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Monday, September 28, 2015

Do You Really Know PHP? Think Again

Many developers believe that they know PHP inside and out.  The truth is they know it outside.  Not many really know about the insides and how to use them.

Surpassing it's simple roots today's PHP is  now offering a well-defined and documented way for writing custom extensions in C language.  Extensions are the surest way for improving execution speed, securing valued intellectual property and guarding  a market advantage.  Extending the PHP language itself via compiled language libraries is the future of using PHP in business sensitive situations. Using extensions make PHP a true competitor that can meet the challenges of software development for the web.

How to Install PHP7 on Linux Today!

The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 7.0.0 RC 3. This is the eighth pre-release of the new PHP 7 major series. All users of PHP are encouraged to test this version carefully, and report any bugs and incompatibilities in the bug tracking system. Many are waiting for php7 to appear on launchpad or in a experimental repo. But you can install PHP7 release candidates today and get started with developing with it.

Here are the instructions and resources for creating a development for you r local machine , VPS or virtual machine. 

Erlang: Where to Find it and Download for Install

Erlang is a general-purpose, concurrent, garbage-collected programming language and runtime system. The Erlang programming language is used to build massively scalable soft real-time systems with requirements on high availability. Some of its uses are in telecoms, banking, e-commerce, computer telephony and instant messaging. Erlang's runtime system has built-in support for concurrency, distribution and fault tolerance.

One of the failings of adoption of Erlang has been the general availability of pre-complied binaries for easy installation. This shortcoming has been fixed by one the leading community members, Erlang Solutions.  The lack of easy installation across different operating systems has always been a barrier for growing the Erlang community. Not many are ready to do the time consuming and possibly problematic job of compiling from source code.

A Programmer's Comparison of CMS: Multi-site

In the last segment of this comparison we looked at configuration. We continue in configuration on to multi-site. Multi-site is the use a single installation to power a network or hub of  websites.

A reminder of the points the comparison will cover  while going through the article series. It will be a guide for developer's going from installation to the creation of  "Hello World" extensions  for the top three CMS systems and compare them to the Content Connection Kit.

Blogger Templates: How to use modulo

Blogger is a free blog publishing service from Google that allows multi-user blogs. The blogger template system is in XML format/language. If you want to edit or create a blogger template then you you have to learn HTML, CSS and XML and some basics of JavaScript. One of those basics is the use of the modulo operator in a loop.

Mod or modulo just means you take the remainder after performing the division. Since 4 goes into 2 zero times, you end up with a remainder of 2. It is used in programming as the operator %.
Using % will be best described by an example code. It may be useful when you want to do something for every N-th loop.

JavaScript: Looping through Objects

Most API deliver responses in the form of objects and arrays of objects in jSON/JSONP format. Many times useful the data must be iterated over. The following three code snippets are for looping through objects. Though the output is the same there are differences in syntax.

The performance characteristics of the options  can be tested at  jsPerf provides an easy way to create and share test cases, comparing the performance of different JavaScript snippets by running benchmarks.

JavaScript: Converting CSV to Array

Google Apps Script is a scripting language based on JavaScript that lets you do new and cool things with Google Apps like Docs, Sheets, and Forms.

Although there is  jquery loaded in the javascript.html file for use in the UI. Ignoring it gives a new reasons for learning javascript as a language. Here are some functions and snippets that are good to have for data manipulation and string handling. You could probably find them by doing a search but having them here means that search will have more hits.

This function is a nice tool because when data is being imported and exported  for use in different programs CSV, comma separated values, files are the common handler.  But once you have the data then you need a program language data type. Arrays have proven to be the most useful data type in the handling of stringified information.

How does Upgrading PHP Solve Security Issues?

PHP is a popular language and has been more accepted than any other as the platform of choice for the web. PHP has evolved that it is now the runtime environment backing many of the world’s highest traffic web sites and largest open source projects such as Drupal, Magento and Wordpress.

But as dependant these businesses are on PHP,  they constantly resist adoption of newer versions. They see adoption and change as a risk to losing their market share and end-user trust. It is a struggle leading to a history making security threat to today's web.

A Programmer's Comparison of CMS: Configuration

A good web developer must be knowledgeable to be able to make use of all the techniques and technologies available. Not to mention work along side an increasingly pedantic group of web designers and front-end developers. The tools they use must be able to ensure project deliveries with a minimum investment of time and effort. Several content management systems have gained a considerable following thanks to their ability to satisfy this need. But what do they look like on the inside? How do they compare to the others if you strip away the slick graphics and look at the code? This series will compare the top three and one unknown CMS from a programmer's view point.

Best Practices for Catching Fatal Errors in PHP

Undeniably the most frustating thing about PHP as a language has to be it's handling of fatal errors. It's next to impossible in PHP to catch a fatal error before it reaches the browser window. Worse  is that a fatal error will not invoke any error handler set by set_error_handler() and will just stop all script execution.

There has to be a posts  numbering in the hundreds of thousands all across the internet.  PHP developers desparate to avoid fatal errors and catch them as  exceptions. Doing a Google Search : "php how to catch fatal error" reveals About 460,000 results. The release of PHP7 will reduce this significantly.

The Best of PHP.NET - How to Reverse print_r()

The  PHP  manual  at PHP.NET  is  the best  place for a to learn but it's big site and finding those pearls of coding wisdom in the comments is  difficult. So here are some of those simple solutions for common problems from beginners and experts alike.

print_r() displays information about a variable in a way that's readable by humans. But what if the output is written to a text file though. How do you go about retrieving it as usable PHP code?

The Worst of Stackoverflow - When to use PHP Traits

I put this post under the heading of " the worst of stackoverflow" because though the question did not orginate at It does illustrate  what goes wrong when a Q&A only forum or social networking website is used as a tutorial platform.

In the facebook PHP group the question was  asked. Using Facebook to ask this question is a demonstration of how social media websites are not the right venue for learning. As bad as StackExchange  is, it is  still a number of levels above the  use of Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter as learning platforms.

Open Source Zombies Take Over the World!

The world of open source  software has been taken over by Zombies.  Old PHP versions is the virus infecting patient zero for the zombie outbreak.  This is might not be post-apocalyptic nonsense but the reality of today's web. A coding horror that  Jeff Atwood has yet to discover is the infectious nature of backwards-compatibility. Open source for web development is never re-factored enough to eliminate the use of end of life versions of PHP.

When a project hits a certain point in its life cycle, the unpleasant issue of backward compatibility begins to rear its ugly head. All of a sudden the changes introduced in a new release of the software have a dark side to them. They hold hidden possibilities that will break something one of your users depends on. This is true in both open and closed source projects, but in the open source world it seems that the community spends less time worrying about it than in the closed source world.

Why Popular Online Communities are Gated

Online communities are almost exactly like real life communities in psychology and governance. There are different types of neighborhoods like walled gardens, open and gated communities. So what is a gated community? Gated online communities are those that have implemented security or codes of conduct that restrict the freedoms of it membership.

Sometimes what was once thought to be a forum  for the freedom of expression becomes a prison for content makers. Indicators
 for sweeping changes in preparation to protect a websites online reputation  or brand are some or more of the following.

The Worst of Stackoverflow - question/14914955 is a  site that  tries to  help developers and programmers. Unfortunately it fails miserably at the task due to restrictions over moderation. It also is based on a model that  does not help or teach  new comers  and it  bores  advanced developers to death.  This is a chronicle of some of the websites most glaring problems.

This is a good question and an absolutely correct answer. The problem is that it requires knowledge that the asking party does not possess. Teaching  them  requires a entirely different  information exchange  format.  One that stackoverflow does not support.  The fact that the asking party looked around supports this as they would have had much better information and might have been able to accomplish something had  the answering person  been  able to use  "I created a tutorial for you at my blog".

The worst of stackoverflow - question/1732348 is a  site that  tries to  help developers and programmers. Unfortunately it frequently fails miserably at the task due to restrictions over moderation. Sometime the model is just a poor fit that does not help or teach  new comers  and it  bores  advanced developers to death.  This is a chronicle of some of the websites most glaring problems.
It's interesting to watch the train wreck in slow motion so I'll post some of the worst  of  Questions with Answers that are so obvious and could be better answered through a good tutorial on a blog.  Also questions that get answered even though they have been over moderated.

This one made me giggle even though there was nothing particularly wrong with the question or answer. The reactionary result was typical.  This goes down as my favorite example of what is wrong with the reputation system. Just the sheer number of answers is a laugh.

Developers Digest - Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Daily Collected Quality links of interesting topics for web developers. Google doesn't read or understand the topics. I do and I list the ones that count the most by interesting content not just keywords. If you are tired of draconian moderators and have lots to say about the web developement or the internet in general. Drop me a line at twitter and I'll read it and post it up for others here. I will endeavour to have at least three lists weekly. Hopefully this will make the internet a less boring place where news and information has been reduced to 140 characters and silly images.

The worst of stackoverflow - question/32352587 is a  site that  tries to  help developers and programmers. Unfortunately it frequently fails miserably at the task due to restrictions over moderation. Sometime the model is just a poor fit that does not help or teach  new comers  and it  bores  advanced developers to death.  This is a chronicle of some of the websites most glaring problems.

A letter to

This is a letter from me to concerning their apparent blocking of this blog content as being spam. I am hoping to get response to it. Before using the it and the current situation as material for future blog posts about and online communities in general. is an online community and collection of resources for technology professionals. We believe that each and every person can make a difference...and we are here to help.

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