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August 6, 2015

Here we are again PHP fans, with your latest edition of

We start this week with a draw exclusively for our readers. We are giving away two copies of the best selling book Easy Laravel 5, along with the companion 3.5 hour video package! For your chance to win a copy, simply Tweet about us, post on Facebook or write a blog post - and let us know! The draw will take place on August 19th.

Also this week is an introduction to the PHAR format, all about how PHAR files actually work.

The August issue of the Joomla Community Magazine is out now, celebrating the 10th birthday of the Joomla project.

Plus we have the final installment of the Understanding Overriding in Magento series, looking at how to override core controller files.

And finally, with only a couple of weeks until the Northeast PHP Conference in Boston, there is still time to get your tickets.

Have a great weekend people,

Katie and Ade

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The State of Accessibility in PHP Tools
On the SitePoint blog this week is an article taking a look at accessibility in PHP tools, particularly for developers with disabilities such as the author's blindness.

Top 10 PHP Tips Every Developer Should Know
Being a good PHP developer means that you apply many good practices that show that you know what you are doing, and that reflects in the quality of the PHP projects that you work on. You may give more importance to some practices than others, because your criteria may be different from other developers. Read this article to learn and see an infographic about the top 10 good practices that every PHP developer should know (IMHO of course).

Symfony in a Nutshell
Symfony is a term related to software development with the PHP language. Symfony is a set of components and an HMVC framework to be used with the PHP-language, released under the MIT license as Open Source. This article sums it up in a nutshell.

Tutorials and Talks

Resumable File Upload (Part 1)
If your application allows users to upload large files, and you are using regular HTML form to post $_FILES, you are doing something wrong. Imagine your browser crashes halfway due to any reason (e.g. Internet is disrupted). How do you handle that? Imagine the user experience while waiting for the $_FILES being posted to server. What can you do to improve that? In Part 1 of this series, we will go through the steps to implement the front-end of the application.

How to Manually Install Slim Framework
The following post provides a short description on manual installation of Slim framework.

Installing Apache, MySQL, PHP (LAMP stack) on CentOS 7.
In this tutorial we will be installing Apache, PHP, MySQL (LAMP stack) on CentOS 7. LAMP stack is one of the most commonly used setups to host web applications. 

What You Should Do Before Pushing PHP Code to your Production GIT Repository
Every time you commit new code to a Git repository, there is a great chance that the code has problems that were not detected with your usual batch of tests. Read this article to learn how to integrate PHP Code Sniffer with your project Git commit process to inspect your PHP code automatically, and prevent that code with problems is committed.

An Exceptional Change in PHP 7.0
With PHP 7 errors and exceptions are undergoing major changes. For the first time, the PHP engine will start to emit exceptions instead of standard PHP errors for (previously) fatal, and catchable fatal errors. This means that we can now handle them much more gracefully with try... catch. But with this change, comes a whole new exception hierarchy.

Testing PDF Content with PHP and Behat
If you have a PDF generation functionality in your app, and since most of the libraries out there build the PDF content in an internal structure before outputting it to the file system (FPDF, TCPDF), a good way to write a test for it is to test the output just before the rendering process. Recently, people have starting switching to using tools like wkhtmltopdf or some of its PHP wrappers (phpwkhtmltopdf, snappy) that let you build your pages in html/css and use a browser engine to render the PDF for you. So if you’re using one of those tools or just need to test for the existence of some string inside a PDF, here’s how to write a BDD style acceptance test for it, using Behat.

Working with Custom Column Types in Doctrine, Enums
Doctrine is currently the most used ORM in PHP. It makes it very easy to work with databases in an object oriented way, and comes with a set of built-in column types that map database types with PHP types. In this article I'm going to explain how to define custom column types so that we can persist our own objects into the database and hydrate them back.

Understand Overriding in Magento: Controllers
In the third and last article of this Magento overriding series, I'll explain how to override core controller files. In the previous two articles of this series, we discussed overriding core files for blocks and models by creating a custom module. In this tutorial, we'll look at overriding core controller files.

Introduction to the PHAR Format
In the last few years there is a trend in the PHP community to release tools, especially command line utilities, as PHAR files, so you can package an entire PHP application into a single file for convenience. But, how do PHAR files work? This post explains.

Speeding up Existing Apps with a Redis Cache
We’ve gone through the basics of Redis in PHP before, but it’s time to cover a real life use case. In this tutorial, we’ll add it to an already deployed application to give the app the appearance of speed.

PHP Explode Tips and Tricks
If you are just getting started in PHP, you need to know about the PHP explode (and PHP implode) functions. They are two of the most useful utility functions built into PHP for manipulating strings.

Getting to Know Lumen
Lumen is another creation from the Laravel creator, Taylor Otwell. It’s a micro framework – which just means it’s a lot smaller in size, and faster in performance. This article will dive into Lumen, and show the benefits it can bring to the right kind of project!

Creating a List of Posts With the Same Categories as the Current One
If you're running a large blog, you'll need to find a way to help your readers find content that they're going to want to read, based on what they're currently reading or have just read. In this tutorial I'll show you how to create a plugin to do just that. The plugin will give you a function which you then add to your single.php template file to show the list under the content of the current post.
News and Announcements

We've teamed up with W. Jason Gilmore to give away two copies of his bestselling book, "Easy Laravel 5" and companion 3.5 hour video package! To learn more about the book and videos, check out the website All you need to do to enter is post about us on Twitter, Facebook or your blog, and let us know! We will draw two people out at random on the 19th August.

WordPress 4.2.4 Security and Maintenance Release 
WordPress 4.2.4 is now available. This is a security release for all previous versions and we strongly encourage you to update your sites immediately.

WordPress 4.3 Release Candidate
The release candidate for WordPress 4.3 is now available. We’ve made more than 100 changes since releasing Beta 4 a week ago. RC means we think we’re done, but with millions of users and thousands of plugins and themes, it’s possible we’ve missed something. We hope to ship WordPress 4.3 on Tuesday, August 18, but we need your help to get there.

New in Symfony 2.8: Redesigned Web Debug Toolbar
The Symfony Web Debug Toolbar is one of the most recognisable elements of Symfony applications. Displayed millions of times every day around the world, it greatly increases the productivity of Symfony developers.

PHP Craft - 1st-2nd October 2015, Johannesburg
Two days of talks delivered by some experienced international and local speakers, plus a day of workshops. Come and listen to some of the industry experts about what is happening in our favourite language... PHP. Early bird tickets are on sale now.

Pacific Northwest PHP - 10-12th September 2015, Seattle
This 3-day event will be packed with world-renowned speakers from the PHP community and companies like Amazon, AOL, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Oracle, and Zend. With topics ranging from continuous delivery to the cloud, you'll be full to the brim with new knowledge to take home. Tickets are on sale now.
Northeast PHP Conference - August 22nd-23rd 2015, Boston
The Northeast PHP Conference is a community conference intended for networking and collaboration in the developer community. Two days of talks ranging from starting work in the industry to expanding your skill set as an experienced user, there are sessions for everyone! Still some tickets available.

Nomad PHP US - August 20th 2015 20:00 CDT
PHP 7 The Big 5 + 1, presented by Cal Evans. Upgrades are scary. Many of us remember moving to PHP 5.3 and all that it entailed. Some of us remember moving to PHP 5.0 and the headaches that caused. Now we are all faced with PHP7, and some of us are starting to sweat. Fear not. While PHP7 is a major upgrade to the engine, the big changes are new features for developers to use, and there are very few BC breaks. This class takes a look at the 5 things that will make the biggest difference to developers. It will get you started down the road of preparing your code for PHP7.

Nomad PHP EU - August 20th 2015 20:00 CEST
Driving Quality with PhpSpec, presented by Ciaran McNulty. Is a SpecBDD tool the same as a TDD tool, or something quite different? This talk will answer these questions, and show how PhpSpec can be integrated into your development workflow to drive quality in your Object Oriented design.


PHP Town Hall Podcast #44: API Madness!
Phil’s gonna have to listen to this one to get some notes, because he bailed on the show to take a nap or some rubbish.

Voices of the ElePHPant - Interview with Heather White
This week Cal Evans talks to Heather White, from php[architect].

Free The Geek Podcast: Episode 1 - Getting Underway, The E-Myth Revisited, and Networking For Success
In this, the first episode, Matt talks about what lead to the podcast getting started, who motivated him and inspired him to get started. After that, he discusses a fantastic book that all freelancers should read, one which explains how you need to approach freelancing if you want to succeed, and you want to keep your sanity; it's called the E-Myth Revisited. Finally, Matt discusses why networking is essential to success, and some of the mistakes that some of techies make.

MageTalk Magento Podcast #53 -  Interview with Jeremy Bodenhamer of Shiphawk
Phillip sits down with Jeremy Bodenhamer of Shiphawk to talk shipping, ecommerce and disrupting an industry.

That Podcast Episode 21: The One With All The Screen Time
Beau and Dave change gears and get to some family talk, discussing managing kids with devices and screen time, football/soccer, dance and swimming activities. Beau announces his new position with, then the guys get back in their comfort zone and talk briefly about continuous integration services, docker and CQRS.

Full Stack Radio Podcast Episode 23: Chris Hunt - How GitHub Does Remote Work
In this episode, Adam talks to the Healthy Hacker, Chris Hunt, about how his team at GitHub works remotely. They also talk about entertaining your audience at conferences, taking a Codecation, and adventure motorcycling.

Reading and Viewing

Joomla Community Magazine August 2015
The Joomla project is turning 10 in the coming days and weeks. It is the conviction, hard work, love and passion of the Joomla Community…
This video by John Morris shows how to use WP_Query to create a custom loop inside WordPress, in order to build a Pinterest-style grid layout.

PHP Pandas by Dayle Rees
PHP Pandas is for newcomers to programming and experienced developers alike. Now's the time to learn PHP, and to do so while having fun! Do you like pandas? What are you waiting for!

Video: Shorthand if-else Conditionals with PHP
In this screencast I’ll show you how to make your code more succinct by using the ternary operator to write shorthand if-else conditional statements in PHP.

Laravel 5.1 Beauty: Creating Beautiful Web Apps in Laravel 5.1 (by Chuck Heintzelman, published 16 Jul 2015)
Leverage the power of Laravel 5.1 to create a simple, clean and beautiful blogging application and the administration area required to maintain the blog. This book goes through the process of designing, creating, and coding a real-world application using Laravel.

How to Build a LAMP Project: Home Automation/Home Security (by Steve McClure, published 24th July)
A LAMP (Linux Apache MySQL PHP) design for a Web-Based Home Control/Security Application is provided (source code included). This book is applicable to both the seasoned Embedded Software Engineer and to the Hobbyist who just wants to learn a little bit about writing code.


To post a job advert please contact [email protected]

Interesting Projects, Tools and Libraries

Spout is a PHP library to read and write CSV and XLSX files, in a fast and scalable way.

Record and replay HTTP responses easily.

PHPWord is a library written in pure PHP that provides a set of classes to write to and read from different document file formats. 

A Twitter library in PHP.

LazyRecord is an open-source Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) for PHP5.

PhuninNode is a munin-node port PHP aiming to provide application monitoring utilising munin.

HaPHPy Birthday is about creating a community movie celebrating 20 years of the PHP language and its users involvement.

Molengo is a PHP micro framework.

PyroCMS is an MVC PHP Content Management System built to be easy to use, theme and develop with.

"Git4P" stands for "Git for PHP" and is a native PHP Git library, that can access a Git repository without using external help like the standard git commands.

GitElephant is an abstraction layer to manage your git repositories with PHP.

ActionKit is a library that lets you share the business logics across controllers, pages and ajax requests.

wityCMS is a simple Content Management System Model-View-Controller oriented in PHP.

LazyRecord is an open-source Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) for PHP5 that allows you to access your database very easily, using ActiveRecord pattern API.

PHP-based anti-virus anti-trojan anti-malware solution.

HippyVM is an implementation of the PHP language using RPython/PyPy technology.

Sylius is an open source e-commerce solution for PHP, based on the Symfony2 framework.
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