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PHP.net:
PHP 5.6.0RC1 is available
June 20, 2014 @ 09:09:28

On the PHP.net site a new announcement has been posted about the release of PHP 5.6.0RC1, the first release candidate in the PHP 5.6.0 series.

The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of the first release candidate of PHP 5.6. As we entered the feature freeze with beta1, this is a bugfix-only release. All users of PHP are encouraged to test this version carefully, and report any bugs in the bug tracking system.

As this is a release candidate, it is not valid for production use but any testing that can be done is appreciated. There's several new features coming in PHP 5.6 including constant scalar expressions, variadic functions, argument unpacking, "use const"/"use func" and many more. Check out this page in the manual for full details and code example of each. As always, you can download this preview release from the QA downloads page or here for the Windows binaries.

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Link: http://www.php.net/archive/2014.php#id2014-06-19-1

LinkedIn.com:
Dev Recruiting 101 10 Ways NOT to Interview a Candidate
June 02, 2014 @ 10:21:50

For those out there hiring developers to join their team, you might read up on a few tips in this new article on LinkedIn for the "things not to do" during the interview process.

It has been my observation that most recruiters and hiring managers tend to make the same common mistakes. That is why I've decided to write this new series, "Dev Recruiting 101". In it, you will have the unique opportunity to view your industry from the perspective of a veteran developer. You'll learn the secrets that will win us over and the pitfalls that will make us run for the hills. My goal is to give you the "inside scoop", as it were, about how to attract the best talent in our industry.

The list it broken out into ten different points, each with their own descriptions and real-world examples from the author's experiences:

  • Discourage the candidate by telling them how lousy the job is.
  • Don't show-up for the interview or initiate the call at the agreed-upon time.
  • Don't speak clearly.
  • "Okay, now we'd like you to write some code. Here's some blank printer paper and a #2 pencil."
  • Spend 30 minutes giving a detailed history of the company, then say you've run out of time.
  • "As you know, our site is an adult-oriented webcam service. How often do you watch internet porn?"
  • Make the candidate spend 6 hours interviewing with virtually every single member of the engineering department.
  • Ask niche-specific technical questions that are neither part of the job description nor the candidate's skillset.
  • "If a plane crashes on the border between Russia and Ukraine, where do they bury the survivors?"
  • Judge the candidate based on whether or not they're a telepath.
There is nothing more important in hiring the right candidate than conducting an effective interview. Not only does it help you narrow down your choices, but it's also an opportunity to show the candidate why they want to work for you and not someone else.
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Link: https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140530075430-11756056-dev-recruiting-101-10-ways-not-to-interview-a-candidate

PHP.net:
PHP 5.5 RC3 is available
June 10, 2013 @ 10:21:28

The PHP development group has released the latest Release Candidate for the PHP 5.5 series - Release Candidate 3. This is a development preview, so it's not to be used in production but all testing is appreciated.

To get the full changelog, please, check the NEWS file attached to the archive. For source downloads of PHP 5.5.0RC3 please visit the download page, Windows binaries can be found on windows.php.net/qa/. We were pleased if you could test this release candidate against your code base and report any problems that you encounter to the QA mailing list and/or the PHP bug tracker. Thanks you helping us making PHP better.

Bugs fixed in this release include issues causing segfaults, buffer overflows and truncation of data when hashing with hash_pbkdf2.`

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Link: http://php.net/index.php#id2013-06-06-1

PHP.net:
PHP 5.5.0RC2 is available
May 24, 2013 @ 09:55:27

On PHP.net today they've announced the release of the latest Release Candidate in the PHP 5.5.x series - PHP 5.5.0RC2.

The PHP development team announces the availability of the second release candidate of PHP 5.5. This release fixes some bugs against RC1 and improves overall stability. [...] Please help us to identify bugs in order to ensure that the release is solid and all things behave as expected. Please test this release candidate against your code base and report any problems that you encounter to the QA mailing list and/or the PHP bug tracker.

Issues corrected include a segfault when memory was used up, an issue with mbstring in PHPT tests in Windows x64 and a problem with custom exceptions. You can find the full list of changes in the NEWS file. Please download this latest release candidate (Windows here) and test it out on your systems.

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Link: http://php.net/index.php#id2013-05-23-1

Brandon Savage:
Compiling PHP 5.5 From Scratch
May 15, 2013 @ 09:48:41

Brandon Savage has a new post to his site today showing you how to compile and install PHP 5.5, the next major upcoming release for the language (in RC status as of the time of this post though).

There's always a lag behind new releases of PHP and releases of packages for operating systems such as Ubuntu. This lag time means that you could be kept from upgrading to the latest and greatest PHP for a year or more, unless you use an outside repository like Dotdeb. [...] Instead, I roll my own version of PHP. It's simple and easy to do, and something that any developer can do. Here's my instructions for doing so on a fresh Ubuntu installation.

He gives a reason or two why you might want to "roll your own" installation and helps you get the environment prepared via some "aptitude" install commands for supporting software. Commands are included for installing needed dependencies, configuring/building PHP and updating Apache to use this new install. He finishes it up with a few smaller things to do like making the php.ini and enabling the Zend opcode caching extension.

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Link: http://www.brandonsavage.net/compiling-php-5-5-from-scratch

PHP.net:
PHP 5.5.0RC1 is available
May 09, 2013 @ 10:27:24

As is mentioned on PHP.net today, the first release candidate for the PHP 5.5.x series, PHP 5.5.0RC1, has been released for testing:

The PHP development team announces the availability of the first release candidate of PHP 5.5. This release fixes some bugs as well as some possible leaks from our last beta. This is a development preview - do not use it in production!

Some of the more major changes in this release include an update to the FPM SAPI for QUERY_STRING, a fix for a build issue with libgd, bugs in SNMP and a problem with stream_select on Windows x64 systems. You can find the full list of changes in the NEWS file. Please download and test (Windows binaries here) this latest release to help the development team find issues and move along with the PHP 5.5.x releases.

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Link: http://php.net/index.php#id2013-05-09-2

Community News:
PHP 5.3.18RC1 & PHP 5.4.8RC1 Released for Testing
October 05, 2012 @ 09:22:53

The latest Release Candidates in the PHP 5.3.x and 5.4.x series and are available for download and testing - PHP 5.3.18RC1 and PHP 5.4.8RC1:

We've released PHP 5.3.18RC1 and 5.4.8RC1. This is a regular bugfix release, the full list of issues fixed can be found in the NEWS files. Please test and report if anything is broken. If no critical issues is found in this RC, the final version will be released in two weeks.

Bugs fixed in this release include issues with is_callable, the catching of an exception in an __autoload call, fixes for the SOAP an dSPL extensions as well as updates to the CLI server (501 response, PATCH support) and changes to the DOM, FPM and cURL extensions. You can download these latest Candidates and get testing here:

5.3.18RC1:

5.4.8RC1:

Windows binaries for both as always are at: http://windows.php.net/qa/

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PHP.net:
PHP 5.4.1RC2 Released for Testing
April 13, 2012 @ 12:19:06

As mentioned on the main PHP.net site, the latest Release Candidate for the PHP 5.4.x series is now available for testing:

This is the 2nd release candidate. The release candidate phase is intended as a period of bug fixing prior to the stable release. The release candidate fixes a critical issue when using the internal classes in multiple threads. A complete list of changes since the last release candidate can be found in the NEWS file.

The source packages can be downloaded from the main QA site and the Windows binary packages from the Windows QA site.

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PHP.net:
PHP 5.4.0 RC8 released
February 24, 2012 @ 08:46:15

The PHP project has officially announced the latest release candidate for the upcoming PHP 5.4.0 series - PHP 5.4.0 RC8.

The PHP development team would like to announce the 8th release candidate of PHP 5.4. PHP 5.4 includes new language features and removes several legacy (deprecated) behaviours. Windows binaries can be downloaded from the Windows QA site. THIS IS A RELEASE CANDIDATE - DO NOT USE IT IN PRODUCTION! This is the 8th release candidate. The release candidate phase is intended as a period of bug fixing prior to the stable release. No new features should be included before the final version of PHP 5.4.0.

Improvements in this release include bugfixes for an issues with htmlspecialchars/htmlentities as well as improving on the "max_input_vars" configuration setting to work better with nested variables. You can find the full list of changes in the NEWS file and download the release for testing from the QA site (Windows binaries).

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PHP.net:
PHP 5.4.0RC4 Released!
December 28, 2011 @ 08:55:32

The latest version of PHP in the 5.4.0 release candidate series has been posted - PHP 5.4.0 RC4, complete with new features and lots of bugfixes.

The PHP development team is proud to announce the 4th release candidate of PHP 5.4. PHP 5.4 includes new language features and removes several legacy (deprecated) behaviours. Windows binaries can be downloaded from the Windows QA site. THIS IS A RELEASE CANDIDATE - DO NOT USE IT IN PRODUCTION! This is the 4th release candidate. The release candidate phase is intended as a period of bug fixing prior to the stable release. No new features should be included before the final version of PHP 5.4.0.

Updates in this release candidate include an update to the max_input_vars directive and a fix for a segfault in the traits code. You can find the full notes for the release in the NEWS file and can download the latest from the PHP.net site - source downloads, Windows binaries.

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