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SitePoint PHP Blog:
Check Your Code's Quality with SensioLabs Insight
August 07, 2014 @ 12:25:20

On the SitePoint PHP blog today there's a new post by Peter Nijssen introducing you to the SensioLabs Insight service and how it can improve your code quality (including locating security concerns).

The quality of your code is as important as testing your application. Recently, we have seen multiple articles which hopefully helped you on your way to providing a more stable application. Today, we are going to have a closer look at SensioLabs Insight. If you used Symfony or Silex in the past, you are probably familiar with SensioLabs, since they are the main sponsor of the Symfony framework.

He quickly introduces the service, mentioning what it has to offer and how to get your account all set up (free for open source libraries but it requires the results to be public). He includes some screenshots showing what the setup and scan results of your project might look like. He shows how to get more detail on the findings and how they can easily be exported to your bug tracker for fixing. He also covers some of the configuration you can do (through a YAML file) to tell Insight things like: php.ini settings, directories to exclude and specific rules to run during the scans.

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sensiolabs insight introduction service scan code quality

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/check-codes-quality-sensiolabs-insight/

Reddit.com:
PHP library authors Have you considered to arrange security bug bounties?
August 06, 2014 @ 10:39:00

In this new post to Reddit.com Timoh suggests something that could definitely help improve the overall security of the PHP ecosystem - a bug bounty system, providing libraries and projects an easy way to security-related submissions for their code.

To encourage software security research on the open-source PHP libraries we use everyday, I have been brainstorming the possibilities for us, the code authors, to start to offer security bug bounties on the projects we maintain. It is a shame such a few PHP projects encourages security research by offering bug bounties, and I think it doesn't have to be this way.

He describes his ideas for the system including the ability to offer both monetary bounties and other kinds of recognition as well. Comments on the post are largely supportive, agreeing with him that it can definitely help things. He also makes the suggestion of getting frameworks with corporate backings (like Zend Framework and Symfony) to be some of the leaders and be an example to other projects and get them on board. What do you think? Add your own thoughts and suggestions about the project to the mix!

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bugbounty service project library zendframework symfony bounty recognition

Link: http://www.reddit.com/r/PHP/comments/2cpu6v/php_library_authors_have_you_considered_to/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Diffbot Crawling with Visual Machine Learning
August 01, 2014 @ 11:37:12

On the SitePoint PHP blog Bruno Skvorc has posted a tutorial showing you how to use the Diffbot service to extract data from any page. He introduces both the service itself and walks you through a simple request via Guzzle.

Have you ever wondered how social networks do URL previews so well when you share links? How do they know which images to grab, whom to cite as an author, or which tags to attach to the preview? Is it all crawling with complex regexes over source code? Actually, more often than not, it isn't. [...] If you want to build a URL preview snippet or a news aggregator, there are many automatic crawlers available online, both proprietary and open source, but you seldom find something as niche as visual machine learning. This is exactly what Diffbot is - a "visual learning robot" which renders a URL you request in full and then visually extracts data, helping itself with some metadata from the page source as needed.

He uses a combination of a Laravel installation (via a Homestead instance) and a Guzzle request using a fetched token. The service offers a 10k call limit on a 7 day free trial, so you can sign up and grab your token there. He includes code for an example request fetching a SitePoint page and parsing out the tags. He also briefly looks at the custom handling diffbot allows based on CSS-type rules.

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diffbot parse data service api guzzle homestead tutorial introduction

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/diffbot-crawling-visual-machine-learning/

Phil Sturgeon:
Heroku and PHP Sitting in a Tree. K.I.S.S.I.N.G
May 12, 2014 @ 09:40:49

In a recent post Phil Sturgeon talks about the recent news from Heroku about their integrated PHP support and some of his own experience in using the new service feature and migrate his blog over.

Heroku was - as far as I remember - the first (mainstream) PaaS on the market. It was Ruby-only but it was that symbol of modern web development at the time, with the whole "slinging code", "getting shit done", make a Git repo and start shipping bro, hack project/agile-til-it-works mindset. [...] Git push your code, its deployed, one-click installs and drag to scale. It sucked that it was always for Ruby, because as I was also doing a lot of work in PHP I obviously wished I could have the same for my other projects.

He walks through some of the "evolution" of the PaaS (platform as a service) market as it related to PHP environments. He talks about other services like PHPFog, Pagodabox and Fortrabbit. The Heroku added true PHP support and he made his move. He goes through the steps he followed to get his blog migrated over and the commands needed to make the push.

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heroku paas platform service history support pyrocms

Link: http://philsturgeon.co.uk/blog/2014/05/heroku-and-php-sitting-in-a-tree

Jurian Sluiman:
SoflomoCache manage your ZF2 cache services
May 09, 2014 @ 09:53:32

Jurian Sluiman has posted about the release of a tool that aims to help you with cache handling in your Zend Framework 2 applications, the SoflomoCache component.

aching is an essential part in scaling your application, but Zend Framework 2 was missing a utility to manage your caches. Until now! During deployments we usually flushed the cache in a tedious and cumbersome way by directly accessing the apc_* functions in a custom script. This could certainly be improved and so we wrote a command line utility to manage all our cache services.

He includes a few snippets of code showing how to implement the component in your configuration and use it via ZF2's dependency injection handling. He also includes a list of the commands that can be used along with it to flush the cache, either all simultaneously or a single one (defined as a CLI option). It can also flush by namespace and handle the refresh of your combined configuration and module map.

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zendframework2 cache management component project service

Link: https://juriansluiman.nl/article/134/soflomo-cache-manage-your-zf2-cache-services

Jonathan Hill:
How much does it cost to be a web developer?
March 14, 2014 @ 11:17:48

Jonathan Hill has taken an interesting perspective in his recent post looking more at some of the average financial costs around being a web developer.

With Software Development topping 2014′s top jobs list, I thought I would share how much it cost me to become a web developer, and what my monthly expenses look like nowadays.

He breaks it down into a few different categories, listing an average price for each:

  • Initial (start-up) costs for hardware and software
  • Training costs
  • Recurring costs

Obviously, not all of the software and tools he lists are needed for every software developer, but it does give some perspective. Thankfully, he also links to some free alternatives to the tools he mentions that can reduce these costs as well.

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cost developer average hardware software service

Link: http://jonathonhill.net/2014-02-19/how-much-does-it-cost-to-be-a-web-developer/

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/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Understanding Symfony Bundle Configuration and Service Container
February 04, 2014 @ 10:46:03

The SitePoint PHP blog has a post today for those that may be new to the Symfony framework or just wanting to get into it and having trouble understanding bundle configuration. In this new post Carl Vuorinen walks you through this process, combining an example bundle with its configuration.

In this post we'll cover different ways on how to configure Bundles in Symfony2 and how the dependency injection container works with the configuration. The Bundle configuration and Symfony dependency injection container (also known as service container) can be difficult concepts to grasp when first starting development with Symfony2, especially if dependency injection is not a familiar concept beforehand. [...] I am used to working with YAML because I think it's more readable than XML, but you do get the benefit of schema validation when using XML.

He briefly introduces the concepts behind "bundles" in Symfony and two ways to create one - either via the generator on the command line or manually. He also shows two ways to get a bundle's configuration loaded. There's the "easy way", configuring it inside the main "confix.yml", or the slightly harder way of adding a configuration file inside the bundle structure itself and using the "get" method to grab the values manually. With the location(s) of the configuration defined, he gets into the contents of the file and its structure. Finally, he shows the complete example, an "ExampleBundle" with a "greet" method that accepts the configuration value from the "cvuorinen_example.greeter" setting.

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symfony bundle configuration container service tutorial introduction

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/understanding-symfony-bundle-configuration-service-container

PHPClasses.org:
Lately in PHP Podcast #43 - "Is Facebook HHVM going to Replace Zend Engine in PHP6"
January 20, 2014 @ 11:36:41

On the PHPClasses.org site today they've published the latest episode in their "Lately in PHP" podcast series, Episode #43 - "Is Facebook HHVM going to Replace Zend Engine in PHP 6".

The Facebook HipHop Virtual Machine, HHVM, has been evolving a lot, so PHP developers are considering it as a possible replacement for Zend Engine in PHP 6. This was one of the main topics discussed by Manuel Lemos and César Rodas in the episode 43 of the Lately in PHP podcast. They also discussed other topics like FastCGI support in HHVM, having PHP function naming consistency plans for PHP 6, TLS peer verification for secure connections, and using Composer to install JavaScript, CSS and images for PHP projects.

You can listen to this latest episode either through the in-page player, by downloading the mp3 or watching the live video recording from the Google Hangout.

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hhvm zend engine php6 podcast latelyinphp episode

Link: http://www.phpclasses.org/blog/post/225-Is-Facebook-HHVM-going-to-Replace-Zend-Engine-in-PHP-6--Lately-in-PHP-podcast-episode-43.html

Lorna Mitchell:
Zend Certified PHP Developer 5.5
January 08, 2014 @ 09:23:45

If you're thinking about taking the Zend Certified PHP Developer (5.5) test but aren't sure exactly where to start, Lorna Mitchell has provided a list of some good resources to help you out.

Yesterday I updated my previous ZCE certificate to the Zend Certified PHP Developer qualification (the new ZCE for PHP 5.5 also got a new name). Since the ZCE 5.3 exam is no longer available and I work with various clients to prepare their teams for these certifications, it was important to me that I keep my own certification up to date. Now I've done that, I'd like to share some resources for others doing the same thing.

She points to a few things that could help you make the grade:

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zend certified developer test certification resource list

Link: http://www.lornajane.net/posts/2014/zend-certified-php-developer-5-5


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