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Mathias Noback:
Semantic versioning for bundles
September 30, 2014 @ 11:26:40

In a recent post to his site Mathias Noback looks at the use of semantic versioning, introducing some of its basic concepts and how it can relate to the work done in Symfony bundles.

Semantic versioning is an agreement between the user of a package and its maintainer. The maintainer should be able to fix bugs, add new features or completely change the API of the software they provide. At the same time, the user of the package should not be forced to make changes to their own project whenever a package maintainer decides to release a new version.

He breaks down what the version numbering represents (major, minor and patch versions) and how they work with Symfony's "semver" to handle issues that come with backwards compatibility concerns. He then looks at a few things to consider when versioning your bundles and how it relates to the underlying libraries it might use:

  • Bundles expose an API themselves
  • The API of a bundle leads a life on its own
  • A library may contain bugs that are totally unrelated to the bundle
  • A library may contain features that are not implemented by the bundle

Ultimately, he suggests that bundle versioning should have nothing to do with the underlying libraries/packages. It's his opinion that they should only be reversioned when there is a change in the actual bundle.

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semantic versioning symfony bundle package library opinion

Link: http://php-and-symfony.matthiasnoback.nl/2014/09/semantic-versioning-for-bundles/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Being a Full Stack Developer
September 23, 2014 @ 10:53:55

In this new post to the SitePoint PHP blog George Fekete shares some thoughts about what it means to be a "full stack developer" and what kinds of technology and skills are involved.

The barrier of entering the web development industry as a web developer is still low, but it's getting increasingly complex. The dynamic nature of the whole industry makes requirements shift often to the most popular and "next best thing" tools and programming languages. Gone are the days when only one programming language or a very specific process was required from a developer. Nowadays programmers must know a range of technologies across multiple platforms in order to do good work.

He starts with his own definition of what the term "full stack developer" means and how it's different from what it meant even just a few years ago (like back in 2000). He breaks up the skills and technology into a few different categories:

  • System administration
  • Web development tools
  • Back-end tech
  • Front-end tech
  • Design (including UX/UI)

Each item on the list includes a bit of context around the topic and a few items that could fit inside it. He ends the post wondering if it's better to be a full stack developer or not. Is being a generalist better than being a pro in a particular technology?

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fullstack developer opinion technology knowledge

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/full-stack-developer/

Reddit.com:
The purpose of a framework
September 19, 2014 @ 12:19:48

In this post over in the /r/PHP community of Reddit.com, there's a question about frameworks. The original poster wonders about the purpose of a framework and if they're a requirement to build any kind of application that's "worthwhile".

I read posts here from time to time, and Laravel and Symphony are mentioned a lot here, and I always get the impression that it is a must to use a framework, to build something worthwhile. A little background on myself is that I've always approached development in a cowboy coding style where I just code. I've made a system where I use the basic mysqli object in PHP for database interaction, and I use Smarty templating system to output the html/css/js. I build my own classes based on what the customer is asking for, and then obviously I make the controller pages calling the classes I made - manipulate the data and output to smarty. What would Symphony help me with - that would be hard to accomplish regularly?

Plenty of answers and opinions are shared in the comments of the post, ranging from:

  • Encouragement for Symfony2 and the development speed it accommodates
  • Building a project without a framework
  • The benefits and downfalls of using MVC and other design patterns you may not fully understand
  • A definition of what a "framework" means outside of the world of MVC

There's also a consensus among several of the posts that one of the major benefits of a framework is to provide an overall decrease in the time to market with the handy features and things it provides out of the box. What do you think? Head over and post some thoughts of your own about frameworks and where they fit in your development.

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framework purpose opinion reddit mvc

Link: http://www.reddit.com/r/PHP/comments/2gub3p/the_purpose_of_a_framework/

Reddit.com:
Which is a better way to learn PHP?
September 09, 2014 @ 15:54:59

In the /r/PHP community on Reddit there's a discussion going on about the best way to learn PHP. The op wonders:

Now a days there are numerous PHP Framework popping out and being fully supported, just to put it straight. Should i jump on one of those like CI, etc. and forget about doing a native code? I'm a new in PHP and now i'm confused which to choose.

There's lots of good answers to the questions with people leaning both ways. Suggestions include:

  • "The answer is that you should do both raw php programming as well as get familiar with frameworks. This might sound like a copout, but it's really not."
  • "I would agree with the others that it's best to learn the basics of PHP first. Understand PHP and its various constructs, particularly if you're a new programmer."
  • "PHP frameworks ARE PHP. [...] Regardless, frameworks are generally pretty advanced PHP, and may be hard to get into without a good grounding in PHP generally, and OOP specifically."
  • "Learn PHP. You might be able to make a site if all you do is focus on a particular framework, but by focusing on learning to use the language itself you'll be able to switch from one framework to another. "
  • "If you don't have at least some understanding of the basics, learning a framework to start off it a bit of overkill and may or may not actually help you much. I think it's hard to appreciate what a good framework does for you if you don't have a fair understanding of how things are often done without one."

Have some thoughts of your own? Check out the full post and share them!

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learn language framework oop opinion

Link: http://www.reddit.com/r/PHP/comments/2frwdy/which_is_a_better_way_to_learn_php/

Stanislav Malyshev:
PHP 5.4 (Looking Back) & 5.6 (Looking Forward)
September 01, 2014 @ 09:42:13

In two new posts to his site Stanislav Malyshev takes a look both forward and back at the PHP language, where it came from in the 5.4 version and ahead into the just released 5.6 version discussing the good, bad and road ahead.

With 5.6.0 having been released and 5.4 branch nearing its well-earned retirement in security-fixes-only status I decided to try and revive this blog. As the last post before the long hiatus was about the release of the 5.4, I think it makes sense to look back and see how 5.4 has been doing so far.

Having taken a look in the past, now it's time to look into the future, namely 5.6 (PHP 7 is the future future, we'll get there eventually). So I'd like to make some predictions of what would work well and not so well and then see if it would make sense in two years or turn out completely wrong.

In the look back at 5.4 he talks about some of the good (the release process, $this in closures) and some of the "not so good" including traits and the overall adoption rate. He also includes a few "don't know" items such as the overall performance and the inclusion of the mysqlnd driver. In the look forward he talks about the impact of things like constant expressions, phpdbg and function/constant importing (for better or for worse). He also briefly mentions two hurdles to the adoption of 5.6: OpenSSL becoming more strict and the overall adoption rate.

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lookforward lookback opinion version good bad

Link: http://php100.wordpress.com/2014/08/30/php-5-6-looking-forward/

Derick Rethans:
On Backwards Compatibility and not Being Evil
August 22, 2014 @ 09:20:55

Derick Rethans has shared some of his thoughts on how to not be evil when it comes to making changes in languages like PHP. He suggests that any backwards compatibility break should be treated with the weight it deserves and not just thrust upon users.

This is a repost of an email I sent to PHP internals as a reply to: "And since you're targetting[sic] the next major release, BC isn't an issue." This sort of blanket statements that "Backwards Compatibility is not an issue" with a new major version is extremely unwarranted. Extreme care should be taken when deciding to break Backwards Compatibility. It should not be "oh we have a major new version so we can break all the things"

He talks about the two kinds of backwards compatibility breaks: obvious things where features are removed or changed in a major way and subtle changes in how the underlying code for PHP works ("subtle changes"). He points out that most of the frustrations from users comes from the second type, making for a slower adoption rate and maybe not even adopting at all.

Can I please urge people to not take Backwards Compatibility issues so lightly. Please think really careful when you suggest to break Backwards Compatibility, it should only be considered if there is a real and important reason to do so.
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evil backwards compatibility break major version opinion

Link: http://derickrethans.nl/bc-dont-be-evil.html

Sherif Ramadan:
A Software Engineer's Job
August 05, 2014 @ 11:07:54

Sherif Ramadan has a new post to his site today that tries to answer the question "what does a software developer really do?"

As a software engineer I have to learn to see things differently, because my job requires that I solve problems. Though not only is it important that I come up with a solution, but equally important that I can express the solution in code. [...] It is equally important to recognize that not all problems have technical solutions. Some problems are better solved by social solutions.

He talks about the influence that some of the major services have had on the social aspects of our lives and how they're mostly a "convenience to mankind". He suggests that the job of a software engineer has multiple aspects, and not just technical ones. They're required to see things differently, be able to understand the problem well and express the solution in a clear and practical set of code.

The engineer must figure out which problems are worth solving through technology, in order to save people time and money, and defer those which do not to more social means. Let humans do what they do best and computers do what they do best.
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software engineer job opinion technology social

Link: http://sheriframadan.com/2014/08/a-software-engineers-job/

Reddit.com:
What constitutes the "PHP community"?
July 18, 2014 @ 12:09:37

There's a good conversation happening over on Reddit today about what constitutes the "PHP community" and how it can be defined. JordanLeDoux wonders if those who just write PHP are included in that group as well.

One conversation was with a dev who hates PHP because (mostly) they work with code that was written by some non-PHP dev who was asked to write it. The other was with /u/krakjoe from the PHP internals team, where I was commenting on a sentiment that sometimes finds its way into the internals mailing list: if you want a real programming language, then go use one. In both cases, I made the assertion that most people who utilize PHP or edit a script aren't actually part of the PHP community. [...] How can someone that is functionally isolated from any other person working in PHP be part of the PHP community?

Responses to the post are, for the most part, encouraging suggesting that

  • There's not a single "PHP community" but many smaller ones
  • sub-communitiies can revolve around technology or a product
  • The different definitions of community
  • The broad range of skills that "PHP developers" are known to have

Check out the full post for more opinions and share your own!

0 comments voice your opinion now!
community opinion developer

Link: http://www.reddit.com/r/PHP/comments/2ayxkg/what_constitutes_the_php_community/

Dominic Tancredi:
PHP is a dying language - A Rebuttal
June 24, 2014 @ 09:47:14

In a recent post to his site Dominic Tancredi has posted some of his own opinions about the PHP language, a rebuttal to all of those who say that PHP is dying.

A junior programmer with a master's asked me, "Is PHP a dying language being taken over by trending technologies like Ruby on Rails?" Here are my thoughts. Order. It all comes down to order. Order is what defines us, clarifies ideas. Order allows us to get to market quicker, safer, and less defects. Order is a pristine engine that is maintainable, scalable and extendable.

He talks about the evolution of web development language over the years: how Ruby on Rails was the "next big thing" for a while and how PHP, despite starting from a small community grew into something a bit haphazard and crazy. Out of that craziness, though, came what he calls the "PHP Renaissance", a time when PHP is gaining order, standards are being defined and good practices are winning over the old ways. He mentions some adoption numbers and reinforces a suggestion from Phil Sturgeon that we all need to act more like a community and less like a tribe (or a set of tribes, centered around tools or techniques).

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dying language rebuttal opinion community

Link: http://dominic-tancredi.com/posts/php-is-a-dying-language-a-rebuttal

Reddit.com:
PHP devs -What are your 'must have' tools and apps?
June 23, 2014 @ 12:54:45

If you're a PHP developer and are looking for some new tools to "up your game" and improve your development life, check out this new post to /r/php on Reddit.com. Developers of all kinds have shared tools they've found useful in their own development (and maybe you can too).

In other words, what tools make your development life easier and why? Can be anything from database design to FTP clients to workflow planners. Which tools can you just not live without?

Among the many tools on the list are things like:

  • PHP CodeSniffer
  • PHPUnit
  • IDEs like PHPStorm, Netbeans and editors like Sublime Text
  • Git
  • Composer
  • Vagrant/VirtualBox
  • Xdebug
  • Redis
  • Behat

Check out the full post for the complete (and growing) list.

0 comments voice your opinion now!
musthave tools applications opinion reddit

Link: http://www.reddit.com/r/PHP/comments/28r11n/php_devs_what_are_your_must_have_tools_and_apps/


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