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November 17, 2016

Hi there PHP fans,

True North PHP is no more. Last weeks conference was the very last one. Why? Read what the organisers have to say about their decision to shut it down.

Also this week the PHP development team has announced three releases - PHP 5.6.28, PHP 7.0.13, and the final release candidate for PHP 7.1.0. All are available immediately.

We take a look at Amazon's product advertising API, which allows developers to access all sorts of data from worldwide Amazon marketplaces.

Plus Tumblr has recently upgraded its full web server fleet from PHP 5 to PHP 7, and the team has shared the experience here. 

And finally, Early Bird tickets for the Sunshine PHP conference in Miami next February are on sale now.

Enjoy your weekend folks,

Katie and Ade

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9 Reasons Why Business Owners Should Go for PHP Web Development Services
Business – small or large – now flourishes online. This has called for website development that offers a dynamic interface. To stay on the top of search engine ranks, websites have to change their content (graphics, videos, text and more) frequently. From static to dynamic, websites have now come of age, thanks to PHP web development services offered by PHP developers and programmers.

True North PHP Is Done
"Why are you stopping the conference?!?" This is the most common question I've been asked since earlier in the year when my conference partner Pete and I decided that we would run our small PHP-centric conference TrueNorthPHP one more time and then shut it down. While there are some short answers, there are also some very long ones.

Welcome to PHP
Every day new developers discover the power of PHP and start looking for resources to help them learn more. It would be impossible to gather a complete list of all the resources, people, and projects that are useful to developers new to PHP. However, I decided it was time to put together a list designed to be starting point.

PHP Modern Practices Latest Evolution Steps
For the last few years PHP has gone through great evolutionary steps, not just in terms of the language itself, but also in the practices that the developers that write PHP code apply to do their job. Some of those evolutionary steps are very well known, but others only recently are having noticeable consequences. Read this article to learn more about the recent modern practices that have been helping the lives of PHP developers, as well as something cool you can expect for the near future.

Automatically Enforcing Coding Reference For PHP
Last week, I ran into ‘PHP Dos and Don’ts aka Programmers I Don’t Like‘ on reddit’s PHP group. It features a list of 11 points that the author hates finding in PHP code. I am always keen on reading from such references - they always hold some some interesting insights, some tips and some more polemic aspects. This one didn’t disappoint, once again. It only lacked a way for enforcing the coding reference.

PHP 7 at Tumblr
At Tumblr, we’re always looking for new ways to improve the performance of the site. This means things like adding caching to heavily used codepaths, testing out new CDN configurations, or upgrading underlying software. Recently, in a cross-team effort, we upgraded our full web server fleet from PHP 5 to PHP 7. The whole upgrade was a fun project with some very cool results, so we wanted to share it with you.

Tutorials and Talks

Using Namespaces and Autoloading in WordPress Plugins, Part 2
In the previous tutorial, we began talking about namespaces and autoloading with PHP in the context of WordPress development. And although we never actually introduced either of those two topics, we did define them and begin laying the foundation for how we'll introduce them in an upcoming tutorial.

Amazon Product API Exploration: Let’s Build a Product Searcher
In this tutorial, you’ll take a look at Amazon’s Product Advertising API. It’s an API that allows developers to access data about items for sale, seller reviews, customer reviews, and product promotions on all Amazon marketplaces worldwide.

Integrating Cloudinary To Your Backend Using A PHP Solution
The web is filled with media content, especially images and video. Manipulating this content effectively over different forms of internet connections requires some sort of skilled approach. Cloudinary is a cloud-based service that provides an end-to-end image and video management solution including upload, storage, administration, manipulation and delivery. In this post, I’ll show you how to use PHP to upload and manipulate your images and files with Cloudinary.

Six Common Mistakes for PHP Developers to Avoid
PHP is one of the most common languages on the web, so as a developer, it helps to have it in your tool kit. You don’t have to know it perfectly to dive into the language - PHP is similar to C and Java in some ways, so if you know these two languages, you can jump into it more easily. However, when learning any new language, chances are you’ll make some mistakes as you’re getting up to speed. Here’s a list of the most common mistakes PHP developers may face and ways to help avoid them.

Simple Automated WordPress Deployment Tool with Wordmove
Deploying WordPress site from local server to upstream can be stressful. Especially when you’re battling with local articles, specific permalink etc etc. Of course you can use Jenskins, Beanstalk, Deploy and any automation tool you like. In this article we will focus on a simple yet powerful deployment tool, Wordmove. Wordmove is basically just a simple Ruby package that can help you fast and easily enough to deploy WordPress website. As declared in their Github Repo, Wordmove is just like a ‘Capistrano for WordPress‘.

How to Simplify Expressive Configuration with Interop-Config
Zend Expressive (and Zend Framework) are great frameworks, ones designed not to constrain you in almost any way. You’re in charge. You set the scene. You make it do just what you want it to do. Unlike other frameworks, you’re not bound to work with a specific way. You’re free to work in, almost, whatever way you want. But that comes at a price. Consequently, using Zend Expressive can give you too much freedom — especially when it comes to configuration. That’s why I was happy to hear about Interop-Config some time ago.

Introduction to Rollup.js
Rollup is a next-generation JavaScript module bundler. Using it you can build your app or library using ES2015 modules, then efficiently bundle them up into a single file. This helps combat the problem of the ever-growing size and complexity of your scripts. It gives us the ability to divide our programs into modules, so we can organise them into different files and directories.

Laravel Service Provider Examples
Currently I'm working on my first Laravel package. So, it was time to dive into the wonderful world of the service container and service providers. Laravel has some great docs about, but I wanted to see some real-world examples for myself. And what better way than to have a look at the packages that you already depend on? This post details the different things that a service provider can be used for, each taken from a real open-source project. I've linked to the source of each example.

Handing JSON Data Errors in Slim 3
When you send JSON data into a Slim Framework application with a content-type of application/json, then Slim will decode it for you if you use getParsedBody().

Programming With Yii2: Security
In this Programming With Yii2 series, I'm guiding readers in use of the Yii2 Framework for PHP. If you're planning to share your application with the public, you'll need it to be secure, and it's best to plan this from the beginning. Fortunately, starting with a framework such as Yii makes this a lot easier than it otherwise would be. In this tutorial, I'll walk you through the basic security concepts within the Yii application framework.

Beaver in Action: Practical MySQL Optimisation
Clients with an existing application sometimes ask me to fix bugs, improve efficiency by speeding up the application, or add a new feature to some existing software. The first stage of this is researching the original code – so-called reverse engineering. With SQL databases, it is not always immediately obvious which SQL queries MySQL executed – especially if these queries were generated by a framework or some kind of external library.

Building Your Startup: Exporting iCal Files into Calendar Events
In the last tutorial, I described how I constructed command links and coded operations for participants who begin responding to email invitations, i.e. viewing the meeting page or accepting or rejecting a place or time. I also mentioned how a woman I'd been dating suggested that she didn't know if or when she'd see me again without a meeting planner invitation, which I soon provided. And then she said she wouldn't know when or where to show up without a Google calendar entry. In today's tutorial, I'll describe how I built the iCal feature to deliver an .ics file she could import for a successful date. It's always helpful to have someone motivating development, but it's usually been colleagues or a development manager.
News and Announcements

PHP 5.6.28 Released
The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 5.6.28. This is a security release. Several security bugs were fixed in this release. All PHP 5.6 users are encouraged to upgrade to this version.

PHP 7.1.0 Release Candidate 6 Released
The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 7.1.0 Release Candidate 6. This release is the sixth and final release candidate for 7.1.0. All users of PHP are encouraged to test this version carefully, and report any bugs and incompatibilities in the bug tracking system.

PHP 7.0.13 Released
The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 7.0.13. This is a security release. Several security bugs were fixed in this release. All PHP 7.0 users are encouraged to upgrade to this version.

WordPress 4.7 Beta 4 Is Now Available!
This software is still in development, so we don’t recommend you run it on a production site. Consider setting up a test site just to play with the new version.

UniPHPant Tees Available!
Remember that magical feeling when you first built an online application with PHP? Working with PHP is definitely magical and, at times, mysterious. Months ago we were inspired to make our lovable elePHPant mascot a bit more magical. We created the UniPHPant – combining all the best traits of the legendary Unicorn and an Elephant. We teased stickers on Twitter yesterday, now you can show your PHP pride with one of these awesome t-shirts. The campaign is live on through December 1st. Mugs, totes, and stickers are for sale too!

Drupal 8 Will No Longer Include Dev Dependencies in Release Packages
As a best practice, development tools should not be deployed on production sites. Accordingly, packaged Drupal 8 stable releases will no longer contain development PHP libraries, because development code is not guaranteed to be secure or stable for production.

PrestaShop 1.7 Starts the Symfony Journey for the Community
The team working on the PrestaShop eCommerce platform launched 1.7 on November 7th 2016. This is the first publicly available version which includes the Symfony Framework by default. This release is an important step of moving towards standardising on an existing web framework. 

Sunshine PHP Conference - 2nd-4th February 2017, Miami
The SunshinePHP Developer Conference is hosted by the South Florida PHP community (SoFloPHP) in Miami, Florida from February 2nd - 4th, 2017, and you're invited! We'll host some of the best speakers, awesome talk topics, latest technologies, and up to date news in PHP. And don't forget our Hack-a-thon and Uncon'ference, as well as a great hallway track! The conference has something for every level of PHP developer. We start with a full day of 8 PHP related tutorials and workshops that are each 3 hours of in-depth information. Next we follow that with 2 days containing 5 keynotes and 40 PHP talks over 4 tracks. Early Bird tickets are on sale now.

Midwest PHP Conference - March 17-18th 2017, Minnesota
Midwest PHP is the FUN conference. This is our fifth annual conference, and each year it gets better and better. Our goal is to share best practices, ideas, and techniques about building state-of-the-art software applications. Blind Bird tickets are on sale now.

Laracon - July 25-26th 2017, New York City
Two amazing days of learning, growing, and mingling with the Laravel community - returning to the Big Apple. Tickets will be on sale soon, so for now Save The Date!


MageTalk Magento Podcast #106 - The Gricehole
Roy Rubin's back! The guys rap about Supeegeddon, Willem de Groot's data disclosure and more.

Acquia Podast - A Walk Through New Orleans with Shyamala Rajaram
A conversation with our newest community representative to the Drupal Association Board, Director at Large, Shyamala Rajaram, recorded walking to the New Orleans Convention Center during DrupalCon NOLA 2016. Yes, I can see I need to get a gimbal or a steady cam, but the video is still fun (for me anyway) :-)

The Five-Minute Geek Show Podcast: Episode 91 - Commitments, Not (or and) Goals
Small, measurable, manageable commitments help people like me move toward their goals.

PHP Round Table Podcast Episode 56: Hourly vs Value-Based Pricing
There are two seemingly contradicting philosophies about how to charge clients for programming work. The hourly camp suggests that the client is paying for your skill and hiring you for your time. The value-based pricing camp suggests that the programmer should price a project based on its value to the client instead of the hours it will take to build it. Today we chat about these two ideas and discuss the pros and cons of both.

The Laracasts Snippets Episode 48: Redundant
In this episode we'll discuss a basic, but incredibly useful, technique that I use to write more expressive code.

PHP Ugly Podcast #36:Election Edition
Topics this week include the Laracon 2017 announcement  and the release of PHP 7.1.0 release candidate six.

Reading and Viewing

C.Bavota Shares His WordPress Development Knowledge
A WordPress developer, an avid reader, and an exceptional writer – C.Bavota talks about his life and work experience being the pioneer of Alphabet Themes.

Google Pixel is Really About Google Ai
I recently watched Google’s presentation of their Pixel phones. The thing is, it wasn’t really about the phone, it was much more about Google’s push into more advanced Ai through Google Assistant. Check out my video talk about it.

PHP 7: Real World Application Development Kindle Edition (by Doug Bierer, Altaf Hussain and Branko Ajzele, published 30th September 2016)
Use new features of PHP 7 to solve practical, real-world problems faced by PHP developers like yourself every day.

The Magento 2.1 EE Edition Certification Guide (by Steve Morrissey, published 8th November 2016)
Magento is established based on Principles of Object-Oriented Programming on Zend Framework with MVC architecture. The Magento Certification Exams are official qualifications for web professionals and those who want to enter a career in web development. This book provides everything you need to understand to pass the Magento 2.1 (EE Edition) Certification. It helps you to apply the basic and the advanced principles both in terms of theory and real world ecommerce examples. It provides useful tips for the developer who want to work with Magento and at the end of each chapter there are sample revision questions designed to help you reinforce what you have learned.


Full-time Support Engineer
Kingsta is a modern cloud hosting startup focused on WordPress run on Google Cloud, powered by LXD. As our client base is growing steadily we’re looking for a competent support engineer with basic Linux system administration experience, with a great sense of communication!

Do you have a position that you would like to fill? PHP Weekly is ideal for targeting developers and the cost is only $50/week for an advert.  Please let me know if you are interested by emailing me at [email protected]

Interesting Projects, Tools and Libraries

iyzipay api PHP client.

A crawler written in PHP with laravel that finds email addresses on the internet. 

A PHP class for creating captcha images and audio with many options.

Pagination for PHP.

A multi-backend PHP library for creating background jobs for later processing.

A PHP based content management system for small to medium sites.

Open Source Point of Sale is a web based point of sale system written in the PHP language. It uses MySQL as the data storage back-end and has a simple user interface.

A full-on PHP manipulation utility-belt that provides support for the usual functional. 

Generates a salutation based on predefined formats.

O!MPD is free, opensource MPD client based on PHP and mySQL.

Mocking utility for PHP functions and WordPress plugin API.

A PHP based framework agnostic library to convert several units.
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