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ServerGrove Blog:
Useful Linux command-line tools to work with PHP projects
April 24, 2015 @ 11:16:20

The ServerGrove blog has posted a new tutorial with a selection of useful command line tools to help you in working with your PHP applications. None of them are PHP specific but are Unix-based commands that can help in every day development.

Linux provides a lot of interesting command-line tools that we can use when working with PHP projects. In this post we give you some useful commands.

They include examples of commands that can help with:

  • Find all PHP files in the current directory
  • Check the syntax of all PHP files in the current directory
  • Get the size of each Composer dependency
  • Find suspicious PHP files
  • Find files with abstract classes
  • List PHP settings for the xdebug extension
  • Find empty files and/or directories
  • List files currently open by a PHP process

As mentioned, most of the tools themselves are not PHP specific but these example commands do relate to things that are more in a PHP context.

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Link: http://blog.servergrove.com/2015/04/23/useful-linux-command-line-tools-work-php-projects/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
More Useful Jenkins Plugins for PHP Projects
December 08, 2014 @ 13:27:32

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted the latest article in their Jenkins + PHP tutorial series (part four) with a look at some other useful plugins for use in your projects.

In the previous articles in this series, we set up Jenkins and our project and did an analysis of the first few builds. So far, we have seen interesting results come back regarding the quality of our project. In this article, we are going to take a look at some more tools and plugins which we can use for inspecting the front end assets.

The list includes tools for evaluating a wide range of technologies involved in web development like:

  • CSSLint
  • JSHint
  • Open tasks (aka @todo)

Each tool has an example of what the output looks like and how to integrate it into the Phing build and in the Jenkins setup.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/useful-jenkins-plugins-php-projects/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Keeping Your PHP Code Well Documented
February 19, 2014 @ 10:15:19

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new post by Jacek Barecki talking about documenting your code and some suggestions for keeping this documentation useful.

Pretty much every PHP developer writes comments along with the actual code. But the language itself doesn't impose any rules on how to do so. You just have to wrap them around some specific tags and then you can write any content you want. So what exactly should be put in the comment blocks to keep them useful? Which parts of the code should be documented and which shouldn't? In this article I will present some important rules which may help you in keeping your PHP code well documented and understandable.

There's three suggestions included in the article, each with a bit of explanation and a few screenshots to illustrate:

  • Write code that explains itself
  • Keep the balance
  • Remember about the doc blocks
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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/keeping-php-code-well-documented/

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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Anthony Ferrara's Blog:
To Comment Or Not To Comment - A Tale Of Two Stories
June 08, 2012 @ 11:02:20

In this recent post to his blog Anthony Ferrara looks at commenting in your application's code and how to be effective (and not so effective) when using them.

A few weeks ago I was sparked into a twitter conversation with Larry Garfield (@Crell) about the value of comments in code. [...] A pretty innocuous comment [about code that doesn't have comments] that is quite insightful. [...] That led to an interesting discussion that just couldn't fit on twitter. So let me explain...

He defines what he means by "comments" (DocBlock, general comments and legal information) and what sort of things should be inside of them. He also points out a few things not to do in you comments including being overly descriptive and restating what the code is doing (they should be less about that and more about the "Why"). Of course, there's exceptions and he touches on those briefly to finish out the post.

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Phil Sturgeon's Blog:
Why Write A New Framework?
April 11, 2011 @ 11:30:37

Phil Sturgeon, a developer on the Fuel framework project, has a new post to his blog asking a common question of all developers that set out to make the "Next Big Framework" - why write a new framework?

So we all know that the internet is full of frameworks. They've been the popular thing for the last 5 or 6 years and it seems to have become the "barrier for entry" or the "passage of rights" that 8 or 9 years ago used to be "hey I just wrote a phpBB clone!". There are plenty around but in this day in age, why would anyone write a new one? As somebody involved in a new PHP framework - Fuel - that has shaken a few opinions up I thought it would be interesting to share my thoughts and views on the situation.

While he agrees that there are plenty of other frameworks out there, maybe too many to choose from, he thinks that there's value in making something that's useful to you and the toolsets you're already used to. One of their goals with Fuel is to "make PHP as fun to use" as possible and things like built-in migrations and scaffolding (along with a command-line tool, Oil) help towards that goal.

A framework is essentially a way to put all of your best practises into a single place so that you can reuse them over and over again. This should make you more efficient and make your time more financially viable to clients. If the framework you use slows you down or does not cater for the way you like to develop then sack it off and do your own thing.
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CatsWhoCode.com:
10 super useful PHP snippets
April 05, 2011 @ 08:38:10

The CatsWhoCode.com blog has a new post today with what they call super useful PHP snippets that could help you out in a pinch.

Having the right code snippet at the right time can definitely be a life saver for web developers. Today, I've compiled 10 really awesome PHP code snippets that will, I hope, be very helpful in your forthcomming developments.

Their list of ten includes bits of code for:

  • Super simple page caching (file-based)
  • Convert seconds to time (years, months, days, hours...)
  • Get current weather using Google API
  • Get latitude and longitude from an address
  • Save url to PDF
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Developer.com:
10 Powerful PEAR Packages
December 02, 2010 @ 09:06:27

On Developer.com there's a new article with what they think are the top ten PEAR packages that every developer should know and use in their applications.

PHP developers also have another community-driven treasure trove at their disposal, one which is host to almost 600 high-quality libraries yet never seems to garner the attention it deserves. I'm referring to the PHP Extension and Application Repository, better known as PEAR, and in this article I'll try to shine the spotlight just a bit brighter on this fantastic community resource by highlighting 10 useful PEAR libraries (better known as packages) that have become an indispensable part of my programming toolkit.

Included in their list of "Top Ten" are things like:

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Web Builder Zone:
5 features of PHP that seem hacks, but save your life
November 02, 2010 @ 08:40:00

On the Web Builder Zone today there's a new article that talks about five things that, while they may seem like hacks in your development, they might come in very handy in the right situations.

Ilia is one of the people that get his hands dirty in the PHP core, and PHP has indeed many overlooked features. [...] However, thinking about this load of features inspired me to write this article: I'll include here 5 features that at first seem an hack, but can save your life while coding in PHP. In fact, you probably use or will use them every day without noticing.

His list of five is made up of the access our scripts have to private properties via Reflection, using eval, the __DIR__ constant, the fact that a closing "?>" isn't needed and the fact that PHP has "__sleep()".

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John Hamelink's Blog:
Top codeigniter libraries I can't live without.
July 26, 2010 @ 14:12:28

In a new post to his blog John Hamelink lists top CodeIgniter libraries he couldn't live without in his framework development.

CodeIgniter is a great framework. I use it exclusively because of it's flexibility and relative 'lightness' but what use is a framework without libraries to extend its usefulness? (well, not much use, naturally.) Here is my personal list of CodeIgniter libraries I would struggle to live without.

His list includes:

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