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Symfony Blog:
Improving REST in Symfony
July 11, 2014 @ 12:15:56

On the Symfony blog there's a recent post about a new effort being started to help improve REST in Symfony-based applications. William Durand talks about some of the current tools and some of the missing features/difficulties each has. This effort wants to help change that.

Building APIs with Symfony is not new. We've done that since the early beginning of Symfony: Askeet, Jobeet, it's been a long time! Nowadays, more and more web applications are made of an API and a client side application. Sharing data across applications using APIs also became an essential feature. [...] For most of us, it is not as clear as it should be, and we can certainly do better than what we have right now! Hence the creation of a working group to gather both people and knowledge for REST in Symfony: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/resting-with-symfony.

The target of the group is just about anyone associated with the development of APIs: developers who build them, developers to contribute to Symfony's REST functionality, people with questions about REST and, really, anyone else interested. It's a part of their wider developer experience initiative they've recently ramped up.

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Link: http://symfony.com/blog/improving-rest-in-symfony

Voices of the ElePHPant:
It's the Booze Talking #6 - APIs Part 1
February 11, 2014 @ 09:18:50

The Voices of the ElePHPant podcast has release their latest episode today in their "It's the Booze Talking" series. This latest episode, "APIs Part 1" (epside 6) includes a panel of guests including Keith Casey, Larry Garfield, Matthew Weier O'Phinney and Luke Stokes.

This episode was recorded live at this year's Sunshine PHP conference that just wrapped up in Miami, Florida. Note: this episode does have an "explicit" tag attached for some of the language during the conversation, so be warned.

You can listen to this latest episode either through the in-page player or by downloading the mp3 directly. To get more great community interviews and panels, be sure you subscribe to their feed to get the latest.

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Link: http://voicesoftheelephpant.com/2014/02/11/its-the-booze-talking-6-apis-part-1/

Reddit.com:
Attempting to understand Namespacing, and its benefits
January 02, 2014 @ 11:54:23

If you're relatively new to PHP, you may have read about something called "namespacing" but not fully understood it or the benefits it provides. Over on Reddit, there's a recent discussion where the poster asks about just that:

As I understand it, Namespacing provides a lot of useful context for developers, as well as making the autoloading of classes much easier (though I've never personally tried this). I can also see it being used in a large enough application where it might help keep things in scope, but this seems like a bit of a stretch to me. Apart from that, I'm not too clear on what namespacing actually does.

The comments to the thread including things like links to other resources and other suggestions like:

  • tools to try out
  • places to start using it in your own code
  • the difference between underscores and real namespacing
  • how they help avoid conflicts in naming and functionality
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namespace benefit context autoload opinion discussion

Link: http://www.reddit.com/r/PHP/comments/1u1ztr/attempting_to_understand_namespacing_and_its

PHPMagazin:
Okay, so the cloud. But what's in it for me and my business.
November 13, 2013 @ 12:40:06

On the PHPMagazin.de site today, they've posted the video from this year's International PHP Conference of the panel discussion of "the cloud" and what's in it for businesses (note: original page is in German).

Who really needs the cloud? [...] Speaker Rainer Stropek (software architect at gmbh), Frank Muller (Canonical) and Glen Campbell (Rackspace) spoke on a keynote panel in Munich at the 2013 IPC about the cloud and its opportunities for business cases. It was less about basics, how to get the concepts of SaaS, PaaS and IaaS, or propaganda, like the eternal question of the data (un) reliability of the cloud, but much more about a sense of which business scenarios cloud are ready.

You can watch the full keynote video either through the in-page player or over on YouTube as well as several other interviews and videos from this year's IPC (2013).

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Link: http://phpmagazin.de/videos/Okay-the-Cloud-But-whats-in-it-for-me-and-my-business-168918

Reddit.com:
What would you change about PHP if you could dictate the next major version?
July 24, 2013 @ 12:46:54

In Reddit.com there's a great discussion all started by a simple question - What would you change about PHP if you could dictate the next major version?

We know that PHP has flaws, though it's the best language for web programming, at least in my opinion. How would you improve it?

There's tons of answers (some valid, some are just trolls coming out to play), here's just a few:

  • Named parameters
  • Add scalar type hinting
  • True multi-threading support
  • Property accessors
  • Strings as objects
  • A native namespace
  • Return typing
  • Default autoloading

There's lots of discussion around some of these (and plenty of others not even mentioned) so be sure to check out the full post for more great ideas.

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Link: http://www.reddit.com/r/PHP/comments/1iw0cj/what_would_you_change_about_php_if_you_could

NetTuts.com:
Round Table #1 Should Exceptions Ever be Used for Flow Control?
March 28, 2013 @ 10:20:39

On the NetTuts.com site today they've posted the transcript of a panel discussion they had with several developers about exceptions and whether or not they should be used for flow control.

I'm pleased to release our first ever round table, where we place a group of developers in a locked room (not really), and ask them to debate one another on a single topic. In this first entry, we discuss exceptions and flow control.

The opinions vary among the group as to what exceptions should be used for (even outside of the flow control topic). Opinions shared are things like:

  • Exceptions are situations in your code that you should never reach
  • Errors cause Failures and are propagated, via Exceptions.
  • So, essentially, exceptions are an "abstraction" purely to model the abnormality.
  • Personally, I envision exceptions more as "objections."
  • Exceptions like this should be caught at some point and transformed into a friendly message to the user.

There's lots more than this in the full discussion so head over and read it all - there's definitely some good points made.

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/Dev/Hell Podcast:
Episode 29 Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions
March 11, 2013 @ 10:44:22

The /Dev/Hell podcast has posted the latest episode of their podcast (as hosted by Chris Hartjes and Ed Finkler) - Episode #29, "Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions".

Being totally out of ideas, we turned things over to our legions of fans who joined us on IRC. Lots of interesting questions, and people learned what Ed thought was horseshit.

As you can imagine, there's lots of topics covered including some discussion of PHP IDEs, if PHP has reached its limit and liberal versus conservative programmers. You can listen to this latest episode either through the in-page player, by downloading the mp3 or by subscribing to their feed.

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PHP Town Hall Podcast:
Episode #2 - Talk about PHP 5.5
December 06, 2012 @ 13:57:09

The latest episode of the PHP Town Hall podcast has been release - Episode #2, "a Node Hipster, Beardy Python Fan, PHP Contributor and a Bristolian Talk About PHP 5.5"

We're back for an "IRL" episode, with Zack Kitzmiller, John Crepezzi and Anthony Ferrera, discussing PHP 5.5 and the new features it will bring.

You can listen to this latest episode through the in-page player, by downloading the mp3 or by subscribing to their feed to get the latest as they're released.

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Chris Jones:
How (and when) to move users to mysqli and PDO_MYSQL?
November 26, 2012 @ 11:04:25

Related to a recent discussion on the php.internals mailing list, Chris Jones has posted about moving away from the MySQL extension in favor of the MySQLi functionality and the effort bubbling up to make the old functionality deprecated.

An important discussion on the PHP "internals" development mailing list is taking place. It's one that you should take some note of. It concerns the next step in transitioning PHP applications away from the very old mysql extension and towards adopting the much better mysqli extension or PDO_MYSQL driver for PDO. This would allow the mysql extension to, at some as-yet undetermined time in the future, be removed.

He links to a RFC that's been posted to help promote and push this idea forward with mentions of the "carrot" and "stick" methods for pushing users towards mysqli.

As always, there is a lot of guesswork going on as to what MySQL APIs are in current use by PHP applications, how those applications are deployed, and what their upgrade cycle is. [...] I want to repeat that no time frame for the eventual removal of the mysql extension is set. I expect it to be some years away.
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mysqli mysql pdo move deprecate phpinternals discussion


Reddit.com:
What would you consider to be 'advanced PHP skills?'
October 05, 2012 @ 12:56:26

On Reddit.com there's an interesting discussion going on about what's considered to be 'advanced skills' for a PHP developer to have.

I'm going to throw out here some potential advanced skills from off the top of my head - not at all a complete list.... PHP objects? PHP regular expressions? Frameworks? Security measures? Ability to use PHP to do cool things like recursive node walking of XML files? Use of third party libraries? Or would you add something else entirely? Just curious, because I'm looking for work and want to know if I can reasonably bill myself as having advanced PHP skills. Thanks for the input!

Responses cover a wide range of topics including:

  • the Zend Certification(s)
  • Clean, easy to understand coding practices
  • How to effectively test your applications
  • Addressing security concerns
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