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December 25, 2014

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Happy Thursday people! And for those of you celebrating this festive period, Seasons Greetings.

There were several releases this week from the PHP development team, with 5.4.36, 5.6.4 and 5.5.20 all available.

The Tuts+ team has posted their top 50 most popular posts of 2014, containing a great variety of content from the past year.

If you are looking to organically promote your application, find out about implementing embeddable custom badges.

Also this week we have a mixed bag of PHP podcasts, including a chat with the PHP bard, part two of an interview with Cal Evans, and a live video broadcast.

And Brandon Savage shares his tips on contributing to open source.

Happy Holidays to one and all

Katie and Ade

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On PHP Version Requirements
Hearing the news that "CodeIgniter 3.0 will support PHP 5.2" prompted Anthony Ferrara to tweet his concerns. This article highlights the mixture of responses he received.

The Top 50 Code Posts of 2014
At the end of each year, it's always fun to look back and see what some of the most popular posts are that were published on our site throughout the last year. Though Tuts+ consists of more than just our Code category, here are the top 50 posts of 2014 that ran on Tuts+ Code. There's a lot of great content but it's varied, so bookmark the ones you like, peruse the ones that you're possibly interested in learning more about, and dive into those that are there to teach you more about a subject in which you're already interested.

The Definitive Guide to Contributing to Open Source
There are millions of PHP developers, but only a (large) handful of contributors, authors and maintainers of open source software. Packagist reports a little under 50,000 packages in the PHP ecosystem. This is a huge number of open source packages, but is a small number compared to the PHP developers in the world. The truth is, many developers who use open source never contribute to it. Brandon Savage shares his tips here on contributing to open source.

How PHP Frameworks Affect Profitability
Last week we talked about application shelf life, an aspect of PHP development that often goes overlooked. This week let’s talk about how the web development framework you use contributes to the shelf life of your app, and the profitability of your web application.

Tutorials and Talks

Analysing a PHP Project with Jenkins
This entry is the 3rd in the series PHP Quality Assurance with Jenkins. The results of Jenkins come from different tools and will be placed in different locations within the Jenkins GUI. Within this article, we will be going through each tool and looking at what it reports back to us. In the end, we will also look at some extra details Jenkins collects for us. Since we build the same project several times, we will get straight lines within our graphs. In a real project, the graph would fluctuate.

Integrating Googles new reCAPTCHA in PHP
For the past several years Google’s reCAPTCHA has helped verify that a user is not a bot, by forcing you to decipher warped text. reCAPTCHA’s method of protecting websites from spam has always been a kind of burden on the end user, who has to solve the captcha to prove that he is human and not a bot. Google recently released a new captcha API called “No CAPTCHA” reCAPTCHA, which utilizes an Advanced Risk Analysis engine that is capable of discerning between users and bots. So, instead of solving a jumbled box of text all a user has to do is check a box.

Advanced Mocking with PHPUnit
The previous article, Test Driven Development with PHPUnit, detailed how to start using PHPUnit to do Test Driven Development. The examples stopped short of showing the real power of PHPUnit when it comes to Mocking objects, so that is what we will take a deeper look at in this piece.

No More var_dump – Introducing Symfony VarDumper!
Symfony VarDumper is a component designed to replace your var_dumps. It performs essentially the same functionality, but provides you with much, much more information in a much prettier format. It’s the var_dump you’ve always wanted.

Integrate Bitcoin Payment Gateway Into OpenCart: Part 1
In this series, we are going to look at building a Bitcoin payment system into our installation of OpenCart. Before we get started, I recommend that you practice the basic OpenCart module development if you are not familiar with how to build your own modules.

3 Ways to Implement Embeddable Custom Badges
One great way of organically promoting your application is to provide “badges”; snippets of content that people can embed on their own websites. This can contain up-to-the-minute information from your application about a user, piece of content or another object, dynamically generated and inserted into other websites. This article takes a look at some of the ways you can implement this.

Test Against The Lowest Composer Dependencies on Travis 
Composer just got a new awesome addition thanks to Nicolas Grekas: prefer the lowest versions of your dependencies. This amazing option will install the lowest versions possible for all your dependencies.

Visualize Your Code’s Quality with PhpMetrics
The SitePoint team has been looking into code quality and checking tools for a while, most recently in a series on Jenkins. PhpMetrics uses D3 and some sophisticated analysis algorithms to scan your application’s code and output intricate reports about it. It’s a bit hard to talk about it without seeing a proper example, so let’s install and run it, then explain every part".
News and Announcements

PHP 5.4.36 Released
The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 5.4.36. Two security-related bugs were fixed in this release, including the fix for CVE-2014-8142. All PHP 5.4 users are encouraged to upgrade to this version.

PHP 5.6.4 is Available
The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 5.6.4. This release fixes several bugs and one CVE related to unserialisation. All PHP 5.6 users are encouraged to upgrade to this version.

PHP 5.5.20 is Available
The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 5.5.20. This release fixes several bugs and one CVE related to unserialisation. All PHP 5.5 users are encouraged to upgrade to this version.

php[tek] Conference - May 18-25th 2015, Chicago
php[tek] is a PHP conference like no other. It brings together great technology content and great people and mixes them up in a wonderful cocktail of PHP fun. The Call for Papers has just opened.

Bolt 2.0 released: Major Update For The Sophisticated, Lightweight and Simple CMS
Having been a year in the making, Bolt 2.0 has been released as the new stable version. Almost every library in Bolt was refactored to be cleaner, more readable and better to understand. Add to that the completely overhauled backend interface and the new features for installing extensions and themes, and you get a flexible, modern CMS that appeals to developers and content-editors alike. Bolt is built in PHP on top of the Silex framework and uses a lot of the core Symfony components, together with Doctrine, Twig and Yaml, to create a solid base to build your websites on.

WordPress 4.1 Release Candidate 3
The next release candidate for WordPress 4.1 is now available for testing. Seventy changes have gone in since the first release candidate. 

WordPress 4.1 “Dinah”
Version 4.1 of WordPress, named “Dinah” in honor of jazz singer Dinah Washington, is available for download or update in your WordPress dashboard. New features in WordPress 4.1 help you focus on your writing, and the new default theme lets you show it off in style.

Reading and Viewing

PHP and JavaScript Innovation Award Report December 2014 Edition - September 2014 nominees
This is the December edition of the Innovation Award podcast hangout recorded by Manuel Lemos and Arturs Sosins, to comment about the outstanding features of all the past month nominees and winners PHP and JavaScript packages, the prizes that the authors earned, starting with the nominees from the month of September 2014.

Laravel News - Five Minutes with PHP Bard
Eric Barnes is proud to offer you the first ever interview with the remarkable @phpbard. He has a new book coming out soon that is destined to become a best seller. Without further delay here is the best interview you’ll read today.

dev/hell Podcast Episode #53: Let’s Get This Thing Over With
Guest-less and listless, Chris and Ed slouch their way back to their studios. Chris talks about the time he tried to murder a disabled woman with his new luxury sedan, we discuss artisanal PHP-Nuke sites, and how we got our local user groups started. Then it really goes off the rails with a discussion on the awesomeness of Dragon Age: Inquistion, and what happens to games and other services that rely on Internet connectivity.

Sound of Symfony Podcast: Episode 6 - The SymfonyCon Special
In this episode we're all about SymfonyCon. So much so that we in fact recorded this episode at the SymfonyCon Hack day. As usual, we go over the news and community update, but the rest of the episode is focused on discussing the conference with our guests.

MageTalk Magento Podcast #15
Phil and Kalen present The MageTalk Drinking Game.

Laravel Podcast Episode 20 LIVE
Hangouts On Air – Broadcast for free. It's time for another live video podcast! Get your questions ready!

Acquia Podcast: Meet Cal Evans Part 2 - Cal Evans and Jeffrey A. "jam" McGuire talk Open Source
I had the chance to try to pull Cal Evans out of his shell at DrupalCon Amsterdam. After a few hours, he managed to open up and we talked about a range of topics we have in common. In this part of our conversation we talk about 'Getting off the Island', inter-project cooperation in PHP and Drupal's role in that; the reinvention and professionalisation of PHP core development; decoupled, headless Drupal 8; PHP and the LAMP stack as tools of empowerment and the technologists' responsibility to make devices and applications that are safe, secure, and private by default.


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Interesting Projects, Tools and Libraries

Bayes algorithm implementation with PHP.

General purpose library that allows extending the functionality of your objects through a decorator-like mechanism.

An HTTP API testing framework, written in PHP using curl.

Brew & manage PHP versions in pure PHP at HOME.

A modern, Composer and PSR-4 compatible PHP library for interfacing with the Wordnik API.

A Rack-like interface for PHP.

Bugsnag error monitoring for PHP apps.

A SQL query builder for PHP 5.4+.

This project extends the Application Insights API surface to support PHP.

Balanced API library in PHP.

Bandwidth's Catapult SDK for PHP.

A library of range objects.

Stripe PHP Library.

A PHP implementation of bower.

Shipwire PHP integration.

PHP micro CMS based on Silex framework.

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