Blog Entries

Using Action Helpers To Implement Re-Usable Widgets

I had a twitter/IRC exchange yesterday with Andries Seutens and Nick Belhomme regarding applications that include widgets within their layout. During the exchange, I told Andriess not to use the action() view helper, and both Andriess and Nick then asked how to implement widgets if they shouldn't use that helper. While I ended up having an IRC exchange with Nick to give him a general idea on how to accomplish the task, I decided a longer writeup was in order.

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Autoloading Benchmarks

During the past week, I've been looking at different strategies for autoloading in Zend Framework. I've suspected for some time that our class loading strategy might be one source of performance degradation, and wanted to research some different approaches, and compare performance.

In this post, I'll outline the approaches I've tried, the benchmarking stategy I applied, and the results of benchmarking each approach.

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Applying FilterIterator to Directory Iteration

I'm currently doing research and prototyping for autoloading alternatives in Zend Framework 2.0. One approach I'm looking at involves creating explicit class/file maps; these tend to be much faster than using the include_path, but do require some additional setup.

My algorithm for generating the maps was absurdly simple:

  • Scan the filesystem for PHP files
  • If the file does not contain an interface, class, or abstract class, skip it.
  • If it does, get its declared namespace and classname

The question was what implementation approach to use.

I'm well aware of RecursiveDirectoryIterator, and planned to use that. However, I also had heard of FilterIterator, and wondered if I could tie that in somehow. In the end, I could, but the solution was non-obvious.

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Running mod_php and FastCGI side-by-side

Because we're in full throes of Zend Framework 2.0 development, I find myself with a variety of PHP binaries floating around my system from both the PHP 5.2 and 5.3 release series. We're at a point now where I'm wanting to test migrating applications from ZF 1.X to 2.0 to se see what works and what doesn't. But that means I need more than one PHP binary enabled on my server...

I use Zend Server on my development box; it's easy to install, and uses my native Ubuntu update manager to get updates. On Ubuntu, it installs the Debian Apache2 packages, so I get the added bonus of familiarity with the configuration structure.

I installed Zend Server some time ago, so I'm still on a PHP 5.2 mod_php binary. I have several PHP 5.3 binaries compiled and installed locally for running unit tests and sample scripts already -- so the question was how to keep my 5.2 mod_php running while simultaneously allowing the ability to run selected vhosts in 5.3?

The answer can be summed up in one acronym: FastCGI.

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Creating Zend_Tool Providers

When I was at Symfony Live this past February, I assisted Stefan Koopmanschap in a full-day workshop on integrating Zend Framework in Symfony applications. During that workshop, Stefan demonstrated creating Symfony "tasks". These are classes that tie in to the Symfony command-line tooling -- basically allowing you to tie in to the CLI tool in order to create cronjobs, migration scripts, etc.

Of course, Zend Framework has an analogue to Symfony tasks in the Zend_Tool component's "providers". In this post, I'll demonstrate how you can create a simple provider that will return the most recent entry from an RSS or Atom feed.

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State of Zend Framework 2.0

The past few months have kept myself and my team quite busy, as we've turned our attentions from maintenance of the Zend Framework 1.X series to Zend Framework 2.0. I've been fielding questions regularly about ZF2 lately, and felt it was time to talk about the roadmap for ZF2, what we've done so far, and how the community can help.

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Writing Gearman Workers in PHP

I've been hearing about and reading about Gearman for a couple years now, but, due to the nature of my work, it's never really been something I needed to investigate; when you're writing backend code, scalability is something you leave to the end-users, right?

Wrong! But perhaps an explanation is in order.

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PHP Invades Amsterdam; or, the Dutch PHP Conference

For the third year running, I'm pleased to be speaking at the Dutch PHP Conference, held again in Amsterdam this coming 10-12 of June.

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Please Join Me At TEK-X

I'll be speaking this year at TEK-X, this year's incarnation of the php|tek conference, in Chicago in May.

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A Primer for PHP 5.3's New Language Features

For the past month, I've been immersed in PHP 5.3 as I and my team have started work on Zend Framework 2.0. PHP 5.3 offers a slew of new language features, many of which were developed to assist framework and library developers. Most of the time, these features are straight-forward, and you can simply use them; in other cases, however, we've run into behaviors that were unexpected. This post will detail several of these, so you either don't run into the same issues -- or can capitalize on some of our discoveries.

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