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Kinsta Blog:
HHVM vs PHP 7 - The Competition Gets Closer!
May 26, 2015 @ 10:19:02

In this new post to thier blog Kinsta shares benchmark results comparing PHP 7 to HHVM, both in their own experience and some shared from other companies too.

A few years ago, engineers at Facebook went on a swashbuckling mission to rebuild the foundation of the world's most populated social network struggling to sustain acceptable performance levels. PHP was all the rage a decade ago when Facebook was gaining steam and pursuing a global target audience.

As they put it the "competition is getting closer" and the performance gap between the two is growing smaller and smaller. They talk some about the performance improvements and new features that are being worked into PHP 7 and some speculations around a Just-In-Time engine and asynchronous programming features. Then comes the benchmarks. They provide the specifications of the machine they tested on and the results of tests runs of WordPress and Drupal (based on requests per second). The rest of the article talks about two stories from other companies using HHVM, Etsy and WikiMedia, and some of the lessons that have been learned along the way.

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Link: https://kinsta.com/blog/hhvm-vs-php-7/

Mikkel Høgh:
Drupal is still a gated community
May 25, 2015 @ 10:16:42

In a recent post to his site Mikkel Høgh makes the suggestion that Drupal is still a gated community, mostly as it relates to the process around the "Project Applications" process.

One of the things the Drupal community prides itself on, is how open the community is. And that is generally true, but there's one exception. And that is the Kafkaesque horror-show we subject any newcomers that would like to publish their code on Drupal.org to. It goes by the name of "Project Applications". I know several people who've hit this wall when trying to contribute code. It's not uncommon to wait several months to get someone to review your code. And when it does happen, people are often rejected for tiny code style issues, like not ending their comments with a period or similar.

He talks about other factors involving reviews and delays that can also cause authors to abandon their work and feel "unwelcome and unappreciated". He mentions the "review bonus" system and how it's used to encourage participation (or "more hoops" as he puts it) from other authors. He notes that this situation mostly relates to those new to the tool and community and suggests that it just doesn't work (and really is unnecessary). He ends the post with a call to "end the madness" and move to a standardized role that would allow developers to publish without pushing people away and making them feel unwelcome.

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Link: http://mikkel.hoegh.org/2015/05/14/drupal-is-still-a-gated-community/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Integrate Elasticsearch with Silex
April 13, 2015 @ 08:38:55

The SitePoint PHP blog has continued their look at integrating Elasticsearch into a simple Silex-based PHP application. In this latest part of the series (part two) they move away from the full Drupal example in part one and go a bit more simple and create a basic site to show a node's detail (content and title).

In the previous article I started exploring the integration between Drupal 7 and the Elasticsearch engine. The goal was to see how we can combine these open source technologies to achieve a high performance application that uses the best of both worlds. [...] We'll now create a small Silex application that reads data straight from Elasticsearch and returns it to the user.

Using Silex and the same Elasticsearch PHP SDK they create this simple site. The tutorial walks you through the installation of both tools, the configuration of the Elasticsearch client and creating the controllers to respond to the view requests. They also show how to use the Twig templating engine to render the results as a simple page containing the node title, any images attached to it and the body content. The tutorial ends with a brief mention of how this same data could also be rendered as JSON output with a different view handler.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/integrate-elasticsearch-silex/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Install and Integrate Elasticsearch with Drupal
April 10, 2015 @ 10:37:55

The SitePoint PHP blog has a recent tutorial posted showing you how to integrate Drupal and Elasticsearch to make for more effective searching of your content. This is the second part of this series.

In this tutorial I am going to look at the possibility of using Drupal 7 as a content management system that powers another high performance application. To illustrate the latter, I will use the Silex PHP microframework and Elasticsearch as the data source. The goal is to create a proof of concept, demonstrating using these three technologies together. [...] The tutorial will be split into two pieces, because there is quite a lot of ground to cover. In this part, we'll set up Elasticsearch on the server and integrate it with Drupal by creating a small, custom module that will insert, update, and delete Drupal nodes into Elasticsearch.

They assume you already have an Elasticsearch install set up and ready to go but do offer some suggestions on how to configure it to be a little bit more secure. Then, in your Drupal application (again, already installed) they show you how to use the Elasticsearch module to connect to the ES instance and, once connected, insert, update and delete data for the data in your nodes.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/install-integrate-elasticsearch-drupal/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
First Look at Platform.sh - a Development and Deployment SaaS
March 23, 2015 @ 11:24:36

In this latest post to the SitePoint PHP blog Chris Ward takes a "first look" at the Platform.sh development and deployment service.

Not so long ago, many of us were satisfied handling deployment of our projects by uploading files via FTP to a web server. [...] The old methods for deploying became unstable, unreliable and (generally) untrusted. [...] So was born a new wave of tools, services and workflows designed to simplify the process of deploying complex web applications, along with a plethora of accompanying commercial services. Generally, they offer an integrated toolset for version control, hosting, performance and security at a competitive price. Platform.sh is a newer player on the market, built by the team at Commerce Guys, who are better known for their Drupal eCommerce solutions.

He talks about some of the requirements for using the service (including Drush, the Drupal command line tool) and how to get started with a new project. He shows how to get the codebase with their CLI tool, pushing SQL data up to the instance, and starting in on some development work. He shows how to configure the modules you want to use and adding some additional content to the data. He also covers some of the other features of Platform.sh including: performance and profiling tools and integration with Redis, Solr and the EntityCache/AuthCache tools.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/first-look-platform-sh-development-deployment-saas/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Exploring the Cache API in Drupal 8
February 26, 2015 @ 11:41:45

On the SitePoint PHP blog today there's a new tutorial (by Daniel Sipos) talking about the Drupal 8 cache and showing how to use it in an example, caching the latest post data pulled from the Drupal content.

Drupal 8 comes with many improvements over its predecessor we have grown to both love and hate. Next to prominent systems such as Views in core, configuration management or a useful translation service, there are also less known changes but that are equally important to know and use. One such improvement has been the cache API that solves many performance problems we have in Drupal 7.

They start with a basic introduction to the new cache handing and how the caches are separated out into different "bins" rather than all stored in one place. He includes sample code showing how to: save data to the cache, getting information back out and invalidating the cache to be handled by garbage collection. He also covers the cache tags, a feature that allows you to "tag" items across multiple caches and remove/invalidate them all at the same time. He wraps up the post getting into the more practical example showing the caching at work in a controller caching the contents of the posts to the Drupal site.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/exploring-cache-api-drupal-8/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Push your Drupal Site's Events to your Phone with Pushover
February 12, 2015 @ 12:54:12

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new tutorial posted (by Daniel Sipos) about pushing notifications from your Drupal-based application via the Pushover service.

In this article I am going to show you how you can integrate Pushover with your Drupal site. I will illustrate a couple of examples of how you can use Pushover to notify yourself as soon as something happens on your site. The code I write in this article is also available in this repository so you can just clone that if you want to follow along.

He starts with an introduction to Pushover and what kinds of features it offers for the handling of push messages (with the app being not free, but "very affordable"). He help you get everything you need set up including a Pushover account and the Pushover class to use in a custom Drupal module. He includes the code you'll need to configure the module to use the library and a method to create the Pushover class instance. He then shows how to send messages for things like the addition of a new comment and user login via hooks, sending a message when an administrator logs in.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/push-drupal-sites-events-phone-pushover/

Voices of the ElePHPant:
It's the Booze Talking - Drupal
February 10, 2015 @ 10:19:12

The Voices of the ElePHPant podcast is back with another of their infamous "It's The Booze Talking" episodes. This time the focus is on Drupal and includes several guests from the Drupal community - Angela Byron, Larry Garfield and Jeffrey A. McGuire.

In the episode Cal and the others talk about their background in the PHP and Drupal communities, coming from everything from the usual developer world and some in the marketing world. They also talk some about what Drupal is, the Drupal community and some of the similarities between it and the wider PHP community.

You can listen to this latest episode either through the in-page audio player or by downloading the mp3 to listen whenever it works for you. Be sure to subscribe to their feed if you enjoy the episode.

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Link: http://voicesoftheelephpant.com/2015/02/10/its-the-booze-talking-drupal/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Effective PDF Generation in Drupal
February 03, 2015 @ 09:43:53

On the SitePoint PHP blog today there's a new post showing you how to create PDFs in a Drupal-based site making use of the Print module for the creation and formatting.

DF generation takes a slight change of mindset. As web developers, we have spent a lot of time convincing designers from a print background to stop producing pixel perfect designs that will be difficult to reproduce on the web. If you want to introduce PDF generation or any form of high designed print output, then we need to relearn some of our old skills we left behind. The nature of print means that it is precise and often needs pixel (or millimeter) perfect design.

He'd initially thought that the Views PDF module would be the natural choice, but after finding some unwanted dependencies, opted for the Print module instead. The Print module only creates the formatted output, though. This is then passed off to wkhtmltopdf to convert into final PDF form. He walks you through the configuration for the Print module and how to create some of the basic HTML structure for the resulting output. Next up is the addition of some styling and the process for exporting the HTML output over to wkhtmltopdf for handling. Output samples are included to help illustrate the final result.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/effective-pdf-generation-drupal/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
AngularJS in Drupal Apps
December 16, 2014 @ 12:23:31

On the SitePoint PHP blog there's a new tutorial posted (by Daniel Sipos) about combining Drupal and AngularJS to make for more front-end focused, responsive applications.

Angular.js is the hot new thing right now for designing applications in the client. Well, it's not so new anymore but is sure as hell still hot, especially now that it's being used and backed by Google. It takes the idea of a JavaScript framework to a whole new level and provides a great basis for developing rich and dynamic apps that can run in the browser or as hybrid mobile apps. In this article I am going to show you a neat little way of using some of its magic within a Drupal 7 site. A simple piece of functionality but one that is enough to demonstrate how powerful Angular.js is and the potential use cases even within heavy server-side PHP frameworks such as Drupal.

He walks you through the creation of a simple addition of a block that lists out the titles of some other nodes. You'll need an existing Drupal installation to follow along (no setup instructions here) as well as an Angular structure for a small application. He starts with the module configuration and creates custom handling to return the JSON result back to the waiting JS connection. Then he creates the custom template and block that the AngularJS will output the results too. Finally, with that rendering, he glues them both together in an Angular controller that loads the results when an "Open" button is clicked.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/angularjs-drupal-apps/


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