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October 22, 2015

Hello to the PHP community, and welcome to

In this weeks edition - PHP 7.0.0 RC 5 has been released, the tenth pre-release of the new PHP 7 major series, along with CodeIgniter 3.0.2 and Drupal 7.40.

We have an article about how to create the Remember Me feature on a user login form.

Plus, with blogging one of the best ways to get your name out there to potential clients, learn how to start up your own blog in less than 20 minutes.

Also this week, the 10th PHP Conference Brazil has been announced, taking place over 5 days in December and ending with the last day on the beach!

And finally, the latest PHP Round Table podcast discusses what it takes to run a user group, from the venue to the sponsors to the speakers.

We have some sponsorship availability coming up next month, so if you would like to see your advert take pride of place in, drop me a line [email protected].

Katie and Ade

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Are Content Management Systems Ready for The Cloud?
Why is it that content management systems are not a topic these days? It seems like they don’t exist anymore. People talk about PSRs, APIs, design patterns, Composer packages and frameworks. After some research, Oliver Stark has published an overview of his CMS findings on his blog. 

Responding to Spam on
With the recent release of Drupal 8 RC1, and the related increase in mentions on social media and tech news outlets, is seeing a modest bump in traffic. Along with that modest bump in real traffic, spammers have decided to increase their efforts to get content onto to boost their own SEO. is very attractive to these spammers.

O'Reilly OSCON Europe with Great PHP and JavaScript Talks
OSCON is one of the most traditional Open Source conferences that O'Reilly has organised for many years. The Europe edition will take place in Amsterdam on October 26th through 28th, and it includes great talks from well known speakers from the PHP and JavaScript community. Read this article to learn more about the event, as well as the special low cost pass that includes access to some technical sessions, the Sponsor Pavillion access and Ignite talks.

PHPNW15: What We Saw and Learnt This Year
PHPNW15 is a hugely popular PHP Conference held in the North West of England, which is now in its 8th consecutive year. The Edinburgh PHP User Group organisers were given an opportunity to attend the conference for the first time, and here they share their experiences of the event.

Semantic Normalisation of Data
Every database programmer knows about database normalisation – the process of organising the columns and tables into a relational database to minimise data redundancy. Semantic Normalisation is the process of reshaping free form entered data.

Top 5 Means to Enhance Conversion Rate with Photo Galleries
Creating a website to substitute online presence for a business is something that happens almost every day nowadays. Taking it from the visitor’s perspective, the amount of websites being visited is enormous. Every day the same visitor lands on a hundred websites alone, but only a few manage to engage the visitor. Why do these websites stand out against their peers and retain the visitors? Which factors make them impervious to abandonment? There are several, yes, but one among the prime factors that determines the fate is the addition of image galleries in the web page.

Tutorials and Talks

Can PuliPHP Re-Revolutionise PHP Package Development?
Puli is a new toolkit built on top of Composer that helps to manage and exchange resources like configuration files, images, CSS files, translation catalogs, and others. These are, you’ll agree, often difficult to maintain and share across projects.

Create a Remember Me Feature in PHP
The "remember me" feature on user login forms (long-term persistent authentication) is one of the most common and convenient web authentication features. It allows the user to be constantly authenticated in the application without having to enter username and password in each session. The feature is based on cookies and handling cookie data in PHP. Since we are talking about authentication, security is important and any possible security issues and solutions will be covered in this tutorial.

Create Microsoft Word DOCX files from HTML in PHP Part 2: More Complex Documents
The first part of this article presented the class VsWord as a means to create Microsoft Word DOCX articles from HTML. Read this article to learn how to compose more complex documents, either using HTML or calls to the class that can insert document elements programmatically.

Alternative Way to Inject Providers in a Silex Application
I normally use Silex when I need to build one Backend. It’s simple and straightforward to build one API endpoint using this micro framework. But there’s something that I don’t like: The “array access” way to access the dependency injection container. I need to remember what kind of object provides my service provider, and also that my IDE doesn’t help me with autocompletion. OK, I can use PHPDoc comments or even create one class that inherits from Silex\Application and use Traits. Normally I’m too lazy to do it. Because of that I’ve created this simple service provider to help me to do what I’m looking for. Let me explain it a little bit.

The Beginners Guide to WooCommerce: Adding a New Order Part 1
In my previous article I gave an introduction to how online store owners can track and manage orders placed by customers. What if you want to place an order manually? This is the topic of today's article, in which I will explain how one can add a new order in WooCommerce. 

Moving Controllers to Sub-Folders in a Correct Way
If your application gets bigger, it makes sense to structure Controllers with sub-folders. But it takes a little more effort than just moving the files here and there. Let me explain the structure.

Demystifying RegEx with Practical Examples
A regular expression is a sequence of characters used for parsing and manipulating strings. They are often used to perform searches, replace substrings and validate string data. This article provides tips, tricks, resources and steps for going through intricate regular expressions.

Building a Product CSV Import Tool in OpenCart - Part 1
Suppose you have a list of products for your store for which prices need to be updated on site. But you hate manual jobs? You want a solution where you can directly import that list and all of your products & prices are updated in just a few clicks. Yes! This is what we are going to do. By default, OpenCart doesn't provide the facility to import the products from any outer source, and in this case we have to develop a module which can be used for import.

Setup Bootstrap Sass with Laravel Elixir
Laravel Elixir is a fantastic package that simplifies working with Gulp. For the unfamiliar Gulp is a JavaScript task runner that allows you to automate tasks. It can be used for compiling CSS, concating and minifying JavaScript, and much more. Gulp was designed to be faster than previous build tools by utilising node streams, and has become one of the go-to build systems. Laravel Elixir is a wrapper around Gulp making the setup a breeze. In this tutorial let’s take a look at how to setup Bootstrap Sass with Elixir in a default Laravel 5.1 install.

How to Start a Blog In 15 Minutes Or Less
Blog content is how you get your name out there and get the attention of potential clients. It’s how you show those potential clients you know what you’re doing. And, it’s how you get potential clients to trust you enough in advance to hire you. But how do you set your blog up? Read this post to learn how to start your blog in 20 minutes or less.

PHP 7 Anonymous Classes Tutorial
PHP 7 has introduced a new class feature called the Anonymous Class which allow us to create objects without the need to name them. Read this article to learn about the concept behind anonymous classes and how we can use them in your PHP projects.

PHP: Calling Methods on Non-Objects
PHP has subtly changed the wording of this error between various versions of the language, which can trip up your log aggregators when you upgrade. Lorna Mitchell gives a quick rundown of the changes around the "call to member function on non-object" error in PHP, up to and including PHP 7, which has an entirely new error handling approach.
News and Announcements

PHP 7.0.0 RC 5 Released
The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 7.0.0 RC 5. This is the tenth pre-release of the new PHP 7 major series. All users of PHP are encouraged to test this version carefully, and report any bugs and incompatibilities in the bug tracking system.

CodeIgniter 3.0.2 Released
CodeIgniter 3.0.2 was released last week with a number of bugfixes and minor features. This is recommended for all users of version 3.

Drupal 7.40 Released
Drupal 7.40, a maintenance release with numerous bug fixes (no security fixes) and several new features, is now available for download. See the Drupal 7.40 release notes for a full listing.

2015 Membership Drive: Because Members Are Contributors Too
Last week we introduced a banner on pages. It invites all site visitors to support the Drupal project by becoming Drupal Association members. Our membership drive runs from now through December 30, and we have two big goals: $100,000 in revenue and 1,000 new/renewed members.

PHP Conference Brazil - Dec 2nd-6th 2015, Sao Paulo
In its tenth year, the Brazilian PHP Conference takes place over five days, ending up on the last day on a beach! With hands-on courses, practical mini-courses, talks and keynotes, plus a camping area to make it easy to stay over. Also the GirlPower promotion means 50% off tickets for women. Phase 2 of ticket sales is open for one more week.

True North PHP - November 5-7th 2015, Toronto
True North PHP is a conference designed to showcase Toronto's talent and give back to the community that has given so much. Tickets are on sale now.

Madison PHP - November 14th 2015, Wisconsin
Join us on Saturday, November 14th, 2015 for a one day, three track conference in Madison, Wisconsin that focuses on PHP and related web technologies. This event is organised by Madison PHP and is designed to offer something to attendees at all skill levels. Pre-registration tickets are on sale now.

Forum PHP - November 23rd-24th 2015, Paris
This annual conference gathers all PHP and Open Source communities, pros and PHP lovers. With 2 days, 3 tracks and all the best developers involved in PHP 7. Tickets are on sale now.


Lately in PHP Podcast Episode 64 - Shall PHP 7.x Feature Asynchronous Programming Using Async/Await?
Recently PHP core developers have been discussing if they should make async and await reserved keywords just in case future PHP versions implement asynchronous programming support similar to Facebook Hack and future EcmaScript/JavaScript versions. This was one the main topics discussed by Manuel Lemos and Arturs Sosins in Episode 64 of the Lately in PHP podcast series.

MageTalk Magento Podcast #64 -  Welcome Our New Winkle Overlord
The guys catch up while Kalen scratches skin off his arm. Github, Stackexchange, PR review and more.

Three Devs and a Maybe Podcast - The Shownote Heavy Podcast
On this weeks show we start off proceedings with Edd’s experience developing and deploying a JavaScript centric application - mentioning an example application he is currently working on to document use of Flux, React, Webpack and Karma. We then move on to highlight the sites hosting switch to Jekyll and S3, and how we have been able to get download statistics back thanks to S3Stat. Following on from this we discuss configuration formats, how Mick was able to get disconnected by his ISP due to his final year project, and Fraser’s exploration into Ionic. Finally, we wrap up the show touching upon the Natural Computation book Edd is currently reading and a couple of interesting developer related shows available on BBC Radio 4.

Voices of the ElePHPant - Interview with Matthew Setter
This week Cal talks to Matthew Setter, host of the Free The Geek podcast.

That Podcast Episode 23: The One Where We're in Manchester
Beau and Dave get together again, this time at PHPNW 2015. We talk about testing, Laravel's awesome container, chatops and security and react, before touching on docker and otto. A big thanks to all who came to talk with us and sorry to listeners for all the clicks, pops, whistles and background noise!

Acquia Podcast - Budget for 5, Deliver 6 - Drupal case study: The Roman Baths, Bath UK
Jam's Dev Camp is back with something a little different this week: Rick Donohoe, Account Manager at Microserve in Bristol, presents a case study about how his company delivered six sites on a five-site fixed budget contract. He gives some great tips on making a project like this successful. I saw Rick do a shorter version of this at Drupal Camp Bristol 2015 and thought that the information he has to share is valuable, and that many of us building websites for clients could benefit from it. Thanks to Rick and Microserve for sharing!

PHP Round Table Podcast Episode 32 - Running A Rockin' PHP User Group
User groups are core to the strength of the PHP community. We'll be discussing what it takes to run a solid user group in your area; finding food & venue sponsors, finding speakers, dealing with money & expenses, and all the details that go into making a rockin' user group. And if you don't have a user group in your area, hopefully this episode will inspire you to take Cal Evans' advice and start one!

Free The Geek Podcast: Episode 7 - How to be an Exceptional Public Speaker, and Blogging for the Long Term with Troy Hunt
In this episode, I have a fireside chat with Troy Hunt. Troy's a Microsoft MVP for Security, PluralSight author, and public speaker. We talk about what it takes to build a brand, and an online profile, over the long term, as well as what it takes to be a professional public speaker. It's a very valuable chat, where Troy gives the benefit of what he has learned over the last 6+ years. So join us for this and, as always, much, much more.

Reading and Viewing

Tuesday Web Development Q&A: PHP Frameworks, Getting Clients, Confidence, Am I Too Old and More?
In this week’s WebDev Q&A, I answer questions on: Using PHP frameworks (should you or shouldn’t you), how to get freelance clients, building your confidence as a web developer, what age is too old to become a web developer, and more. Watch here.

An Interview with Tom Van Herreweghe & Jachim Coudenys from PHP West-Vlaanderen
Recorded in a hotel room in Manchester at the PHP North West 2015 conference, the guests for this episode are Tom Van Herreweghe & Jachim Coudenys, who run a local user group in Belgium called PHP West-Vlaanderen. The interview primarily focuses on their user group and how it fits into the larger PHP community. Enjoy, and don’t forget that there’s also an audio version on SoundCloud in case you just want to listen.

Community Spotlight: Veronica Veda (veronicanerak)
Veronica Vedia (veronicanerak) organised Women in Drupal at DrupalCamp Bolivia in 2014, alongside Karen Da Cruz and several other women. Veronica shared the story of how she went from anonymous Drupaler to community evangelist over email, with the Drupal Association. Parts of this Community Spotlight have been transcribed from a article that Veronica wrote on her experience coordinating Women in Drupal.

Yii2 By Example Paperback (by Fabrizio Caldarelli, published 29 Sep 2015)
Develop complete web applications from scratch, through practical examples and tips, for beginners and more advanced users. Improve your programming experience and become a full stack developer, master real-life web applications, and create and manage four different projects.

Zend Framework 1 to 2 Migration Guide: a php[architect] guide (by Bart McLeod, published 1 Oct 2015)
Zend Framework 1 was one of the first major frameworks for PHP 5 and, for many, introduced object-oriented programming principles for writing PHP applications. Zend Framework 2 is a significant improvement over its predecessor. If you're maintaining an application built on it, this practical guide will help you to plan how to migrate to ZF2.


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Interesting Projects, Tools and Libraries

A non-blocking HTTP/1.1 application, websocket and static file server written in PHP.

PHPMailer is a full-featured email creation and transfer class for PHP.

Simple library to count or generate share buttons.

Drupal 8 Console scaffolding module generator.

PHP extension for Cloudinary, a cloud service that offers a solution to a web application's entire image management pipeline.

PHP 5.4+ full-stack web framework, the main purpose of which is to provide a minimalist yet complete start point for building websites.

Saffron is very fast and flexible PHP router for your application.

Mocks, stubs and spies for PHP.

Lightweight PHP template framework.

An input validation framework with a boring name.

Java integration in PHP, supporting PHP 5.3+, PHP 7 and HHVM.

PHP benchmark your application methods in simple way.

A lightweight PHP framework.

The VObject library for PHP allows you to easily parse and manipulate iCalendar and vCard objects.

Easy, fast and free CMS Blog. All you need is PHP to work it.

PHP beanstalk connection and connection pool library.

A high performance web framework and application server in PHP.
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