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Michael Kimsal:
Purpose of Benchmarking Framework Speed
January 30, 2015 @ 09:53:57

In his new post Michael Kimsal shares some of his thoughts about framework benchmarking especially in the context of speed.

I've followed the techempower benchmarks, and every now and then I check out benchmarks of various projects (usually PHP) to see what the relative state of things are. Inevitably, someone points out that "these aren't testing anything 'real world' - they're useless!". Usually it's from someone who's favorite framework has 'lost'. I used to think along the same lines; namely that "hello world" benchmarks don't measure anything useful. I don't hold quite the same position anymore, and I'll explain why.

He goes on to talk about the purpose of using a framework and what kind of functionality they should provide. The usefulness of a framework is measured in what tools it provides and how easy it makes them to use. Benchmarks are only about speed, performance and overhead.

What those benchmark results are telling you is "this is about the fastest this framework's request cycle can be invoked while doing essentially nothing". [...] These benchmarks are largely about establishing that baseline expectation of performance. I'd say that they're not always necessarily presented that way, but this is largely the fault of the readers.

He refutes some of the common arguments about increasing performance of an application using a framework (like "just throw hardware at it"). He points out that, even with other improvements, it may come to a point where your framework of choice has become too slow and you need to move on. Think about maintainability too, though, and what you're switching from or to when considering making a move.

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benchmark framework speed purpose opinion feature maintainability scalability

Link: http://michaelkimsal.com/blog/purpose-of-framework-benchmarking-speed/

Matthew Weier O'Phinney:
PSR-7 By Example
January 29, 2015 @ 09:13:20

As a part of his involvement in the PHP-FIG standards group, Matthew Weier O'Phinney has been contributing to the PSR-7 proposal. This proposal defines a standardized structure for HTTP message handling. In his latest post he gets into a bit more detail on what this means for the PHP developer and how it might be implemented.

PSR-7 is shaping up nicely. I pushed some updates earlier this week, and we tagged 0.6.0 of the http-message package last week for implementors and potential users to start coding against. I'm still hearing some grumbles both of "simplify!" and "not far enough!" so I'm writing this posts to demonstrate usage of the currently published interfaces, and to illustrate both the ease of use and the completeness and robustness they offer.

He starts with a base definition of what the proposal, well, proposes around HTTP messaging, both the incoming and outgoing. He describes the basic structure of an HTTP message and what each part represents. He talks about message headers, bodies and how the current library could return that content. He then looks at requests vs responses, server-side requests and some various uses cases and more practical examples:

  • HTTP Clients
  • Middleware
  • Frameworks

With the PSR-7 standard in place, all of these different tools could have interchangeable interfaces for HTTP request/responses, easily swappable with any other implementation.

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psr7 http message request response summary tool framework middleware client

Link: https://mwop.net/blog/2015-01-26-psr-7-by-example.html

NetTuts.com:
Building With the Twitter API Tweet Storms
January 07, 2015 @ 12:49:22

NetTuts.com has posted the second part of their series about creating a Twitter client on top of the Yii framework. In this new tutorial they focus on "tweet storms", the use of a series of tweets to share a thought rather than just cramming it into one.

In April, investor and Netscape founder Marc Andreessen began expanding on the natural 140 character limits of Twitter by publishing his thoughts in sequences of tweets, which some have dubbed tweet storms. [...] A few services arose to make it easier for mere mortals like ourselves to publish tweet storms but they seemed a bit unreliable and inconsistent. I decided to build the feature myself and I think there's value in doing this with your own app.

He outlines the features that the "tweet storm" feature needs to support and the database models/migrations that you'll need to store the related data. He uses Yii's generators to create the needed skeleton classes for the models and controllers. He moves on to the code needed to handle the group tweets management and to compose the tweets that will make up the "storm". Finally, he includes the code you'll need to create the publishing feature, pushing it into both the models/database and out to the Twitter API. You can then use the "OEmbed" information provided by Twitter to view the series of tweets via another simple page (code included here too).

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tutorial twitter storm multiple tweet yii framework series part2

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/building-with-the-twitter-api-tweet-storms--cms-22459

Symfony Blog:
Symfony 2014 Year in Review Symfony Documentation
December 31, 2014 @ 10:37:11

The Symfony blog has posted an update from the perspective of the documentation for the framework. Their "year in review" includes details for each section and the updates made.

2014 has been the busiest year in the entire history of the Symfony Documentation thanks to the amazing work of our documentation managers (Ryan Weaver, Christian Flothmann and Wouter De Jong) and the hundreds of documentation contributors.

They also talk about the best practices book, the new quick tour and Fabien Potencier's own How to Create Your Own Framework series. Among the list of their top ten most popular pages are the docs for:

Check out the full post for the rest of the list and what changes were made in each section.

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symfony framework documentation update yearinreview 2014

Link: http://symfony.com/blog/symfony-2014-year-in-review-symfony-documentation

SitePoint PHP Blog:
No More var_dump - Introducing Symfony VarDumper!
December 22, 2014 @ 09:05:25

The SitePoint PHP blog has a recent post about an addition to the Symfony framework that can make debugging (or just outputting errors) a more pleasant experience: the VarDumper component.

Recently, Symfony went from Zend-like bloat and rigidity to extreme decoupling and modularity. [...] One factor that contributes to this factor a lot is their continuous pushing out of new components that are incredibly useful outside of Symfony's context. One such component is the new VarDumper.

He talks first about the "why" the component was created and why you might want to use it. He links to the documentation and what kinds of features come along with it. He also shows a quick install of the component, some usage of it in the code and the resulting output of both simple and complex data structures, including method structure, visibility and closure information.

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symfony, component, vardumper, introduction, framework

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/var_dump-introducing-symfony-vardumper/

Lee Blue:
How PHP Frameworks Affect Profitability
December 18, 2014 @ 11:37:19

Lee Blue has posted his next article in a series covering some of the real costs and considerations around using PHP for your applications. In this latest post he talks about frameworks and what kind of effect they could have on the overall profitability of your business.

Last week we talked about application shelf life an aspect of PHP development that often goes overlooked. This week let's talk about how the web development framework you use contributes to the shelf life of your app and the profitability of your web application. [...] The main goal of all web frameworks is to improve the developer's ability to get ordinary things done so we can focus on the primary goals of what we're building.

He talks about how PHP was "made for the web" and why there are so many different kinds of frameworks out there (though most are generally MVC-ish). He talks about one of the standard arguments, learning curve vs efficiency, and how it compares to the "no framework framework" ideals. He then gets into some of the dark side of using frameworks, specifically how they can shorten the shelf life of an application and how difficult migration can sometimes be. He points out the irony of large frameworks: the bigger the app/framework, the harder it can be to migrate (and cost more). He encourages sticking with smaller, lighter frameworks instead and suggests coding standards, common packages and using custom libraries only where needed to create your application.

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framework profitability cost migration small mvc

Link: http://leehblue.com/php-frameworks-affect-profitability/

Symfony Blog:
Testing minimal versions of Symfony requirements
December 17, 2014 @ 12:02:47

On the Symfony blog today there's a quick tip from Nicolas Grekas about using Composer to install a Symfony2 project and the definition of minimum version requirements.

Setting up Composer package versions for complex projects is not an easy task. For starters, there are a lot of different ways to define package versions. Then, you must check that declared package versions really work when installing or updating the project, specially for the minimal versions configured. In order to improve testing the minimal versions of Symfony Components requirements, Composer now includes two new options: prefer-lowest and prefer-stable. [...] Thanks to these two new options, it's really easy to check whether your project really works for the minimal package versions declared by it.

He includes definitions of what impact each of the options has on the packages Composer installs and the work that's been done recently to define the correct package versions for the 2.3, 2.5 and 2.6 branches of Symfony. He also offers some steps to follow in your own projects to ensure that the "prefer-lowest" packages installed work correctly.

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symfony framework package version preferlowest preferstable

Link: http://symfony.com/blog/testing-minimal-versions-of-symfony-requirements

NetTuts.com:
Digging in to Laravel's IoC Container
November 25, 2014 @ 12:23:07

NetTuts.com has a new tutorial posted that digs into the Laravel IoC (Inversion of Control) container, one of the key features of the framework making it easy to create and use objects all around your applications.

Inversion of Control, or IoC, is a technique that allows control to be inverted when compared to classical procedural code. The most prominent form of IoC is, of course, Dependency Injection, or DI. Laravel's IoC container is one of the most used Laravel features, yet is probably the least understood.

He starts with an example of basic dependency injection (constructor injection) and how this relates to the Laravel framework's IoC handling (hint: it's all IoC). He includes examples of some built-in Laravel bindings and talks about the difference between shared and non-shared bindings. He also looks at conditional binding, how dependencies are resolved and how you can define your own custom binding implementations. Other topics mentioned include tagging, rebounds, rebinding and extending. He ends the article with a look at how you can use the IoC outside of Laravel too.

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laravel ioc container inversionofcontrol framework tutorial introduction detail

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/digging-in-to-laravels-ioc-container--cms-22167

Dejan Angelov:
Experimental upgrading to Laravel 5 How I did it
November 24, 2014 @ 12:57:18

In a recent post Dejan Angelov shares the process he went through to upgrade an application to Laravel 5, yet to be released (at least at the time of this post).

Over the past weeks, Taylor introduced many great changes and new features that we'll be able to use in the new version, firstly numbered 4.3 and later 5. According to the framework's six month release cycle, it should had hit stable late this month or in early December. Because of that, I started to play with it and to apply the changes to make my application use it.

However, a couple of days ago, Taylor wrote a blog post on the Laravel's blog saying that because of the importance of this release, the release date will be postponed to January. Considering this, everything you'll read here MUST NOT be applied to applications that are currently in production.

He starts with some of the major differences, including changes in the dependencies required and the removal of the "start.php" file for bootstrapping the application. He talks about the changes in startup and shutdown as well as autoloading. He looks at directory structure changes and the addition of a base namespace. He then gets into how to fix these issues, one at a time, including code and configuration changes that need to be made. This includes updates to the facades, changes for middleware, environment configuration, pagination and routing. There's lots of other changes happening with Laravel 5, so be sure to check out the full post if you're interested in the steps you might need to take when this latest version is released.

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upgrade laravel5 framework change configuration code fix

Link: http://angelovdejan.me/2014/11/22/experimental-upgrading-to-laravel-5-how-i-did-it.html

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Yii 2.0 ActiveRecord Explained
November 20, 2014 @ 09:08:31

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new tutorial posted introducing you to using ActiveRecord in the Yii2 framework to access the information in your databases. The Active Record design pattern where a single object corresponds to a record in the database (and can be manipulated as such).

The ActiveRecord class in Yii provides an object oriented interface (aka ORM) for accessing database stored data. Similar structures can be found in most modern frameworks like Laravel, CodeIgniter, Symfony and Ruby. Today, we'll go over the implementation in Yii 2.0 and I'll show you some of the more advanced features of it.

He introduces the "Model" class first, the based of the ActiveRecord handling, and its parts: attributes, validation and scenarios. He then gets into the creation of the a model instance based off of a table (SQL structure provided) around authors and articles. He includes the code showing how to create a simple model, add in relations and putting it to use. He also shows how to use the built in "find" handling to locate records. Finally he gets into some of the more advanced topics including checking if attributes are "dirty", the "arrayable" functionality and using events/behaviors/transactions on the models.

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yii2 framework activerecord tutorial introduction

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/yii-2-0-activerecord-explained/


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