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SitePoint Business & Marketing Blog:
Do You Need an API?
Jan 14, 2015 @ 12:05:32

In a new post to the SitePoint Business & Marketing blog Chris Ward asks an interesting question that applies to both the business side and development: do you need an API?.

API stands for ‘Application Programming Interface’ and as the name implies, creating one is a technical process. This article will talk very little about how to create an API as there are a myriad of methods to undertake that. This article aims to focus on the business side of APIs and supply advice for non-technical folk. [...] You may be a forward thinking individual inside of an organizational structure that doesn’t share your views. How can you convince others around you that having an API may be good for your business?

He talks about three of the main kinds of organizations out there that usually have APIs including government, civic and science organizations and most other online services that integrate them into their core services. He also tries to help you answer the question for your own organization by listing some of the positives it can provide as well as some of the negatives that could balance them out. He ends the post with one final recommendation if you do choose to implement an API: "Don't reinvent the wheel".

tagged: api need question positive negative business marketing

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/do-you-need-an-api/

Matthias Noback:
Unnecessary contrapositions in the new "Symfony Best Practices"
Oct 15, 2014 @ 13:29:31

Matthias Noback has a new post today with some of his thoughts about the recently released Symfony Best Practices book and some "unnecessary contrapositions" and things he sees that could help improve the perception of the book and the advice it provides.

Of course I'm going to write something about the new Symfony Best Practices book that was written by Fabien Potencier, Ryan Weaver and Javier Eguiluz. It got a lot of negative responses, at least in my Twitter feed, and I think it's a good idea to read Richard Miller's post for some suggestions on how to deal with an "early preview release" like this and how we can be a bit more positive about it.

He emphasizes the "staying positive" aspect of his message and points out that while some of the suggestions are good, they may not be the "best" in all circumstances. His main point, though, is that he thinks the way the book was introduced (the wording of the post) was unfortunate and cast a more negative light on the work done previously around Symfony best practices and advice. He recommends changing things around a bit in both the messaging and the book itself to take the focus away from the "you're doing it wrong" and encourage people to do it the way they recommend, casting a more positive spin on it all.

tagged: symfony bestpractices guide reaction opinion positive

Link: http://php-and-symfony.matthiasnoback.nl/2014/10/unnecessary-contrapositions-in-the-new-symfony-best-practices/

Sameer Borate:
Sentiment Analysis of Twitter feeds
Sep 30, 2014 @ 11:07:35

Sameer Borate continues on his theme of Twitter-related development (part one is here) with his latest post showing how to do sentiment analysis of Twitter feeds. His "sentiment analysis" analyzes a string to determine if it's generally negative or positive based on the AFINN word dataset.

In the last post we looked into accessing Twitter API v1.1 from PHP. In this post we will see how we can add sentiment analysis for the tweets. Generally speaking, sentiment analysis aims to determine the attitude of a writer with respect to some topic. A basic task in sentiment analysis is classifying the polarity of a given text, whether the expressed opinion in a sentence is positive, negative, or neutral. In this post we will use a simple sentiment analysis library to analyze the sentiment of tweets.

His example uses the viracore/caroline library to do the actual analysis. He shows how to install it via Composer and how to make a sample checker, returning the score and the comparative ranking. With that working, he shows how to integrate it into the Twitter connection originally created in the first post, extracting tweets from his own timeline and returning their scores.

tagged: tutorial twitter sentiment positive negative afinn api oauth

Link: http://www.codediesel.com/social/sentiment-analysis-of-twitter-feeds/

Inviqa techPortal:
"Your code sucks" - Tips on giving feedback
Jul 25, 2014 @ 13:15:21

If you're a part of a development team anywhere, chances are at one point or another you've asked for someone else to take a look at your code and give their opinions. Maybe it was you looking over a coworker's latest addition and it was...somewhat lacking. How can you say it in a constructive and nice way? The Inviqa techPortal has some suggestions.

Feedback on performance matters. It not only maintains quality, refines and hones performance, but it can also improve morale and trust, and build relationships. It can stop minor problems from escalating into major capability issues. It’s something that every people manager or team leader should be doing as standard, and yet it’s so hard to get right. For some people, giving good feedback is easy. [...] Delivering negative feedback can be a tricky process so how do you give negative feedback, or (as the much hackneyed phrase would have it) “constructive” feedback?

The post includes a list of six things to think about as you provide feedback to other developers (and even as a manager to your employees). The list suggests things like making it timely, listening to their side of things and setting a plan for resolving the issue.

tagged: feedback tips code positive negative

Link: http://techportal.inviqa.com/2014/07/23/your-code-sucks-tips-on-giving-feedback-2/

Andrei Zmievski's Blog:
Bloom Filters Quickie
Apr 07, 2009 @ 12:13:01

Andrei Zmievski has written a new post about a new extension he's worked up (out of curiosity for the technology) - the pecl/bloomy extension.

A Bloom filter is a probabilistic data structure that can be used to answer a simple question, is the given element a member of a set? Now, this question can be answered via other means, such as hash table or binary search trees. But the thing about Bloom filters is that they are incredibly space-efficient when the number of potential elements in the set is large.

The filters allow false positives with a defined error rate - it gives the "yes" or "no" answer based on the content and you, the developer, decide if that answer falls within a rate that's okay for you and your app. The filters also take the same amount of time to look up items no matter how many are in the set.

He includes an example of the extension in use - defining the number of elements, the false positive allowance and adding/searching data and how the responses would come back from the checks.

tagged: bloom filter pecl extension example false positive rate data structure

Link:

Community News:
Andi Gutmans Responds to Zend Acquisition Rumors
May 21, 2008 @ 16:24:56

As mentioned by Ivo Jansch, Andi Gutmans (of Zend) responded to the recent speculation about a buyout of the company in his keynote address at this year's php|tek conference:

Andi explained the reason: they want to become cashflow positive, in order to remain independent. The news should be interpreted in a positive way, the future now looks bright, Zend products will not be affected and life goes on. An acquisition of Zend is not happening in the near future.

TechCrunch had suggested that the recent large amounts of layoffs could have been in an effort to ready the company for a buy out from one of many proposed major players.

tagged: zend andigutmans phptek2008 acquisition rumor cashflow positive

Link:

Internet Super Hero:
PHP: "mysqlnd is awesome"
Oct 03, 2007 @ 09:48:00

The Internet Super Hero blog happily notes that the PHP community thinks that "mysqlnd is awesome" and was one of the most desired features to be included in PHP 5.3.

Thanks everybody for your trust in mysqlnd and your support! We shall try not to disappoint you in the future and continue with the development. Of course, as the core feature mature more and more, we will try to spend time on implementing new, useful tricks and try to provide you with additional documentation, if time permits.

They also include a link to a forum entry from Jurgen Krieger who ran some tests via XDebug and determined that connection times dropped, query times dropped and there was less memory consumption overall gaining an average boost of 1000ms from a page.

tagged: mysqlnd community support response positive php5 native driver mysqlnd community support response positive php5 native driver

Link:

Internet Super Hero:
PHP: "mysqlnd is awesome"
Oct 03, 2007 @ 09:48:00

The Internet Super Hero blog happily notes that the PHP community thinks that "mysqlnd is awesome" and was one of the most desired features to be included in PHP 5.3.

Thanks everybody for your trust in mysqlnd and your support! We shall try not to disappoint you in the future and continue with the development. Of course, as the core feature mature more and more, we will try to spend time on implementing new, useful tricks and try to provide you with additional documentation, if time permits.

They also include a link to a forum entry from Jurgen Krieger who ran some tests via XDebug and determined that connection times dropped, query times dropped and there was less memory consumption overall gaining an average boost of 1000ms from a page.

tagged: mysqlnd community support response positive php5 native driver mysqlnd community support response positive php5 native driver

Link:

Jacob Santos' Blog:
Why SDO Doesn't Take Off
Aug 24, 2006 @ 09:47:09

In his latest, Jacob Santos asks the question more and more people are wanting to know - why hasn't SDO really taken off?

Developers will eventually start using it, it will take some time to go from the PHP way to SDO way. It would be easier to jump into SDO once better, more easily interpreted and simple to understand tutorials, code samples, and support is available. IBM tutorials are a little bit technical, with words and complex pictures (UML). Just give me code and explain how it works and let me run with the SDO scissors in my hand.

He talks about the contributions that both Zend and IBM have made to the effort and the lack of features (well, the duplication of current PHP features - XML and database functionality). He has a positive outlook for the overall future of the project, stating that:

I'm quite sure that enough PHP developers are going to embrace SDO in the coming years depending on the coverage it gets that IBM and Zend's investment will pay off in the end.
tagged: sdo service data objects xml database support future positive sdo service data objects xml database support future positive

Link:

Jacob Santos' Blog:
Why SDO Doesn't Take Off
Aug 24, 2006 @ 09:47:09

In his latest, Jacob Santos asks the question more and more people are wanting to know - why hasn't SDO really taken off?

Developers will eventually start using it, it will take some time to go from the PHP way to SDO way. It would be easier to jump into SDO once better, more easily interpreted and simple to understand tutorials, code samples, and support is available. IBM tutorials are a little bit technical, with words and complex pictures (UML). Just give me code and explain how it works and let me run with the SDO scissors in my hand.

He talks about the contributions that both Zend and IBM have made to the effort and the lack of features (well, the duplication of current PHP features - XML and database functionality). He has a positive outlook for the overall future of the project, stating that:

I'm quite sure that enough PHP developers are going to embrace SDO in the coming years depending on the coverage it gets that IBM and Zend's investment will pay off in the end.
tagged: sdo service data objects xml database support future positive sdo service data objects xml database support future positive

Link: