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Joshua Thijssen:
Internal PHP function usage
July 28, 2014 @ 10:05:39

Curious about the usage of the various "internal" (built-in, not user defined) functions in use is a wide range of PHP applications, Joshua Thijssen did some research on GitHub and has shared the results on his site today.

How many internal PHP functions (things like count(), strpos(), array_merge() etc), does PHP have? Depending on which version you use, and how many extensions you have loaded, somewhere between 1000 and 2000 would be a good guess. But how many of these internal functions are you REALLY using?

He created a custom script to fetch the results of a custom query (one that found repos with over fifty stars), grabbed the source and parsed the results looking for these internal functions. He shares the results of his parsing from 967 repos in the remainder of the post, including: the top ten most called, some interesting facts found in the results and some of the "bad" ones in wide use (like "exec" and "mysql_connect").

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internal function usage statistics github parse query

Link: https://www.adayinthelifeof.nl/2014/07/25/internal-php-function-usage/

Matt Frost:
Avoiding Burnout
July 28, 2014 @ 09:59:32

Matt Frost (one of the two hosts on the Loosely Coupled podcast) has a new post to his site about some of his own experiences and advice around avoiding burnout.

Writing software is an incredibly gratifying profession; the idea that you can take a problem and find creative solutions through the use of technology is what drives a lot of us forward. What happens though when the drive is gone? What happens when that nifty little side project, training course, blog post or book goes from being nifty to being a drudgery? I came to this point a number of months ago and stayed there for a while, having now come out of this funk there are some things I learned that I'd like to share.

He talks about some of his own trouble with burnout, the project he was involved in and what it taught him about dealing with it (and life in general). He gives some sensible advice including "don't sit at your desk all day" and "prioritize things". The advice is simple and to the point - avoiding burnout is something only you can do for yourself. Waiting for things to "just get better" isn't going to work.

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burnout experience personal programming advice

Link: http://shortwhitebaldguy.com/blog/2014/07/avoiding-burnout

Community News:
Packagist Latest Releases for 07.28.2014
July 28, 2014 @ 08:08:09

Recent releases from the Packagist:
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Community News:
Latest PEAR Releases for 07.28.2014
July 28, 2014 @ 07:07:22

Latest PEAR Releases:
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Community News:
Packagist Latest Releases for 07.27.2014
July 27, 2014 @ 08:02:39

Recent releases from the Packagist:
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Community News:
Packagist Latest Releases for 07.26.2014
July 26, 2014 @ 08:00:42

Recent releases from the Packagist:
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Inviqa techPortal:
"Your code sucks" - Tips on giving feedback
July 25, 2014 @ 12:15:21

If you're a part of a development team anywhere, chances are at one point or another you've asked for someone else to take a look at your code and give their opinions. Maybe it was you looking over a coworker's latest addition and it was...somewhat lacking. How can you say it in a constructive and nice way? The Inviqa techPortal has some suggestions.

Feedback on performance matters. It not only maintains quality, refines and hones performance, but it can also improve morale and trust, and build relationships. It can stop minor problems from escalating into major capability issues. It's something that every people manager or team leader should be doing as standard, and yet it's so hard to get right. For some people, giving good feedback is easy. [...] Delivering negative feedback can be a tricky process so how do you give negative feedback, or (as the much hackneyed phrase would have it) "constructive" feedback?

The post includes a list of six things to think about as you provide feedback to other developers (and even as a manager to your employees). The list suggests things like making it timely, listening to their side of things and setting a plan for resolving the issue.

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feedback tips code positive negative

Link: http://techportal.inviqa.com/2014/07/23/your-code-sucks-tips-on-giving-feedback-2/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
7 More Mistakes Commonly Made by PHP Developers
July 25, 2014 @ 11:29:28

Following several other posts with the "common mistakes PHP developers make" theme, Bruno Skvorc has posted his own list of seven things he sees developers doing over and over.

Back at the end of June, TopTal, the freelance marketplace, published a post about 10 Most Common Mistakes PHP Programmers Make. The list wasn't exhaustive, but it was well written and pointed out some very interesting pitfalls one should be wary of - even if I wouldn't personally list the mistakes as very common. I encourage you to give it a thorough read - it has some truly valuable information you should be aware of - especially the first eight points.

His additions to the list of common mistakes includes:

  • Using the mysql extension
  • Not rewriting URLs
  • Assigning in Conditions
  • Being Too Transparent

You can read the full list and summaries of each in the rest of the post.

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common mistakes list more

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/7-mistakes-commonly-made-php-developers/

PHP.net:
PHP 5.4.31 and 5.5.13 Released
July 25, 2014 @ 10:07:02

The PHP development group has officially released the latest in the PHP 5.4.x and 5.5.x series today: PHP 5.4.31 and PHP 5.5.15

The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 5.4.31 [and PHP 5.5.13[. Over 10 bugs were fixed in this release. All PHP 5.4 users are encouraged to upgrade to this version.

Bugs fixed in these releases include updates to the core language, the built-in CLI server, the PostgreSQL extension and the streams interface. You can view the full list of changes (and related bugs) in the full Changelog. As always, you can download this latest release either from the main downloads page or from windows.php.net for the Windows users.

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language release bugfix update

Link: http://php.net/archive/2014.php#id2014-07-24-2

NetTuts.com:
More Tips for Best Practices in WordPress Development
July 25, 2014 @ 09:18:09

NetTuts.com has published a few more WordPress tips and best practices to help you get the most out of your WordPress-based application.

Welcome to the second part of the series. In the first article, we explained the WordPress Coding Standards, how to avoid namespaces collisions, comments in the code, and some basic security tips. Today, we are going to go a bit deeper and write some more code and learn some techniques to improve performance and security of our plugins.

They look specifically at when you should include your scripts and styles, formatting Ajax calls and working with filters and actions. Code snippets are included with each point with links to some other resources for some of the topics to provide more information.

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wordpress bestpractices development ajax scripts styles filters actions

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/articles/more-tips-for-best-practices-in-wordpress-development--cms-21013


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