PHP Annotated Monthly – February 2015

PHP Annotated Monthly Our monthly magazine is back! The February edition of PHP Annotated Monthly brings you news from the past month on Elephant world, highlighted by Anderson, our developer advocate.

Grab a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy reading our selection of important news around PHP and the web.


All major versions were updated last month with 5.4.37, 5.5.21 and 5.6.5. The list of fixes can be found in the changelog.

In the RFC department, it seems PHP 7 will be getting return types. We’ll now be able to tell users of our functions what they can expect. Nullables RFC adds to that whether we can return null or not. Last month highlighted Scalar Type Hints RFC is on voting until 19th February. Interesting evolutions again!

There was already an RFC out there that proposed removing deprecated functionality from PHP, and it was accepted. It seems with PHP7, this will happen. The ereg and mysql extensions will be dropped, as well as several functions, settings and function parameters.

It’s always good to refresh our PHP knowledge. Chimezie Michael wrote a short post about single quotes vs. double quotes in PHP. And Daniel Gheorghe wrote about 3 PHP loops gotchas that we’ve all fallen into at some point.

According to RedMonk, PHP is the number 3 most widely used programming language on StackOverflow and GitHub. Only JavaScript and Java rank higher. No shame in being third, right?

Frameworks and Tools

Laravel 5 was released! Among the new features we can highlight new directory structure, Socialite, Flysystem, Elixir, Scheduler, Contracts and obviously updates on Blade, Commands, Events, Facades, Helpers and more. You can see all of the new features in depth here.

Tess Flynn started a series on virtualizing a Drupal development environment using Vagrant. It begins with the why of doing so, followed by getting Vagrant up and running, deploying a site to the VMintegrating with an IDE and finishing with Cleanup and Troubleshooting tips. Well worth keeping an eye on this series!

Symfony got some updates last month: 2.3.25, 2.5.10 and 2.6.4. While they are just bug fixing versions, note that 2.5.10 is the last update on 2.5 branch and updating to 2.6 is well recommended.


A new PSR in the making? Matthew Weier O’Phinney explains why PSR-7 is useful. Imagine this: a web application which uses Symfony, Zend Framework, some Laravel and some CakePHP, by making HTTP middleware a standardized implementation. Dave Hulbert has some thoughts about the proposed minimal interfaces.

With a lot of folks in the PHP community discussing command buses, CQRS and related concepts, Matthias Noback explores the concept and walks us through SimpleBus, a framework that makes it easier to learn about the concept. He also explores the responsibilities of command buses and transitions from commands to events.

Do you need an API? Good question! Chris Ward published an article where he discusses the benefits and downsides of building an API. A good read if you are thinking about whether to build one or not.

Still on API topic, Lukas White wrote about RAML (RESTful API Modeling Language) and according to him, “API is only good as it’s documentation.” RAML is a derivative of YAML and helps you with designing and describing an API, documentation, consoles, testing and more.

Jeff Reifman set out into 2015 with the idea of building a startup. Using PHP. In this blog post, he writes about his first steps: converting a business concept into a product and a brand. He also stresses the importance of finding focus. Oh and better start learning startup lingo.

Some say testing is hard, costly, and not worth the effort. Others say it saves them time. Mathias Verraes posted an interesting take on the economy of tests and looks at the different types of tests, their introduction cost and maintenance cost.

Did you find an interesting read? Have news to share? Or just want to comment on this post? We’d love to see hear from you in the comments below. Feel free to reach out to our PhpStorm developer advocate @duodraco on Twitter.

See you next month!

Develop with pleasure!
– JetBrains PhpStorm Team

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