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Stanislav Malyshev:
unserialize() and being practical
November 04, 2014 @ 10:49:40

Stanislav Malyshev has a new post to his site talking about his proposal for a filtered unserialize change and why he sees it as a practical next step.

I have recently revived my "filtered unserialize()" RFC and I plan to put it to vote today. Before I do that, I'd like to outline the arguments on why I think it is a good thing and put it in a somewhat larger context. It is known that using unserialize() on outside data can lead to trouble unless you are very careful. Which in projects large enough usually means "always", since practically you rarely can predict all interactions amongst a million lines of code. So, what can we do?

He touches on three points that would make it difficult to just not use it this way (on external data) including the fact that there's not really any other way to work with serialized data in PHP. He suggests that by adding filtering to the unserialize handling of the language it can protect from issues around working with serialized external data.

Is this a security measure? [...] Yes, it does not provide perfect security, and yes, you should not rely only on that for security. Security, much like ogres and onions, has layers. So this is trying to provide one more layer - in case that is what you need.
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Link: https://php100.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/unserialize-and-being-practical/

Benjamin Eberlei:
Symfony All The Things (Web)
October 27, 2014 @ 09:18:52

In his latest post Benjamin Eberlei talks about some of his reasoning to want to Symfony all the things when it comes to building web applications. Actually, it's the results of a discussion he had with a coworker about when is the right point to move from a micro-services infrastructure to a full-stack framework like Symfony.

We use microservice architectures for the bepado and PHP Profiler projects that Qafoo is working on at the monent. For the different components a mix of Symfony Framework, Silex, Symfony Components and our own Rest-Microframework (RMF) are used. This zoo of different solutions sparked a recent discussion with my colleague Manuel about when we would want to use Symfony for a web application.

He talks about some of his own reasons for making the choice including things like the HttpKernel and having a well documented and standardized solution. He notes that most of his reasons are more because of his previous exposure to the framework and could be very similar for others and other frameworks, though. He then extends on the "Hello World" code from the previous post and makes an improved minimal Symfony app with just seven basic parts (including configuration files).

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Link: http://www.whitewashing.de/2014/10/26/symfony_all_the_things_web.html

Justin Carmony:
Why You Should Attend a Tech Conference
October 15, 2013 @ 10:43:53

Justin Carmony has a new post today with some reasons you should attend tech conferences including both the social and technical aspects.

Ever since 2006 I had always wanted to go to a technology conference. I'd see titles of talks for ZendCon and think "Wow, that would be cool to learn about!" In 2009, I finally went to the Utah Open Source Conference (now called OpenWest), and I was blown away with all the stuff to learn. Then, in 2011, I shelled out my own money and flew to Chicago for PHP Tek, and it cost me around $3,000 after conference ticket, flights, hotel, & other expenses while at Chicago. It was absolutely awesome, and I walked away extremely grateful that I went.

He gives four main reasons to attend:

  • Learning From the Talks
  • Discovery of New Technologies
  • Rubbing Shoulders with Giants
  • Making Connections with Others

He points out that, with so many more regional conferences popping up, attending these events is even more accessible.

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Link: http://www.justincarmony.com/blog/2013/10/15/why-you-should-attend-a-tech-conference/

Samuel Levy:
PHP is the right tool for the job (for all the wrong reasons)
April 24, 2013 @ 13:15:08

About a month back Samuel Levy wrote up a post sharing some of his thoughts on PHP, mostly centered around one idea - that PHP is the right tool for the job (for all the wrong reasons).

When people complain about PHP being a horrible language, not fit for human consumption, they will often talk about how the features of their favourite language are far more refined; have been designed with elegance in mind; are consistent and secure. And you know what? They're right. But PHP is still a better tool. [...] And it shouldn't be. It really shouldn't. I want another language to knock PHP out of the way. [...] I can't, though, because PHP does one thing really well that no other language seems capable of doing. It works, out of the box, for people who don't know what they're doing.

He goes on to talk about the "installation" required with running PHP scripts and how it makes it mostly "idiot-proof" to use. He points out that PHP has a definite niche in the world of web development languages - one that has a larger need that some others.

This is the challenge for all the people who want to complain about PHP - if your chosen language is so much better (and I have no doubt that in many ways, it objectively is), then make it accessible in the way that PHP is. Until then, keep that double-clawed hammer in your shed in case you want to make... burgers...
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Link: http://blog.samuellevy.com/post/41-php-is-the-right-tool-for-the-job-for-all-the-wrong-reasons.html

PHPClasses.org:
6 Reasons Why PHP is a Hobbit
February 18, 2013 @ 13:03:26

The PHPClasses.org site has posted a humorous look at the PHP language with several reasons why PHP is a "hobbit" (a Lord of the Rings series reference):

Sometime ago a user of the Quora site asked a question if there was a language war, which languages you support and why. Another user gave a very creative response comparing programming languages with characters of the Lord of the Rings story of JRR Tolkien.

There's six reasons listed in the post:

  • PHP is Scripted C
  • PHP is not Teaming with C++ Evil
  • PHP is Not particularly Beautiful but it is Very Useful
  • PHP is Not the Fastest Language to Execute but is Agile
  • JavaScript could be a Hobbit too but Asynchronous Programming is a Hell
  • PHP Success Causes the Envy of Others

If you're interested to see the thread where the idea for this post came from, you can read it here on Quora.

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language hobbit lordoftherings reference reasons


Jani Hartikainen's Blog:
5 ways how PHP is better than Node.js
April 25, 2012 @ 09:13:50

In what's sure to be a "flame bait" kind of post, Jani Hartikainen has posted five reasons PHP is better than Node.js - some simple one-liners and others a bit more complicated.

All hail Node.js! Boo PHP! Except there are various things where PHP is better than Node…

His five reasons are:

  • Easier to find hosting
  • It's easier to get started with PHP
  • If your PHP code breaks, it doesn't bring your whole server down
  • PHP processes are short lived
  • Bigger standard library

There's a few comments on the post already, one noting that some of the points could be turned around to make PHP fall more on the "bad" side.

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nodejs opinion better language reasons compare


Charles Sprayberry's Blog:
Why you should use DI
January 27, 2012 @ 10:18:48

In this recent post from Charles Sprayberry he explains why using dependency injection (DI) in your application is a good idea and can help make things easier in the long run.

Dependency Injection is just a fancy term for passing dependencies to the object needing them instead of letting the object create its own. Hopefully, you've watched this great Google Clean Code talk about dependency injection by Misko Hevery where he talks about why you should ask for things instead of looking for them. I'm gonna talk about some reasons to use DI beyond just those presented in the video.

He breaks it up into a few different sections:

  • It helps in the battle against global state
  • It helps your design
  • It makes using the single responsibility principle easier
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Web Developer Juice:
14 descriptive reasons why Ruby is better than PHP
November 08, 2010 @ 11:06:57

In this new article from Web Developer Juice giving fourteen (descriptive) reasons why Ruby is a better choice than PHP for building web applications (from the perspective of a Ruby developer, it seems).

Picking a language for a programming project is never an easy task. [...] This is especially true with web programming projects. Because you are not always in control of the environment where one's application will be run, it is important to pick a language that can adapt to many situations. Ruby is a better language than PHP for the following reasons.

The list of fourteen includes several points that are not the usual "because it's faster" or "because PHP sucks at this" sort of thing. Here's some examples:

  • Principle of least surprise
  • ActiveRecord design
  • Easier to install
  • Interactive shell
  • Maintainability
  • JVM support
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ruby reasons opinion application


Zack Curl's Blog:
Why Web Application Frameworks Are Great
March 18, 2009 @ 11:17:17

According to this recent post to his blog Zack Curl is a big proponent of using web application frameworks for development:

Most all PHP developers have worked off of their own code - they create all their own classes, sometimes borrow a little from previous projects, and basically create whole new frameworks without really knowing it. Even though most developers have the mindset that they have more flexibility, less redundancy in code, and other reasons that usually branch off of the two reasons, a framework actually makes your application load faster, work better, and work more effectively.

His reasons for the recommendation are:

  • Classing and OOP Principles
  • Model-View-Controller Schema
  • Pre-built Libraries
  • Built for speed

As far as his choice of a specific framework? He would opt for CodeIgniter, the lightweight and speedy product of Ellis Labs.

1 comment voice your opinion now!
web application framework cakephp codeigniter zendframework recommend reasons


Zend Developer Zone:
An Introduction to the Art of Unit Testing in PHP
December 04, 2007 @ 10:11:00

On the Zend Developer Zone there's a new article/tutorial posted from Padraic Brady introducing you to the art of unit testing your applications and development.

Testing is an essential aspect of developing in any programming language. If you don't test your source code then how can you verify it works as expected? Manual testing can only be performed irregularly and usually only in limited ways. The answer to testing source code regularly, and in depth, is to write automated tests which can be frequently executed.

He talks about testing frameworks, its filtering in to practices on larger community projects, and a few fallacies that most people have about unit testing (including time involved, difficulty with complex code and that it's just boring). He also includes some examples of what a unit test might look like for some simple code - including explanations.

He rounds it off with some of the "why use unit tests" reasons he's found over the time he's used them like:

  • Automated tests can be run as frequently as required
  • Unit Testing can improve the design of code especially with Test-Driven Development
  • Unit Testing forces you to confront the problem head on
  • Unit Testing inspires confidence!
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