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Machine Learning and OpenAPI

April 2020

PHP was built for HTTP and its stateless request-response cycle. But that doesn’t mean it’s only suitable for the web. In this issue, we dive into working with requests, using OpenAPI to document and build an API, and explore how you can already use machine learning algorithms today with PHP.

The Business Of PHP

By Sherri Wheeler

Among the many strategic decisions a business needs to make, one which we as developers are involved with is the choice of tech stack—the tools and technologies used for software development. When choosing a backend language, PHP presents its list of strengths and weaknesses; this article examines these from a business perspective.

Hands-On Machine Learning With PHP, Part One

By Liam Wiltshire

When you’re dealing with data, sooner or later, someone is likely to ask about machine learning. Start researching machine learning, and you’d be forgiven for thinking you need to use Python or R, TensorFlow, or PyTorch. This doesn’t have to be the case! With PHP and some basic knowledge, we can start to experiment and learn from our data without needing to learn new languages or tools. This article looks at some common machine learning problems such as classification and clustering and, using a language we know and an excellent Composer package, php-ai/php-ml, to get you up and running with your data experiments.

OpenAPI: More Than Just Code

By Matt Trask

Have you ever worked in a place where that uses different API standards across teams? How about spending time debating what your API should look like after you start developing it? This article covers a specification in the API space that helps teams spend more time designing and developing APIs instead of debating and going around in circles. The OpenAPI Specification and its tooling ecosystem give your team the ability to work with all aspects of the business to write a clear API from the beginning and provide your developers with a clear path forward.

Education Station: Anatomy of a Web Request

By Chris Tankersley

One of the things that drew me to PHP during my formative programming years was the quick turnaround time for trying something. You type something into an editor, save the file, and refresh your browser. Through the power of the web, your browser presents you with an error saying you mistyped a function name. Welcome to ninety percent of my day!

The Workshop: Easy CLI PHP with Symfony Console 5

By Joe Ferguson

Writing console commands with PHP is something I have always taken for granted. I started my career having learned Linux and command line server configuration and was very comfortable writing small applications with BASH scripts, Python, and even dabbling in C and Microsoft Qbasic. These commands copied files to a backup location, process batched data records in CSV, XML, and various other formats. By the time I discovered PHP, the community had just seen early builds of PHP 5, and the entire ecosystem was in for a shock. Once comfortable with PHP, I began writing small CLI commands in PHP instead of Python (or BASH). It was quite liberating to flex the same language for both web and command line applications.

History and Computing: Silicon Valley Takedown

By Edward Barnard

On November 18, 2019, U.S. Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen laid out a game plan dealing with tech giants such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google actively killing competition and forming monopolies. Congress has discussed the possibility of needing new laws to deal with advancing technology. Rosen’s speech, by contrast, showed us our current laws have already proven themselves up to the task of returning high tech to being fair and competitive. Should “big tech” change in a significant fundamental way, that affects all of us.

Security Corner: Buzzword Bingo

By Eric Mann

Buzzwords permeate security. It’s vital for everyone working in application development to have a solid understanding of what the most common buzzwords are—partly so they can protect against misusing them.

Community Corner: PHP Adelaide: PHP Down Under

By Eric Van Johnson

This month, we travel halfway around the world, well at least I do; this might be right around the corner for you. This month we find ourselves in the land down under, where women glow, and men plunder, well that’s how the song goes anyways, Adelaide, Australia.

finally{}: The One About COVID-19

By Eli White

It’s hard to focus on anything else at this point, so let’s talk pandemic. The entire world is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic right now, and we’ve only just begun. We have no idea what the next few weeks, months, year(s) will bring as this continues to progress.

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