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PHP.net:
A further update on php.net
October 25, 2013 @ 10:20:05

As many probably noticed yesterday, the entire PHP.net domain (subdomains and all) were marked by the Google Safe Browsing service as potentially harmful. The issue has been discovered and resolved so things are back to normal, but the development group wanted to provide an update as to the current status.

We are continuing to work through the repercussions of the php.net malware issue described in a news post earlier today. As part of this, the php.net systems team have audited every server operated by php.net, and have found that two servers were compromised: the server which hosted the www.php.net, static.php.net and git.php.net domains, and was previously suspected based on the JavaScript malware, and the server hosting bugs.php.net. The method by which these servers were compromised is unknown at this time.

The post talks about some of the actions taken since the compromise and more details about what happened. It all revolved around a malicious Javascript file that was served to some visitors of the site. For more information as it becomes available, check back with the main PHP.net site or follow official_php on Twitter.

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Link: http://blog.sznapka.pl/testing-in-isolation-with-symfony2-and-webtestcase

Symfony Blog:
Symfony Website Updates
October 04, 2013 @ 09:05:44

On the Symfony project's blog today there's a new post from Fabien Potencier talking about some updates that have been made to the Symfony website.

There's a few things that got an update including:

  • Translations that were added to the main site
  • A method of aggregation for Symfony-related blogs
  • A Roadmap notification system that lets you set up email notifications on major roadmap changes and releases.

They're still working on the translations, but if you'd like to help you can contribute to their github repository.

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Link: http://symfony.com/blog/symfony-website-updates

Hannes Magnusson:
New PHP.net designs floating around
September 06, 2013 @ 11:50:37

In a new post to his site Hannes Magnusson talks some about the current PHP documentation (and PHP.net site) formatting and how, while changes to it are quick, they should be instant. He suggests a path to get there and a new tool that could help.

Since 2008 there have been numerous efforts to create a new design for www.php.net, all of which have failed - so far. We've never come as close as two years ago, when the "beta mode" option was added to our website, but we never really got around to finish it. The "beta design" has even received a lot of makeover compared to what is "beta mode" now. To make things a little bit more awesome, there is also a new branch called "responsive" which has a lot of changes in it too, especially for manual pages. Hopefully, one day, we'll actually finish one of these and flip the switch forever.

While he's been a fan of the DocBook structure that's currently in use, he points out that learning the markup can be a hinderance to people contributing. His tool, PhD, does some custom parsing too adding additional complexity. To help, he's working on a new tool (WTFM) to use Markdown formatting instead of DocBook, a more common format.

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Link: http://bjori.blogspot.com/2013/09/new-phpnet-designs-floating-around.html

Symfony Blog:
The symfony.com website... in your language
June 11, 2013 @ 09:23:43

On the Symfony blog there's a new post mentioning the availability of the static contents of the Symfony site as a public repository.

The Symfony website has always been in English as English is probably the lingua-franca for web developers. But as some sections of the website do not change that frequently (mainly the "What is Symfony?", "Get started", and "About" sections), and because not all developers are comfortable reading English websites, I'm very happy to announce that most of the static contents are now available in a public Git repository.

They've already had people contributing back to the documentation in their own languages including German, Slovak, Czech, Swedish and Polish. Some of them are still works in progress, but they're getting there.

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symfonycom website language translation github repository

Link: http://symfony.com/blog/the-symfony-com-website-in-your-language

DevShed:
Hackers Compromise PHP Sites to Launch Attacks
December 18, 2012 @ 12:07:35

According to this new post on DevShed, there have been several targeted attacks against U.S. bank websites (DDoS), some of which involved the compromise of PHP-based applications.

Once the hackers got into the PHP-based websites, they inserted toolkits to turn them into launch pads for their distributed denial-of-service attacks. Hackers then launched the attacks on banks by connecting directly to the compromised PHP-based websites and sending them commands, or took advantage of intermediate servers, proxies or scripts to make the websites do their bidding. InformationWeek lists three attack tools used by the hackers: KamiKaze, AMOS, and the "itsokaynoproblembro" toolkit, also known as Brobot.

Several major banks have been targeted including Bank of America, JP Morgan/Chase, HSBC and Well Fargo. The main problem was out-of-date software running on the site containing known security issues the attackers could exploit to install their own software.

If a hacker can break into a PHP-based website to use it as a staging area for an attack on a different website, they can also use that website to store stolen information. InformationWeek cited the example of the Eurograbber attack campaign, revealed earlier this month. The gang involved in that campaign stole $47 million from more than 30,000 corporate and private banking customers - and used PHP-based websites into which they hacked to store stolen information.
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PHPMaster.com:
Speeding Up Your CakePHP Websites
October 09, 2012 @ 10:08:19

PHPMaster.com has a new tutorial posted sharing a few helpful hints about speeding up CakePHP-driven sites to help squeeze the most performance out of your site.

By applying a few simple modifications, and even some more complex enhancements, CakePHP can be sped up quite a bit. By the time you work your way through even half of these changes, the performance of your your CakePHP site will be comparable to many other popular PHP frameworks, with the advantage that your development speed will never falter!

There's several tips in their list - some a bit more difficult to accomplish than others, but worth the results:

  • Upgrade CakePHP Versions
  • Disable Debug Mode
  • Disable Recursive Find Statements
  • Cache Query Results
  • Install Memory Based Caching
  • Removing Apache and Installing Nginx
  • Configure Nginx to use Memcached
  • Remove MySQL and Install Percona

For more information on the CakePHP framework, see the project's main site.

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cakephp website optimize performance tuning tips


Reddit.com:
Can We Revive php.net User Notes Or Kill It?
September 13, 2012 @ 12:56:44

In this discussion on Reddit, there's talk about the user comments feature on the PHP.net site and the value they provide to the language and community.

The question, however, has always been "how useful is this feature really and does it bring more harm than good?". It's not that easy to answer since there are so many notes submitted by a wide range of users and some will likely go unnoticed while others seem to get undue attention due to their positioning near the top of the user-notes section of a particularly trafficked page.

The poster proposes a few things that could help make them a bit more effective (and useful overall) including voting on the note contents, flagging potential issues and sorting the notes based on popularity/age. He's put together a proof of concept as seen here with some of the new features.

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phpnet website user comments notes features feedback


Cal Evans' Blog:
Setting Up a (FREE) WordPress Development Site
June 28, 2012 @ 08:49:15

In this new post to his blog, Cal Evans shows developers (and non-developers) how they can set up a free WordPress blog with the help of the phpcloud.com and phpfog.com hosted services.

Everyone however, experiments. Whether it's a new theme or a new plugin, you really, really need someplace to test things. one of the worst thing you can do is what I do with this blog, just install things and play with them in production. [...] There is a solution though, actually, I'll present you with two. One for PHP developers who know what they are doing and want control, and one for regular bloggers who just want someplace to test plugins and themes before pushing them live. In both cases though, the services are free.

He gives a brief introduction to setting up and configuring each of the services - one that lets you import your own version and the other that lets you select to automagically setup a WordPress instance.

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Chris Roane's Blog:
Options for Building a Website from a Developers Perspective
June 25, 2012 @ 08:28:27

Chris Roane has a new post to his blog outlining a few different options web developers today have for creating new websites or applications - static, custom, framework-based or CMS.

Over the years I've built many different types of websites. These range from being a few pages, to being very customized with advanced features. I've learned there is no clear definition in the best way to create a website. But I do think there are advantages and disadvantages to pursuing different methods. This article takes an analytical look at each option. Let's take a closer look at the different approaches in building a website.

He includes a brief summary talking about each method and mentions things like benefits and downfalls of the approach and what can be involved in their development.

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PHPBuilder.com:
Building a Multilingual PHP Website
September 01, 2011 @ 09:02:21

On PHPBuilder.com today there's a new post from Vojislav Janjic with three methods (sans-framework) that you can use to create a multilingual website - some a bit easier to maintain than others.

Fast internet growth has brought many opportunities in the global market. Businesses can reach their customers across many countries, and information sharing is not limited to a local area or country anymore. This is why there is an increasing tendency for multilingual websites. By having a website in multiple languages, you can target local markets more easily. Also, it is more convenient to use a website in your native language.

His three methods are all relatively simple, but they all have their good and bad points - making separate HTML/views for each language, creating XML files with different versions of the content or storing the translations in a MySQL database. He gives quick code snippets showing how to implement each of them, some basing the language on a cookie value, others on a GET variable passed to the page.

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