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HHVM Blog:
HHVM The Next Six Months
February 26, 2014 @ 11:09:35

In their latest post the HHVM project (of Facebook) has laid out the next six months ahead for the development and progression on the project. In it they talk some about their "themes" and overall Open Source goals planned for the first part of 2014.

The HHVM team has just wrapped up its planning for the first half of 2014. We'd like to share our plans, providing you a bit of context. We've been making steady progress on HHVM's compatibility with PHP in the wild, but we still have a lot of work ahead of us. We're using unit test pass rates as a proxy for success measurement, but you can help by adding HHVM to your Travis configuration, and reporting bugs and issues through GitHub. We are resourced to help support a couple of major HHVM deployments, which we hope has the side effect of exposing us to "non-Facebook" deployment and maintenance challenges.

We are also going to push for a more open development model, with the goal of increasing our community participation. We'll have more to say on what this means later on. Stay tuned!

They also cover some of the work being done to increase the overall efficiency, reducing CPU time and memory consumption. There's also mention of work being done on a guide to "hacking" in the HHVM, reducing some complexity in the compiler and the conversion to a full HNI extension interface.

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Link: http://www.hhvm.com/blog/3743/hhvm-the-next-six-months

Jeremy Kendall:
PHP Password Hashing A Dead Simple Implementation
January 08, 2014 @ 11:48:23

In this recent post to his site Jeremy Kendall shares some of his thoughts about password hashing and a new library he's written to help make it simpler - event with an existing password hashing method in place.

We all know to encrypt passwords for highest level of security. Unfortunately, too many do it [the wrong way]. While there was never any excuse for getting it that wrong, there's now no excuse for getting it wrong at all. Developers, meet the new(-ish) PHP password hashing functions (and the userland implementation password-compat).

He shows how to use this password hashing correctly with the "default" hash and how to store that in the database. His Password Validator library aims to help make this even simpler and adds in other features like rehashing and upgrading of legacy passwords. The remainder of the post shows how to use the library for these functions and how to persist them in the tool's storage decorator and interface functionality.

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Link: http://jeremykendall.net/2014/01/04/php-password-hashing-a-dead-simple-implementation/

EllisLab.com:
EllisLab Seeking New Owner for CodeIgniter
July 19, 2013 @ 12:03:39

According to this recent post the folks over at EllisLab are looking for new "owners" for the CodeIgniter project.

CodeIgniter is one of the world's most popular Open Source PHP frameworks, used by thousands of developers powering hundreds of thousands of sites, in addition to being deployed as the underpinning of every ExpressionEngine installation. Throughout its seven year life thus far, CodeIgniter has consistently received praise for being both speedy and surefooted. Small and lightweight, resistant to feature bloat, retaining compatibility with contemporary technology, the framework earned the reputation of being low-risk and high-gain, which fueled its worldwide adoption. So why are we we looking for a new home for CodeIgniter?

They go on, talking about their reasoning behind moving on from CodeIgniter - mostly it's concerning the resources they have available and the things they, as a company, want to focus on:

CodeIgniter will be best served by someone with a focused vision for it, along with the resources to achieve that vision. It needs someone to skillfully utilize the brand's immense traffic, and direct the thousands of voices of input towards common goals. EllisLab can't provide those things without adopting a fundamentally different business model or taking attention away from our primary flywheel. CodeIgniter deserves to be someone's primary flywheel.
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Link: http://ellislab.com/blog/entry/ellislab-seeking-new-owner-for-codeigniter

/Dev/Hell Podcast:
Episode 28 Canadian Twinkie Smuggler
February 18, 2013 @ 12:33:42

The /Dev/Hell podcast, as hosted by PHP community members Chris Hartjes and Ed Finkler, has posted their latest episode - Episode 28, "Canadian Twinkie Smuggler".

You can blame Chris's tomfoolery for how crappy he sounds, because his computer pooped all over himself and he had to call in on his iPhone. Nevertheless, we were able to discuss in detail the smuggling of mass-produced pastries of the Twinkie and Tastykake varieties. We also get framework security in the context of recent Rails vulnerabilities, and how PHP developers seem to have a heightened awareness of potential vulnerabilities. Ed's details his experiences starting a local user group, and then discusses his efforts to speak at developer/tech conferences about his struggles with mental illness.

You can listen to this latest episode either through the in-page player, by downloading the mp3 directly or by subscribing to their feed and getting this and other recent episodes.

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Zumba Engineering Blog:
Mongounit Project Open Sourced
February 11, 2013 @ 09:12:21

On the Zumba Engineering blog, Chris Saylor has a post announcing the open sourcing of mongounit, a PHPUnit extension useful for doing database testing directly on MongoDB databases - Mongounit.

One of our more recent projects has given the team exposure to MongoDB. As such, we needed an easy way to test the models that utilize mongo in a similar fashion to how we test models that talk to mysql. Using this framework, it's easy to implement mongo test cases to easily create fixture data in collections, or simply clear collections between test cases.

You can find the latest release of this tool on github and see an example testcase here.

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Smashing Magazine:
Starting An Open-Source Project
January 03, 2013 @ 12:34:18

Smashing Magazine has a great new article that's a must read for anyone looking to start up an open source project with some guidelines to follow as you get things set up.

At Velocity 2011, Nicole Sullivan and I introduced CSS Lint, the first code-quality tool for CSS. We had spent the previous two weeks coding like crazy, trying to create an application that was both useful for end users and easy to modify. Neither of us had any experience launching an open-source project like this, and we learned a lot through the process.

The article reads like a checklist of things you'll need to consider as you create your project - things like:

  • Determining what your goals are
  • Choosing a license
  • Code structure and organization
  • Documentation

There's also a few other suggestions that may or may not be useful depending on the project like "use a mailing list" or "use version numbers" but they're all good ideas. Even if you're already working with an open source project, this is a good overview and could give you food for thought on things you might have overlooked.

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Community News:
Atlanta PHP Jan 2013 Meeting - Current Trends of the PHP & Open Source Job Market
December 20, 2012 @ 09:35:29

The Atlanta PHP User Group has announced their January 2013 meeting, a loo at the "Current Trends of the PHP and Open Source Job Market" (from Ari Waller):

The presentation will be an overview of the current employment market and outlook specifically for PHP developers (as well as other Open Source related Open Source trends), based on the current supply and demands in the market place, as well as career oriented topics via Q&A (Resumes, Interviews, and overall job hunting tips and strategies). Ari will cover a year by year comparison from his previous talk and discuss changes and new trends going into 2013. He will also discuss how to work with recruiters as effectively as possible (if at all), as well as questions you have always wanted to ask regarding the the inner workings of IT Staffing.

Despite it being presented by a recruitment company, they have promised an open and honest conversation about the topic, not a sales pitch. If you'd like to attend, check out this page on the Atlanta PHP site for more information - including a new meeting location.

Have a user group meeting or event you'd like announced? let us know!

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Amazon Web Services Blog:
Version 2 of the AWS SDK for PHP (now with Guzzle)
November 15, 2012 @ 14:57:49

The Amazon Web Services group has recently released an updated version of their SDK for PHP and at it's heart is the open source project Guzzle (a HTTP client framework).

The new SDK is built on top of the Guzzle HTTP client framework, which provides increased performance and enables event-driven customization. Each AWS service client extends the Guzzle client and describes operations on the service using a service description file. The SDK now manages persistent connections for both serial and parallel requests. It detects transient network failures, with automatic retries using truncated exponential backoff. Support for event hooks (via the Symfony2 EventDispatcher) allows you to implement custom, event-driven behavior.

In the AWS post about the update, they give you a few code snippets showing this updated version in use. This completely reworked version of the SDK is not compatible with the previous version, so you'll need to consult their migration guide to bring things up to date.

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Matthias Noback:
Experiences with PHP Open Source Software in a Symfony-Friendly Environment
November 14, 2012 @ 11:24:19

Matthias Noback has a new post today sharing some of his experiences working with Open Source software, specifically as it relates to this dealings with a "Symfony-friendly environment".

These days, good PHP object-oriented libraries are all around and easily available. To me, it is actually thrilling to be part of this flourishing community, while working with Symfony2 and blogging about the Framework, the Components and their neighbors (like Silex). [...] Still, to me, contributing felt like too big a step to take right now. Until a few weeks ago, when I was looking for something I needed (a PHP client for the Microsoft Translator API) and could not find a decent solution. I decided to make it myself, and share it online.

He shares his "checklist" of steps he followed to get the library up and working (less about the library and more about the process):

  • Write the code
  • Initialize a Git repository
  • Add a composer.json file
  • Add unit tests
  • Make it open source and developer friendly
  • Push your code to GitHub
  • Register your project at packagist.org
  • Register the Packagist Service Hook
  • Versioning
  • Continuous integration using Travis CI

He also suggests that, at least at the outset, you skip some of your tests that might rely on external data sources/resources (so the build can start as green on Travis) then coming back and refactoring to mock things out correctly. It might look like an intimidating list for a beginner, but it's a great process to follow to have a robust, effective development/deployment process.

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Web & PHP Magazine:
Issue #7 Published - "Full Throttle"
October 10, 2012 @ 11:49:54

The latest issue of the Web & PHP Magazine has been published - Issue #7, "Full Throttle". Articles included in this issue are:

  • Introduction into scaling for Big Data: Cory Isaacson's new column
  • What can developers learn from the road? - By Arne Blankerts
  • How to be an open source rockstar in 7 easy steps - By Jen Kramer
  • PHP security for the real world - By Michael Stowe
  • Developing Web Applications in Haskell - By Patrick Brisbin
  • Speed up your applications using IIS & WinCache - By Arno Hollosi

You can download this latest issue for free as a PDF as well as picking up the past 6 issues with some great PHP-related content inside.

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