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November 19, 2015

Hello and welcome to this weeks edition of

This week the PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 7.0.0 RC 7.

With the release date of PHP 7 postponed until November 26th, the Lately in PHP Podcast team presents a preview of the results so far of a recent survey of the PHP community, asking members if and when they plan to adopt PHP 7.

Also this week, if you are a regular blogger, and wonder what you can do to make your posts more interesting, John Morris has produced a list of thirteen of his best tips.

Plus Thijs Feryn interviews Adam Culp, aka Geeky Boy, talking ZendCon and Sunshine PHP among other topics.

And finally, Davey Shafik has written a mini eBook on upgrading to PHP 7, which is free and available now.

Have a great weekend,

Katie and Ade

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7 Days of PHP 7 – The Complete Collection
PHP 7 was originally supposed to be released on November 12th, 2015. The Core developers weren’t comfortable releasing it just yet so they pushed the date back to November 26th, 2015. That’s fine, we all appreciate their diligence. Cal Evans had already started a “7 Days of PHP 7” countdown when they made the announcement. Because the actual release date isn’t important to spreading the word about PHP 7, he decided to continue with the countdown. So here it is, the complete “7 Days of PHP 7”. Since we’ve still got a little time, use it wisely. 

13 Tips For Making Your Blog Posts More Interesting
Over the years John Morris has found lots of great tips that have helped him with writing blog posts. Here’s 13 of the best.

Continuous Learning
In a fast-changing environment such as the web industry, education is the single most important thing to survive. This article looks at some strategies and ways to keep the knowledge of you and your team current.

Tutorials and Talks

Improving Your PHP Project Structure With Dependency Injection Part 2: Implementing It In Practice
In the previous article, we talked about Dependency Injection, the Single Responsibility Principle, and the various ways it can be implemented. Read this article on the various ways Dependency Injection can be used to improve your project structure, how Dependency Injection containers work, and how to build a Dependency Injection Container from scratch looking at a real Dependency Injection Container package that autoload dependency classes only when they are needed.

Magento Theme Development: Getting Started
In this tutorial series, we’ll be developing a Magento theme from scratch. As Magento is an enormous eCommerce CMS with tons of customisation options, Magento themes are usually considered very complex to develop, but I hope once you follow along with this series, you’ll become very familiar with Magento terminology and how things are developed in it. I’ll try to explain everything as we go along, developing each component of the page step by step.

Managing Cronjobs with Laravel
There are times when your application needs to run administrative tasks periodically on the server. Whether you want to send out emails to your users or clean up the database tables at the end of the day, you will need a task scheduling mechanism to take care of the tasks, when it’s time. Cron is a task scheduler in unix-like systems, which runs shell commands at certain intervals. This article is not meant for introducing Cron, but since it is a key concept in our tutorial, we will describe the basics of how it works.

PHP CLI and Local Setup Headaches
Josh Sampia had some trouble running across some Linux setup stuff when it comes to running cron jobs for PHP scripts, and he's passed this on here in a helpful post.

How to Validate Data
Validating data seems to be one of the most important tasks of an application. After all, you cannot trust data from external sources. So let us have a look at how to efficiently implement data validation.

Thread Carefully
As far as I can remember, PHP has always had a terrible reputation for handling very heavy (or asynchronous) tasks. For a long while if you wanted to parallelise long tasks you had to resort to forking through pcntl_fork which had its own issues, and you couldn't really handle the results of those tasks properly. In this article I'm going to dive into the pthreads extension (short for POSIX Threads).

Choosing the Right Cryptography Library for your PHP Project: A Guide
Cryptography is not magic. Adding encryption to an application doesn't automatically make it secure against attackers (especially if you aren't authenticating your ciphertext). But if you do need it to satisfy a business need, conventional wisdom states that you almost certainly should not try to design your own cryptography. Instead, you should use an existing cryptography library.

The Beginners Guide to WooCommerce: Adding Coupons - General Settings Part 1
In the previous article I gave an overview of how you can manage and track all of your coupons in WooCommerce. Today we will explore the process of adding a new coupon. I will explain how you will add a new coupon and will configure various settings that are associated with it. So, let's get to it.

Randomness in PHP – Do You Feel Lucky?
This article analyses problems related to random number generation used for cryptography purposes. PHP 5 does not provide an easy mechanism for generating cryptographically strong random numbers, while PHP 7 solves this by introducing a couple of CSPRNG functions.

Use Composer in Your WordPress Plugin or Theme
A simple tutorial showing how to use Composer in your WordPress Plugin or Theme.

Debugging Joomla with the Joomlatools Box and Z-Ray
This article introduces a new and easy way to develop and debug Joomla applications using the Joomlatools vagrant box and Z-Ray.

Improving the Security of Your User Passwords in PHP with Ultra Paranoid Computing
Usernames are distributed, passwords are weak and can be broken, personal information can be stolen and bio-metrics can be faked. What devices can you trust to keep you secure? Ultra-Paranoid Computing says none. Read this article to learn what is Ultra-Paranoid Computing and how can you implement it in PHP to make your users use more secure password entry method.

Symfony, Xdebug, and Maximum Nesting Level Issues
Here you are, developing your code based on the Symfony2 framework. Creating a form here, adding a Twig template there, until suddenly, boom! Your site doesn’t work anymore and you just have an error message in your PHP logs. What just happened? Fortunately for us developers, there is a quick way to deal with this.
News and Announcements

PHP 7.0.0 RC 7 Released
The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 7.0.0 RC 7. This is the twelfth 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.

WordPress 4.4 Beta 4
WordPress 4.4 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.

Enter Your Laravel Scripts & Apps to Win a Share of $5,500
Attention, Laravel developers! Our parent company Envato is keen to offer more Laravel items for sale on CodeCanyon, and is putting up $5,500 in prize money for the best Laravel scripts and apps submitted before 20 January 2016. Read on to find out how you can win.

FME’s Extensions Work Seamlessly with New SUPEE-6788 Security Patch
Magento is releasing regular performance updates and security patches to keep its status of being the best and most secured open source platform. With the new SUPEE-6788 security patch now available, merchants can rest assured that their stores are protected with the latest coding any ecommerce platform can promise. This new security patch has somewhat affected all of the 3rd party extensions installed in thousands of live stores. The good news is all of our extensions are updated to work seamlessly with the new security patch updated i.e. SUPEE-6788.

Forum PHP - November 23rd-24th 2015, Paris
With only a few days to go, 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. The last few tickets are on sale now.


Lately in PHP Podcast Episode 65 - Preview of PHP 7 Adoption Survey Results and the New PHP 7 Release Date
Recently a survey was started in the PHP community to ask if and when developers plan to adopt PHP 7. The results were meant to be published this month when PHP 7.0 was supposed to be released, but since the PHP 7.0 release has been postponed, this podcast/hangout presents a preview of the results so far. The PHP 7 adoption survey and the new PHP 7.0 release date are some of the main topics discussed by Manuel Lemos and Arturs Sosins in Episode 65 of the Lately in PHP podcast hangout.

Voices of the ElePHPant - Interview with Rob Allen
This week Cal Evans talks to one of the creators of the Slim framework, Rob Allen.

Laravel IO Podcast: Episode 38 - RepositoryBeanFactory
In this episode, the crew talks about architecture, over-architecting, helper functions, facades, crystal ball coding, code preppers, and more!

PHP Round Table Podcast Episode 34 - Debugging is more than var_dump()
Believe it or not, there's a lot more to debugging your PHP code than var_dump()'ing all the things. We discuss how to use debugging tools to help us comprehensively debug our codebase.

Laravel News Podcast - LN 04: Fallout 4, Homestead, and More
Features of this episode include Fallout 4, Laravel Homestead, Lets Encrypt, some new Laravel packages, tutorials, and more.

Reading and Viewing

Upgrading to PHP 7
Davey Shafik's report on Upgrading to PHP 7 has recently been published. This 80-page mini-eBook is available free (and DRM free) in ePub, Mobi, and PDF formats.

How to Send Mail Using PHP
In this PHP tutorial, you’ll learn how to send mail using PHP. Watch the tutorial below.

Interviewing Adam Culp from Zend
This week Thijs Feryn interviews Adam Culp, talking about ZendCon, SunshinePHP, SoFloPHP & ultra running.

Do I Need to Learn WordPress?
In this week’s WebDev Q&A, John Morris answers questions on text editor, source code, learning WordPress and more.

Book review: Socket.IO Cookbook
Last year Gonzalo Ayuso was asked to be a technical reviewer for the book Socket.IO Cookbook. Here he gives us his review.

7 Free Screencasts for the Drupal 8 Party 
If you already know Drupal, then learning Drupal 8 really means learning new practices and paradigms that will ultimately make you a better developer, no matter what you do. This entire track is 100% free until December 25th, 2015.


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Interesting Projects, Tools and Libraries

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Stripe PHP Library.

A PHP implementation of bower.

Asset Management for PHP.

This is a PHP library that allows interaction with Mango API.

The leading free/libre analytics platform.
Tooling for PHP - testing, code coverage and formatting.

A PHP library providing easy access to the Slack API.

Eris is a porting of Quickcheck and property-based testing tools to the PHP and PHPUnit ecosystem.

Standalone PHP library for easy devices notifications push.

Solid libraries for rapid PHP development.

An api-driven CMS without forcing you to make compromises in how you implement your site.

Phony is a PHP library for creating test doubles.

CSV data manipulation made easy in PHP.

Skeleton for Bluz, a lightweight PHP framework.
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