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HHVM Blog:
Tracking Parity
March 04, 2014 @ 10:43:13

On the HHVM blog today there's a new post shows how far along they are with parity with the PHP language based on the tests from a sampling of several large PHP-based projects.

HHVM has a large suite of unit tests that must pass in several build configurations before a commit reaches master. Unfortunately, this test suite passing doesn't tell you if HHVM can be used for anything useful - so we periodically run the test suites for popular, open source frameworks. [...] The frameworks test page is now public, as is the JSON data backing it (which you're welcome to use).

They look briefly at what exactly is tested (latest stable version, with exceptions) and how it all works. The tests are run once an hour and are based on a completely clean build of HHVM in "csv" mode. The results of the tests are automatically pushed into the MySQL+Memcached system reporting system, accessible via the JSON API.

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Link: http://www.hhvm.com/blog/3611/tracking-parity

PHP.net:
PHP 5.5.0 Alpha2 released
December 27, 2012 @ 10:22:13

If you'd like to help with testing for the upcoming PHP 5.5.0 version, they've announced the release of the latest alpha on the PHP.net site, ready for download and test execution.

The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 5.5.0alpha2. This release adds new features and fix some bugs from alpha1. All users of PHP are encouraged to test this version carefully, and report any bugs in the bug tracking system.

You can see the full list of the changes in 5.5.0 (so far) in the NEWS file including things like using empty on return values, enabling systemtap by default for dtrace probes and optimized variable accessing. They need your help to make this upcoming release even better, so if you'd like to help out and test, go grab the download (Windows builds).

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Eric Holk:
How Do We Read Code?
December 19, 2012 @ 10:36:28

There's an interesting post on Eric Holk's blog talking about how we read code - a look at the results from a psychology experiment that tracked the viewer's eye movement as they scanned through code (complete with video).

The goal is to figure out some way of measuring what features in programming systems help programmers understand wht they are doing, and how this can be used to make systems that lead to higher quality software. Mike is currently running an experiment where he shows people several short Python programs and asks them to tell the output of the program. The test subject is sitting in front of an eye tracker, so afterwards Mike can see where you were looking at various times during the experiment.

The results are pretty interesting and Eric likens it to a sort of "just-in-time compilation" that the mind is doing as it reads through the code, not a straight forward read through. The timing of the read is interesting too, noting that once something is figured out, it's run through faster the following times.

One aspect he's interested in is how the approach of inexperienced programmers differs from that of experienced programmers. For example, there seems to be some evidence that following variable naming conventions helps experienced programmers understand the code much quicker, while breaking these conventions leads to a severe penalty. On the other hand, inexperienced programmers seem to take about as long regardless of how the variables are named.

This study is still going on and, if you're in the Bloomington, Indiana area and would like to lend your eyes to the cause, send an email over to Mike Hansen (more on the subject on his blog here).

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PHPImpact Blog:
Zend Framework Automatic Dependency Tracking
February 04, 2009 @ 10:20:34

This recent post to the PHP::Impact blog looks at a way you, the Zend Framework user can check to see which files are dependencies in your application. Their example uses the Zend_Debug_include component to find out during run-time which of the libraries/components your script might need.

The concept behind Zend_Debug_Include is that the dependencies for each source file are stored in a separate file. If the source file is modified, the file containing that source file's dependencies is rebuilt. This concept enables you to determine run-time dependencies of files using arbitrary components. This solution is also useful if you are deploying your application using Linux packages.

He has it broken up into a few different kinds of tracking examples - file dependencies, package dependencies and external dependencies. There's also a tip for the URL adapter showing how to make a different file for each request that comes through.

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PHP-GTK Community Site:
New PHP-GTK forums
March 13, 2007 @ 12:04:00

The PHP-GTK Community website has an announcement about the launch of a new PHP-GTK related forum at http://phpgtk.opsat.net/.

Another PHP-GTK forums site has sprung up [...] to provide a very informal environment, where posting will not need registration, or the use of a real identity. The site currently offers 3 PHP-GTK sections, and one general section.

The forum is also linked to back and forth with the PHP-GTK Community site whenever a a cross-post is made from the forum.

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