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Laravel News:
Everything we know about Laravel 5.1 – Updated
May 29, 2015 @ 08:59:30

With the next Laravel release (5.1) coming soon, the Laravel News site has gathered together all of the information that's been shared about what's to come. In this new post they list some of the updates and code where needed to illustrate.

Laravel 5.1 is scheduled for release in May and lots of new features will be included in this release. Here is a list of eight of the big changes and new features.

Their list of eight includes things like:

  • LTS, Long Time Support
  • Resolve a service from blade
  • Middleware Parameters
  • Broadcasting Events

You can find out more about these and others on the list in the full post.

tagged: laravel5 version upcoming new feature updated top8 list

Link: https://laravel-news.com/2015/04/laravel-5-1/

Reddit.com:
What great advantages does Python have over PHP?
May 08, 2015 @ 09:49:06

There's an interesting post in the /r/php subreddit asking the PHP developers out there a serious (non-trolling) question: What great advantages does Python have over PHP?.

All over I see people saying that Python is better than PHP, but as a programmer that has tried Python I don't see its great advantages. Can you guys please help me here.

There's already over 50 comments on the post with a wide range of answers including:

  • that Python is "more mainstream" in the world of *nix tools
  • the culture of Python's community for installing extensions
  • features Python includes like a "consistent API, sane error handling, keyword args..."

There's also an interesting "sub-discussion" happening around the sanity of Python's OOP system. Check out the full post for more or to voice your own opinion.

tagged: python language advantage opinion feature

Link: http://www.reddit.com/r/PHP/comments/357zlx/what_great_advantages_does_python_have_over_php/

Symfony Blog:
New in Symfony 2.7
Apr 28, 2015 @ 10:13:14

The Symfony blog has been posted spotlights in several of the improvements in the 2.7 release of the framework over on their blog. Each of them describes the changes and includes some sample code showing the new feature in action:

Keep an eye on the Symfony blog for more of these component spotlights and improvements as they're released.

tagged: symfony blog new feature symfony2 version release component

Link: http://symfony.com/blog/

Derick Rethans:
Xdebug 2.3: Profiler File Compression
Apr 14, 2015 @ 09:48:09

Derick Rethans has posted the next part of his series of posts about the latest version of XDebug (v2.3). In this new post he focuses on the profiler and the new ability of it to compress the resulting file.

When making profiling dumps with Xdebug, the file size can not really be ignored. Even with a simple Drupal page a profile file is easily close to 1Mb. For each function call, the file contains the location and name of the calling function, and then a list of functions that have been called.

He gives an example of the uncompressed output from an execution of Drupal, showing the duplicate content when the same method is called more than once. With this new feature, XDebug is smart enough to detect this and make use of name compression to essentially replace duplication with a reference to the previous call to the same bits of code.

tagged: xdebug profiler compression feature release

Link: http://derickrethans.nl/xdebug-2.3-profile-file-compression.html

Engine Yard Blog:
What to Expect When You're Expecting: PHP 7, Part 2
Apr 08, 2015 @ 11:07:08

The Engine Yard blog has posted the second part of Davey Shafik's "What to Expect with You're Expecting: PHP7" series. In this new post he gets into the details of a few more of the upcoming PHP7 features including generator improvements and engine exceptions.

As you probably already know, PHP 7 is a thing, and it’s coming this year! Which makes this as good a time as any to go over what’s new and improved. In the first part of this series, we looked at the some of the most important inconsistency fixes coming up in PHP 7 as well as two of the biggest new features. In this post, we take a look another six big features to land in PHP 7 that you’ll want to know about.

The features he talks about this time are:

  • Unicode Codepoint Escape Syntax
  • Null Coalesce Operator
  • Bind Closure on Call
  • Group Use Declarations
  • Generator return expressions and delegation
  • Engine Exceptions

He also includes three things you can do to help/get prepared for this upcoming release including testing your code on a PHP7 VM or help out with writing tests and documentation for PHP and its extensions.

tagged: engineyard php7 feature list major unicode coalesceoperator bindclosure groupuse generator engineexception

Link: https://blog.engineyard.com/2015/what-to-expect-php-7-2

Medium.com:
PHP7: More strict! (but only if you want it to be)
Mar 18, 2015 @ 10:48:38

In this new article Er Galvao Abbott talks about the struggle (and finally, inclusion) of type hinting in PHP, more specifically coming in PHP7, and how strict they can be.

It wasn’t easy (we knew it wouldn’t be) and certainly wasn’t pretty (we sort of knew that as well), but it’s finally official: PHP7 will come with Scalar Type Hints (STH) and an optional “strict mode”. [...] This is basically a step towards a more strict way of coding in PHP. Will we see more steps in that direction in the future? We don’t know and we’re OK with that for now. What’s brilliant about the body of work represented by these RFCs is that by implementing their concepts and specially making the “strict mode” optional the choice of being more strict remains with the programmer.

He talks some about the background of the want and need for strict typing in PHP and mentions three RFCs that will influence the type hints and handling in PHP7:

He summarizes each RFC and what it contributes to the language. He ends the post by dispelling one thing about all of this new typing functionality - PHP will remain loosely typed, this new functionality is in a "strict mode" only used when specified.

tagged: php7 strict type hint mode rfc introduction feature

Link: https://medium.com/@galvao/php7-more-strict-but-only-if-you-want-it-to-be-78d6690f2090

Phil Sturgeon:
PHP 7 Feature Freeze
Mar 16, 2015 @ 09:04:44

Phil Sturgeon has a new post to his site looking at the PHP7 feature freeze for this upcoming major PHP release (implemented as of yesterday, the 15th). In it he provides a list of features, their related RFCs and how likely they are to make it into PHP7.

Today was the feature freeze for PHP 7. That means no new votes can be started for a feature that is aimed at PHP 7.0, and would instead have to go into PHP 7.1. Instead of heading out to St Patric’s Day with a bunch of New Yorkers making dubious claims about their tenuous connection to Irish ancestry as an excuse to drink, I thought it would be a good time to review some of the more recent RFCs that made it in, and those that didn’t.

His list includes:

  • Remove PHP 4 Constructors
  • Spaceship Operator
  • Replacing current json extension with jsond
  • Skipping Optional Parameters for Functions
  • Constructor behaviour of internal classes
  • Reclassify E_STRICT notices

Each one has a link to the current version of the RFC, the current status and Phil's own opinion of the feature (usually just one word).

tagged: php7 feature freeze rfc list status opinion

Link: https://philsturgeon.uk/php/2015/03/15/php-7-feature-freeze/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Adding Social Network Features to a PHP App with Neo4j
Feb 18, 2015 @ 12:06:38

The SitePoint PHP blog continues their series about combining PHP and the Neo4j graph database with part two, adding social features to the code they created in part one.

In the last part, we learned about Neo4j and how to use it with PHP. In this post, we’ll be using that knowledge to build a real Silex-powered social network application with a graph database.

Author Christophe Willemsen dives right back into the code showing how to get the basic application up and running (using Silex, Twig, Bootstrap and the NeoClient). He loads the PHP libraries up via Composer and injects the NeoClient instance into the application. He includes the view and controller handling for each of the pages:

  • a main all user list
  • showing who a user follows
  • listing suggested users (who to follow)
  • adding a relationship

Screenshots are also included to show the example output along with all the code you'll need.

tagged: tutorial series part2 social feature neo4j neoclient

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/adding-social-network-features-php-app-neo4j/

Lorna Mitchell:
5 Reasons to Consider Upgrading Your PHP Platform
Feb 06, 2015 @ 12:04:35

Lorna Mitchell has a new post today with five things that you could gain by upgrading your platform, mostly centered around the changes PHP has made recently.

In recent years, the release cycle of PHP has become much shorter. We now have a much more controlled and well-publicised process of releases, and moving between each version is no longer a leap of faith. The newer versions have HUGE performance improvements, great features, and better security, and the software is free to use. Yet we have a very, very long tail of PHP installations on older versions (around 75% on entirely unsupported versions at this point). Many of the companies I talk to think that upgrading will be pointless and painful, but that's not my experience of migrating PHP projects. Here are a few things you might like to think about or be aware of before you make the decisions that "not broken" is good enough for your applications.

She offers her list of five things, each with a bit of summary and a few links to more information on the topics:

  • Improved Performance
  • Security and Support
  • New Syntax
  • Traits
  • Built In Webserver

She also technically includes another in the list (#6 in the top 5, naturally) talking about the password hashing functionality that's been introduced in recent versions and how much simpler it can make your life.

tagged: upgrade reasons language platform suggestion feature

Link: http://www.lornajane.net/posts/2015/5-reasons-to-consider-upgrading-your-php-platform

Michael Kimsal:
Purpose of Benchmarking Framework Speed
Jan 30, 2015 @ 09:53:57

In his new post Michael Kimsal shares some of his thoughts about framework benchmarking especially in the context of speed.

I’ve followed the techempower benchmarks, and every now and then I check out benchmarks of various projects (usually PHP) to see what the relative state of things are. Inevitably, someone points out that “these aren’t testing anything ‘real world’ – they’re useless!”. Usually it’s from someone who’s favorite framework has ‘lost’. I used to think along the same lines; namely that “hello world” benchmarks don’t measure anything useful. I don’t hold quite the same position anymore, and I’ll explain why.

He goes on to talk about the purpose of using a framework and what kind of functionality they should provide. The usefulness of a framework is measured in what tools it provides and how easy it makes them to use. Benchmarks are only about speed, performance and overhead.

What those benchmark results are telling you is “this is about the fastest this framework’s request cycle can be invoked while doing essentially nothing”. [...] These benchmarks are largely about establishing that baseline expectation of performance. I’d say that they’re not always necessarily presented that way, but this is largely the fault of the readers.

He refutes some of the common arguments about increasing performance of an application using a framework (like "just throw hardware at it"). He points out that, even with other improvements, it may come to a point where your framework of choice has become too slow and you need to move on. Think about maintainability too, though, and what you're switching from or to when considering making a move.

tagged: benchmark framework speed purpose opinion feature maintainability scalability

Link: http://michaelkimsal.com/blog/purpose-of-framework-benchmarking-speed/