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SitePoint PHP Blog:
An Interview with the Appserver.io Crew
October 08, 2013 @ 09:57:15

On the SitePoint PHP blog there's a new post interviewing the company behind Appserver.io, an application server written for PHP and in PHP.

What if you could reliably run PHP without Nginx or Apache, but also without relying on its internal server? What if you could do async operations in PHP with true multi threading, fully taking advantage of multi core processors without hacks or a jungle of callbacks? What if you had drag and drop installation support for your PHAR packaged web apps in an environment identical to its production counterpart? Enter Appserver (application server).

They talk with Tim Wagner, Johann "Hans" Zelger and Stefan Wilkommer about the tool and what kinds of features it has to offer PHP developers. There's mention of "servlets", configuration of the platform and the results of some of the benchmarks they've run comparing it to other web servers. There's lots more in the full interview so be sure to check into it if you're intrigued by this interesting addition to the PHP world.

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interview appserverio platform webserver servlet

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/interview-appserver-io-crew/

PHPMaster.com:
Moving to Cloud-Based Web Development
July 16, 2013 @ 10:42:07

On PHPMaster.com today there's a new article from Martin Psinas about moving to cloud-based development for your PHP applications (using online editors that can potentially replace your local development tools).

I knew going into this purchase that the Chromebook was designed without a hard drive and is intended more for casual web surfers rather than power users, but that didn't stop me. I also knew I wanted to take full advantage of the Chromium OS as an on-the-go platform so installing a LAMP-based development environment or tinkering with the system would just defeat the purpose. I decided it was time for change, time for liberation!

He talks about some of the basic concepts behind the move to a cloud-based environment and working with various aspects of development there. He covers things like version control, finding a place to store his code and choosing an IDE. He links to a few options including ShiftEdit, CodeEnvy and Cloud9 (his choice).

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cloud development platform versioncontrol ide

Link: http://phpmaster.com/moving-to-cloud-based-web-development/

PHPClasses.org:
5 Reasons Why the Web Platform War is Over PHP Won with 75% says Google
May 22, 2013 @ 09:06:11

In this new post to the PHPClasses.org blog Manuel Lemos talks some about the recent introduction of PHP into Google's App Engine offerings.

During Google I/O 2013 event a Google manager said PHP runs on 75% of the Web sites. So they decided to finally support PHP as in their AppEngine hosting service. Read this article to understand why this puts an end to years of false claims that PHP was losing market, as well what it means to Web developers using PHP or other languages.

He looks at the App Engine PHP offering and looks at whether or not its a good platform to use for hosting your application. He points out some advantages and disadvantages (including no local file system access and no remote resource access). He also includes five reasons why the "web platform war is over" and why PHP has come out victorious:

  • Google Knows Because They Crawl the Whole Web
  • Google Does Not Influence Web Developers so much
  • Wordpress is the Dominant Blog Platform (not Blogger)
  • Programming Does Not Have to Be Beautiful
  • PHP Detractors Have the Wrong Focus

He admits, though, that PHP may not be dominant forever - it's not perfect, but there will always be a need for something that does what it can do (and does it well).

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google appengine support advantages disadvantages mysql platform war

Link: http://www.phpclasses.org/blog/post/208-5-Reasons-Why-the-Web-Platform-War-is-Over-PHP-Won-with-75-says-Google.html

Learn Computer:
Is LAMP Pack Still Strong?
April 01, 2013 @ 12:55:09

On the "Learn Computer" site there's a recent post that wonders if the web development standard of the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) stack is "still strong" and will still stand up with new technologies.

This year in tech (like almost every other year) has been filled with buzzwords. Many of them this year, however, are based around big data processing and web content: NoSQL, Hadoop, BigTable - the list goes on. With all the fuss around these new technologies, one might be tempted into thinking that these are the technologies of the future, and that from now on our servers and websites will be built upon, leaving technologies like LAMP in the dust.

They talk about some of the things the LAMP stack doesn't do well like difficulties with scalability on both the web server and database side. There's also mention of the things that it does do well, like getting things up and running quickly and with a solid structure.

That being the case, the LAMP stack is still going very strong, and it's definitely still extremely viable in small and medium-sized deployments; there are no signs of it waning in that regard, and I'd expect it to be a standard deployment for many companies and organizations for quite some time to come.
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James Fuller:
Simply scale with Nginx, Memcached, PHP-FPM and APC
February 04, 2013 @ 10:46:01

James Fuller has posted a guide to scaling your web application using the nginx web server, memcached, PHP-FPM and APC caching.

We sell an educational product that serves a predictable 15,000 requests per minute for 10+ hours/day, every day. Instead of Apache, we use nginx with PHP-FPM to handle this traffic. This is becoming a very popular setup for many companies with non-trivial traffic, but I have also found success with it in my small 256MB Ram VPS. For various reasons, nginx does a better job with memory and concurrent connection handling than Apache. In this post, I want to talk about some of the reasons you might want to go with this setup.

He talks about some of the efficiency gains that memcache and nginx can give you pretty easily and some of the common uses for nginx, including using it as a reverse proxy. He talks some about Apache's typical request handling and shows the difference between that and how nginx does its "never block, finish fast" handling. He fits in the other pieces - PHP-FPM, memcached and APC - showing how each of them offers their own types of performance gains for different areas of the application.

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scale platform nginx memcached phpfpm apc cache


Ruslan Yakushev:
PHP Troubleshooting in Windows Azure Web Sites
January 31, 2013 @ 10:19:16

In the latest post to his site, Ruslan Yakushev looks at some simple ways you can debug your PHP-based applications running on a Windows Azure platform.

The need to diagnose and troubleshoot application's failures often comes up during deployment to a hosting environment. Some configuration settings in hosting server may differ from what application expects. Often it is not as easy to figure out the cause of the problem in a hosting environment as it is on a development machine. I found the following techniques useful when troubleshooting errors in PHP applications hosted in Windows Azure Web Sites.

He shares seven different tips, some pretty simple, others a bit more difficult requiring other software to be up and working:

  • Using phpinfo()
  • Checking the wincache settings
  • Looking at your error logs
  • Turning on the display_errors setting
  • Turning on HTTP logging, detailed errors and failed request tracking in the control panel
  • Using XDebug
  • Getting the statistics for your ClearDB instance
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windows azure platform debug tips settings logs configuration


PHPMaster.com:
PHP and the i, Part 1
January 17, 2013 @ 13:50:19

On PHPMaster.com there's a new article that looks at running PHP on a specific environment and some of the considerations the author had to make - using PHP on IBM i.

We've talked about a lot of weird things so far on PHPMaster (well, at least I think some of them are weird), but this may take the cake. In this series I want to talk to you about PHP - and the IBM I. That's right, the IBM i, formerly known as System i and before that as the AS/400. Let's start by dispelling the myth that the i is dinosaur; it's actually a very wonderful machine, and there are lot of opportunities for brave PHP programmers who venture into this realm.

He starts off with "the truth" about the IBM i and some of the features it brings to the table - total system integration, scalability, etc. He talks some about the current GUI the system uses, functionality RPG provides, and some concepts you'll need to think about before getting into PHP on the IBM I.

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ibmi systemi as400 system platform introduction


Fortrabbit.com:
PHP-Focused PaaS Launched!
October 05, 2012 @ 10:45:17

The folks over at Fortrabbit.com have officially announced the opening of their cloud-based, PHP-focused hosting platform:

We do managed hosting for over 5 years - a business where reliability is one of the core values. And Platform as a Service is just a label for a modern approach of scalable hassle-free hosting solutions. This PaaS market is very young and still a changing category in the wide field of cloud hosting. Listening to customers and their needs will influence the way current services work.

They offer a "Bootstrap" service if you'd like to try it out. It supports PHP 5.4, APC, MySQL, Git integration, Composer support, SSH/SFTP access and DNS management. You can also add on memcache and SSL support if desired.

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paas platform launch cloud hosting deployment


DeveloperWorld:
How to make PHP apps scale
May 25, 2012 @ 13:19:20

On DeveloperWorld today there's a new article talking about performance concerns and PHP application (and how your data source might be the problem).

The power of PHP and an RDBMS is the ability to nail the major features of an application with cheaply paid developers in a record amount of time. Unfortunately, the default runtime environment used by PHP is simply an unscalable mess. [...] The truth is that if you have enough servers and enough database servers, you don't have contention. [...] As it turns out, there's a modern solution to the problem: the cloud plus NoSQL. Cloud infrastructure gives us the ability to spin up enough servers, and a NoSQL database enables us to shard our data effectively.

They talk some about why they think PHP's runtine environment is "a dog" based on the non-native pooling of database connections and the lack of a thread-safe environment.

The bottom line: PHP applications are a load on the database due to the constraints of the concurrency model.

He points to the cloud architecture and NoSQL databases as solutions to the scalability problem, providing more scalable resources and flexible data sources.

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application scale nosql cloud computing platform


PHPBuilder.com:
Debugging Your Magento E-Commerce Applications in PHP
May 24, 2012 @ 11:11:59

On PHPBuilder.com there's a recent post looking at debugging Magento applications with some of the built-in tools the platform makes available.

Magento is the world's most popular open source e-commerce platform, relied upon by countless Fortune 500 and small business alike for selling goods and services of all types. [...] But with Magento's considerable power comes a great deal of complexity [but] it can be incredibly difficult to even identify the origin of an error let alone resolve it. You can however dramatically improve your productivity as a Magento developer by taking advantage of a few key debugging features.

They recommend using four tools built into the platform - the developer mode, logging, template path hints and viewing the raw SQL queries. They also recommend using a few other tools like FireBug and the features of Eclipse to help with code formatting and completion.

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