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SitePoint PHP Blog:
6 Reasons to Move to Laravel Homestead
June 20, 2014 @ 10:14:10

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new post from editor Bruno Skvorc sharing six reasons why he thinks you should move your Laravel-based application over to using the Homestead pre-build Vagrant box.

Laravel Homestead is, in a nutshell: "an official, pre-packaged Vagrant "box" that provides you a wonderful development environment without requiring you to install PHP, a web server, and any other server software on your local machine." In other words, it automatically does what we've done before manually through Vagrant and PuPHPet in articles like these. So what makes it different from your run-of-the-mill Vaprobash/Vagrant/PuPHPet setup? Let's see.

He quickly covers the six points, each with a paragraph or two of explanation:

  • It Works
  • It's Otwell Approved
  • It's Fast to Set Up
  • Ports
  • Best Practices and Common Ground
  • Easy to add sites

There's also a bit of a tutorial aspect here, showing you (via screenshots and configuration examples) how to get some of these points up and running.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/6-reasons-move-laravel-homestead/

HHVM Blog:
Implementing MySQLi
February 27, 2014 @ 11:15:39

On the HHVM blog today a new post talks about some of the work they've been doing to introduce one of the common PHP extensions, MySQLi, into the HHVM system. The post walks you through some of the process the author followed to work up the implementation.

To prepare for what was to be my big project, I rewrote the ini parser to better match Zend. [...] After warming up with the parser, I was ready to start my big project: implement MySQLi. This has been a long requested feature for HHVM. And, this extension is required to help meet our compatibility goals.

He walks you through some of the preparation steps for the work integrating the extension and the tools used for these initial steps. He briefly steps through the actual implementation and the testing of the feature (and some changes made to allow the tests to run faster). He mentions a few roadblocks hit along the way, the current status of the effort (182 passing tests, 114 failing) and some of the missing pieces yet to be worked.

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Link: http://www.hhvm.com/blog/3689/implementing-mysqli

Community News:
PuPHPet Adds Support for HHVM
February 21, 2014 @ 09:36:36

Juan Treminio passed along a note about his GUI-based virtual machine builder PuPHPet and some recent advancements in what it supports.

PuPHPet just added support for HHVM via FastCGI for Apache/Nginx and needs your help to create a VM and report any bugs encountered to make the experience as smooth as possible.

PuPHPet makes creating Vagrant/Puppet configurations much simpler and does a lot of the hard work for you. The project is also open sourced on GitHub so you can always add support for anything you might not see.

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puphpet hhvm hiphop virtualmachine vagrant puppet

Link: https://puphpet.com/

HipHop Virtual Machine Blog:
Nightly Packages
January 23, 2014 @ 09:19:10

On the HipHop Virtual Machine blog today they're announcing a new option for those that "just can't wait" to get the latest and greatest HHVM version - nightly packages.

If you just can't wait to get your hands on the latest HHVM code, but you don't want to spend the time to compile it, we have a present for you. Every midnight, we run a script that pulls whatever is in master, compiles it, does a sanity check, builds a package and sends it off to the repo. You can then use it by adding the HHVM repo normally and then installing the "hhvm-nightly" package instead of the "hhvm" package. The nightly package should work identically to the current 8 week release cycle package; it will just have all the most recent commits with much less of the testing and hardening (so beware).

The post also includes three examples of the commands to grab this nightly release (via dl.hhvm.com) and install the "hhvm-nightly" package.

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hiphop virtualmachine vm nightly package

Link: http://www.hhvm.com/blog/3203/nightly-packages

HHVM Blog:
We are the 98.5% (and the 16%)
December 24, 2013 @ 10:25:21

On the Facebook HHVM (HipHop VM) blog there's a recent post sharing some of their progress towards parity with the PHP language inside the tool (and the results of their "three week lockdown").

On November 4th, the HHVM team went on a 3-week performance and parity lockdown. The lockdown officially ended on November 22th. Overall, this lockdown was a qualified success. [...] Going into lockdown, the team knew that awesome performance alone would not suffice in making HHVM a viable PHP runtime to be used out in the wild. It actually had to run real, existing PHP code reliably.

In the post they include some numbers from their testing, the pass/fail status of the unit test suites for several major PHP projects including Composer, Joomla, Laravel, Slim and phpMyAdmin (with an overall parity of 98.58%). They share the raw numbers of the results and describe some of the testing environment, including some "assumptions and caveats" about the process. They also contributed back fixes as a part of the work, putting pull requests out there for several projects. They finish the post with some of the performance numbers, noting that they passed their goal and made it to 16% for an instance of facebook.com.

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hiphop virtualmachine vm performance parity unittest

Link: http://www.hhvm.com/blog/2813/we-are-the-98-5-and-the-16

Alex Bilbie:
Using Vagrant and Ansible for distributing educational course virtual machines
December 20, 2013 @ 11:23:40

in his latest post Alex Bilbie shares a guide for the steps he follows to create virtual machines for an educational course using Vagrant and Ansible with a PHP+Apache environment set up and ready to go.

In "Cursory Thoughts on Virtual Machines in Distance Education Courses" Tony discuses using virtual machines in courses to help distribute software and operating systems to students who increasingly more and more are bringing in very different devices. [...] At the very end of the article Tony mentions using Vagrant which is a small piece of software to help "create and configure lightweight, reproducible, and portable development environments". [...] A better option [for managing VM deployment] would be to use another devops tool called Ansible which "is a powerful automation engine that makes systems and apps simple to deploy".

He includes both a sample Vagrantfile for configuring Vagrant and a YAML configuration for Ansible that sets up the VM, opens the needed ports and installs and configures the needed software.

Together the playbooks and the Vagrantfile can be distributed to the students and assuming they've installed Vagrant and Virtualbox for their OS they can be up and running with identical environments in just a few minutes.
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vagrant virtualmachine vm ansible configuration example

Link: http://alexbilbie.com/2013/12/vagrant-ansible-courses/

Qandidate.com:
Debugging PHP applications with HHVM
October 30, 2013 @ 11:10:23

On the Qandidate.com blog there's a new post showing you an easy way to debug HHVM applications via the built-in debugging tool and it's command line interface. The HHVM is the virtual machine version of the HipHop compiler Facebook created to speed up PHP execution.

In the previous parts of this series we got you started with HHVM and showed how we could get the symfony standard edition running on HHVM. This time we will dive deeper into HHVM by using it to debug our application. For most people the easiest way of debugging a PHP application is to place var_dump() and die() statements all over the code. Another option is installing xdebug, which has gotten a lot easier nowadays due to IDE integrations.

To illustrate, they create a super simple PHP script and show how to start up the HHVM in debug mode. They introduce you to the commands you'll need to step through the script execution and locate the breakpoints where errors are happening. You can do things like print out the current values of variables, set conditional breakpoints and get a stack trace for the execution so far.

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debug hhvm hiphop virtualmachine tutorial introduction

Link: http://labs.qandidate.com/blog/2013/10/29/debugging-php-applications-with-hhvm/

Liip Blog:
HHVM with Symfony 2 looks amazing
October 29, 2013 @ 10:13:47

On the Liip blog today Christian Stocker shares some of the interesting results he's found when working with Symfony2 on the HipHop VM (based on Facebook's work around the HipHop version of optimized PHP). The project recently announced better framework support, so Christian thought he'd give it a try.

We're currently building a Symfony2 based application, which has pretty high performance requirements (but we can mostly achieve them with varnish), so I went and did some performance tests on that real-life app. [...] In short, the numbers were amazing. I also compared PHP 5.3 with APC against 5.5 with opcache, that alone gave some pretty decent improvements.

He talks about the configuration (hardware and software) he used for the testing and the Apache Bench tool to make the requests. He includes a few tables of the request/response result times comparing the HHVM, PHP 5.3 and PHP 5.5 for:

  • Requests per second, small response
  • Requests per second, middle response
  • Requests per second, large response
  • Median response time in ms, short response
  • Median response time in ms, middle response
  • Median response time in ms, large response

Each also comes with an accompanying graph for those wanting a quick glance version of the results.

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hiphop virtualmachine vm hhvm symfony2 benchmark results

Link: http://blog.liip.ch/archive/2013/10/29/hhvm-and-symfony2.html

HHVM.com:
Wow HHVM is fast...too bad it doesn't run my code
September 16, 2013 @ 10:54:01

On the HHVM.com blog, there's a post talking about the speed of the HipHop VM (from Facebook) but how it still doesn't support everything built into PHP (and the work being done to bring it up to parity).

HHVM is a highly performant PHP runtime. In fact, it is nearly 40% faster than HPHPc, and only getting faster. [...] Performance is critical, but it isn't everything. In order to gain broader adoption for HHVM, being able to run popular frameworks is a must; in other words, we can have the highest performing PHP runtime, but if doesn't run real-world code without a lot of pain, then it won't be used widely. Understanding this, we are putting serious resources around parity with the PHP runtime.

The post includes a table of features that have been ported and ones currently in the works, based on unit test coverage. They've based it on various well known PHP projects including PHPUnit, Symfony, Laravel, the Facebook SDK and many others. Their initial goal is to allow these frameworks to work 100% of the time inside the HHVM, but to continue the work from there, implementing other PHP features. If you'd like to help out with the process, they also welcome contributions.

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hhvm hiphip virtualmachine speed feature parity framework unittest

Link: http://www.hhvm.com/blog/?p=875

Reddit.com:
How to get Laravel set up in a VM using PuPHPet
September 12, 2013 @ 13:50:51

On Reddit.com there's a new post from trymuchharder showing how to get a full environment - complete with Git, Composer, PHPUnit and an install of Laravel - up and running with Vagrant+PuPHPet. It's shared as a series of screencasts so you can follow along the whole process.

This took some time to get set up and i figure others can benefit from what i learned. [...] I've never done a screencast/tutorial and apparently the QuickTime/iMovie combo produces a super crappy video but hopefully you can distinguish which pixels are what. Please excuse my Texan accent and general ineptness when it comes to server stuff. [...] This all assumes you have the following installed to your local machine: Vagrant, VirtualBox, Composer, PHPUnit and Git.

It's a four part video series he's posted to YouTube (over on his account) and it shows the flow through the entire process including a small bit about using Laravel there at the end.

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laravel puphpet vagrant virtualbox virtualmachine

Link: http://www.reddit.com/r/PHP/comments/1m7r74/how_to_get_laravel_set_up_in_a_vm_using_puphpet/


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