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Inspire Trends:
40 Useful PHP Classes and Libraries for Efficient Development
October 24, 2014 @ 09:56:08

On the Inspire Trends site they've listed out what they think are 35 useful PHP classes and libraries that can make you more efficient in your development.

PHP is a scripting language that also happens to be the most popular in the domain. It is famously used in web development and may not be all that easy to learn for newbies, but it certainly does work wonders and magic. The best part about the internet are the numerous free resources offered on pretty much everything known to mankind and since this particular posts regards PHP, we shall be focusing on that. PHP has allowed web developers around the world to make the web a better environment. It supports several features that automate several processes making your job easier. If you are looking to learn this language, which we believe a developer should, you have come to the right place.

Their list includes tools like:

Check out the full post for the entire list, screenshots of them in action and links to the project sites.

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Link: http://inspiretrends.com/35-useful-php-classes-libraries-for-efficient-development/

NetTuts.com:
Securing Your Server Login
October 22, 2014 @ 10:43:27

While PHP developers usually pay more attention to the code level of things, it's good to know something about managing the servers their applications live on too. In this most recent tutorial from NetTuts.com they introduce you to some of the basic things you can do to help secure your server against potential attacks, more specifically around the logins.

Thanks to the growing abundance of useful self-hosted apps such as WordPress and the affordable growth of cloud hosting providers, running your own server is becoming increasingly compelling to a broader audience. But securing these servers properly requires a fairly broad knowledge of Linux system administration; this task is not always suitable for newbies.

They provide a list of seven things to look at (not a comprehensive list, but good none the less) to protect your system logins:

  • Update Your System Components
  • Change Your SSH Port From the Default
  • Activate a Firewall
  • Change Your Root Login Name
  • Activate Google Two-Factor Authentication
  • Switch to Using SSH Keys for Login
  • Manage Your Application Security

Each item includes a summary of the "why" and commands or links to other resources with more information.

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Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/securing-your-server-login--cms-22001

SitePoint PHP Blog:
7 Reasons to Choose the Yii 2 Framework
October 14, 2014 @ 13:52:58

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new post today from Matthew Beaumont with severn reasons to choose Yii2 as your framework for your next project. The Yii framework is a full-stack framework option and has been around for a long time. It recently reinvented itself with version 2 and has improved a lot of the original functionality.

Late last year, SitePoint published an article highlighting the top PHP frameworks. Tied for the number four spot was the Yii (pronounced Yee) Framework. At that time the latest version of the framework available was 1.1.14. Recently, Yii 2.0 was made available, so you can begin to use it in production. While we did cover it recently when it was still in RC status, it just reached full release status, and we feel like it's time to revisit the topic with some reasons for choosing it over alternatives.

He includes brief descriptions with each of his seven points (some with links to other information too):

  • Easy to Install
  • Utilizes Modern Technologies
  • Highly Extensible
  • Encourages Testing
  • Simplifies Security
  • Shorten Development Time
  • Easy to Tune for Better Performance

Some of the items in the list include code snippets showing how they're implemented as well. Be sure to give it a look if you're trying to decide on your next framework or toolset.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/7-reasons-choose-yii-2-framework/

SitePoint Web Blog:
How Do You Work With Other People's Code?
September 26, 2014 @ 10:58:56

The SitePoint Web blog has a recent post from Matthew Setter offering some helpful hints on working with other people's code. In it he shares suggestions ranging from the technical out to a bit more "learning oriented" to get up to speed on concepts and techniques.

Dealing with code created by other people is a fundamental skill for a developer. Give it a year and other people's code could even be your own. Today I'm going to look at some of the best approaches for how to deal with other people's code, read legacy code, effectively. It's not an easy topic to cover.

He's broken it down into a list of several different topics, each with their own descriptions and links to tools or reading resources for more information:

  • Interact
  • Observe
  • Run Tests
  • Fix Bugs designed for Newcomers
  • Find Available Resources
  • Use a Good IDE
  • Read Books & Blogs
  • Contribute to Documentation
  • Be Considerate

He puts some good emphasis on that final point, reminding the reader that it's not just years of experience that make for a better developer, it's more about skill.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/work-peoples-code/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
18 Critical Oversights in Web Development
September 12, 2014 @ 13:09:23

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new post today sharing what they (well the author, George Fekete) see as the top 18 critical oversights common to web development in recent years. While the examples are in PHP, the principles could apply across multiple other languages.

Over the past years I had the opportunity to work on some interesting projects, complex in nature with an ongoing development, constantly upgrading, refactoring and adding new features to them. This article will cover the biggest coding oversights most PHP developers make, when dealing with medium and large projects. Oversights such as not differentiating between development environments or not implementing caching and backup. [...] The root of these problems lies mainly in developers' knowledge and experience, especially the lack of it.

He's broken them up into three different overall types: design, application and database levels. Included in his list are things like:

  • Developing with error reporting off
  • Not implementing caching
  • Not using automated tests
  • Not differentiating between read / write queries
  • Not using transactions
  • No backup
  • No monitoring

Check out the full post for the rest of the items on the list, all including examples and explanations.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/18-critical-oversights-web-development/

Inviqa techPortal:
My top ten favourite PhpSpec limitations
September 11, 2014 @ 11:15:31

On the Inviqua techPortal today Marcello Duarte lists out his top ten favorite limitations with the PhpSpec testing tool. PhpSpec is a tool where the tests are driven by specifications, focusing on the "how".

PhpSpec is enjoying a growth in popularity lately, probably related to the recent release of 2.0. Lots of people have been playing with it and trying to get to grips with what it can do. Naturally they try to do the same things they would with other testing tools. Soon they find out they can't. "Oh! This PhpSpec has some many limitations… I can't do this… I can't do that…". Ironically, other people make positive comments about the same "limitations". So I decided to publish a list of my top ten favourite limitations of PhpSpec, and why I love them so much.

His limitations list includes things like:

  • I can't test private methods
  • You can't have code coverage
  • I can't use a data provider
  • My tests can't follow a code standard

Check out the full article for more of his list and some code examples ot help clarify each topic.

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Link: http://techportal.inviqa.com/2014/09/11/my-top-ten-favourite-phpspec-limitations/

VitalFlux.com:
Top 10 PHP Code Review Tips
September 10, 2014 @ 11:15:31

On the VitalFlux site there's a recent post sharing a few tips (a Top 10 list) of things to think about when doing code reviews.

This article represents top 10 areas to consider while you are taking up the task to do the code review of a PHP project. The other day, I had a discussion with one of the PHP senior developers who asked me about where to start on the task related with reviewing a PHP web application and, we brainstormed and came up with the list. Interestingly, apart from few, most of them can be pretty much applied to applications written with other programming languages as well.

Their top ten list of things to look for during code reviews extend beyond just the syntax of the code and good coding practices. They also suggest things like:

  • Adherence to Business Functionality
  • Object-Oriented Principles
  • Security
  • Integration Patterns/Protocols

Code reviews, if done effectively and efficiently, can be a major benefit for producing quality code that not only adheres to standards but also follows good practices and principles (like SOLID).

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Link: http://vitalflux.com/top-10-php-code-review-tips/

Pascal Martin:
August 2014 on internals@php
September 10, 2014 @ 09:44:39

Pascal Martin has posted his latest summary of topics and conversations from August on the php.internals mailing list.

I've been quite busy in August (and I've taken some holidays, during which I pretty much had no Internet access, which doesn't help), and I haven't been able to write my digest of internals@ for July 2014 in due time. Instead of writing it now and keeping getting late for August's one, I've chosen to skip my digest of July - and to write August's one, which you can read below.

He summarizes the around 700 messages on the list in August, including a graph showing them broken out over the days of the month. Topics up for discussion in August included:

  • the first Release Candidate of PHP 5.3.29 and the PHP 5.3.29 final release (EOL for 5.3)
  • release plans (bugfixes) for PHP 5.4
  • the release of PHP 5.6 was getting close
  • a thread wondering if they should do one last 5.x version before the release of PHP 7
  • the conversation around the RFC for moving the phpng branch into master,

Check out the full post for the details on each of these and more of the happenings on the internals list during August.

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Link: http://blog.pascal-martin.fr/post/php-mailing-list-internals-august-2014-en

Geshan Manandhar:
3 Bundles to get started with REST in Symfony 2 and some tips
August 13, 2014 @ 12:18:05

Geshan Manandhar has a recent post that shares three Symfony bundles that can help you out greatly when creating RESTful applications and APIs. Links and a summary of each bundle are provided.

"I found out that you guys just build an amazing mobile app for your e-commerce venture, I heard you are using Symfony 2 for your back-end APIs. How did you make it that fast?" This is not very different that what I was asked some months back. The answer is we use a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) where all back-end service follow the REST architecture to communicate with all the clients. The client can be built in any language as longs a they can do HTTP calls. Lets look at what Symfony 2 bundles you can use to build a similar scalable, fast and cacheable REST APIs.

His suggested bundles (all available to be installed via Composer) are:

The first two help more with the overall API structure and handling while the last (Lexi) is an effective way for handling authentication for the requests to your application.

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Link: http://geshan.blogspot.ae/2014/07/3-bundles-to-get-started-with-rest-in.html

Symfony Blog:
Pre-conference workshops at SymfonyLive New York and SymfonyCon Madrid are online!
August 13, 2014 @ 10:22:55

On the Symfony blog today they've officially announced the workshops that will be happening at this year's SymfonyCon Madrid and Symfony Live New York.

About 3 weeks ago, we launched 2 different polls to ask you what workshops you wanted to attend before SymfonyLive New York and SymfonyCon Madrid. First, we want to thank all the people who participated in the poll, so many of you answered, thank you very much for your time! Thanks to your votes, we were able to know which workshops were really interesting for you.

At Symfony Live New York you'll be able to attend Fabien's "Symfony Best Practices" or "Building RESTful Applications with Symfony" (the top two most requested training sessions). At SymfonyCon Madrid there's even more choices:

  • Building RESTful Applications with Symfony
  • Symfony Best Practices
  • Deploying Symfony Applications
  • Profiling PHP Applications

You can find out more about these two conferences from their main event websites: Symfony Live New York and SymfonyCon Madrid.

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Link: http://symfony.com/blog/pre-conference-workshops-at-symfonylive-new-york-and-symfonycon-madrid-are-online


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