PHP Digest: Zend Webinars, PHP vs. Ruby, Clean Development Series and Much More

November 19, 2012

News and Releases:

  1. PHP 5.5.0alpha1 is available for testing. — The release marks the start of 5.5.0 release process including a dozen new features, such as Generators, List support, the simplified password API and many more.
  2. The 8th  issue of Web & PHP – In this issue: why the user's context matters, and shows us how to incorporate this when designing the application; detailed look at PHP data structures; what is Big Data; why Photoshop should not be used for designing web pages; and others.
  3. Twig 1.11.0 released. – The documentation has been improved for existing features, and two new recipes have been published. In 1.11, you can now import a template from a string thanks to the template_from_string function.
  4. Webinars by Zend – A lot of interesting free webinars are available in November 2012.


  1. Yii, frameworks and where PHP is heading to – Slides from WebConf Riga 2012.
  2. Cryptography In PHP – Slides for Cryptography Presentation at TNPHP. The talk was aimed at explaining the basics of Cryptography as needed for the average developer.
  3. PHP vs Ruby: 2012 Year End Review – The author tries to compare two popular web development languages, he tells us a little about the history and purpose of each language, making an overview of the frameworks (by the way,  popular PHP frameworks Zend, Symfony, Yii are ignored), considers the situation with hosting.
  4. The Open/Closed Principle – The author demonstrates the effective usage of the principle with implementing a Non-Polymorphic HTML Renderer.

Training Materials:

    1. PHP Dependency Management with Composer – If you have not used Composer yet - dependencies management tool for PHP applications, you just have to do it right now. Fortunately, there is the wonderful article, which describes the main principles when using Composer. Also there is some info on creating your own library and add it to the Packagist.
    2. Composer Level2 – 5 more things like Class Maps, Forking, & Scripts.
    3. Scaling a Silex code base – One common misconception about silex and microframeworks in general is that they are only suited for small, simple apps, APIs and prototyping. Of course, those use cases are the main selling point, but they are by no means the limit of what is possible. The author gives an advice on refactoring an application written in Silex (micro framework built on the components of Symfony2): Controllers in separate files, the imposition of logic into separate classes "services".
    4. Don't Be STUPID Grasp SOLID – Slides for SOLID Talk at TNPHP. Briefly and very clear about the main principles of software engineering.
    5. PHP True North - Bottleneck Analysis – Slides from PHP True North talk on Bottleneck Analysis are now available online and can be downloaded.
    6. Caching with Memcached Slides – Slides from PHP True North talk on Memcached extension are now available online and can be downloaded.
    7. What to Expect From Laravel 4 – Recording of handful screencasts to demonstrate what we can expect, including resourceful controllers, improvements to Eloquent, Composer support, and much more!
    8. PHP + Apache Stack vs Node.js – According to the author this is an apples to oranges comparison. The article discusses the strengths and weaknesses of PHP and Node.js, as well as recommendations which technologies are preferable in corresponding cases.
    9. Symfony Translation: Internationalization Made Easy. – Symfony2 Translation component allows its users to make internationalized web sites easily. The article contains some sample code and some discussion on its API.
    10. Managing web assets in Symfony2 with Bower – Composer is used to manage dependencies in PHP, but what about the front-end libraries and their dependencies? Use Bower. This short note discusses the usage of Bower in Symfony2.
    11. Clean Development Series: Series of articles on the "dirty" code. Why developers write "dirty" code, what this means, how "to sense" it in the early stages, and, what to do with it at last? Part 1, Dirty Code (cause/effect), Part 2, Dirty Code (why we do it), Part 3, Dirty Code (how to spot/smell it), Part 4, Rewrite dilemma.
  1. Symfony Live London 2012 – SensioLabs video reports from the conference in London are available on the channel. The reports are not only about Symfony, but also about Silex, Composer, Drupal.
  2. Getting Started with REST and Zend Framework 2 – The detailed tutorial that describes how to create RESTful applications on ZF2.
  3. Exceptional Exceptions – PHP5 introduced exceptions, a special class that can be thrown and caught (as opposed to errors which are raised) indicating an unexpected event.
  4. Continuous Deployment with Symfony2, Jenkins and Capifony – The author describes the way to set Capifony and Jenkins to provide continuous application deployment on Symfony2. Full sample script for deployment is attached.
  5. FANN – Fast Artificial Neural Network Library is a free open source neural network library, which implements multilayer artificial neural networks in C with support for both fully connected and sparsely connected networks.


  1. Common WordPress Development Mistakes and How to Fix Them – The article goes through some of the most common development mistakes and how you can easily fix them.
  2. JOOMLA 3.0.2 released – The Joomla Project is pleased to announce the immediate availability of Joomla 3.0.2. The security release, after JOOMLA 3.0.0 released in September 2012 with a lot of new updates.

Plugins Releases for WordPress:

  1. Jetpack 2.0 – a new version of the excellent plugin that supercharges your self‑hosted WordPress web site with the awesome cloud power of
  2. Auto Upload Images – the plugin that automatically uploads external images of a post to wordpress upload directory.
  3. Safe Report Comments – this plugin gives your visitors the possibility to report a comment as inappropriate. After a set threshold is reached the comment is put into moderation where the moderator can decide whether or not he wants to approve the comment or not.
  4. Co-Authors Plus – the plugin assigns multiple bylines to posts, pages, and custom post types via a search-as-you-type input box.
  5. Slingpic – the plugin that allows your visitors to share the images quickly from any web site in social networks.
  6. WP Email Login – use your email address instead of a username to log into your WordPress.
  7. Quttera Web Malware Scanner – the plugin keeps your blog malware-free with Quttera Web Malware Scanner. It also detects malware, exploits, JavaScript code obfuscation and other suspicious activity.
  8. Sharexy widget – the plugin attracts more free traffic, increases visibility via TrafficMiner for Sharexy, Earn, Customize placement, Enjoy variety of designs, Get Analytics.
  9. WordPress Download Manager plugin will help you to manage, track and control file downloads from your wordpress site.
  10. Advanced Page Manager – a new way to create, move, edit and publish your pages for your favorite CMS.
  11. HiDPI Gravatars  enables high resolution Gravatar images on any browser that supports them.
  12. Fast Secure Contact Form for WordPress or PHP – this free contact form software lets your visitors send you a quick E-mail message. Blocks all common spammer tactics.
  13. Simple Blog Stats is a free WordPress plugin that provides a wealth of shortcodes and tags to display a variety of unique statistics about your web site.

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