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PHP.net:
PHP 5.4 beta2 released
October 27, 2011 @ 10:12:59

The PHP.net site has a new announcement about the latest version of the language in the PHP 5.4.x series - beta 2 has been released for testing.

The PHP development team is proud to announce the second beta release of PHP 5.4. PHP 5.4 includes new language features and removes several legacy (deprecated) behaviours. Windows binaries can be downloaded from the Windows QA site. [...] Please help us to identify bugs by testing new features and looking for unintended backward compatibility breaks, so we can fix the problems and fully document intended changes before PHP 5.4.0 is released. Report findings to the QA mailing list and/or the PHP bug tracker.

Remember - this is not a production release, so do not use it in your live applications (unless you really like to live dangerously, of course). You can look at the NEWS file for a complete list of changes.

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Pumka.net:
Why MySQL timestamp is 24 seconds different from PHP
October 26, 2010 @ 11:24:31

On the Pumka.net blog, Anton Oliink has an interesting problem where his timestamp on the PHP side of his application was different than the one on his MySQL backend's side - by 24 seconds, in fact.

You may find that timestamp value returned by MySQL UNIX_TIMESTAMP() function is 24 seconds grater than those returned by PHP functions and classes like strtotime(), mktime, DateTime::getTimestamp(), Zend_Date::getTimestamp().

As it turns out, the issue isn't' really an "issue" after all - it's caused by MySQL's compensation for leap seconds. He gives a few ways you can avoid it being an issue in your application, though: disable leap seconds, only convert to timestamps on the PHP side or just use the "unix_timestamp()" and "from_unixtime()" methods to work with the values.

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Debuggable Blog:
How To Save Half A Second On Every CakePHP Request
February 27, 2009 @ 12:09:51

CakePHP users might want to listen to this suggestion from Tim Koschutzki on the Debuggable blog - he wants to help you save a half second on each request.

There are several ways to improve the performance of your CakePHP application. [...] Any performance improvement that does not effect how data is retrieved, stored and cached is welcome. If it affects your entire site and not only parts of it, it's all the better.

The performance boost comes in the form of an update to CakePHP's reverse route lookup functionality. Normally a lookup would have to be parsed and resolved back to their original location. They figured a bit faster way around it though - breaking the reverse routing feature for the sake of speed. The code for the hack is included in the post.

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Evert Pot's Blog:
PHPUnit A second look
January 21, 2009 @ 09:38:31

Evert Pot has taken a second look at the popular unit testing software for PHP - PHPUnit.

Somewhere in 2007 I had a deep dive into PHPUnit, and there were a couple of things that bugged me. Looking into it again, it turns out that since then everything has been fixed, making it perfect for integrating it into sabredav. Most of the protocol-level WebDAV stuff is all tested with litmus, but having good unit tests will help ensuring a high quality of the inner business logic.

He also includes a few "highlights" (pleasant things) he found in this second look like a bootstrap setting, a more perfected code coverage analysis and the inclusion of an XML config file to define them all.

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Derick Rethans' Blog:
Leap Seconds and What To Do With Them
January 01, 2009 @ 20:56:35

Derick Rethans one of the go-to guys for working with time in PHP has made this new post about something 2008 picked up along the way to 2009 - a leap second.

The start of this new year started with some buzz about a leap second being introduced between Dec 31st 2008, 23:59:59 and Jan 1st 2009, 00:00:00. I've had people ask where this leap second actually comes from, and whether you need to worry about it in your applications. To understand leap seconds means, unfortunately, understanding how time is actually kept.

He ponints out one of the major problems - how time is kept. With variants of Universal Time, it makes it hard to track down what's "right". He breaks out the difference between other time storage methods and the unix time that PHP can use (that counts the number of seconds since Jan 1st 1970) and how the leap second was handled for each.

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Nick Halstead's Blog:
PHP Competition Results - Second Place (Evan Chui)
July 20, 2007 @ 09:36:00

Second place has been revealed in Nick Halstead's programming competition - and the 2nd place mark goes to Evan Chiu.

So second place, more drum rolls.. goes to Evan Chiu. Evan's solution revolved around a well implemented breadth first search which was wrapped up in a neat class. It was also quite well presented and the HTML was all w3c compliant.

In Evan's solution, he opted for a single "solve" method to handle the heart of the transition - an implementation of the "Breadth First Search method. If you'd like to see the full code, you can check it out here.

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Edin Kadribasic's Blog:
Second PHP build using the new compiler
December 19, 2006 @ 07:49:00

Giving it a second shot, Edin Kadribasic has posted another build using the new compiler from Microsoft because of some issues with the first one.

Well the first build proved to be somewhat less that a full success. It worked only on one computer: the one that was build on. Since this limits PHP use on the Windows platform I went ahead and read about Microsoft manifest files, SxS (side by side) assemblies and other wonderful stuff that Microsoft has provided for us in version 2005 of their development package.

The new build should be installable without any libraries from Microsoft and you can grab both of them directly from his site:

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Community News:
eZ components 2006.2beta2 Release
November 20, 2006 @ 14:57:00

Some eZ components news as passed on by Tobias Schlitt today - they've released the second beta for this 2006 edition of the component system:

In this second beta of the eZ components 2006.2 the major highlights are the addition of a flash driver for the Graph component, the addition of many new features to the IMAP transport in the Mail component, and support for PostgreSQL and SQLite for the DatabaseSchema component.

You can get the latest information about the release here (as well as updated docs) and a full changelog for the release can be found here and the one for beta1 (with more of the 'cool features' listed) here.

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KillerSites.com:
Book Review PHP Cookbook 2nd edition
October 18, 2006 @ 08:47:00

On KillerSites.com, Stefan Mischook has a new book review of a new version of a good old PHP book standby - the 2nd Edition of the PHP Cookbook from O'Reilly.

The 'cookbook' series from O'Reilly press target a reader who understands (at least) the basics of a subject, these are not good books for beginners. This is the 2nd edition and covers PHP 5.

Stefan comments on the content of the book, noting that it covers "chunks" of functionality by task rather than teaching the language details behind it. He notes that this is just the book for someone needing to perform some kind of task, and just looking for the bit of code to get it done. The book also shares some helpful hints along the way, like "What is the difference between ereg and preg?"

Overall, he recommends the book, but only for those that already have a gasp on PHP and need those little code bits to make things work.

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David Sklar's Blog:
PHP Cookbook, 2nd Edition
August 29, 2006 @ 12:58:23

David Skalr shares some good news on the publishing front - the latest version (second edition) of the "PHP Cookbook" is rolling off the presses.

The new edition of PHP Cookbook is on the way! I got one copy yesterday, so it should be making its way into bookstores and online-bookstore-warehouses any day now.

Updates included in this edition are:

  • revamped XML and OOP sections
  • new PDO information
  • information on testing code
  • performance tuning
  • regular expressions
Check out the O'Reilly page of the book for complete information.

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