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Envato:
The Future of WordPress
July 10, 2014 @ 13:14:07

On the Envato blog there's a recent post that covers some of the future of WordPress resulting from some discussions at a recent Future of WordPress panel from the WP Think Tank.

There's one thing that we can all agree on: the future of WordPress is bright. Outside of this, the ever-passionate WordPress community is a hotbed for debates on where WordPress should go from here. With 22% of websites running on WordPress, a vibrant open-source community, amazing themes and plugins and a developer-friendly mindset, WordPress is stronger today than it has ever been. So what's next?

Their list includes changes touching just about all parts of the application including plenty of UI updates, a continued focus on backwards compatibility a shift towards plugin-driven development. This would allow new features to be installed as plugins when they're ready rather than modifying the core package. There's also some emphasis being put on making it work for "more than just blogging" and push towards more enterprise-level acceptance.

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Link: http://inside.envato.com/the-future-of-wordpress/

Grant Lovell:
Why PHP doesn't suck anymore
June 17, 2014 @ 09:04:07

In a recent post Grant Lovell shares some of the reasons why he thinks PHP doesn't suck anymore based on his presentation from the Waterloo-Wellinton Webmakers.

Chances are if you have been in web development for any amount of time you have done some work with PHP and maybe it was a great experience like it was for me, or perhaps it was hours and hours of digging through WordPress code to figure out why a plugin wasn't working. [...] A friend from U of W was giving me a hand setting up the catalog and introduced me to PHP. He was able to build the whole catalog, at least a basic first version, in one afternoon. You can imagine I was pretty excited about something that I thought was going to be weeks of cutting and pasting being done in a few short lines of PHP code. From then I was hooked.

He looks at a brief history of PHP, from its beginnings as a set of simple scripts by Rasmus Lerdorf out to the current push and support of the language by big companies like Facebook. Despite all of this, he points out that PHP "went wrong" somewhere along the way thanks to things like bad tutorials and practices. He talks about the GoPHP5 initiative and some of the signs of improvement in PHP: frameworks, Composer, the FIG and the "PHP renaissance." He looks into the future and sees only improvement thanks to better tutorial content (on various sites) and the increased amount of cooperation between developers wanting to make the language better.

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Link: http://transmission.vehikl.com/why-php-doesnt-suck-anymore/

WePay Blog:
Rasmus Lerdorf Talks PHP 5.6, 6.0 and Beyond
June 03, 2014 @ 12:34:27

The WePay.com blog has a brief post sharing some answers from Rasmus Lerdorf himself about the future of PHP, specifically "PHP 5.6, 6.0 and beyond".

Rasmus Lerdorf likes to joke that he's the most famous programmer from Greenland that we're likely to meet this month. Truth is, the creator of PHP is one of the great legends of open source. The software he created is one of the most widely used technologies for server-side web programming. We were fortunate to catch up with Rasmus at the WePay office, listen to his talk on the present and future of PHP.

They link to the slides of his presentation and the answers to several of the questions from the audience including topics like:

  • the direction of PHP, in particular PHP 6
  • if you did have a feature wish list, what would you wish for
  • What about backward compatibility?
  • What's your take on the static code analysis
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Link: http://blog.wepay.com/post/87335593111/rasmus-lerdorf-talks-php-5-6-6-0-and-beyond

Hannes Magnusson:
I have a dream
May 26, 2014 @ 09:23:54

In his latest post Hannes Magnusson describes his "dream" about a future for PHP where things like upgrading and working with extensions would be simpler, faster and more manageable.

Today we will revolutionize PHP. We will make it easier to upgrade the things you care about. We will make it easier to not upgrade things you don't want to upgrade. We will make it easier to distribute your extensions. We will make it easier to release according to your own schedule. We will make it easier to add functionality. We will make it easier to work. Ok, today is a white lie here maybe... I haven't actually implemented this, but bare with me here for a second.

With the introduction and huge growth of Composer, the PEAR package manager is fading in popularity and is slowly being abandoned. Unfortunately, it's still the primary mechanism for deploying and installing PHP extensions (PECL packages). He talks about some of his recent experience reviving a package and issues he had around the use of the packaging manager. He proposes the creation of a new "pecl install" tool - a package manager dedicated to PHP extensions, decoupled from PEAR.

The manager would just install basic PHP then leave it up to you to pick which features you need from there. The idea is still in its early stages, but the idea has taken roots and plans are being worked through to see if this idea will work for the future of the language.

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Link: http://bjori.blogspot.com/2014/05/i-have-dream.html

Pádraic Brady:
Is Facebook's HHVM Building PHP's Coffin?
April 01, 2014 @ 09:31:52

In a new post to his site, Pádraic Brady poses a question about the HHVM project from Facebook - is it going to "be the coffin" that will replace the Zend Engine in PHP completely and change the way we know it?

With HHVM 3.0 now released, it's probably time to start talking about HHVM and the new Hack Language. It's becoming hard to ignore some of the fantastical notions spreading on the grapevine about HHVM. There is talk of significant performance improvements, a multitude of new features courtesy of Hack, that PHP Internals is actually now outnumbered by HHVM contributors. There is even treasonous talk of PHP's Zend Engine being put out to pasture.

He talks about how it was inevitable, really, that there'd be another implementation come up through the ranks (much like the variations of Ruby). He also mentions some other, less popular options in replacing the main implementation (Zephir, HippyVM, etc). He then poses an interesting question - "what is PHP?" He talks about language specifications, the PHP internals group and the delay that sometimes happens introducing new language features into the core (some of which HHVM already has).

PHP, as we know it, is starting to smell. It has gone from being the only PHP in town, to being the slowest, with the least number of features, and the one that's subject to dysfunctional governance. The new PHP is called Hack, a new language with only the briefest of documentation since you can learn the other 99.9% of this language over on the PHP manual.
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Link: http://blog.astrumfutura.com/2014/03/is-facebooks-hhvm-building-phps-coffin

PHPClasses.org:
Lately in PHP Podcast #45 - "The Security of Future PHP Versions"
March 13, 2014 @ 13:17:41

The latest episode of the "Lately in PHP" podcast series has been released by PHPClasses.org today - Episode 45, "The Security of Future PHP Versions".

As the plans for the upcoming PHP 5.6 and PHP 6 versions are being finalized, some of the proposals are about improving the security of these future PHP versions. That has been one of the main topics discussed by Manuel Lemos and César Rodas on the episode 45 of the Lately in PHP podcast. They also have talked about several other types of proposals and ideas for PHP 6, as well a tutorial on How to Use a Webcam to take Pictures in PHP Application.

You can listen to this latest episode in a few ways - either through the in-page audio player, by downloading the mp3 or you can watch the live recording over on YouTube.

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Link: http://www.phpclasses.org/blog/post/229-The-Security-of-Future-PHP-Versions--Lately-in-PHP-podcast-episode-45.html

Liip Blog:
Of HHVM, Hack and the future of PHP
March 12, 2014 @ 11:09:50

Lukas Smith has posted some of his own thoughts on the Liip blog about the future of PHP, HHVM and Hack (related to this previous post from Anthony Ferrara) in the context of the company and the work they're doing.

I want to specifically comment on the part about HHVM and Hack. I have of course published my own opinion on the topic fairly recently on my private blog. Fellow Liiper Chregu has also done a very popular post on this very blog showing some very significant performance improvements that can be achieved with HHVM. [...] While Anthony does not recommend running HHVM in production, we are obviously getting ready to do just that. I totally agree however with the risks he points out.

He talks more about using HHVM in a production environment and some of the possible problems with it in the future (like maybe a change in it being incompatible with PHP someday). He also touches on the Hack language and how it is possible that Facebook's team will go wholly with Hack instead of PHP.

One of the big questions is why does Facebook even care about PHP mode if they are already moving their own code to Hack? To me one big reason for this could be that they actually want to use code produced in the community. [...] So maybe in the end the best way to ensure that PHP mode in HHVM remains a goal for Facebook is to keep churning out high quality PHP code?
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Link: http://blog.liip.ch/archive/2014/03/11/of-hhvm-hack-and-the-future-of-php.html

Anthony Ferrara:
An Opinion On The Future Of PHP
March 10, 2014 @ 09:41:40

In his latest post Anthony Ferrara shares some of his personal opinions about the future of PHP and how some of the pieces in play now might fit in.

There's been a lot of buzz in the community lately around PHP and its future. The vast majority of this buzz has been distinctly positive, which is awesome to hear. There's been a lot of talk about PHP6 and what that might look like. There's been a lot of questions around HHVM and its role in the future of the language and community. Well, let me share with you some of my thoughts in this space...

He covers a few different topics including backwards compatibility, the suggestions of a complete engine rewrite and turning the SPL all OOP. He spends most of the post talking about HHVM (the HipHop VM), how it compares to "plain old PHP" and why it's not exactly "magic".

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Link: http://blog.ircmaxell.com/2014/03/an-opinion-on-future-of-php.html

Matthias Noback:
PHP - The Future of Packages
January 22, 2014 @ 09:04:03

In a recent post to his site Matthias Noback looks at what he sees as the future of packages in PHP including some thoughts about the offerings on PHPClasses.org and the rise of Composer/Packagist.

When you ask me: what is the reason for a PHP developer to write classes? I answer: in order to separate responsibilities and hide data. Many principles have been devised to help developers fulfilling these tasks. But in most cases there was no sign of these principles underlying the code on phpclasses.org. This is why many people have turned their back on phpclasses.org. I was about to do the same. But in response to my tweet some people, including Manuel Lemos, responded that everybody needs a place to learn and try.

He looked a bit more into the PHPClasses site and found some new features not known about (including Composer support). He points out some issues with their approach about publishing packages and how they're released. He contrasts this with how Packagist.org handles the Composer information and package statistics. He looks at some recommended ways to judge the quality of packages and mentions a new book he's writing to help PHP developers create better, more useful (and flexible) packages.

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Link: http://php-and-symfony.matthiasnoback.nl/2014/01/php-the-future-of-packages

Lukas Smith:
The future of PHP .. at a distance
December 17, 2013 @ 10:18:02

In his latest post Lukas Smith looks at what he sees coming for PHP and its community as well as some thoughts about the current state of the language and ecosystem around it.

To me it feels like PHP development has become much better structured. It also feels like the RFC process has enabled an influx of new contributors that previously simply didn't know how to get their stuff in. [...] The beauty of clearer processes is that it can also help in clearer delegation, which can lead to subgroups within an open source organization that again have an inner circle of 10-20 really active people.

He suggests, however, that this whole structured process could be "turned upside down" in the coming year or so by things like the HHVM from Facebook and some of the things it would "fix" as a compiler of PHP code. He points out one of the issues with this approach, though - that Facebook (and the HHVM developers) could start to be in control of the evolution of PHP. It does bring up an interesting idea though...that with HHVM compiling code, PHP "extensions" could just become userland code and wouldn't need to be written in C as they'd just be compiled down anyway.

So in conclusion there are lots of reasons to be excited about HHVM's impact on the PHP community. But we should also ensure that in the process the community does not become dependent on a commercial entity.
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Link: http://pooteeweet.org/blog/0/2259#m2259


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