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Carsten Lucke's Blog:
O'Reilly PHP 5 Cookbook - 3rd German Edition
October 29, 2009 @ 10:14:23

Carsten Lucke has posted about the release of the third edition of O'Reilly's "PHP5 Cookbook" ("PHP5 Kochbuch") German edition:

The book is published by O'Reilly - written by David Sklar, Adam Trachtenberg, Stephan Schmidt, Ulrich Speidel, Carsten Lucke and Matthias Brusdeylins. The German PHP 5 cookbook in a new and completely revised 3rd edition with information on the new PHP 5.3. Collected knowledge of American and German PHP experts. It contains hundreds of well-approved "recipes" including explanations of the new PHP features.

Carsten and Matthias Brusdeylins reworked the third edition and revised quite a bit of it for this new release (including adding some PHP 5.3 examples). The book comes in at a hefty 879 pages and more information can be found on the O'Reilly website.

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SitePoint PHP Blog:
Free PHP Webinar How to Increase Performance with Caching
April 21, 2009 @ 11:16:58

On the SitePoint PHP blog there's a reminder about an upcoming Zend webinar being helps April 22nd (4pm UTC/GMT) about increasing application performance through caching hosted by Shahar Evron.

Zend are holding a free webinar on Wednesday 22 April from San Francisco (9:00am PDT, 4:00pm UTC/GMT). The event is led by Shahar Evron and titled "How to increase application performance using caching". Shahar will give a one-hour live demonstration showing the steps required to optimize and boost the performance of your PHP applications using Zend Server.

The web conference will show how to make use of the Zend Server Community Edition to squeeze more performance out of your PHP applications. The community server includes functionality for Zend Optimizer, a Java/PHP extension, the Oracle extension, phpMyAdmin and the Zend Framework.

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2bits.com:
Benchmarking Zend Server Community Edition with Drupal
April 13, 2009 @ 11:16:44

From the 2bits.com site today the results of a recent test have been posted - comparing a Drupal installation's performance on a normal Apache/PHP fcgid install to a new install using the Zend Server Community Edition.

Zend have had their own proprietary PHP server product for quite some time now. This week, they announced their Zend Server Community Edition, with the intention to disrupt Java, and grow PHP specially in the current economic conditions. [...] So, we decided to benchmark Zend Server Community edition with Drupal 5.x against Apache PHP fcgid with APC, which we have benchmarked recently.

They used Siege for their benchmarks, testing the response times on both installs with one coming out a good bit ahead of the other (I won't spoil it, you'll have to see for yourself). Future testing is mentioned for other comparisons like Zend mod_php vs Ubuntu's Apache mod_php and others.

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Community News:
Zend Server (Commercial & Community Editions) Released
April 08, 2009 @ 10:27:27

As is mentioned on the Zend Developer Zone, the Zend Server software has finally come out of beta and has made its first release (with a community edition too).

From the recent press release:

Zend Server CE is a completely free version of Zend Server that runs on Linux, Microsoft Windows, and Mac OS X, specifically tuned to address the needs of non-critical server deployments and for developer desktops/laptops everywhere. Zend Server CE comes with the same high-performance opcode caching and easy-to-use PHP administration capabilities as the commercial Zend Server.

You can find out more about the products and find the links for downloads of both the Zend Server Commercial and Zend Server Community Edition from the main Zend Server page on the Zend website.

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Mike Willbanks' Blog:
Why Utilize Zend Server Community Edition
March 18, 2009 @ 09:33:55

In this new post to his blog Mike Willbanks talks about some of the reasons he's found (including a few bad ones) to use or not use the Zend Server (Community Edition) for your application.

At work, we were looking to see where we were going as far as future PHP versions and maintaining our production environments it was appealing to see the Zend Server offering. After receiving the email about the public beta, I decided to give this a test spin and the results of which was taken with high regard.

Mike looks at some of the advantages the software offers - including the Zend Control Panel and extensions offered - and a few disadvantages - like the location of the Apache configuration files and the age of some of the extensions included. He also briefly looks at the Zend Control Panel and the features it offers.

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Marcel Esser's Blog:
A Review of Zend Server
February 25, 2009 @ 12:09:55

Marcel Esser has posted his review of the latest all-in-one PHP development stack making the rounds - Zend Server (he tried the Community Edition).

Zend Server is smart in that it really only tries to maintain its core competency - which is PHP. It uses Apache 2 as the runtime for PHP, and it grabs that from Debian repositories, along with the usual chain of configurations thereof. At the time of this writing, the packaged PHP version is 5.2.8. I took a cursory look at the PHP extensions that ship with the default, and they look to be very complete.

He talks about the administration the tool offers and one thing that it simplifies - setting up some of the more difficult tools (like Zend Debugger) automatically. That said, there are a few things that bothered him: the assumption of Apache2, the lack of rollback instructions, the use of a password-only login for the admin system and the number of pre-loaded extensions that come enabled by default.

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Andi Gutmans' Blog:
Inside Zend Server Windows
February 24, 2009 @ 12:57:41

Andi Gutmans (of Zend) has posted a more in-depth look their newly released (beta) product - Zend Server - and its use on a Windows platform.

As I pointed out in my previous post on Zend Server there are a lot of different constituencies that Zend Server applies to. In this post I will focus on developers and system administrators who are using Windows either for developing or running PHP-based Web applications.

He mentions the work that's been done to help stabilize PHP on the Windows platform - both by Zend and Microsoft - and that the difference between Zend Server and the Zend Server community edition has nothing to do with the stability of the software it sets up. He does list some of the features in the Windows version including FastCGI support, native MSI hotfixes and a feature to tweak certain Windows settings for the optimal Zend Server Performance.

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Brandon Savage's Blog:
Examining Zend Server CE On The Mac
February 23, 2009 @ 10:23:54

With the recent release of the Zend Server CE (Community Edition) software from Zend, several PHPers around the community have been trying it out and posting some of their experiences. Brandon Savage has posted some of his thoughts on the release as he tried out the Mac OS X version.

There are many good things in this product. Among them, is the ability to easily activate and deactivate most of the plugins and extensions that come bundled with PHP by default. [...] Unfortunately, the problem also contains many what I would call "bugs" or usability enhancements that are simply not there.

A few of the things that made his bad list included: a lacking install process (too long?), the lack of an obvious logging tool and a different sort of checking for setting directives (a check against a regular expression?)

He found some good in the release too - the easy to install extensions, the number of extensions it comes bundled with and the inclusion of MySQL with the stack. He notes he won't be abandoning his typical install (like MAMP/XAMPP) over this tool - at least not for right now.

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Juozas Kaziukenas' Blog:
Zend Server - complete PHP environment in minutes
February 20, 2009 @ 13:16:02

Juozas Kaziukenas has posted a review of the recently released Zend Server beta talking about some of the features it offers.

I haven't tried it - probably it will be commercial solution (Zend Studio == Zend Platform?) and I'm not looking for one right one. So I jumped over to Zend Server CE (Community Edition) [...] Main differences lie deep inside PHP configuration - not-community version is much more tweaked for performance and production servers, where community edition is for development environments.

He talks about the install process, the interface and what it offers and some of his personal thoughts on the software.

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Chris Jones' Blog:
Available Now! Underground PHP & Oracle Manual, December 2008 Edition
December 09, 2008 @ 11:18:58

Chris Jones has announced the release of the latest version of the Undergroupnd PHP & Oracle Manual.

A hot-off-the-press, free, 290 page, updated version of the Underground PHP & Oracle Manual is available for download from http://www.oracle.com/technology/tech/php/pdf/underground-php-oracle-manual.pdf. [...] The previous edition was released way back in May 2007. Since then, Oracle Database 11g and the OCI8 1.3 extension have been released, there have been various changes in PHP community, and I've simply just gathered more notes, examples and have more information to share.

The manual has doubled in size and includes tons of new content reflecting the updates since the previous release. Chris thanks those who helped in creating the content, helped get it out to the community and his co-author Alison Holloway.

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