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Random things on PHP, Symfony and web development

New 2015 Debug Toolbar Design in Symfony

The popularity of Symfony has made the debug toolbar a familiar sight for many developers. Ranging from Drupal to Bolt to eZ Publish, many different tools now share common debugging interfaces.

Written by Jani Tarvainen on Monday August 3, 2015
Permalink - Tags: symfony, php, webdev

Symfony in a Nutshell

Symfony is a term related to software development with the PHP language. Symfony is a set of components and an HMVC (Hierarchical Model View Controller) framework to be used in PHP programming. It released under the MIT license as Open Source.

Written by Jani Tarvainen on Sunday August 2, 2015
Permalink - Tags: symfony, php, webdev

My Job Went to GoogleBot (and all I wrote was this lousy article)

Over ten years ago there was big hype around outsourcing. It seemed like all the things that could be done half way around the world for a fraction of the cost would be. I did think of this and even bought and read an excellent book, My Job Went To India (And All I Got Was This Lousy Book), from Chad Fowler.

As a web developer I did feel quite comfortable that the industry was too dynamic, quickly changing and "unspeccable" to be outsourced efficiently. In hindsight I was right, web development is still mostly done close to the client and it's still always chaos just hours before launch.

As silly as it sounds, there is even a rise of a Cult of Programming Artisans; supposedly hand crafting fine code and always searching for the elegant solution. Goddam hipsters.

But me? I don't feel as comfortable now as I did a decade ago.

Written by Jani Tarvainen on Friday July 31, 2015
Permalink - Tags: cms, google, seo, webdev, jobs

Learn Symfony with Silex, the Demo App and the Best Practices Book

The Symfony Full Stack framework is a fully featured platform for you to create your custom applications on top of. If you have experience with it, the structure logical and straightforward.

But as always, nobody is born an expert. The Symfony Community offers good tools to getting started with it. Here is one approach that could get you on the right path.

Written by Jani Tarvainen on Thursday July 30, 2015
Permalink - Tags: symfony, php, silex, framework, tutorial, ezplatform

Bolt CMS is WordPress done right(er)

WordPress is like the bumble bee. Computer Scientists that studied the core code have concluded it is a miracle it works at all. It's clearly a product that taught the original developers how to work with PHP and MySQL. And it shows.

Over the years, cheeky kludge functions and inside jokes have been left in place as Poetry™. The core team stubbornly refuses to keep up with the times and adopt modern PHP development standards.

Superb skills in WordPress are like a country only exporting bananas. It gets you nowhere in the long run. So do you self a favour and save yourself from WordPress!

Written by Jani Tarvainen on Friday July 24, 2015
Permalink - Tags: php, wordpress, bolt, symfony, silex

Dear PHP, the times are a-changin'

The PHP community has been buzzing about all the significant releases such as PHP 7, Symfony 3 and Drupal 8 in 2015. With improved userland application frameworks, better performance and lower memory usage PHP is about to be better than ever.

Yet the world is changing and maybe PHP shouldn't (or can't) even try to keep up with the Joneses.

Written by Jani Tarvainen on Tuesday July 21, 2015
Permalink - Tags: php, javascript, hhvm

Improve Quality with Software Components

Software bugs are familiar to both the developers and users of software. In his book, the Science of Debugging, Matthew A. Telles offers the following definition for a bug: “Bugs are behaviours of the system that the development team (developers, testers and project managers) and customers have agreed are undesirable.”

Due to human errors and bad specifications, bugs will continue to be a part of software development projects. Despite improved tooling and the introduction of Agile methodologies.

Written by Jani Tarvainen on Saturday July 18, 2015
Permalink - Tags: webdev, php, symfony

Everlasting SEO principles that work, because the web is hypertext

Search Engines are a very significant factor in many businesses today. Many companies will fail or succeed depending on their ranking on Bing, DuckDuckGo or Google. This has understandably created a whole industry of Search Engine Optimisation around it. Money talks.

But it's worth noting that SEO, like programming, isn't a tangible good that you can own - it's free as in experience. You can get far in SEO with common sense and understanding that the nature of hypertext.

Your content needs to be good, trusted and accessible.

Written by Jani Tarvainen on Friday July 17, 2015
Permalink - Tags: web, seo, google, bing, symfony, cms, drupal, wordpress, ezplatform, webdev

Handling traffic peaks with CloudFlare CDN for free

Every once in a while you're lucky and end up with a positive problem - your website content is suddenly very popular. You might scramble and start turning up your servers and tuning up your caches or maybe someone's de-facto solution is to install HHVM to run your WordPress faster.

While this is all worth while if you plan for this to happen in the future as well, for and occasional hit piece of content it might not be worth it.

Written by Jani Tarvainen on Monday July 13, 2015
Permalink - Tags: performance, cdn, php, bolt, cloudflare, web, symfony

Symfony and Content Management: Comparing Bolt, Drupal 8 and eZ Platform

If you're working in the PHP content management space (a fancy way of saying building websites with WordPress, Drupal, etc.) you've likely heard about Symfony. While it is just one part of a larger renaissance in the PHP community, it's probably the best known brand known to developers and business folk alike.

Using Symfony as a concept, however is quite ambiguous. Let's take a look at how three different content management tools have done just this.

Written by Jani Tarvainen on Thursday July 9, 2015
Permalink - Tags: drupal, bolt, wordpress, php, cms, ezplatform, ez, symfony, silex, mysql

Test PHP 7 with Vagrant

The PHP core team have set themselves a deadline. They've publicly stated PHP 7 will be launched in October. While this does not feel like a remarkable thing, it still pushes the work forward like any other deadline out there.

Written by Jani Tarvainen on Thursday July 9, 2015
Permalink - Tags: php, vagrant

Choosing between a Framework and a CMS

Yeah, so... there's a new project coming to a trendy agency or a web tech sweatshop. Sales scramble and techies go bonkers on what to build it with - should we go for a CMS or a Framework?

Written by Jani Tarvainen on Wednesday July 8, 2015
Permalink - Tags: web, rant, work