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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

Dutch Web Alliance:
The definitive remote debug and unittest with PHPStorm guide part 4
December 20, 2013 @ 09:52:28

The Dutch Web Alliance has posted the fourth part of their series looking at remote debugging with PHPStorm. If you want to start from the beginning, you can find the first part of the series here (along with a table of contents for the other parts).

Unit testing should play a pretty big part in your daily PHP work. With the help of PHPUnit, writing and executing those tests is fairly simple. But in a remote environment we run into some issues which we try to solve in this blogpost. I'm not going to tell you the basics of unit-testing, as we assume you already are familiar with this. If not, There are lots of blog posts on this subject.

With some tests already in place, they show you how to get PHPStorm all set up and working. First they talk some about how the IDE makes its connection to the remote server via a "proxy" script. There's a few problems with this method, so they show a different approach using the "PHP on Server" configuration setting. They walk you through the setup of this feature (with screenshots) and how to "trick" it using a dummy phpunit.xml file.

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unittest phpstorm series remote debug guide part4

Link: http://dutchweballiance.nl/techblog/the-definitive-remote-debug-and-unittest-with-phpstorm-guide-part-4/

Dutch Web Alliance:
The definitive remote debug and unittest with PHPStorm guide
December 06, 2013 @ 11:48:38

On the Dutch Web Alliance site today they've kicked off a new series of posts looking to help you get the most out of the PHPStorm IDE for remote PHP debugging and unit testing your application.

PHPStorm is probably the best IDE when it comes to PHP development. [...] This multi-part guide will try and set up your systems in such a way that EVERYTHING you need to do when it comes to development gets explained so you can set your system up correctly, once and for all. Meet the "definitive remote debugging and unittest with PHPStorm guide". Even though PHPStorm always had many different ways of editing, syncing and deploying your scripts, it was not until PHPStorm 7 that we finally have an IDE that can work fully on a virtualized remote system. In the next couple of blog posts I will try and give you a tour on how to set up your systems so they actually work.

So far they've posted the first two parts of the series:

Keep tuned in to this post (or their feed) for updates to the series and new articles as they're posted.

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remote debugging unittest phpunit phpstorm guide series

Link: http://dutchweballiance.nl/techblog/the-definitive-remote-debug-and-unittest-with-phpstorm-guide/

Hasin Hayder:
Installing gearmand, libgearman & pecl gearman for php from source in Debian 6 & 7
October 31, 2013 @ 11:55:51

Hasin Hayder has posted a complete guide to getting Gearman and PHP playing nicely together. The guide gives you a step by step (and command by command) list to follow so you don't have the same pains he did trying to get it working.

I had a pretty rough evening today. No, not because the waiter forgot to add sugar in my tea, but because it was so boring to go through the trial and errors of installing gearman daemon and pecl gearman extension for php.

He walks though the whole process, starting with the failures, that he took getting it installed. Unfortunately it wasn't just as easy as installing a package and using PECL to drop in the extension. There was other software packages that needed to be installed as well and were a bit harder to figure out - libboost, gperf, libevent, uuid-dev and libcloog-ppl-dev. With these installed, the PECL install command was finally able to build and he got the shared module he needed.

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install guide gearman gearmand pecl debian source extension

Link: http://hasin.me/2013/10/30/installing-gearmand-libgearman-and-pecl-gearman-from-source/

Konrad Podgórski:
Step by Step Guide How to Configure Server for PHP / Symfony Project
October 23, 2013 @ 10:15:25

If you're looking into using Symfony2 for your application and want to be sure your environment is set up correctly, you should definitely check out this new post from Konrad Podgórski. It's a very detailed guide to getting the full environment set up, also including setup of NodeJS and Capifony for deployment.

I decided to publish notes that I have been gathering lately about configuring servers. This is a complete guide how to configure server for production usage with Symfony or any PHP project. Instruction might seem to you very long and I totally agree with you. It took me few months to finish.

His installation includes the full commands and configuration for setting up:

  • Nginx
  • PHP (5.4)
  • MySQL
  • NodeJS
  • Twig
  • Git

He also includes the optional instructions to add in an opcode cache like APC or the Zend OPCache.

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symfony2 environment guide setup configure

Link: http://konradpodgorski.com/blog/2013/10/23/guide-how-to-configure-server-for-symfony/

Davey Shafik:
Everything You Need to Know About OpCode Caches
October 01, 2013 @ 10:49:48

Davey Shafik has a new post to his site today sharing everything you need to know about opcode caches, the mechanism that's works "behind the scenes" to cache the execution of the opcode paths for later reuse.

Last year I wrote a talk called "Fast, Not Furious: How to Find and Fix Slow Code" - a performance talk covering profiling, memcache and some other stuff. As I often do - to hedge my bets = I stuck a few slides on the end "just in case" I ran through everything too quickly and needed to fill in time. These slides were on APC, the Alternative PHP Cache, and went just a little into tokens and how APC works under the hood. I really enjoyed presenting those 6 slides, and I've been wanting to expand on that topic ever since then. Well, after a few weeks of hard work, some input from some great people, including Sara Golemon, Elizabeth Smith and Julien Pauli, I'm so very happy to publish PHP Performance I: Everything You Need to Know About OpCode Caches.

The result is published over on the Engine Yard Developer Center and has been made into a 20 minute screencast (with original slides here). He covers what they are, which ones are out there, the common execution cycle and what happens when the opcodes are cached.

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opcode cache presentation screencast guide tutorial apc zend opcache

Link: http://daveyshafik.com/archives/68838-everything-you-need-to-know-about-opcode-caches.html

Erika Heidi:
A beginners guide to Vagrant, part 2 - Provisioning and Puppet
July 05, 2013 @ 11:25:29

Erika Heidi has posted the second part of her series looking at creating development environments with Vagrant and Puppet (part one is here). In this new post she talks about the configuration of the newly created environments.

In the first part of this beginner's guide to Vagrant, we found out how to install Vagrant and get a really basic Ubuntu box up and running. But we need something more: we need to properly set up our development environment, in a fully automated way. Its time to use provisioners to help us with these tasks. For a better understanding of how provisioners work, lets start using a very basic shell script as a provisioner.

She talks about setting up the shell provisioning and how to use it from the Vagrantfile configuration. She includes the example output but notes that there's a better way than making lots of shell scripts for everything - using Puppet. Info about Puppet manifests (its configuration file format) and examples are included. An example is included of using puppet to provision a VM and a hint about things to come (puppet modules).

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Link: http://erikaheidi.com/2013/07/04/a-beginners-guide-to-vagrant-part-2-provisioning-and-puppet

Erika Heidi:
A beginners guide to Vagrant - getting your portable development environment, part 1
July 03, 2013 @ 11:15:03

Erika Heidi has posted the first part of a series about using Vagrant to build development environments - a portable one that can be dropped onto any machine as a VM.

If you never heard about Vagrant, this is the right moment to get acquainted to it. Vagrant is getting very popular amongst open source projects, because it provides a portable and reproducible development environment using virtual machines. You will never be hostage of the "works on my machine" statement again; the environment is exactly the same for all the developers, regardless of the operational system running as the host machine (although everything can get messy with Windows).

She walks you through the typical Vagrant installation (via apt-get) and mentions the need for VirtualBox separately on OSX. She talks about providers, provisioners and the configuration Vagrant uses to define the boxes it builds - the Vagrantfile. When the "vagrant up" is run, the box is downloaded from the provider, configured and set up as a complete VM, ready for use.

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beginner guide vagrant introduction development environment

Link: http://erikaheidi.com/2013/07/02/a-begginers-guide-to-vagrant-getting-your-portable-development-environment

Reddit.com:
Good guidance for shifting to OO from Procedural coding
March 19, 2013 @ 12:33:29

On Reddit.com there's a conversation kicked off by user swiftpants about making the move from procedural PHP programming to the world of object-oriented programming. They ask for advice from the community for the next steps to take to make the jump.

One thing I always have in the back of my head is that all my code is procedural and I should be making use of classes and ?? more. I have a very basic understanding of OO programming but I rarely implement it. Is there a good book or online guide that can get me on my way to OO programming in php. I am especially looking for feed back from self taught programmers.

There's lots of comments on the post talking about everything from:

  • Introductory videos from KillerPHP
  • Reading lots of other people's (OOP) code
  • That OOP is more about code reusing and simplicity (DRY) than abstraction.
  • You can learn a lot by working with one of the MVC/OO frameworks. Download one and build something.
  • The suggestion of phptherightway.com

Have any other thoughts on the best ways to learn OOP in PHP? Share them here!

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reddit opinion oop procedural programming guide suggestion


Lorna Mitchell:
Become a ZCE in 2013
January 01, 2013 @ 10:36:34

If you've ever looked at getting your ZCE (Zend Certified Engineer) certification but didn't know where to start, Lorna Mitchell suggests that 2013 is the year to do it and offers some tips (and her own guide to help you along the way).

A few people have told me it's their New Year's resolution to become a ZCE this year, and I'm sure they're not the only ones. I regularly help developers and teams prepare for ZCE, so I thought I'd make up a mini package of tips, tricks and a full set sample questions with solutions and explanations, for anyone who won't be taking a whole preparation course.

She recommends a few things in general too like studying up with the free Zend PHP 5.3 ZCE guide, research into areas that might be a bit foreign to you and, of you have the time and means, try taking a course to walk you through what you'll need to know

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zendcertifiedengineer zce newyear guide suggestions



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