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Voices of the ElePHPant:
It's the Booze Talking #5 Core Developers
February 04, 2014 @ 13:56:36

The Voices of the ElePHPant podcast has released its latest episode, the next in their "It's the Booze Talking" roundtable series - Episode #5, "Core Developers".

This episode was recorded live at last year's ZendCon PHP Conference in Santa Clara, California. Guests for the episode were:

  • Sara Golemon
  • Derick Rethans
  • Illia Alshanetsky
  • Ben Ramsey Liz Smith
  • David Stockton

There's also mention of the PHP Mentoring project and the PHP RFC process. You can listen to this latest episode either through the in-page player or by downloading the mp3 for listening at your leisure.

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Link: http://voicesoftheelephpant.com/2014/02/04/its-the-booze-talking-5-core-developers

7PHP.com:
PHP Interview With Michael Wallner A Full-Time Core PHP Developer
October 21, 2013 @ 09:51:14

On 7PHP.com today another community interview has been posted - this time it's with Michael Wallner, a full-time PHP core developer working at SmugMug.

Today I bring you an interview with someone (named Michael Wallner, @_m6w6) who has been hired to work full-time on PHP. Yes you heard it right: this guy is paid to work on The Core of PHP. As you know PHP is open-source, so why would a company hire someone to work full-time on such a free technology? (I let you get the answers from Mike himself). Besides since he is highly involved with PHP and it's core, it's a good opportunity to learn from his experience and know-how, so let's hear from him!

He answers questions about his past, how he started with PHP and what he thinks of the language now versus when he started out with it. He gives some advice to budding PHP developers and some of the libraries/projects he suggests. They then talk some about his work at SmugMug and how much time he'll be spending dedicated to working on the PHP core. There's also a bit answering the "why" question of why SmugMug would hire him to work on the core...but you'll have to read the interview to find out that answer.

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Link: http://7php.com/php-interview-michael-wallner/

WordPress.org:
A New Frontier for Core Development
August 07, 2013 @ 10:21:32

WordPress, by far one of the most popular PHP-based applications out there has a new post to their site officially stating a change in core development practices:

In a little over a decade, we've made twenty five thousand commits to WordPress. WordPress (along with the web itself) has come a long way, but our development workflow has remained largely the same.

As a part 3.7, I'll be leading an effort to revamp and streamline our development workflow. We're going to bring all of our core components - our code, our tests, and our tooling - under one roof. Developers will be able to use and improve the tools we're already working with day-to-day, and we'll be able to add new tools to make working with WordPress even easier.

We're also making sure that any changes are compatible with our current workflow, so you won't have to change the way you work. These changes won't break any existing checkouts or scripts that use core.svn.wordpress.org.

The post also details some of the new things they're doing to improve the development and deployment process. This includes the creation of a "develop.svn.wordpress.org" SVN repository to hold all new WordPress development. There's also a new build process involving a tool called "bumpbot" and the new addition of Grunt.

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Link: http://make.wordpress.org/core/2013/08/06/a-new-frontier-for-core-development

Ben Ramsey:
Contributing to PHP Core
July 12, 2013 @ 11:31:06

Ben Ramsey has a new post to his site today related to a talk of his that was accepted at this year's ZendCon conference about contributing to the PHP core:

I've been accepted to speak at ZendCon this year. One of the three talks I'll be presenting is a new one: "Contributing to Core: My Journey to Add array_column() to the PHP Core." While PHP conferences sometimes include talks or tutorials on creating PHP extensions or the intricacies of the PHP internals, I've never seen a talk about one's personal experiences contributing to core, from start to finish, and how one would go about getting started. That's what this talk is about.

He also shares a tool that he used when he was doing his own work on the array_column function - a PHP development Puppet setup that could be spun up and reproduced as needed. He also spends some time talking about the build cycle, how to run tests and a link to the Puppet Cookbook he kept close for reference.

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Link: http://benramsey.com/blog/2013/07/contributing-to-php-core

Pádraic Brady:
PHP Escaper RFC Consistent Escaping Functionality For Killing XSS
September 19, 2012 @ 13:02:59

There's been a lot of chatter about a recent RFC from Pádraic Brady on the php.internals maling list - his proposal to add native escaping to the PHP core. He shares some of his own thoughts about the proposal in a new post to his site.

A short time ago today, I submitted a PHP RFC for discussion which proposes adding an SPL Escaper class and, quite possibly, a related set of functions dedicated to escaping data for output to HTML/XML to PHP: https://wiki.php.net/rfc/escaper. The RFC itself should be a good read if you want to understand why I'm proposing this but the basics are quite simple. Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) is one of the two most common security vulnerabilities in web applications - the other being SQL Injection. Despite this, PHP's offering of escaping functions is extremely limited.

He talks about what problems the proposed solution solves and how it could help protect PHP programmers more effectively than the more complicated methods they have to go through now. If you're interested in reading the conversations so far, you can start here and walk through the messages.

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PHPClasses.org:
Lately in PHP, Episode 22 - Will the Git Move Encourage more Non-Core Contribution?
April 05, 2012 @ 12:58:40

On the PHPClasses.org site there's a new episode of their "Lately in PHP" podcast wondering if the move of PHP to git will encourage more non-core developers to contribute to the project.

The PHP development migrated to a Git repository. With the integration with GitHub it became easier for non-core developers to submit pull requests with bug fixes and new feature improvements to PHP. Will this new possibility make it PHP core developers accept more contributions from non-core developers?

The episode also looks forward to the next release in the PHP 5.4.x series (5.4.1) and some of the stir that a recent post (to PHPClasses) about OOP caused in the community.

You can listen to this latest episode either via the in-page player, by downloading the mp3 or by subscribing to their podcast feed.

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Chris Hartjes' Blog:
How Not to Suck at PHP
February 07, 2012 @ 12:48:47

In this recent post to his blog, Chris Hartjes answers his request for a "rant topic" by responding to a question about "how to not suck at PHP" (from Travis Northcutt).

I thought about this question for a while and have some thoughts on what it really means to know how to not suck at building things using PHP. In my never even remotely humble opinion I think the key is to understand what PHP is really good at.

He talks about how PHP had the early-adoption advantage at first with Apache, but how things have changed so much since then. Now, he proposes, PHP's popularity and usefulness is based on what it can do as a language without messing with frameworks at all. He's worried that, once someone picks up a framework, it'll become so ingrained that they won't know what "plain old PHP" can do (or how to work with it).

So my advice to Travis is that he should worry about learning to use PHP like glue and correctly identify the problems he is trying to solve NOW instead of worrying about the problems he might have to solve later. There will be time to fix your problems. Some of those will be solved by using tools that are not written in PHP, but PHP can still glue them together.
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Anthony Ferrara's Blog:
On PSR-0 Being Included In PHP's Core
November 04, 2011 @ 08:34:50

In a new post to his blog today Anthony Ferrara looks at the (heated) discussion that's popped up around having the PSR-0 autoloader standard included as a part of the PHP core. He gives his reasons (three of them) why he's not for the decision.

Recently there has been a rather heated and intense discussion on whether the PSR-0 autoloader "standard" should be included as part of the PHP core (in ext/spl to be exact). I've tried to stay out of the discussion and have successfully done so. Until today. I feel that there's something that's been missing to the discussion. So rather then posting this to the internals list, I feel it's better served by a blog post on the subject. So here's my take on it.

As mentioned, he's not in favor of the inclusion for three different reasons:

  • It's inconsistent with current PHP functionality and would bias development one way or another
  • It's not an actual standard, just a loosely defined practice based on functionality already in place
  • There's noting for core to gain by adopting it and could cause problems trying to make things fit a one-size-fits-all solution.
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Agile Toolkit Blog:
How to Earn Money with Open Source?
September 27, 2011 @ 11:14:18

On the Agile Toolkit blog today there's and interesting article with a slightly misleading title - "How to Earn Money with Open Source?" It talks less about strategies of how to monetize your open source project and more about how other projects are doing it and why a good core team is important.

OpenSource is an amazing phenomena, but how safe open-source projects are? Would commercial project be safer over the community-supported project? Frameworks can't exist without their core team and In this article I look at how different PHP frameworks are supporting their core developers.

He talks briefly about the need for a good, solid group of core developers on a framework (or really any product) to provide a stable foundation if a product was created with it. Four projects are mentioned - Zend Framework, CodeIgniter, Symfony and Agile Toolkit - and why, because of the backing they have from a company and a large group of developers (and contributors) they're not "yet another framework" that'll disappear over time.

Making new frameworks is fun, however, if you share framework with others, be responsible about the support. Make realistic goals and try to have a plan for a next few years. If you are the author, think who will support the community when you decide to move on.
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Kevin Schroeder's Blog:
Why PHP?
September 09, 2011 @ 08:53:03

Kevin Schroeder has a new post to his blog today asking "Why PHP?" - not so much a "why you should chose PHP for your development", more of a why PHP is the way it is.

Today on twitter there was a conversation going on about the responsiveness of the core PHP developers to PHP users. [...] This post isn't necessarily to correct perceived errors, to stand behind correct statements, or to state what I believe the problem is. Rather, it is to add something to the conversation that I don't think I've seen much of. The Twitter conversation was, for me, more of a contemplation kickoff and so the purpose of this post is to propose some thoughts for consideration. I don't have sufficient karma to propose changes directly, but I have bet my career on PHP and I want to see it beat the crap out of every language out there.

He points out that most of the opinions out there seem to be of the "what" PHP is rather than the "why" PHP is. He notes that the discussions about the core development (and developers) that's been happening recently is more of a symptom of a larger problem - an unclear definition as to what PHP is and what problem it's there to solve.

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