Looking for more information on how to do PHP the right way? Check out PHP: The Right Way

SitePoint PHP Blog:
What Are the Workflows of Prominent PHP Community Members?
Aug 11, 2017 @ 12:19:52

On the SitePoint PHP blog there's a new post from author Shahroze Nawaz that shares the results of a survey performed with several "prominent PHP community members" about their usual development workflows.

Workflow refers to both the process and the tools that are used in this process. Almost every developer comes up with a process of creating and finalizing the project deliverables. This process is implemented through a set of tools that the developer comes up with through trial and error. Once a workflow has been perfected, developers follow the process almost religiously because of a simple reason: following workflows reduces most of the management problems that developers have to face during a project.

[...] Here are some of the PHP ecosystem’s most popular developers and designers, and their tools and/or workflows. Note that these workflows will by no means be comprehensive, but even mentions of tools used by some of the more prominent members of our community should be enough to warrant checking them out.

PHP community members on the list include:

  • Taylor Otwell
  • Phil Sturgeon
  • Nicolas Grekas
  • Manuel Lemos
  • Josh Lockhart
  • Cal Evans
  • Kat Zien
  • Laura Elizabeth

Each person on the list describes their tools of choice for both development related tasks and how they keep organized. There's plenty of links to these tools and services too for you to check them out on your own.

tagged: workflow community member survey tools practices

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/workflows-prominent-community-members/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
The Theory of Constraints in PHP
Jul 12, 2017 @ 11:22:44

On the SitePoint PHP blog they've posted a tutorial about the Theory of Constraints, how it can be related back to PHP and what it means for building effective code.

I had been reading The Phoenix Project, a great novel about IT (you read that right), which presents day to day IT and devops problems at a large Amazon-like company in a way which makes mortals understand the complexities and chaos of 21st century technology.

Without giving away any spoilers, at one point in the book the Theory of Constraints is mentioned. [...] The Theory of Constraints can be distilled to the idea that the chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

In the book it was phrased thusly: "Any improvements made anywhere besides the bottleneck are an illusion." For some reason, this resonated with me much more than the chain idiom. There’s just something about building something that’s ineffective that’s more relatable to me than breaking something that’s weakly built.

He goes on to talk about the subject of "factories" and "browsers", relating work done (or not done) on browsers to a factory where throughput of work isn't optimized. He then applies this back to PHP, mentioning some of the tools that can help optimize your workflow to prevent the same kind of factory backlog. This list includes services like Blackfire, XDebug and MySQL optimization techniques.

tagged: theory constraints quality factory optimize workflow tools qa

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/theory-constraints-php/

Freek Van der Herten:
Easily optimize images using PHP (and some binaries)
Jul 07, 2017 @ 10:19:27

Freek Van der Herten has a post on his site sharing a new package that's been developed to help optimize images using some PHP and a few other helpful tools.

Our recently released image-optimizer package can shave off some kilobyes of PNGs, JPGs, SVGs and GIFs by running them through a chain of various image optimization tools. In this blog post I’ll tell you all about it.

He starts off by talking about why they built the package - to make sure the images on their site were as optimized as possible - and what kind of tools are involved in making it work. Those tools are free to use but it does take a little manipulation to ensure the right data is being passed into each. He then gets into the code examples, showing how to optimize an image with just a few lines. The package determines based on the kind of image which optimizing tool to use. He also includes example code showing how to customize the optimization process with extra command line flags. Finally he includes an extra section showing how to integrate it with some of their other packages: the image package, laravel-medialibrary and Browsershot.

tagged: tutorial package optimize image binary imagetype tools

Link: https://murze.be/2017/07/easily-optimize-images-using-php-binaries/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
8 Must Have PHP Quality Assurance Tools (2017 Update)
Jul 03, 2017 @ 13:43:09

As you write your PHP code, you'll need to verify that everything is working as expected and that the code follows all style and formatting requirements. In this list from the SitePoint PHP blog they give you a list of eight tools you can use to ensure all of these criteria are met.

For shipping quality code, we must have testing in mind while coding (if not doing TDD). However, with the wide range of PHP testing tools out there, it’s hard to make a choice! Exploring PHP is a fun adventure (premium course on that here!) but it’s hard to assemble a toolbelt that’s not too heavy to wear to work!

This popular article will highlight the most popular testing tools and has been updated to reflect the state of QA tools in 2017.

Included in their list are tools like:

  • PHPUnit
  • Cucumber
  • Selenium
  • Kahlan
  • php_testability

The post ends with a brief look at continuous integration and how they can help execute these tools automatically when code changes or before production builds are deployed, taking most of the burden off of developers to remember.

tagged: top8 list quality assurance tools ci continuous integration

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/8-must-have-php-quality-assurance-tools/

BitExpert Blog:
(Partially) solving the require-dev problem
May 10, 2017 @ 09:47:57

In this post to the bitExpert blog Stephan Hochdörfer shares some updates to his own opinions on the "require-dev gone wrong" problem he previously posted about. In this new post he points out that, while there is an issue here, it's not something that can't be resolved (or has been to some extent).

The gist of all this is that, yes, we do have a problem. Fortunately, there are already solutions out there - none of them perfect, but there's always room for improvement isn't there? Installing .phars with Composer is currently not supported out-of-the-box by Composer but there are 2 projects to help us deal with it: One is tooly-composer-script - a Composer plugin that manages to pull .phar files from a remote location. The other one is PHIVE - the PHAR Installation and Verification Environment.

He points out that, while these two packages help the situation, there's still another "require-dev" issue with tools that don't actually "touch" the code. This requires that a certain version of the tool be run against a certain version of your code, creating a dependency of a different kind. Fortunately there's also a tool to help some with this as well, the php-scoper project that makes it easier to isolate functionality through randomly generated namespaces.

tagged: phar requiredev composer problem tools phive tooly phpscoper

Link: https://blog.bitexpert.de/blog/solving-the-require-dev-problem/

7PHP.com:
What Secret Tools Does The Grumpy Programmer ‘Chris Hartjes’ Harness, To Be So grumpy?! It
Jul 20, 2016 @ 10:05:21

On the 7PHP.com site there's a new interview posted in their "It's the Tools Talking" series , this time with Chris Hartjes a.k.a. the "Grumpy Programmer". In the interview Khayrattee Wasseem asks Chris about some of his "tools of the trade" he uses in his everyday work.

In this #2nd edition, I’m overwhelmed but also quite ‘on my guard‘ as I talk with The Grumpy PHP Programmer aka Chris Hartjes – the #unitTesting rockstar of our beloved PHP Community. If you don’t know Chris, I’ll tell you in one line: “He’s The Eric Cantona of Manchester United” (full stop). Never heard of Cantona as well? Tough luck you’ve been too much focused on Go Pokémon GO (huh?), have a read about The Rockstar Unit Testing Evangelist Chris in this interview which I did with him back on the 19th Jan 2012 – yup that long time ago, but equally evergreen in everything! ????

In the interview Chris answers questions about:

  • himself and his involvement in the PHP community
  • what his workstation is like
  • what OS/VM software he uses
  • tools he uses for documentation, code beautification and time management

He ends the interview talking about two "community tools" he sees as the most important in the PHP ecosystem right now: Composer and Twitter (well, the community of PHP developers there).

tagged: itsthetoolstalking 7php interview chrishartjes grumpyprogrammer tools development

Link: http://7php.com/itsthetoolstalkingwith-grumpy/

Full Stack Radio:
37: Chris Hartjes - Getting Started with Testing
Mar 09, 2016 @ 13:22:10

The Full Stack Radio podcast has posted their latest episode, Episode #37, featuring an interview with Chris Hartjes, most well known for his promotion and teaching about writing tests (unit, functional, integration, etc) for your applications.

n this episode, Adam talks to the Grumpy Programmer himself about getting started with testing PHP applications.

Topics include: recommended testing tools, PHPUnit vs. phpspec, Mockery vs. Prophecy, the benefits of defensive programming and how to convince your manager to let you write tests.

They also mention Chris' new book "Minimum Viable Tests" and the Patchwork monkey patching library. You can listen to this latest episode either using the in-page audio player or by downloading the mp3 of the episode directly. Be sure to subscribe to their feed or follow them on Twitter for more information as new episodes are released.

tagged: fullstackradio chrishartjes testing gettingstarted tools defensive programming manager

Link: http://www.fullstackradio.com/37

SitePoint PHP Blog:
9 Development Workflow Upgrades You Should Know About
Feb 04, 2016 @ 11:39:10

On the SitePoint PHP blog editor Bruno Skvorc shares 9 development workflow upgrades that can help to make you a more efficient (and informed) developer. This is a list of handy tools and changes you can make to current software to help make you more productive.

Every once in a while I run into a tool or plugin so useful I can’t not add it to my arsenal. I usually shout out tweets and try to spread the word that way, but this time I believe I’ve got such a neat (and somewhat random) collection of productivity boosting entries, they deserve a collective article.

Included in his list of helpful tools and tips are things like:

  • git-fresh
  • [Composer changelogs](Composer changelogs)
  • Changing PhpStorm's configuration for faster rendering
  • Parallel downloads [with Composer](Composer parallel downloads)

There's also something he's called the "comfort collection" that can help you and your body feel less of the pains usually associated with long hours in front of the keyboard.

tagged: workflow upgrades development tools configuration tips comfort

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/9-development-workflow-upgrades-you-should-know-about/

Taha Shashtari:
A Gentle Introduction to Testing in PHP
Feb 02, 2016 @ 10:11:20

If you're not already doing testing (like unit testing) in your PHP-based applications but want to start, this new post on Taha Shashtari's site might just be for you. It provides a "gentle introduction" to unit testing, what it is and some of the tools you can use to get started.

Learning testing can be very overwhelming especially if you're just starting out. [...] You might have read a bunch of PHPUnit tutorials and maybe you tried to apply some of what you've learned in your projects, but it doesn't always feel right. And sometimes you get into situations where you have no clue how to test some feature in your application.

If anything of this happened to you, don't feel bad, we all have had this experience. And it's almost because of the way we learn it.

He starts by talking about some of the main goals of testing in your application and the difference between manual and automatic testing. He then gets into each of the three main testing types and follows it with links (and summaries) to tools you can use to get started testing. He ends the post with a brief look at test-driven development and, setting the stage for the next tutorial in the series, looks at the path ahead.

tagged: tdd definition basic introduction gentle testing unittest phpunit tools summary

Link: http://taha-sh.com/blog/a-gentle-introduction-to-testing-in-php

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Learn PHP 7, Find out What’s New, and More
Dec 04, 2015 @ 11:16:24

Now that PHP 7 has been released, it's time to catch up with what this new major version has to offer. In this tutorial from SitePoint you can learn about what the latest features and changes are in this release (including what happened to PHP 6).

PHP 7, the next version of the world’s most popular programming language, has been released. We’d love to shoot fireworks and get drunk with our newfound power (seriously, the language is in the true big leagues now, functionality and performance-wise) but we’re sure the rest of the internet will do this for us. Instead, we’ll focus on compiling a (perpetually up to date) list of resources to get started with version 7 – posts describing what’s new, books helping you kick things off, and more.

The post starts by answering the "what happened to PHP 6?" question, listing a few resources with some more information on the topic. Following this it gets into the "what's new" of PHP 7 including:

  • Links to guides to the features themselves
  • Tools to help you get a PHP 7 environment set up
  • Other PHP 7-related tools

There's also some other miscellaneous things mentioned including the gophp7-ext project trying to get as many extensions PHP 7 compatible and some sources for more "live" help for your questions.

tagged: php7 whatsnew features links resources tools gettingstarted gophp7ext

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/learn-php-7-find-out-whats-new-and-more/