PHP Digest: Introducing HTML5 Parser and Serializer, PHP Version Adoption, PHP Internals Book and Much More!

June 18, 2013

News and Releases:

  1. Symfony 2.3.0, the first long-term support is now available — a new version of one of the most popular PHP-frameworks is finally released, and almost immediately there is a first minor update. This release is remarkable by the fact that it will be supported until 2016. If you are in doubt which version to use, there is a useful guide that contains not only detailed recommendations, but a roadmap of the framework development process. Also there is a special post how to upgrade Symfony version within the project. By the way, the website of the framework - became multilingual, anyone can help to translate the website using the appropriate repository on GitHub.
  2. PHP 5.5 RC3 is available — a few bugs are fixed and it is assumed that this will be the last release candidate, while the final version is awaited on June 20.
  3. PHP 5.4.16 and PHP 5.3.26 are available — the relevant branches are also updated. Bugs are fixed, including the bugs in the security area. All users are recommended to upgrade.
  4. Web & PHP magazine June 2013 — the latest issue covers the following topics: Introduction to Document Databases with MongoDB; PHP from the inside out; Preparing for the Unthinkable; The life of WordPress-plug-ins developer, and others.
  5. Introducing an HTML5 Parser and Serializer for PHP — the authors revived the php5lib library that died a few years ago. They rewrote Parser and Serializer, added the support of composer, and finally a new useful tool was revealed.
  6. Pinboard - let's improve Pinba to monitor PHP — a great addition to Pinba - the server for real-time monitoring and stats collection in PHP, which allows not only to gather information in real time, but for long periods, and then to view it in a convenient way.


  1. The PHP Internals Book — the book is written for those who are curious how PHP looks inside, as well as for those who would like to develop extensions or even participate in the development of the language itself with three leading participants of core-team: Julien Pauli, Anthony Ferrara and Nikita Popov. The book is primarily developed for programmers who have experience in programming in C, but the information is planned to be presented in rather easy way even for those who do not have any experience in programming in C. The book is currently under development, but the chapter that describes classes and objects is already available.
  2. Which PHP framework do you use? — a couple of years ago there was a survey according to the popularity of various PHP-frameworks. The result was quite surprising, especially in comparison with the data from GitHub.
  3. PHP version adoption — another survey on the use of different PHP versions.

Training Materials:

    1. Why is Phalcon faster than any other PHP framework? — the post reveals some details concerning the internal implementation of the fastest PHP-framework.
    2. Proc_Open: communicate with the outside world — a good tutorial that contains the basic concepts of the Unix pipeline, and then describes the use of proc_open as an example.
    3. Parallel testing for PHPUnit with ParaTest — a great step by step tutorial on how to run parallel execution of PHPUnit-tests. In addition to ParaTest there is another tool Paraunit described in the document. The tool performs the same task. Also there is an example how to use ParaTest in parallel execution of Selenium-tests. Those who are interested in parallel testing should see the wonderful post on the parallelization of unit tests.
    4. Developer advice — the post contains really useful tips from the experienced developer and a leader of PHP-users' group.
    5. Laravel 4 on Google AppEngine for PHP — a large and detailed step by step tutorial on how to extend the standard Laravel4-application on cloud hosting from Google, which recently received PHP support.
    6. Pseudo-Random vs. True Random — a small experiment where an image generated with rand () shows how the sequence of generated numbers is "not random" in fact. See more details about the random-number generators in PHP here.
    7. PhpStorm best practices - the perfect workflow for PHP developers — a webinar recording on the use of great IDE. It will be especially useful for those who have started using PhpStorm recently as well for experienced users who can find there something interesting.
    8. Composing music with PHP — the author of the post shows how it's possible to generate non-random sequence of notes. He proposes to use Markov chains for it and offers a training course with a certain data set.
    9. Debugging Laravel with MonoLog and FirePHP — a short note, which shows how to customize the output of logs from Monolog into FirePHP.
    10. PHP interview with Vito Chin — one of the developers of the Gmagick extension and the co-author of the PHP Development in the Cloud book talks about his experience in web development and provides readers with the useful tips.
    11. PHP REST API frameworks — an overview of PHP-frameworks that can be used to create a REST API. Unfortunately there are no comparisons from the author. The survey represents an impressive list of available solutions, with brief descriptions and appropriate links.
    12. Whoops! PHP errors for cool kids — a tutorial on the use of a small library that allows you to display interesting and rather informative error pages and unhandled exceptions.
    13. Manage complexity with the Facade pattern — a small post that discloses the essence of "facade" as well as the simplest examples of its use.
    14. PHPUnit: simple syntax to create mock-objects — the author implemented extension for PHPUnit that can greatly simplify the creation of mock-objects, making it short and descriptive.
    15. Configuring a Symfony2 application to support SOA — earlier the author has already published a post that describes the refactoring of the application within the concept of service-oriented architecture. This time, the author undertook the implementation of ideas based on Symfony2-app. However the described methods can be easily transferred to another framework.
    16. How to write a talk and get it accepted — the post is not directly related to the development and PHP, but due to the large number of conferences with open CFP, it will be interesting to many experienced developers who wish to make presentations there.
    17. Avoiding interface overkill — a short note with the recommendations on the proper use of interfaces.
    18. Getting on testing ship — the author of the post states that despite the common approach where the unit testing is implemented first, and only then the functional and then acceptance testing take place. It is often possible to skip unit testing and get to functional tests - this is perfectly normal. Thus, inability to write unit tests should not be the excuse for not testing at all. Try Codeception.
    19. Silicone Skeleton — a good seed-application for Silex.
    20. Web application security quiz — 15 questions to help identify gaps in knowledge on web application security. For each question there is an appropriate explanation and links for more detailed studying of the issue.
    21. Why you should consider Continuous Integration — FTP and files editing on production - sooner or later all of us faced it, but this approach is completely unacceptable in any more or less large project where the number of developers is more than one. Fortunately, there is more efficient approach to build and deploy applications. The author of this post describes it briefly.
    22. Working with jQuery and Silex as RestFull Resource provider — in his previous post, the author wrote about using the AngularJS + Silex bundle. This time, instead of AngularJS the author demonstrates the use of an ordinary jQuery.
    23. Integrating Twig in your Legacy PHP code — if you need to use the advanced templating mechanism, this post will be a good starting point. By the way, PhpStrom supports Twig.
    24. How do you use bcrypt for hashing passwords in PHP — another example of an exhaustive answer to the question posted by the user of StackOverflow.
    25. Web API Design. Crafting Interfaces that developers love — a great post on web API design, useful for all web developers regardless of the used technologies.
  1. Dutch PHP conference 2013 — one of the largest PHP-conferences in the world took place in Amsterdam recently. The link leads to slides with 31 reports. In addition there is a small report from one of the participants.

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