PHP Digest: Laravel 4 Released, PHP Usage Statistics, Creating a PHP User Group and Much More!

June 4, 2013

News and Releases:

  1. Laravel 4 released — tutorials on Laravel 4 started to appear more than six months ago, and it means that the framework was really awaited by users. Finally, we can contemplate the results of the meticulous working process that lasted more than a year. For those who are not familiar with the framework, but would like to know about it more, there is quick start on the updated website and a more detailed overview in the screencast. Don't forget about the excellent and constantly updated database of screencasts on Laravel 4 called Laracasts. And for the most active users of the framework there is, a wonderful resource with all the news and materials on Laravel.
  2. Meet Stack — Igor Wiedler who is already known as the author of React and Silex microframework, described the convention for composing HttpKernelInterface middlewares into a definite layer between the web server and PHP (Symfony)-application. Exactly Rack, a Ruby web server interface inspired the author to this idea.
  3. PHP 5.5.0RC2 is available — so, this is the second and most probably the last release-candidate of a new PHP version. On June 6 the next release is expected and most probably it can become the final version.


  1. PHP usage statistics — the author of the post is reviewing several statistical studies (w3tech, TIOBE) and tries to interpret the obtained info. In particular, the author believes that any professional developer should at least be familiar with PHP, as it is the most popular programming language in web development.
  2. Decorators in PHP — here decorators are understood to be not a design pattern but python-style decorators. The author implemented PHP-extension that adds the ability to use such decorators in PHP.
  3. The simplest example of PHP generators — PHP 5.5 with the new feature called “generators” will be added soon. The post contains a simple example and recommendations how to use generators. More information on generators can be found in the manual.
  4. (int)((0.1+0.7)*10)=7 — if you are in doubt as for the result of this expression, then this post is for you. The author describes the solution in different programming languages and explains if it is possible to prevent the obtained result somehow.

Training Materials:

  1. Development by the numbers — an excellent report from Anthony Ferrara. We can often hear some experts talking how to write good code. But how can we estimate if the code is really so good or it needs refactoring? How to analyze the existing code without spending weeks on its subtraction? Such tools as pDepend and PHPLOC can give us answers to these questions. But the provided outputs cannot be always easy to understand and interpret. In his report, Anthony considers the available tools to analyze the code quality, provides us with the basic information on the applied metrics, demonstrates the use on real projects like Drupal. In addition, he shows how to integrate the calculation of metrics into the development process in order to improve the quality of the applications you create. PDF slides.
  2. Queuing with RabbitMQ and PHP,2,3 — a good tutorial consisted of three parts on how to use the RabbitMQ platform. The first part contains the general information and an overview of the features, the second and the third part tells us how to create and use queues with examples in PHP.
  3. Asynchronous MySQL queries in PHP — a small but useful post where the author describes how he tried a new asynchronous call to check if it is possible to send a query to MySQKL with MySQLnd driver for PHP.
  4. Composing music with PHP — an entertaining post, in which the author shows how you can generate nonrandom sequence of notes. Markov chain is offered to be used together with training at a certain data set. Thus, having series of notes consisted of "good" songs, you can calculate the probability of repetition of one note after another and to create new tunes based on the obtained data.
  5. The Battle of the Titans. Zend vs. Symfony — a small comparison review of frameworks. It would be interesting to carry out a full comparison of such titans as ZF2 and Symfony 2.
  6. How to create a PHP user group — an interview with the leader of a PHP user group in Leeds, where he shares his experience in creating the group, talks about the difficulties he faced and gives advice to those who are going to create a user group.
  7. UA testing with Selenium and PHPUnit — a great tutorial on how to use Selenium, in which the author also shows how to export Selenium-based tests to PHPUnit tests. Screencasts of each step are attached.
  8. Full test coverage is impractical — writing tests is quite an "expensive" operation, so the author calls readers not to write tests just for everything, but to test only the really important cases and to ignore the obvious points. Focus on creating a flawless product.
  9. phptek2013 — a great repository on github that contains examples of php extensions written in C as well as appropriate links to other useful resources on this topic.
  10. PHP in the clouds — a small introductory tutorial on the use of cloud hosting AppFog, which was previously called PHPFog.
  11. 3 simple steps to boost performance of a PHP web application — a post contains a few guidelines to monitor and improve the performance of PHP-applications: an accelerator, a Composer-based autoloader, serialization of "heavy" objects.
  12. Symfony2 on Windows Azure websites — the author of the post implemented Symfony Bundle that allows users to deploy Symfony2-applications to Microsoft cloud platform.
  13. Why we have chosen Symfony2 instead of any other PHP framework — the author lists those features of Symfony 2, which made him to choose this framework for solving tasks. The author also points out that the listed features are extremely important for business, and only then for developers.
  14. Virtualize your stack with Vagrant and Puppet — a good screencast on how and why it is necessary to use Vagrant and Puppet for virtualization of desktop environment. An excellent online generator of Vagrant configurations called PuPHPet is also mentioned in the end of the screencast. Over the last two weeks it has got support of Nginx, PostgreSQL and xhprof.
  15. Zend Framework 2 — a simple tutorial that describes the new HTML5-form fields which support was recently implemented in ZF2. Among them are the following: phone number, email-box, URL, date/time option.
  16. 10 steps to properly do PHP bug tracking and fixing asap — the post contains useful recommendations on bug-tracking and bug-fixing. Although some of the tips are quite obvious, but that's exactly the kind of info that should be read once again.
  17. Building a template engine in PHP — a small tutorial on how to create your own simple template engine.
  18. 10 awesome PHP functions and snippets — a selection of small, but very useful pieces of code for all occasions.
  19. Separate frontend and backend with Yii framework — an excellent post with the detailed review of possible versions to implement the separation of applications for backend and frontend.
  20. Working with AngularJS and Silex — a good tutorial on how to use Silex as a REST-backend for AngularJS. A small screencast is also attached to the post.

Interesting News from the Latest Conferences:

    1. Video DrupalCon 2013 — videos of more than 100 reports from the 5-day conference that was held in Portland recently. Most are certainly devoted to Drupal, but also there are reports in general topics.
    2. Slides from Symfony Live Portland 2013 — together with the DrupalCon one more conference called Symfony Live 2013 took place in Portland. The slides are available while videos are in progress.
    3. phpDay 2013 slides — the link leads to slides of 14 reports from the conference that was held in Italy recently.
  1. PHPBenelux 2013 video — PHP Benelux conference was held in the beginning of the year, but videos of the reports became available only recently. Of particular interest are: Allowed memory size of X bytes exhausted by Julien Pauli, Password Storage (And Hacking) in PHP by Anthony Ferrara, Regex clinic by Andrei Zmievski.

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