PHP Annotated Monthly – November 2016

It’s November, a time of smoky fires and dangerous fireworks here in the UK. Let’s wrap up the latest happenings in the world of PHP with Gary Hockin, Developer Advocate for PhpStorm at JetBrains.

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PHP and Development

Latest versions of PHP have been released and are:

At the risk of boring you, if you’re not running one of these major versions of PHP, then not only are you unsupported, but you’re missing out on some amazing features and performance improvements. Now is the time to move to PHP 7.

PHP 7.1 is on the horizon, so expect some more interesting information when it arrives. Currently it’s on release candidate 5, and we expect a release any time now.

If you’re still unsure what’s new and exciting in PHP 7, then PHP 7 In-Depth Look by Chike Mgbemena is worth a read. With PHP 7’s performance improvements and type hinting, it’s easy to forget that Facebook’s Hack language is still a viable option, and I very much enjoyed Greenfield Projects with Hack by Fred Emmott. Sitepoint released A Crash Course of Changes to Exception Handling in PHP 7 which is an excellent primer on the changes to exceptions in PHP 7. 5 New Features In PHP 7 That You Should Have A Look At is also worth a look.

One of my favorite PHP related posts this month was on the Slack developer blog — Taking PHP Seriously. It explains what role PHP has in Slack’s development stack, and why they chose to base their project on PHP in the first place. An interesting read.

Other notable posts in PHP and development this month:

Frameworks and Libraries

Some helpful WordPress posts this month including Using Namespaces and Autoloading in WordPress Plugins, Part 1 and Using Namespaces and Autoloading in WordPress Plugins, Part 2 on TutsPlus. Other notable posts (for me) were Subscribing to Symfony’s Security Events on ThisData, and Matthew Weir O’Phinney’s post; Automating PHPUnit with Node (note to Matthew: If you were using PhpStorm, this wouldn’t be necessary *wink*).

Adam Wathan’s article Replacing Mocks with Spies was a particular favorite of mine this month, as I’m as guilty as anyone of not knowing when and how to use spies instead of mocks when testing. Like most people, I end up using mocks everywhere, but this post helped me understand the difference and when to use each different double.

Other interesting posts this month (somewhat Laravel-focused… sorry):

Community and Events

Conference season is hotting up, and while I missed Bulgaria PHP due to other commitments, I enjoyed A Review of Bulgaria PHP – Game On! over on SitePoint’s blog. I’ll be at php[world] in Washington D.C. this month, so if you’d like to talk about anything and everything, then please come and find me.

Podcasts released this month include:

Before we go this month, I’d like to promote two worthy endeavors that are currently open for contributions. Firstly, the PHP-FIG are taking nominations to be on the Core Committee. The Core Committee members are going to be the team responsible for commenting on, and ultimately voting upon new standards. While there are some amazing names already nominated, I’d love to see more people from the wider community get involved. If this is something you think you’d be interested in participating in, then check out the mailing list.

Finally, PHP Yorkshire is a new PHP conference for 2017, and their CFP is open right now at

I hope you have a good November!

— Gary and the PhpStorm Team

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