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SitePoint PHP Blog:
Parallel Programming with Pthreads in PHP – the Fundamentals
Mar 24, 2017 @ 10:40:07

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted a tutorial that introduces some of the fundamentals of parallel programming in PHP. In their examples they make use of the pthreads extension to help bring simpler parallel programming to the language (otherwise you'd have to do odd things with shell commands and foreground/background controls).

PHP developers seem to rarely utilise parallelism. The appeal of the simplicity of synchronous, single-threaded programming certainly is high, but sometimes the usage of a little concurrency can bring some worthwhile performance improvements.

In this article, we will be taking a look at how threading can be achieved in PHP with the pthreads extension. This will require a ZTS (Zend Thread Safety) version of PHP 7.x installed, along with the pthreads v3 installed.

Despite the article being about the use of pthreads, it starts out talking about when not to use it, possibly saving you some time in the long run. With that out of the way it then starts in on the handling of "on-off tasks" with an example of fetching the "title" value from Google.com. This is then enhanced showing how to use the "Threaded" base class to define other classes that can be used inside of threads. The article moves on covering other topics including:

  • recycling threads
  • pthreads and (im)mutability
  • synchronization of threads

Each item in the list comes with plenty of example code showing you how to create the classes that execute the threads and the output they should generate.

tagged: parallel programming fundamentals tutorial introduction pthreads extension

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/parallel-programming-pthreads-php-fundamentals/

Quora.com:
What are some things you wish you knew when you started programming?
Mar 21, 2017 @ 10:24:44

Leonid Mamchenkov has linked over to a great thread over on Quora that asks the question "[What are some things you wish you knew when you started programming?

](https://www.quora.com/What-are-some-things-you-wish-you-knew-when-you-started-programming)?"

The post is originally from Ken Mazaika, CTO, Co-founder & Mentor @ thefirehoseproject.com but it has expanded way beyond his original list of 27 things. There's comments sharing everything from personal experiences out to their own lists of things they wish they knew. Topics mentioned include:

  • the "cognitive burden"
  • the importance of getting away from the screen sometimes
  • the value in listening, not just hearing, your colleagues
  • thinking about security at all times
  • learning the "why" of coding, not just the "how"

There's a lot more in this post so get over and start reading. There tips in here for everyone, both those new to programming and those that have been doing it for years.

tagged: wish you knew programming opinion experience quora

Link: https://www.quora.com/What-are-some-things-you-wish-you-knew-when-you-started-programming

Dev.to:
PHP 7.2: The First Programming Language to Add Modern Cryptography to its Standard Library
Feb 14, 2017 @ 12:10:29

In this post to the dev.to site Scott Arciszewski talks about a milestone in the PHP language, it being the first language to "add modern cryptography to its standard library" (PHP 7.2).

Last week, the voting phase closed on an RFC to add libsodium to PHP 7.2. The result was unanimous (37 in favor, 0 against).

When version 7.2 releases at the end of the year, PHP will be the first programming language to adopt modern cryptography in its standard library.

He goes on to talk about what "modern cryptography" is describing concepts like secure primitives and showing example of the high-level API the integration will provide. The post finishes out with a rebuttal against some of the nay-sayers around PHP and its reputation for security. They say that there's "no way PHP is more secure than " so Scott compares this libsodium addition to some of the features in other languages and where they're lacking in relation.

tagged: programming language cryptography standard library libsodium php72

Link: https://dev.to/paragonie/php-72-the-first-programming-language-to-add-modern-cryptography-to-its-standard-library

Three Devs & A Maybe:
Aha! Moments with Steven Proctor
Feb 13, 2017 @ 12:38:01

The Three Devs and a Maybe podcast, with hosts Michael Budd, Fraser Hart, Lewis Cains and Edd Mann, has posted their latest episode - Aha! Moments with Steven Proctor.

In this weeks episode we are lucky to have Steven Proctor back on the show. We start off discussion by congratulating him on 82 episodes of Functional Geekery, and the commitment it takes to do a podcast and not just ‘podfade’. From here we move on to highlight any commonalities he notices with people getting into FP, how he stays on-top of the latest advancements and how he finds the guests he wishes to speak to. This leads us on to compare learning functional concepts within a language you already know vs. in a totally different language which is rooted in the principles. Finally, we chat about interesting projects that are on his radar and advice that he has for people who wish to begin exploring FP.

You can listen to this latest episode either using the in-page audio player or by downloading it directly. If you enjoy the show, be sure to subscribe to their feed and follow them on Twitter for updates when new shows are released.

tagged: threedevsandamaybe podcast stevenproctor aha functional programming

Link: http://threedevsandamaybe.com/aha-moments-with-steven-proctor/

Robert Basic:
Current Vim setup for PHP development
Feb 10, 2017 @ 11:46:10

For those out there always interested in how other developers have their development environment, Robert Basic has some info on his own setup that might interest you. In this new post to his site he shares his configuration using the Vim editor when writing PHP code.

I made some changes to my Vim setup for PHP development recently, so it’s time to write it all down. I’m more than sure that I’ll break it soon and won’t be able to remember all the things I did to have the current setup.

Some new plugins popped up on my radar, I tweaked some older plugins and I even wrote one for PHPStan!

He starts with the improvements in tag support he's found recently using the Gutentags plugin. He also covers other tools and functionality like:

  • Jump to definition
  • (Getting the ) current PHP class and method
  • PHP namespaces
  • Linting
  • A promising completion engine for PHP
  • PHPStan in Vim
  • Debugging

He finishes up the post with a few other helpful supporting plugins for indenting, searching and argument swapping.

tagged: vim editor setup development plugin programming

Link: https://robertbasic.com/blog/current-vim-setup-for-php-development/

Freek Lijten:
Sane defaults over Exceptions
Jan 18, 2017 @ 10:19:13

In a new post to his site Free Litjen talks about defensive programming and the part that sane default handling plays when dealing with exceptions that might pop up.

With over half a million visitors a week and lots of scrapers, bots and other stuff visiting, these exceptions and fatal errors clog up logging quite a bit. Not to the point that we can't handle the volume, but it generates false positives in monitoring channels and it is something we do not want to act upon anyway.

So while I'm happy to see some defensive programming I would be even happier if exceptional situations would be silently resolved to default situations.

The post starts with a quote about defensive programming and how, despite it not being an ideal use, many applications had been seen using exceptions to handle errors and messaging. He proposes another methodology where a set of default values are used instead of just failing on any error hit with the input. The idea has merit but it can also lead to other frustrations like hidden errors in testing and situations where an exception makes more sense than a default.

tagged: sane default value exception error handling defensive programming

Link: http://www.freeklijten.nl/2017/01/04/Sane-defaults-over-Exceptions

TutsPlus.com:
Programming With Yii2: Using the Debugger
Jan 03, 2017 @ 11:52:29

The TutsPlus.com site continues their "Programming with Yii2" series of tutorials with the latest edition in the series, a look at using the Yii2 debugger to help track down issues in your code.

In today's tutorial, I'll show you how to install the Yii2 Debugger, and we'll explore its capabilities in detail. It's a powerful programming assistant which is often underutilized.

As you code and test your application, the debugger can show you your application path, queries and query variables, performance characteristics, server and framework settings, and much more.

The article starts off by showing you how to install the "yiisoft/yii2-debug" library (via Composer) and enable it in the "debug" section of your configuration. With it correctly installed you'll then be able to access it at the bottom of your pages. The debug console provides plenty of helpful information related to:

  • the route matched
  • a log of actions and events
  • load time
  • memory used
  • database queries performed

...among others. The tutorial walks you through these and other pieces of information the tool provides with screenshots of example output for each.

tagged: programming yii2 debugger tutorial series toolbar screenshot detail

Link: https://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/programming-with-yii2-using-the-debugger--cms-26910

Medium.com:
The Art of Defensive Programming
Dec 30, 2016 @ 12:59:38

In this post on Medium.com author Diego Mariani talks about the "Art of Defensive Programming" as it relates to the security of the code developers write.

Why don’t developers write secure code ? We’re not talking yet another time about “clean code” here. We’re talking about something more, on a pure practical perspective, software’s safety and security. Yes, because an insecure software is pretty much useless.

[...] Why do I think Defensive Programming is a good approach to issue these problems in certain kind of projects? [...] I personally believe this approach [of continued functionality even in unforeseen circumstances] to be suitable when you’re dealing with a big, long-lived project where many people are involved. Also for instance, with an open source project that requires a lot of extensive maintenance.

He then covers some of what he sees as key tenets of programming defensively:

  • Never trust user input
  • Use database abstraction
  • Don’t reinvent the wheel
  • Don’t trust developers
  • Write SOLID code
  • Write tests

For each item in the list he provides a brief summary of the idea behind it and, in some places, some example code to help illustrate the point. The examples are in PHP but the principles could be applied to just about any language.

tagged: defensive programming tutorial security tenets

Link: https://medium.com/web-engineering-vox/the-art-of-defensive-programming-6789a9743ed4#.u3bzu5xam

TutsPlus.com:
Programming With Yii2: Helpers
Dec 27, 2016 @ 11:13:44

The TutsPlus.com site has continued their "Programming with Yii2" tutorial series with a new post introducing you to helper functions that come bundled with the framework. It also shows you how to create your own custom helper function, making it easier to perform common functions custom to your application.

In the Programming With Yii2 series, I'm guiding readers in use of the Yii2 Framework for PHP. In this tutorial, I'll provide a brief overview of helpers. In Yii, helpers are modules which group commonly useful libraries for string, file, image, URL and HTML management amongst other things, and they are easy to extend.

I'll also share an example of creating a helper within Meeting Planner, the focus of our Envato Tuts+ startup series.

The tutorial then introduces you to (and links you to) the common helpers the framework comes bundled with including the ArrayHelper, FileHelper and Markdown helpers. The tutorial then covers two in a bit more detail, the ArrayHelper and HtmlPurifier helper, including some code examples for each. Finally it shows the creation of a custom helper with several custom functions and their use in a template.

tagged: programming series yii2 framework helpers custom tutorial

Link: https://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/programming-with-yii2-helpers--cms-26889

TutsPlus.com:
Programming With Yii2: Routing and URL Creation
Dec 13, 2016 @ 12:15:02

The TutsPlus.com site has posted the next article in their "Programming with Yii2" series, this time focusing on the routing and URL creation in the application and how the requests get to the intended functionality (in controllers).

In today's tutorial, I'll review routing and URL creation in Yii. When a browser request arrives at your Yii application's index.php file, it must be parsed to determine which controller and method to call. That's routing. The reverse process of linking to parts of your application is URL creation, which is best done programmatically.

Yii provides a lot of flexibility in managing routing and generating links. Follow me as I review the basics.

He starts with a bit of background on the URL manager that comes built in to the Yii2 framework and how the routes are defined. He then starts in by defining some of the desired routes for the application and how to set them up in the main configuration file (including defaults). The tutorial also includes configuration examples of "pretty URLs", and outputting custom URLs using the "Url" helper.

tagged: programming yii2 series routing url creation tutorial

Link: https://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/programming-with-yii2-routing-and-url-creation--cms-26869