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Bigcommerce Engineering Blog:
PHP Memory Optimization
May 22, 2015 @ 08:18:12

On the Bigcommerce Engineering blog there's a new post sharing a few tips for memory optimization in your PHP applications. This includes tips you can implement at a code level without too many changes to the server or the need for external services.

Lately, I've been working on optimizing the memory of some of our backend PHP applications and wanted to share some of the tricks that I have come across, especially dealing with large set of data using PHP.

Each of their tips includes code to illustrate the technique:

  • Always cap your internal in-memory caching
  • Use layered caching
  • (Freeing) DB Resources
  • Free large blocks of memory

Some of the examples include output from the scripts showing the reduction (or non-growth) of the peak memory usage of the script.

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memory optimization tips caching resources free

Link: http://bigeng.io/post/119546277718/php-memory-optimization

Acquia Blog:
Web Accessibility Tips for Developers - Part 2
May 15, 2015 @ 10:28:08

The Acquia blog has posted the second part in their series sharing tips for developers around web accessibility. In this new post they focus on page content and making things accessible.

We're at the halfway point of what hopefully has been a helpful guide for developers to make a website accessible for all visitors. (If you missed the first part of this two-part series, please click here.) In this blog, we'll review how instructional text, navigation, and other parts of development can allow those with blindness and low vision, deafness, and other disabilities to make full use of a website.

In the post they share helpful tips on:

  • There's a Proper Place for Instructional Text
  • A Search that Searches When Instructed
  • Jump Directly to Main Content
  • An Easier Way to Zoom and Shrink
  • Know What to Show; What to Hide

Each item comes with a brief summary (and screenshots where it helps) to illustrate the point.

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accessibility tips developers series part2 acquia

Link: https://www.acquia.com/blog/web-accessibility-developers-part-2

Acquia Blog:
Web Accessibility Tips for Developers
May 08, 2015 @ 10:20:14

The Acquia blog has posted a few helpful usability tips for developers to help you think about how users will be interacting with the systems they create. This post is the first in a four part series and kicks off the content with four good tips.

Creating the code that makes a website accessible to all visitors doesn't have to be as time-consuming or resource-intensive as you might think. All you need to do is follow some simple steps that require a little extra time and effort. [...] It's up to both the developer and the client to achieve site accessibility. Although they usually work together in the planning and later stages of website creation, a developer and client also have separate responsibilities in making a site accessible.

In this post they touch on points around the use of "read more", clear requirements for input and good error messaging practices.

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web accessibility tips series part1 readmore, requirements, input, error, message

Link: https://www.acquia.com/blog/web-accessibility-tips-developers

Henrik Warne:
Lessons Learned in Software Development
April 29, 2015 @ 12:52:04

In this recent post to his site Henrik Warne has shared a list of advice around software development and some good practices he's picked up along the way.

Here is my list of heuristics and rules of thumb for software development that I have found useful over the years.

His list includes several points related to a few main categories:

  • Development
  • Troubleshooting
  • Cooperation (personal, not code)
  • Other Miscellaneous Tips

Each main topic has a few sub-topics and each of those includes a brief description (with twenty-two tips in the list overall). There's some great advice in the list as well as some good contributions in the comments, so be sure to read through those too.

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lessons learned software development advice tips development troubleshooting cooperation

Link: http://henrikwarne.com/2015/04/16/lessons-learned-in-software-development/

stfalcon.com:
Increasing project productivity in Symfony2 from Doctrine2 ORM
March 16, 2015 @ 13:55:36

In this tutorial to the stfalcon.com site Sasha Lensky talks about some things you can do to help boost the performance of your Symfony2 application with a few tweaks in how Doctrine is used.

I have been trying to write this article for a long time, but just couldn't get around. Finally, I pulled myself together and did it. So, what will we discus ... I will share some techniques about working with Doctrine2 ORM, which will help to improve the site performance on Symfony2 (precisely any site that uses Doctrine2 ORM). I have created a project and put it on GitHub as a visual guide, so anyone can test my words in action now.

He shares five tips and includes code examples and results (based on the Profiler toolbar) for each:

  • Downloading all necessary connections
  • Updating multiple entities by request
  • Hydration waiver
  • Using Reference Proxies
  • Using Symfony Profiler Toolbar

That final tip about the Profiler toolbar is actually one used in the rest of the examples too, showing how to get that other information from the tool.

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doctrine2 symfony2 orm performance tips profiler toolbar

Link: http://stfalcon.com/en/blog/post/performance-symfony2-doctrine2-orm

Stefan Koopmanschap:
On Code Reviews
March 06, 2015 @ 09:11:40

Stefan Koopmanschap has a new post today talking about code reviews and introducing the concept for those not familiar with what they are or their usefulness.

Code reviewing is exactly what it sounds like: It is reviewing code written by another developer. There are different ways of doing this, but in the end it all comes down to having at least one other set of eyes checking any code written before it is released. There's many reasons for doing code reviews. It can be to prevent security issues, to ensure correct performance of your application, to prevent bugs but eventually it all comes down to the more generic term of ensuring the quality of your application.

He goes on to talk about some of the most common ways to do code reviews, either in something a simple as a pull request out to face-to-face discussions as the code is being introduced. He includes some hints on preparing for the review, steps to perform the review, dealing constructively with the comments made and finally the approval. He talks about who should do the reviewing and how they can still be useful even if you work alone or with a QA department.

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codereview introduction why how tips results methods

Link: http://leftontheweb.com/blog/2015/03/06/Code_Reviews/

Matt Stauffer:
Upgrading from Laravel 4 to Laravel 5
January 19, 2015 @ 10:37:19

Matt Stauffer has posted a guide to his site to help you migrate from Laravel 4 to Laravel 5 as painlessly as possible. This is part fourteen in his overall introduction to Laravel 5 series of posts.

It's very simple to get started in a new Laravel 5 app [...] but what if you have a Laravel 4 app you want to upgrade? You might think the answer is to upgrade the Composer dependencies and then manually make the changes. Quite a few folks have created walkthroughs for that process, and it's possible-but there are a lot of little pieces you need to catch, and Taylor has said publicly that he thinks the better process is actually to start from scratch and copy your code in. So, that's what we're going to be doing.

He walks you through cloning a new Laravel 5 instance and setting up the various pieces of the application including the app itself, the domain folder and Composer dependencies. He then gets into the migration of things in the "app/" folder like controllers, database migrations and models. He also includes steps to update namespacing, handling the configuration updates, moving over user handling and any forms you may have created.

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laravel4 laravel5 upgrade guide tips steps

Link: http://mattstauffer.co/blog/upgrading-from-laravel-4-to-laravel-5

SitePoint PHP Blog:
PHP Tips, Resources and Best Practices for 2015
January 05, 2015 @ 09:59:18

The SitePoint PHP blog has shared a list of their suggestions of the best tips, resources and best practices for 2015. This includes tips about your environments, tools and techniques you can use to improve your everyday work.

PHP has had many reputations over the years, but being insecure as a language never really was one of them. The core team, all its faults notwithstanding, is rather quick in pouncing on all security matters, and updating PHP to the latest version will often allay all worries. But the end users, such as we are, tend to mess things up. We don't update, we use outdated packages or packages with holes in them we're not aware of, we use ancient extensions… we expose ourselves to risk in some truly creative ways.

Some of the things mentioned include:

  • Keeping your PHP up to date
  • Adopt HTTPS
  • Secure your PHP
  • Stay on the Right Way
  • Avoid Bad Packages
  • Dodge common mistakes
  • Use Virtualization

Each section comes with a description and plenty of links to point you in a good direction and get you started off right for 2015.

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bestpractice tips resources list 2015 tools

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/php-tips-resources-best-practices-2015/

AirPair.com:
Best Practices for Modern PHP Development
December 05, 2014 @ 09:50:22

On the AirPair site today they've posted an article from developer Brian Fenton covering several things he sees as the best practices for modern PHP development, a listing of several tool, practices and suggestions to improve your skills as a PHP developer and bring them to the next level.

He breaks it down into five main sections (each with their own subsections):

  • Setup and configuration
  • Use Composer
  • Follow good design principles
  • Object calisthenics
  • Unit testing

Some of the points made under each of these sections include suggestions about using sensible defaults, installing and using Composer, the SOLID design principles and unit testing tools. Check out the full post for more great suggestions and techniques to improve your skills.

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bestpractices modern development tips list composer objectcalisthenics unittest

Link: https://www.airpair.com/php/posts/best-practices-for-modern-php-development

Rob Allen:
A few Phing tips
December 02, 2014 @ 10:40:07

Rob Allen has shared a few Phing tips in the latest post to his site today. Phing is a PHP-based automation tools most popularly used for the deployment and configuration of PHP applications.

Following on from my last post, here's a few other Phing things that I've found helps me.

He shares three short but useful tips:

  • Hiding targets from Phing -l
  • Main target vs subtarget
  • List available targets by default

Each tip includes the XML markup you'll need to make it functional. You can find out more about Phing and what it's capable of on its website.

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phing tips hide target subtarget available list

Link: http://akrabat.com/php/a-few-phing-tips/


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