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Phil Sturgeon:
The Neverending Muppet Debate of PHP 6 v PHP 7
July 24, 2014 @ 10:18:14

Phil Sturgeon has posted about something he calls the "neverending muppet debate of PHP 6 versus PHP 7. As the PHP language moves forward, the PHP 5.x series is coming to a close. The discussion as started up whether to name it "PHP 6" or "PHP 7" and both sides have their proponents.

There are a few major, important conversations happening in the PHP internals mailing list as we speak: The Facebook lot heading up a specification based off of PHP 5.6 Should phpng be moved into master to be the base of the next major PHP version How can we best go about scalar typehinting? There is also another conversation: Should it be PHP 6 or PHP 7 Wait... what?

He goes on to provide a little context, pointing out that back in 2010 PHP 6 was being slated for release as the next major version of the language (this was around the PHP 5.2 days). Unfortunately, it stalled out and some of what was planned went into PHP 5.3. This didn't stop publishers from releasing books and articles about "PHP 6" though. It's already being put up for a vote with "PHP 7" pulling ahead. Phil also includes more context around the discussions, sharing the main points of each side and snippets from the RFC and mailing list thread currently ongoing.

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debate php6 php7 naming internals rfc version

Link: http://philsturgeon.uk/blog/2014/07/neverending-muppet-debate-of-php-6-v-php-7

Daniel Cousineau:
PHPRFC Internals Logo
July 23, 2014 @ 09:32:56

As anyone who subscribes to the php.internals mailing list knows, there can be a lot of drama around some of the discussions for the future of the language, both in its features and surrounding technical concerns. Daniel Cousineau has posted a lighter take on some of this drama and is issuing his own "RFC" for a proposed mascot for internals - the DramaLlama.

Branding and PR is an increasingly important factor in programming language viability and adoption. Visible instability in the core team is off-putting to large organizations who depend on long term reliability and support and only encourages them to look to languages and tools with more stable and professional core teams. This RFC proposes that the PHP core team get ahead of the issue and introduce a logo, separate from the public facing project, to provide a sense of professionalism that is lacking. I humbly submit the DramaLlama as the superior candidate.

His proposed mascot, shown here, bears the PHP logo on the side of a cartoon purple llama. As Daniel puts it, the llama is a "proud, capable animal" that can deal with a lot and still stand up under a heavy burden.

By not adopting a logo, the PHP core team risks losing the respect and trust of the end user community. However it could be argued that the core team has survived without this and could do so indefinitely.

The post is practically dripping with sarcasm, but it's a good mood-lightener around some of the drama that can come from the clash of multiple personalities in the PHP internals community.

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rfc internals logo funny llama dramallama mailing list

Link: http://dcousineau.com/blog/2014/07/22/phprfc-internals-logo/

Derick Rethans:
No to a Uniform Variable Syntax
July 17, 2014 @ 09:32:15

There's been an RFC that's recently made it through the voting process and was approved for inclusion in PHP6, the uniform variable syntax handling. When these changes are put into effect, some of the odd syntax you had to use for things like variable variables will be cleared up and standardized. However, Derick Rethans stood out as the only "no" vote, here's why...

As you might have heard, PHP developers voted on an RFC called "Uniform Variable Syntax". This RFC "proposes the introduction of an internally consistent and complete variable syntax". In general, this RFC argues for making PHP's parser more complete for all sorts of variable dereferences. [...] Thirty people voted for, and one against: Me. Does that mean that I am against a unified variable syntax? No, I am not. I am actually quite a fan of having a consistent language, but we need to be careful when this hits existing users.

He points out that there's known backwards compatibility breaks in the changes and this breaks the semantics of the language. While the BC breaks are understood, Derick suggests that this is one of the worst changes a language can make: "...and this is exactly why people whine that PHP breaks BC and does not care about its users".

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rfc uniform variable syntax against vote semantics language

Link: http://derickrethans.nl/uniform-variable-syntax.html

Three Devs & A Maybe Podcast:
The PHP-FIG/RFC, CodeIgniter 3 and PyroCMS with Phil Sturgeon
June 16, 2014 @ 09:42:13

The Three Devs & A Maybe podcast has released a new episode, #29 - The PHP-FIG/RFC, CodeIgniter 3 and PyroCMS with Phil Sturgeon with (obviously) guest Phil Sturgeon.

This week we are lucky to have the one n' only Phil Sturgeon on the show. Starting off conversation with how he got into programming, we move on to his time using and contributing to the CodeIngiter and FuelPHP projects. This leads us on to discuss the current status of CodeIgniter 3.0 and his experiences with porting PyroCMS to Laravel. Among other things we then touch upon the 'Wordpress positive feedback loop', the PHP-FIG (Framework Interop Group) and the PHP-RFC (Request for Comments) process. We wrap up the show with some sound and interesting advice to any budding/new developer.

Besides Phil's own background and PyroCMS they also talk about CodeIgniter, PHP: The Right Way, methods on primitive types and PHPBridge. You can listen to this episode either using the in-page player or by downloading the mp3. You can also subscribe to their feed for this and other great shows.

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threedevsandamaybe podcast ep29 phpfig rfc codeigniter philsturgeon

Link: http://threedevsandamaybe.com/posts/the-php-fig-rfc-codeigniter-3-and-pyrocms-with-phil-sturgeon/

Evert Pot:
HTTP/1.1 just got a major update.
June 10, 2014 @ 11:23:57

While not specific to PHP, the HTTP specification that defines how web applications talk has gotten a major update in its latest version. In his latest post Evert Pot summarizes some of these changes and how they'll impact the work you're doing.

The IETF just published several new RFCs that update HTTP/1.1 [...] These documents make the original specification for HTTP/1.1 obsolete. As a HTTP geek, this is a big deal.

These new RFCs include definitions of standards around message syntax and routing, conditional requests, authentication, the 308 status code and the forwarded HTTP extension. Evert gets into the details of some of the changes, pointing out the major changes first and places where ambiguity has been resolved. He also includes a list of other "interesting things that have changed" in these new specs including clarifications around dealing with unexpected whitespace, the removal of the default charset of ISO-8859-1 and that the 204, 404, 405, 414 and 501 status codes are now cacheable.

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http11 http specification rfc update summary

Link: http://evertpot.com/http-11-updated/

Pádraic Brady:
PHP 5.6 and SSL/TLS Getting Better But Will PHP Programmers Actually Use It?
January 31, 2014 @ 11:24:32

In his latest post Pádraic Brady looks at a new addition to PHP (well, to be included in the next release) related to the SSL/TLS handling it provides in streams. He's happy to report that things are improving. This commit integrated an RFC allowing for TLS perr verification in PHP streams.

The RFC reverses PHP's course and provides PHP streams with defaults that enable both peer verification and host verification. The patch implements the RFC and it lets PHP leverage the local system's own certificate stash (e.g. Debian's ca-certificates) where possible to avoid PHP having to distribute a bundle of its own and while also assisting in backwards compatibility. [...] Once we have a PHP streams/sockets system with a passable level of default security, the rest will be left to programmers on the ground to change their practices.

With this new functionality coming in PHP 5.6, he strongly encourages developers to change how they're currently doing things and embrace this new verification to keep their code safer.

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ssl tls php56 programmer peer verification rfc

Link: http://blog.astrumfutura.com/2014/01/php-5-6-and-ssltls-getting-better-but-will-php-programmers-actually-use-it/

PHP Town Hall:
Episode 12 Awesome RFCs and Yolo
September 12, 2013 @ 11:54:43

The PHP Town Hall podcast has released their latest episode, #12, Awesome RFCs and YOLO:

Silex and PHP contributor Igor Wiedler joins Ben and Phil to talk about his recently accepted RFC: Importing namespaced functions along with a bunch of other super-nerdy things that he has been working on.

There's also mentions of other RFCs like the variadics and argument unpacking proposals. You can listen to this latest episode either through the in-page player or by downloading it directly. You can also subscribe to their feed to get the latest episodes.

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ep12 rfc yolo igorwiedler podcast phptownhall

Link: http://phptownhall.com//blog/2013/09/11/episode-12-function-autoloading/

Phil Sturgeon:
Potential Variadic Function Syntax for PHP 5.6
September 03, 2013 @ 11:55:37

Phil Sturgeon has another post to his site about a recently proposed RFC for PHP. This time it's about implementing a variadic function syntax in the language. This kind of handling would allow for a variable number of parameters on a function/method and not having to use func_get_args to pull in the list.

An awesome RFC popped up the other day: Syntax for variadic functions, developed by Nikita Popov. I read through it and I loved it, but I did have to Google to see what the hell a variadic function was. This is what happens when you teach yourself how to code. You know how to do things, but don't know any of the words. Variadic functions are already possible in PHP and have been throughout 4.x and 5.x in the form of func_get_args(), which is pretty gross.

He includes an example of how it would work and some of the pros and cons of implementing it in the language including:

  • Type hinting (pro)
  • Argument unpacking (con)
  • Easier documentation in docblocks (pro)
  • Keeping up with the "Joneses" (con)
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variadic function syntax rfc proposal

Link: http://philsturgeon.co.uk/blog/2013/08/potential-variadic-function-syntax-for-php-56

Phil Sturgeon:
Named Parameters in PHP
September 02, 2013 @ 10:52:40

in a new post to his site Phil Sturgeon talks about a new (old?) proposal to introduce named parameters into PHP.

Named Parameters for PHP is not a new conversation. It's reared its head several times - so much so that the named parameters RFC says: "Since the topic continually gets re-raised, and now PHP has an RFC process, the discussion should be recorded in an RFC (Note this is yet to be done) so the same arguments don't have to be revisited."

He notes the negative attitude that seems to currently be shown in the RFC and has made the offer to rewrite it to be more impartial to the subject at hand. In the comments of the post there's also some feedback about the different syntaxes and varying levels of support for the proposal.

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named parameter language feature rfc rewrite

Link: http://philsturgeon.co.uk/blog/2013/09/named-parameters-in-php

PHPClasses.org:
26 Ways to Show that PHP Can Be Better Than PHP
March 21, 2013 @ 11:14:33

In a new blog post on PHPClasses.org today Manuel Lemos has gathered together some of the things that PHP doesn't have (yet). Most of them are things that developers have expressed a desire for in the core and either have yet to make it into a RFC or are still just being implemented in "userland" code.

The PHP development process is still a bit frustrating. Many developers hoped that PHP had certain features but those are still missing due to several reasons. One way to see those features happen is to write code to implement the features and then submit the code to the PHP core. However that is not a guaranteed process. Even if you provide the necessary code, other developers may object to the addition of those features and the effort is wasted.

Among the things he lists as features that are desired but not implemented yet are things like:

  • Aspect oriented programming
  • Annotations
  • Class generics
  • Introspection of private variables and functions
  • Named parameters

There's a summary of each of the features mentioned and in some cases links to RFCs that presented the same ideas. If you're interested in presenting your own ideas to the PHP project for inclusion, you can "demystify" the RFC process by checking out this post from Chris Jones with lots of good suggestions and the flow of how the process (usually) works.

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language better rfc feature proposal missing



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