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SitePoint PHP Blog:
Politics Often Hold the Community Back
April 28, 2014 @ 10:20:35

On the SitePoint PHP blog Matthew Setter has posted the latest in the "Can Great Apps Be Written in PHP?" interview series. This time he talks with two other developers - Gary Hockin and Bruno Skvorc, the blog's own editor.

Matthew asks Gary questions about his history with PHP and some of his own "highlights" when it comes to features of the language. They also talk about other languages, frameworks and is how preferred toolset.

In talking with Bruno, he asks similar questions but Bruno's answers deal more with the community around PHP than specific features. They also talk some about deployment testing and his own preferences on how his team works.

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sitepoint interview garyhockin brunoskvorc community technology

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/interview-gary-hocken-matthew-setter/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
CMS Showdown Nginx, Ghost, PHP and Phalcon
March 20, 2014 @ 12:58:18

On the SitePoint PHP blog today Bruno Skvorc has written up the first part of his look at installing Ghost with Nginx and Phalcon on his hosting provider. This is the first post in his "showdown" series of trials on various CMS systems.

You might be wondering why I'm writing about Ghost on a PHP oriented channel - this series will be a showdown of all the various PHP based CMS' I can find, benchmarked against each other and against Ghost, as I look for the next best alternative. Since my DigitalOcean droplet already runs Nginx as a reverse proxy for the blog, I'll also be deploying all the CMS' on that same installation, each on its own subdomain.

He walks you through the whole process from start to finish:

  • Installing PHP on Nginx
  • Setting up a virtual host on a subdomain
  • Installing Phalcon
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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/cms-showdown-nginx-ghost-php-phalcon

SitePoint PHP Blog:
HHVM vs Zend Engine in PHP 6
January 27, 2014 @ 12:05:55

In this recent post to the SitePoint PHP blog Bruno Skvorc compares two technologies that have influence how PHP performs - the HHVM (HipHop Virtual Machine) and the Zend Engine in PHP6 - and the potential replacement of one with the other.

The fabled PHP 6 is long overdue. This unicorn of the web dev world has been "coming" for decades now, and it's still not clear whether or not it's actually something that's going to happen in this decade, or just an idea, a fantasy of the PHP userbase. [...] In the latest edition [of the PHPClasses podcast] between Manuel Lemos and César Rodas, an interesting topic arose among others - Facebook's HHVM replacing Zend Engine in PHP 6. While this was purely speculation on the part of the participants, and whether or not you believe in PHP 6, you have to admit it's an interesting notion.

He starts with a look at the overall pros of the HHVM solution - the speed of execution, that it's backed by Facebook and its support for static typing. There's some cons that come with the HHVM though, including not allowing custom extensions, that it's developed by Facebook (yes, this can be a con too) and that there are other ways to enhance PHP's execution speed without sacrificing other functionality.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/hhvm-vs-zend-engine-php-6/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
New PHP Editor
October 02, 2013 @ 09:42:08

The SitePoint PHP blog has a post today announcing a new editor for the content of their site - Bruno Skvorc (replacing Timothy Boronczyk who helped build up PHPMaster.com from the start).

September 30th marked the stepping down of Timothy Boronczyk, Phpmaster's long time editor. He leaves behind a legacy of awesome: countless high quality articles, a fantastic and well formed writers pool, and a reputation one cannot easily catch up with.

[...] I realized PHP's true potential for rapid application development [after working on a Zend application], and branched out on my own. The following several years consisted entirely of experimentation, failures and endless StackOverflow trips. Finally, I applied to write an article for PHPMaster in July 2012. This was my first commercial article. I continued to write for Sitepoint and other platforms, but always strived to deliver my best work here - on the very site that gave me so many excellent tutorials which made me who I was. More than a year later, I was asked to step in for Tim as the new PHP editor, and I couldn't be more humbled and honored.

He lists out a few items on his "todo" list including improving the rebranding SitePoint's done away from PHPMaster.com back to the SitePoint site and the improved quality of upcoming articles. He also includes the ways you can get involved in the site - everything from just suggesting topics out to writing actual articles.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/new-php-editor/

SitePoint.com:
What Happened when we Talked PHP with the Experts
April 15, 2013 @ 09:05:56

On SitePoint.com today they've posted the transcript of a "Talk with the Experts" session they did with Lorna Mitchell (instructor of their recent OOP sessions). The transcript includes questions and answers to those in attendance as well as some good links and advice.

Last Thursday I broke with tradition slightly and ran a Talk with the Experts session in the evening (down under), making it a bit more time-zone friendly for our UK audience. It also meant that I was able to swap my usual coffee for a wine, which probably made the session run a bit more smoothly. The subject was PHP and our expert was Lorna Mitchell, tutor of Object-oriented PHP and co-author of PHP Master: Write Cutting-edge Code.

The transcript starts with a collection of some of the links provided during the discussion and then runs through the entire conversation. There's some good advice in there, especially if you're relatively new to the world of PHP object-oriented programming.

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expert lornamitchell oop sitepoint transcript session

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/what-happened-when-we-talked-php-with-the-experts

PHPMaster.com:
PhpStorm - Review and Give Away
August 14, 2012 @ 09:37:01

On PHPMaster.com today there's a new article posted that has a review of PHPStorm, an IDE from JetBrains that focuses on providing a great experience for PHP developers and tons of features.

It's said the tool doesn't make the craft - a carpenter can drive a nail into a wooden plank using a hammer, a rock, another plank, or his forehead, but he'll rarely choose anything other than the hammer. [...] I'm talking about using a text editor versus using a full-fledged PHP-dedicated project-oriented IDE for PHP application development. Both will get the job done, but productivity-wise, one is obviously a better choice than the other.

Bruno Skvorc goes through a brief summary of what the editor is about and talks about some of the more notable features including:

  • Being built on Java (good and bad)
  • The IDE being strictly project-oriented
  • Supports the latest PHP version, including 5.4
  • Smart refactoring
  • Good intellisense support

He also mentions the plugin architecture that's included with the product and a few of the more handy plugins available. They're also running a giveaway in collaboration with the PHPStorm folks and are giving out IDE licenses and copies of SitePoint's "PHPMaster: Create Cutting Edge Code" book (rules are included in the article).

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SitePoint.com:
Sneak Peek at Kevin Yank's New Book 'PHP & MYSQL Novice to Ninja'
April 27, 2012 @ 11:14:05

SitePoint.com has published an excerpt from an upcoming book by their own Kevin Yank aimed at those wanting to get into PHP with no background in the language at all - "PHP & MySQL: Novice to Ninja".

Kevin Yank's done it again! He's just completed a new 2012 edition of his best-selling book (Build Your Own Database Driven Web Site, 4th Edition) which is now titled - PHP & MySQL: Novice to Ninja.

The chapter excerpt they share is the book's "Introducing PHP" content the (very) basic introduction to the language showing syntax and some of the benefits of the language. They also give you a preview of some of the other bits of content in the book including sections on database design, building a CMS, setting up shopping carts and getting PHP+MySQL installed on multiple platforms.

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sitepoint book beginner novice ninja introduction kevinyank


PHPWomen.org:
Book review PHP Master
January 10, 2012 @ 08:19:03

On the PHPWomen blog today there's a new book review of SitePoint's latest major PHP publication - "PHP Master" (by Lorna Mitchell, Davey Shafik and Matthew Turland).

At 357 pages (375 including index), this book provides a thorough grounding in the key topics todays PHP developer should strive to know, and know well. The back cover ambitiously states that the book is "guaranteed to take your PHP skills to the next level". Keep reading to find out whether or not I agree.

She walks you through the contents of the book, noting that, despite her being an experienced developer, there were still things that she found new.

Despite the stated demographic, I think this book has a lot to offer novice developers. It would be a real challenge to properly digest and understand the wide range of topics covered, but an achievable and worthwhile one nonetheless. [...] If you're still undecided, my advice is buy the book - you won't regret it.
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bookreview phpmaster sitepoint lornamitchell daveyshafik matthewturland


Volker Dusch's Blog:
Book Review PHP Masters
December 08, 2011 @ 08:48:29

Volker Dusch has posted his review of a recent release from SitePoint Press - "PHP Masters - Write Cutting Edge Code".

The book is solid, well written and covers the most important topics that people need to think about when starting off with PHP. It is one of the few PHP book on the market that you can pass on to your trainees/junior developers without having to "unteach" them half of the taught bad practices afterwards. This is a great achievement in my mind and I'd definitely recommend checking it out and passing it on to your trainees and 'junior developers' ... maybe read it first yourself and rip out a few pages in chapter 4.

His "long version" gets into a more complete list of his thoughts on each of the individual chapters (including "object oriented programming", "APIs", "design patterns" and "security"). Overall, he found the book good, but pointed out a few areas where it was lacking. You can find more detail about the book here (or on Amazon here)

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PHPMaster.com:
PHP Master Writing Cutting-Edge Code
November 11, 2011 @ 09:04:34

On PHPMaster.com today (disclaimer: PHPMaster is a SitePoint website) Timothy Boronczyk has posted a review of SitePoint's latest offering for PHP developers - Writing Cutting-Edge Code (by Lorna Mitchell, Davey Shafik and Matthew Turland).

The book was written explicitly to help you becoming a better PHP programmer and is totally awesome. It not only covers advanced PHP coding topics such as object-oriented programming and design patterns, but also periphery topics that are just as important, such as security, performance profiling, and deployment. If you're ready to hang up your novice hat for good and become a professional-level PHP developer, this book is for you.

He goes through and highlights some of the content in the book, chapters covering relational databases, web services, security topics, caching, automated testing, PEAR/PECL....just to name a few.

Using the Slashdot scale of book ratings, where 1 is fit for lining cages and 10 is destined to be a class, I give PHP Master: Write Cutting-Edge Code a very solid 8.5. The content will grow with you and the book is not something you'll read in a weekend and then donate to the library because you have no need for it.
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