PHP Annotated Monthly – October 2015

PHP Annotated Monthly

As the leaves start to drop from the trees, and bunches of poorly dressed-up kids blackmail unsuspecting pensioners into giving them sweets, October’s PHP Annotated Monthly has been compiled and released right to your door.

Once again, this month has been compiled by Gary Hockin – Developer Advocate for PhpStorm (dressed up as a vampire).


We’ve had the expected round of releases for PHP during October, with one notable exception. PHP versions 5.6.13 and 5.5.29 are the latest stable releases. This is the first month where we haven’t given you the latest release in the 5.4.x branch, and that’s because PHP 5.4 is no longer supported. I realize I’ve been going on a bit about this in recent months, but it’s really important that if you haven’t already, you upgrade your servers to at least PHP 5.5 (preferably 5.6).

PHP 7 RC4 has also dropped. I hope you can feel the excitement around the community about this milestone release – I know I can. Now is a great time to download and install PHP 7, not only so that you can play with the cool new features, but also because you can check your codebase is ready for this exciting new release (and help the team by reporting any bugs you find).

In other news, Woody Gilk has released a great post on Immutable Data Structures in PHP – immutability has been the talk of the community lately and is quite polarizing (see this interesting Twitter conversation from Anthony Ferrera).

On the ever-interesting Sitepoint Blog, Matthew Setter has created a very well written article on Writing PHP Git Hooks with Static Review. Git Hooks are a really interesting tool, and the Static Review library looks like it makes life a lot easier when you want to work with them.

As you might expect, with the release candidates for PHP 7 coming thick and fast, there have been lots of content released this month on its features. Zend itself has released an infographic on PHP 7 Coolest Features – Five Things You Must Know About PHP 7 – while it’s a little sales focused, it’s definitely worth a look. While you’re interested in what’s new in PHP 7 – head over to the Sitepoint Blog again and check out Hari K T‘s post, PHP 7 Quick Overview

Larry Garfield continued his series on PHP 7 features with A new type of PHP, part 2: Scalar types. Most will agree that scalar types are one of the stand out features of PHP 7 so it’s definitely worth understanding them. It’s also worth learning about the null coalesce operator, and luckily the excellent Lorna Jane Mitchell has blogged on New in PHP 7: null coalesce operator.

Frameworks and Tools

Latest framework releases include:

While the Zend Framework hasn’t had a point release this month, it’s interesting to see that Matthew Weier O’Phinney, the project lead for ZF has celebrated 10 years at Zend this month, and he blogs about it in the aptly named post On 10 Years at Zend.

In the world of Symfony, I really enjoyed both Sending configurable e-mails in Symfony on the Sylius blog, and Fun with Symfony’s Console Component by Ryan Weaver. The Symfony Console component is a really powerful thing, and Ryan’s post is excellent in unearthing some of it’s more fun features.

Laravel Daily have published a very nice article on PhpStorm: easily create new Laravel project – while it may be shameless self promotion in this JetBrains blog, it really is useful information for PhpStorm and Laravel users.

In Exporting Drupal Nodes with PHP and Drush, [php]Architect magazine cover how to export data from Drupal nodes using the Drush command line tool. Again on the prolific Sitepoint Blog, Christopher Pitt covers An Introduction into Event Loops in PHP. Event loops allow you to create Node style web servers in PHP, and it’s a really interesting read.

Finally for frameworks, Matthew Setter wrote an interesting piece about Why Microframeworks Lead to Lean Applications. Matthew writes about his own experiences in a recent project, and definitely helps to convey why micro-frameworks have a place in the ecosystem. As a great fan of micro-frameworks (in particular, Slim), I highly recommend giving it a read.

Community (and more)

It’s probably a good time to address the elePHPant in the room. In early October, Zend announced they were acquired by Rouge Wave Software, and this caused some consternation within the PHP community. Chris Tankersley says it best in his post Zend’s Acquisition Doesn’t Matter, for now – little is likely to change in the foreseeable future.

The blog-machine that is Rob Allen also posted an excellent post, The beginner’s guide to contributing to a GitHub project. If you’ve ever considered getting into contributing to an open source project but have no idea where to start, then this is a must read for you.

After Cal Evans running away with the podcast release competition in September, the rest of the podcasters lifted their game last month:

Conference season is well underway, and personally speaking both myself and JetBrains had a wonderful time at PHPNW and PHP South Africa in October, and we look forward to meeting as many people as possible at the upcoming conferences.

Open call for papers include:

If your conference has an open CFP you’d like to see featured here, or if you have a podcast or blog post you’d like to get listed, then please drop me a Tweet.

I hope you have had a great month, and we look forward to seeing what November brings.

Develop with pleasure!
– JetBrains PhpStorm Team

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