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SitePoint PHP Blog:
Becoming a PHP Professional Social aspects of teamwork
December 17, 2013 @ 14:16:31

Bruno Skvorc has posted his latest article in his "Becoming a PHP Professional" series to the SitePoint PHP blog today. This time he talks about the social aspects of teamwork, a look at three things to consider to make working on a team easier regardless of the size.

This article will focus on social aspects of teamwork and initiative, and will serve as an introduction into a more concrete and practical teamwork based article coming soon. t's important to note that when I say teamwork, I don't only mean teams while working for a larger entity - a corporation or company in which you're a minor sub-group. A team is also a group of freelancers working together on a project - either close by, or remotely. Whenever you work with someone in any capacity whatsoever - that's a team. A loose team, but a team nonetheless.

He makes three suggestions that can help you figure out how to interact with people both in your immediate team and those outside of it:

  • Knowing your role
  • Giving respect to superiors (to a degree)
  • Don't be afraid to leave
What I'd like you to take away from this part is - don't be a slave of circumstance. Be courteous, professional and honest, but don't be afraid to leave a poisonous environment - it harms you, the people who love and support you, and finally, the project you're working on.
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professional developer series part3 social aspects teamwork

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/becoming-php-professional-social-aspects-teamwork/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Social Network Style Posting with PHP, MongoDB and jQuery - part 2
November 19, 2013 @ 13:55:17

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted the second part of their series about the creation of a simple comment posting social site based on PHP, MongoDB and jQuery. In this second part they build on the structure from part one and add in posting and "liking".

In the previous part of the series, we explained the database architecture, post stream design and application flow required for developing our post mechanism wherein the user will be able to post a status, like/unlike other people's statuses and comment on them. This part of the series will drive you through the coding required to implement these functionalities. We will use the application flow and database structure as discussed in the last article. Don't forget to download the code from the github repo if you'd like to follow along.

First he shows you how to get new posts added to the database, POSTed to the backend PHP script. He also shows how to insert the contents back into the page and pull out the latest posts. Next up is the like/unlike-ing of the posts, handled by a simple submission to another backend script.

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tutorial mongodb social post jquery

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/social-network-style-posting-php-mongodb-jquery-part-2/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Social Network Style Posting with PHP, MongoDB and jQuery - part 1
November 15, 2013 @ 09:09:43

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new tutorial posted today kicking off a series about creating a "social network style posting" application that combines PHP, MongoDB and jQuery that feels similar to a nested commenting system you'd see on most social sites.

Post mechanisms similar to Facebook are nowadays very common within any application. The concept of Post-Like-Comment is familiar to everyone who ever used a social network. In this article, we will learn how to create a similar working model wherein the user will be able to post his status, like posts and comment on them. What's more interesting is that after learning things from this article, going forward you will be able to implement a lot of other features on your own.

In this first part of the series they start you off with the base code and introduce you to how the data is stored. They also walk you through how the "stream" part of the code works and the tracking of the current user. From there, there's a brief look at how to pull out the comments and display them to the page.

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social post tutorial mongodb jquery part1 series

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/social-network-style-posting-php-mongodb-jquery-part-1/

Stefan Koopmanschap:
How to Get the Most Out of a Conference
November 01, 2013 @ 12:49:51

Stefan Koopmanschap recently posted a great new article about how you can get the most out of conferences and what they have to offer besides just the sessions.

At the most excellent PHPNW conference, Kat convinced me to deliver the first unconference talk of the day. It took me a while to get the right topic. I ended up with a topic I felt everyone at the conference could use for the rest of the two days that they were there: How to get the most out of a conference. For those that were not there, I want to try and put my unconference talk into a blogpost, so that everyone can use this information for their next conference.

He's broken it down into a few different major topics including the obvious "learn from the best" as well as:

  • Learn and meet the best
  • Find your new colleagues (or new friends)
  • The backchannels
  • Hack away! (at hackathons)

He also makes a great recommendation about providing feedback - not only is it important to the conference to let them know they've done a good job, but also to the speakers to help improve their skills.

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conference advice learn colleagues friends social feedback hackathon involvement

Link: http://leftontheweb.com/blog/2013/10/25/How_to_get_the_most_out_of_a_conference/

PHPMaster.com:
Manage Complexity with the Facade Pattern
June 11, 2013 @ 11:54:25

On PHPMaster.com today a new tutorial has been posted about using the Facade design pattern to help reduce the complexity of your application. It can help interface between other pieces of code an make using them simpler (a "facade" on top of them).

Design patterns are built to standardize solutions for common problems faced in software development. [...] Facade is a design pattern used in almost every web application, but often without knowing. The term "design pattern" creates a mental image of something complex and difficult to understand. Even though this can be true sometimes, the Facade pattern is simple to implementation. Let's see what Facade is and what it does to help us write good code.

A simple example is given to help make the concept of a facade clearer - the process behind borrowing a book. As borrowing and returning a book could involve multiple library types, they use a facade to provide a common interface to all of them. With the concrete example in place, they then move on to the official definition of the pattern and two more "real world" examples: authentication against multiple social networks and working with WordPress meta functions.

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designpattern facade tutorial social network interface

Link: http://phpmaster.com/manage-complexity-with-the-facade-pattern

PHPBuilder.com:
Oauth Authentication for Social Apps in PHP
February 08, 2013 @ 10:27:18

On PHPBuilder.com today there's a tutorial introducing you to OAuth and how to use it in your PHP applications.

Oauth is an open standard for authorization that allows secure authorization from web, mobile and desktop applications. This standard allows a third-party application to gain access to a HTTP service, i.e. it enables users to share their resources from one website with another website without having to give out their credentials (usually username and password). [...] Oauth authorization is carried out in 3 steps: obtain a request token, authorize request token and exchange request token for an access token.

They introduce you to some of the basic concepts behind OAuth and how the process works (complete with a handy graphic). They then show how to use OAuth to connect to the Facebook API, both in Javascript then PHP. This is followed with two other examples referencing popular social sites Twitter and Foursquare, hitting their APIs with simple authentication requests.

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oauth authentication social application twitter facebook foursquare tutorial


Community News:
Last Minute phpDay/jsDay Updates
May 07, 2012 @ 12:55:13

The phpDay/jsDay organizers have sent out a few last announcements before this year's conference happens next week, mostly dealing with some of the other happenings as a part of the event.

The final schedules for jsDay and phpDay are online: http://2012.jsday.it/schedule/ http://2012.phpday.it/schedule/ Although the international conferences for JavaScript and PHP are almost around the corner, we have several important news!

Besides all of the great sessions during the day, they'll also have:

If you still haven't gotten your tickets for this great event, you can still register now and enjoy the conference next week!

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phpday12 jsday12 update social hacknight


PHPBuilder.com:
Talking to Facebook's Social Graph with PHP
November 21, 2011 @ 11:26:54

On PHPBuilder.com there's a recent post showing you how to connect your application with Facebook's graph API and grabbing the current user's public profile information.

In recent years, [Facebook's] influence has dramatically grown thanks to the Facebook Platform, a set of APIs which third-parties can use to create or extend applications which tightly integrate with Facebook.com's features and users. [...] PHP-minded developers are particularly fortunate, as the Facebook PHP SDK doesn't only provide users a powerful solution for interacting with the social graph, but because it's actively maintained by the Facebook development team is often the first of several available APIs to offer the latest features and bug fixes.

He points out the github repostory for grabbing the Facebook SDK, the information you'd get (at a minimum) from the API and the sort of detail you can expect from a user logged into your application. Sample code is included for this last example.

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facebook social graph api tutorial public information


Phil Sturgeon's Blog:
NinjAuth The Social Integration Package PHP has been dying for
September 19, 2011 @ 08:59:31

New on his blog Phil Sturgeon has a post about the social integration package PHP has been dying for - NinjAuth. It has hooks for OAuth and OAuth2 connections and makes it simple to use them completely abstracted.

In the past I have never needed to implement oAuth into a PHP project. I have done it in Rails and boy it was easy thanks to OmniAuth. OmniAuth abstracts away so much of the grunt work that it takes about 5 minutes to add a new social network to your site, and 4 of those minutes are spent signing up for the API keys. What options do we have in the world of PHP? A bunch of screwy hacks or provider specific classes like TwitterOAuth. I don't want to hunt down 20 libraries with different methods, I want to get a key, bang it in and go to the pub. Well, now I can!

The fuel-oauth and fuel-oauth2 packages to drive its backend. He includes a code snippet showing how to configure the providers (complete with keys needed for auth) including Facebook, Flickr, GitHub, YouTube and - of course - Twitter. You can grab the latest version of this library from Phil's github account.

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ninjauth social network oauth oauth2 integration codeigniter fuelphp


Timothy Boronczyk's Blog:
Spaghetti Code Considered Harmful
May 20, 2011 @ 10:50:46

Timothy Boronczyk has a new post to his blog proposing something that any veteran developer already knows - "spaghetti code" is harmful to the health of your application. He's done a little research, though, and tried to explore what this "bad code" really is.

The phrase "spaghetti code" is an all-too-common pejorative we programmers use to describe horrible code, whether it's difficult to understand, poorly organized, or just plain long-winded. And there-in lays the problem. What really constitutes spaghetti code is subjective; I've yet to hear a concrete definition or standard metric that measures it. [...] Everyone has his or her own opinion as to what aspects would make them label it spaghetti.

Suggested definitions include: quickly written, non-standardized, beginner-level quality and any code that makes use of "goto". He suggests that applying the term to someone's code is less about the real quality of the code and more about social aspects of not wanting to upset the other developer over its quality.

But besides negatively affecting others, our complaining about spaghetti code hurts ourselves too. It's easier to motivate ourselves when tasked with fixing a bug when we're not dreading having to trudge through spaghetti. When we label code as spaghetti code, we are actually creating roadblocks that hamper ourselves and artificially increase the difficulty of the task at hand.
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