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Semaphore Software Blog:
Getting Started with Symfony 2
May 11, 2015 @ 10:35:57

The Semaphore Software blog has posted a new tutorial for those wanting to get into the Symfony2 framework and find out what it's all about. In this new tutorial they walk you through some of the basics of the framework and shows you how to get a basic first site up and running.

Symfony 2 has seemingly gained the attention of developers in recent times. Owing to the growing hype surrounding this framework, it is something that you ought to know about. A web application framework formed of reusable PHP components has been termed as Symfony. Symfony 2 is an updated version of this framework, and it enables developers to create websites and web applications with ease and convenience. The individual PHP components that set out to form this framework can be selected as per your design and development requirements. Let's understand why Symfony is gaining popularity and why it should be used by you.

They start with the download and installation of the current version and where to place the resulting files. They briefly cover each of the main directories in the framework setup including a bit of sample code to illustrate. They then get into the bundling system and how it fits it with the overall ecosystem of your application, diving it up into functional "chunks". They show you how to register, configure and extend a bundle with some of your own functionality. Finally, the tutorial shows how to configure the database connection and run Doctrine to generate the table mappings.

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gettingstarted introduction symfony2 beginner walkthrough

Link: http://blog.semaphore-software.com/getting-started-symfony-2.html

Scotch.io:
A Beginner's Guide To Composer
March 31, 2015 @ 13:48:55

The Scotch.io site has posted a guide that can help you if you're just getting started in the world of PHP packages via Composer. In this new tutorial Daniel Pataki introduces you to the tool and how to use it to install the dependencies you need.

I'm sure there are plenty of coders out there who are wondering about the benefits of using composer and many who are afraid to make the leap into a new system. In this article we'll take a look at what exactly Composer is, what it does and why it is a great tool for PHP projects.

He starts with the basics of dependency management, why it would be used in a project and how it automates the installation and integration of 3rd party libraries. From there he helps you get Composer installed and starts in on a sample "composer.json" configuration file. In his example he installs Monolog, the popular PHP logging class. He talks some about how to specify versions, locking down the dependency versions to install and installing "developer only" requirements.

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Link: https://scotch.io/tutorials/a-beginners-guide-to-composer

Anthony Ferrara:
A Beginner's Guide To MVC For The Web
November 24, 2014 @ 10:42:41

Anthony Ferrara has posted what he calls a beginners guide to MVC for the web, a tutorial that introduces to you the basic concepts behind the Model-View-Controller design pattern and how it should fit in with the SOLID design principles.

There are a bunch of guides out there that claim to be a guide to MVC. It's almost like writing your own framework in that it's "one of those things" that everyone does. I realized that I never wrote my "beginners guide to MVC". So I've decided to do exactly that. Here's my "beginners guide to MVC for the web".

He starts with his first lesson, his most important one really - you don't need "MVC" (the concept, not the pattern...he notes them differently). He then gets into what the MVC pattern actually is and describes each piece and how they fit together. Following that, he talks about "MVC" as a concept and how it's different from MVC, the design pattern (hint: the pattern describes one implementation of the MVC ideals). He talks about the role of state in the MVC structure and how the implementation of the MVC idea is slightly different in the various "MVC frameworks" out there.

There is a very useful lesson that MVC brings: Separation Of Concerns. Meaning that you should separate different responsibilities into different sections of your application. Separation of Concerns is a necessary step in dealing with Abstraction. Instead of latching on to MVC, latch on to abstraction. Latch on to separation of concerns. Latch on to architecture. There are far better ways to architect and abstract user interaction for server-based applications than MVC.
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Link: http://blog.ircmaxell.com/2014/11/a-beginners-guide-to-mvc-for-web.html

SitePoint PHP Blog:
PHP Streaming and Output Buffering Explained
September 04, 2014 @ 10:17:44

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new performance-related post to the site today from Imran Latif. This new post looks at effective use of output buffering and streaming and explains how it works and some examples of its use.

As a PHP developer, I was wondering whether we can have something similar [to Streaming in Rails] in our favorite language? The answer is yes - we can easily have streaming in PHP applications with little effort, but in order to get this right we have to become familiar with some underlying concepts. In this article, we will see what streaming is, what output_buffering is and how to get our desired result under different webservers (Apache, Nginx) and PHP configurations (CGI, mod_php, FastCGI).

He starts off with a comparison of the two different methods, streaming and output buffering, and how they behave in the output of content. He then gets into some simple examples with PHP with various methods: a simple delay, chunking up output and finally using the actual output buffering handling PHP offers. He also includes an example of streaming content over an Ajax request with a simple test using the sleep function.

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streaming output buffering tutorial introduction beginner ajax

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/php-streaming-output-buffering-explained/

Dawn Casey:
Things Developers Say
June 05, 2014 @ 09:13:45

In this new post from Dawn Casey (wife of the infamous Keith Casey) she talks about some of her "growing pains" around becoming a new developer and the learning process. She's come up against some interesting problems in the course of her learning, both good and frustrating.

In the course of my learning development (seven months at this point) I've heard quite a few things from other veteran developers, all of whom were trying to be helpful. Or I'd ask a question and get one of these things in response because it makes sense to *them*…they don't realize I have no point of reference. [...] I'm frustrated because they can't explain whatever it is I don't understand..mostly because I don't understand exactly what it is I'm not understanding.

Her frustration comes not only from not being able to ask the right questions, but also from being a "blind deaf alien" thrown into the world of development. She point out an issue common to those trying to get into programming: the wealth of information one needs to know before getting started. She also mentions another common problem, particularly for new developers (or those looking to improve one certain skill): the sometimes unhelpful nature of other, more experienced developers. While some are happy to help and guide you through the learning process, there's others that will just toss you a tutorial link and call it a day.

Here's the gist of what I'm saying: There is so much back-knowledge needed to be a web developer today that many are derailed for months trying to learn everything they need to know before they can learn anything at all. PLEASE REMEMBER THIS!!
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Link: http://sdawncasey.wordpress.com/2014/06/04/things-developers-say/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
How to Use the JsonSerializable Interface
May 05, 2014 @ 11:50:28

Matrin Hardy has a new tutorial posted to the SitePoint PHP blog today showing you how to use the JsonSerializable interface to work with objects and converting them to JSON.

Over the past few years JSON has taken over as the king of data interchange formats. Before JSON, XML ruled the roost. It was great at modeling complex data but it is difficult to parse and is very verbose. [...] I think we could all agree that writing less code that in turn requires less maintenance and introduces less bugs is a goal we would all like to achieve. In this post, I'd like to introduce you to a little known interface that was introduced in PHP 5.4.0 called JsonSerializable.

He splits the rest of the post out into three different parts: the "ugly" method of converting a sample Customer object into a JSON string (through an array), the "bad" method using a "toJson" method and finally the "good", implementing a class that implements the JsonSerializable interface for easy JSON-ification.

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jsonserializable interface tutorial introduction beginner

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/use-jsonserializable-interface/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Getting Started with PHP Extension Development via PHP-CPP
March 27, 2014 @ 12:15:08

On the SitePoint PHP blog today there's a new tutorial from Taylor Ren showing you how to get started with PHP-CPP for creating PHP extensions. PHP-CPP is a C++ library that makes it simpler (and faster) to create PHP-specific extensions.

In your dealings with PHP, you may come to consider writing a PHP extension yourself. [...] When it comes to choosing a tool to build PHP extensions, we see two different approaches: use more pro-PHP semantics, like Zephir or use more pro-C/C++ semantics, like PHP-CPP, which will be addressed in this article. For me, the main drive to select the second approach is simple: I started my programming hobby with C/C++, so I still feel more comfortable writing those lower level modules in C/C++. PHP-CPP's official site gives a few other reasons to do so.

He walks you through the installation of the library (for now, just a git clone) and getting the needed environment set up to be able to compile and test out the extension. He helps you set up the "skeleton" files for the extension, including some sample content. He includes code for a typical "Hello World" example extension as well as its use in a sample PHP script.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/getting-started-php-extension-development-via-php-cpp

CodeHeaps.com:
Creating a Blog Using Laravel 4 (Series)
February 18, 2014 @ 10:53:20

The CodeHeaps.com tutorial site, they've posted the latest in their tutorial series creating a blog with the popular Laravel framework. In the first part they looked at models and database seeing, in part two they focused on controllers and in this latest part they focus on routing.

In this article we will create a simple blog using Laravel 4. Our blog application will have the following features: display posts with read more links on home page, search posts on blog, display a single post with comments and allow users to post comments. Administrator will be able to perform CRUD operations on posts and comments [and ] will be able to moderate comments.

In the three parts so far they show some simple migrations to create the "posts" and "comments" table and some basic (lorem ipsum) content. They create a basic "blog" controller and login functionality to identify the current user. Finally, they create the routing to hook it all together including some "before" hooks and authentication protection on the administrative areas.

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series tutorial laravel framework blog beginner model controller routing

Link: http://www.codeheaps.com/php-programming/creating-a-blog-using-laravel-4-part-3-routing/

Matt Frost:
Getting Talks Selected
January 27, 2014 @ 09:04:23

If you're considering getting into the world of speaking at an upcoming PHP conference, Matt Frost has some advice for you to help you get started. It can be intimidating, so learn from some of his own experiences as a relatively new speaker in the community.

It's a very busy conference season in and around the PHP Community. [...] These conferences are such a blessing to those who are able to attend, the speakers know their stuff and are very open to sharing and talking outside of their sessions. But you're a smart cookie too! You've got ideas and thoughts and knowledge that other people would like to have, so how do you get in on this? I'm going to tell you how I got into it, your mileage may vary, but hopefully it helps.

He points out that submitting a talk and getting accepted is "a lot like the lotto" sometimes, that you can't win unless you buy a ticket (submit that talk). He looks at a few of the other common questions from beginning speakers - what do I talk about, how do I write an abstract and common first time speaking concerns.

There's no magical elixir that will land you speaking gigs at cool conferences. Everyone that speaks, from the seasoned pro to the up and comer, has worked extremely hard to not only put the talks together; but acquire all the knowledge necessary to give the talk in the first place
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talk session technical conference advice beginner speaker

Link: http://shortwhitebaldguy.com/blog/2014/01/getting-talks-selected

Paul Jones:
Framework Tradeoffs For Beginners Product Creation vs Program Maintenance
January 22, 2014 @ 11:53:42

Paul Jones has shared some of his thoughts about framework tradeoffs in his latest post. In it he compares two perspectives about framework use for beginners - either the "get something out there" product approach or focusing on the the long term maintenance of the product.

Phil Sturgeon at his blog, writing about product creators who neither know nor care much about programming as a discipline. [...] Phil's post focuses on the joyful, proud moments of creation that lead to business success, whether in terms of venture funding or continued sales. In this essay, I want to focus on what happens after that, when that initial creation passes into other hands to be maintained.

Paul talks about how frameworks can allow developers to work "beyond their level" and be more productive than they could be otherwise. He points out that this can create a beginner-level codebase that works "just enough" and then is usually passed off to more experienced developers to update, change and flat out fix issues.

From a financial standpoint, and perhaps even from an economic standpoint, it's easy to see enabling-via-framework as a positive. Indeed, the product creator may justify his failures of good programming practice by substituting the product popularity and continued rounds of funding as a marker of success. [...] But from a programming practices standpoint, enabling-by-framework too often leads to pain and frustration on the part of the maintenance programmers, who are now saddled with the baggage of an amateur.
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framework tradeoff beginner product creation maintenance

Link: http://paul-m-jones.com/archives/5890


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