PHP Digest: Google App Engine, Public Yii 2 Preview, Event-Oriented PHP, Hacking PHP Syntax and Much More!

May 8, 2013

News and Releases:

  1. HTTP server nginx 1.4.0. – the second most popular web-server in the world has been updated. The year of web development has brought a variety of innovations, for instance SPDY. Besides, the project code has been moved to Mercurial.
  2. PHP 5.5 beta 4 – the last β-version this time; the first candidate-release is expected on 9th May.
  3. Phalcon 1.1 beta – an increasingly popular framework which was released on C and delivered as PHP extension.
  4. PHP MyAdmin 4.0.0 is out. In this version finally HTML frames haven't been used, interface is built with JS implementation and navigation panel is displayed as a menu tree.
  5. Silex 1.0.0 — a micro-framework that has been quietly released.
  6. Online PHP shell — a web tool which allows testing PHP code of all versions starting from 4.3.0 up to 5.5.0 alpha6.
  7. Public Yii 2 preview – this event was highly anticipated by many of us. Let's not talk any further and try the new version right away.
  8. Google App Engine – Google I/O conference is going to be held soon where the new environment for the App Engine will be presented. The link leads to the preview of the report with no mentioning of which environment can be expected; however some people think that it will be PHP due to its maintenance that is in much higher demand than the rest.


  1. Event-oriented PHP – a video record of an absolutely excellent report by the author of React – Igor Wielder. He talks in details about realization of asynchronous environment written on PHP, React structure and other related topics. Highly recommended for viewing.
  2. PHP is meant to die, continued – another great post where the author continues demonstrating incapacity of PHP on the example of React in case when the script must work long and continuously.
  3. Hacking PHP syntax – a good tutorial where it is shown on a small example how to change a language syntax with minimal C knowledge. Having implemented a minor hacking of Zend Engine the author changes the syntax of class declaration.

Training Materials:

  1. RBAC scheme in Yii – a great tutorial describing essential aspects of RBAC implementation within Yii along with other elements.
  2. Writing doubtful PHP-code in a sandbox – based on PHP parser by Nikita Popov, the author of the post realized an excellent PHP Sandbox library which allows using any PHP code avoiding the challenge of potentially dangerous constructions. Any functionality can be hereby overridden. The example shows “screening” of the mail function ().
  3. The Epic Tale of Moving to HipHop – one of the Tuenti (Spanish Facebook clone) developers writes about his experience with migration of a huge project on HipHop, a virtual machine which allows compiling PHP code to bite code and then implementing it instead of interpreting it for each execution.
  4. Introduction to Ctype – a small tutorial on Ctype functionality designed for checking compliance with a type of line. The post is about the functions that are out there, how they work and how they can be used.
  5. HTTP: The Protocol Every Web Developer Must Know, Part 2 – in the previous part basic information was provided about the scheme of work, structure of requests, responses codes and basic headlines. This time treatment of compounds, authentication and HTTP-caching are viewed.
  6. Development Environment with Vagrant and Chef Basicsgetting started with Chef and setting up a staging environment (essentials on automatic configuring of the working environment on a virtual machine).
  7. Goodbye CodeIgniter, Hello Laravel – comparison of the two frameworks: CodeIgniter and Laravel 3.
  8. Better Understanding Random – a short post about generators of pseudo-random numbers in PHP.
  9. Simple logging of ZF2 exceptions – one more short but useful post where it is shown how with the help of Zend/Log and event listener you can easily organize interception and logging exceptions.
  10. Interview with Jakub Vrana – the author Adminer and co-author of PHP manual are sharing their experience of web development on PHP.
  11. Performance benchmark of popular PHP frameworks – a short framework test among which are Yii, CodeIgniter, Laravel, Symfony2, Zend Framework 2, Slim and others. The results are generally predictable, but the author calls to remember that the task of the frameworks is to speed up development, and for performance improvement other actions can be taken.
  12. Listing Packages on Packagist for Composer – a tutorial for developers who would like to include their libraries into the Packagist. The post contains the info about composer.json, the work with Packagist and synchronization with GitHub.
  13. Why Testing Makes a Project Successful and You Can't Afford to Deny It – the author writes about advantages of testing.
  14. Testing Laravel Controllers – tutorial demonstrates detailed examples how to isolate tested controllers and perform reviews.
  15. 20 Point List For Preventing Cross-Site Scripting In PHP – the author writes about XSS being one of the most exploited sorts of vulnerabilities. That's why he decided to collect the list of 20 instructions directed to avoiding XSS-attacks.
  16. Abstracting Shipping APIs – a good tutorial where it is shown how to realize a universal interface for various delivery services so that with adding any new service minimum of time would be spent.
  17. PHP: Testing Private and Protected Methods – a short note on how to test closed class methods using reflection.
  18. Laravel 4 – simple website with backend tutorial, part 1 – a tutorial on Laravel 4. The post will be a great starting point for those willing to begin working with this framework; the best practices have been considered.
  19. Injecting configuration into a ZF2 controller – a short post where it is demonstrated how to add configuration info to Zend Framework 2 controller with the help of supplementary interface and ServiceManager initializer. More details have already been mentioned here.
  20. Write secure templates with Latte – overview of Latte templating from Nette framework.
  21. Functional testing with the help of Mink – a good tutorial where the author presents the use of Mink – Behat extension. Installation, adjustment and simple examples.
  22. Testing and Contributing with Composer Packages – a short post describes how to facilitate development of third-party libraries and how can Composer help with it.
  23. Testing Smells - Try/catch – the author insists that the use of try/catch blocks in tests is bad practice. Instead one should apply existing PHPUnit capabilities: @expectedException or setExpectedException(). In the post there are a few other recommendations on how to write module tests.
  24. 3 things I set on new servers – in this post there are a few recommendations on server configuration for providing its security.
  25. Working With Dates and Times in PHP - in this post a few recipes are gathered together on how to use the classes DateTime, DatePeriod and DateInterval.
  26. Chrome Logger — server side logs in Chrome console – a great FirePHP analogue for Chrome.
  27. Writing RESTful-apps on ZF2 (available for registered users only) – Webinar recording from Matthew Weier O'Phinney, the leader of Zend Framework project. The slides can be found here (PDF).

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