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SitePoint PHP Blog:
Create a Movie Recommendation App with Prediction.io - Implementation
September 16, 2014 @ 10:54:16

The SitePoint PHP blog continues their series about creating a movie prediction engine with Prediction.io in this second part focusing on implementation. In the first part of the series they set up the server and configuration to make the jump into the code. This second part gets more into the application side and features working code linking the prediction engine with the TheMovieDB API.

He jumps right into the code, showing how to:

  • Fetch the data from the TMDB (via Flight and Guzzle)
  • Populate the data back into the Prediction.io database
  • Picking a random movie from the list (and outputting it to a page)
  • Get movies the engine predicts as recommendations

The recommendations are based on ratings on other movies in the database with most of that logic happening behind the scenes instead of in the PHP script. The results are then output to the page along with the other movie data.

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movie recommendation predictionio server tutorial api implementation

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/create-movie-recommendation-app-prediction-io-implementation/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Create a Movie Recommendation App with Prediction.io - Setup
September 15, 2014 @ 09:47:24

On the SitePoint PHP blog today Wern Ancheta has posted the first part of a series about creating a recommendation engine with the help of PHP and a system called Prediction IO.

In this tutorial, I'm going to walk you through Prediction IO, an open-source machine learning server. It allows you to create applications that could do the following: recommend items (e.g. movies, products, food), predict user behavior, identify item similarity and rank items. You can pretty much build any machine learning application with ease using Prediction IO. You don't have to deal with numbers and algorithms and you can just concentrate on building the app itself.

He walks you through the download and install of the Prediction IO software, how to start up the server and how to access its web interface. He shows you how to create an "engine" that will be used to make the recommendations and some of the settings allowing you to tailor it to your needs. The script will hook into The Movie DB API for content. He starts in on the PHP packages that will be needed to make the API connection and recommendations, but the actual code will come in a later article.

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movie recommendation predictionio server tutorial api movie

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/create-movie-recommendation-app-prediction-io-setup/

Snipe.net:
Why You Should Stop Stalling and Start Presenting
June 13, 2014 @ 11:47:01

In her latest post Snipe does her best to motivate those out there that have thought about speaking or presenting at a technology conference but are "stalling" and finding excuses not to. The post pulls from some of her own past experiences as a speaker in various communities, PHP and otherwise.

My last post generated a bit of buzz when it was posted to HackerNews recently, so I figured I'd take this opportunity to reiterate something I've been saying on Twitter for a while now. If you have never presented a conference before, make this the year you change that.

She breaks the rest of the post up into different reasons to stop making excuses and just do it:

  • It is an incredible experience that makes you better at other things
  • You will meet great people and learn about their experiences
  • Even if you suck the first time, it really is okay, even if it doesn't feel like it at the time
  • It's great for your career
  • If you are part of an underrepresented minority, your peers need to see you on that stage
  • Your audience is actually far more forgiving than you imagine
  • You're smarter than you think. Things that are obvious to you are not obvious to everyone else
  • It feels really fucking awesome talking about stuff you care about

She also shares a few panic-aversion tactics she's worked up over the years including starting small, working with "power poses" and a reminder to use the "presenter view" feature in your presentation software of choice.

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Link: http://www.snipe.net/2014/06/why-you-should-stop-stalling-and-start-presenting/

Frank de Jonge:
A Case Against Coding Lingo
May 28, 2014 @ 10:54:14

In this new post to Medium Frank de Jonge talks about one of the infamous "two things hard about programming", namely...well, naming things.

The other day I had a small discussion on one of my open-source projects, in this case Flysystem. It was about the smallest thing ever, the name of a method. A method name that was suggested to replace another method name just didn't feel right to me. It made me wonder why. I came to the conclusion: Using lingo in code should be avoided.

He elaborates a bit on what he means by "coding lingo" and a few general things to think about when naming your methods, variables, etc. His reminders include:

  • Going for clarity
  • Remembering that not everyone is English
  • That it can be excluding
  • It can be limiting

He reminds us that naming doesn't have to be "cool", it just needs to be useful and a developer-focused kind of documentation. He recommends using common names/terms for things, being concrete and avoiding abbreviation. There's a few other recommendations in the post too, so check out the full article for more.

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Link: https://medium.com/@frankdejonge/8ffae1a4fa4e

Stefan Koopmanschap:
Want to Be More Productive? Work Less!
May 22, 2014 @ 10:02:08

Stefan Koopmanschap has a recommendation for all of the developers (really, anyone) out there about their work habits - want to be more productive? Work less.

There are many people (myself included for a long time) that will work more and more when they have more stress. Whether it's a deadline or simply too much work on your hands, you just start working longer, open your laptop when at home just to finish that one feature, skip lunch or ignore your RSI-breaks. While this may sometimes work, in the long run, this will only make you less productive.

He talks about a few things that can come with "more work" that can make you less productive in the long run. He includes a few recommendations to help "take back that productivity" including:

  • Take breaks
  • Take regular days off
  • Holidays are good
  • Don't always work from the office
  • Do "fun" work

He also points out that a lot of your level of productivity revolves around stress and how even just changing small things like where you're working from can make a real difference.

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Link: http://leftontheweb.com/blog/2014/05/21/Want_To_Be_More_Productive_Work_Less

SitePoint PHP Blog:
How to Speed Up Your App's API Consumption
April 11, 2014 @ 10:51:23

The SitePoint PHP blog has some advice posted today from Jacek Barecki about how you can speed up your use of other APIs with a few performance increasing tips.

In the process of creating a PHP application you may come to a point when keeping it isolated from remote resources or services may become a barrier in its development. To move along with the project you may employ different API services to fetch remote data, connect with user accounts on other websites or transform resources shared by your application. [...] But using APIs in an incorrect way can quickly lead to performance issues and lengthen the execution time of your script. If you're looking for a way to avoid it, consider implementing some of the solutions described in the article.

He recommends four things you can think about doing to help make the most effective use of these services:

  • Make multiple requests at a time
  • Separate API calls from the app main flow
  • Build a smart cache engine
  • Master the API documentation
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api performance recommendation tips usage

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/speed-apps-api-consumption/

Erika Heidi Reinaldo:
Advices and resources for PHP novices
September 11, 2013 @ 09:59:01

Erika Heidi Reinaldo has made a post over on her Coderwall page with a few helpful hints for the budding PHP developers out there about things to investigate and learn to help further their knowledge of the language.

This post is a collection of things that I consider important for people who are starting with PHP, based on my experiences with this language through the years. PHP has considerable evolved in the last years, thanks mainly to the community efforts. [...] As a downside for the language evolution, as things change, tutorials and practices might get deprecated. So we have a lack of good updated tutorials for beginners.

She includes some great things for new developers to look into including a recommendation to "learn the language, not a framework" and exploring git and Github as a collaborative workspace to both share your own work and explore the work of others for helpful hints. She also makes a recommendation that can help more than most developer think - get involved (contribute to projects or meet with other developers, online or at something like a user group).

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advice resource beginner developer language recommendation

Link: https://coderwall.com/p/0ictea

Lorna Mitchell:
PSR-What?
July 16, 2013 @ 11:19:10

For those out there that might have heard comments made about the PSRs (PHP Standards Recommendations) but aren't quite sure what they're about, Lorna Mitchell has posted an introduction to the three currently approved standards.

There's been some cool things happening in the PHP world over the last few years, but with the least helpful names ever ... yes, those PSR-somethings which all do totally different things (apart from two of them which are the same). They're actually all superb things, and done for a good reason, so I thought I'd try to translate them into normal speak.

She goes through each of the three, explaining what they are and how they could affect your applications:

  • PSR-0 is for autoloading
  • PSR-1 and PSR-2 are for Coding Standards
  • PSR-3 is for Logging

There's no code included in the post showing how they'd be implemented but there are links back to the standards themselves.

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psr standards recommendation autoloading codestandard logging

Link: http://www.lornajane.net/posts/2013/psr-what

NetTuts.com:
PSR-Huh?
January 18, 2013 @ 09:14:59

On NetTuts.com today they've posted a good primer for those that may have heard about the PSR standards that have been introduced to PHP but aren't quire sure what they are (or what they mean to you as a developer).

If you're an avid PHP developer, it's quite likely that you've come across the abbreviation, PSR, which stands for "PHP Standards Recommendation." At the time of this writing, there are four of them: PSR-0 to PSR-3. Let's take a look at what these are, and why you should care (and participate).

They start with a brief history of the standards, the PHP-FIG (Framework Interoperability Group) and where the idea for the PSRs came from. Then the article gets into the details of each:

  • PSR-0: Autoloader Standard
  • PSR-1: Basic Coding Standard
  • PSR-2: Coding Style Guide
  • PSR-3: Logger Interface

They also do a good job mentioning some of the criticism that's come with the standards and what sort of future there is including the creation of a standard for a HTTP messaging package.

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psr standard recommendation coding history future


Matt Frost:
Using Comments
October 16, 2012 @ 09:27:43

Matt Frost has posted a few of this thoughts about effective code commenting and how it can help make your application easier to follow and maintain in the long run.

Code comments are strange things; they can be invaluable or they can make the code they're describing more confusing. They can be necessary, unnecessary, explanatory or muddled and some times they're neither; they just are. [...] Code comments have their place, don't get me wrong; but I don't usually come across good comments.

He talks some about the two cases for comments - when to use them (and do it effectively) and when not to use them (yes, there's a time for this too). He notes that, sometimes, if you feel like you need to comment excessively on your code, you might be doing it wrong - that there's a simpler, more understandable way.

The goal should always be to add value to a codebase, whether than be in the form of code, comments or documentation. Bad comments are just as bad as poorly written code and good comments can take poorly written code and make it more easily understandable.
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