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Christoph Rumpel:
Hello world, I am Laravel (5)
April 24, 2015 @ 12:46:22

With Laravel 5 out in the wild, you may be wondering what this new version has to offer either as someone already using the framework or brand new. In this recent post from Christoph Rumpel you can find out some of the highlights of this new release along with some code samples to illustrate.

So there is this thing called Laravel. You may have heard of it already, but you're not sure what it is actually about? Or you do, but want to know more about it and its great new features in version 5? Great, this post is especially for you! Laravel is at the same time one of the youngest and most popular PHP frameworks out there. So how does this work together? Let us take a closer look at why it is that popular and how it could be of use for you too. We will go through the main functionalities and talk about brand new features in version 5.

He touches on several different topics including: routing, use of the Eloquent ORM, the "artisan" command line tool, controllers, migrations and form request handling. Each section has some example code and a brief description of the feature. Obviously the Laravel documentation is a much more complete resource for each of these topics, but at least this gives you a feel for the framework and what it can do.

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Link: http://christoph-rumpel.com/2015/04/hello-world-i-am-laravel/

Vertabelo Blog:
Side by side Doctrine2 and Propel 2
April 13, 2015 @ 09:55:10

On the Vertabelo blog Patrycja Dybka has put together a side-by-side comparison of Doctrine 2 vs Propel 2, two of the more popular PHP-based ORM tools, largely popular in the Symfony communities.

When you start working with data in an application, you may need to use an object-relational mapper (ORM), a layer between the database and application. For PHP the two most frequently used ORM's are Doctrine and Propel. That's why I decided to compare the main features of Doctrine in version 2.4.7 and Propel in version 2.0.

She doesn't try to pick a "winner" but instead talks about the features of each and the main difference between the two (ActiveRecord vs DataMapper patterns). The remainder of the post is the side-by-side listing of the feature of each including:

  • Install method(s)
  • Model structure definition types
  • Mappings
  • Supported databases

There's also some examples in the list of code to define tables, perform basic CRUD (create, read, update & delete) operations, basic queries and custom data types each includes. It's a good comprehensive list if you're trying to make a decision between the two or even just looking to find out what each has to offer.

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doctrine2 propel2 sidebyside compare features examples

Link: http://www.vertabelo.com/blog/technical-articles/side-by-side-doctrine2-and-propel-2-comparison

EngineYard Blog:
What to Expect When You're Expecting PHP 7, Part 1
April 03, 2015 @ 08:28:36

Davey Shafik has posted the first part of a new series about PHP 7 on the Engine Yard blog today - What to Expect When You're Expecting: PHP 7.

As many of you are probably aware, the RFC I mentioned in my PHP 5.0.0 timeline passed with PHP 7 being the agreed upon name for the next major version of PHP. Regardless of your feelings on this topic, PHP 7 is a thing, and it's coming this year! With the RFC for the PHP 7.0 Timeline passing almost unanimously (32 to 2), we have now entered into feature freeze, and we'll see the first release candidate (RC) appearing in mid June. But what does this mean for you?

He gets into some of the details of what you can expect to see in this next major release including:

  • Inconsistency Fixes
  • Performance
  • Backwards Incompatible Changes
  • Scalar Type Hints & Return Types
  • Combined Comparison Operator (spaceship)

He ends the post hinting at other things to come in part two of the series including six other big features you need to know about to upgrade to PHP 7.

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php7 series part1 expecting features changes release

Link: https://blog.engineyard.com/2015/what-to-expect-php-7

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Top 10 Z-Ray Features to Check Out
March 26, 2015 @ 09:50:23

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new post today from Daniel Berman (of Zend) with the top 10 features of Z-Ray to be sure to check out. Disclaimer: Z-Ray is a tool provided by Zend, a part of their Zend Server product.

Necessity is the mother of invention goes the famous saying. For PHP developers, there is no greater need than visibility. But developers today have a tough choice to make as they develop and debug their apps. Either use crude methods such as printing, debugging information, or storing it in a log file, or - use multiple debugging/profiling tools that are awkward and require a lot of work from the developer's side. [...] This article introduces the top 10 features of Z-Ray - an innovative new technology from Zend that makes PHP development a whole lot quicker and easier by giving developers unprecedented insight into their code - and the visibility they need to develop top-notch apps.

Among the items on their Top 10 list are things like:

  • Viewing information about page requests
  • Execution time and memory consumption
  • Showing errors and warnings
  • Viewing functions called during execution
  • Debugging features for mobile apps and APIs

Check out the full post for a list of more features and screenshots/detail on each one.

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zend zray zendserver top10 list features screenshot

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/top-10-z-ray-features-check/

Slashdot.org:
Book Review - Modern PHP New Features and Good Practices
March 24, 2015 @ 11:29:28

On Slashdot today Michael Ross as posted a book review of Josh Lockhart's recently released O'Reilly book "Modern PHP".

In recent years, JavaScript has enjoyed a dramatic renaissance as it has been transformed from a browser scripting tool primarily used for special effects and form validation on web pages, to a substantial client-side programming language. Similarly, on the server side, after years as the target of criticism, the PHP computer programming language is seeing a revival, partly due to the addition of new capabilities, such as namespaces, traits, generators, closures, and components, among other improvements. PHP enthusiasts and detractors alike can learn more about these changes from the book Modern PHP: New Features and Good Practices, authored by Josh Lockhart.

In the rest of the review Michael provides an overview of the topics covered in the book and how it's divided up. He then covers each of these three sections, commenting on the contents and making a few recommendations for those not immediately familiar with the topics. He does point out that he felt there was some critical information missing on some topics that "would allow one to begin immediately applying that technique or resource to one's own coding." Overall, though, he found the book a good resource and recommends it to those looking for a source to learn about new trends and tools in PHP.

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book review modernphp joshlockhart features practices

Link: http://books.slashdot.org/story/15/03/22/1447230/modern-php-new-features-and-good-practices

Jordi Boggiano:
Composer 1.0 alpha9
December 09, 2014 @ 13:22:10

In this new post to his site Jordi Boggiano talks about the tagging of the 1.0 alpha9 release of Composer and some of the updates that will be coming along with the release.

I tagged Composer's 1.0.0-alpha9 release yesterday and wanted to write down a more detailed update on the highlights of this release. It includes many changes as the last tag was almost one year old. You can also check the full changelog if you want more details.

The updates (so far) include:

  • Requiring packages from CLI just got easier
  • Installing dependencies on the wrong environment is now possible
  • You now get warnings when installing abandoned packages
  • Custom composer commands via scripts
  • Autoloading tests and related files
  • Performance improvements

He also includes a brief note of thanks to all of those that have contributed to the project and for the support from Toran Proxy customers to help pay for the time he spends working on the tool.

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composer v1alpha9 features improvements list toranproxy

Link: http://seld.be/notes/composer-1-0-alpha9

Frank Karlitschek:
A possible future for PHP
October 03, 2014 @ 11:57:06

In a recent post from Frank Karlitschek he speculates about the future of PHP and what when into their (ownCloud) decision to go with it as a primary language. The post also proposes several changes he'd also like to see in the language to help improve it in the future.

PHP is not the most hip programming language in the world. Actually the opposite. It has a relatively bad reputation. I personally was never a big fan of choosing the technologies based on what is cool or "modern" or in vogue. I think there are different technology for different jobs and they should be evaluated objectively and choose without to much emotion involved. So I don't understand the religious discussions why tool x is always better than technology. I think it is all about the right technology for the job after a fair assessment of course. So I'm still very happy with this decision to use PHP. So far we have not seen any bigger architectural technical problems [for ownCloud] that we can't solve with PHP.

Among his suggestions for change are things like enhanced security features (and better teaching around best practices on the topic), a simplified compile and runtime configuration, function/class naming inconsistencies and the introduction of static typing. It's his opinion that this list can help PHP "move to the next level". There's plenty of comments on the post, both supporting and refuting the opinions Frank has included in his list...be sure to give them a read.

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future language opinion features update owncloud

Link: http://karlitschek.de/2014/10/a-possible-future-for-php

Halls of Valhalla:
From PHP 5 to 7
September 22, 2014 @ 10:56:32

On the "Halls of Valhalla" site there's a new post the tries to explain the jump from PHP5 to PHP7 and what all that means for the language (and community around it).

Since around 2005 we've heard talk about PHP 6 development. There have even been books sold about it. But where is it? As of July of this year it was decided that there won't be one and that PHP will skip directly to version 7. Why is it skipping to the next major version, and what ever happened with PHP 6? And if we're already jumping to PHP 7, what kinds of features will it have?

They start with a "brief history" of PHP since its inception back in the mid 1990s and follow its evolution at a high level through the years. Then comes the topic of PHP6 and the work that was already being put towards it and integrated Unicode support. It talks about some of the difficulties of this conversion and the delays that ended up happening. Instead, it was decided that things would stay in the PHP 5.x series and 5.3, 5.4 and 5.5 have been created since. The jump to PHP7 came from this vote with several different reasons influencing the decision.

The post finishes with a look at some of the new things that will be coming in PHP7 including major performance improvements, abstract syntax tree functionality and asynchronous programming, allowing for the execution of parallel tasks in the same request.

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php5 php6 php7 community unicode language history features

Link: http://halls-of-valhalla.org/beta/news/from-php-5-to-7,146/

Leonid Mamchenkov:
CakePHP 3, here we go again.
July 02, 2014 @ 13:18:55

In this new post Leonid Mamchenkov looks at the latest version of a PHP framework that's been around since the PHP4 days, CakePHP, and some of the improvements that will come with version three.

Currently, I am at the start of a couple of projects, which require a bit of the future support. CakePHP 2.x can handle the job now, but I'm looking more into the next 3-5 years. And that's why I'm looking at CakePHP 3, which is still in the early development stage, with an alpha release coming not too long from now (have a look at the CakePHP 3 roadmap document). Let's have a look at the high level goals for CakePHP 3.

Among the items he mentions are things like:

  • The adoption of broader PHP community standards
  • An increase in modularity
  • Developing for PHP 5.4+
  • Composer support (and using PSR-4 autoloading)
  • The removal of some more complex, brittle code in favor of simpler, easier to extend options

Check out the roadmap and migration guides for full information.

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cakephp v3 framework refactor features roadmap goals

Link: http://mamchenkov.net/wordpress/2014/07/01/cakephp-3-here-we-go-again/

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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php56rc1 language release candidate features download test

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


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