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Community News:
Wisdom of the ElePHPant
February 11, 2015 @ 10:24:46

Cal Evans, a prominent member of the PHP community, has put together a new project sharing what he's called "Wisdom of the ElePHPant", a series of short thoughts by members of the PHP community touching on everything from the art of programming to helping out open source projects to working with code reviews.

All of these little nuggets of wisdom have been gathered and put into a small book, one per page. These books cannot be purchased but there are sources where you can find them and get a copy of your own (such as conferences, user groups or from various members of the PHP community). Fortunately, there was more than enough wisdom to go around and some of the submissions are also being shared on the site including current ones from Jeremy Kendall, Erika Heidi and Cal himself.

This is a great resource for some quick chunks of wisdom from developers who have seen (and overcome) a lot of the challenges developers experience every day. I highly suggest picking up a copy for yourself...if you can track one down. For more check out the project's main site, WisdomOfTheElePHPant.com.

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wisdomoftheelephpant book website thoughts community

Link: http://wisdomoftheelephpant.com

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Grumpy Programmer's Testing Bundle Review
February 09, 2015 @ 13:18:22

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted a book review of a book bundle from the "Grumpy Programmer" (aka Chris Hartjes) with content about testing - how to test, what to test and creating testable applications.

After having gotten some constructive feedback regarding my testing practices on the basic TDD in your new PHP package tutorial, I decided to read Chris Hartjes "Grumpy Testing Bundle", a set of two books consisting of The Grumpy Programmer's Guide To Building Testable PHP Applications and The Grumpy Programmer's PHPUnit Cookbook. It was my hope that those books will prevent me from using the shoddy practices I displayed in that original post and which originally prompted Matthew Weier O'Phinney's critique. In this post, I'd like to share with you what I've learned, and how much this helped me, if at all.

He breaks down the bundle and talks about each of the two books separately, pointing out places he thought were most useful and others where he felt it needed updates/more clarification. He includes examples of some of the code shared in the books as illustrations and what kind of overall rating he gives it (in elePHPants naturally).

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book review grumpyprogrammer chrishartjes review bundle

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/grumpy-programmers-testing-bundle-review/

Laravel News:
Learn Laravel 5 with Easy Laravel
February 06, 2015 @ 11:19:38

The Laravel News site has a new post today about a book (from Jason Gilmore) wanting to help you learn everything you need to know about Laravel 5 - Easy Laravel 5.

Easy Laravel is a new book by W. Jason Gilmore, focusing entirely on the brand new Laravel 5. Easy Laravel features 8 chapters and over 200 pages to help you learn Laravel 5 quickly by building a real world project. Jason has spent the last 15 years using PHP, during this time he's written seven PHP books. Including the bestseller, "Beginning PHP and MySQL, Fourth Edition", that has been in print more than 10 years. He has a gift of explaining things clearly in a very nice style.

The post also includes some Q&A with Jason asking about why he chose to write a book on Laravel, what was the most enjoyable part of the process and what his favorite new feature is. The remainder of the post walks you through the chapters of the book and introduces you to some of the content with a brief summary of each.

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laravelnews laravel easy book learn wjasongilmore interview

Link: https://laravel-news.com/2015/02/learn-laravel-5-easy-laravel/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Modernizing Legacy Applications in PHP Review
January 15, 2015 @ 12:46:34

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted a review of Paul Jones' "Modernizing Legacy Applications" book. The book share's Paul's gathered knowledge about migrating legacy code into a more modern, maintainable and robust application.

Chances are you've come across some horrible legacy code once or twice in your lifetime as a PHP developer. Heck, if you've worked with WordPress to any degree, I'm sure you have. I myself have had the satisfying task of modernizing a monolithic ZF1 application, and it was the most mentally exhaustive (but, admittedly, the most educational) year of my career. If only I had had Paul M. Jones' "Modernizing Legacy Applications In PHP" book back then, I would have been done in half the time, and the work I did would have been twice as good.

Bruno talks briefly about the contents of the book and its goals (from legacy to MVC really). He goes on to point out that the target audience for the book is not the beginner PHP developer but someone that's familiar with good software design concepts and application structure. He goes through the technical side of things, commenting that it's "sound - amazingly so" and how it seems to be taken from a real-life project's refactoring. He wraps things up with a list of some of the pros and cons of the book and a recommendation along with a 4.5 of 5 "elephpant" rating.

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modernize legacy application book review pauljones

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/modernizing-legacy-applications-php-review/

Vic Cherubini:
Expert PHP Deployments
December 03, 2014 @ 12:04:22

Vic Cherubini has a recent post on his site sharing for free the contents of a book he'd written previously about "Expert PHP Deployments":

In 2013 I wrote and self-published a book titled "Expert PHP Deployments". While it was not a smashing success, it sold enough copies to pay for itself, and I was happy to have a published book to my name. Unfortunately, I have not had time to market it, update it, or further improve it, so I am giving it away for free. You can read the book in its entirety below or download it as a PDF.

The book covers a wide range of topics related to deploying PHP applications including:

  • Environment configuration (setting up Vagrant for the developers)
  • Working with the Phing automation tool
  • Building deployments with Capistrano
  • Creating and configuring a production server
  • Ensuring the security of the server
  • Making the actual deployment

The post has the full text of the book in one page but you can grab the PDF if you prefer that format.

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expert deployment book free vagrant phing capistrano tutorial

Link: https://leftnode.org/posts/expert-php-deployments.html

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Book Review Practical Design Patterns in PHP
October 22, 2014 @ 12:17:12

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted a new book review from editor Bruno Skvorc about the "Practical Design Patterns in PHP" book from author Brandon Savage. The review talks both about some of Bruno's impressions of the content in the book and a bit about self-publishing too.

This review of Brandon Savage's Practical Design Patterns in PHP will include my own opinions and impressions about both the book, and the aspect of self-publishing. Many thanks to Brandon for giving me a review copy. "Design patterns are about common solutions to common problems. [...] They are concepts, not blueprints; ideas, not finished designs. [...] They add clarity to an otherwise difficult situation."

Bruno starts off with a look at the actual content of the book: its coverage of each of the patterns (17 in all), ones that he sees as missing and some of his "gripes" with the examples provided. He also talks about Brandon's choice around models being where primary functionality lives. He finishes the post talking about what he calls the "curse of knowledge" (for example, mentioning other advanced topics without knowing of the reader understands them) and the thoughts around self-publishing and some of the issues he has with it.

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bookreview book review designpatterns practical brandonsavage

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/book-review-practical-design-patterns-php/

php[architect]:
Functional Programming in PHP Release
September 08, 2014 @ 11:14:22

While not a mainstream practice in the PHP world, functional programming has been a topic that's popped up again and again over the years. If you've ever wondered what it's all about and how to get started with it in your applications, take a look at php[architect].

This book is for anyone that has an interest in functional programming or PHP as an advanced programming language. If you are curious or have never even heard of functional programming before then this is the gentle introductory text you have been looking for. Equally it serves those seeking to exploit the advanced functional concepts such as monads in a PHP context.

This book comes from some of the experience Simon has had with functional programming in the past (and taught about in presentations). It provides examples showing the techniques of functional programming applied in PHP including: map/reduce, currying and composition. The book can be purchased either directly from php[architect] or from Amazon (or Amazon.co.uk).

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functional programming release book phparchitect simonholywell

Link: http://www.functionalphp.com

/Dev/Hell Podcast:
Episode 44 Gorf Fever
May 06, 2014 @ 12:09:44

The /Dev/Hell podcast, hosted by PHP community members Ed Finkler and Chris Hartjes, has released its latest episode - Episode #44 - Gorf Fever.

This weeks brings us a new guest and a new sponsor! Paddy Foran is an old friend of Chris and Ed's who makes his first appearance on the show, talking about the Go programming language, software architecture, open source projects, and his new book "Your API is Bad." We also welcome new sponsor Roave!

There's also mentions of a few other topics including Go, 2cloud and, of course, Gorf. You can listen to this latest episode either through the in-page player, by downloading the mp3 directly or by subscribing to their feed.

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devhell podcast ep44 gorf paddyforan api book

Link: http://devhell.info/post/2014-05-04/gorf-fever/

Medium.com:
Getting Started With Laravel 4 - A Book Review
March 19, 2014 @ 12:52:57

On Medium.com there's a recent post reviewing the book "Getting Started with Laravel 4". In the review Christopher Pitt briefly covers both the good and bad parts of the book.

This book is aimed at newcomers to PHP development, and to Laravel 4 in particular. It doesn't disappoint. It starts slow, talking about the need for, and role filled by frameworks. It explains what Composer does, and why it's useful for frameworks like Laravel. It's not the typical "Laravel needs Composer, here's the code you use" stuff. There are 40 pages of what is essentially a very gentle introduction, before you even start writing code.

He talks about the sample application the book walks you through creating and some other topics around it including unit testing and artisan commands. He mentions the more popular Code Bright book and points out that he believes it (Code Bright) to be a better deal for the money if you're looking for the more comprehensive intro to Laravel.

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book review gettingstarted laravel4 framework

Link: https://medium.com/tech-reviews/f8881d2014c7

Matthias Noback:
The "dark" side of PHP
February 10, 2014 @ 12:58:14

In his latest post Matthias Noback talks about the "dark" side of PHP and some of the common problems of working with and using packages. This is the introduction from his upcoming book on the same subject.

PHP is actually a very problematic language. It has somewhat of a bad reputation. This is no surprise to me, given the huge amounts of bad code written in PHP, produced by novice "developers", yet available for a large audience to copy into their projects. [...] PHP has become such a big player - I guess - because it is so easy to learn. Starting with a simple HTML page it does not take much effort to add some dynamic functionality to it. There is no need to go to school and learn about programming before you can use PHP on your web server.

For all of this good that PHP brings to the table, there's also the bad practices that can come with it. While PHP can be forgiving about bad practices, there's only so far it can go before it starts throwing errors. Since the parsing comes late in the game, bad code can sneak in and not be noticed until it's used.

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package design misuse book introduction language

Link: http://php-and-symfony.matthiasnoback.nl/2014/02/the-dark-side-of-php


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