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SitePoint PHP Blog:
Laravel 4 to Laravel 5 - The Simple Upgrade Guide
April 06, 2015 @ 11:49:51

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted a guide to help you upgrade from a Laravel 4 based application to the latest version, Laravel 5. Author Younes Rafie walks you through each step of the process, providing sample code and explanations of the changes along the way.

Laravel 5 is already out, but the fear of change is taking everyone. We keep hearing people complaining about some radical changes. Like, why this new folder structure? Will my application break if I do a composer update? In this article, we're going to look at how to migrate your existing Laravel 4 application to Laravel 5 and understand the new folder structure.

he starts by helping you get Larave 5 installed and working via Composer. He then makes updates to some configuration files for his sample application (it hooks into the Google Analytics API) including the Analytics connection information. He includes changes to the route handling and moving some files around to their new locations. He also mentions the re-installation of the Illuminate/Html package as it's no longer included in the base release.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/laravel-4-laravel-5-simple-upgrade-guide/

Scotch.io:
A Beginner's Guide To Composer
March 31, 2015 @ 13:48:55

The Scotch.io site has posted a guide that can help you if you're just getting started in the world of PHP packages via Composer. In this new tutorial Daniel Pataki introduces you to the tool and how to use it to install the dependencies you need.

I'm sure there are plenty of coders out there who are wondering about the benefits of using composer and many who are afraid to make the leap into a new system. In this article we'll take a look at what exactly Composer is, what it does and why it is a great tool for PHP projects.

He starts with the basics of dependency management, why it would be used in a project and how it automates the installation and integration of 3rd party libraries. From there he helps you get Composer installed and starts in on a sample "composer.json" configuration file. In his example he installs Monolog, the popular PHP logging class. He talks some about how to specify versions, locking down the dependency versions to install and installing "developer only" requirements.

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Link: https://scotch.io/tutorials/a-beginners-guide-to-composer

Matt Stauffer:
Upgrading from Laravel 4 to Laravel 5
January 19, 2015 @ 10:37:19

Matt Stauffer has posted a guide to his site to help you migrate from Laravel 4 to Laravel 5 as painlessly as possible. This is part fourteen in his overall introduction to Laravel 5 series of posts.

It's very simple to get started in a new Laravel 5 app [...] but what if you have a Laravel 4 app you want to upgrade? You might think the answer is to upgrade the Composer dependencies and then manually make the changes. Quite a few folks have created walkthroughs for that process, and it's possible-but there are a lot of little pieces you need to catch, and Taylor has said publicly that he thinks the better process is actually to start from scratch and copy your code in. So, that's what we're going to be doing.

He walks you through cloning a new Laravel 5 instance and setting up the various pieces of the application including the app itself, the domain folder and Composer dependencies. He then gets into the migration of things in the "app/" folder like controllers, database migrations and models. He also includes steps to update namespacing, handling the configuration updates, moving over user handling and any forms you may have created.

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Link: http://mattstauffer.co/blog/upgrading-from-laravel-4-to-laravel-5

Anthony Ferrara:
A Beginner's Guide To MVC For The Web
November 24, 2014 @ 10:42:41

Anthony Ferrara has posted what he calls a beginners guide to MVC for the web, a tutorial that introduces to you the basic concepts behind the Model-View-Controller design pattern and how it should fit in with the SOLID design principles.

There are a bunch of guides out there that claim to be a guide to MVC. It's almost like writing your own framework in that it's "one of those things" that everyone does. I realized that I never wrote my "beginners guide to MVC". So I've decided to do exactly that. Here's my "beginners guide to MVC for the web".

He starts with his first lesson, his most important one really - you don't need "MVC" (the concept, not the pattern...he notes them differently). He then gets into what the MVC pattern actually is and describes each piece and how they fit together. Following that, he talks about "MVC" as a concept and how it's different from MVC, the design pattern (hint: the pattern describes one implementation of the MVC ideals). He talks about the role of state in the MVC structure and how the implementation of the MVC idea is slightly different in the various "MVC frameworks" out there.

There is a very useful lesson that MVC brings: Separation Of Concerns. Meaning that you should separate different responsibilities into different sections of your application. Separation of Concerns is a necessary step in dealing with Abstraction. Instead of latching on to MVC, latch on to abstraction. Latch on to separation of concerns. Latch on to architecture. There are far better ways to architect and abstract user interaction for server-based applications than MVC.
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Link: http://blog.ircmaxell.com/2014/11/a-beginners-guide-to-mvc-for-web.html

Matthias Noback:
Unnecessary contrapositions in the new "Symfony Best Practices"
October 15, 2014 @ 12:29:31

Matthias Noback has a new post today with some of his thoughts about the recently released Symfony Best Practices book and some "unnecessary contrapositions" and things he sees that could help improve the perception of the book and the advice it provides.

Of course I'm going to write something about the new Symfony Best Practices book that was written by Fabien Potencier, Ryan Weaver and Javier Eguiluz. It got a lot of negative responses, at least in my Twitter feed, and I think it's a good idea to read Richard Miller's post for some suggestions on how to deal with an "early preview release" like this and how we can be a bit more positive about it.

He emphasizes the "staying positive" aspect of his message and points out that while some of the suggestions are good, they may not be the "best" in all circumstances. His main point, though, is that he thinks the way the book was introduced (the wording of the post) was unfortunate and cast a more negative light on the work done previously around Symfony best practices and advice. He recommends changing things around a bit in both the messaging and the book itself to take the focus away from the "you're doing it wrong" and encourage people to do it the way they recommend, casting a more positive spin on it all.

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Link: http://php-and-symfony.matthiasnoback.nl/2014/10/unnecessary-contrapositions-in-the-new-symfony-best-practices/

Symfony Blog:
Introducing the Official Symfony Best Practices
October 09, 2014 @ 11:53:51

On the Symfony blog today they've officially announced the Symfony Best Practices initiative that's being ramped up to help provide a solid resource for Symfony developers and guide them towards more correct development within the framework (and its components).

Since the publication of Symfony 2.0, the Symfony Community has created an unofficial set of recommendations for developing Symfony2 applications. Unfortunately, a lot of these recommendations are in fact wrong. They unnecessarily overcomplicate things and don't follow the original pragmatic philosophy of Symfony.

This guide, soon to be published at http://symfony.com/best-practices will share 31 of the best practices gathered by Fabien Potencier, Ryan Weaver and Javier Eguiluz from their own experience and the practices the community has found along the way. The things in this guide will be optional, not required, to make Symfony-based applications work, so don't worry if you're not following them exactly.

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Link: http://symfony.com/blog/introducing-the-official-symfony-best-practices

Adam Culp:
Fun with Travis CI and PHP projects
July 14, 2014 @ 10:43:53

Adam Culp has a new post to his site sharing some of his fun with Travis CI and his PHP-based applications. He recently started using it and provides a step-by-step guide of how he got started with some handy tips along the way. Travis CI is a continuous integration platform providing processes that run automated testing or other build processes when new commits are made to a repository.

I know I should have done this a long time ago, but I finally got my hands dirty with Travis CI. I wanted to set up a php project on github to use Travis CI to monitor the status, in case I forgot to run the tests prior to pushing. Unfortunately it was not as easy as it's made out to be. But now that I've done it once, it'll be easier next time. So, here is how I tackled it.

He walks you through five (or really six) different steps to getting a build process set up for your repository (complete with screenshots):

  • Create a Travis CI account and link it to your GitHub account
  • Add the repository to connect the build to
  • Make a ".travis.yml" file to configure the build (his runs PHPUnit tests)
  • Validate that PHPUnit runs locally
  • Verify the webhook for Travis CI has been set up correctly

Finally, he includes a bit of description about a successful build and how to add the "badge" showing the current build status to the README of your repository (using Markdown syntax).

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Link: http://www.geekyboy.com/archives/908

Toptal.com:
The Insider's Guide to PHP Interviewing
June 26, 2014 @ 10:43:39

The TopTal.com site has posted some suggestions on things to ask when interviewing PHP developers, especially those shooting for a senior level role.

Ubiquitous…that is definitely one word you could use to describe PHP in relation to the web. It really is everywhere. [...] What makes PHP so popular and widely-used? While there's no single answer to this question, PHP's ease of use is certainly a significant contributing factor. [...] But therein lies much of the challenge of finding highly-skilled PHP developers. PHP's relatively low barrier-to-entry and 20 year history means that PHP developers have become practically as ubiquitous as the technology itself. Yet while many can legitimately claim to "know" PHP, those who are true experts in the language are capable of producing software that is much more scalable, functional, robust, and maintainable.

There's a wide range of questions included in their list, each one with a brief description and the "right" answers a knowledgable candidate might give. This includes questions about:

  • Defining and using closures
  • What "global" is and when to use it
  • Describing the PHP superglobals
  • The use of "static"

There's also a section for the even more advanced development positions out there with questions about PHP's internals (the actual C code) as well as the differences between some built-in object types.

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Link: http://www.toptal.com/php#hiring-guide

Oracle Technology Network:
Installing PHP on Oracle HTTP Server 12c
April 25, 2014 @ 09:41:26

On the Oracle Technology Network site today they've posted an updated version of their guide to getting PHP installed on Oracle HTTP Server 12c, complete with all the commands you'll need to get the job done.

This article shows how to install PHP on Oracle HTTP Server 12c (OHS). PHP is a hugely popular, interpreted scripting language commonly used for web applications. OHS is the web server component for Oracle Fusion Middleware. It is based on the Apache HTTP Server. OHS includes a FastCGI module which can easily be configured to use PHP's bundled FastCGI Process Manager ("PHP-FPM"). PHP-FPM has become a standard way of installing PHP. I

The remainder of the post is broken down into the steps you'll need to get it all installed and working:

  • Install Oracle Linux
  • Install Oracle HTTP Server
  • Install Oracle Instant Client 12c
  • Install PHP
  • Configure PHP-FPM
  • Configure OHS
  • Start PHP-FPM & OHS

A simple test script (a phpinfo) is also included to help you ensure everything is running as it should be.

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Link: http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/articles/dsl/jones-php-ohs-2194096.html

PHP.net:
PHP 5.6.0alpha2 released
February 14, 2014 @ 10:22:48

The second alpha (not for use in production) of the PHP 5.6.x series has been officially announced on the main PHP.net site today.

The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 5.6.0alpha2. This release adds new features and fixes bugs. All users of PHP are encouraged to test this version carefully, and report any bugs in the bug tracking system. [...] PHP 5.6.0alpha2 comes with a number of new features, including: peer certificates are now verified by default when connecting to SSL/TLS servers, an exponentiation operator has been added: **, and output encoding handling [that] has been simplified by using default_charset as the default character encoding.

If you're looking for more information about what's involved in migrating up to this version, check out the upgrade guide or for just the full list of change take a look at the NEWS file. You can download this alpha release from the PHP QA site (Windows binaries here).

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Link: http://php.net/index.php#id2014-02-13-1


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