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7PHP.com:
Interview with Patrick Allaert - Creator of the Alternative PHP Monitor
October 08, 2012 @ 09:23:11

7PHP.com has posted another interview with a PHP community member - this time it's Patrick Allaert, the creator of the Alternative PHP Monitor project (a monitoring extension for PHP, collects error events and store them in a local SQLite database).

In this edition I talked with [Patrick Allaert @patrick_allaert], the creator and lead developer of the Alternative PHP Monitor extension. Patrick is also an eZ Publish expert where he is currently a Third line support engineer prior to being their System developer back in 2010. He is an Open Source lover and is a prominent Board member at the famous and amazing PHP group named PHPBenelux.

Patrick answers questions about his history as a developer, what kind of environment he likes to work in, his opinions on PHP and some of the best resources he'd recommend for people learning the language. He also talks some about the APM project - what it does, how it can be used and what some of his future plans are for the tool.

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Sébastien Thomas' Blog:
Monitoring PHP APC cache usage
October 05, 2011 @ 13:11:14

Sébastien Thomas has a recent post to his blog shows how (with just a bit of code) you can monitor your APC cache usage on your local host.

I won't go deep into how OpCode caches work, you will find a lot of docs, just google for APC, Xcache, eAccelerator... What I can say is that APC (as other caches do) will save binary parts of your PHP code into memory and use it when you call for the same PHP function again. This way you save all the PHP file opening, parsing, etc. [...] One thing you won't come accross often on internet is How (the hell) do I know if APC is performing well ?

His answer comes in the form of code based on the APC-PHP-Monitor script. He changed it slightly to allow for use in other places, like with Nagios monitoring. A Nagois template is included to query the cache and report back a hit ratio. An example of the full cache results can be seen here complete with general cache info, hits, misses and file versus user caching stats.

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monitor cache usage apc apccchemonitor tutorial nagois


Johannes Schlüter's Blog:
MySQL Query Analyzer and PHP
September 30, 2011 @ 12:56:54

Johannes Schlüter has a new post to his blog today mentioning the beta release of the mysqlnd_ms plugin (previously mentioned by Ulf Wendel and a new feature that can be plugged into the MySQL Enterprise Monitor to make the Query Analyzer directly use PHP instead.

When running a PHP-based application with MySQL it is often quite interesting to see what actually happens on the database sever. Besides monitoring of the system load etc. it is often interesting to see what queries are actually executed and which of them are expensive. A part of MySQL Enterprise Monitor is the MySQL Query Analyzer which helps answering these questions.

This was handled via a proxy that sat between the database and app server and ran through the queries looking for improvements. This new plugin keeps it closer to PHP itself without having to hit against the proxy. You can see the result in these two screenshots from inside the Manager application. You also have the side benefit of getting a stack trace of it running through the app to help you identify the spots most needing improvement in the code too.

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mysql query analyze mysqlndms plugin enterprise monitor


SkyTechGeek.com:
10 Exceptional Tools For Website Testing
August 23, 2011 @ 13:25:22

Sometimes a little (external) testing of your website is in order and Gagan Chhatwal has posted his list of ten tools you can use to check everything from how much load the site can take to what can be done to optimize the load time.

When maintaining or running a website , Webmasters need to keep in mind that one of the pertinent issues they will need to focus on is :Website Testing, which is not only vital for the website itself but for the user as well and one should not overlook its importance. [We have] collected some vital and free website testing tools which will help Webmasters in testing their sites thus saving users to conduct time consuming needless searches in finding the best resources pertaining to Web related tools and info.

Among the tools on the list are services like:

Most of these resources are free services, if not then they have a trial where you can see if it's a good fit.

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Brian Moon's Blog:
Monitoring PHP Errors
November 09, 2010 @ 11:09:16

Brian Moon has a new post to his blog that pulls together some of his thoughts on monitoring PHP applications and how to handle the error that might be thrown.

PHP errors are just part of the language. Some internal functions throw warnings or notices and seem unavoidable. A good case is parse_url. The point of parse_url is to take apart a URL and tell me the parts. Until recently, the only way to validate a URL was a regex. You can now use filter_var with the FILTER_VALIDATE_URL filter. But, in the past, I would use parse_url to validate the URL. It worked as the function returns false if the value is not a URL. But, if you give parse_url something that is not a URL, it throws a PHP Warning error message. The result is I would use the evil @ to suppress errors from parse_url. Long story short, you get errors on PHP systems. And you don't need to ignore them.

He talks about the two-step process he's upgraded to to help monitor and handle the errors that pop up - an error handler that logs human-readable and json versions of the errors and something like Circonus to do metric tracking. He also mentions some external services recommended on twitter - HopToad and Loggly.

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monitor error manage aggregate metric log


CatsWhoCode.com:
How to easily monitor your web server using PHP
February 08, 2010 @ 13:48:31

In a new post to the CatsWhoCode.com blog Jean-Babtiste Jung walks you through the creation of a simple monitoring script written using just PHP that can tell you if your web site is up and responsive.

In order to make sure that your website is always available to the public, you have to monitor it. In this tutorial, I'll show you how you can easily create a monitoring script that will check your website availability and send an email or sms alert to you if it isn't.

They have a snippet of code (about 15 lines long) with a function you can call to check a remote host's connection and check the returned data for a certain string. This can not only ensure that your site is responsive but also that it's not responding incorrectly. You could even use this to hit a certain monitoring page of your site to check for certain things (like database connection problems).

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Matthew Weier O'Phinney's Blog:
Real-time ZF Monitoring via Zend Server
December 11, 2009 @ 08:07:33

In a new post to his blog Matthew Weier O'Phinney takes a look at a pretty cool feature of the Zend Server tool - the ability to directly monitor your Zend Framework applications.

When keeping tabs on your ZF applications, it's often difficult to separate application errors from general PHP errors, and if you aggregate them in the same location as your web server errors, this can become more difficult still. [...] Zend Server's Monitor extension has some capabilities for providing more context, and does much of this by default: request and environment settings available when the error was logged, the function name and arguments provided, and a full backtrace are available for you to inspect.

You can also trigger custom events via the extension's API and, to make it even easier, they've created a new writer for Zend_Log - Zend_Log_Writer_ZendMonitor. He includes a bit of sample code showing you how to create an instance of the component and log a sample citical message.

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Lars Strojny's Blog:
Leaflet PHP development in 2009
May 05, 2009 @ 11:12:40

Lars Strojny has posted a leaflet to his blog looking at some of the PHP development practices that should be encouraged in 2009. The list includes:

  • Developments to object-oriented code practices
  • Using a VCS
  • Continuous deployment
  • More code testing
  • More use of rapid application development tools
  • Monitoring of production systems
  • Bytecode caching
  • and more...

These are just some suggestions of things to look towards including the best if them all - "love your code".

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development year trend oop vcs deployment test rad tool monitor


Johannes Schluter's Blog:
I have nothing to say - but maybe PHP...
August 27, 2008 @ 12:58:37

Johannes Schluter has posted about an interesting little project he's worked up to find his own path to usefulness in Twitter - a PHP extension that tweets bugs to his account.

The other thing I see there are people telling me what errors in their applications they are currently fixing. I can't see why that's interesting. But as people seem to be interested I found out that I have stuff to say, too, or better my PHP has, since sometimes I have errors there, too. But well, I'm lazy so I don't want to "twitter" them myself.

His "little PHP extension" that automatically sends the reported error out to the designated account. Of course, it tends to slow things down (connection to a remote machine and all) but it could be useful for sending an SMS is something pops up.

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twitter extension automatic error message monitor


PHPRiot.com:
Monitoring File Uploads using Ajax and PHP
January 11, 2008 @ 08:45:00

On the PHPRiot.com site today there's a new tutorial posted covering an alternate method for uploading files - using Ajax to help monitor the progress of the file upload.

In this article we will develop a solution that will allow users to upload a file from their computer using HTML forms. We will then determine the progress of the upload while it is in progress using Ajax, and display the status to the user.

They chose the prototype library and the APC extension for PHP to make their code work. The basic idea is, through a feature of APC, the script can receive a progress measurement back from the server. This is handed off to the Javascript (Ajax) functionality that then updates the progress meter to reflect the change.

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