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PHPCompatibility update

Update (Nov 3, 2013) : changed the parameters to reflect the new changes in PHP_CodeSniffer

Just a quick post about the updates made to PHPCompatibility.

I did a talk on PHP 5.4/5.5 at Zendcon, not just about what’s new and why you should upgrade, but also about the way PHPCompatibility can ease the pain. I received very good feedback, as well as very interesting questions. As a result, I added a feature I’ve wanted to add for a long time : the option to specify which PHP version to check for.

Here’s the caveat : it requires a change to PHP_CodeSniffer. I’m hoping that change will be accepted soon. From that point onwards, if you have the latest PHP_CodeSniffer (you might want to get it from Github).

So then you will be able to do :

phpcs --standard=PHPCompatibility --runtime-set testVersion 5.4 <path-of-your-php-files>

You can also test for backwards compatibility of your code by specifying versions like 5.2, which causes it to check whether you’re using functions or keywords not known to this older version. Quite nice if you’re coding on PHP 5.5, but your system engineer tells you half way through the project the project will have to be deployed on 5.2.

Important note : if you want to test backwards compatibility, it’s best to run on the latest PHP version available (5.5 right now), for the simple reason that if you have, for example, the keyword ‘yield’ in your code, PHP_CodeSniffer can only recognize it when you’re running PHP 5.5. It can only tell you it’s not available in previous versions if it actually knows what it is.

Expect more compatibility tools soon, as I have some more ideas, such as how to automatically figure out whether and where you’re still relying on register_globals and magic quotes 😉

Busy busy + updates

My blog has been very quiet for about 10 months, so I thought I’d write a quick update on what I’ve been doing :
– Work has been extremely busy, with lots of new projects and lots of existing projects needing changes
– Not really helping my workload is my health, which has been slightly troubling since I got Pfeiffer’s disease last year. Although I’m mostly rid of it, it’s one of those annoying things that, even if your body has beaten it, it tends to cause some after effects.
– I’ve been speaking at a lot conferences in Europe and the US (check the conferences page on the right). All this travel hasn’t exactly been good for recovering from the above either 😉
– When I find the time, I try to put on my dancing shoes and have a good time dancing the stress away

So what’s coming up :
– More work, lots more actually. We’re about to launch a new IPv6 service and are working on exciting projects for several clients
– More conferences. In fact, I have 6 more planned right now. Looking forward to them though, as they’re in some of my favourite places (like San Francisco !)
– Planning on finally finishing some of the open source projects I’ve been working on, as well as starting a few additional ones
– Planning on working on some other projects, based on ideas I had years ago. Maybe I’ll finally get around to building them ?

And finally, I intend to write some more blog posts about various topics. Some of those posts are already partially finished. So expect more activity here 😉

Conferences, development, ideas, …

I just returned from PHPCon Poland, a very nice conference taking place in the middle of beautiful scenery. Although there were only 5 talks in English (3 of which were given by Belgians – Thijs Feryn, Michelangelo Van Dam and myself), the conference was definitely interesting and fun.
I gave a relatively new talk, that I first presented as a 20-min ‘lightning talk’ at ZendCon Uncon 2011. It’s evolved into a 45-min talk (ok, it was only 38-min so I can add some content next time) titled ‘Remove PHP calls and scale your site like crazy’ in which I explain more about the Nginx extension we’re building to improve the performance and scalability of sites with user-specific content. I received some pretty good feedback on and lots of people approached me afterwards, wanting to learn even more about it.

I also submitted 6 talks for Confoo, which is supposed to be one of the best web development conferences out there. Not sure if I’ll make it, but if you want to help out, feel free to vote for me. Registration is required to vote, but takes only a minute.

Lots of ideas buzzing in my head, but sadly not enough time to work on them. The Nginx thing is cool, but it’s what I call ‘phase 1’… which means there’s a ‘phase 2’ (in fact, there’s even a ‘phase 3’). But since that requires even more time, it’ll probably be for when phase 1 has been completed.

In the meantime, we’re on the hunt for people looking for a new challenge. If you’re looking to be seriously challenged, check out our jobs page and feel free to tweet/mail/call me 😉 zonder voetbal (for Belgian users)

For the English readers of my blog : this post is for Belgian users who want to use (a big Belgian sports site) without all the soccer content, since that usually fills over 80% of the site. So the content is in Dutch, sorry 😉

Sporza zonder al de voetbal… niet ideaal voor de voetbalfans, maar die hebben sites als Voetbalkrant om hun voetbalnieuws te halen. Dus er is geen enkele reden waarom 80% van vol moet staan met voetbal. Maar aangezien je dat niet zelf kan aanpassen, is hier de manier om te bekijken zonder voetbal.

Voor Firefox-gebruikers

  • Download Greasemonkey hier. Mogelijk moet je Firefox even herstarten.
  • Klik hier en kies Install/Installeren
  • Surf naar Sporza

Voor Chrome-gebruikers

  • Klik hier en kies Continue/Verder
  • Surf naar Sporza

Voor gebruikers van Internet Explorer

  • Surf naar hier
  • Download en installeer Chrome
  • Volg bovenstaande instructies

PHP 5.4 compatibility checks using PHP_CodeSniffer

Update (27 Nov) : Support for PHP 5.5alpha is included.

For those of you who are new to this concept, check my blog post from a while ago. It will explain the basic concept of using PHP_CodeSniffer to automate compatibility checks. But don’t use the download links, because they point to the old (PHP 5.3) version !

What’s new ?

Quite a few things have changed in this new release :

  • There’s no version specific release anymore. The previous codesniffer standard was called PHP53Compatibility, but it seemed quite stupid to make a new standard for every PHP version out there, especially since that would keep certain people from upgrading to the latest major PHP version. So the new PHPCompatibility standard works for 5.0 – 5.4
  • But since some people simply can’t upgrade to the latest version, I added version information to all the checks. For example : the deprecated  function checker will now tell you that session_register() is deprecated since PHP 5.3 and removed since PHP 5.4 – if you’re running 5.2 and want to move to 5.3, at least you know right away that you’ll have to fix that problem, because otherwise you can’t ever upgrade to 5.4. This version check is available on deprecated/removed function, deprecated/removed php.ini directives and deprecated/removed extensions.
  • Default timezone check has been added : since PHP 5.4, you need to have a default timezone set or PHP will complain. This is ofcourse only useful if you run the tests on a system with identical settings as your production environment.
  • A check for the removed functionality on break and continue was added. (Using a variable or function call as a parameter on break and continue is no longer allowed.)
  • 2 algorithms were removed in the hash extension, so there’s a check for that as well

Where to get it

2 options :

  • Using git : run this in your PHP_CodeSniffer/Standards directory :
    ~ > git clone git:// PHPCompatibility
  • Downloading a zip : download here and unzip the file in PHP_CodeSniffer/Standards/PHPCompatibility

How to run it

Start PHP_CodeSniffer like this :
phpcs --standard=PHPCompatibility

Enjoy !

As always, any feedback (or patches on Github) welcome !