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October 5, 2017

Hi there PHP fans.

We start with several releases from the PHP development team this week. PHP 7.0.24 and PHP 7.1.10 are both available immediately, and the 2nd release candidate for PHP 7.2.0 is ready now for testing.

Also this week, learn how to test a middleware, using HTTP tests to ensure they are more readable and resilient to change.

The Free The Geek podcast is back after a break of several months, and Matthew Setter shares his experiences of two recent conferences he attended.

Plus the October version of php[architect] magazine is out now, titled Composing Software.

And finally, the International PHP Conference takes place at the ends of this month, in Munich, with two workshop days and two conference days. Tickets are still available.

Enjoy your weekend, 

Katie and Ade

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Four Magento Extensions for Increasing Conversion Rate
Building a successful e-commerce can be a daunting task for someone who doesn’t have the proper knowledge on what designs and features work well for the end customers. Localisation, personalisation, creativity, and flexibility are the key to success in E-commerce. Magento is considered to be the most reliable e-commerce solution, and business owners prefer to utilise this platform by customising their solutions as per requirements. In order to increase sales and conversion rate, Magento is loaded up with robust characteristics and extensions which you must have for any e-commerce store.

Best Video Background Plugins for WordPress
Video backgrounds are a hugely popular website design trend that undoubtedly adds a touch of cool to any site. More importantly, though, using a video background is a powerful way to amplify your site’s message and engage visitors. If you’ve been thinking of adding a video background to your WordPress site, here are the eight best plugins available at CodeCanyon.

The Month in WordPress: September 2017
This has been an interesting month for WordPress, as a bold move on the JavaScript front brought the WordPress project to the forefront of many discussions across the development world. There have also been some intriguing changes in the WordCamp program, so read on to learn more about the WordPress community during the month of September.

Partitioning for Concurrency in Synchronous Business Processes
The PHP landscape is getting more and more diverse. The typical PHP + MySQL combination is no longer the only way of doing things. Applications in PHP are not just fancy database wrappers anymore. The solutions we build today do far more than just model the solution-space around storing records in databases. We use queueing systems, background processing, alternative storage solutions, and sometimes message or event driven architectures. Aside from having to learn about those technologies there's more than meets the eye.

Tutorials and Talks 

How to Create a Child Theme in WordPress (And Why You Should)
As a WordPress website owner you’ve likely thought of tweaking your theme to make it appear to be unique, to add some custom functionality to it, or simply to try out different calls to action. Fortunately, there is an easy way to modify your theme’s design and functionality without worrying about losing your customisations: child themes. They allow you to preserve theme modifications and can even speed up your next WordPress development project. With this in mind, in this post, we’ll talk about what child themes are and how they work within the context of WordPress. Then, we’ll walk you through a quick tutorial to show you how you can create and customise your own child theme – the right way.

Magento 2 Config Search
Do you remember, I recently wrote about implementation of a small but handy extension for config search in Magento1? I have become so used to it, that I had to do the same for Magento 2. And since I heard many rumours about improved contribution process to M2, I also decided to make it as a contribution and get my hands “dirty”.

New in Symfony 3.4: Default Request Context for Assets
Generating URLs in a command console is tricky because the console context doesn't know anything about HTTP requests, virtual hosts and domain names. This means that generating an absolute URL in a console command will always use http://localhost as the host name.

Sending Logs From Symfony Applications To GrayLog Through RabbitMQ
Message Queues are indispensable tools of the systems which is under high load. You can split your systems to small pieces and provide communication between each other through message queue services.

Custom URLs for a Cloud Foundry Application
Now that I have my application deployed to Cloud Foundry, I need it to work with my own domain, such as rather than We can do this via the command line which is useful. To do this we need to create a domain and then we can create a route.

Testing Laravel Middleware with HTTP Tests
In this post, I’d like to demonstrate a practical example of testing a middleware using HTTP tests. Testing at the HTTP level can make your tests more resilient to change and more readable.

Implementing Laravel’s Authorisation on the Front-End
If you are using Laravel, probably you are familiar with its ACL. You can easily restrict user’s access by creating policies and binding them to the specific models. It works perfectly on the back-end, but what can we do if our app is something like an SPA?

Understanding ReactPHP Event Loop Ticks
Tick is one loop iteration where every callback in the queues has been executed synchronously and in order. ReactPHP event loop implementation has a method to schedule a callback to be invoked on a future iteration of the event loop.

Data Structure and Algorithm - Merge Sort
In this tutorial, we will learn a simple sorting algorithm - Merge Sort.

PHP Benchmarks: OPcache vs OPcache w/ Performance Tweaks
A few weeks ago I wrote a short article which highlighted GUI solutions for monitoring and controlling PHP OPcache. We all know that enabling PHP OPcache provides massive performances gains (see benchmark graph at the end of article). In addition, since PHP 5.5, OPcache is now enabled by default. With these facts in mind, is it possible to squeeze a little more performance out of PHP by tweaking OPcache’s directives? This is what I’ll set out to answer.

Converting a Composer Dependency To Git for Editing
I'm adding a new feature to ZF's Problem-Details component and it's easiest to do this within the context of the application I'm developing. The component lives in vendor/zendframework/zend-problem-details and was installed using composer require so doesn't have its own git repository as the distribution zip file was used to install it.

What’s New in PHP 7.2
Currently in RC3, PHP 7.2 is planned to be released on November 30. The new release is coming with new features, functions, and improvements that will allow us to write better code. In this post, I will introduce some of the most interesting language features coming with PHP 7.2.

Stripe Payments in Laravel: The Ultimate Guide
Stripe is one of the most popular payment merchants for web, but information about Laravel integration is pretty fragmented, so I decided to write a really long tutorial about this topic.

BotMan Quicktip - How to Debug Facebook Webhook Errors
While setting up BotMan with Facebook Messenger I see a lot of people have problems to configure the needed webhook. This is why I want to share some information about how to debug this problem.

How Do I Deploy My Symfony API - Part 1 - Development
In this blog post I'm going to share the deploy strategy I've used to deploy an API-centric application to AWS for a customer. This is the first post from a series of posts that will describe the whole deploy process from development to production.
News and Announcements

PHP 7.1.10 Release Announcement
The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 7.1.10. This is a bugfix release, with several bug fixes included. All PHP 7.1 users are encouraged to upgrade to this version.

PHP 7.0.24 Released
The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 7.0.24. Several bugs have been fixed. All PHP 7.0 users are encouraged to upgrade to this version.

PHP 7.2.0 Release Candidate 2 Released
The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 7.2.0 RC2. This release is the second Release Candidate for 7.2.0. All users of PHP are encouraged to test this version carefully, and report any bugs and incompatibilities in the bug tracking system.

Laravel 5.5.14 Released
Laravel v5.5.14 is now released and available. This is a decent sized release with a mix of new features, changes, and bug fixes.

Atlas.Orm 2.0.0-beta1 Released
I am very happy to announce that I have just released 2.0.0-beta1 of Atlas, a data mapper for your SQL persistence model. You can get it via Composer as atlas/orm. This new major version requires PHP 7.1 and uses typehints, but best of all, it is backwards compatible with existing 1.x generated Atlas classes!

FluentDOM 7.0, The Next Step
FluentDOM 7.0 is out, so what has changed? Well, the FluentDOM namespace got a little crowded so I moved all the DOM child classes into FluentDOM\DOM, made the Creator a top level class and collected the utility classes. If you're updating you might need to change some imports. FluentDOM now requires PHP 7 and uses scalar type hints. In other words, lots of cleanup.

International PHP Conference - 23rd-27th October 2017, Munich
The International PHP Conference is the worlds first PHP conference and stands since more than a decade for top-notch pragmatic expertise in PHP and web technologies. Internationally renowned experts from the PHP industry meet up with PHP users and developers from large and small companies. Two days of power workshops and two conference days with over 70 international speakers and experts. Tickets are on sale now.

PHP[World] Conference - November 15-16th 2017, Washington DC
Four years ago the team behind php[architect] magazine wanted to create a conference designed to bring all the PHP communities together. Hence, the idea of php[world] was born. It's an event that is intended to bring the entire world of PHP together in one place, to encourage cross-pollination of ideas and sharing of ideals. Tickets are on sale now.

Longhorn PHP Conference - 19th-21st April 2018, Austin Texas
Longhorn PHP is a 3-day conference in Austin, Texas to help PHP developers level up their craft and connect with the larger PHP community. Our main goal as a conference is to equip attendees to be better developers. If you work with developers or alongside developers, we'll showcase tools and techniques to level up your ability to solve the problems you face every day. Early Bird tickets are now available using the Kickstarter Campaign.


Laravel News Podcast LN46: Laravel 5.5 Releases, Dynamic Templates, and Community Surveys
In episode 46 of the Laravel News Podcast, Jake and Michael discuss several new Laravel 5.5 minor releases, dynamic templates, and community surveys.

Voices of the ElePHPant - Interview with Megan Lalk
In this episode, Cal talks with Megan Lalks about managing the Cake PHP community and running CakeFest.

Full Stack Radio Podcast Episode 73: Justin Jackson - Making a Living From Your Own Projects
In this episode, Adam is joined by Justin Jackson to talk about how to start working towards making a full-time living from your own projects.

MageTalk Magento Podcast #144 - “There’s a Doc-Shaped Heart in All of Us”
Phillip drinks some hater-ade while speculating on the development of the one-touch feature by Creatuity. 

Free The Geek Podcast: Episode 27 - Write the Docs Prague, PHP Developer Day 2017, Meeting People, and a Book Promo!
In this episode, I'm very excited to be back after so long away from the mic! I'm so excited that I'm overflowing, effervescing even with ideas, enthusiasm, and passion to be back behind the mic with you. But seriously, in this episode, I'm sharing with you my experiences from two excellent conferences: Write the Docs (Prague) and PHP Developer Day 2017 (Dresden). After that, I going to share what I learned about meeting people at both events, getting over nervousness and caution, and making the most of the opportunity that communities are. And right at the end, there's a cheeky book promotion. Grab your favourite beverage, put your feet up, and let's ponder on these questions, and so many others that go along with them.

Zend Framework Quick Bites Episode 39 - What Packages Do You Use in Your Zend Framework Projects?
In this episode, I’m curious to find out what packages you use in your Zend Framework projects. This, as I go into in the episode, was prompted by what Jan Burkl said in his Middleware talk at PHP Day 2017, in Dresden, last weekend. So I’m keen to find out how your projects are composed, what packages you use by default, when Zend Framework (1, 2, or Expressive) are the core framework that underpins your application.

PHP Ugly Podcast #75: The Elephpant In The Room
Topics include the release of Lumen 5.5 and domain registrars.

Reading and Viewing

Cloudways Interview -  “Getting Involved In Drupal Has Truly Changed My Career,” Bob Kepford Talks On Drupal
Cloudways interviews Bob Kepford, Lead Architect at Mediacurrent and the brilliant mind behind the weekly Drupal newsletter TheWeeklyDrop. Learn more about how TheWeeklyDrop came into existence and the inspiration behind it.

php[architect] Magazine October 2017 - Composing Software
You could build your next application completely from scratch. Many of us were used to doing so early in our careers and could reasonably manage the list of requires and includes for our sites to function. Software is much more complex today and when you’re mixing external code with your own classes, tracking dependencies is no longer a trivial task. This month, we have articles on using Composer effectively to track your software dependencies.

State of Drupal presentation (September 2017)
Yesterday, I shared my State of Drupal presentation at DrupalCon Vienna. In addition to sharing my slides, I wanted to provide some more detail on how Drupal is evolving, who Drupal is for, and what I believe we should focus on.

Programming in HTML and PHP: Coding for Scientists and Engineers (by David R. Brooks, published 11th September 2017)
This concise and accessible textbook will enable readers to quickly develop the working skills necessary to solve computational problems in a server-based environment, using HTML and PHP.


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Interesting Projects, Tools and Libraries

A money and currency library for PHP.

A learning management plugin for WordPress, which provides the smoothest platform for helping you teach anything.

A free open source user management system for websites of organisations and groups.

Google API Extensions for PHP (gax-php) is a set of modules which aids the development of APIs for clients based on gRPC and Google API conventions.

PHP Wrapper Library for the Harvest API.

Drush is a command-line shell and scripting interface for Drupal, a veritable Swiss Army knife designed to make life easier for those who spend their working hours hacking away at the command prompt.

Pug.php adds inline PHP scripting support to the Pug template compiler.

Mocking and Testing for PHP Use a single JSON file to generate mock data and as an integration test assertion.

A free, online and open source accounting software designed for small businesses and freelancers.

A free and open source web deployment system based on Laravel 5.5.

Helps discover good candidates for refactoring.

The most popular open source electronic health records and medical practice management solution.

A PHP 5.4+ library to read and process e-mails over IMAP.

This package provides a trait that adds sortable behaviour to an Eloquent model.

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encrypt php scripts 
Protect your PHP Code
Why not try SourceGuardian 11. Click here to download a 14 Day Trial copy. Protect your code using Windows, Linux or Mac and run everywhere with our free Loaders.

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