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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

Peter Petermann:
Building better project skeletons with Composer
November 06, 2014 @ 11:26:54

Peter Petermann has (re)posted an article he wrote about building better project skeletons with Composer and automate the process to make your life easier.

The more you use modern frameworks and the more modular you build your PHP applications, the more likely you'll use a skeleton (or template) for creating new projects. In fact, most of the better known frameworks provide skeletons for you to bootstrap your application with. Those skeletons are great to get started, but it's very likely you'll have your own stack of composer packages that you integrate in each project after a while. Each skeleton will be slightly different, so you'll likely fork your own. This article is meant to provide you with an understanding on how to build a skeleton that will allow you to automate things as far as possible.

He starts with some of the basics, both in the terminology that will be used in the article and a little bit about projects in Composer. He shows how the Zend Framework 2 project makes uses of a built-in "composer.phar" file to make bootstrapping easier but soon asks how it could be improved. The answer comes in the form of Composer's own "create-project" functionality (with a few additions, like cleanup scripts run after the fact). He then gets into building his own custom skeleton that includes a custom post-create-project cleanup script, templates for static files (README, CHANGELOG, etc) and a basic "composer.json" configuration for the end result.

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tutorial custom project skeleton composer application

Link: http://devedge.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/building-better-project-skeletons-with-composer-2/

Michael Kimsal:
Is your code portable to subfolders?
September 02, 2014 @ 09:12:53

In a quick new post to his site Michael Kimsal asks an interesting question that some PHP developers don't think about in the course of their development: "Is your code portable to subfolders?.

Have been dealing with a couple of PHP projects recently which have been a far bigger pain in the backside than I anticipated, and both had some of the same stumbling blocks. In both cases, and in other projects I've seen, there's a huge assumption that the code will be run from the root of a domain, and all url and routing management have this assumption baked in to everything they touch. What's the answer?

Some projects just suggest making a new virtual host in the web server configuration and moving on, but this isn't always a real possibility for some projects. In some recent experience, he's found several of the major PHP frameworks assume this kind of setup. He mentions a Java framework, Spring, that allows for this kind of redirect and wonders why it's not that easy in something like Slim.

Maybe try grabbing your own code sometime and reinstalling it in a 'non-traditional' way, and see how many assumptions you've baked in are really necessary, vs just using defaults.
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subfolder project portable framework

Link: http://michaelkimsal.com/blog/is-your-code-portable-to-subfolders/

Anthony Ferrara:
Introducing Recki-CT
September 01, 2014 @ 10:56:46

Anthony Ferrara has introduced an interesting new tool in his most recent post, a compiler toolkit for PHP: Recki-CT.

Over 1.5 years ago, I introduced PHPPHP to the world. It was the first implementation of the PHP language written in PHP itself. But PHPPHP suffered from a few problems which relegated it to toy status (such as performance). Today, I get to introduce you to another implementation of PHP, written in PHP. But this one is no toy. This one... This one is fun...

He goes on to introduce the tool, pointing out what it is (and isn't) and how it compiles the PHP down into machine code. He covers the difference between it and things like HHVM and some benchmarks on how fast the resulting code performs. He also gives some thanks to people who helped him along the way (as well as sone of the projects it relies on). If you're interested in finding out more, check out the project's GitHub page for complete info and the latest version.

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reckict project compile language phpphp

Link: http://blog.ircmaxell.com/2014/08/introducing-recki-ct.html

Engine Yard Blog:
Engine Yard Is Sponsoring Composer
August 27, 2014 @ 11:50:24

According to this new post to the EngineYard blog, they're announcing their formal sponsorship of a tool that has revolutionized the way PHP libraries and packages are used: Composer.

Open source is a big deal at Engine Yard. Originally founded as a Ruby company, most of our early work was in the Ruby community. Since acquiring Orchestra in 2011, we have been investing in the PHP commmunity and are continually on the look out for ways to give back. So I'm thrilled to be sharing the latest news on this front. [...] We care a lot about PHP and we want to continue our mission of supporting key pieces of infrastructure in the communities we serve.

Their support is coming in the form of a community grant provided over the next twelve months. This fund ($15k) will provide support for the continued development of the project and Nils Adermann, one of Composer's principal developers.

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engineyard sponsor composer communitygrant project

Link: https://blog.engineyard.com/2014/engine-yard-sponsoring-composer


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