PHP 5.3.29 released and available at ServerGrove, reaches EOL

Last week, the PHP group released the last version of the PHP 5.3 series, 5.3.29. It has reached the end of life, so no further updates will be available for it. It is encouraged to upgrade to PHP 5.4 or even better, 5.5.

PHP 5.3.29 contains about 25 potentially security related fixes backported from PHP 5.4 and 5.5. Read the full Changelog for further details.

If you are a current ServerGrove customer with an account on a server with PHP 5.3, check out our announcement of the availability of PHP 5.5 on Shared Hosting.

August 21 / 2014
Author Pablo
Category PHP, Shared Hosting
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2014 PHP Conferences (2nd edition)

2014 started with out as a great year for PHP conferences, but is not over yet and there are still quite a few very good conferences coming up. Here are some of these conferences where you can sharpen your skills, meet key members of the PHP community, and make new friends:

WeCamp wecamp-logo

The Netherlands – August 25th-29th, 2014
http://weca.mp/

WeCamp is a new event focusing on not just hearing about cool technology, but also applying it. During the 5 days of the event, you’ll get to work on a project together with 4 random other people, under the guidance of an experienced coach.

New Zealand PHP Conference NZ-php

Wellington – August 27th-29th, 2014
http://www.phpconference.co.nz/

This is the first edition of this event and it is looking good, with a great selection of speakers, nice venue, and it’s in New Zealand. What else can you ask for?

Summer Camp Croatia PHP phpsummer-croatia

Rovinj, Croatia – September 3rd – 6th, 2014
http://2014.phpsummercamp.com/

Improve your skills under the sun in a beautiful small Croatian town. No need to say more!

North East PHP phpNE

Boston, USA from September 6th – 7th, 2014
http://www.northeastphp.org/

The second edition of North East PHP includes a mix of PHP and UX topics with some really interesting talks. With an entry fee of $150, there is no excuse to miss it if you are in the region.

MadisonPHP madison

Madison, Wisconsin – September 13th, 2014
http://2014.madisonphpconference.com/

Top notch selection of speakers for this one day event. The ticket price is a steal at $99 until Aug 27th, then it shifts to the regular price of $149.

brnoPHP brnophp-logo

Brno, Czech Republic - September 20th, 2014
https://www.brnophp.cz/conference-2014

Being the first of its kind, it brings together great technology content and great people. You will find a high-quality presentations by the brightest experts in the PHP world, coupled with a welcoming and friendly community of attendees and speakers.

Symfony Live London sfl_london_2014

London, UK from September 25th – 26th, 2014
http://london2014.live.symfony.com/

I attended the first Symfony Live in London that was held at The Brewery and it was a great experience. I will be attending again this year on my way to Manchester for PHPNW. I am looking forward to catch up with the Symfony community in the UK.

ZgPGP zgPHP

Zagreb, Croatia from October 2nd, 2014
http://2014.zgphp.org/

Three years ago, they started organizing Zagreb PHP user group meetings. This conference is a way to say happy birthday and thanks to all members that have been a part of this awesome community. The 2013 conference blew everyone’s expectations: amazing speakers, generous sponsors, perfect venue, plenty of food and drinks and most importantly great bunch of developers and web aficionados. Why not do it all again?

PHP South Africa phpcraft-southafrica

Cape Town, South Africa from October 2nd – 4th, 2014
http://www.phpsouthafrica.com/#home

PHP South Africa is aimed at proficient developers, new developers and people who care about developers, with events that are all about working together to inspire each other to greater heights in our skill and passion for coding. South Africa’s PHP community exists of an exciting mix of developers, ranging from junior developers, to the very best in the industry. This year they will be having a special PHP Youth Conference to encourage the next generation of developers. With over 140 students attending a 2 day event from previously disadvantaged backgrounds, this is their stepping stone to passing on our craft.

PHPNW UK 2014 nw

Manchester, UK from October 3rd – 5th, 2014
http://conference.phpnw.org.uk/phpnw14/

I have heard a lot about this conference and many of the developers I highly respect, go there no matter what. This year I have been fortunate to be selected to give a talk, so I am really happy to add this one to the “attended” list. Take a look at the schedule, it is great!

Symfony Live NYC sfl_newyork_2014

New York City from October 9th – 10th, 2014
http://newyork2014.live.symfony.com/

The North American edition of the Symfony events moves to the east coast and New York will be the place to be if you are involved with Symfony in any way. The call for papers is still open, so if you have something to share you still have time.

PHP Forum Paris 2014 screenshot-www afup org 2014-08-11 12-15-53

Paris from October 23rd – 24th, 2014
http://www.afup.org/pages/forumphp2014/

AFUP is pleased to announce the next edition of the PHP Forum, the largest annual gathering of all the PHP communities, professional and open-source, dedicated to the language and its ecosystem in France.The Forum PHP 2014 will take place Thursday 23 and Friday 24 October 2014, in Montrouge, at the gates of Paris

ZendCon zendcon

Santa Clara, California – October 27th – 30th, 2014
http://zendcon.com/

The annual PHP conference organized by Zend turns 10 years old, and there will be a big celebration. The schedule looks really interesting.

True North
truenorth2012

Toronto, Canada - November 6th -8th, 2014
http://truenorthphp.ca/

True North is the premier Canadian PHP conference. Their call for papers is currently open and early bird tickets will be going on sale soon.

PHP Conference Argentina php-ARG

Buenos Aires, Argentina – November 7th – 8th, 2014
http://2014.phpconference.com.ar/

I attended and spoke at this event last year and it was a blast. Some of the top speakers for this edition are Michael “Monty” Widenius (creator of MySQL), Brad Fitzpatrick (creator of Memcached), Mitchell Hashimoto (creator of Vagrant) and Fabien Potencier (creator of Symfony). If these names are not enough to impress you, take a look at the rest of the lineup (more speakers are being announced daily). Also, there will be the “Gaucho day“, a 3rd day full of talks, hackathon, games, and argentinian food!

php[world] php-world14

Washington DC, November 10th – 14th, 2014
https://world.phparch.com/

A new conference with the goal to unite all communities within the PHP world and organized by the folks at php architect. With 5 conference tracks over 3 days (plus a tutorial day) this promises to have something (and a lot) for everyone!

Tech Meetup UY techmeetup

Montevideo, Uruguay – November 14th – 15th, 2014
http://tech.meetup.uy/

If you live in Uruguay or nearby, this event is great to meet with the Uruguayan developer community. It includes talks covering a wide range of technologies. It is organized by a great group of very energetic individuals. Check out the video from the 2013 edition.

SymfonyCon Madrid sfc_madrid2014

Madrid, Spain from November 27th – 29th, 2014
http://madrid2014.symfony.com/

The premier event for the Symfony world will be held in Madrid, Spain. The community in Spain is very active and numerous (deSymfony attracked 400 in 2013 alone), so there is no doubt this will be an amazing event. Don’t miss it! The call for papers is open until September 4th.

 

Did we miss your conference. Email help_at_servergrove_dot_com and we’ll list it.

August 08 / 2014
Author Pablo
Category Conferences, PHP
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PHPARG

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SymfonyConMadrid

deSymfonyDay Spain 2014 wrap-up

deSymfonyDayThe annual Symfony conference in Spain took place last weekend. This time the conference had completely different format: one day, one track, shorter talks (30-40 min) and an unconference. There was also a limit on the number of attendees, 150, to promote a sociable networking experience. The conference was awesome.

The event was held at the Casa Convalescència in Barcelona, a stunning symbol of modernist architecture which was declared a monument of historic and artistic interest, and also named as a UNESCO cultural heritage site.

Casa Convalescència

Casa Convalescència

Talks

I find the format of shorter talks and a single track very appropriate for single-day events. Talks were fast-paced and you don’t have to choose which ones want to attend.

There were about DDD, testing, dependency injection, SOLID, microservices and HHVM. I presented a talk on creating a cryptovirus for Symfony apps, not quite your standard PHP conference talk, but interesting as a proof of concept.

Creating a cryptovirus for Symfony2 apps

Creating a cryptovirus for Symfony2 apps

The objective of the talk was to create, for educational purposes, a simple cryptovirus for Symfony2 applications using public-key cryptography. I included strategies both to make it harder to detect and how to defend ourselves from such attacks. Cryptovirology studies how to use cryptography to design malicious software and public-key cryptography can be used to break the symmetry between what an antivirus analyst sees in regards to a virus and what the virus writer sees. The prototype I created encrypted user uploaded files and passwords pairs obtained from the login form. The presentation slides are available here: http://www.slideshare.net/raulfraile/kernelinfect-creating-a-cryptovirus-for-symfony2-apps

The rest of the talks were very good. I would emphasize “DIC to the limit”, by Ronny López. Ronny is the technical lead at Social Point, one of the largest Symfony projects with more than 24.7 million monthly active users. He explained the challenges they faced and how they solve them to make the code easy to test and with an interchangeable infrastructure. Slides are available here: https://speakerdeck.com/ronnylt/dic-to-the-limit-desymfonyday-barcelona-2014

Unconference

Attendees proposed lightning talks of 10 minutes during the morning and the 7 with more votes were given at the end of the day. I loved this format, it is fast and allows you to learn about a variety of topics. I also gave a lightning talk about how GZIP works in 10 minutes, based on the post I wrote a few weeks ago, but if I had to choose only one talk, would be “TDD is dead”, by Carles Climent.

Carles started this talk shockingly: “My name is Carles and I am necrophiliac”. Then he explained why: “As TDD is dead now (in reference of famous David Heinemeier post) and I still love it, so I must admit it, I am necrophiliac”. Carles explained how TDD changed the way he works and encouraged us all to give it a try.

Challenge

Organization proposed a challenge to all attendees: write a PHP program able to print the song “99 tests are failing” with the fewest characters:

99 tests are failing in the repository, 99 tests are failing.
Take one, fix it and pass it around, 98 tests are failing in the repository.
98 tests are failing in the repository, 98 tests are failing.
Take one, fix it and pass it around, 97 tests are failing in the repository.
...

The winner was Javier Beaumont, who was able to do it with only 237 bytes. The prize was a ticket for the next SymfonyCon that will be held in Madrid. There is a similar challenge here if you want to have fun.

<?for($i=100;$i;){$s="\r\n";$p=--$i-1?"s are":" is";$t=($i?:99)." test$p failing";$r="$t in the repository";$b.=$i?($i<99?"Take one, fix it and pass it around, $r.$s$s":"")."$r, $t.$s":"Go to another suite and start again, $r.";}echo $b;

No clean code here! :)

ServerGrove

ServerGrove was, once again, one of the sponsors. We love all conferences, but deSymfony is always special. We missed Pablo this time but I am pretty sure he won’t miss it next year.

Photo: Casa de Convalescència – 354/366, by Roger Ferrer Ibáñez.

June 03 / 2014
Author Raul Fraile
Category Conferences, PHP, Symfony
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CSSConf 2014 Recap

cssphoto

On Tuesday (05/27/14) I attended CSSConf for the first time. It was held at the Amelia Island Resort, it’s a short hop from Miami, so I decided to check it out. I was not disappointed; what an excellent conference. The venue was amazing, organization was impeccable, and the speakers were fantastic. It was interesting to see how CSS is evolving and how other front-end developers are integrating their workflow and continuously optimizing their code to make it faster and more modular. I found it especially interesting to hear Nicole Sullivan (@stubornella) talk about producing manageable CSS code and workflows and getting teams of designers and developers on the same page in her “Style Guide Driven Development” talk. She spoke about about her workflow at Pivotal where she faced many similar problems as we are facing developing our new control panel. It was reassuring to see that she made some of the same decisions we made, and I learned a few things that we’ll have to implement soon. She showed us the Trulia Styleguide Generator, our current styleguide sucks and we need a nicer one, this seems to be a really nice tool.

I also enjoyed Lea Verou’s talk. I follow her on Twitter and she always has interesting things to share. She did not disappoint when she gave her awesome talk about colors: The Chroma Zone: Engineering Color on the Web. Just when I thought I knew everything there was to know about colors in CSS, I realized I knew nothing… ok I knew some things… but this was a great talk with well presented information. Here are a few things I learned:

  1. You can use text-shadow and border without defining the color. It will inherit the color property from the text. Who knew… this works:
    div {
        color: #000
        text-shadow: 1px 1px 1px;
    }
    
  2. currentColor is the first CSS variable. It basically gets the current “color:” value. She gave an example using it in gradients. It was cool, but since I hate gradients I don’t see myself using it anytime soon. Nonetheless, I was happy to learn something new.

She also spoke about the new CSS Color Module Level 4. Some new shiny goodies to manipulate color coming up. Here are a few things:

  1. 50 (and more!) shades of gray: gray will become a function. Ex: gray(40%).
  2. 8 digit HEX codes. The regular 6 plus two extras for the alpha channel.
  3. Hwb – hue, white, black. I found this pretty cool.
  4. The new color() function with the color adjusters.

Zach Leatherman gave an awesome talk about icon fonts, or fonts in general. He was right when he said his talk should have been called everything you need to know about Web Fonts. It was a great presentation and he kept it interesting… and funny. He had some good insights on icon fonts. As a designer you need to consider your audience and there are several situations where font icons fail us. He has a great blog post about it: Bulletproof Accessible Icon Fonts. He shared with us A-Font-Garde, a small project to ensure redundancy when using icon fonts.

Angelina Fabbro shared some cool tools I did not know about:

1. Mobile emulation on Chrome https://developer.chrome.com/devtools/docs/mobile-emulation
2. New tool in Firefox https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Tools/CSS_Coverage
3. Network link conditioner helps you simulate different bandwidth connections to test your app.

She also had a great tip to get z-index working correctly on mobile:

body {
z-index: 0;
}

Patrick Hamann spoke about the Guardian redesign…what an awesome project! The Guardian Website has over 100 million unique visitors using over 6000 different devices. Not only that, after a survey their users rated fast page load times the second most important requirement after content so they set themselves the goal of having every page on the new Guardian site to load under a second, given that 600 milliseconds of this was already being eaten up by latency, this was a daunting task. They came up with some ingenious solutions; great things happen when you work under constraints. One of the most interesting concepts, which was the core of his talk, was separating their stylesheets into critical and non-critical CSS, and having the critical CSS load first and then loading the non-critical CSS at the end of the page with the Javascript. To render the critical CSS faster, they delivered it as inline css rather than a separate file thus removing one extra http request. They also cached some of their CSS in the local storage when it was available. And in case you are wondering, they reached their 1000 milliseconds goal.

Alex Steton gave a hilarious talk about the history of CSS name colors. I wish I could talk more about it, but I was laughing so much I forgot to take notes.

Finally Paul Irish spoke about performance optimizations for parallax scrolling. It was a really interesting talk into how the browser deals with animations. The big take-aways from the presentation: 4 things that a browser can transition jank-free:

  1. Size -> transform: scale(n)
  2. position -> transform: translatex(npx)
  3. rotation -> transform: rotate(ndeg)
  4. opacity -> opacity: 0…1;

Come to think of it, you can do quite a bit with these four things.

All in all it was a fantastic conference, I look forward to next year’s.

Speaker slides:

Patrick Hamann - https://speakerdeck.com/patrickhamann/css-and-the-critical-path-cssconf-may-2014

Sara Soueidan gave a nice talk on Styling and Animating Vector Graphics with CSS - http://bit.ly/1kn9ZuK

Antoine Butler spoke about height based media queries - https://speakerdeck.com/aebsr/embrace-the-vertical

 

May 28 / 2014
Author Kim
Category Conferences
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DrupalCamp Spain 2014 wrap-up

DrupalCamp Spain 2014

DrupalCamp Spain 2014

Last weekend I attended DrupalCamp Spain at the beautiful Centro Cultural Bancaja, in Valencia, Spain. Three whole days of Drupal. This was my first Drupal conference, and… wow! The Drupal community is huge and full of passionate developers eager to learn. ServerGrove was one of the bronze sponsors and consolidates its support for the Drupal community. I was there because I was invited to give a talk about the Symfony components that are being used to create the new version of Drupal (Drupal 8). I got some great feedback from the attendees and I am excited to have the opportunity to participate the Drupal community.

Symfony in Drupal 8

In my talk I pointed out some of the problems of the current version of Drupal, which is mature, robust, and highly extensible, however, it lacks some of the recommended best practices for software engineering. This makes it harder to maintain and find new contributors. I borrowed one of the examples from Anthony Ferrara‘s talk on “Development, by the numbers”, which discusses some metrics of the drupal_http_request() function in Drupal 7, such as the cyclomatic and NPath complexity, and shows that it really needs a refactor, or in that case, use an HTTP abstraction component like HttpFoundation.

Fortunately the (still work in progress) 8th version of Drupal, 50% of its external dependencies are Symfony components, and others such as Twig, Assetic of Symfony CMF come also from the Symfony world.

In the talk I explained nine components being used by Drupal 8:

  • HttpFoundation: Abstraction of the HTTP protocol (more info).
  • HttpKernel: Defines an abstract process to convert a Request object into a Response object (more info).
  • ClassLoader: Class autoload using MapClass or PSR-0 strategies.
  • Routing: Drupal 8 uses CMF/Routing, which extends from the Routing component providing the flexibility needed by a CMS (more info).
  • EventDispatcher: Alternative to the classic Drupal hooks. Implements the Mediator Pattern (more info).
  • DependencyInjection: Implements a dependency injection container to centralize the object construction.
  • Validator: Provides validation tools for values or objects (more info).
  • Serializer: Serializes PHP objects into different formats (JSON, XML…), as wel as in the other way.
  • Yaml: Loads and dumps data in YAML format. A useful format for configuration files written by humans.

Slides are only available in Spanish, but they will be translated to English too as soon as possible. If you understand Spanish, check them out: http://www.slideshare.net/raulfraile/symfony-en-drupal-8-drupalcamp-spain.

Other talks

It was a great opportunity for me to learn different approaches for common problems from a different community. I am used to attend PHP and Symfony events, but as I said before, this was my first time ever in a Drupal conference. The talks I liked most were:

  • WTF! Huge errors in projects told by their own authors: This talk was hilarious. 5 experienced Drupal developers told their unspeakable errors as beginners, such as not using a CVS and losing all the work the night before the deadline.
  • Sockets to the limit: The talk went over an interesting use-case to have a centralised server to manage Symfony translations, and using websockets to “install” them in any server.

Community

Just a photo to see how awesome this community is…

14020046267_383924b817_z

BTW, can you find Waldo? :)

Sponsors

For the second time in a row, ServerGrove proudly sponsored the most important Drupal conference in Spain. We are really happy to be a small part of this great event and hopefully we will keep collaborating in the future. If you attended the conference, remember that we have a couple of coupons for you: “DPSpain15″ for a 15% monthly discount in VPS from VPS 100 to 700, and “DPSpain20″ for a 20% yearly discount in VPS also ranging from VPS 100 to VPS 700. Take a look at our VPS plans.

Photo: Foto de Grupo Drupalcamp Spain 2014, by Pedro Lozano.

May 19 / 2014

Upcoming Conferences

WeCamp

PHP New Zealand

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MadisonPHP

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PHPARG

PHPWorld

TechMeetupUY

SymfonyConMadrid