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PHP.net:
Release of PHP 5.6.7, 5.5.23 and 5.4.39
March 20, 2015 @ 10:45:27

The PHP development group has announced the release of the latest versions in all three major versions of PHP currently supported: PHP 5.6.7, 5.5.23 and 5.4.39. These releases are bugfix only with several security updates included.

The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of [these new versions]. Several bugs have been fixed as well as CVE-2015-0231, CVE-2015-2305 and CVE-2015-2331. All PHP [5.6, 5.5 and 5.4] users are encouraged to upgrade to this version.

As always, you can get the latest released for each of these versions from the main downloads page (for Windows users on windows.php.net) and if you'd like to see the other changes besides the security-related fixes check out the full Changelog.

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version release language php54 php55 php56 security bugfix

Link: http://php.net/index.php#id2015-03-20-2

PHP.net:
Release of PHP 5.5.22 & 5.4.38
February 19, 2015 @ 11:09:40

The main PHP.net site has an announcement today about the latest released of the language fixing several bugs including a few security-related issues: PHP 5.5.22 and 5.4.38.

The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 5.5.22 and 5.4.38. This release fixes several bugs and addresses CVE-2015-0235 and CVE-2015-0273. All PHP 5.5 and 5.4 users are encouraged to upgrade to this version.

As always, you can get the latest source downloads from the downloads page or Windows users can get the binaries from windows.php.net. Those interested in the complete list of fixes in these releases can check out the latest entries in the Changelog.

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language release cve bugfix security changelog php55 php54

Link: http://php.net/archive/2015.php#id2015-02-19-1

PHP.net:
Release of PHP 5.4.36, 5.5.20 and 5.6.4 (Includes Security Fix)
December 19, 2014 @ 10:39:54

The PHP.net has announced the releases of several new versions in all of the current major series, all correcting several bugs including a CVE-related (security) related to unserialization. This security issue was reported in CVE-2014-8142 and relates to this bug report. It is highly recommended that you upgrade your versions to correct this potential security vulnerability. The latest versions are:

As always, you can download these latest releases directly from the downloads page or http://windows.php.net/download for the Windows users. If you're interested in the other bugs fixed in these releases, check out the full Changelog.

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language release bugfix php55 php56 php54 security cve20148242

Link: http://php.net/archive/2014.php#id2014-12-18-3

PHP.net:
PHP 5.4.35, 5.5.19 and 5.6.3 Released
November 14, 2014 @ 12:08:25

Several new versions of the PHP language have been released, including several bugfixes and security-related issues (including CVE-2014-3710. Updates are available for all current major versions:

Upgrading is recommended, especially if you're making use of the fileinfo functionality. You can get these latest versions from the main downloads page (or the Windows.php.net). You can find out about the other changes in these releases in the Changelog

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language release security update php54 php55 php56 fileinfo

Link: http://php.net/archive/2014.php#id2014-11-13-3

PHP.net:
PHP 5.5.17 is available
September 18, 2014 @ 12:27:11

The PHP development group has just released the latest in the PHP 5.5.x series today - PHP 5.5.17.

The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 5.5.17. Several bugs were fixed in this release. All PHP 5.5 users are encouraged to upgrade to this version.

Bugs fixed include updates in the core language, the COM extension, GD image handling, OpenSSL functionality and the SPL. You can download this latest release (source) from the main downloads page or Windows users can use windows.php.net. You can get the full list of changes and the bugs they relate to in the latest Changelog.

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language release php55 bugfix download update

Link: http://php.net/archive/2014.php#id2014-09-18-1

Kinsta.com:
Real-World WordPress Benchmarks with PHP5.5 PHP5.6 PHP-NG and HHVM
July 30, 2014 @ 12:26:51

The Kinsta.com blog has a new post with the results of some benchmarking they've done around WordPress comparing PHP 5.5, PHP 5.6 (PHPNG) and HHVM in response time (well, time taken for the request).

If you remember we wrote an article a good couple of months ago when WordPress 3.9 came out that HHVM was fully supported beginning with that release, and we were all happy about it. The initial benchmark results showed HHVM to be far more superior than the Zend engine that's currently powering all PHP builds.

[...] Obviously you have to compromise based on your (or rather your sites') needs but is it worth it? How much of a performance gain can you expect by switching to HHVM? [...] Today I finally took the time to set up a test environment and do some tests to compare a couple of different builds with a fresh out of the box WordPress install and one that has a bunch of content added plus runs WooCommerce!

The testing was all done locally on virtual machines (using Vagrant setups) and two different kinds of test WordPress installations. They share the results in the post, showing the differences between the HHVM installations and the plain PHP ones. The results also show the differences between having the opcode cache on and off. Curious to see how it would perform outside of a local system, they also pushed the same configurations out to a DigitalOcean instance with some slightly different results.

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Link: https://kinsta.com/blog/real-world-wordpress-benchmarks-with-php5-5-php5-6-php-ng-and-hhvm/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Understanding OpCache
July 30, 2014 @ 10:39:27

On the SitePoint PHP blog there's a new tutorial posted helping you understand OpCache, the caching engine built into PHP versions 5.5 and above. This cache isn't designed to cache data or other content, though. An OpCache caches "opcodes" when a script is executed.

PHP in version 5.5 comes with a caching engine built-in - OpCache - which stores precompiled script bytecode in the memory. If you're familiar with APC or Xcache, you will already know how such engines work. As each PHP script is being compiled at runtime, a part of the execution time gets used for transforming the human readable code into code that can be understood by the machine. A bytecode cache engine like OpCache, APC or Xcache does it only once - during the first execution of a specific PHP file. Then the precompiled script is being stored in memory, which should lead to performance boosts in your PHP applications.

The remainder of the article is a series of answers to some common questions about using the cache, what it will do for your applications and some tools to use for tuning and status updates:

  • Is OpCache worth installing at all? What speed boost can I expect?
  • I already use APC cache. Should I migrate to OpCache?
  • How to check if OpCache is actually caching my files?
  • Is there any framework-specific config that I should set?
  • I keep my app config in a PHP file. Can I prevent it from being cached?
  • How can I run both a development and a production environment on a single server where OpCache is enabled?
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opcache opcode cache tutorial introduction php55 bytecode

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/understanding-opcache/

Hasin Hayder:
Upgrading PHP to 5.5 in a CentOS 6 server with Vesta CP
June 04, 2014 @ 09:22:31

In his latest post Hasin Hayder shares some instructions for upgrading CentOS to PHP 5.5 (a server with Vesta CP) via the Remi repository.

Vesta CP comes with PHP 5.4 by default. If you want to upgrade it to 5.5, follow these steps.

He's broken it up into five simple steps:

  • Stop Apache and Remove current PHP
  • Add remi repository
  • Enable Remi Repository (for yum)
  • Install PHP 5.5
  • Cleanup, linking and finishing

These instructions aren't really just for the CentOS install either. They could be used for any platform that makes use of "yum" to work with installed packages (with a few tweaks here and there).

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upgrade php55 centos vestacp yum remi

Link: http://hasin.me/2014/06/03/upgrading-php-to-5-5-in-a-centos-6-server-with-vesta-cp/

Derick Rethans:
DateTimeImmutable
February 26, 2014 @ 10:26:45

In his latest post Derick Rethans (knower of all things date and time) talks about the DateTimeImmutable functionality. It has been added into the PHP 5.5 releases and provides the same DateTime functionality but removes the ability for modification (mutability).

The first time that my improved DateTime support made its way into PHP was officially in PHP 5.1, although the more advanced features such as the DateTime class only made it appearance in PHP 5.2. Since its introduction the DateTime class implementation suffered from one design mistake - arguably not something that even an RFC would have highlighted. [...] This mutability property that all modifying methods of the DateTime class have is highly annoying, and something that I would now rather remove. But of course we cannot as that would break backwards compatibility. So in PHP 5.5, after a few stumbles, I finally managed to rectify this.

He includes some code examples showing the current DateTime object's mutability (via the "modify" function) and the new immutable handling. This new handling doesn't update the current object but instead returns the modified object, leaving the initial one intact. You can find out more about this new object in the PHP manual.

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Link: http://derickrethans.nl/immutable-datetime.html

PHPBuilder.com:
Implementing Secure Passwords in PHP 5.5
January 29, 2014 @ 11:17:40

On PHPBuilder.com today there's a new post introducing you to a relatively recent advancement in PHP (in version 5.5), the password hashing API. In this article they cover the basics including hashing and verifying the result.

PHP has always had a few simple ways to implement password hashing to an extent. MD5 and SHA1 are examples of this, but the security of these methods is not what it should be. [...] What we need is a secure password encryption mechanism that uses SALT and perhaps even something else to help us safely encrypt our passwords for later use. [...] Lucky for us, the folks at PHP have thought about this long and hard, and the result is a very simple PHP password hashing API that is not only easy to use, but fast and secure.

They briefly look at the two major functions in the updated feature - password_hash and password_verify and some basic code examples of their use.

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secure password hash php55 passwordhash passwordverify introduction

Link: http://www.phpbuilder.com/articles/application-architecture/security/implementing-secure-passwords-in-php-5.5.html


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