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Mastering Zend Framework:
Gary Hockin's Maximising Zend Framework 2 Performance Talk (Review)
February 28, 2014 @ 10:33:30

From the Master Zend Framework blog there's a new post reviewing a talk from this year's PHPUK (2014) from Gary Hockin, "Maximising Zend Framework 2 Performance".

Whether you're new to Zend Framework 2, or an old hand (can someone really say they're an old hand after such a short period of time?) the talk covered a range of tools, tips, and techniques for increasing application performance. This wasn't an academic run through; it was a talk based on practical, hands-on, experience from Gary's time as a core ZF2 contributor, and his work at Roave, Yamgo and AdSpruce.

The post talks some about the tools Gary used to benchmark his improvements and some common metrics to be aware of in your own results. Xdebug and Xhprof were also recommended for more introspection into what the application is doing and where the bottlenecks lie.

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Link: http://www.masterzendframework.com/reviews/maximising-zend-framework-2-performance-phpuk14

Rob Allen:
Global installation of PHP tools with Composer
December 23, 2013 @ 09:39:13

Rob Allen has a quick post today showing how to use Composer to globally install tools and libraries on your system.

The Composer package manager along with the Packagist repository site is quickly becoming the defacto PHP package management system. One feature I found out about recently is that you can install packages globally rather than locally into your project. I think that this is most useful for development tools, such as PHPUnit which are then available everywhere.

He includes the command syntax you'll need to do the global install, showing an example with the popular PHP unit testing tool PHPUnit. There's also a "global update" command you can use to update these packages (or add more) later on too.

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global install tools composer example command

Link: http://akrabat.com/php/global-installation-of-php-tools-with-composer/

[php]architect:
September 2013 Issue Released - Tools of the Trade
September 20, 2013 @ 11:55:43

[php]architect has released their September 2013 edition of the magazine:

September's issue of php[architect] focuses on the tools of the trade in development. Ranging from Symfony on the cloud to Mercurial to turbo-charging your logs and finishing with templating engines, we've got you covered.

Articles in this most recent issue include things like:

  • "Build Your Own WeTransfer-clone in the Cloud" (Stefan Koopmanschap)
  • "Turbo Charge your Logs" (Jeremy Cook)
  • "Adventures of a Contract Developer" (Tim Lytle)
  • "Swiss Army Knife Conundrum" (Beth Tucker Long)
  • "Feature-Rich Templating Libraries - Make Your Front-end Development Simple and Efficient" (Matthew Setter)

You can pick up this single issue or sign up for a subscription on the [php]architect site.

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phparchitect sept2013 issue release tools

Link: http://www.phparch.com/magazine/2013-2/september/

7PHP.com:
A Chat About Cloud Computing & PHP Development In The Cloud
July 29, 2013 @ 09:05:13

On 7PHP.com today there's a new interview, another with Vito Chin, this time talking about cloud computing and doing PHP development specifically for that environment.

Whenever we talk about web development nowadays, there has to be an awareness or at least an interest towards cloud computing. We, as PHP Developers, should be aware of what development in the cloud has to offer and how we can leverage it to stay in the game. To this end, I bring forward a small interview with the Pro Cloud Computing guy, I named Vito Chin! Let's hear and learn form his pro experience and advice...

After some brief introductions, they start in talking about Vito's book (co-author) "PHP Development in the Cloud" and some of the basics of SaaS (cloud-based services) ownership. He mentions the high scalability needed and some architecture considerations you'l need to keep in mind during development. He also points out a few "pain points" to watch out for and includes some recommendations of services/libraries to use.

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Link: http://7php.com/php-cloud-computing

Christopher Martinez:
Static code analysis tools for PHP
May 08, 2013 @ 12:38:22

Christopher Martinez has a recent post to his site that covers some of the static analysis tools available for PHP including the PHP Mess Detector, PHP CodeSniffer and the PHP Analyzer.

I believe in writing code that is easy to understand, easy to test, and easy to refactor. Yes, I realize that the statement above is pretty general and open to interpretation. Not everyone needs external tools to ensure quality in their code...but, I work on things from time to time that have absolutely no tests. [...] For whatever reason, this happens a lot more frequently in the PHP world. I'm guilty of not writing tests and checking how I write code, sometimes, too. Things are bright, though, for the PHP community - for quite some time now, we've had fantastic tools that assist us in writing better code.

He covers each of the tools, talks some about what they're good for and gives examples of their use, including output. He also talks some about the Pfff set of tools created by Facebook. He also talks some about how these tools fit into his daily work as a part of his pre-commit hooks in git.

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Link: http://chrsm.org/2013/05/05/code-analysis-tools-for-php

Reddit.com:
How to progress my PHP skills?
April 29, 2013 @ 10:22:47

On Reddit.com a reader has asked the community what they think he needs to do to progress his PHP skills past the "little bit" he's learned so far.

Last summer I started learning a little bit of PHP, knowing HTML and CSS drove me towards wanting to learn some PHP for fun. I went through a pretty simple book, and made some simple websites (registration and message system, user submitted data, file uploads) using mostly tutorials which I tweaked a little bit. Since last summer I haven't learned anything new, but now that summer is coming along again I might be a bit bored, so I have been thinking of attempting to learn even more.

Suggestions included in the comments are things like:

  • Learn about software architecture.
  • Understand your environment.
  • I very highly suggest learning a PHP framework.
  • http://www.phptherightway.com
  • Start learning industry tools for PHP. It will all influence your coding style, and illustrate why some styles are considered best practices.
  • To add to the other suggestions, I recommend becoming a regular contributor to one or more open source projects.
  • What helped me a lot was to write my own micro framework using OOP that I can now use for future websites and web applications.
  • Come up with a 'complex' web site/application idea and get to it. Bonus points if you can launch it and make money off it (half kidding).

You can read the full set of comments for more good suggestions here.

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skills suggestion opinion advance learn tools

Link: http://www.reddit.com/r/PHP/comments/1d32dr/how_to_progress_my_php_skills

/Dev/Hell Podcast:
Episode 31 Feline Tooth Extraction
April 26, 2013 @ 10:22:24

The /Dev/Hell podcast has posted their latest episode - Episode #31 - Feline Tooth Extraction. The podcast is hosted by PHP community members Chris Hartjes and Ed Finkler.

Short notes time: In this episode, Chris and Ed talk about conferences we always wanted to go to, and languages & tools we'd thought we'd hate and turned out to like. Then Ed waxes on the Open Recipes project.

You can listen to this latest episode either through the in-page player or by downloading the mp3. Links to all of the technologies and tools they mention are in the show's notes on the page.

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devhell podcast feline tooth extraction tools openrecipes

Link: http://devhell.info/post/2013-04-24/feline-tooth-extraction

Lars Strogny:
The state of meta programming in PHP
December 03, 2012 @ 09:03:29

Lars Strojny has written up a new post about the current state of metaprogramming (software that writes other software) and how it sits in today's PHP functionality including some current features to make it happen.

Metaprogramming is quite an interesting sub-discipline and knowing about certain techniques and tools allows you to cut corners quite dramatically for certain tasks. As always, don't overdo but to find out when you are overdoing, first start doing, get excited, overdo, find out the right dose. Let's have a look at what kind of tools you have available in PHP to solve typical meta programming problems.

He starts by defining what kinds of things metaprogramming can and can't do (like type introspection, lower level syntax inspection and metadata management) and gets into what you can use in/with PHP for each. He mentions several tools, some internal to PHP - like the Reflection API and the Tokenizer extension - as well as external projects like the PHP-Parser, doctrine-common package.

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Volker Dusch:
If it's not written in PHP it's irrelePHPant!
November 20, 2012 @ 09:11:51

Volker Dusch has a new tongue-in-cheek post to his site talking about a few pieces of useful software that are not written in PHP...and why not?

Dear PHP Community, we need to have a talk about the insufferable state of your software stacks. It was recently brought to my attention that there is software out there, software we use every day!, that is NOT written in PHP. This is completely unacceptable! We are PHPeople! We're not "Web" Developers, we are the web. And we sure as hell are not some fancy "Software Developer", you can ask anyone on the internet! Seriously: If it's not PHP how will we ever be able to extend and adapt it to our needs! We are slaves of our tools!

He mentions several tools that, yes, while not written in PHP are very useful to just about any developer out there (including git, Puppet and Apache). But, more seriously:

PHP is a language that enables absolute beginners to start creating on the web using FTP and notepad! It let's us realize and validate our ideas blazingly fast and allows us to adapt our successful ideas to beautifully scale with our requirements providing and relying on solid, battle-proof tools.
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Smashing Magazine:
Powerful Command Line Tools For Developers
October 30, 2012 @ 10:18:56

On the Smashing Magazine site today they've posted a list of powerful CLI tools that every developer should at least know about to help make their lives easier - six of them ranging from SSH tunnels to HTTP testing.

Good tools are invaluable in figuring out where problems lie, and can also help to prevent problems from occurring in the first place, or just help you to be more efficient in general. Command line tools are particularly useful because they lend themselves well to automation and scripting, where they can be combined and reused in all sorts of different ways. Here we cover six particularly powerful and versatile tools which can help make your life a little bit easier.

The tools they mention are all things you'd install on a unix-based system:

  • Curl
  • Ngrep (network packet searching)
  • Netcat (to work with network connections)
  • Sshuttle (SSH tunneling)
  • Siege (HTTP benchmarking)
  • Mitmproxy (capturing proxy, both HTTP and HTTPS)
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commandline cli tools developer list curl ngrep netcast sshuttle siege mitmproxy



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