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5 ways developers win with PaaS

By Katie Miller
April 21, 2014

As a software developer, you are no doubt familiar with the process of abstracting away unnecessary detail in code — imagine if that same principle were applied to application hosting. Say hello to Platform as a Service (PaaS), which enables …

Facebook’s Hack, HHVM, and the Future of PHP

By Josh Lockhart
April 3, 2014

Facebook recently released Hack, a new programming language that looks and acts like PHP. Underneath the hood, however, are a ton of features like static typing, generics, native collections, and many more features for which PHP developers have long been …

Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon in six languages

By Patrick Reynolds
March 25, 2014

The Oracle at Delphi spoke just one language, a cryptic one that priests “compiled” into ancient Greek. The Oracle of Bacon—the website that plays the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game for you—has, in its 20-year existence, been written in …

Four short links: 21 March 2014

By Nat Torkington
March 21, 2014

Hack — PHP with types, generics, collections, lambdas. From Facebook. Solve Hard Things Early — Build great habits around communication and decision-making when everyone still knows each other well. Marginally Useful (Paul Ford) — The last two decades have suggested …

The new PHP

By Josh Lockhart
March 4, 2014

The programming language many love to hate is experiencing a renaissance. This is not your parents’ PHP. The new PHP is a more mature language with community standards, a growing affinity for interoperable components, and a passionate movement to improve …

Respond and redirect with PHP

By Ally MacDonald
February 21, 2014

Editor’s Note: The following excerpt is from the third edition of PHP Cookbook by David Sklar and Adam Trachtenberg. For those already familiar with PHP, PHP Cookbook shows you how to overcome specific problems in your everyday work. Programmers coming …

Respond and redirect with PHP

By Ally MacDonald
February 21, 2014

Editor’s Note: The following excerpt is from the third edition of PHP Cookbook by David Sklar and Adam Trachtenberg. For those already familiar with PHP, PHP Cookbook shows you how to overcome specific problems in your everyday work. Programmers coming …

Safe(er) Passwords in PHP

By Chris Cornutt
January 22, 2014

As anyone whose used a web applications knows, the password is still the go-to form of identification. Sure, there have been lots of improvements in the world of identify over the last few years, but there’s still a constant flow …

Preventing Problems in PHP Security

By Chris Cornutt
December 19, 2013

As any PHP developer that’s been around for a while will tell you, there’s a certain kind of stigma that comes with the language. They’ll hear it from their peers using other languages that PHP is “sloppy” or that “it’s …

Scaling People, Process, and Technology with Python

By Dave Himrod
July 15, 2013

NOTE: If you are interested in attending OSCON to check out Dave’s talk or the many other cool sessions, click over to the OSCON website where you can use the discount code OS13PROG to get 20% off your registration fee. …

Learning to Wait: Asynchronous Becomes Normal

By Simon St. Laurent
July 3, 2013

The biggest change I’ve seen in the last few years of software development isn’t a new language, a new environment, or magical new algorithms. The biggest change is that programmers in many different arenas, working independently, have come to accept …

Asynchronous Processing with PHP on App Engine

By Amy Unruh
July 1, 2013

Note: Amy Unruh, Google Cloud Platform Developer Relations, is just one of the many fantastic speakers we have at OSCON this year. If you are interested in attending to check out Amy’s talk or the many other cool sessions, click …

5 Surprises for PHP Developers Coming to JavaScript

By Stoyan Stefanov
June 10, 2013

PHP programmers often see the familiar C-like syntax of JavaScript and think it’s all flowers and roses. And while trivialities like loops and conditions are pretty much equivalent in both languages, things get very weird very quickly. Let’s take a …

eZ Publish: A CMS Framework with Open Source in Its DNA

By Meghan Blanchette
June 5, 2013

There are a variety of options when it comes to content management. We’ve explored Drupal a bit, and in this email interview I talked to some folks who work with eZ Publish. It is an open source (with commercial options) …

Drupal for Designers

By Meghan Blanchette
April 30, 2013

Dani Nordin (@danigrrl) is an O’Reilly author (Drupal for Designers) and UX designer. We sat down recently to catch up on her current projects and her predictions for the future of Drupal design. She shared some best practices for designing, …

How you can stop trashing PHP code

By Rachel Roumeliotis
April 25, 2013

William Sanders (@williebegoode) is a Professor of Interactive Information Technology at the University of Hartford and author of over 40 technical books! His latest book with us is Learning PHP Design Patterns. We recently sat down to talk about design …

The key web technologies that work together for dynamic web sites

The key web technologies that work together for dynamic web sites
By Andy Oram
July 12, 2012

The technologies that led to an explosion of interactive web sites — PHP, MySQL, JavaScript, and CSS — are still as popular today, and a non-programmer can master them quickly.

Developer Week in Review: Java on trial

Developer Week in Review: Java on trial
By James Turner
May 11, 2012

Google and Oracle continue to duke it out in court, with more than just Android at risk. One developer uses cat feeders as a way to look at good software, and the PHP developers take a second try at fixing a critical bug.

Four short links: 19 April 2011

By Nat Torkington
April 19, 2011

Lines (Mark Jason Dominus) -- If you wanted to hear more about phylogeny, Java programming, or tree algorithms, you are about to be disappointed. The subject of my article today is those fat black lines. Anatomy of a clever piece of everyday programming. There is no part of this program of which I am proud. Rather, I am proud...

Developer Year in Review: Programming Languages

Developer Year in Review: Programming Languages
By James Turner
December 22, 2010

This year brought confusion and chaos in the Java space, continued growth for functional languages due to the attack of multicore, and the usual popularity for all of the dynamic languages we know and love.

Thought-provoking Posts from this week

By Amy Blankenship
August 7, 2010

Ever since I've started my new gig, I've found I have less time to keep up with the latest happenings in the business. So when I do take the time to read an article, it is usually because it...

PHP as a data source for Flex applications

By Robert Bak
June 28, 2010

A whole lot of people seem to be moving from web page development to building RIAs these days. But while the emergence of the new client side technologies is easy to notice, with names like Flex, Silverlight or JavaFX appearing more and more often in the context of web development, the move to RIAs also affects the server side coders.

PHP as a data source for Flex applications

By Robert Bak
June 28, 2010

A whole lot of people seem to be moving from web page development to building RIA-s these days. But while the emergence of the new client side technologies is easy to notice, with names like Flex, Silverlight or JavaFX appearing...

Four short links: 21 June 2010

By Nat Torkington
June 21, 2010

Law of Success 2.0 -- a blog of interviews with famous and/or interesting people, from Brad Feld to Uri Geller. Pioneer One -- crowdsourced funding for TV show, perhaps a hint of the future. Pilot shot for $6,000 which was raised through KickStarter. Distributed via BitTorrent. DrasticTools -- PHP/MySQL visualisation tools, including TreeMap, tag cloud, hierarchical bar chart, and...

Flex 4 / PHP Data-Centric Photo Transfers

By Pete Mackie
June 1, 2010

Have you ever-wondered why you mostly see Flex client example code where the photo display galleries are rendered using the ActionScript 3 (AS 3) Loader.load (request:URLRequest, context:LoaderContext=null) class.method? There’s another way to render photos in a Flex client gallery using the AS 3 Loader.loadBytes(bytes:ByteArray, context:LoaderContext=null) that you see used to a lesser degree. Why is this? There are a couple of valid reasons. First, using a URL, whether it is photos included with the Flex client package or remotely from a Web server, making a simple HTTP calls to load the photo is a snap. Second, photo files are stored as bytes of data and not a convenient AS 3 ByteArray data type.

Flex 4 / PHP Data-Centric Solutions

By Pete Mackie
May 25, 2010

Flash Builder provides server-side remoting technology supporting ASP.Net, J2EE, HTTP/REST and SOAP Web services, PHP, BlazeDS, ColdFusion, and LiveCycle Data Services for streaming data to and from a Flex 4 client. This article exclusively covers the PHP server-side remoting technology principally with Zend's PHP ZendFramework web application server. New RIA client and PHP sever development opportunities are emerging using the newly released Flash Builder 4 (Flex 4) IDE linked the recent additions to the Zend Framework PHP Web application server for messaging via Adobe Message Format 3 (AMF 3) serial data streams.

What Facebook's HipHop means for developers and businesses

By Mac Slocum
February 3, 2010

Facebook claims to have reduced CPU usage by 50 percent with its HipHop for PHP project, and now it's releasing the code as open source. O'Reilly author and PHP expert Kevin Tatroe digs into HipHop's applications beyond Facebook.

Photo Gallery Mate Framework, With Photo Caching

By Pete Mackie
February 1, 2010

I have been developing Adobe Flex-based RIA applications for nearly three years. My prominent need has been for capable RIA photo galleries. I observed over time that most Flex-based example photo galleries resourced photos—either locally or remotely—from photo files stashed...

Top Drupal Gotchas, #2: White Screen / Not Enough PHP Memory

By Spencer Critchley
November 22, 2009

Continuing my effort to spare newcomers to Drupal from falling into this powerful content management system's most common traps, this time I look at a frequent cause of white screens - the sudden and scary devolution of a previously healthy...

Facebook App Case Study: Additional elements and gotchas

By Mirza Hatipovic
August 14, 2009

Welcome back to the series and the concluding article of the exciting facebook series. So far we worked hard to implement features like the front end, administration, loading of YouTube videos etc. In the last article the application came finally to life. We implemented a database that contains 14 levels for the game.

Facebook App Case Study: Front-end Module

By Mirza Hatipovic
August 5, 2009

Welcome back to our exciting series. In the last article, we discussed about the administrative part of the application, where we implemented a background activity to allow every application user to upload their own videos and add mistakes. This time we will work on the front end that will be visible to everyone by default and where the main game play will take place. Before we start with the development, there are important things that need to be considered. First of all, there will be 14 levels to play, 14 levels means 14 video clips, 14 movie snippets.

Facebook App Case Study: Administration module

By Mirza Hatipovic
August 3, 2009

Last time we talked about the way how to work with YouTube videos and how to implement those into our app. We worked hard to implement typical features that can be found on most video sites like play, pause, seek etc. We even have the feature to seek through the video using the Seek Bar that we built from scratch. As we already know, there is one external library used in our application that allows us to load videos into the swf and manipulate the video using ActionScript 3.0. This is a huge advantage since the official YouTube library is written in AS2 and it does not fit our project requirements. Using the library, we were able to create video controls using pure ActionScript 3.0.

Facebook App Case Study: Integrating YouTube Videos

By Mirza Hatipovic
July 22, 2009

Welcome back to our series. In the previous article, we discussed the elements that are the necessary building blocks of the application MovieExpert (http://apps.facebook.com/movieexpert/). We created the main swf, we created the invite screen, we worked hard to make the invite screen actually work on our iFrame. Now that we have all those details done, we can move on and concentrate entirely on the application in the swf file. We know that the invite screen on facebook appears only when the use installs the application, the next time he logs in, he will be redirected directly to http://apps.facebook.com/movieexpert/.

Facebook App Case Study: Preparing the Elements

By Mirza Hatipovic
July 8, 2009

Welcome back! Finally we will work on a real world application that will go live. The application that we will be creating will be named “Movie Expert”. One reason why I chose it is because I am an avid Movie fan and I will have lots of motivation to work on it in detail. The other reason is because it is really a sample that has the potential to utilize the facebook actionscript 3 library the proper way.

Send Gifts Component

By Mirza Hatipovic
July 8, 2009

Sending gifts and items are one of the favorite actions among the millions of facebook users. Friends send items to friends, "buy" gifts, "sell" virtual items etc. Honestly I am not engaged in this activity a lot on facebook, but the number of people willing to send virtual gifts, buy virtual goods is shockingly high! So this article might be underestimated on the first sight, but because I am aware of the trend of sending and receiving gifts, it is worth writing a complete article that covers the trend in actionscript. The number of possible implementations for this component is really countless and in this article we will be able to show only few of them.

Search Friends Component

By Mirza Hatipovic
July 6, 2009

Welcome back to the series. In the previous articles we discussed topics like publishing of news, sending notifications to specific friends etc. The articles covered topics that are not only bound to the user interface in the facebook application development. This time, we are going to play around with the already existing (but complex) MultiFriend component. The component from the article 11 was quite good, but it really had the potential to be a kick ass component for facebook. There were things I wanted to implement, but was not able to because the whole article covered the basic construction of the component.

User Info Component

By Mirza Hatipovic
June 17, 2009

Welcome back to the series. This time we are goings to build a really exciting component that will be used to simply display information about the user. Well, you might say why to we need such a component, is there are real purpose behind that? Well, in my opinion, yes. There are a lot of facebook applications out there done in Flash where we see information about the friends etc. During the process of facebook application development, there will always be a need to quickly display information about the specific friend. The information that is contained inside the component could be every bit of information that was entered by the user.

Publish News Component

By Mirza Hatipovic
June 17, 2009

Welcome back to our exciting Facebook ActionScript series. In this article we will discuss one of most important (and most exciting) features of the FB platform, it's the publishing of news. We all know when we log in to facebook, we see plenty of news about our friends. Some were sent by the users, some where sent by applications. In lots of cases, the action is initiated by applications. We see stuff like "FriendX has just completed level 5", "FriendY just left the building" or "John just sent something to his friends", I'm sure you saw a lot of news similar to this on FB. News are an integral part of application because it's one of the ways that the virality of applications is ensured. Suppose we have the fanciest application on FB, what value we have out of this application if we do not publish any news, if we dont make sure the friends are not notified about the action don't in the application? The application simply needs to "talk" and publish news if the application user performed some action. We need to make sure everybody knows that we just topped the high score of the player from Nigeria.

Notification Component

By Mirza Hatipovic
June 10, 2009

    The notifications are one of the most interesting (and important) parts of the facebook area. In order to completely understand the Flash side of it, we need to understand the basics of the facebook notification, what it is and how...

Extended ProfilePic Component with Effects

By Mirza Hatipovic
May 8, 2009

In this article we will extend the ProfilePic component from the last article and show example of how we can use it in real world scenarios. We will create a facebook application that asks the user a question about the displayed friend. Yes, it is in fact a copy of an existing application (I don’t remember the name and I don’t want to make advertising). The application simply switches from one question to another and associates the displayed friend with the question. Like, for ex., the question appears “Would you ever like to date Monica?" and the application user can simply select between “Yes” of “No”. On the other side, you can choose if you want that the answer is send to the user as a notification. Personally I enjoyed the application and will use it as reference to make a flash version out of it. On the other side, we will use the component and add features to it so the sample will demonstrate how useful the component can be in the development process. We will have the freedom to create our own questions. They can be stored either in the database or XML, but in our case it will be stored in a flat XML file.

ProfilePic Component

By Mirza Hatipovic
May 8, 2009

In the last article we discussed how components are built with the facebook api in mind. Now it's the time to do something more with it. We know how things need to be set up in order for the components to work. We learned about sessions, about the tow frame time line structure of the components and we talked about the inheritance of the UIComponent class. The previous example leveraged just a small potion of the methods that UIComponent provides. In this article we will take more advantange of the UIComponent class in order to create a component for the profile pic.

Component Architecture for Facebook Applications

By Mirza Hatipovic
May 8, 2009

In the last tutorial we discussed the new library that was released by Adobe. The new library from Adobe fits much more naturally into the whole architecture of facebook applications that are built using the Flash platform. We need to know that the previous approach using the PHP library is not useless. In order to create stable and useful Facebook applications we need to know about many ways how to achieve the same goal. If you followed the series from the start then you are on a good way to be able to create truly cutting edge Facebook apps as we have discussed have to grab results from DB and we also make use of the ActionScript library.

Using the brand new Facebook ActionScript 3.0 library

By Mirza Hatipovic
April 15, 2009

    In the 5th article we will deal with Adobes new Facebook ActionScript 3.0 library. It is a brand new product and it is still in beta, but it looks promising. In fact, it has beed there for quite some time and was original developed by Jason Christ. This time Adobe decided to support it and add features. The way the library works differs from the methods from the previous articles because it is completely based on ActionScript and does not use a PHP middle layer. In this article we will explore the library briefly and examine the basic features to get us started. The goal of this article is to create a simple swf file that will connect to facebook.

Creating a Custom API for Flash using Facebook API and PHP

By Mirza Hatipovic
April 15, 2009

    In the previous article we discussed how to set up the framework for PHP, FB API and Flash. We did a lot of work to make this happen. We tested the framework only with very simple methods that made calls to the FB API and databases. In this article we are going to extend the sample to implement all necessary calls to the api. We will try to find the most important and needed fb api methods and teak them for usage in Flash. All the hard work will be accompanied by a sample that will make the whole article more interesting. We will create a small photo album viewer that will let you send notifications of type "I like this" for every photo to your friends. This sample will be more interesting.

Setting Up AMFPHP for Flash and Facebook API

By Mirza Hatipovic
April 15, 2009

     Following good software engineering principles and following the goal to make flash based facebook applications easier to develop there are well known technologies to utilize. So far we have been introduced to the basics of Flash - Facebook API communication. In the second article we discussed the various methods to embed swfs into the facebook canvas. Equipped with that knowledge, we can make a good step forward. In software engineering, experts say that we should develop applications “close to the problem”.

Overview of embedding SWFs into Facebook Canvas

By Mirza Hatipovic
April 9, 2009

Following the first article where we introduced the basic usage of Flash with PHP and Facebook, we are here in the second article to discuss all about the correct embedding of swf's into the facebook canvas. There are a lot of ways of how to do that and everyone of it has its pros and cons. We will discuss this in in detail in this article. Every step will be accompanied by a sample where we will demonstrate the pros and cons.

Creating a Hello Friends App using ActionScript 3.0, PHP and Facebook API

By Mirza Hatipovic
April 6, 2009

As we all know life is much more colorful with friends, Facebook it's the best example on the internet for this case. Its even more colorful when you can use the Facebook API to create applications on that platform. Using Flash, PHP and the FB API we can utilize ActionScript OOP features to make the applications perform better then with standard FBML. I'm not trying to say here that FBML is bad, no, this series will try to teach how implement the existing knowledge of Flash into the Facebook application platform.

Processing AMF 3 PHP Server Object Arrays on the Flex Client Using Object Relational Mapping

By Pete Mackie
March 25, 2009

This article expands on the notion of Adobe Flex client-to-server object mapping per my first O’Reilly Inside RIA article titled AMF3 PHP Server Objects to Flex Client Object Relational Mapping ( http://www.insideria.com/2008/04/amf3-php-server-objects-to-fle.html ). You are encouraged to master the AMF 3 messaging protocol and object relational mapping basics discussed in my first RIA article. Occasionally, in this article, I refer to this first article using the notation of “in my first RIA Object Relational Mapping article,” which means navigate to the above URL for details about the basics.

Is Dreamweaver being beaten by Drupal?

By Kurt Cagle
March 8, 2009

In 1997, I was at the Macromedia User's Conference to give a talk on creating "intelligent" agents within Macromedia Director. At this particular conference, Macromedia announced a new product called Dreamweaver, an HTML editing application that exercised a profound effect upon the web development community.

Adobe and Zend Poll Results

By Rich Tretola
September 28, 2008

After roughly 100 votes the poll with the question "Adobe and Zend announced their collaboration last week. How will this collaboration affect the applications you are working on?" resulted in a nearly 3 way split a slight edge going to...


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