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Mikkel Høgh:
Drupal is still a gated community
May 25, 2015 @ 10:16:42

In a recent post to his site Mikkel Høgh makes the suggestion that Drupal is still a gated community, mostly as it relates to the process around the "Project Applications" process.

One of the things the Drupal community prides itself on, is how open the community is. And that is generally true, but there's one exception. And that is the Kafkaesque horror-show we subject any newcomers that would like to publish their code on Drupal.org to. It goes by the name of "Project Applications". I know several people who've hit this wall when trying to contribute code. It's not uncommon to wait several months to get someone to review your code. And when it does happen, people are often rejected for tiny code style issues, like not ending their comments with a period or similar.

He talks about other factors involving reviews and delays that can also cause authors to abandon their work and feel "unwelcome and unappreciated". He mentions the "review bonus" system and how it's used to encourage participation (or "more hoops" as he puts it) from other authors. He notes that this situation mostly relates to those new to the tool and community and suggests that it just doesn't work (and really is unnecessary). He ends the post with a call to "end the madness" and move to a standardized role that would allow developers to publish without pushing people away and making them feel unwelcome.

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opinion drupal walledgarden project applications review delay contribution

Link: http://mikkel.hoegh.org/2015/05/14/drupal-is-still-a-gated-community/

Zend Developer Zone:
Review Day Camp 4 Developers Performant PHP - PSR-7 Video
May 01, 2015 @ 09:21:36

The Zend Developer Zone site has posted a review of a recent Day Camp 4 Developers event, specifically the PSR-7 presentation from Matthew Weier O'Phiney (PSR-7 is the proposed standard for HTTP request/response interfaces).

Having a keen interest in PSR-7 myself, I was delighted to see that Matthew Weier O'Phinney (the Supreme Allied Commander of Zend Framework) was going to be speaking on it himself at the latest Day Camp 4 Developers day. [...] PSR-7 deals with specifying interfaces to define HTTP messages (namely request and response messages), and in this talk Matthew introduces the concepts around HTTP messaging, and the PSR-7 implementation that models them. Matthew is the current editor of the proposed PSR-7 standard so this talk was obviously going to be given straight from the horse's mouth.

The author (Gary Hockin) walks you through the content provided in the video including:

  • an overview of the proposal
  • how other languages solve the same problem
  • how PST-7 will solve these same problems

Overall Gary found the talk well-presented and full of good content, especially for those just learning about PSR-7. You can find out more about Day Camp for developers and future events on their site.

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daycamp4developers performantphp session video psr7 matthewweierophinney review

Link: http://devzone.zend.com/5173/review-day-camp-4-developers-performant-php-psr-7-video/

PHP-FIG:
PSR-7 Voting Canceled
April 02, 2015 @ 09:34:40

The voting phase for the PSR-7 proposal (HTTP messaging structure) has been cancelled due to the desire to improve and clarify the spec before approving it.

Since we put PSR-7 up for a vote, a number of issues have arisen that we feel require attention. In most cases these are clarifications that, had they been made during REVIEW, could have been merged without dropping the spec back to DRAFT. Sadly, since PSR-7 is now up for a vote, we cannot make clarifications to the spec. We cannot even make clarifications after the spec is accepted, either, except by way of annotations and errata in the meta document.

We've weighed the risk of leaving the spec as-is against canceling the vote and making the required changes directly to the spec itself. This has been an ongoing discussion since the middle of last week. I had a meeting with Mathew and Paul this morning in which we decided that it would be in the best interest of everyone for us to cancel the vote and make the changes directly.

The call was a tough one, but the discussions around the proposal have worked out a lot of the kinks, just not all of them. As is mentioned in the Google Groups post, the PSR will go back up for a vote in two weeks. PSR-7 outlines a standardized interface for working with HTTP requests and responses, providing interoperability between frameworks and tools at this basic level.

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psr7 http standard http vote cancel rework review

Link: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/php-fig/42WhFKJzgrQ/9YbhKdLEOp4J

Slashdot.org:
Book Review - Modern PHP New Features and Good Practices
March 24, 2015 @ 11:29:28

On Slashdot today Michael Ross as posted a book review of Josh Lockhart's recently released O'Reilly book "Modern PHP".

In recent years, JavaScript has enjoyed a dramatic renaissance as it has been transformed from a browser scripting tool primarily used for special effects and form validation on web pages, to a substantial client-side programming language. Similarly, on the server side, after years as the target of criticism, the PHP computer programming language is seeing a revival, partly due to the addition of new capabilities, such as namespaces, traits, generators, closures, and components, among other improvements. PHP enthusiasts and detractors alike can learn more about these changes from the book Modern PHP: New Features and Good Practices, authored by Josh Lockhart.

In the rest of the review Michael provides an overview of the topics covered in the book and how it's divided up. He then covers each of these three sections, commenting on the contents and making a few recommendations for those not immediately familiar with the topics. He does point out that he felt there was some critical information missing on some topics that "would allow one to begin immediately applying that technique or resource to one's own coding." Overall, though, he found the book a good resource and recommends it to those looking for a source to learn about new trends and tools in PHP.

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book review modernphp joshlockhart features practices

Link: http://books.slashdot.org/story/15/03/22/1447230/modern-php-new-features-and-good-practices

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Grumpy Programmer's Testing Bundle Review
February 09, 2015 @ 13:18:22

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted a book review of a book bundle from the "Grumpy Programmer" (aka Chris Hartjes) with content about testing - how to test, what to test and creating testable applications.

After having gotten some constructive feedback regarding my testing practices on the basic TDD in your new PHP package tutorial, I decided to read Chris Hartjes "Grumpy Testing Bundle", a set of two books consisting of The Grumpy Programmer's Guide To Building Testable PHP Applications and The Grumpy Programmer's PHPUnit Cookbook. It was my hope that those books will prevent me from using the shoddy practices I displayed in that original post and which originally prompted Matthew Weier O'Phinney's critique. In this post, I'd like to share with you what I've learned, and how much this helped me, if at all.

He breaks down the bundle and talks about each of the two books separately, pointing out places he thought were most useful and others where he felt it needed updates/more clarification. He includes examples of some of the code shared in the books as illustrations and what kind of overall rating he gives it (in elePHPants naturally).

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book review grumpyprogrammer chrishartjes review bundle

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/grumpy-programmers-testing-bundle-review/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Modernizing Legacy Applications in PHP Review
January 15, 2015 @ 12:46:34

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted a review of Paul Jones' "Modernizing Legacy Applications" book. The book share's Paul's gathered knowledge about migrating legacy code into a more modern, maintainable and robust application.

Chances are you've come across some horrible legacy code once or twice in your lifetime as a PHP developer. Heck, if you've worked with WordPress to any degree, I'm sure you have. I myself have had the satisfying task of modernizing a monolithic ZF1 application, and it was the most mentally exhaustive (but, admittedly, the most educational) year of my career. If only I had had Paul M. Jones' "Modernizing Legacy Applications In PHP" book back then, I would have been done in half the time, and the work I did would have been twice as good.

Bruno talks briefly about the contents of the book and its goals (from legacy to MVC really). He goes on to point out that the target audience for the book is not the beginner PHP developer but someone that's familiar with good software design concepts and application structure. He goes through the technical side of things, commenting that it's "sound - amazingly so" and how it seems to be taken from a real-life project's refactoring. He wraps things up with a list of some of the pros and cons of the book and a recommendation along with a 4.5 of 5 "elephpant" rating.

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modernize legacy application book review pauljones

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/modernizing-legacy-applications-php-review/

Three Devs & A Maybe Podcast:
End of Year Review
January 02, 2015 @ 12:18:09

The Three Devs & A Maybe podcast has posted their latest episode (#53, released December 31st) with a year in review and some of their own experiences over the last year.

In this weeks episode Mick and Edd reflect on their busy years. We first discuss how work has wrapped up for the new year, and how subtle design changes result in huge benefits. Following this, we compare our personal experiences with product and agency work - chatting about the different programming design mindsets and work-flows used in each case. This leads on to the well-timed appreciation for the work of Martin Fowler, Uncle Bob and Greg Young - inc. valuable tests, the importance of a name and there not being a single 'silver bullet' to solving a problem. Finally, we wrap up with what we both would like to learn this upcoming year and Edd's experiences building a mega PC for a friend.

Topics mentioned include hexagonal architecture, using pull requests as code reviews and domain driven design. You can listen to this latest episode either through the in-page audio player or download the mp3 directly. If you enjoy the show, be sure to subscribe to their feed too.

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threedevsandamaybe podcast ep53 end year review

Link: http://threedevsandamaybe.com/end-of-year-review/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Book Review Practical Design Patterns in PHP
October 22, 2014 @ 12:17:12

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted a new book review from editor Bruno Skvorc about the "Practical Design Patterns in PHP" book from author Brandon Savage. The review talks both about some of Bruno's impressions of the content in the book and a bit about self-publishing too.

This review of Brandon Savage's Practical Design Patterns in PHP will include my own opinions and impressions about both the book, and the aspect of self-publishing. Many thanks to Brandon for giving me a review copy. "Design patterns are about common solutions to common problems. [...] They are concepts, not blueprints; ideas, not finished designs. [...] They add clarity to an otherwise difficult situation."

Bruno starts off with a look at the actual content of the book: its coverage of each of the patterns (17 in all), ones that he sees as missing and some of his "gripes" with the examples provided. He also talks about Brandon's choice around models being where primary functionality lives. He finishes the post talking about what he calls the "curse of knowledge" (for example, mentioning other advanced topics without knowing of the reader understands them) and the thoughts around self-publishing and some of the issues he has with it.

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bookreview book review designpatterns practical brandonsavage

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/book-review-practical-design-patterns-php/

VitalFlux.com:
Top 10 PHP Code Review Tips
September 10, 2014 @ 11:15:31

On the VitalFlux site there's a recent post sharing a few tips (a Top 10 list) of things to think about when doing code reviews.

This article represents top 10 areas to consider while you are taking up the task to do the code review of a PHP project. The other day, I had a discussion with one of the PHP senior developers who asked me about where to start on the task related with reviewing a PHP web application and, we brainstormed and came up with the list. Interestingly, apart from few, most of them can be pretty much applied to applications written with other programming languages as well.

Their top ten list of things to look for during code reviews extend beyond just the syntax of the code and good coding practices. They also suggest things like:

  • Adherence to Business Functionality
  • Object-Oriented Principles
  • Security
  • Integration Patterns/Protocols

Code reviews, if done effectively and efficiently, can be a major benefit for producing quality code that not only adheres to standards but also follows good practices and principles (like SOLID).

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code review tips top10 list syntax bestpractice business

Link: http://vitalflux.com/top-10-php-code-review-tips/

Giorgio Sironi:
PHPUnit Essentials review
August 18, 2014 @ 11:52:00

Giorgio Sironi has posted a quick book review of a recent publication from Packt Publishing: "PHPUnit Essentials". The author, Zdenek Machek, has written a "practical guide featuring a step-by-step approach that aims to help PHP developers who want to learn or improve their software testing skills."

The first thing that struck me about the book was the breadth of subjects: you start from mocks and command line options, to get even to Selenium usage. [...] There is a bit of what may seem outdated information in the book such as how to perform a PEAR-based installation, but it's identified as such (PEAR being deprecated and dismissed by the end of the year.) Another seemingly outdated tool is Selenium IDE, but once upgraded with a formatter for Selenium2TestCase like explained in this book it becomes usable again. This kind of advice demonstrates the real world experience of the author and makes you trust the content.

He suggest that the book is more for those just starting out on their testing journey and wanting to get up to speed quickly with a wide range of tools, not just the base PHPUnit handling.

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phpunit essentials review bookreview introduction

Link: http://www.giorgiosironi.com/2014/08/phpunit-essentials-review.html


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