It's 2018, and you're a top-notch modern web developer, with a load of knowledge and tools right there at your disposal: Google and StackOverflow, debugger with a GUI, IDE with autocomplete, you name it. Occasionally, though, you still find yourself in a plain old text console on a remote server, or you have to do something without IDE, or there is no network connection... In such cases it might be helpful to feel comfortable in a simple terminal. In this post I'm going to list some switches for the PHP command that you can use to get information and some utilities.
### Getting basic information about PHP
$ php -i
PHP Version => 7.2.10-0ubuntu1
System => Linux awesome 4.18.0-10-generic #11-Ubuntu SMP Thu Oct 11 15:13:55 UTC 2018 x86_64
![Oprah: You Get Extension! Everyone Get Extension!](https://i.imgflip.com/2kug6u.jpg)
Ever wanted to publish your own extension for PHP but stopped by the lack of C language background? Well, maybe it's time for another take. [Zephir language](https://zephir-lang.com/en) is targeted at people like you.
If you follow this link, you will find these words that say a lot about this project:
> Zephir, an open source, high-level language designed to ease the creation and
maintainability of extensions for PHP with a focus on type and memory safety.
Its syntax highly resembles that of PHP, only there's no dollars scattered around your code. Dollar signs, I mean, the PHP `$variables`. You only can create object oriented extensions, and all the classes written in Zephir must be namespaced. A different and stricter type system exists in Zephir, which allows for transpiling the code you write, into a real C extension.
![Welcome to PHP 7.1](https://images.ctfassets.net/vzl5fkwyme3u/1anObT98iWWEyA8GeW0ayO/66e8598a6afd88248516cfe347d80d0f/AdobeStock_188454354.jpeg?w=1000)
In case you are living under a rock, the latest version of PHP released last week. PHP developers around the world began rebuilding their development containers with it so they can run their tests. Now it’s your turn. If you haven’t already installed it, you can download it here http://php.net/downloads.php Grab it, get it running in your development environment, and run those unit tests. If all goes well, you can begin planning your staged deployment to production.
If you need a quick start guide to get you going, our good friend Mr Colin O’Dell has just the thing for you [“Installing PHP 7.1”](https://www.colinodell.com/blog/2016-12/installing-php-7-1). It’ll get you up and going quickly on PHP 7.1.
What’s the big deal about PHP 7.1? I am so glad you asked. Here are the major n...
![Five Composer Tips Every PHP Developer Should Know](https://images.ctfassets.net/vzl5fkwyme3u/6REkTRobXqOMgyiyCa8ioS/fb4fc03a6a5514df3522a605b981505b/composer.png?w=1000)
Composer is the way that that PHP developers manage libraries and their dependencies. Previously, developers mainly stuck to existing frameworks. If you were a Symfony developer, you used Symfony and libraries built around it. You didn’t dare cross the line to Zend Framework. These days however, developers focus less on frameworks, and more on the libraries they need to build the project they are working on. This decoupling of projects from frameworks is largely possible because of Composer and the ecosystem that has built up around it.
Like PHP, Composer is easy to get started in, but complex enough to take time and practice to master. The Composer manual does a great job of getting you up and running quickly, but some of the commands are involved enough so that many developers miss s...