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7PHP.com:
The PHP Community Is Also About Promoting Lifestyle Changes & Nurturing Healthy Habits
March 23, 2015 @ 10:11:25

In this new post on 7PHP.com they interview Yitzchok Willroth (aka famous PHP Rockstar - Coderabbi - came with an idea which is The #BiggestLoserPHP15 Challenge!

In the interview Yitz talks some about his background in the PHP community and some of his conference speaking. They then get into the "Biggest Loser" project and where the idea for it came from. He talks about his own motivations for starting the project, when the challenge ends and how the competition works.

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community health biggestloserphp15 yitzchokwillroth coderabbi project

Link: http://7php.com/biggestloserphp15/

Paul Jones:
Bookdown DocBook-Like HTML Output From Markdown
March 05, 2015 @ 10:49:27

Paul Jones has posted about a new tool he's worked up specifically for authors looking to write using Markdown and wanting it to generate out like DocBook results. His tool, Bookdown, uses Markdown and JSON files instead of XML configurations.

Yes, I know, there's a ton of static site generators for PHP out there already [...but they're] not DocBook-like documentation. By "DocBook-like", I mean (among other things) numbered headers, auto-generated tables-of-contents on their own pages, hierarchical multi-page presentation, and the next/previous/up linking at the top and bottom of pages.

[...] So: Bookdown. This scratches my particular itch, with very few dependencies. Bookdown, although it can be used as a site generator, is only incidentally a site generator. What it really is is a page generator, with the idea that you can integrate the pages into any other site you want.

The library is separate from the project and is written to use a dependency injection methodology to keep things decoupled and well-structured. If this sounds interesting either for personal use or if you'd like to check out the code, head over to the project site for more information.

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markdown bookdown library project docbook output static generator

Link: http://paul-m-jones.com/archives/6088

Community News:
Gophp7-ext Project
February 27, 2015 @ 12:39:00

The GoPHP7 project has posted their initiative to try to improve the world of PHP for extensions and make them "first class citizens of the PHP community".

The goals of gophp7(ext) [are to]: get PHP extensions running "out of the box" when PHP7 is released (no lag time), make extensions in general easier to install and use (binaries, ppas), get more people involved in extension maintenance (and travis/appveyor running on them all, killing off bugs), get more documentation written for extension writing and codify some of the "best practices" of extension writing and design (a la PSR).

They're asking for help from anyone interested, even if you don't know C (what PHP extensions are written in). The project asks for just 30 minutes a day to help achieve their goals. The page also lists out the different ways you can help including cataloging the work that needs to be done on the catalog page and working on the development systems for PHP7 to make working with the extensions easier.

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gotphp7 extension project involvement community

Link: http://gophp7.org/gophp7-ext/

Magenticians:
On Magento 2 being "open source" - the post-mortem
February 23, 2015 @ 10:12:02

On the Magenticians site there's a new post that provides an update of sorts, a post-mortem really, about their opinion of the "open source-ness" of the Magento product and project.

Little less than four months ago, we published an opinion-piece regarding Magento 2 and why we thought it wasn't really holding up to the mindset of being an open source project. In four months, a lot has changed. [...] Magento 2 was (and still is) being marketed as a new platform which not only refreshes the entire code base, but also improves handling of the community its feedback and involvement. [...] Most of the original critique was therefore that, though by definition Magento 2 is an open source project, all the rest which should naturally come with "being open source", severely lacked. It is one of our best read articles and linked from a dozen of websites; a timely status update is in its place.

They go on to update some of their original comments and note that things "feel more like open source" with changes including direct pushes to GitHub (not mirrored) and better external communication. They point out a few other smaller things including their developer hub, updated developer documentation and more informative blog posts about the project/project.

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magento opensource postmorten improvements opinion project product

Link: http://magenticians.com/magento-2-open-source-post-mortem

Mathias Verraes:
Economy of Tests
January 05, 2015 @ 11:48:02

Expanding on the previous post about how much testing may be too much, they're back with another post in the series, this time focusing on the "economy of tests". This time Mathias is joined by Konstantin Kudryashov as a co-author.

A common complaint with teams that first try their hand at automated testing, is that it is hard, costly, and not worth the effort. On the other hand, supporters say that it saves them time. In this post, we'll try to add some nuance to the discussion. We'll take a look at how different levels of automated testing affect the cost of development, both in the short and the long term, for both greenfield and brownfield projects. Finally, we'll look at a simple strategy for introducing tests and migrating them across test levels, in order to reduce maintenance costs.

They start with some baseline definitions so everyone's on the same page - unit test, integration testing and system testing. The article also covers some of the basic kinds of testing metrics including execution speed, fragility and understandability. It then moves on and looks at the other major final factor in the overall cost of testing, the age of the project (new vs existing). He mentions the Testing Pyramid, how it's recommended to migrate tests and some of the common opposing forces to the test migration/creation.

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unittest testing economy existing new project definition pyramid

Link: http://verraes.net/2015/01/economy-of-tests/

Anthony Ferrara:
On PHP Version Requirements
December 22, 2014 @ 10:13:59

In his latest post Anthony Ferrara talks about PHP version requirements and how it's a bit of "chicken and egg" problem. If hosting providers are slow adopting even PHP 5.4, can we realistically bump up the minimum to PHP 5.4+ and potentially shun users not at that level yet?

Most people agreed with me [saying new software with a PHP requirement <= 5.2 is beyond irresponsible, it's negligent], saying that not targeting 5.4 or higher is bad. But some disagreed. Some disagreed strongly. So, I want to talk about that.

[...] Now, these are pretty interesting arguments. It boils down to making the logical argument that if hosts don't support 5.4+, then moving to require 5.4+ would leave the users who use those hosts abandoned. And some projects don't want to abandon users. It's a warm and logical idea; Open your arms to everyone, and include them all. Don't leave anyone behind. Really, it's a good argument. The problem is, is it based on a flawed premise...?

He suggests that it sounds somewhat like an appeal to emotion and that by enforcing a bump up like this would be "abandoning the users". He gets into some of the statistics he worked up regarding PHP versions, WordPress usage and how, because of these large numbers, hosting companies would make the move if only for business reasons. He talks about the "Go PHP5" initiative and the impact it made on versions supported across the board. He also looks at some of the reasons why keeping up with these versions is good for the hosting companies too: security, education of users and the new features that come with later versions.

So I put this to you, WordPress, CodeIgniter and every other CMS and Framework still supporting PHP 5.2 and 5.3 (and earlier versions): Step up and lead. Step up and be the change you want to see. Don't follow and react, lead and be proactive. After all, if we can move forward together, we can all benefit. But if we walk separate paths, we build walls and we all lose...
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version requirements opinion hosting project support

Link: http://blog.ircmaxell.com/2014/12/on-php-version-requirements.html

SitePoint PHP Blog:
More Useful Jenkins Plugins for PHP Projects
December 08, 2014 @ 13:27:32

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted the latest article in their Jenkins + PHP tutorial series (part four) with a look at some other useful plugins for use in your projects.

In the previous articles in this series, we set up Jenkins and our project and did an analysis of the first few builds. So far, we have seen interesting results come back regarding the quality of our project. In this article, we are going to take a look at some more tools and plugins which we can use for inspecting the front end assets.

The list includes tools for evaluating a wide range of technologies involved in web development like:

  • CSSLint
  • JSHint
  • Open tasks (aka @todo)

Each tool has an example of what the output looks like and how to integrate it into the Phing build and in the Jenkins setup.

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jenkins plugin useful list project tutorial

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/useful-jenkins-plugins-php-projects/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Analyzing a PHP Project with Jenkins
December 05, 2014 @ 10:58:32

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted the latest part in their Jenkins+PHP series today. In this new article (the final part in the series) they use the Jenkins setup they've walked you through already and actually run the analysis on the PHP project and the resulting information.

The results of Jenkins come from different tools and will be placed in different locations within the Jenkins GUI. [...] Within this article, we will be going through each tool and have a look at what it reports back to us. In the end, we will also look at some extra details Jenkins collects for us. Since we build the same project several times, we will get straight lines within our graphs. In a real project, the graph would fluctuate.

He goes through some examples of the results from his analysis including screenshots and explanations for:

  • PHP_CodeSniffer
  • PHP MD (Mess Detector)
  • PHP CPD (Copy & Paste Detector)
  • PHP Depend
  • PHPLOC (Lines Of Code)
  • PHPUnit
  • PHPDox

He also briefly mentions the "changes" information, showing you what changed in that particular build to help narrow down any issues that might have come up.

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tutorial jenkins project analysis report output

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/analyzing-php-project-jenkins/

Community News:
Do You Know PHP? (Quiz)
November 19, 2014 @ 10:53:23

Think you know a lot about PHP? Well, the folks at PHP Weekly and mogosselin have put together a fun little quiz you can use to see just how much you know your favorite language.

Question topics cover things like:

  • Notable people in PHP's past
  • "Meta" about the language itself
  • The future of the language
  • Projects from around the PHP community
  • PHP security topics
  • Plenty of tricky code questions

...and that's all the hints you're going to get. Go over and test out your knowledge and see how you rank against the other developers taking on the challenge!

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quiz fun language history future project questions results

Link: http://markonphp.com/php-quiz-2014/

Symfony Blog:
Introducing the Symfony Marketplace
November 13, 2014 @ 11:05:22

On the Symfony blog today they've announced what they call the Symfony Marketplace, a resource to locate products and services, all related to Symfony.

Today we are thrilled to introduce the new and long-awaited Marketplace section on symfony.com website. The Symfony Marketplace is a directory of products and services related to Symfony and its ecosystem. [...] We envisioned this marketplace for the first time when we launched Symfony 2.0. Thanks to the recent boom of Symfony related services and applications, the marketplace is now a reality.

Currently they have around 45 projects (open source and commercial) and tools that are popular in the Symfony community. There's also links to several Symfony-friendly services out there including Microsoft Azure and Platform.sh. Sound interesting? Be sure to check it out or find out how to get your projects/product/service added to the lists.

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symfony community marketplace project service product

Link: http://symfony.com/blog/introducing-the-symfony-marketplace


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