PHP Annotated Monthly – August 2015

PHP Annotated MonthlyThe sun is shining, welcome to the August edition of PHP Annotated Monthly – for updates on PHP, frameworks, tools, tips for coding, community and more.

This month’s digest comes to you from Gary Hockin, our newly appointed Developer Advocate for PhpStorm.


PHP had a batch of new releases early in the month, the latest versions are and 5.4.44. Updates were mainly focused on security issues – see the release notes for more information.

If you are still running on PHP 5.4, a quick reminder that the 5.4 branch will stop receiving security updates next month on September 15th, 2015 – it’s past time to think about updating!

PHP 7 beta 3 was also released and brings a host of bug fixes and improvements, with over 200 commits making this version. The next release planned for August 20th will be Release Candidate 1 so it’s an exciting time for PHP users at the moment. Look out for an introduction to PHP 7 features in PhpStorm in the near future.

If your interested in PHP 7 development, we included a slew of links to interesting tutorials and blog posts in July’s PHP Annotated Monthly, which is recommended reading to anyone who has an interest in this huge new release.

The ever-interesting Lorna Mitchell blogged on how to Test Your PHP Applications on PHP 7, while a sharply bearded Davey Shafik blogged on An Exceptional Change in PHP 7.

There is a very interesting Introduction to the PHAR Format on the ServerGrove website that gives you a great primer on the PHP archive format.  Matthew Weier O’Phinney – the powerhouse behind PSR-7 – has written On PSR-7 Headers, a great post on the details behind PSR-7’s header implementation. Speaking of PSR, Rob Allen posted a useful article on Checking Your Code For PSR-2.

The Three Devs and a Maybe team have released a really cool screencast on PHP Extension Development for Beginners – it’s definitely worth a watch if you’ve ever thought about creating your own PHP extensions.

The man with the best name in PHP, Michelangelo van Dam, has written a fairly comprehensive tutorial on Speeding Up Database Calls With PDO and Iterators. It’s an interesting concept for anyone not using a database abstraction who wants to improve their database handling.

Frameworks and Tools

We’ve had our usual complement of framework updates this month, including:

The Zend Framework release is particularly important as it addresses a security flaw in the Zend\Xml component. Users of this component are encouraged to upgrade immediately.

It wouldn’t be right when covering tools not to mention the fact that PhpStorm 9 has been released! This major release includes some great new features, including postfix code completion, an enhanced debugging experience, remote editing, and much more. Check out the YouTube Video for more information.

In Symfony Land, the Tideways blog has posted an excellent tutorial on 5 Ways to Optimize Symfony Baseline Performance, the official Symfony blog has a post on The Symfony Demo Application 3 Months Later, and also a blog post on the new Redesigned Web Debug Toolbar.

Prolific poster Rob Allen talks about Zend\Input and Empty Values over on his excellent blog. Matt Stauffer talks about Login Throttling in Laravel 5.1 in his solid tutorial. If you’re of an artisan persuasion, it’s definitely worth checking out as it’s part of an ever expanding series on New Features in Laravel 5.1.

@CodeDiesel has published a very useful post on How to Manually Install the Slim Framework, while WebDevTuts has released a nice introduction into Lumen, the micro-framework based around Laravel in their post Getting to Know LumenBruno Skvorc of the Semaphore CI team has blogged on Getting Started With BDD in Laravel – an interesting and informative primer on what BDD is, and how it can be used in a Laravel application.

Community (and more)

Most notably for me, the speaker’s best friend Lorna Mitchell has posted two fantastic posts. So You’re Thinking of Submitting a Talk is a quick and useful roundup of what to consider before submitting a talk, where The Microphone is Your Friend is a more in-depth look at the different types of microphones you may encounter, and the considerations you may need to think of when using each style. Thanks Lorna.

Midwest PHP have announced their 2016 conference, complete with a venue change to the Hilton Minneapolis – an excellent conference I was lucky enough to attend last year. Pacific Northwest PHP looms ever closer (September 10th-12th, 2015).

August’s Nomad PHP will be on PHP 7 the Big 5.1 (US), and Driving Quality With PhpSpec (EU).

PEAR announced on their blog that Pear 1.10dev1 will bring PHP 7 compatibility, while the HHVM team shared an interesting story of migration from PHP to HHVM at Box – Under the hood: Box’s HHVM migration .

There has been a veritable deluge of podcasts released this month, including (and not limited to):

Open calls for papers include:

We’ve also been given a handy tool for submitting our talks to CFP. ProntoCFP is a chrome plugin that makes copy and pasting things into CFP fields a thing of the past.

If you’d like to see your event, podcast, blog or webcast mentioned here, then please drop me a Tweet!


I’d like to introduce myself. As Dev Advocate for PhpStorm, it’s my job to make your life using the IDE easier, so please feel free to get in touch to discuss any problems, compliments or general conversation you may want to have about PhpStorm or PHP in general.

See you in September!

Develop with pleasure!
– JetBrains PhpStorm Team

About Gary Hockin

Gary Hockin has been creating code to power web applications for 15 years, the last three of them at an extraordinary level. He is handsome, talented, funny and articulate, and also extremely modest. Gary is a valued contributor to Zend Framework 2 and is a member of the community review team. He's married and has two wonderful children, and when he's not coding, writing about code, speaking about code or reading about code, he can usually be found in the pub playing pool.
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