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php[architect] — December 2015

Not to steal Eli’s thunder, but this has year has been filled with many milestones for the PHP community. It’s a theme that echoed throughout php[world], our conference that just wrapped up. If you are a PHP developer, you can learn a lot from the Drupal, WordPress, Magento, and other applications. Likewise, venturing outside your comfort zone in Symfony, Laravel, or Zend Framework will expose you to new ideas, new solutions to similar problems, and—most importantly—new friends and collaborators. If you’re beginning to think about resolutions for the new year, I challenge you to attend new meetups near you. Go to that Laravel meetup, check out the WordPress one, or even head over to the JavaScript one near you!

Build Data Analysis and Visualization Tools with PHP

When performing complex data analysis on the back end, using PHP alone is not sufficient. In this article, I discuss how to build data analysis web apps in PHP that launch analyses on the server using languages such as R, report progress to the user in real time, and display the results interactively. by Robert Aboukhalil

Grinding out Profiled (and Faster) PHP Code

Most web programmers are familiar with testing and optimizing JavaScript and CSS. While lacking in diverse tools, optimizing the server side can also be part of the standard workflow. Learn how to take your PHP code to the next level by profiling the code only you can see to optimize the code that starts it all. by Wil Wade

Switch to MySQLnd Already

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MySQL has been the long-standing de facto backend data store for PHP applications, and I imagine it will be for a very long time. Traditionally, connecting from PHP to MySQL has been very stable and available out of the box on many platforms. New and legacy applications enjoy this stability; in many cases, this is the main reason many teams do not require bleeding-edge or at least recent stable release upgrades of their stack. However, there are a number of compelling reasons why applications would need an upgrade—in this case switching our php-mysql/php-mysqli connector from libmysql to mysqlnd. by Jervin Real

Clever, Secure, Team-Friendly Templating with FigDice

In larger projects, potential misunderstandings between developers and UI designers often become a critical issue. We will see in this article how the innovative approach of FigDice can facilitate such collaborations, all the while ensuring the readability and security of the application. by Gabriel Zerbib

Education Station: Plates—the Templating Engine Designed with PHP in Mind

If you’ve used PHP for any length of time, you’ll know that when it comes to working with presentation or view layers, you have a near abundance of choice. From the veteran Smarty and the newer Twig template engines, to a wide variety of options in between, such as Blade, Mustache, and Volt. No matter which way you look at it, we have a lot of high quality options to choose from. But my question to you this month is, is there room for yet another player? Well given the way we use PHP—at least anecdotally—there is. In this month’s column I’m going to show you one from one of the most reputable PHP groups around, The League of Extraordinary Packages; we’re going to have a tour of their templating engine: Plates by Matthew Setter

Leveling Up: The Power of Interfaces

Interfaces are one of the most powerful and yet completely underused features in PHP. It may be difficult to understand why a feature in PHP that technically doesn’t do anything can be one of the most powerful concepts in object-oriented programming. However, learning to love and embrace the power of interfaces in your code can help you bring your OOP skills to the next level. by David Stockton

Community Corner: Q & A with Rafael Dohms

This month, I talk with Rafael Dohms on the PHP community in Brazil and Amsterdam. As always, included is our roundup of notable community conferences and events from the past month and coming up in 2016. by Joe Devon

Security Corner: The Importance of Effective Validation

There’s a principle that’s key to protecting any web application out there, regardless of the language that it’s implemented in. It’s a basic mantra that, when applied on a regular basis, can help protect you and your users: Filter Input, Escape Output (or FIEO). While these two steps are good practices to abide by, I’d like to suggest another step in the process that can help protect your system even more: input validation. by Chris Cornutt

finally{}: Another Year has Passed

Once again we find ourselves at the end of the year. A time for reflection on where we’ve been, and look forward to where we may yet go. This has been a busy year for the PHP community. It includes a lot of drama (which I will avoid rehashing with you today), but ends with an amazing release. PHP7 is just around the corner for us and should be released by the end of the year. by Eli White

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