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October 22, 2020

Welcome to the latest edition of

This week sees releases in PHP, Laravel, Symfony and WordPress.

Have a good week,

Stay safe and well.

All the best,

Ade and Katie

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Mesmerize Review: A Flexible and Multipurpose WordPress Theme
Listed among the most popular themes on, Mesmerize WordPress theme has more than 40.000 active installs. Its creators are also behind another popular theme Colibri (top 15 on, and the Colibri WordPress builder. In this review, I would show the (free and paid) features that make this theme the choice of more than 40,000 users.

Rob Pike's Rules of Programming
Check out these five programming rules.

Going Deep
I recently stumbled across an over 5 year old comment on Hacker News about performance.

Who Dropped PHP from Top Programming Languages That Pay Ultra-High Salaries shared recently an article about programming languages that pay ultra-high salaries, written by Nick Kolakowski. The article used “Burning Glass” data, which collects and analyses millions of job postings from across the country, US of course.

Issue Bumping
I often get notifications on GitHub where someone comments “Any updates?” on an old issue thread. The answer is always “No”. Updates are in the issue.

Tutorials and Talks

What Is A WordPress Child Theme?
In our article “What is a WordPress Theme?” we described how a theme is like set of clothes for your WordPress site, controlling everything about how it looks. So then, what is a child theme in WordPress, in the context of this same analogy?

Convert and Store Base64 Encoded Files in Laravel
Laravel makes it easy to handle file uploads from a request that's multipart/form-data encoded. You can access uploaded files through a Request instance, and it has helper methods to store files easily. It also has a bunch of rules to validate incoming files. For example, you can verify that the incoming file is an image or matches a MIME type. It even has a convenient rule to validate that the image meets specific dimension constraints.

Switching to Windows for Local WordPress Development
As you may have noticed from reading our blog, we’ve highly favoured Mac and Linux for WordPress development. And we’re not alone – through my very scientific and thorough research, most other WordPress developers seem to be using Mac as well. And that’s for good reason – Mac “Just Works” when setting it up for development. It has PHP and Ruby installed, has a Linux-ish command line, and it looks great!

How to Include Comments in CSS
Comments in CSS are generally used to explain the purpose of style CSS properties are declared.

How to Use The Apache Web Server to Install and Configure a Website
Every so often I find it good to take a step back and go through the basics. It not only helps to ground me as a tech writer, but it helps a lot of people who are just learning the ropes of whatever piece of technology I'm talking about. This time it's all about the Apache web server, a piece of software that's been around for decades, happily serving up small and large websites without fail. 

Creating a Multi-User To-Do Application with Laravel JetStream
Laravel is a modern PHP framework that allows developers to build web applications of all sizes. In this tutorial, I'll share what I've learned in the last week while working on a hackaton project with Laravel + JetStream. We'll build a simple to-do application using Livewire actions under a secured area.

Using Laravel's New Upsert Feature in the Query Builder/Eloquent
You've probably come across a situation before where you needed to do some kind of mass update or sync with external data. A naive way you might approach this could be similar to below.

How to Make Fewer HTTP Requests in WordPress
In this post, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about how to make fewer HTTP requests on WordPress.

How to Implement PHP Report Grouping that Work with Data Retrieved from Any Type of Data Source
Many Web sites display reports of data eventually retrieved from databases or other data sources. Usually those reports show the data that was retrieved. In some cases, the values that represent values calculated using values of the report itself, like for instance the total of column values.

How We Stopped Merging Pull Requests
What comes before merging a pull request? Code-review, feedback from developers, and fixes to make the reviewer happy. After that, we only need the tests, coding standard, PHPStan, and Rector to pass in the CI.

Using Laravel's Policies and Route Model Binding without Eloquent
I made an assumption. I, for no reason at all, always assumed Laravel's Policy authorization and Route Model Binding functionality were only meant to be used with Eloquent models. Of course they work with Eloquent, but turns they work with any class. I wanna take a look at how and why you would even want to do this. Come along for the journey if that sounds interesting!
News and Announcements 

PHP 8.0.0 Release Candidate 2 Available For Testing
The PHP team is pleased to announce the ninth testing release of PHP 8.0.0, Release Candidate 2. At this time, we're not planning to adjust the GA date, however this may change during the course of the RC cycle. 

WordPress 5.6 Beta 1
WordPress 5.6 Beta 1 is now available for testing! This software is still in development, so we recommend that you run this version on a test site.

Laravel 8.11 Released
The Laravel team released 8.11 this week with two new job middleware, preserving eloquent collection type when calling fresh, and the latest new features, fixes, and changes in the 8.x branch.

Symfony 5.2.0-BETA2 Released
Symfony 5.2.0-BETA2 has just been released with a list of the most important changes.

ScotlandPHP Conference - 13-14th November 2020, Edinburgh
Join the worldwide PHP community for the fifth ScotlandPHP conference later this year. There will be 13 talks presented across 2 tracks, along with 3 workshops, to help you enhance your current skills and find out what's next for PHP and beyond. Tickets are on sale now.

SymfonyWorld 2020: Discover the Latest Cconference Speakers Announced!
Only 6 weeks left before SymfonyWorld 2020! We are so happy to meet you online from December 1st to 5th for our first ever 100% online event. We’ve already announced the first selected conference speakers who will be speaking online at SymfonyWorld 2020. Read the latest speakers’ announcement. Today, we're delighted to unveil more conference speakers.

PHP Online Conference Japan 12th December 2020
An online event will be held on December 12th 2020.

Podcasts and Vlogs

Voices of the ElePHPant - Interview with Michael Lochemem
This week Cal Evans chats with author of Functional Programming in PHP Michael Lochemem.
Full Stack Radio Podcast Episode 150: Secret Screencasting Tips & Behind the Scenes of Tailwind CSS 2.0
In this episode, Adam and Jack talk about all the secret tips you need to know to screencast like a pro. Then they go deep into some of the things Adam is working on for Tailwind CSS 2.0, like the new default config file.  

PHPUgly #210: The PHPUgly Anthem
This week on the podcast, Eric, John, and Thomas have the WORLD PREMIERE of the brand new PHPUgly Anthem. They also talk about new docker set ups, migrating from Laravel 5.7 to 8, queuevms and more...

North Meets South Web Podcast Episode 84: Tangential Promotions, Stripe Customer Portal in Practice and Handling Plan Changes
In this episode, Jake and Michael discuss Jake's new job title and responsibilities, using Stripes Checkout and Customer Portal in practice, as well as approaches to handling plan downgrades for resourced plans.

php[architect] Podcast: Editor Bytes – Parallel Running
Editor-in-chief Oscar Merida looks into the October 2020 issue, Parallel Running.

Reading and Viewing

A Week of Symfony #720 (12-18th October 2020)
This week, the second beta of Symfony 5.2 was released, fixing and polishing some of its new features. Meanwhile, the SymfonyWorld 2020 online conference announced new speakers. Finally, the Symfony project turned 15 this week and appointed four new members to its Core Team.

Video: What’s Coming in PhpStorm 2020.3 – Episode 1
A new PhpStorm EAP cycle has begun and we have already announced many new features, including full support for PHP 8, PHPStan and Psalm working out of the box, Search Everywhere improvements, splitting the editor with drag and drop, and many others.

In Depth Laravel Course
In Depth Laravel is a passionately designed video course for laravel artisans from beginning to advanced.

Web Development Master Class Certification Bundle
It has never been easier to teach yourself how to become a developer. Whether it’s mobile apps or something for the web, we’re in an age where having access to tools and teaching is only a mouse-click away. 

Save 94% Off the Cost of This Essential PHP Coding Bundle
Today's highlighted deal comes via our Online Courses section of the Neowin Deals store, where for only a limited time, you can save 94% off this Essential PHP Coding Bundle. Get started in web development by learning the fundamentals of PHP coding and practising object-oriented programming.


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Interesting Projects, Tools and Libraries

Provides a GitHub repository template for a PHP library, using GitHub actions.

Wallabag is a self-hostable PHP application allowing you to not miss any content anymore. Click, save and read it when you can. It extracts content so that you can read it when you have time.

This tool is used to build and maintain browscap files.

A command line code generator for Drupal.

Transform your WordPress site into a modern GraphQL server.

The Bugsnag Notifier for Symfony gives you instant notification of errors and exceptions in your Symfony PHP applications.

A package for building Admin-Interfaces that help maintaining the data of your applications. It provides an intuitive interface and the tools needed to manage your project's Users, Models and free Forms for Pages, Settings etc.

A lightweight and simple object oriented PHP Router.

A Composer tool to show unused Composer dependencies by scanning your code.

PHP-IMAP is a wrapper for common IMAP communication without the need to have the php-imap module installed/enabled. 

This is a framework agnostic cron jobs scheduler that can be easily integrated with your project or run as a standalone command scheduler.

Powerful open source CMS that allows you to create professional websites and scalable web applications.

Please help us by clicking to our sponsor:

 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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