Alpha 1 is out and people can play with it, I should respond to some of those items, and give a little bit more insight into why it was built the way it was...

He talks about some of his goals with the use of the functionality (simplicity, something "the 99%" can use) ans answers questions about:

  • Why the functions aren't namespaced
  • Why it's not just a class that can be included when needed
  • The choice of not going with an OOP interface
  • Why PBKDF2 and Crypt-SHA-512 aren't supported

...and several other questions, but you'll have to read the full post for the rest of those. You can find out a lot about the API for this functionality from its wiki page and, if you'd like to try it out (in an alpha state), you can download this version of PHP and compile it yourself.

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Community News:
PHP 5.5.0 alpha 1 Released for Testing
November 15, 2012 @ 12:39:37

The official start of the PHP 5.5.0 release process has started today with a new post from David Soria Parra and Julien Pauli about the release of the "alpha 1" version of the release now being available for testing. (Note: this is an alpha release and is by no means suitable for real-life usage).

As announced a few weeks ago, we tagged PHP 5.5.0alpha1 on Tuesday. This release marks the start of 5.5.0 release process. [...] This release includes a dozen new features, such as Generators, List support in foreach. the simplified password API, and many more. Thanks to everyone working 5.5.

The plan is to put this out there for testing and then tag "alpha 2" on the 27th and make the actual release on Thursday, the 29th. If you'd like to help with the testing, download the alpha and run your tests (including the "make test" on install). Windows builds are also available at windows.php.net/qa.

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PHPClasses.org:
Lately in PHP podcast episode 14 - PHP 5.4 Alpha Features
August 01, 2011 @ 08:43:11

On the PHPClasses.org blog today they've released the latest episode of their "Lately in PHP" podcast hosted by Manuel Lemos and Ernani Joppert. In this new episode they talk about some of the features to be included in PHP 5.4.

PHP 5.4 Alpha versions just started to be released. On episode 14 of the Lately in PHP podcast, Manuel Lemos and Ernani Joppert discuss the purpose and interest of the new PHP 5.4 features already implemented in these alpha releases. They also discuss the repercussion in the PHP community of the plan to deprecate the original PHP MySQL extension.

You can either listen via the in-page player, by downloading the mp3 or by subscribing to their feed.

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