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Jordi Boggiano:
PHP Versions Stats - 2015 Edition
Nov 23, 2015 @ 13:17:54

It's come to "that time of year" again and Jordi Boggiano has posted the latest update in his series of PHP usage statistics. In this summary he looks at the PHP versions installed based on the packagist.org logs for developers using Composer.

It's that time of the year again, where I figure it's time to update my yearly data on PHP version usage. Last year's post showed 5.5 as the main winner and 5.3 declining rapidly. Let's see what 2015 brought.

[...] A quick note on methodology, because all these stats are imperfect as they just sample some subset of the PHP user base. [...] Composer sends the PHP version it is running with in its User-Agent header, so I can use that to see which PHP versions people are using Composer with. Of course this data set is probably biased towards development machines and CI servers and as such it should also be taken with a grain of salt.

He first compares the statics for his 2015 searches against the 2014 stats and shows the differences in usage for PHP versions 5.3.3 up to 5.6.0. Fortunately, the results show a rise in the usage of PHP 5.5 and a decline in all others...but it's not too much of a difference (2-3% range). Pie graphs are also included to help visualize these differences. He also includes some statistics on what PHP versions are required by certain packages for the ones listed on Packagist with increases starting with 5.4 and the largest advance for 5.5.

tagged: usage statistics version comparison yearly packagist composer required

Link: http://seld.be/notes/php-versions-stats-2015-edition

Cal Evans:
7 Days of PHP 7 – The Complete Collection
Nov 12, 2015 @ 12:35:47

With the upcoming release of the first stable version of PHP 7 Cal Evans has been posting a "7 Days of PHP 7" series, linking to information about the upcoming release, presentations, podcasts and more about this upcoming version. In this post to his site he gathers them all into one place with links to everything for easier consumption.

PHP 7 was originally supposed to be released today, November 12th, 2015. The Core developers weren’t comfortable releasing it just yet so they pushed the date back to November 26th, 2015. That’s fine, we all appreciate their diligence.

Still, I had already started my “7 Days of PHP 7” countdown when they made the announcement. Because the actual release date isn’t important to spreading the word about PHP 7, I decided to continue on with the countdown.

In his tweets he links to things like the PHP 7 migration manual, an article about PHP 7 performance and video tutorials on getting up and running with PHP 7. Check out the full post for more information on these and other useful PHP 7-related resources.

tagged: php7 7days tweet resource article tutorial language version release

Link: http://blog.calevans.com/2015/11/12/7-days-of-php-7-the-complete-collection/

PHP 7.0.0 RC 7 Released
Nov 12, 2015 @ 11:22:41

On PHP.net today they've announced the released of the latest (and hopefully last) Release Candidate before the final, stable version of PHP 7 is announced: PHP 7.0.0. RC7.

The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 7.0.0 RC 7. This is the twelfth pre-release of the new PHP 7 major series. All users of PHP are encouraged to test this version carefully, and report any bugs and incompatibilities in the bug tracking system.

[...] This release candidate is unplanned and ships instead of the announced RTM for the reasons of yet additional quality improvement. If no major issues appear within the usual two-week test period, the 7.0.0 general availability (GA) release will be brought out. You can also read the full list of planned releases on our wiki.

You can find the complete list of changes in the NEWS file. You can get the download of this latest release from either the QA source download page or the windows.php.net QA site. Remember, this is a release candidate version and is not meant to be used in production.

tagged: php7 php7rc7 releasecandidate release preview development language version

Link: http://php.net/archive/2015.php#id2015-11-12-1

Laravel News:
Laravel 5.2 - A Look at what’s coming
Nov 02, 2015 @ 11:06:05

The Laravel News site has posted a look ahead at Laravel 5.2, the next minor version release of the popular framework.

ravel 5.2 development is underway and so far a few nice additions have been announced. Let’s take a look at everything we know is coming to the release.

Among the things mentioned are improvements/features like:

  • Implicit model binding
  • Form Array Validation
  • Collections Wildcards
  • Database Session Driver updates

This version isn't released yet (as of the time of this post) but it's coming soon. Keep an eye on the main Laravel site for more information.

tagged: laravel minor version update enhancement feature framework

Link: https://laravel-news.com/2015/11/laravel-5-2-a-look-at-whats-coming/

Lorna Mitchell:
PHP: Calling Methods on Non-Objects
Oct 19, 2015 @ 10:53:57

In a quick post to her site Lorna Mitchell describes a small difference in error messaging that's changed between PHP versions when trying to call methods on non-objects between versions 5.5, 5.6 and the upcoming PHP 7.

PHP has subtly changed the wording of this error between various versions of the language, which can trip up your log aggregators when you upgrade so I thought I'd give a quick rundown of the changes around the "call to member function on non-object" error in PHP, up to and including PHP 7 which has an entirely new error handling approach.

She includes examples of the error messages for PHP 5.5 and 5.6, differing only in how they report back the type of the variable the method was called on (one gets more specific). In PHP 7, however, the message is different because of the major overhaul that error handling has gotten. The new Error inheritance model still has it throw a fatal but it also notes it's an uncaught error which can be caught with the same try/catch as any other exception.

tagged: object error message version php5 php7 example output uncaught

Link: http://www.lornajane.net/posts/2015/php-calling-methods-on-non-objects

Rob Allen:
Simple Ansible file for Z-Ray preview
Sep 15, 2015 @ 10:12:07

For those wanting to check out the latest preview of the Zend Z-Ray stand-alone version, Rob Allen has posted a full Ansible script to help building the environment much easier.

Recently, Zend made available a Z-Ray Technology Preview which takes the Z-Ray feature of Zend Server and makes it stand-alone. This is very interesting as it means that I can run it with the PHP 5.6 on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Vagrant set up that I prefer. I decided to create an Ansible playbook to install Z-Ray into my VM. The Z-Ray instructions are clear enough, so it was simply a case of converting them to a set of YAML steps as who wants to do manual installation nowadays?!

The configuration is set up to run on a Ubuntu machine with PHP 5.6 installed. It will download the Z-Ray plugin, extract it and copy over all necessary configuration files to get it up and running. This stand-alone version can help to make debugging your applications simpler with real-time information right in your browser.

tagged: zray preview standalone version ansible configuration ubuntu php56

Link: http://akrabat.com/simple-ansible-file-for-z-ray-preview/

PHP 7 Up and Running (Video Series)
Aug 28, 2015 @ 10:38:14

The Laracasts site has posted a set of videos that can help you learn all about PHP7 and get you up to speed before this next major release is available for download (well, a stable release anyway).

Slated for release in October, 2015, PHP 7 brings a wealth of new features, bug fixes, and performance improvements. If you're curious, come with me, as I demonstrate what's new!

The videos cover some of the major new features coming to the language including:

More videos are coming too, including one already listed showing how to use anonymous classes. Keep an eye on this series to learn all about PHP 7 before it's even released.

tagged: php7 video series introduction major version tutorial

Link: https://laracasts.com/series/php7-up-and-running

Symfony Blog:
Twig: How to upgrade to 2.0? Deprecation Notices to the Rescue
Aug 19, 2015 @ 10:55:58

The Symfony blog has posted a quick guide with a tip to upgrading to Twig 2.0 made simpler thanks to some built-in deprecation notices.

As Twig 2.0 is approaching fast now, it's time to focus on how to boost adoption of this new major version. [...] Also, the good news is that most of the time, it's possible to make your code work for both major versions (that's important for shared code like bundles). [...] How to make it easy? Like for Symfony, I've now added deprecation notices throughout the code to give Twig users an easy way to upgrade their code (this is available in the upcoming Twig 1.21 version).

The release of v1.21 comes with the deprecation notices already built-in making it easy to find the issues before making the jump up to v2.0. He also includes mentions of two other things included to make it easier: a deprecation collector to gather the issues in one place and a visitor base class diff that can make them compatible with both versions (1.21 and pre-1.21).

tagged: twig2 twig templating version upgrade deprecation notice

Link: http://symfony.com/blog/twig-how-to-upgrade-to-2-0-deprecation-notices-to-the-rescue

BitExpert Blog:
Running pdepend on PHP7
Aug 18, 2015 @ 09:57:19

On the BitExpert blog there's a post that shows you how to use the pdepend tool on PHP7, an automated tool that shows you the "quality of your design in the terms of extensibility, reusability and maintainability".

Being a good citizen of the PHP community we do test out internal libs against the current PHP7 codebase. So far we had no issues but then at one day one of our Jenkins PHP7 jobs failed. After investigating a bit it turned out that the problem was not part of our codebase but part of of pdepend. The pdepend process died with the error message that "T_CHARACTER and T_BAD_CHARACTER are no longer defined" which is true. The error was already reported as an issue on Github.

Unfortunately, as the problem here is a change to the core PHP language itself, there's not much of a workaround other than to just not run those certain jobs. He outlines how they handle detecting the tests that have problems, but only when run on PHP7. This allows them to run all of the tests and allow the automated system do to its work. When/if the problem is fixed in pdepend, all that's needed is to remove this one check and they're good to go.

tagged: pdepend phpdepend php7 skip test version error github issue

Link: https://blog.bitexpert.de/blog/running-pdepend-on-php7/

Andrew Smith:
Why is Slim 3 not so slim anymore
Aug 03, 2015 @ 09:54:13

In this post to is site Andrew Smith refutes the misconception that version three (v3) of the Slim PHP microframework is "not so slim" anymore with some of the additions to this latest version, increasing it's size and complexity.

There is a common misconception that Slim 3 has plenty of files and is no longer slim. Slim 3 does indeed contain more files than Slim 2 and this has been the result of being more flexible and moving away from the Not Invented Here (NIH) philosophy.

Installing Slim 3 through composer will install all its dependencies, when doing a PHP file count you will notice we have doubled in file count. This is a given with the amount of flexibility we now have. Most developers might not see any benefit in this as they will likely just work with what is provided, but if at any point you should hit a limitation in any working part of the framework, you can easily swap it out without a fuss.

He includes the command to install this latest version via Composer and how to count the number of files with a single command. He points out that some people that are reporting 1000+ PHP files being installed with the framework are probably getting the development packages as well and not just the release. He points out that "Slim 3 is still slim, we just added more flexibility in it." He ends the post with a thanks to Josh Lockhart and a few others who have made large contributions to the project and have helped make it what it is.

tagged: slimframework version slim3 slim2 size improvement flexibility

Link: http://thoughts.silentworks.co.uk/why-is-slim3-not-so-slim-anymore/