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SitePoint PHP Blog:
PHP 5.6 End of Beta
June 09, 2014 @ 12:08:15

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new post from editor Bruno Skvorc looking at the final beta for PHP 5.6, the latest bugfix release for this upcoming version. He talks about some of the major changes, security upgrades and other fixes included in the release.

On June 5th 2014, the PHP group announced the fourth and final beta of the 5.6 version. This milestone ends the beta program and begins the RC program (currently planned for June 19th), which will from now on focus exclusively on making sure the version is stable enough for release. As is customary with a beta program, no new features were added since beta 1 - all the releases were bugfix and improvement patches only.

New features coming in PHP 5.6 include exponentiation via the "**" operator, the change of the default character set to UTF-8 and several security updates (based on releasely released vulnerabilities in underlying libraries PHP uses). There are a few backwards compatibility breaks that come with the new release as well as deprecated features and various other smaller updates.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/php-5-6-end-beta

PHP.net:
PHP 5.6.0beta3 Released
May 16, 2014 @ 10:35:45

The PHP.net site has posted about the latest beta release in the PHP 5.6.x cycle - PHP 5.6.0beta3. This is a development release, so do not use it in any production facing applications.

The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 5.6.0beta3. As we entered the feature freeze with beta1, this is is a bugfix-only release. All users of PHP are encouraged to test this version carefully, and report any bugs in the bug tracking system.

Changes in this release include fixes to the core engine, the date handling, GD functionality and an OpenSSL-related fix. You can download this latest release from the PHP QA site or here for Windows users.

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Link: http://php.net/index.php#id2014-05-15-1

PHP.net:
PHP 5.6.0beta2 released
May 02, 2014 @ 12:17:35

The PHP development group has officially released the latest beta in in the PHP 5.6.x series - PHP 5.6.0beta2. This is a development release and should not be used in production.

The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 5.6.0beta2. As we entered the feature freeze with beta1, this release is almost exclusively a bugfix-only 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 added in this new beta are things like the watchpoint support for phpdbg and a new fetching mode for mysqlnd which uses less memory but implies more memory copy. For more information about the other changes included in this release, check out the evolving documentation or the full NEWS file. You can download this beta from the QA download page (or for the Windows users, here).

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Link: http://php.net/index.php#id2014-05-02-1

Community News:
Apigility 1.0.0beta1 Released!
March 25, 2014 @ 10:41:03

Zend has officially announced the release of the 1.0.0beta1 of Apigility, their API creation platform making it simpler for developers to get started making APIs, even around existing code.

We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of Apigility 1.0.0beta1! [...] This is our first beta release of Apigility, marking its initial API stability, and providing a solid preview of what to expect for the first stable release. [...] Apigility provides tools for describing and documenting your APIs, both RESTful and RPC. You can indicate the URL that provides a service, what HTTP methods are allowed, what representations (e.g., JSON, HTML, XML) can be provided, how many items to present per page of a collection, and more.

The release goes on to talk about some of the other features of Apigility including the standard of JSON responses, custom validation for incoming data and an implementation of the Swagger UI bundled for documentation of your service. There's also a list of things (with code examples on some) about what's changed in this beta release since 0.9.1. There's also a brief look at the end of the roadmap ahead, with an emphasis on a full, stable release soon.

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Link: http://framework.zend.com/blog/apigility-1-0-0beta1-released.html

PHP.net:
PHP 5.5 beta2 released
March 29, 2013 @ 06:37:11

The PHP.net site has announced the release of the latest beta for the PHP 5.5 series - PHP 5.5 beta2:

The PHP development team announces the release of the second beta of PHP 5.5.0. This release fixes some bugs from beta one that could prevent the release from compiling. [...] Our next beta is expected for April 11th.

This is a development preview, so do not use it in production. Several bugs were fixed in this beta release - you can view the NEWS file for a complete list. If you'd like to help test it out in your environment and with your applications, go download it (Winodws) and give it a shot. You can provide issues you might find back to the bug tracker.

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PHP.net:
PHP 5.5.0 beta1 available
March 22, 2013 @ 12:08:12

As is mentioned on PHP.net today, the first beta release of the upcoming PHP 5.5.0 series of the language has been posted for testing - PHP 5.5.0 beta1. This is a development preview and is not meant for production use.

The PHP development team announces the release of the first beta of PHP 5.5.0. This release is the first to include the Zend OPCache. Please help our efforts to provide a stable PHP version and test this version carefully against several different applications, with Zend OPCache enabled and report any bug in the bug tracking system.

This beta includes the mentioned OPCache (formerly the Zend Optimizer+), the array_column function, support for non-scalar Iterator keys in foreach and titling your PHP CLI processes. There's other changes as well, so check out the NEWS for all of them. If you'd like to help out and test this release against your application, check out this post from Phil Sturgeon

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Zend.com:
Zend Framework 2.0 Beta 3 Release Gives Developers an Early Start
March 02, 2012 @ 11:12:24

In a recent press release from Zend, they talk about some of the latest updates to the Zend Framework 2 project (the release of Beta 3) and what it offers developers:

This new revision of the framework is geared towards greater developer productivity and application performance, providing rich support for the leading cloud services and providers, and a streamlined and simple workflow for developing next-generation mobile applications and APIs.

[...] Zend Framework 2 highlights [include]: Simpler and easier to use components, better modularity and code reuse, significantly improved performance, an entirely new Cloud Infrastructure component and full PHP 5.3 support right now.

The project roadmap has the Beta 4 release happening in the second quarter of 2012 with a general availability release happening the following quarter (Q3). Guides are in the works to help ease the transition from the 1.x releases of Zend Framework up to 2.x.

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Paul Jones' Blog:
The Aura Project Now For PHP 5.4, With Beta Releases
January 06, 2012 @ 10:03:10

As Paul Jones mentions in this new post to his blog the Aura project, a PHP framework, originally targeted at PHP 5.3 has changed its direction a bit - they've shifted from a focus on PHP 5.3 to the upcoming PHP 5.4 release.

When I initially announced the Aura project, it was targeted at PHP 5.3. With a stable release of PHP 5.4 impending, we have moved the target to PHP 5.4. In addition, we have made 1.0.0-beta1 releases of almost all the component packages. (See an earlier announcement from Hari KT.)

The components include: a dependency injection container, an autoloader and a view system that are all self-contained with no other dependencies. You can find the complete code for these containers (and one for combining them all into a single system) on the project's github page.

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PHP.net:
PHP 5.4 beta2 released
October 27, 2011 @ 10:12:59

The PHP.net site has a new announcement about the latest version of the language in the PHP 5.4.x series - beta 2 has been released for testing.

The PHP development team is proud to announce the second beta release of PHP 5.4. PHP 5.4 includes new language features and removes several legacy (deprecated) behaviours. Windows binaries can be downloaded from the Windows QA site. [...] Please help us to identify bugs by testing new features and looking for unintended backward compatibility breaks, so we can fix the problems and fully document intended changes before PHP 5.4.0 is released. Report findings to the QA mailing list and/or the PHP bug tracker.

Remember - this is not a production release, so do not use it in your live applications (unless you really like to live dangerously, of course). You can look at the NEWS file for a complete list of changes.

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Brian Swan's Blog:
Version 3.0 (beta) of the SQL Server Drivers for PHP Released!
September 29, 2011 @ 08:06:03

Brian Swan has a new post to his MSDN blog today about the release of the latest version (3.0 beta) of the SQL Server drivers for PHP. This new release includes three improvements - buffered queries, support for LocalDB and support for high availability/disaster recovery.

A Community Technology Preview (a beta release) of v3.0 of the SQL Server Drivers for PHP was released today (see the announcement on the team blog). You can download it here: Download v3.0 of the SQL Server Drivers for PHP. [...] It's important to note that the latter two features are dependent on the next version of SQL Server (code named "Denali"). A preview of Denali can be downloaded for free here (see notes later in this article about the installation process): Download SQL Server Denali CTP 3.

He gives brief summaries (some with example code) of what these three new features have to offer those using SQL Server in their applications. The "buffered queries" allows you to bring your entire result set into memory, making it simpler to interact with as rows/columns. The LocalDB support gives developers a quick way to have a database without the hassle of a server - just connect right to the SQL Server database file. The high availability feature has been included for a while but has a new name in the upcoming release - SQL Server Always On.

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