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January 2, 2014

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Welcome to the first newsletter of 2014.

We kick off the new year with the results summary of the survey conducted by, over the past couple of weeks, to decide which frameworks deserve our attention in 2014.

Anthony Ferrara talks us through his accomplishments in 2013, and his plans for this year.

And we are introduced to a triangle, a new, bi-weekly newsletter for software engineers.

Plus, we have Cal Evans' latest phptownhall podcast episode, talking about some of his greatest project work.

Cheers for now, 


Best PHP Frameworks for 2014
The end of the year is upon us. Lots has changed in the PHP world in the past 365 days, and the PHP framework scene is more densely populated than ever. Everyone and their dog seems to have an idea of what a good framework should look like, but in the end, do we even know which frameworks actually end up being used in production projects? As mentioned here in last week's newsletter, has run a small survey for the past week or so to decide which frameworks deserve our attention in 2014. Read the results summary here.

Why Choose PHP for Developing Web Applications
PHP is one of the best tools to use to make it easier to compete and excel in the world of the internet. There are various benefits of using this language over the others developed for the same purpose, and some of the major pros pertinent to the language are discussed in this article.

The Reason For The Weird PHP Function Names
This could just as well be in the humour section. Do you know why PHP has such strange legacy function names? You might be more than surprised when you find out....

Passing The Benchmarking Torch After 7 Years
Paul Jones has announced he is retiring his benchmarking project in favour of the TechEmpower one. Read here how and why he reached this decision.

2013 - Year In Review
It's that time of the year. Anthony Ferrara looks back on all that was accomplished in 2013 and looks forward to all that can be accomplished in 2014.

Tutorials and Talks

Build Virtual Machines Easily with PuPHPet - Part 2
Part one of this series considered the problem of how to create and manage development environments in a way which was simple, repeatable and (even) efficient. It's a problem which we've all run in to from time to time. The solution was a relatively new tool called PuPHPet. So in this second part of the series we're going to be looking at the two core files used: common.yaml, and Vagrantfile. We'll be making some changes to them, then provisioning the virtual machines to reflect the configuration changes.

Unique Index and its Rationale
This article is inspired by one recently posted on, "How to Use Unique Indexes in MySQL and Other Databases". There are a few more tightly related and equally important aspects regarding Primary Key (PK) and Unique Index (UI) which were not covered in that article, so here we will take a further look at these areas.
Contributing to Open Source – Updating
In this tutorial, Bruno Skvorc will clone the website to the local PuPHPet VM, update it to include new information about a supported environment, and submit a pull request to the project owners.

PHP Multiple Checkbox Array Handling
John Morris tends to get asked a lot of questions around checkbox handling when submitting forms to PHP. Here he has posted a simple snippet to illustrate how it works.

Decoding TLS with PHP 
Joshua Thijssen talks about how far he could decode TLS data on the client side which, even though it appears to be a simple procedure, was actually fairly complex.

Creating a Simple REST Application with Silex
So you have come to the conclusion that, rather than having the code to update customer details and that little fix to convert the date from GMT to UTC should happen in one place rather than being copied into several pieces of code, a REST service is the answer. Perhaps you just think you should know how to create a REST service. Either way this post is for you.

Test Spies and Mockery
While recording some screencasts, Chris Hartjes was struggling to figure out how to get PHPUnit’s built-in object mocking tools to allow him to create what is known as a “test spy”. He talks about them briefly in his PHPUnit Cookbook but this task required help beyond what PHPUnit could give.
News and Announcements

This Is A Triangle
A Triangle is a newsletter for engineers to meet other engineers, primarily focused on sharing personal projects.

PHP Tour Lyon 2014 - Call For Papers
The PHP Tour Lyon 2014, organised by AFUP, the French PHP Users Association, will be held on June 23rd and 24th. The PHP Tour event is a conference moving each year all around the country. Nantes in 2012, Lille in 2011... Lyon is proud to welcome the next step of this PHP "Tour de France"! Expert in PHP domains, or speakers taking part in an Open Source project, please come and share your experience.

Ski PHP January 17-18th 2014, Salt Lake City, Utah - Tickets Still Available
For a while, several members of the Utah PHP Users Group have been discussing the need for a PHP conference in the western United States. The greater Salt Lake area is home to many large tech companies that rely on PHP for their core business, and it seemed like a great place to have a conference. Tickets are still available for this event.

Reading and Viewing

Voices of the ElePHPant Interview with Matthew Weier O'Phinney
Cal Evans chats to Matthew Weier O'Phinney of Zend, discussing Apigility, Zend's latest project.

PHP Town Hall Episode #17 - Authors Galore, Conferences and Game Changers
Cal Evans talks about some of the great projects he is (and has) been involved with, including training days, writing books, speaking, organising conferences and lots more.

PHP MySQL Programming Guide - Take your websites to the next level with dynamic, database-base driven code (by James M. Coulter, published 21st December 2013)
PHP scripting is a server-side programming language created for building websites. However, it is also used as a general-purpose programming language, which can take your web development to the next level. PHP is now installed on more than 200 million websites and over 2 million web servers around the world. Discover how you can use this computer language and implement it on your websites, as well as creating databases for your business online. Once you start, you will never look back!

Ext JS Data-driven Application Design (by Kazuhiro Kotsutsumi, published 24th December 2013)
A step-by-step guide to building a user-friendly database in Ext JS using data from an existing database.

Learning Laravel 4 Application Development (by Hardik Dangar, published 24th December 2013)
Develop real-world web applications in Laravel 4 using its refi ned and expressive syntax.


If you have a position that needs filling, let us know and we will include it.

PHP Job in London with Signkick
Join a startup that is revolutionising the $33b outdoor advertising market.

Junior Developer for Performance Telecom, Newcastle Based.
Performance Telecom are looking for a Junior developer, based in Newcastle upon Tyne, to work on exciting big data and telecoms projects. This role would suit a recent graduate, though also someone who can drive and has access to their own transport. Contact [email protected] with your CV/Resume.  This is NOT a remote position.

Developer at Sailthru (New York City)
We're searching for a talented developer who can take the challenge of scaling architectures and dive into leading technologies. You'll have the opportunity to work with a great team, in the heart of New York City and with great benefits such as working from home. Send your resume to Federico, [email protected].

DeskPRO is hiring Full Stack PHP Developer (Symfony/AngularJS) in London or Remote.
Join our small London based team (excellent remote workers considered as well) building a large PHP application where your work will have immediate impact on our millions of end users. Lots of interesting projects coming up including adding elasticsearch and memached to our stack, writing a DeskPRO app for telephony based upon Twilio, integrating our software with other companies APIs, adding functionality to our phonegap mobile app as well as continuing the development of our core software platform.

PHP (Drupal) developers at Torchbox (Bristol and Oxford, UK)
Passionate about PHP, delirious about Drupal and want to work on a wide variety of challenging yet fun projects for fantastic clients? If yes, then Torchbox would love to hear from you! In return, we can offer an enviable working environment (country park or buzzing Bristol), a competitive salary, all the usual kit and sometimes even a ski trip.

Full Stack Developer
Major television production company seeks an experienced web developer to join its digital division. The ideal candidate possesses a deep expertise and abiding love of web development, an incredible track record of producing stellar web applications (with a long list of URLs & GitHub repositories to prove it), a near-supernatural work ethic and a fantastic sense of humour.

Machine Learning / AI skills (project based)
Inovica are looking for someone to work with them on detecting ecommerce products on sites and extracting relevant information. In the first instance please email [email protected] stating the experience you have in this field. They don't have a job description online but will reply to every email they receive.

Message Digital Design Ltd is Hiring a Web Developer (PHP) 
We are looking for an experienced developer to work in our spacious offices in central Brighton, helping to deliver high-quality websites, e-commerce and online systems to a wide range of clients. At Message we give a damn about building the web the right way, and the successful applicant will too.

Ballers Bridge is Hiring a Sr. Yii Developer
We are looking for a motivated and outstanding candidate to lead our product development. The ideal candidate is an experienced problem solver, quick thinker/learner, self-motivated and not afraid of challenges.

PHP Engineers for Bright.Com in San Francisco
We are looking for PHP engineers to join our growing team! The ideal candidate is language agnostic, and can work with both scripting languages (such as Python and PHP) as well as strongly typed languages (such as C++ and Java), and has a passion for taking an idea and exploring, tinkering, debating, and demonstrating the fastest, most efficient, flexible and scalable implementation approaches. Experience working with traditional SQL databases as well as newer technologies, indexes and data stores is key (such as Solr, ElasticSearch, Redis, or Neo4j), and you must be comfortable using Linux and other open source technologies.

Senior PHP Developer in Bucharest, Romania
We are searching for a passionate PHP developer who will be part of a team of senior programmers and experienced testing engineers, directly involved in technical development projects, using Agile Scrum as methodology.

Freelance Dev Leads
A concierge service for your freelancing business. Whilst this is a paid service for developers Glen, who runs this site, provides good solid curated freelance jobs to his list.  We have used it ourselves and recommend giving it a go.

Interesting Projects, Tools and Libraries

A general library for PHP.

PHP Daemon for handling and managing Gearman Workers.

Gettext is a PHP library to import/export/edit gettext from PO, MO, PHP, JS files, etc.

Extension of php-callback format.

PHP library to provide some CRUD functions in SQL databases.

A command line tool that allows developers to quickly create PHP applications that use common conventions and best-in-breed development tools.

A global command line tool for Laravel's Artisan.    

A PHP library for interacting with the GiantBomb API.

PHP Package for TRUSTEDSearch API.

Exceptions in PHP.

Lightweight php-framework for personal learning, sandboxing, messing around with php and as a convenient scaffolding for small to medium sized projects.

PHP 5.3.2+ library that provides a set of classes to generate charts using Google Charts Image.

Work with remote servers via cURL. Much easier than using the native PHP bindings.

Macaw is a simple PHP router. It's super small, fast, and sexy.

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