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Zend:
Turbocharging the Web with PHP 7 (Infographic)
May 14, 2015 @ 09:06:35

In the /r/php subreddit on the Reddit.com site there's a new post that links over to this infographic from Zend sharing some of their own benchmark results for PHP 7 (and comparing it to other versions).

We ran performance benchmarks on popular PHP apps to compare PHP 5.6, PHP 7, and HHVM 3.7.

Their benchmarks includes results for:

  • Magento (1.9)
  • Drupal
  • WordPress
  • Laravel and Zend Framework
  • SugarCRM

They also compare PHP 7 against other languages, showing the execution in seconds when generating a Mandelbrot fractal.

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zend infographic performance benchmark php7 php56 hhvm

Link: http://www.reddit.com/r/PHP/comments/35vf1y/get_performance_insight_into_the_upcoming_release/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Top 10 Z-Ray Features to Check Out
March 26, 2015 @ 09:50:23

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new post today from Daniel Berman (of Zend) with the top 10 features of Z-Ray to be sure to check out. Disclaimer: Z-Ray is a tool provided by Zend, a part of their Zend Server product.

Necessity is the mother of invention goes the famous saying. For PHP developers, there is no greater need than visibility. But developers today have a tough choice to make as they develop and debug their apps. Either use crude methods such as printing, debugging information, or storing it in a log file, or - use multiple debugging/profiling tools that are awkward and require a lot of work from the developer's side. [...] This article introduces the top 10 features of Z-Ray - an innovative new technology from Zend that makes PHP development a whole lot quicker and easier by giving developers unprecedented insight into their code - and the visibility they need to develop top-notch apps.

Among the items on their Top 10 list are things like:

  • Viewing information about page requests
  • Execution time and memory consumption
  • Showing errors and warnings
  • Viewing functions called during execution
  • Debugging features for mobile apps and APIs

Check out the full post for a list of more features and screenshots/detail on each one.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/top-10-z-ray-features-check/

Michael Dyrynda:
Filtering models with Eloquent in Laravel
March 06, 2015 @ 10:14:12

Michael Dyrynda has a recent post about handling matching and limiting results in Eloquent models in a Larvel-based application.

Say you have a users table with the following fields in it name, email, city, state, zip. You may want to provide fuzzy searching for the name, email, or city and exact matching for the state and zipfields. Why fuzzy matching for only some of the fields? Well, you might want to search for everyone whose name contains Michael or has has an @gmail.com address. Be mindful of the latter; it will expose a large dataset if you're not careful in restricting access to the functionality. You probably wouldn't want to allow it in anything bigger than a proof of concept (which this is!).

He goes through the model process, showing how to set up a simple model with the fields mentioned and make use of query scopes to limit returned results. Code is included showing how to define the "scopeFilter" method in the model and call the "User" model instance with the "filter" method. The example limits the results to only the users with a value in the "name" and "state" field.

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filter model results tutorial eloquent laravel scope query

Link: https://iatstuti.net/blog/filtering-models-with-eloquent-in-laravel

Zend Blog:
Developing a Z-Ray Extension
February 25, 2015 @ 11:54:41

Zend recently introduced their Z-Ray inspection tool that allows you to see inside your application and know what's happening in your code, your database and has support for major PHP projects. In this new post to their blog they show you how to develop a custom extension for the Z-Ray system.

One of the coolest features in Z-Ray is the ability to plug in your own extensions. Meaning, you can customize existing Z-Ray panels or add your own personalized Z-Ray panel for displaying information you think is important for developing your specific application. This short tutorial will describe how to write a basic extension for Z-Ray. More specifically, we'll be writing a Z-Ray extension for WordPress that extracts and displays a list of loaded WordPress plugins.

They give you a list of things you'll need to set up before you can get started including a simple WordPress installation on a Zend Server instance. With these in place they help you create the "zray.php" file to define the extension, how to enable it and setting up a "trace" on a function to hook it into the execution. They then dump the WP plugin information and reformat it a bit to show only the list of names and versions in the output panel. As a last touch, they add a logo to the panel to show in the bottom menubar with the WordPress logo.

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zray zend extension custom wordpress tutorial plugin

Link: http://blog.zend.com/2015/02/25/developing-z-ray-extension

Rob Allen:
Overriding the built-in Twig date filter
December 16, 2014 @ 09:45:31

In his latest post Rob Allen shows a way you can override the default Twig date filter with your own custom Date extension handling.

In one project that I'm working on, I'm using Twig and needed to format a date received from an API. The date string received is of the style "YYYYMMDD", however date produced an unexpected output. [...] This surprised me. Then I thought about it some more and realised that the date filter is treating my date string as a unix timestamp. I investigated and discovered the problem in twig_date_converter.

He includes some example code you'll need to create the custom renderer. As part of the internals of how Twig formats the date currently is internal and can't be changed, he opted to override the extension itself. As a result, the call to the filter is exactly the same as before, the output results are just formatted more correctly.

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twig override default date filter custom extension

Link: http://akrabat.com/php/overriding-the-built-in-twig-date-filter/

Stanislav Malyshev:
unserialize() and being practical
November 04, 2014 @ 10:49:40

Stanislav Malyshev has a new post to his site talking about his proposal for a filtered unserialize change and why he sees it as a practical next step.

I have recently revived my "filtered unserialize()" RFC and I plan to put it to vote today. Before I do that, I'd like to outline the arguments on why I think it is a good thing and put it in a somewhat larger context. It is known that using unserialize() on outside data can lead to trouble unless you are very careful. Which in projects large enough usually means "always", since practically you rarely can predict all interactions amongst a million lines of code. So, what can we do?

He touches on three points that would make it difficult to just not use it this way (on external data) including the fact that there's not really any other way to work with serialized data in PHP. He suggests that by adding filtering to the unserialize handling of the language it can protect from issues around working with serialized external data.

Is this a security measure? [...] Yes, it does not provide perfect security, and yes, you should not rely only on that for security. Security, much like ogres and onions, has layers. So this is trying to provide one more layer - in case that is what you need.
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unserialize rfc filter practical security reasons

Link: https://php100.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/unserialize-and-being-practical/

NetTuts.com:
Building Advanced Email Features With IMAP and PHP
October 21, 2014 @ 12:19:47

On the NetTuts.com site they've posted a tutorial showing you how to build advanced features with IMAP and PHP. He bases it on the SimplifyEmail project and incldues examples of three different features to get you started.

Analysis of my own email showed I was receiving email from more than 230 automated senders, far fewer actual people. I was tired of constructing filters in Gmail and filling in a myriad of unsubscribe forms. I wanted to have more control over managing my email and simplifying my life. Finally, this past year, I decided to build the features I needed. The result is Simplify Email (SE), a small web app you can host yourself which offers a variety of cool new email features all of which you can check out on the project website. The coolest thing about SE is that it's a platform for reading, analyzing, routing and managing your email - the possibilities abound. Simplify Email is essentially a programmable playground for "hacking" your own email.

His three examples show you how to:

  • Checking your inbox and filter messages
  • Implement a Whitelist challenge to unknown senders
  • Reporting unanswered email

Each of these comes with plenty of code examples, screenshots and output examples (as well as some places where you might need to change some SE configuration values).

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advanced email imap tutorial feature simpleemail filter whitelist reporting

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/building-advanced-email-features-with-imap-and-php--cms-22059

Matt Stauffer:
Laravel 5.0 - Middleware (replacing Filters)
October 15, 2014 @ 10:18:00

In a new post to his site Matt Stauffer looks at a feature of the upcoming version 5 of the Laravel framework, middleware, and how it will replace the current Filter handling. This is part nine in a series about the new features coming in Laravel (the rest are linked at the top of the article).

If you've been following along with my previous blog posts about Laravel 5.0, you may have noticed that route filters were first moved to be their own directory and class structure, and then eventually they mysteriously disappeared. You may have even noticed that references to Middleware showed up in their place.

He starts off by defining what "middleware" actually is and how it fits into the overall execution flow of the application. He describes it as "a series of wrappers around your application that decorate the requests and the responses in a way that isn't a part of your application logic." He then gets into the code examples, showing how to write a simple Laravel-friendly middleware that blocks odd port requests to the application. He includes the configuration updates to integrate it, how to control where it runs and using before and after "filters" inside the middleware.

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series part9 tutorial laravel framework filter middleware introduction

Link: http://mattstauffer.co/blog/laravel-5.0-middleware-replacing-filters

NetTuts.com:
Five Hidden Gems of Laravel
August 22, 2014 @ 11:51:20

The NetTuts.com site has posted a list of their five hidden gems in Laravel, a popular PHP framework. They look at a wide range of these "hidden" features that can help make your Laravel experience even better.

Many developers who use Laravel are probably only barely scratching the surface of what the framework has to offer. While the documentation does cover the most common use cases and the obvious features, it doesn't cover everything. Don't get me wrong, the documentation is fine, it's just that there's so much you can do, it's hard to document everything. Because of that, we're going to take a look at some of the hidden gems that lurk within Laravel.

The five items on their list come complete with summaries about the feature, when they were added, if they're documented and a code sample with them in use:

  • Cascading Views
  • Collections (with sorting, filtering and pagination)
  • Regular Expression Filters
  • The Message Bag
  • Fluent
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hidden gems laravel framework views collections regex filter message fluent

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/articles/five-hidden-gems-of-laravel--cms-21907

SitePoint PHP Blog:
The Pros and Cons of Zend Certification
February 10, 2014 @ 11:35:49

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new post that weighs the pros and cons of getting the Zend PHP Certification. The Zend Certified PHP Engineer is described as "a measure of distinction that employers use to evaluate prospective employees".

As a PHP developer, you may have been asking yourself how to improve your skills, gain reputation or become more professional in your work. One of the ways of doing so is to get through a certification programme. The only one that covers PHP itself (not a particular framework or software solution) is being delivered by the Zend company. In the remainder of the article I will focus on this particular certificate and describe its advantages and disadvantages. At the end I will also mention some other certification programs that may be valuable to a PHP developer.

He starts with a bit of general information about the certification including some of the categories it covers. He then gets into the pros and cons, listing two items for each. He suggests that it's a good way to measure your knowledge but there is a question of how much it really proves to get a passing score.

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zend certification opinion pro con developer

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/pros-cons-zend-certification/


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