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HipHop VM Blog:
Compatibility Update
April 22, 2014 @ 09:16:38

The HipHop VM blog has a new post today with some updates around the compatibility work they're doing getting popular PHP projects to work 100% on the platform (and have all unit tests pass).

Earlier this year we set an ambitious goal of passing the PHPUnit test suites of 20 popular frameworks by the end of June; at the time, we were passing on only 6! With a huge amount of help from the community (especially our OpenAcademy students), we're proud to have hit this goal more than 2 months early, and we have more frameworks expected to reach 100% shortly.

Included in their list of projects/frameworks are things like Assetic, Composer, Doctrine2, Guzzle (v3), Laravel, Mockery and Monolog. Now that they've made significant strides to get the HHVM up to a greater level of compatibility, they're going to focus in on the issues list from GitHub to resolve problems there.

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Link: http://hhvm.com/blog/4841/compatibility-update

PHPClasses.org:
10 Steps to properly do PHP Bug Tracking and Fixing as Fast as possible
May 30, 2013 @ 11:49:27

On the PHPClasses.org blog today Manuel Lemos has shared some advice on tracking and fixing bugs and some strategies to help prevent them in the future.

No matter how hard you try to test your PHP applications before putting them in production, you will always ship code to your server that has bugs. Some of those bugs will be very serious and need to be fixed before they cause greater damages to your application data that may be too hard to recover. Read this article to learn about a several good practices that you can apply to track bugs in production code, so you can fix them before it is too late.

Suggestions included in his list are things like:

  • Test as Much as Possible Before in your Development Environment
  • Separate your Code from Environment Configuration files
  • Track PHP Errors with Assertion Condition Tests
  • Send PHP Errors to an Error Log File
  • Monitor the PHP Error Log File to Quickly Fix Serious Bugs
  • Fix Your Bugs but Never Edit Code on the Production Server

He also includes a brief look at some things to think about when considering "defensive coding practices" and links to other articles with more information.

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Link: http://www.phpclasses.org/blog/package/1351/post/1-10-Steps-to-properly-do-PHP-Bug-Tracking-and-Fixing-as-Fast-as-possible.html

Fabien Potencier:
About Symfony Stability over Features
April 15, 2013 @ 10:12:34

Fabien Potencier (of the Symfony framework) has a new post to his site talking about a philosophy that the Symfony framework community should work towards, providing stability over features.

Long story short: in the coming months, the Symfony core contributors should focus their efforts toward stabilizing the existing features instead of working on new ones. At this point, backward compatibility and stability are more important than everything else.

He highlights some of the points that come along with this effort including less refactoring for the sake of refactoring, fixing more bugs/edge cases and writing more tests/documentation. He gets into some of the specifics of this kind of thinking and points out the things that can and can't be changed during this time. He talks more about stability and suggests that not only can it help enhance performance but it could also help motivate more projects/corporate users to start using the framework.

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Link: http://fabien.potencier.org/article/68/about-symfony-stability-over-features

PHP.net:
PHP 5.4.5 and PHP 5.3.15 released!
July 20, 2012 @ 06:33:47

The PHP project has just released the latest versions of the language - PHP 5.3.15 and PHP 5.4.5 - with the major of updates being security and bugfix related.

The PHP development team would like to announce the immediate availability of PHP 5.4.5 and PHP 5.3.15. This release fixes over 30 bugs and includes a fix for a security related overflow issue in the stream implementation. All users of PHP are encouraged to upgrade to PHP 5.4.5 or PHP 5.3.15. For source downloads of PHP 5.4.5 and PHP 5.3.15 please visit our downloads page, Windows binaries can be found on windows.php.net/download/. The list of changes are recorded in the ChangeLog.

Fixes include updates related to problems in the FPM, Iconv, JSON, libxml, Phar and Zip extensions. You can find the links to these and other bugs in the Changelog.

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PHP.net:
PHP 5.4.4 and PHP 5.3.14 released!
June 14, 2012 @ 08:31:28

The PHP project has just released the latest versions in the PHP 5.4.x and 5.3.x series - PHP 5.4.4 & 5.3.14:

The PHP development team would like to announce the immediate availability of PHP 5.4.4 and PHP 5.3.14. All users of PHP are encouraged to upgrade to PHP 5.4.4 or PHP 5.3.14. The release fixes multiple security issues: A weakness in the DES implementation of crypt and a heap overflow issue in the phar extension. PHP 5.4.4 and PHP 5.3.14 fixes over 30 bugs. Please note that the use of php://fd streams is now restricted to the CLI SAPI.

As always, you can download this latest release from either the downloads page (source) or from the Windows site (binaries). See the Changelog for the full list of updates.

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Reddit.com:
Too many bugs and too much stress
May 17, 2012 @ 10:37:58

In this recent post on Reddit.com, a developer asks the community about some of his feelings about bugs in his software and his focus on quality:

No one has told me this and I don't need them too. I feel like one bug that has a negative impact on the user experience is too many bugs. I've been programming for over 5 years professionally and I still introduce bugs into my code. [...] I don't like the expectation that I (and maybe others have) that my code must be perfect when I am not perfect. I don't like the fact that it only takes one mistake to affect so many people. [...] I'm wondering if others on here have every felt this way. What have you done about it?

Suggestions in the comments talk about everything from dealing with the apparent burnout the developer is facing, a reminder that no code is bug free and some recommendations of testing and bug tracking to help make the quality of the code better (and give visibility into the level of work being done).

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Touchdown Services Blog:
Phing development update 01/04/2012
April 03, 2012 @ 08:43:36

On the Touchdown Consulting Services blog, there's a new update posted about Phing, the popular PHP-based build tool and some recent advancements the project has made.

Roughly a month ago I posted the first in, what should become, a series of development updates concerning Phing. This second blog post details the most important updates during the past four weeks as Phing is moving steadily towards another release (2.4.10 is due out next week).

Updates mentioned in this post are:

  • User Guide starts move to DocBook format
  • Liquibase docs
  • PhpDocumentor
  • PHP 5.4 compatibility
  • PHAR package
  • Various (bug)fixes, the 2.4.10 release (listed)

Check out the full post for more details on each of these topics.

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Derick Rethans' Blog:
Random Bugs and Testing RCs
February 27, 2012 @ 11:48:29

In a new post to his blog Derick Rethans mirrors the call made by Rasmus Lerdorf at this year's PHP UK Conference - get involved (and help test PHP)!

At the PHP UK Conference Rasmus mentioned that he wants more people contributing to PHP. There are plenty of ways how you can do that.

Derick points out two more immediate ways you can help, one not even requiring any C knowledge:

  • Help test the Release Candidates (like the current PHP 5.4.0 RC8) with a call to "make test" just after your compile.
  • The recently added "random PHP bug" functionality that's been added to the bugs.php.net site
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Artur Ejsmont's Blog:
A few words on bugs and software quality
February 08, 2012 @ 13:50:40

In this new post to his blog Artur Ejsmont shares some of his thoughts on bugs and how they can effect the quality of your software. He touches on topics like handling bug reports, how random code changes effect them and how effective a code review can be.

From time to time I see bugs in the code and I start thinking "really? is it possible that no one noticed that bug before? am i the first person to see this code?". I thought it might be worth writing a little post on what helps me to deal with bugs and software quality in general and what are the common pitfalls in developer's thought process. Although it is not a very extensive post i hope it may inspire some developers to try new approaches.

Other topics he offers for consideration involve the fact that bugs will never fix themselves (they might disappear in a refactor though), that the bug is almost never in the language/data source's code and how automated (unit) testing can help to find new bugs before they're released to the users.

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Community News:
Pearhub.org Needs Your Help
September 13, 2011 @ 10:55:25

Christian Weiske has a quick post about a handy PEAR-related project that might be in risk of fading away - a plea for help with pearhub.org.

Troels Knak-Nielsen, father of pearhub, wrote to the pear-dev mailing list: "Unfortunately I have absolutely no time at hand for this project and probably won't for a foreseeable time. I still think it fills a need, so I'd be happy to hand over the keys to anyone who will take it upon them to move the project forward. I'll try to assist as best as I can, but probably won't have much time to spare. But the project is fairly simple anyway, so it should be relatively easy to get the main idea."

If you're interested in hosting or helping out with the project, let Troels know. Pearhub lets any project with a publicly facing repository be installed via a PEAR channel quickly and easily. For more information, see the project's FAQ.

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