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php[architect] — October 2013

Get this month’s code package: October 2013 Code package

Automating Resource Concatenation, Optimization, and Caching

In this article, I present the implementation of a complete solution that you can integrate into your PHP development workflow to support automatic resource concatenation, optimization, and caching. The solution consists of build-time scripts, a simple PHP utility function, and a few Apache directives. I’ll explain the role each component plays in our solution and how they work together to support the aforementioned features. I will assume you are familiar with website performance optimization, Apache configuration, shell scripting, and Makefiles. –by Albert Almeida

Zend Server: Not Just a PHP Stack

Creating and running PHP code isn’t difficult and can be done in a variety of ways. However, as PHP is growing along with its frameworks, it is becoming more and more complex to understand the internals of your own PHP applications. This problem can be overcome with Zend Server. Zend Server is not just a PHP stack, but can also help you in monitoring, codetracing, debugging, and offloading complex business logic in your application. –by Jeroen van Dijk

PHP and Varnish: Getting the Best from Your Web Servers

A common problem with popular websites is that, as the site traffic grows, the infrastructure that it runs on must grow with it. In order to be cost-effective, it’s a requirement to keep your server costs to a minimum and make the best use of any kit that you have provisioned. In the article that follows, we’ll look at some common problems and solutions and then see how PHP and Varnish can be used together to get the best bang for your buck. –by Adam Bidwell

Varnish and ESI

ESI (Edge Side Includes) is a method to dynamically insert a fragment of content into a parent document before it is delivered to the client. It is invoked when you insert a special tag into a parent HTML document. This tag tells Varnish to make an additional request (satisfied by cache or sent to a back end) and replace the tag in the parent document with the response body of that request. ESI can be nested up to a limit which is controlled by the `max_esi_includes` service setting. So that’s pretty cool, but what can we do with it? –by Justin Shanks

App Engine on PHP: An Introduction

For many years now, cloud infrastructures –particularly Platform-As-A-Service (PaaS) solutions– have empowered businesses to scale to unforeseen dimensions. Companies like Facebook, Google, and Amazon would not be able to withstand such an enormous amount of traffic without an elastic cloud solution. PHP is certainly not a stranger to PaaS solutions with companies such as: Heroku, AppFog, CloudFoundry, and others providing a highly reliable and scalable environment on which to run your PHP web applications. Now there is a new player in the field. In this post, I will present an introduction to Google’s offering: App Engine for PHP. –by Luis Atencio

The Confident Coder

The Confident Coder column is my reflection on the things that I had to do to make sure I never feared a code review again. So many times we get lost in the flurry of new frameworks, features, and tools that we forget our roots. The _Confident Coder_ is all about building a strong, accurate, confident base in PHP. Each month, I’ll examine some core principals and tenets in PHP, explain how to make the best choices when faced with common programming scenarios, and use pure PHP to solve everything. No frameworks, no libraries; just solid core PHP. I look forward to joining you on this journey as I explore the simplicities (and sometimes complexities!) of plain PHP. Let’s never fear showing our code again. Welcome to Confident Coding. –by Aaron Saray

finally{}: Scary Statistics

Perhaps these statistics aren’t scary to you, but they at least should shake you up a little bit. This month, I want to focus on some statistics that I pulled when preparing a keynote for the Northeast PHP conference earlier. As I mentioned, these aren’t necessarily scary and hopefully you actually already know a number of these statistics, but if you don’t, you might be in for a shock. –by Eli White

Editorial: Tangible Knowledge

I don’t know what it is, but there is something about a solid, printed page that makes it so much easier for me to read and study. I really like the feeling of browsing through, turning each page. There is something wonderful about consuming knowledge from a tangible resource that you don’t need a screen and electricity for. If you are nodding your head while reading this, then I have some amazing news. –by Beth Tucker Long

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