Looking for more information on how to do PHP the right way? Check out PHP: The Right Way

PHP7 Migration Guide Posted
Aug 17, 2015 @ 11:29:48

The official PHP.net has posted their PHP 7 migration guide for those already on PHP 5.6.x and wanting to prepare their applications for PHP7.

Despite the fact that PHP 7.0 is a new major version, efforts were put in to make migration as painless as possible. This release focusses mainly on removing functionality deprecated in previous versions and improving language consistency. There are a few incompatibilities and new features that should be considered, and code should be tested before switching PHP versions in production environments.

The guide includes links to other pages showing things like:

  • Backward incompatible changes
  • New features
  • Deprecated features in PHP 7.0.x
  • New functions/classes/interfaces/global constants
  • Removed Extensions and SAPIs

There's also a link to some other various changes that's not completely fleshed out yet, but is evolving as PHP 7 gets closer to a final release.

tagged: php7 migration guide php56 changes update deprecation remove features

Link: http://php.net/manual/en/migration70.php

Facebook HipHop Open Source Blog:
Under the hood: Box's HHVM migration
Jul 20, 2015 @ 11:17:58

The Facebook HipHop Open Source blog has posted a case study from Box about their migration to HHVM and some of the challenges and benefits that came along with it.

Reducing latency and increasing the capacity of our infrastructure have always been top priorities at Box. We strive to deliver the best possible user experience in the most efficient manner, and historically our choice of PHP hasn’t aligned well with these goals. I'm very happy to report that we've recently made very significant strides toward these two ideals by successfully deploying HHVM (the HipHop Virtual Machine) as the exclusive engine that serves our PHP codebase. In the rest of this post, I will detail how we use PHP, how HHVM works, the challenges we faced migrating to HHVM, and the remarkable performance wins it provides.

The post talks about how central PHP is to their overall technology stack and how, despite the work being put in, the processing of requests was starting to be a bit too much. In came the HHVM and some discussion about how it might be used there at Box. They started a yearlong effort to migrate their entire stack to HHVM especially since HHVM has almost reached parity with the PHP language itself. They talk some about the differences in design between the two and how the migration changed their deployment process. They also cover some of the other interesting things that come with a major migration including phased rollout and host-based conversion methods. Finally they share some of the statistics around the performance of the end result, including the better response times and reduced CPU graphs.

tagged: hhvm hiphop opensource blog box migration

Link: https://code.facebook.com/posts/1607907626123431/under-the-hood-box-s-hhvm-migration/

March 2015 Issue Released - DB Migration
Mar 16, 2015 @ 12:50:49

php[architect] magazine has released their March 2015 edition of their magazine - DB Migration:

Because databases store the data our applications, they need proper care and feeding too. In “DB Migrations”, David Berube shares what he’s learned to properly design your databases, Harrie Verveer looks at “Database Versioning with Liquibase”, and Patrick Schwisow shows you how to consolidate Doctrine Migrations that have gotten unwieldly.

Other topics included in this month's edition include a "deep dive" into PHP extensions, object oriented Javascript, bitwise math and much more. You can pick up your own copy - either virtual (PDF) or in print - from the php[architect] website.

tagged: paprchitect magazine march2015 issue release db migration

Link: http://www.phparch.com/magazine/2015-2/march/

PHPUnit: Migration from PEAR to PHAR
Jan 14, 2015 @ 13:48:34

On The PHPcc's site today Sebastian Bergmann, the creator of the popular PHPUnit unit testing framework, shows you how to move to using the tool's phar file and away from the previously used PEAR install method.

In April 2014 I announced that I would shut down pear.phpunit.de on December 31, 2014. The motivation behind this move was to simplify the release process of PHPUnit by getting rid of an outdated distribution channel. I was afraid that I would leave users of my software behind by this move. [...] I am relieved that the shutdown of pear.phpunit.de went as smooth as it did. [...] In this article I show you how to make the transition from using PHPUnit from a PEAR package to using PHPUnit from a PHP Archive or using Composer as easy and convenient as possible.

There's three main steps to the migration from PEAR to the Composer-based phar installation:

  • Uninstalling PEAR Packages
  • Using PHPUnit from a PHP Archive (PHAR)
  • Installing PHPUnit with Composer

He includes the commands and configuration files/settings you'll need to make the transition happen. He also mentions that older versions are still available if there's a need but only on GitHub/Packagist as phar packages, not via PEAR.

tagged: phpunit migration pear phar packagist composer tutorial

Link: http://thephp.cc/news/2015/01/phpunit-migration-from-pear-to-phar

Lee Blue:
How PHP Frameworks Affect Profitability
Dec 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.

tagged: framework profitability cost migration small mvc

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

Rob Allen:
Registering Doctrine Type Mappings for standalone migrations
Nov 18, 2014 @ 10:50:47

In a previous post Rob Allen showed you how to use Doctrine migrations as a standalone tool in your applications. In this new post he takes that a step further and shows you how to use the type mapping functionality (allowing for more customized column handling).

Shortly after starting to use Doctrine Migrations as a standalone tool in my project, I came across this error message [about an unknown database type "bit"]. This means that I have a column in my database of type bit which is used for booleans in SQL Server, but confuses the MySQL platform as it's not a default mapping. To support this, you need to modify the database connection's Platform object to know about the new mapping. However, with the setup that I'm using, I didn't have access to the connection object that's automatically created in the Migrations AbstractCommand object. After poking around in the code for a bit, I discovered that the solution is to create the connection object myself and then attach it as a new helper to the ConsoleApplication object.

He includes the code you'll need to add to your "migrations.php" file to set up the mapping relating his "bit" type example back to a "boolean" type. While this specific example is for the "bit" mapping, it shows how any mapping type can be added in. Finally he adds the connection (the one he set the type on) to enable it to be included in the helper set collection.

tagged: register type migration doctrine database tutorial custom mapping

Link: http://akrabat.com/php/registering-doctrine-type-mappings-for-standalone-migrations/

Rob Allen:
Using Doctrine Migrations as a standalone tool
Nov 13, 2014 @ 10:14:56

Rob Allen has a recent post to his site showing you how you can use Doctrine migrations as a standalone tool for its migrations functionality. Migrations allow you to script the setup of your database, replacing the need to manually create and configure the system by hand.

My current project has reached the point where a good migrations system is required. As I'm targeting two different database engines (MySQL and MS SQL Server) and we're already using DBAL, it made sense to use Migrations from the Doctrine project.

He walks you through the installation (via Composer and a command-line script to bootstrap the Doctrine environment outside of the usual framework context. He includes an example yaml configuration file and PHP-based connection information config. He finishes off the post by showing how to build a simple migration that creates an "artists" table (with "name" and "id" columns) and run the command to do the work.

tagged: migration standalone tool doctrine tutorial commandline

Link: http://akrabat.com/php/using-doctrine-migrations-outside-of-doctrine-orm-or-symfony/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Database Versioning with Ladder Migrations
Apr 22, 2014 @ 10:48:41

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted another tutorial looking at database versioning (see this postfocusing on Ladder migrations. Ladder is a simple PHP-based way to write migrations with rollbacks in a clear, easy to read format.

Version control systems are invaluable for tracking changes in your code, particularly when you’re working in a team. However, most applications don’t consist solely of application code. Managing changes to the database has always been a little more challenging, particularly when you’re adding new features which require changes to the schema. [...] One solution is to move responsibility for creating and modifying the database schema into code, using migrations. That way, changes can be managed along with the rest of your application, and features we take for granted in version control – such as being able to compare versions and keep an audit trail – can be used for database changes.

He introduces the Ladder tool briefly, shows how to get it installed/configured and gets into writing a first simple migration. It creates a "users" table with two columns and comes with both "up" and "down" methods to make rollbacks easier. Ladder also provides functionality for database seeding, pre-populating the database tables with sample data either from hard-coded values or from a CVS file.

tagged: database migration ladder versioning tutorial project

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/database-versioning-ladder-migrations

PHP 5.6.0alpha2 released
Feb 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).

tagged: php56 alpha2 release migration guide news download language

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

Etsy Code as Craft:
There and Back Again: Migrating Geolocation Data to GeoNames
Apr 01, 2013 @ 11:48:36

On the Etsy "Code as Craft" blog there's a recent post about their move to using the GeoNames service internally rather than the external, third-party API previously in use.

People are passionate about where they live. At Etsy we need to keep track of lots of different locations, such as buyers’ billing and shipping addresses and sellers’ shop locations. As Etsy continues to expand internationally we wanted to provide better localization and translations for our location place names. We determined that the best way to effect this change was to move from using a closed location API provider to internal services backed by the open GeoNames data set.

The post details some of the steps in the process including the mapping of the current data to the new structure (the script is available on github). They talk about how they mapped their old data over (trial and error sometimes) and the creation of a database of "GeoNameIDs" for each customer in their records. They've also implemented a Lucene/Solr search for improved searching and auto-suggestion based on the user's location.

tagged: data migration geonames geolocation api script