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January 16, 2014

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Hello and welcome to the latest edition of

This week the PHP development team has announced two new releases, for immediate availability - PHP 5.5.8 and 5.4.24.

Also take a look at some of the most important upcoming updates of PHP 5.6.

Following on from Brandon Savage's article last week "You Don't Need a Framework", Phil Sturgeon attempts to work out a good definition of what a "framework" is in relation to PHP development.

Plus the Voices of the ElePHPant team have published another interview, this time with managing editor of php[architect] Eli White.

We are always on the lookout for new articles and tutorials, so please keep them coming.

Take care,


PHP and Neo4j: Introduction to Graph Databases
For a long time, data has been typically stored in tabular form so as to increase the indexing and readability. Nowadays, the trends are changing as Graph databases are quickly gaining popularity. In fact, it would not be wrong to call them "the future of DBMS". New to the world of graphs and databases? Don't worry, by the end of this introductory article you will have sound theoretical knowledge about the topic.

New Features in PHP 5.6
Bruno Skvorc takes a look at, what he deems to be, some of the most important upcoming updates of PHP 5.6.

Top Ten Most Interesting Topics Searched by PHP Developers in 2013
The PHP Zeitgeist 2013 ranking has now been released. Read this article to find out the top most important topics PHP developers searched for last year.

The "Framework" is Dead, Long live the Framework
After the recent article by Brandon Savage titled "You Don't Need a Framework" and other posts along a similar theme, Phil Sturgeon attempts to work out a good definition of what a "framework" is in relation to PHP development.

PHP World Championship of the Nations of the Innovation Award
Manuel Lemos has started a new initiative this year, that aims to distinguish the countries that produce the most innovative PHP developers. It is the PHP World Championship of the Innovation Award. Read this article or watch the explanatory video to learn all about this initiative and how you and your country can be honoured for your fantastic PHP contributions.

Tutorials and Talks

Creating a Photo Tag Wall with Twilio Picture Messaging & PHP
Twilio’s recently announced Picture Messaging has vastly opened up what can be done with text messaging. Now photos can be attached to text messages and used in different ways. This tutorial shows how to build a Photo Tag Wall containing photos linked to tags that will be displayed on a website. The Jolt Microframework for PHP and Idiorm and Paris for MySql handling will be used.

Building a Customer Management App using Angular JS and Laravel
In this tutorial you will create a simple customer/transaction management system with the ability to add and remove both transactions and customers. This is probably not the kind of thing you make very often, but it shows how to use features of both frameworks.

Integrating Polymer/Dart and Symfony – Part 1
The first of this 2-part series looks at how to integrate two powerful tools, Symfony and Dart, together, i.e. to run Dart (after compiling to JavaScript) in a Symfony website to add some dynamics.

The Outer Iterator
Iterators, as the name implies, allow you to iterate over a collection. In many cases that collection is an array. However, PHP allows you to iterate over many other types of collections. A directory structure, XML, even database cursors can all be easily iterated over using the built in iterator classes. There are times however, when what you need to iterate over…is another `Iterator` that is itself iterating over something. For this very instance, the SPL has defined an interface for us - the OuterIterator.
Playing With HTML5 - Building a Simple Pool of WebWorkers
Gonzalo Ayuso has been playing with the HTML5′s WebWorkers. Since his JavaScript code runs within a single thread in his WebBrowser, heavy scripts can lock the execution of code. HTML5 gives one tool called WebWorkers to allow us to run different threads within our Application. In this article he is playing with one small example (that’s just an experiment). He wants to create a pool of WebWebworkers and use them as a simple queue.

Conceptual Difference Between Mockery and Prophecy
Konstantin Kudryashov clarifies the differences and similarities between these two PHP testing tools.

The IntlDateFormatter Class
Date Formatter is a concrete class that enables locale-dependent formatting/parsing of dates using pattern strings and/or canned patterns. This class represents the ICU date formatting functionality. It allows users to display dates in a localised format or to parse strings into PHP date values using pattern strings and/or canned patterns.
News and Announcements

PHP 5.5.8 Has Been Released
The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 5.5.8. This release fixes about 20 bugs against PHP 5.5.7 components.

PHP 5.4.24 Released
The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 5.4.24. About 14 bugs were fixed. All PHP 5.4 users are encouraged to upgrade to this version.

Aura.Sql_Schema 2.0.0-beta1
Paul Jones announces the 2.0.0-beta1 release of Aura.Sql_Schema. You can download it directly or install via Composer and Packagist. The Aura.Sql_Schema package contains PDO-based tools to read table and column information from a database. If you already use PDO, or if your database abstraction layer of choice uses PDO under the hood, you can feed that PDO object to the Schema object and start reading your table and column information.

Aura.Web 2.0.0-beta1 Released
Paul Jones announces the 2.0.0-beta1 release of Aura.Web. You can download it directly or install via Composer and Packagist. Whereas the v1 package included controllers, renderers and other functionality, the v2 package provides only Request and Response objects.

Sunshine PHP Developer Conference February 6-8th 2014, Miami
The Sunshine PHP Developer Conference has something for every level of PHP developer, with a full day of 9 x 3 hour tutorials and workshops, followed by 2 days with 30 talks in 3 tracks. One of those tracks is completely dedicated to PHP frameworks. So come see what others are doing, and share your experience as well. All ticket types are still available.

Reading and Viewing

Voices of the ElePHPant Interview With Eli White
This week Cal Evans and the team chat to Eli White, managing editor of php[architect], discussing various php conferences including php[tek].

Taking PHP Seriously
Keith Adams, Virtual Machinist at Facebook, outlines PHP's strengths and Facebook's attempts at remedying the inconsistencies and misfeatures in the core language.

PHP in 123: You Don't Have to be a Rocket Scientist (by Nick Mendoza, published January 1st 2014)
Do you want to learn PHP, or do you have a blog and just need some coding knowledge to manage your site? Have you tried reading through long PHP books, only to find the material draining and more than you'd ever need to know or could even possibly remember? "PHP in 123" is meant to remove everything that you don't need to know about PHP and get you thinking and writing code ASAP. From there, you can effectively move towards your goals. 

Zend Framework 2 Cookbook (by Josephus Callaars, published December 19th 2013)
A guide to all the ins and outs of Zend Framework 2. Featuring recipes to help you create, test and optimise your applications.

Effortless E-Commerce with PHP and MySQL (by Larry Ullman, published December 16th 2013)
In this comprehensive guide to creating an e-commerce website using PHP and MySQL, renowned author Larry Ullman walks you through every step—designing the visual interface, creating the database, presenting content, generating an online catalog, managing the shopping cart, handling the order and the payment process, and fulfilling the order—always with security and best practices emphasised along the way. Even if you’re an experienced web developer, you’re guaranteed to learn something new.


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

Single Founder seeking Senior PHP Talent
This one is a bit different! We decided to post it as Dan intrigued us. Single founder seeing either freelancers or employee number 1, with potential co-founder status. Read more on Dan's blog.

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

CharcoalPHP is NOT a MVC-based web framework but a flexible task oriented web framework.

A tiny PHP lib which provides nice functions & wrappers to interact with Japanese language.

EqualsBuilder for PHP.

A client library written in PHP to consume Perun REST API.

Filelib is a file library component for PHP, providing a virtual filesystem for your web application's files.

Common open source shared classes used by Infinity.

Bugfree Dangerzone is a PHP namespace validator written in PHP.

PHP-based MVC framework using templates and includes.

A Collections library for PHP.

Clean core php library.

Pluggable caching for PHP.

Piwik is the leading Free/Libre open source Web Analytics platform, a full featured PHP MySQL software program that you download and install on your own webserver. 

PHP cli micro-framework.
Some simple helper classes for PHP to generate a series of nested UL's from a JSON string.

Pux is a high performance PHP router.

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