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New Media Campaigns:
Docker for PHP Developers
June 02, 2015 @ 10:29:38

The New Media Campaigns site has posted a new tutorial today introducing PHP developers to Docker, the handy tool to create containers for your applications a bit simpler and more efficient than just something like Vagrant.

I've used Vagrant to manage local development servers for several years. Vagrant is, according to its official website, a tool to "create and configure light-weight, reproducible, and portable development environments." [...] However, Vagrant has one large downside-it implies hardware virtualization. This means each project runs atop a full virtual machine, and each virtual machine has a complete operating system that demands a large overhead in system resources.

[...] There is another solution, though. Have you heard of Docker? I first heard this word a year ago. It's all about containers, I was told. Awesome. What are containers?, I thought. I dug deeper, and I read all about containerization, process isolation, and union filesystems.

He starts with a brief introduction to what Docker is and two of the key concepts: containers and images. He then talks about how Docker is different from Vagrant, including the extensibility and lighter resource demands. Following all this he starts in on building an actual application in a container. He walks you through each step, including commands, to build the container and image that will result in the final instance running Ubuntu, MySQL, Nginx and PHP-FPM. He sets up a simple "Hello World" page and shows how to configure the Nginx server to serve it up as well as the MySQL server to cooperate with PHP and run locally.

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docker introduction container image configure server setup tutorial

Link: http://www.newmediacampaigns.com/blog/docker-for-php-developers

Zend:
Turbocharging the Web with PHP 7 (Infographic)
May 14, 2015 @ 09:06:35

In the /r/php subreddit on the Reddit.com site there's a new post that links over to this infographic from Zend sharing some of their own benchmark results for PHP 7 (and comparing it to other versions).

We ran performance benchmarks on popular PHP apps to compare PHP 5.6, PHP 7, and HHVM 3.7.

Their benchmarks includes results for:

  • Magento (1.9)
  • Drupal
  • WordPress
  • Laravel and Zend Framework
  • SugarCRM

They also compare PHP 7 against other languages, showing the execution in seconds when generating a Mandelbrot fractal.

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zend infographic performance benchmark php7 php56 hhvm

Link: http://www.reddit.com/r/PHP/comments/35vf1y/get_performance_insight_into_the_upcoming_release/

ServerGrove Blog:
Satis building your own Composer repository
April 30, 2015 @ 11:26:53

Composer has definitely made a huge impact on how PHP packages and libraries are integrated into other applications. Sometimes, though, it makes more sense for you to keep your code internal to the organization rather than have it public where Composer can install it. In this case, using some thing like Satis (a self-hosted Packagist-ish server) makes more sense.

We all love Composer. It changed dramatically the way we build PHP applications, based on small and reusable components, but this creates new challenges, especially when we have a single point of failure (SPO). With Satis, the deployment process can be made robust by adding redundancy in all potential SPOFs (Packagist and GitHub). Let's see how it works.

They start with a brief look at how Composer works for those not familiar, making the connection with Packagist and ultimately the public repository. In the context of the "single point of failure" they talk about Packagist being down and it preventing the install (or deployment!) of your application. Satis is prefect to help prevent this. The article then shows how to install Satis (via Composer, naturally) and how to set up the configuration file to define the repositories. The server is then built and can be run using the built-in PHP server on the port of your choice. They include a screenshot of the end result and a quick example of how to use it via your project's Composer configuration.

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satis tutorial packagist composer local server install configure repository

Link: http://blog.servergrove.com/2015/04/29/satis-building-composer-repository/

Gonzalo Ayuso:
Building TCP server daemond with PHP and Rachet
April 13, 2015 @ 10:18:41

Gonzalo Ayuso has a new post to his site today showing how to create a TCP server daemon with PHP with help from the Ratchet toolset. Ratchet is a library that makes it easier to work with WebSockets directly from PHP.

In my daily work I normally play a lot with TCP servers, clients and things like that. I like to use Linux's xinet.d daemon to handle the TCP ports. I've also written something about it. This approach works fine. The problem appears when we call intensively our xinet.d server. It creates one PHP instance per request. It isn't a problem with one request in, for example, 3 seconds, but if we need to handle 10 requests per second our server load will grow. The solution: a dedicated server.

In a setup similar to how Silex registers callbacks, he's created a PHP-based server that listens on whatever ports are defined for incoming connections and processes the data accordingly. He includes several code samples that show it in use, both in simple request handling and more complex configurations based off of a YAML file definition. He ends the post with a method he uses to "emulate" threading in his processing with the help of a Silex app and HTTP requests to hand off the processed and remove the blocking problem PHP introduces.

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tcp server daemon ratchet websocket silex tutorial

Link: http://gonzalo123.com/2015/04/13/building-tcp-server-daemon-with-php-and-rachet/

Developer Drive:
40+ tools for writing better PHP
April 01, 2015 @ 10:56:43

The Developer Drive site has posted their top 40+ list of libraries and tools that can help developers write better PHP. Their selections range from templating libraries to request handling and even testing tools.

There are scads of PHP tools available over the internet for php developers, but finding an appropriate PHP tool is quite an arduous task and demands effort and time. Today we've collected 45 handy PHP development tools for developers.

Included in their list are tools such as:

Several of the libraries can be installed via Composer (another tool in their list) but other items are stand-alone software that would need to be set up outside of the application.

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tools list top40 libraries software testing template framework ide server

Link: http://www.developerdrive.com/2015/03/40-tools-for-writing-better-php/

ClanCats Station:
Writing a webserver in pure PHP - Tutorial
March 26, 2015 @ 11:27:42

On the Clancats.com blog there's a recent post showing how to create a web server in pure PHP, an interesting experiment but definitely not recommended for any kind of higher load situation.

Well, this is pretty useless, but it is possible. But again its pretty.. uesless. This tutorial will hopefully help you to better understand how a simple webserver could work and that it's no problem writing one in PHP. But again using this in production would be trying to eat a soup with a fork. So just, .... just don't. Let me shortly explain why this is not a that good idea.

PHP is a scripting language that simply is not really designed for such tasks. A webserver is a long running process which PHP is not made for. Also PHP does not natively support threading ( pthreads ), which will make developing a good performing webserver a really hard task.

He walks you through all the code needed to create the web server (also available on GitHub) by making:

  • A "server" that does the listening for incoming and sends outgoing requests
  • A request object that parses the incoming request and makes header and body content available
  • A response object that allows for the setting of response codes, body content and headers
  • Exception handling for problems encountered during the request/response process

The full code is provided during the process along with explanations of what each part does. There's also a basic introduction to what a typical web server is and how the process of request/response usually flows.

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webserver tutorial version request response server

Link: http://station.clancats.com/writing-a-webserver-in-pure-php

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Top 10 Z-Ray Features to Check Out
March 26, 2015 @ 09:50:23

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new post today from Daniel Berman (of Zend) with the top 10 features of Z-Ray to be sure to check out. Disclaimer: Z-Ray is a tool provided by Zend, a part of their Zend Server product.

Necessity is the mother of invention goes the famous saying. For PHP developers, there is no greater need than visibility. But developers today have a tough choice to make as they develop and debug their apps. Either use crude methods such as printing, debugging information, or storing it in a log file, or - use multiple debugging/profiling tools that are awkward and require a lot of work from the developer's side. [...] This article introduces the top 10 features of Z-Ray - an innovative new technology from Zend that makes PHP development a whole lot quicker and easier by giving developers unprecedented insight into their code - and the visibility they need to develop top-notch apps.

Among the items on their Top 10 list are things like:

  • Viewing information about page requests
  • Execution time and memory consumption
  • Showing errors and warnings
  • Viewing functions called during execution
  • Debugging features for mobile apps and APIs

Check out the full post for a list of more features and screenshots/detail on each one.

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zend zray zendserver top10 list features screenshot

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/top-10-z-ray-features-check/

Zend Blog:
Developing a Z-Ray Extension
February 25, 2015 @ 11:54:41

Zend recently introduced their Z-Ray inspection tool that allows you to see inside your application and know what's happening in your code, your database and has support for major PHP projects. In this new post to their blog they show you how to develop a custom extension for the Z-Ray system.

One of the coolest features in Z-Ray is the ability to plug in your own extensions. Meaning, you can customize existing Z-Ray panels or add your own personalized Z-Ray panel for displaying information you think is important for developing your specific application. This short tutorial will describe how to write a basic extension for Z-Ray. More specifically, we'll be writing a Z-Ray extension for WordPress that extracts and displays a list of loaded WordPress plugins.

They give you a list of things you'll need to set up before you can get started including a simple WordPress installation on a Zend Server instance. With these in place they help you create the "zray.php" file to define the extension, how to enable it and setting up a "trace" on a function to hook it into the execution. They then dump the WP plugin information and reformat it a bit to show only the list of names and versions in the output panel. As a last touch, they add a logo to the panel to show in the bottom menubar with the WordPress logo.

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zray zend extension custom wordpress tutorial plugin

Link: http://blog.zend.com/2015/02/25/developing-z-ray-extension

Stephan Hochdörfer:
Configuring Xdebug and phpstorm for CLI debugging
February 11, 2015 @ 11:24:09

Stephan Hochdörfer has a quick post to the bitExpert blog today showing you how to configure Xdebug+PHPStorm for CLI debugging, making it even easier to work with command-line PHP applications.

Current situation: I have no local webserver running and just php5-cli (plus a few extensions) installed as most of the development I do will make use of a Vagrant machine. From time to time I develop small tools or libs which I like to debug on the command line. This is an overview how I configured my Ubuntu 14.04 box to handle debugging with Xdebug and phpstorm.

He starts with helping you get Xdebug installed (via PECL) and configured for local debugging. Next he adds some variables to the .bashrc configuration file with the IDE and Xdebug configuration details. Finally he gives the instructions to get PHPStorm to play nicely with this setup via it's own "Servers" support.

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configure phpstorm debugging tutorial localhost server

Link: https://blog.bitexpert.de/blog/configuring-xdebug-and-phpstorm-for-cli-debugging/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
How to Run Multiple Versions of PHP on One Server
November 07, 2014 @ 10:54:27

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new tutorial by Thien Tran Duy showing you how to run multiple versions of PHP all on the same server. The key is in using a few custom configuration options (you'll be compiling PHP manually for this) to place the different versions in different locations.

In this particular post, we'll demo a solution to install multiple versions of Phalcon and PHP and run them on a single web server. PHP 5.5.x and 5.6.x will be used here, but you can replace them with other versions. Any servers that support PHP-FPM should be enough but we recommend using Nginx. The environment used in this tutorial is Fedora OS - a Linux system, but the instructions are almost identical for any other *nix OS.

The tutorial also includes the installation of a few other PHP extensions including APC caching, memcache and ioncube. He walks you through the installation of Nginx first to get the web server up and running. Then he starts in on the PHP installs and the requirements to ensure you have to be able to compile from the PHP source. He shows how to pull the different versions of PHP down (5.3, 5.4, 5.6 and master) from the GitHub repository and execute the "buildconf" to make the configure script. He includes the example configuration command with options, ensuring it will work with PHP-FPM and the Nginx server. He then reproduces the process, making slight changes, for the other versions of PHP. Finally, he shows the installation of the two different versions of Phalcon and configuring it to all work with the installed web server.

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multiple version one server language tutorial phpfpm nginx

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/run-multiple-versions-php-one-server/


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