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PHP.net:
PHP 5.6.0beta1 released
April 14, 2014 @ 11:52:56

As is mentioned on the main PHP.net site, the release of the first beta of the PHP 5.6.0 series has been released (PHP 5.6.0beta1). This is only a preview release and should not be used in production.

The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 5.6.0beta1. This release adds new features and fixes bugs and marks the feature freeze for the PHP 5.6.0 release. All users of PHP are encouraged to test this version carefully, and report any bugs in the bug tracking system.

Among the new features coming in PHP 5.6.0 are things like the addition of a fread method on the SplFileObject, an update to the DateTimeImmutable class, support for marks to the PCRE extension and support for asynchronous connections and queries to the Pgsql extension. If you'd like to test out this latest beta release on your systems, you can download it from the PHP QA site (or the Windows QA site if you're so inclined).

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php56beta1 release language development preview

Link: http://php.net/index.php#id2014-04-11-1

SitePoint PHP Blog:
PHP Extension Development with PHP-CPP Object Oriented Code
April 08, 2014 @ 09:11:17

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted the second part of their look at the PHP-CPP tool and how to use it for developing PHP extensions. In this second part of the series Taylor Ren builds on what was learned in part one and talks more about the OOP features of the tool.

In this part, we further elaborate its OO features. We will mimic a complex number (in the form of 3+4i) class to demonstrate some more useful and powerful sides of the PHP-CPP library.

He walks you though a few changes to the environment files (the .ini configuration file and the Makefile) to set things up. He then gets into the C++/PHP constructor and getters and setters for private class variables, much like PHP's __get and __set. His example shows a set of methods that do some mathematical calculations including one to show the result in a "more friendly way". He includes the code for registering these functions and, finally, the steps to compile, install and test the extension.

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phpcpp extension development part2 series oop code

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/php-extension-development-php-cpp-object-oriented-code

MakeUseOf:
Create The Perfect PHP Development Environment In Android
March 05, 2014 @ 10:39:17

On the MakeUseOf site there's a recent post showing how you can create the "perfect PHP development environment" on your Android-based device. Obviously, it's much more useful on a tablet, but in theory it could be used on a smartphone.

It turns out you can actually code on Android productively. For the longest time, it has been accepted that whilst computers are for productivity and creativity, Tablets exist purely to allow the passive consumption of content. I believed that as well. I'm a software developer by trade, and I use a 13" Macbook Pro to write all my code. I wouldn't have it any other way. OS X comes with everything I need to be productive as a developer, and I've built my workflow around that. Android on the other hand? I've never really thought about writing code on Android. [...] But then I bought a decent Bluetooth keyboard, and everything changed. I've now built a PHP development environment around my 2012 Nexus 7 tablet, and I love it.

He breaks it down and shows some of the tools he uses for his development including the use of VIM Touch for editing and the Palapa Web Server for local hosting of his applications. Screenshots of the setup and configuration are also included.

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development environment android vimtouch palapa webserver

Link: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/create-perfect-php-development-environment-android/

IT World:
Does relying on an IDE for development make you a bad programmer?
February 27, 2014 @ 10:04:45

On the IT World site there's an interesting post that poses the question - does relying too heavily on your IDE make you a bad programmer?

The truth is that a good IDE makes you vastly more productive than a bad one or none at all. Projects are off the ground faster thanks to helpful scaffolding. Coding moves faster thanks to intelligent autocompletes and IDE refactoring tools. Integrated unit testing helps your application be more maintainable. Built in deployment tools, web servers, code analysis, and compile time bundling streamlines the workflow. It also standardizes the developer experience which benefits both the programmer and the business.

He mentions the original post that got him thinking about the topic. It talks about the reliance one developer feels like they now have on their IDE. They feel that it's "made them lazy" in their development practices. The article isn't specifically focused around PHP as there are IDEs for other languages that do a lot more for work for you. There are some in the PHP world, like PHPStorm that do rank up there as far as automated features, though.

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dependency ide development opinion programmer quality

Link: http://www.itworld.com/development/406451/does-relying-ide-development-make-you-bad-programmer

Freek Lijten:
Consistency vs. "The itch"
February 20, 2014 @ 09:11:31

In this latest post to his site Freek Lijten talks about "the itch" of having or working on something outside the normal project standards.

I assume everybody has certain rules, regulations, guidelines or conventions at their jobs/open source projects. I like structure and consistency so, as long as they are sensible, these things make me happy. Still, every once in a while, something itches. What wins, itch or convention?

He gives an example from some of his current work with an "itch" around using only a call to a registry to save information where business logic isn't needed. He recommends not scratching the itch though, as consistency should win out over other solutions. As he points out, "one day, you will have the need for business logic" and you want to have that structure there to fit it into.

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consistency programming development methodology itch

Link: http://www.freeklijten.nl/home/2014/02/18/Consistency-vs.-The-itch

NetTuts.com:
SOLID Part 4 - The Dependency Inversion Principle
February 14, 2014 @ 11:53:22

NetTuts.com has posted the next part in their series (the looking at the SOLID development principles discussing the Dependency Inversion Principle, the final letter in the "SOLID" acronym.

It would be unjust to tell you that any one of the SOLID principles is more important than another. However, probably none of the others have such an immediate and profound effect on your code than the Dependency Inversion Principle, or DIP in short. If you find the other principles hard to grasp or apply, start with this one and apply the rest on code that already respects DIP.

They start off with a basic definition of the dependency inversion principle and an example of it in a more real world situation. They use it to separate out the handling of reading and rendering PDFs and eBooks. It's just some basic code, no real functionality, but it gives you an idea of how to architect the application.

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dependency inversion principle solid development part4 series

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/solid-part-4-the-dependency-inversion-principle--net-36872

Reddit.com:
Any ideas on what "MVC agnostic" PHP code is?
February 06, 2014 @ 10:43:59

On Reddit.com there's a recent post that asks for a bit of clarification about the term "MVC agnostic" as said by a potential employer:

A potential employer wanted to see some of my code before an interview. They originally asked for MVC or OO PHP that I'd written in the last 30 days - fair enough. [...] They've come back to me (via the recruitment agent) asking for some "MVC agnostic code" as no one on staff has worked with codeignitor before. Any ideas what they mean by this as I'm slightly stumped.

Most of the responses to the post suggest something that's becoming more and more of a trend in PHP development lately - framework agnostic development. Basically, this is creating functionality (usually in packages) that can be dropped into any application and used independently.

Other comments suggest other possible definitions like:

  • "This is the first time that I have heard someone mention "MVC agnostic" and on the face of it I would question their own understanding of the phrase."
  • "Yeah, the key bit in your question there was 'via a recruitment agency'. Half of the time, they haven't got a clue about the industry and so jargon gets tossed about something awful."
  • "I think it's more accurate to say that what they want to know is that you actually know PHP, and not merely a set of tools on top of PHP that make you productive in the way you prefer."
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mvc agnostic framework opinion package development example

Link: http://www.reddit.com/r/PHP/comments/1x2xea/any_ideas_on_what_mvc_agnostic_php_code_is/

Cal Evans:
Let's be honest...
January 28, 2014 @ 10:50:17

Cal Evans has posted a sort of "call to arms" for the developers out there, asking them to be more honest with software estimates and think realistically about the project and its complexities.

As developers, we see projects not as a job that must be done, but as art that can be created, as a project that needs to be crafted. It's not a spreadsheet of numbers to us, it's a sketch on a napkin of something we want to build. As such, we see the big picture, but miss the details. So when we tell a customer/client/family member "Yeah, I can build that this weekend". In our mind, we mean it. We honestly think the project is simple enough to be built in a weekend. It rarely is though.

He goes on to talk about some of his own experience with the "just a weekend" claims and the over-promising that comes easily to devs. He suggests a few things to link about as you're estimating your next project - can you actually do it (not a "learn on" project) and thinking about when it will be done based on availability, not just desire and work in isolation.

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honesty software development estimate opinion

Link: http://blog.calevans.com/2014/01/27/lets-be-honest/

Geshan Manandhar:
5 PHP development improvements rediscovered in 2013
January 24, 2014 @ 11:54:20

Geshan Manandhar has a new post talking about five development improvements that were "rediscovered" in 2013 in the PHP community.

Love it or hate it, the fact is 80% of the web is PHP and its usage has been in an increasing trend since 2010. [...] In this process of having a robust back-end API, we have rediscovered and utilized some technologies inline with PHP development and improved on them in the past year. Here is a summary of these PHP related technologies/methods/best practices that will help all PHP developers.

The five things on his list are things that were around before 2013, but they all had much more of an effect in the past year than prior:

  • PHP Specification Request - PSR
  • Composer and Packagist
  • Virtual Development Environment - Vagrant
  • Debugging with X-Debug
  • Automated Testing with PHPUnit
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development improvement rediscovered 2013

Link: http://geshan.blogspot.ae/2014/01/5-php-development-improvements.html

Rob Allen:
Implementing a ZF2 development mode
January 02, 2014 @ 09:18:07

Rob Allen has shared a method he's found for implementing a Zend Framework v2 in development mode, more specifically for an Apigility installation.

One feature that piqued my interested in the Apigility skeleton application was development mode. [...] Behind the scenes, this [call to public/index.php] runs an action in DevelopmentModeController which copies config/development.config.php.dist to config/development.config.php. Then there is some code in public/index.php that ensures that this file is loaded.

You can then have a ModuleManager instance specifically for the development version and configuration. This allows for a greater amount of customization and removes some requirements you might have had in production. He's also created a module that handles some of this for you automatically you can drop into your installation.

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zendframework2 apigility development mode tutorial

Link: http://akrabat.com/computing/implementing-a-zf2-development-mode/


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