New Supported Versions Timeline Page

The website has introduced a new feature to help make it a bit clearer which versions of PHP are supported and which have reached their end-of-life mark. This new Supported versions page off the main site provides listings of currently supported versions and graphical timelines of past (and future) support milestones.

Each release branch of PHP is fully supported for two years from its initial stable release. During this period, bugs and security issues that have been reported are fixed and are released in regular point releases. After this two year period of active support, each branch is then supported for an additional year for critical security issues only. Releases during this period are made on an as-needed basis: there may be multiple point releases, or none, depending on the number of reports.

The page includes information on when the initial release in a series was made (like the 5.4.x or 5.5.x series), when active support did/will end and how long the timeline is for security fixes and support. As of the time of this post, PHP 5.3.x is the only series that has reached end-of-life, but the 5.4.x series is coming close being in security fix only mode now and EOL-ing completely in ten months.


Community News: Packagist Latest Releases for 10.22.2014

Recent releases from the Packagist:

Community News: Packagist Latest Releases for 10.18.2014

Recent releases from the Packagist: Laravel, BDD And You: Let’s Get Started

On they’ve kicked off a new series of tutorials teaching you about Laravel development but using the principles and testing of behavior-driven development (BDD). In this first part of the series they get you started with the basic environment and a few simple tests.

Welcome to this series about developing Laravel applications using a behavior-driven development (BDD) approach. Full stack BDD can seem complicated and intimidating. There are just as many ways of doing it as there are developers. In this series, I will walk you through my approach of using Behat and PhpSpec to design a Laravel application from scratch. There are many resources on BDD in general, but Laravel specific material is hard to find. Therefore, in this series, we will focus more on the Laravel related aspects and less on the general stuff that you can read about many other places.

He talks about what it means to „describe behavior“ versus other kinds of testing and introduces the sample application they’ll be creating to show these principles: a time tracker. Following this, they help you install the needed tools (via Composer) and initialize the directory to be ready for the Behat/Phpspec tests you’ll create. An example of a basic Feature is included, testing the initial Laravel „Welcome“ page it defaults to and how to execute it. Finally, following the ideals of BDD, they show how to implement the „Given I am logged in“ step first in the test then in the Laravel application.


SitePoint PHP Blog: How to Use PHPbrew and VirtPHP

Phil Sturgeon has written up a new tutorial for the SitePoint PHP blog showing you how to use PHPbrew and VirtPHP to be able to work with more than one PHP version on the same system.

We’ve all been in the situation where we have one version installed. Maybe that version is whatever came installed on our operating system. Maybe it is a version bundled into MAMP/WAMP/XAMPP. How do you go about switching that PHP version? How do you switch to one version, then switch back again? How do you go about switching that version of PHP, but only for one single application on your computer? The Ruby and Python communities have had tools for dealing with this for years. PHP has them now too, but there was nowhere near enough fanfare.

He starts with PHPbrew and walks you through a basic install and configuration of a version of PHP 5.6.0. He shows how to add extension support and switch between the different PHP versions at will. Next comes the look at VirtPHP, a similar system that takes a little bit different approach. It creates „environments“ that contain the PHP version to a bit more isolated setup. With an environment created, VirtPHP lets you install PECL extensions without changing anything globally. He ends the post with a comparison to how most developers (developing locally) handle their setup and mentions Vagrant, but notes that it may be a bit much for the solo developer.