PHP Digest: Nomad PHP, Yiinitializr, Comparison Operators in PHP, About Symfony Stability, and Much More!

April 23, 2013

News and Releases:

  1. PhalconEye v0.3.0 — a new CMS based on Phalcon PHP Framework. Demo and code.
  2. React v0.3.0 — the great tool that implements the Reactor pattern mentioned in the latest issue of the digest. A new version with lots of changes and add-ons became available.
  3. PHP 5.5 beta3 is already available — there are just a few updates in the release. Thus, it seems that the final version is somewhere close by. However, the question of whether the next version will be a beta one or a release-candidate is still unresolved.
  4. PHP 5.4.14 and PHP 5.3.24 are released — as usual, the releases contain a number of fixes. All users are advised to upgrade.
  5. Nomad PHP — a virtual group of PHP users — nowadays there are dozens of active PHP users groups all over the world. You can find the nearest to your place PHP user group here or here. But if there are no such groups in your city or nearby, then you can become the organizer of such a PHP community. Moreover, you can easily become a member of Nomad PHP virtual group. All activities and meetings of this group are held online. The first meeting which going to take place in May 2013 includes "An introduction to Zend Framework 2" talk by Rob Allen.
  6. Sylius - eCommerce solution for Symfony2 — free eCommerce platform based on Symfony 2 has gained a new website and is now supported by KNP Labs.
  7. Yiinitializr — a new tool to create a template project on Yii quickly and efficiently. The details are here and here.
  8. PHP Refactoring Browser — Alpha release of the completely new tool to solve the issues of automatic refactoring that were able to be solved earlier by IDE only, such as "extract method" and others. The post contains three currently available versions of refactoring. The code on GitHub.
  9. Compose - Function composition — an interesting library that allows you to stitch PHP-functions together to create the pipeline, while the result of the first function is transferred to the second one, the second one to the third one and so on.


  1. Traits are static access — traits appeared in PHP 5.4 were already much written about, but the views according to sense of their use are different. The author of the post states that the traits have the same disadvantages as the use of static code, as well as some others.
  2. Comparison operators — the post contains several interesting disgraphs explaining the rules for comparison in PHP.
  3. Is micro optimization worth the spent time? — a quite often discussed issue resulted in a specific question: what is faster is_array ($ array) or $ array === (array) $ array? The detailed response that contains the details of implementation see here.

Training Materials:

  1. Composer primer — a great big tutorial on how to use Composer. If you are not using this great tool for managing dependencies, then it's time to start reading this detailed guide.
  2. Deploying PHP applications with Phing — how many actions you need to perform to deploy your application? The author of the post says that if there are more than 2, then you should think about how to automate the process, for example by using Phing. The link leads to a good tutorial on this tool based on Apache Ant.
  3. Is PSR-0 shortsighted or are you? — PSR standards always surround themselves with lots of controversies and there is really a great number of relevant posts criticizing PSR. After another such post named “PSR-0: short-sighted”, one of the main participants and ideologist of PHP-FIG group - Phil Sturgeon, published a post that contains answers to all the burning issues on PSR-0. The author admits that the standard has a few unresolved issues but, nevertheless, it copes with the task perfectly. It is worth paying attention to the comments. Some of them contain more text and information than the post itself.
  4. PHPUnit vs. Phake cheatsheet — the author of the post compares two popular tools for unit testing using several small examples.
  5. Learning Rails (and Ruby) — an experienced PHP-developer, active participant of PHP community and skilful speaker had to learn and use Ruby on Rails for one of the projects. In his post he shares the achieved experience and his impressions concerning the new language and the framework, describing their main differences and advantages.
  6. About Symfony stability — in his post, the creator of Symfony and the head of SensioLabs - Fabien Potencier describes the principle to be followed by all developers of the framework. He calls to focus on improving the level of stability (bugs fixing, making tests and writing documentation), but not on implementing the new features. According to the author such steps will help not only to improve the framework, but to attract new users as well.
  7. Zend certifications tips & tricks — if you are going to be certified on PHP by Zend, be sure to read this interview, as well as two preceding: the first, the second.
  8. Interview with Manuel Lemos, the founder Of — the representative of the Brazilian PHP community and the founder of PHP answers the questions about his experience in the world of PHP and provides developers with the useful tips.
  9. Automated backups to Google Drive with PHP API — using the official Google API PHP client the author has implemented a small console script to copy files to Google Drive. The post contains some general information on the use of Google Drive API.
  10. Extending Twig Templates — a small tutorial on expanding the basic features of the popular templator using inheritance, filters and functions.
  11. A talk to PHP experts — Lorna Jane Mitchell, a skilful PHP expert answers the questions providing beginners with the useful advice. The link leads to the full content of the interview containing the links to additional useful resources.
  12. PSR-Duh! — a small tutorial on code refactoring to ensure the relevant PSR standards.
  13. Do we really need a framework for that? — according to the author of the post the use of frameworks is not always justifiable, and quite often it's just enough to use a set of libraries to solve some specific issues. Because of it the author calls PHP-FIG to work on standardization of interfaces. In this case, it will be much easier to combine the libraries and introduce dependencies.
  14. Generating one-time use URLs — a small tutorial describing a way of solving the problem of generating links that available for use only once and have a limited time period. Such links may be useful for all kinds of verifications.
  15. HTTP: the Protocol every web developer should know — the post is recommended to everyone who has some gaps in their knowledge of HTTP protocol. The post describes in detail the basic principles of work, the structure of queries, response codes, the main headings. The examples and links to main tools are included.
  16. Diving into Behat — a bit of personal experience and impressions obtained from the use of great BDD-tool.
  17. Use Dice for simplified PHP dependency injection — a small tutorial that shows you how to implement DI-container quickly and efficiently that is used to manage dependencies in your PHP-application. A minimalistic, but rather powerful tool called Dice comes to help.
  18. 6 things to consider when choosing a framework — the abundance of high-quality solutions among PHP-frameworks is certainly a great plus, but on the other hand it causes troubles when making a right choice. As a rule the user tries to give preference to those solutions with which he worked the most before. But we advise you to consider the arguments provided by the author first. Perhaps to solve the following problem, you should choose another framework.
  19. I was a bad PHP developer — a bit of personal experience and tips for self-improvement as a developer.
  20. A failed side project — many developers in addition to their main work are busy with their personal or team side projects. Having failed one such project, the author, however, received a valuable experience and shared it in the post.
  21. Tokenizer — the main Tokenizer functions are described in the world-known PHP manual.
  22. Reflection in PHP — a tutorial that describes the basic principles of reflection in PHP as well as some examples of its use in PHP.
  23. PHP preachments — the author has collected and described a few things one should never do in PHP. But we can argue with the author for several items in the list.
  24. Consuming feeds with SimplePie — why not to write your own aggregator because of Google Reader shutdown? The link leads to a small tutorial on how to use the SimplePie library that simplifies the work with RSS-channels significantly.
  25. 15 professional tips for MySQL users — slides with very helpful tips.
  26. populateRecord and populateRecords — the methods of CActiveRecord that allow you to store the lists of models in the form of arrays and deploy them into objects only when executing the appropriate method.
  27. Laravel screencasts — a great innovative resource with a compilation of screen casts on Laravel framework. Anyone can write and submit their own screen cast.
  28. Aspect-Oriented Programming in PHP with Go! — the detailed tutorial with examples on how to use the very useful GO! AOP library.

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