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SitePoint PHP Blog:
Composer Cheatsheet
April 01, 2014 @ 11:22:35

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new post from Matthew Setter today sharing a Composer cheatsheet he recently discovered with an example of the common commands and "composer.json" file structure.

Unless you've been living under a rock, today's PHP isn't your grandmother's PHP; it's an entirely different, much more elegant and mature language with countless improvements and additions. One of the key additions is Composer, the de facto standard for managing PHP project dependencies which, by default, gives you access to hundreds of ready-made libraries, via Packagist.org.

He goes through the parts of the guide, introducing some of the commands and covering the details of the full "composer.json" JSON structure. There's also a video introduction if you'd like the more visual version.

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composer cheatsheet introduction commands json structure

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/composer-cheatsheet

ClearCode:
Symfony - Project Tamed
March 27, 2014 @ 09:44:29

On the ClearCode blog today there's a new post for the Synfomy2 users out there with some recommendations about taming your project to make it more manageable and maintainable.

When managing projects based on Symfony2, from the technical side, it is a good idea to establish a set of rules for the project. If you haven't established and implemented such rules yet, then they should be created as soon as possible. Why? Well, no matter how many people are working on the project, the code needs to look like it was written by one person. [...] Symfony documentation doesn't specifically focus on this issue, and the bundles that are written by the community have their own set of rules. [...] Learning from mistakes as you go along cannot only be costly, but also time consuming. It is good to have a starting point, something that at least has worked for someone else. This is how the idea to share the guidelines on the Taming Symfony Project came about.

They list out some of the guidelines of the project centered around various aspects of the implementation and the directory structure. They also talk about standards around the use of Doctrine, Twig and Services.

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symfony2 framework project structure recommendations

Link: http://clearcode.cc/2014/03/symfony-project/

Paul Jones:
"Page Script" As A Degenerate Controller
February 04, 2014 @ 12:26:52

In his latest post Paul Jones looks at the more legacy structure of "page controllers" (a site based on several pages rather than an MVC style) that was common before the "MVC revolution" in the PHP community years back.

Almost all of the legacy applications I've had to deal with were page-based. In doing the work to modernize them, there comes a time where the page script has been refactored to look very much like a page controller, with some distinct but not critical differences. As such, I have come to consider the typical PHP page script to be a degenerate form of a page controller. With a little imagination, I think it's easy to see why.

He talks about how, in this older situation, the web server becomes a sort of "simplified front controller+router+dispatcher" and the PHP page acts as a "controller". He suggests that, even though this structure isn't as well separated as an MVC application, it can still be organized to make it easier to maintain.

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page controller mvc legacy structure

Link: http://paul-m-jones.com/archives/5907

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Web Performance Tricks - Beyond the Basics
January 23, 2014 @ 11:55:28

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new post sharing some general web performance tricks that could be done to any application to speed things up a bit. Note that this is a sponsored article but it does not promote the sponsor's product.

We've had a lot of performance talk over the years here at SitePoint, and we believe it's time to revisit the topic with some more advanced aspects. The approaches mentioned in this article won't be strictly PHP related, but you can be sure they'll bring your application to a whole new level if used properly. Note that we won't be covering the usual stuff - fewer requests for CSS, JS and images meaning faster websites and similar hints are common knowledge. Instead, we'll be focusing on some less known/used upgrades.

Their list of suggestions include things like:

  • Removing unnecessary HTML tags
  • Prefetching and caching content
  • Using tools like CSS Lint and CSS Explain
  • Using Google's Page Speed tool to find bottlenecks
  • Use things like SPDY, WebP and Zopfil
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web performance tips advanced list

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/web-performance-tricks-beyond-basics/

Lorna Mitchell:
Zend Certified PHP Developer 5.5
January 08, 2014 @ 09:23:45

If you're thinking about taking the Zend Certified PHP Developer (5.5) test but aren't sure exactly where to start, Lorna Mitchell has provided a list of some good resources to help you out.

Yesterday I updated my previous ZCE certificate to the Zend Certified PHP Developer qualification (the new ZCE for PHP 5.5 also got a new name). Since the ZCE 5.3 exam is no longer available and I work with various clients to prepare their teams for these certifications, it was important to me that I keep my own certification up to date. Now I've done that, I'd like to share some resources for others doing the same thing.

She points to a few things that could help you make the grade:

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zend certified developer test certification resource list

Link: http://www.lornajane.net/posts/2014/zend-certified-php-developer-5-5

Flyn San:
Creating a Basic ToDo Application With Laravel 4 (Tutorial Series)
December 09, 2013 @ 11:23:51

Flyn San has started (and gotten pretty far along) on a new series of posts to his blog aiming to teach you about the Laravel framework by creating a simple To Do application.

Laravel may be one of the younger frameworks out there but it's making ripples in the PHP world. The following post teaches how to build a basic to-do application in Laravel 4. It covers a wide range of concepts, links to relevant learning material where possible and should make for a great introduction to the framework.

There's already four parts to the series posted:

In each part of the tutorial complete code is provided as well as links to some external resources to get a bit more information about the framework (or the feature being discussed).

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tutorial series laravel framework todo list

Link: http://www.flynsarmy.com/2013/12/creating-a-basic-todo-application-with-laravel-4-part-1/

Paul Jones:
PSR-4 "Autoloader" Has Passed
December 04, 2013 @ 10:37:51

As Paul Jones mentions in his latest post, one of the latest proposals to the PHP-FIG (Framework Interoperability Group) has officially passed, PSR-4, providing a more strict standard for autoloading than the widely used PSR-0.

Counting from the date of that first formal proposal, it has taken exactly 8 months of discussions, one botched vote, one rescinded vote, an entirely new FIG workflow, and four or five rewrites to get PSR-4 passed. Maybe 8 months doesn't sound so long when you look back on it, but while you're in the middle of it, it's interminable.

Paul talks about some of the differences between it and PSR-0, making for "shallower" and more concise directory structures for packages. He also points to some of the packages from the Aura framework as examples of its implementation.

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psr4 autoloader phpfig proposal vote pass directory structure namespace

Link: http://paul-m-jones.com/archives/4804

Anthony Ferrara:
Beyond Clean Code
November 26, 2013 @ 13:12:41

Anthony Ferrara has posted the latest in his "Beyond" series today with this new post - "Beyond Clean Code". In it he looks at the idea of "clean code" and proposed a different way to think about its creation.

This is the fourth post in my "Beyond" series. The previous three posts focused on re-imagining OOP and questioning some of the core beliefs that we have come to take for granted. This one is going to be slightly different, in that I want to talk about another angle of writing code: the process itself. We always talk about how code should be clean, but how do you write clean code?

He starts with an overview of what it means for code to be "clean" with some of the common criteria including clear code flow, short routines and using libraries for complex tasks. He proposes that a change in perspective is needed away from "pretty code" and more towards code that contributes to the business value of the product. Following through on this pattern of thought, he proposes a more effective method than focusing on just clean code - DIRTI (Develop, Isolate, Refactor, Test and Integrate).

The real beauty of this approach is that it assumes that you don't know your abstractions before you start. This will help you understand the problem (and the solution) as you write it. [...] Initially, when you don't fully understand the solution, you will develop, isolate and refactor over and over until you fully understand the solution that you're building. Once that understanding solidifies, you're going to tend to spend more time in the later parts (Refactor Test and Integrate).
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clean code dirti structure dependencies perspective

Link: http://blog.ircmaxell.com/2013/11/beyond-clean-code.html

Reddit.com:
Why don't you contribute to PHP?
September 05, 2013 @ 13:26:29

On Reddit.com today nikic asks you why you don't contribute to PHP, that is to the language itself or the community around its improvement.

I know many of you care about PHP and have suggestions about how to improve it. My questions is: What prevents you from writing a mail to the internals mailing list with your suggestion/proposal (or to participate in existing discussions)? [...] I'd be interested in your opinions and hope that things can be improved based on them.

Some of his own examples to kick off the discussion include time constraints, not being able to write the patch themselves and some of the issues with the culture of the internals mailing list. Other suggestions from the comments include lack of confidence in coding skills (C++), the possible lack of interest in the RFC and the current state of the language's codebase.

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contribute language reason common list

Link: http://www.reddit.com/r/PHP/comments/1lsha2/why_dont_you_contribute_to_php/

Reddit.com:
Worst practices
September 04, 2013 @ 11:35:52

In this recent post to Reddit.com, people have been sharing some of the "worst practices" they've seen during their PHP development (or may even be guilty of).

For shits and giggles some colleagues and I are trying to write the crappiest PHP script we can think of, using as many bad practices as we can find. Alas, it's much harder then we thought, because we all have been trained to not do stupid stuff.

Things on the list so far include:

  • Multiple class definitions in a single file
  • Saving passwords unhashed and unencrypted in a database
  • Using a global variable inside a class to get a database connection
  • One letter variables
  • Pointlessly setting the signup method to being static
  • Using GET or POST vars directly from user input
  • Mixing HTML and PHP like there's no tomorrow.
  • make liberal use of extract() after running 'SELECT *'
  • Define a custom exception class for each class and only throw it from that class.
  • Make sure your DB connection is a singleton.
  • Throw ugly constants everywhere

What are some of the worst things you've seen? Share them here.

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worst practices opinion examples list

Link: http://www.reddit.com/r/PHP/comments/1lpgqk/worst_practices


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