Archive for the 'news' Category

Cup o’ Code - Now EVERY Tuesday

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

Thats right, mark your calendars: CFPHP and Cup o’ Soul will be hosting Cup o’ Code sessions every Tuesday night! Previously we were planning on reserving the conference room whenever it was available, but they like us so much that they have invited us back on a regular schedule.

Cup o’ Soul offers a fantastic environment for us to meet informally and chat over great coffee and food. They also offer free wi-fi so be sure to bring a laptop.

As always, the coffee will be on us!

One for the History Books

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

If you were to look at PlanetPHP right now, you would notice that the five most recent articles posted are about the same thing: the FastCGI extension by Microsoft for their IIS web server. Finally, PHP developers who develop for the Windows platform can have a reliable, production-ready home for their code. Previously, the only way to get PHP to run under IIS was to run PHP as a binary. This single-threaded approach was a serious performance bottleneck for Windows-based PHP applications for many years. Now those days are gone…

So what is one to make of this? Has Microsoft given up on their own server-side language? Hardly. But they certainly have made a noticeable effort to improve their relationship with PHP developers.

Just a few days ago, the MS Web Developers Summit took place. Here, Microsoft invited some of the most prominent PHP developers in our community out for a few days in hopes to reach out and create open relationships with developers of other platforms.

They didn’t stop there either…

A few days before the Summit buzz, people were blogging about Microsoft’s first-ever PHP extension for their MSSQL Server. Apparently, the previous extension was almost completely unusable.

One year before that, I made a post briefly mentioning Zend and Microsoft working together to create a better environment for PHP to run under on Windows. We are now beginning to see the true results of their combined efforts.

Folks, things are changing. We can now see that two very different and competitive companies, with two very different visions, can not only co-exist in the same industry, but can also work together to improve their platforms for their developers. Being entirely a LAMP devloper, I can’t say that I have much practical PHP + Windows experience. I’m curious if anyone from the group has any? This would make for a fantastic presentation or discussion if anyone is interested.

PHP 5.3 Is Here!

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

If you are the kind of person who likes to ride the bleeding edge of software (like myself), go get PHP 5.3 from snaps. There are a handful of features that developers have been craving for quite some time; namely:

  • ¬†Namespaces
  • ¬†Improved Static Members and Methods
  • A Brand New INI Parser
  • Better Support for SSL
  • An Updated Version of Perl Compatible Regular Expressions

This is, of course, not an official release but rather a developer preview for testing. The official 5.3 release isn’t scheduled for any time this year. Regardless it’s a wise move to start getting familiar with the new technologies now!

Site Updates

Monday, September 17th, 2007

It’s time for upgrades!

If you have been following the discussions in the group, you already know that many things are in the works. We will be progressively rolling out several upgrades in the coming months. One of the first announcements is the addition of our forum. This is intended to address the limitations of our current discussion on Google Groups. The location of the forum is discuss.cfphp.org. Yes, the general discussion group is still available, and will be until people stop using it all together.

Next in line is a much more organized system of event announcement. Since Yahoo! is developer friendly, we have decided to use the Upcoming.org website to organize the events and to handle notifications. Central Florida PHP has an official Upcoming Group that you can add yourself to if you use the service. There is an RSS feed for those who are interested; however they will be prominently displayed on the website as well.

That segues nicely into the next point of discussion: a new design. As of now, this is the least concrete idea currently in the works. If anyone has something to contribute in this category, please make yourself known.

Next Meeting is September 29th

Saturday, September 8th, 2007

Our next meeting will be held on Saturday September 29, 2007. That gives us exactly two weeks to start thinking about a new topic that the group is interested in hearing about and a presenter the group is interested in hearing from.

Head over to the CFPHP Google Group to discuss the next upcoming meeting!

PHP 5.2.4 Release Announcement

Friday, August 31st, 2007

An official announcement was made today on the PHP.net website that PHP 5.2.4 has been released. According to the website, this release includes over 120 bug fixes which resolves a handful of minor security vulnerabilities. All users of PHP are encouraged to upgrade to this release.

The release announcement and the changelog are both available on the official PHP website.

PHP4 End of Life Announcement

Saturday, July 14th, 2007

The community wanted it and evidently the guys upstairs did too. I just read on Slashdot that PHP has announced that PHP 4 is on its way out by the end of the year.

This is big news and will affect quite a bit of people — specifically project developers and web hosts. Read the discussion that follows for the community’s [somewhat biased] reaction. As an active PHP5 (and sometimes still PHP4) developer, this is wonderful news. PHP 5 has been around for the past three years and has been stable for the past two years. A lot of hard work has been put into making PHP 5 a faster, more stable, and more secure platform for web developers to use.

According to the official PHP announcement:

The PHP development team hereby announces that support for PHP 4 will continue until the end of this year only. After 2007-12-31 there will be no more releases of PHP 4.4. We will continue to make critical security fixes available on a case-by-case basis until 2008-08-08. Please use the rest of this year to make your application suitable to run on PHP 5.

Migration guides also exist to make the transition easier:

Two Podcasts You Must Subscribe To

Monday, July 9th, 2007

If you’re not into the whole Podcasting thing yet, you need to be. Free education (and entertainment) is very hard to come by these days and when it comes along you should embrace it fully.

I’ve subscribed to many PHP related podcasts over the last two years or so and only two really stand out amongst the rest. It only seems natural that they come from two of the industry’s most influential leaders: Zend and php|architect.

PHP Abstract is a newer podcast offered by Zend’s Developer Zone. They have short episodes (usually no longer than 10 minutes) that are very informative for most PHP developers. At the time of this writing, they have released nine episodes all of which I’ve listened to at least twice. Zend has worked very hard lately at putting a focus on helping out the community and this is just another great resource that is freely made available to us.

The Pro::PHP podcast, presented by php|architect, is another podcast hosted by Sean Coates and my good friend Paul Reinheimer. Pro::PHP is offers more of a casual, less formal approach to podcasts. You can really have fun while listening to Sean and Paul’s conversation and still learn quite a bit. Also, you can expect these podcasts to be considerably longer than those in PHP Abstract (usually averaging about 30 minutes in length).

Make sure to add these to your iTunes (or whatever client you happen to use). You certainly won’t regret it!

The Time Has Come: Go PHP 5

Friday, July 6th, 2007

It’s common knowledge that PHP 5 is the latest and greatest release of PHP. It’s object model being completely revamped, instances passed by reference, the reflection API, and the piles and piles of language improvements over the years speak volumes of the stability of our beloved language. So what gives? Why is PHP 4 still around, actively developed and supported to this day?

It’s quite obvious that you can’t just abandon a version’s users once something new and improved has come out — that wouldn’t be profitable for the community. Instead, do as all good communities do: train, educate, and allow some time for upgrading. Now three years have passed since PHP 5 was announced and it’s time to move on.

GoPHP5.org is a site/movement that have set a firm date to stop community support of PHP 4 and to make the minimum version requirement to 5.2. Their proposed date is February 5, 2008. Although the site is a bin minimal and doesn’t provide any resources beyond a list of supportive hosts and applications, I still feel that this movement is a good one and carries with it great potential. I made the switch to coding entirely PHP 5 about one year ago and I have yet to run into any problems whatsoever.

What is the communities reaction to the thought of dropping support for PHP 4?

Zend Framework Hits 1.0

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007

Just shy of the two year anniversary, Zend Technologies has released version 1.0.0 of the Zend Framework for production use.

If you haven’t checked it out yet, the Zend Framework is a rock-solid framework written in PHP 5 that offers solutions for most of the issues web developers face on a day-to-day basis. It is completely open source and falls under a very loose license and their contributers must also agree to and fill out a Contributer License Agreement which is based on Apache’s. In other words, feel free to pick it up and use it in your projects without fear of IP violations.

While using it, you may notice that it has a PEAR-like feeling to it (even though they don’t use all of PEAR’s coding standards throughout the library). As a result, its “use at will” architecture allows you to load only the necessary components in your application as well as insures that it plays well with other frameworks.

One criticism that I have with the framework is that there is no project creation utility, specifically for the MVC libraries. Granted, this slightly goes against the deliberate openness of the framework, but MVCs aren’t noted for their ease of set-up. This could be a bit premature since the framework is still a little young. I’m sure that we will see it evolve quite a bit over the years.

I’d love to see someone [else] put together a talk about this so everyone can benefit from a full presentation of the code. Let’s hear what you think!