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Till Klampaeckel:
Speeding up composer on AWS OpsWorks
October 09, 2013 @ 12:10:25

Till Klampaeckel has a new post today showing how to get your Composer installation (and package install) to work a bit faster on the Amazon AWS OpsWorks management system.

At EasyBib, we're heavy users of composer and AWS OpsWorks. Since we recently moved a lot of our applications to a continuous deployment model, the benefits of speeding up the deployment process (~4-5 minutes) became more obvious.

He talks some about the current needs of their deployment process and how one option - symlinking the "vendors" directory just wouldn't work. Instead, they make use of Ruby and Chef to work with the OpsWorks hook system that fire on deployment. He includes the example Ruby scripts they put in place to handle "before migrate", "before symlink", "before restart" and "after restart" events. This new setup saved them about two to three minutes on their total deployment time and resulted in a much more stable environment.

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Link: http://till.klampaeckel.de/blog/archives/202-Speeding-up-composer-on-AWS-OpsWorks.html

Adam Bard:
The Same App 4 Times PHP vs Python vs Ruby vs Clojure
March 27, 2013 @ 09:13:35

Adam Bard has written up a post that takes the same small application (a "Nurblizer") and writes it as a web application in four different languages - PHP, Python, Ruby and Clojure. His point is less about which is "best" but more to show the differences between them.

Here's a toy program I wrote implemented in PHP, Python, Ruby, and Clojure. I hope it's helpful for someone who knows at least one of those and wants to learn another. The program is called "Nurblizer", and it does one thing: Accept free-form text, and attempt to replace all words but the nouns in said text with the word "nurble". It's up and running at http://nurblizer.herokuapp.com

He includes the source for each language's version using Sinatra for Ruby and Flask for Python but for PHP and Clojure it's just straight code. For each he briefly explains what its doing and a bit about how it relates to the examples from the other languages. He also points out a Hacker News discussion that's popped up about the examples.

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/Dev/Hell Podcast:
Episode 28 Canadian Twinkie Smuggler
February 18, 2013 @ 12:33:42

The /Dev/Hell podcast, as hosted by PHP community members Chris Hartjes and Ed Finkler, has posted their latest episode - Episode 28, "Canadian Twinkie Smuggler".

You can blame Chris's tomfoolery for how crappy he sounds, because his computer pooped all over himself and he had to call in on his iPhone. Nevertheless, we were able to discuss in detail the smuggling of mass-produced pastries of the Twinkie and Tastykake varieties. We also get framework security in the context of recent Rails vulnerabilities, and how PHP developers seem to have a heightened awareness of potential vulnerabilities. Ed's details his experiences starting a local user group, and then discusses his efforts to speak at developer/tech conferences about his struggles with mental illness.

You can listen to this latest episode either through the in-page player, by downloading the mp3 directly or by subscribing to their feed and getting this and other recent episodes.

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Lee Blue:
PHP vs Ruby 2012 Year End Review
November 07, 2012 @ 13:35:56

In this new post Lee Blue has gone through and compared Ruby and PHP in a "year end review" of their current statuses and what each of them have to offer:

Now that I've been working with Ruby in much more depth and both PHP and Ruby have matured dramatically over the past five years it is time to reevaluate the comparison. The previous article was primarily centered around the languages themselves and was not a showdown between any particular frameworks. In this review we will touch a bit more on frameworks, but in the context of a high level review of the two different landscapes of PHP vs Ruby for web development. We will not be getting down to feature-by-feature detail.

He talks a bit about the history and purpose of each of the languages and a good bit about the web frameworks that are available for each (hint: the PHP options are quite a bit more). He also talks about web hosting vs web application hosting and then compares the two languages with a "score card".

The bottom line, as always, is pick the solution that is right for you and your development team. My hope is that this article was helpful in shedding some light on the strengths of both PHP and Ruby, spreading the word about what is available to both languages, and helping you decide what is right for your next project.
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NetTuts.com:
Automatic Testing for TDD with PHP
August 24, 2012 @ 09:09:04

If you practice the TDD (test-driven development) methodology in your work, you know that sometimes switching back and forth between a terminal and your IDE can be distracting. In this new tutorial from NetTuts.com, they show you how to streamline things a bit with a simple Ruby script.

Traditional test-driven development can, at times, be cumbersome. You have to stop writing code in order to run your tests. Luckily, there are solutions, which provide the ability to automatically run your tests as you code. In this tutorial, you will learn how to use a Ruby gem, called watchr, to monitor your code and automatically run the appropriate tests whenever you save your work.

The IDE doesn't matter in this case because the "watchr" tool keeps an eye on when things change in the watched directory and automatically fires off a script when it sees an update. They include the few short lines of Ruby to make it all happen and even have the "notify-send" command built in to give you a popup about the pass/fail status.

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DZone.com:
The standard PHP setup
April 17, 2012 @ 10:10:54

On DZone.com Giorgio Sironi shares what he describes as his "standard PHP setup" - the tools and standards he commonly uses when developing his projects.

Last week I passed a day speeding up a Java and Ruby oriented team which started developing a PHP application: not only a standard project structure was required, but also some hints on the default tools and process to work with it. Here's what I thought was crucial during the setup, based on the question of my Rubyist colleague. Of course one of the most visible differences is the language itself, but there is a lot more tacit knowledge to share.

Things mentioned in the post include: development tools (like IDEs), the language itself and similarities to other languages, a standardized project setup, a good testing methodology and a bit of discussion about using external libraries.

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Dave Gardner's Blog:
PHP Deployment with Capistrano
February 15, 2012 @ 12:11:10

Dave Gardner has put together a guide to deploying PHP applications with the help of Capistrano, a Ruby-based deployment tool (including some example "recipes").

Capistrano is written in Ruby and offers up a basic DSL from which you can craft quite flexible deployment scripts. [...] That said, it's very flexible. In my current setup I have it deploying to multiple environments (dev, staging, production), building code (think Phing), running tests on the servers before finalising the deploy and then restarting worker processes on completion.

He starts by introducing some of the commands that you can perform with the "cap" command line client and links to an example PHP project structure you cn base your deployment off of. He also includes a bit about multi-stage deployments, tag (version) selection and the full source of his build script.

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Wojciech Sznapka's Blog:
Always use most latest versions for benchmarks
January 26, 2012 @ 10:13:35

In response to some criticism about his previous post with some framework benchmarks, Wojciech Sznapka has posted updated results using the latest versions of each framework.

In my previous post Modern framework comparison I presented performance tests, which compared Ruby On Rails, Django and Symfony2. After recieving a feedback in comments I decided to run this benchmark one more time on my own laptop (instead of on my hosting). The reason was simple: enviroment was outdated.

There were some overall performance increases were seen, but some statistics were higher - the "time per request" for all of them grew, some by quite a bit. He presents these benchmarks with a caveat, though:

You should never choose framework based on benchmarks. Those shows them from one point of view, but there are plenty of other aspects, such as support, community, maturity, number of ready to use components.
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Udemy Blog:
Code Wars PHP vs Ruby vs Python - Who Reigns Supreme [Infographic]
January 11, 2012 @ 13:13:29

On the Udemy blog there's a new post with a large infographic showing "who reigns supreme" comparing Ruby, Python and PHP (don't worry, this isn't flamebait...it's actual good stats comparing the state of these three languages).

Just as the Japanese, Spanish and French languages are uniquely different, programming languages also have their variations, some more popular and easier to use than others. With the recent introduction of some new ones, there is a 'war' of modern day languages. What's easier and faster to use is not always the best option.

The graphic includes stats like:

  • Usability ratings
  • Popularity in the TIOBE index
  • How much it's discussed (from the IEEE Spectrum, IRC)
  • The number of open job postings
  • Average run time/lines of code

Check out the full post for more interesting data.

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war language python ruby compare statistics infographic


NetTuts.com:
Easy Package Management for CodeIgniter with Sparks
November 25, 2011 @ 11:00:51

On NetTuts.com today there's a new tutorial showing off a package management system for the CodeIgniter framework, Sparks, that makes installing and using packages similar to Ruby's gems.

Sparks is a new package-management system for CodeIgniter that extends the core with support for gem-like sparks. This tutorial interweaves an entry-level overview of the architecture and usage of the sparks system with the creation of dovecote-a simple spark for managing RSS data.

The tutorial introduces you to the Sparks system and helps you get it installed and configured to work with a first basic package - a dovecote example. He helps organize and write the first spark as well as set up any dependencies and autoloading it might need. He follows this by adding some functionality to the package to make pushing output to the view simpler.

You can download the source for the complete tutorial's code.

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