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5011 views · 2 years ago

Halloween is filled with ghouls, ghosts, zombies and lots of other spookiness, but the scariest thing ever is FOMO. It’s conference season and several have their call for papers out (including us at Nomad PHP :D). This is the perfect time for you to share your knowledge with the community. Whether it’s your first time or 100th time - it can be scary to put yourself out there and do a talk, but worse than that is not taking the chance and submitting your talk and doing the presentation. Plus, many of these events host lightning talks (short 5-15 minute talks) - meaning you can test out your talk risk free ;)

![](https://i.imgur.com/xByII.jpg)

So here is your chance - submit for one or submit for all of them. May the odds be ever in your favor!

## Fosdem 2019

First we have Fosdem 2019 which will take place on February 2 & 3 in Brussels,Belgium. Some facts about this call for papers:

* **Deadline:** November 3, 2018

* Presentations are expected to be 50 minutes long (including audience questions) and should cater to a varied technical audience. For examples check out [youtube](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdmkLXMwt_g&list=PLaVkMRyQacUQYxXkzvcZJm-kc_FEJpkxK).

* **Submit** your proposals via Pentabarf: [https://fosdem.org/submit](https://fosdem.org/submit).

* The conference covers reasonable travel expenses agreed upon in advance as well as arranges accommodations

## Midwest PHP 2019

Next up we have Midwest PHP which will take place on March 8 & 9 in Bloomington, Minnesota.

* **Deadline:** November 15, 2018

* There is a speaker package included (conference pass, 2 hotel nights, airfare/travel - $500 max, lunch, etc.)

* Make sure the talk title and abstract define the exact topic and what you hope people will learn from it.

* Recommended to submit more than one talk because it can increase your chances of one of them being picked.

* **Submit** your talk here: [https://cfp.midwestphp.org/] (https://cfp.midwestphp.org/)

## Longhorn PHP

Next we have Longhorn PHP which will take place on May 2 (tutorial day) then MAy 3 &4 (conference) in Austin, Texas.

* **Deadline:** December 15, 2018

* For all speakers, you'll get a full conference pass (tutorial day and main conference days), including access to lunch, after-parties, and any other activities included in the conference.

* For speakers remote to the Austin area, we'll provide 3 nights at the speaker hotel (4 nights if presenting a talk and a tutorial) near the conference venue.

* For speakers outside Texas, we'll book you an Economy or equivalent round-trip airfare on a flight into Austin we'd be comfortable taking ourselves (we're conference speakers too!). Plus, we'll arrange transportation between the Austin airport and the speaker hotel.

* Three different session lengths: 3 hour tutorials, 60 minute talks, and 30 minute talks.

* It doesn't have to just be a PHP related talk. For more information on talks click [here](https://cfp.longhornphp.com/ideas).

* **Submit** your talk here: [https://cfp.longhornphp.com/](https://cfp.longhornphp.com/).

## Laravel Live India 2019

Then we have LaravelLive India 2019 in Mumbai, India.

* **Deadline:** December 31, 2018

* Talk length is 30 minutes - Q&A up to the presenters discretion but would be included in the 30 minute time limit.

* Talks will be recorded and distributed for free as well as the presentation slides.

* Looking for a range of talks from PHP (security, testing and frameworks), web development, HTML5, JavaScript, mobile development, emerging technologies and non-technical proposals that will appeal to developers.

* **Talk guidelines:** Objective with clear expectation for audience, short and to the point description, mention of employer is only allowed at the beginning of the content and background image/wallpaper shouldn’t include company name/logos.

* **Submit** your talk here: [https://www.papercall.io/laravellive-india] (https://www.papercall.io/laravellive-india)

## Nomad PHP

#### (you know you want to)

Last but not least - this is an ongoing call for papers. This is perfect if you want to present from the comfort of your office, home or really wherever you are. It’s via RingCentral meetings and will be live and recorded. This is for none other than Nomad PHP.

* **Deadline:** Anytime :D

* Talk length: 45 - 60 minutes.

* Talks should be unique to Nomad PHP and not available in video format online.

* Talk should not be recorded or made available elsewhere online for at least 3 months following your talk.

* The talk will be featured on our page and promoted via social media.

* Speakers will receive a financial stipend.

* Upon being selected we will reach out with further details.

* **Submit** here: [https://www.papercall.io/nomadphp] (https://www.papercall.io/nomadphp)

Now that you have some information - it’s the perfect time to take it all in and get started on your talk proposals :)! Looking forward to seeing all the amazing talks that will be coming out!!!

10409 views · 2 years ago

![Introduction to Gitlab CI for PHP developers](https://images.ctfassets.net/vzl5fkwyme3u/5EUoVwcn2inEG3LsNJFAYp/14e5c704d91665c0de6ffd506a283ec3/AdobeStock_90389954.png?w=1000)

As a developer, you've probably at least heard something about [CI - Continuous integration](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continuous_integration). And if you haven't - you better fix it ASAP, because that's something awesome to have on your skill list and can get extremely helpful in your everyday work. This post will focus on CI for PHP devs, and specifically, on CI implementation from [Gitlab](https://docs.gitlab.com/ee/ci/README.html). I will suppose you know the basics of [Git](https://git-scm.com/), [PHP](https://php.net/), [PHPUnit](https://phpunit.de/), [Docker](https://www.docker.com/) and unix shell. Intended audience - intermediate PHP devs.

Adding something to your workflow must serve a purpose. In this case the goal is to automate routine tasks and achieve better quality control. Even a basic PHP project IMO needs the following:

* [linter](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lint_(software)) checks (cannot merge changes that are invalid on the syntax level)

* Code style checks

* Unit and integration tests

All of those can be just run eventually, of course. But I prefer an automated CI approach even in my personal projects because it leads to a higher level of discipline, you simply can't avoid following a set of rules that you've developed. Also, it reduces a risk of releasing a bug or regression, thus improving quality.

Gitlab is as generous as giving you their CI for free, even for your private repos. At this point it is starting to look as advertising, therefore a quick comparison table for [Gitlab](https://about.gitlab.com/pricing/), Github, [Bitbucket](https://bitbucket.org/product/pricing). AFAIK, Github does not have a built-in solution, instead it is easily integrated with third parties, of which [Travis CI](https://github.com/marketplace/travis-ci/plan/MDIyOk1hcmtldHBsYWNlTGlzdGluZ1BsYW43MA==#pricing-and-setup) seems to be the most popular - I will therefore mention Travis here.

### Public repositories (OSS projects). All 3 providers have a free offer for the open-source community!

| Provider | Limits |

|---|---|

| Gitlab | 2,000 CI pipeline minutes per group per month, shared runners |

| Travis | Apparently unlimited |

| Bitbucket| 50 min/month, max 5 users, File storage <= 1Gb/month |

### Private repositories

| Provider | Price | Limits |

|---|---|---|

| Gitlab | Free | 2,000 CI pipeline minutes per group per month, shared runners |

| Travis | $69/month | Unlimited builds, 1 job at a time |

| Bitbucket| Free | 50 min/month, max 5 users, File storage <= 1Gb/month |

## Getting started

I made a small project based on Laravel framework and called it "ci-showcase". I work in Linux environment, and the commands I use in the examples, are for linux shell. They should be pretty much the same on Mac and nearly the same on Windows though.

```sh

composer create-project laravel/laravel ci-showcase

```

Next, I went to gitlab website and created a new public project: https://gitlab.com/crocodile2u/ci-showcase. Cloned the repo and copied all files and folders from the newly created project - the the new git repo. In the root folder, I placed a `.gitignore` file:

```

.idea

vendor

.env

```

Then the `.env` file:

```

APP_ENV=development

```

Then I generated the application encryption key: `php artisan key:generate`, and then I wanted to verify that the primary setup works as expected: `./vendor/bin/phpunit`, which produced the output `OK (2 tests, 2 assertions)`. Nice, time to commit this: `git commit && git push`

[At this point](https://gitlab.com/crocodile2u/ci-showcase/tree/step-1), we don't yet have any CI, let's do something about it!

### Adding .gitlab-ci.yml

Everyone going to implement CI with Gitlab, is strongly encouraged to bookmark this page: https://docs.gitlab.com/ee/ci/README.html. I will simply provide a short introduction course here plus a bit of boilerplate code to get you started easier.

First QA check that we're going to add is PHP syntax check. PHP has a built-in linter, which you can invoke like this: `php -l my-file.php`. This is what we're going to use. Because the `php -l` command doesn't support multiple files as arguments, I've written a small wrapper shell script and saved it to `ci/linter.sh`:

```sh

#!/bin/sh

files=`sh ci/get-changed-php-files.sh | xargs`

last_status=0

status=0

# Loop through changed PHP files and run php -l on each

for f in "$files" ; do message=`php -l $f` last_status="$?" if [ "$last_status" -ne "0" ]; then # Anything fails -> the whole thing fails echo "PHP Linter is not happy about $f: $message" status="$last_status" fi

done

if [ "$status" -ne "0" ]; then echo "PHP syntax validation failed!"

fi

exit $status

```

Most of the time, you don't actually want to check each and every PHP file that you have. Instead, it's better to check only those files that have been changed. The Gitlab pipeline runs on every push to the repository, and there is a way to know which PHP files have been changed. Here's a simple script, meet `ci/get-changed-php-files.sh`:

```sh

#!/bin/sh

# What's happening here?

#

# 1. We get names and statuses of files that differ in current branch from their state in origin/master.

# These come in form (multiline)

# 2. The output from git diff is filtered by unix grep utility, we only need files with names ending in .php

# 3. One more filter: filter *out* (grep -v) all lines starting with R or D.

# D means "deleted", R means "renamed"

# 4. The filtered status-name list is passed on to awk command, which is instructed to take only the 2nd part

# of every line, thus just the filename

git diff --name-status origin/master | grep '\.php$' | grep -v "^[RD]" | awk '{ print $2 }'

```

These scripts can easily be tested in your local environment ( at least if you have a Linux machine, that is ;-) ).

Now, as we have our first check, we'll finally create our `.gitlab-ci.yml`. This is where your pipeline is declared using [YAML notation](https://yaml.org/):

```yml

# we're using this beautiful tool for our pipeline: https://github.com/jakzal/phpqa

image: jakzal/phpqa:alpine

# For this sample pipeline, we'll only have 1 stage, in real-world you would like to also add at least "deploy"

stages: - QA

linter:

stage: QA

# this is the main part: what is actually executed

script: - sh ci/get-changed-php-files.sh | xargs sh ci/linter.sh

```

The first line is `image: jakzal/phpqa:alpine` and it's telling Gitlab that we want to run our pipeline using a PHP-QA utility by [jakzal](https://github.com/jakzal). It is a docker image containing PHP and a huge variety of QA-tools. We declare one stage - QA, and this stage by now has just a single job named `linter`. Every job can have it's own docker image, but we don't need that for the purpose of this tutorial. Our project reaches [Step 2](https://gitlab.com/crocodile2u/ci-showcase/tree/step-2). Once I had pushed these changes, I immediately went to the [project's CI/CD page](https://gitlab.com/crocodile2u/ci-showcase/pipelines). Aaaand.... the pipeline was already running! I clicked on the `linter` job and saw the following happy green output:

```

Running with gitlab-runner 11.9.0-rc2 (227934c0) on docker-auto-scale ed2dce3a

Using Docker executor with image jakzal/phpqa:alpine ...

Pulling docker image jakzal/phpqa:alpine ...

Using docker image sha256:12bab06185e59387a4bf9f6054e0de9e0d5394ef6400718332c272be8956218f for jakzal/phpqa:alpine ...

Running on runner-ed2dce3a-project-11318734-concurrent-0 via runner-ed2dce3a-srm-1552606379-07370f92...

Initialized empty Git repository in /builds/crocodile2u/ci-showcase/.git/

Fetching changes...

Created fresh repository.

From https://gitlab.com/crocodile2u/ci-showcase * [new branch] master -> origin/master * [new branch] step-1 -> origin/step-1 * [new branch] step-2 -> origin/step-2

Checking out 1651a4e3 as step-2...

Skipping Git submodules setup

$ sh ci/get-changed-php-files.sh | xargs sh ci/linter.sh

Job succeeded

```

It means that our pipeline was successfully created and run!

### PHP Code Sniffer.

[PHP Code Sniffer](https://github.com/squizlabs/PHP_CodeSniffer) is a tool for keeping app of your PHP files in one uniform code style. It has a hell of customizations and settings, but here we will only perform simple check for compatibilty with [PSR-2](https://www.php-fig.org/psr/psr-2/) standard. A good practice is to create a configuration XML file in your project. I will put it in the root folder. Code sniffer can use a few file names, of which I prefer `phpcs.xml`:

```xml

<?xml version="1.0"?>

/resources

```

I also will append another section to `.gitlab-ci.yml`:

```yml

code-style: stage: QA script: # Variable $files will contain the list of PHP files that have changes - files=`sh ci/get-changed-php-files.sh` # If this list is not empty, we execute the phpcs command on all of them - if [ ! -z "$files" ]; then echo $files | xargs phpcs; fi

```

Again, we check only those PHP files that differ from master branch, and pass their names to `phpcs` utility. That's it, [Step 3](https://gitlab.com/crocodile2u/ci-showcase/tree/step-3) is finished! If you go to see the pipeline now, you will notice that `linter` and `code-style` jobs run in parallel.

## Adding PHPUnit

Unit and integration tests are essential for a successful and maintaiable modern software project. In PHP world, [PHPUnit](https://phpunit.de/) is de facto standard for these purposes. The PHPQA docker image already has PHPUnit, but that's not enough. Our project is based on [Laravel](https://laravel.com/), which means it depends on a bunch of third-party libraries, Laravel itself being one of them. Those are installed into `vendor` folder with [composer](https://getcomposer.org/). You might have noticed that our `.gitignore` file has `vendor` folder as one of it entries, which means that it is not managed by the Version Control System. Some prefer their dependencies to be part of their Git repository, I prefer to have only the `composer.json` declarations in Git. Makes the repo much much smaller than the other way round, also makes it easy to avoid bloating your production builds with libraries only needed for development.

Composer is also included into PHPQA docker image, and we can enrich our `.gitlab-ci.yml`:

```yml

test: stage: QA cache: key: dependencies-including-dev paths: - vendor/ script: - composer install - ./vendor/bin/phpunit

```

PHPUnit requires some configuration, but in the very beginning we used `composer create-project` to create our project boilerplate. **laravel/laravel** package has a lot of things included in it, and `phpunit.xml` is also one of them. All I had to do was to add another line to it:

```xml

```

APP_KEY enironment variable is essential for Laravel to run, so I generated a key with `php artisan key:generate`.

`git commit` & `git push`, and we have all three jobs on the **QA** stage!

## Checking that our checks work

In [this branch](https://gitlab.com/crocodile2u/ci-showcase/tree/failing-checks) I intentionally added changes that should fail all three job in our pipeline, take a look at [git diff](https://gitlab.com/crocodile2u/ci-showcase/compare/step-4...failing-checks). And we have this out from the pipeline stages:

**Linter**:

```

$ ci/linter.sh

PHP Linter is not happy about app/User.php:

Parse error: syntax error, unexpected 'syntax' (T_STRING), expecting function (T_FUNCTION) or const (T_CONST) in app/User.php on line 11

Errors parsing app/User.php

PHP syntax validation failed!

ERROR: Job failed: exit code 255

```

**Code-style**:

```

$ if [ ! -z "$files" ]; then echo $files | xargs phpcs; fi

FILE: ...ilds/crocodile2u/ci-showcase/app/Http/Controllers/Controller.php

----------------------------------------------------------------------

FOUND 0 ERRORS AND 1 WARNING AFFECTING 1 LINE

---------------------------------------------------------------------- 13 | WARNING | Line exceeds 120 characters; contains 129 characters

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Time: 39ms; Memory: 6MB

ERROR: Job failed: exit code 123

```

**test**:

```

$ ./vendor/bin/phpunit

PHPUnit 7.5.6 by Sebastian Bergmann and contributors.

F. 2 / 2 (100%)

Time: 102 ms, Memory: 14.00 MB

There was 1 failure:

1) Tests\Unit\ExampleTest::testBasicTest

This test is now failing

Failed asserting that false is true.

/builds/crocodile2u/ci-showcase/tests/Unit/ExampleTest.php:17

FAILURES!

Tests: 2, Assertions: 2, Failures: 1.

ERROR: Job failed: exit code 1

```

Congratulations, our pipeline is running, and we now have much less chance of messing up the result of our work.

## Conclusion

Now you know how to set up a basic QA pipeline for your PHP project. There's still a lot to learn. Pipeline is a powerful tool. For instance, it can make deployments to different environments for you. Or it can build docker images, store artifacts and more! Sounds cool? Then spend 5 minutes of your time and leave a comment, you can also tell me if there is a pipeline topic you would like to be covered in next posts.

1117 views · 3 months ago

![Is PHP a dying language](https:/ /cdn.filestackcontent.com/7GkCdoJKRfGM14qi7baA)

It seems like this question gets asked every year, as for some reason the perception surrounding PHP is that it is a language used by hobbyists, or a dying language - a programming language on its way out.

Before we take a look at "is PHP being used less," let's start with some critical points to consider when choosing a programming language to learn/ invest in.

### PHP powers ~80% of the web

The first point is how popular PHP is as a program language. Recently in a podcast a debate around PHP was raised, with the question being is it an "enterprise" language. The argument against PHP is that it is not widely adopted by enterprises for enterprise application development - or apps that are traditionally developed in Java or .Net.

The key here is understanding that every tool has its strengths and weaknesses, and there are times where using a compiled language such as Java is a smarter move than using PHP. As always, you want to choose the right tool for the job, and PHP as a programming language excels for web applications. That's why today it powers nearly 80% of the websites on the internet! I want to repeat that number, nearly 80% of websites on the internet!

In the podcast, after the initial argument that PHP was not an enterprise language, I had one question to ask - "can you name one enterprise that doesn't use PHP?" Despite the misconception that PHP is not an enterprise language, nearly every enterprise utilizes PHP in some fashion (many for their website, blog, or internal tools). While PHP may not power the app they offer as a service (although for many companies it does), it powers just as critical of offerings that help drive success for the company.

### PHP made Yahoo, Facebook, and Tumblr possible

It's not just personal blogs running on a WordPress install, or small sites running on Drupal (btw, both of these power high traffic, well known web properties), but PHP actually makes development for the web easier and faster. Because it is not a compiled language and is designed to scale, companies are able launch faster, add new features as they go, and grow to enormous scale.

Some of the sites that started with PHP include Yahoo, Facebook, Tumblr, Digg, Mailchimp, and Wikipedia! But it's not just older platforms that started off and have grown to scale with PHP - Etsy, Slack, Baidu, Box, and Canva also got started with PHP! [Read why Slack chose PHP](https:/ /slack.engineering/taking-php-seriously/)

In fact, according to [BuiltWith](https:/ /trends.builtwith.com/framework/PHP), PHP powers 53.22% of the top 10k websites!

### Programming languages don't just disappear

Understanding the prevalence of PHP today, and how often it is used is critical to understanding the longevity of PHP. Despite the radicalized idea, programming languages (and thus programming jobs) do not just disappear overnight. Today you can still find jobs writing code used in mainframes - such as Fortran or Cobol.

As long as companies have applications that use PHP, they'll need someone who knows PHP to maintain the application. And with PHP actively being developed and maintained (PHP 8 having just been released), and PHP powerhouses like WordPress, Drupal, SugarCRM, and others powering websites and apps around the world, it's a safe bet PHP won't be going anywhere anytime soon.

But with the basics out of the way, let's look at how PHP has faired over the years.

## PHP usage over the years

While there is no exact measurement that determines how programming languages are ranked, there are several different rankings we can look at to see how a language has evolved over the years, and where it ranks today.

### GitHub's most popular programming languages

Every year GitHub releases a report of the most popular languages being used to create repositories on GitHub.com. While this isn't an exact way to quantify a programming language, it does help us understand what languages developers are using and promoting for their applications. It also helps us see how lively the community itself is.

In 2014, PHP was ranked as the 3rd most popular programming language, being beat out only by JavaScript and Java. With the emergence of Typescript, C# moving open source, and increased usage of Python for AI - PHP did drop - and was the 6th most popular programming language on GitHub for 2020.

![PHP on GitHub over the years](https:/ /cdn.filestackcontent.com/LVRkr9gRyWp9kN9kzJ3T)

### PHP's ranking on the Tiobe index

Another index for software popularity is the Tiobe index, which bases their ratings off of the number of search engines for programming languages. This index is heavily relied on by companies when making programming and investment decisions, especially in developer marketing.

Like with GitHub, PHP has also seen a decline in the Tiobe index. Ranked 8th last year for all languages, PHP dropped to 9th place, being outranked by the C languages (C, C#, C++), Java, Visual Basic, Python, JavaScript, and Assembly. However, to put the rankings in contrast, PHP is 9th out of the 274 languages Tiobe tracks, and bests SQL, Ruby, Groovy, Go, and Swift.

You can see the latest Tiobe index (updated monthly) at: [https:/ /www.tiobe.com/tiobe-index/](https:/ /www.tiobe.com/tiobe-index/)

### PHP's ranking on BuiltWith

The last model we'll look at is [BuiltWith](https:/ /trends.builtwith.com/framework/PHP). BuiltWith scans website headers to determine what a website is powered by, and like GitHub and Tiobe provides a ranking of programming language popularity and trends.

Builtwith provides an interesting perspective in that we can see an explosion of sites being built with PHP (nearly tripling from 2013 to 2016) before dropping and normalizing in 2017. From 2017 to present, the number of sites using PHP has remained almost constant.

![BuiltWith PHP Usage](https:/ /cdn.filestackcontent.com/bruZQIefQm6XdUMxpfre)

This suggests (as with what we've seen with GitHub and Tiobe) that other languages have grown in popularity, such as JavaScript and Node.js. This doesn't mean that PHP is no longer being used or relied or, but rather that there is more competition and that there are other viable options whereas PHP stood alone at times in terms of being the goto language for web development.

Indeed, when we look at how PHP ranks amongst all technologies on BuiltWith, PHP receives the following BuiltWith awards:

• The most popular on the Entire Internet in Frameworks category.

• The most popular in the Top 10k sites in Frameworks category.

• The most popular in the Top 100k sites in Frameworks category.

• The most popular in the Top 1 Million sites in Frameworks category.

## Conclusion

PHP's popularity has dropped from its height 10 years ago, however it still remains the most popular programming language powering the web. It's important to remember that every tool has pros and cons, and some of the bad rap PHP gets is when compared to languages designed to accomplish tasks or build programs that PHP was never designed to.

It's also important to remember a lot of early criticism for PHP came from it being a procedural programming language and not encompassing Object Oriented Programming capabilities. These capabilities were added in PHP 4 and with PHP 7 & 8 OOP has become a staple of the PHP language.

PHP is a viable, powerful language used by nearly every enterprise and many businesses large and small. In fact it powers over 50% of the top 10,000 websites on the web! With such large usage, popular tools such as WordPress, and an active community, it is safe to assume that PHP will remain a prominent language for years to come.

1048 views · 3 months ago

![A Beginners Guide To Artificial Intelligence For Web Developers](https:/ /cdn.filestackcontent.com/PT0l0IeCQxOeHrg3fwlH)

Artificial Intelligence has significantly transformed the way we work and interpret information. With technologies such as OCR, machine learning, deep learning, natural language processing, and computer vision; machines are now able to provide greater insights and perform tasks that typically required hours and hours of work from humans.

## What is artificial intelligence?

A.I. or artificial intelligence is the technology that enables machines to perform tasks that usually require human intelligence. But instead of using human brains, A.I. uses different technologies such as computers, or even software algorithms, to perform tasks. Some of the most common A.I. technologies include speech recognition, voice recognition, machine translation, natural language processing, computer vision, and predictive analytics. The term artificial intelligence comes from the combination of artificial and intelligence. While artificial intelligence is a property of the physical world, intelligence is the property of the mind. How does it make sense in Web Development? As mentioned earlier, A.I. has significantly transformed the way we work and interpret information.

## How is AI applied to web development?

In the majority of cases, AI is used to assist a developer in a number of functions: Automatically format existing content, analyze images for semantic meaning Break down complex tasks into smaller pieces Example applications of AI in web development Example image compression algorithms. Tools such as image recognition and machine learning have been key factors in the development of new image processing algorithms. Traditionally, manually processing an image was a lengthy and tedious process, but when computer vision was introduced into the process it drastically decreased the amount of time required to complete this task. Now, programs such as image recognition can identify objects in images and classify them based on both visual and metadata attributes.

## Machine learning

When data is fed into a machine learning algorithm, the machine learns to understand it. For instance, if you provide a machine learning algorithm examples of dogs verses blueberries, the machine will learn to identify what a picture of a blueberry looks like, verses a picture of a dog. Natural Language Processing Natural language processing is a sub-field of machine learning. You can apply natural language processing for reading emails, chatting, or writing blog posts (such as this one!). A good example of natural language processing in action can be found in Microsoft's Cortana. Deep learning This is the most popular type of artificial intelligence today.

## Deep learning

Deep learning algorithms are very similar to how the human brain works, with its built in mechanisms to learn and memorise a vast amount of information. It's these connections that enable machines to be able to recognise patterns and learn from them. An example of this is Google Translate, which recognises more than a 1,000 languages. This isn't an example of AI but it shows how useful these programs can be. Deep learning is one of the hottest technologies in the field of machine learning and this explains why almost all of the major technology companies are pushing these advances forward.

## Natural language processing

For example, your phone can understand you better when you speak to it. If you say “Hey, Siri,” your phone will listen to you and respond to your questions. In general, it means that the system has been trained and is able to better understand the context of what you’re trying to communicate. This type of Natural Language Processing is used in the majority of companies today, including the likes of Google and Apple, to improve the user experience, provide better customer service, and to aid in the effective execution of processes. Machine learning Machine Learning is an extremely powerful technique used to further improve the knowledge of artificial intelligence, as well as to make machines smarter by discovering patterns and generalities in vast amounts of data.

## Computer vision

Computer vision is a technology that has been able to recognize objects in images and video for eons. A popular example is Apple's Siri, which was one of the first software to use computer vision to provide contextual awareness. AI is built on this technology, providing the capability to recognize various images and videos. The industry is still in its infancy, but what we have seen so far has been incredibly incredible. What's amazing is that just a few years ago we thought that vision was completely under our control, but now, it has evolved to understand the nuances of objects.

## Conclusion

**“In the year 2050, the Amazon book you ordered for your Kindle will be delivered by a drone.”**

This futuristic statement by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos did leave you pondering. But it is one thing to dream about the future and another thing to think about the innovations taking place in the present and how you can exploit them to drive better business results. To make the most of the technologies coming to our everyday lives, we must acquire a knowledge of the AI technology, its features, and its application. Succeeding in today’s competitive and challenging business world, requires a broad set of skills such as coding, business analysis, computer programming, and ecommerce marketing.

[Learn more about AI with our video library](https:/ /nomadphp.com/videos/ai-machine-learning)

1907 views · 9 months ago

![Web Sockets in PHP](https:/ /cdn.filestackcontent.com/uluFRmjARj6zAQWN05PZ)

In his talk **[Websockets in PHP](https:/ /nomadphp.com/video/219/websockets-in-php)**, [John Fransler](https:/ /johnfansler.com/) walks us through the use of WebSockets in PHP.

While discussing bi-directional real-time application development, John notes that PHP is often not invited to the table due to its lack of native support. Of all the possible attempts to bring in PHP on this stage of real-time development, Ratchet, a PHP WebSocket library, comes closest. "[Ratchet](http:/ /socketo.me/) is a loosely coupled PHP library providing developers with tools to create real-time, bi-directional applications between clients and servers over WebSockets."* Ahem!

### Today's dynamic world

In today's dynamic content world of the internet, it is required to serve real-time bi-directional messages between clients and servers. WebSockets are simple, full-duplex, and persistent. They work over Http and are a standard today.

> WebSockets have compatibility with 96.5% of clients globally

There's a very high chance your client has the necessary plumbing to access your content via WebSockets. WebSockets gives the ability to have real-time data on to your clients without the need for polling.

To understand WebSockets, John takes an example of a Javascript client and Ratchet Server. Javascript has everything built in to allow access to a socket. For example, you can use the send method on a WebSocket variable to send a message to the server, or if you want to respond to a message from the server, you use the `OnConnection` method.

While on the Server, John uses Ratchet, which is built on [React PHP](https:/ /reactphp.org/). A server script is then configured and set up to run and listen on a port for incoming HTTP requests. For messages, JSON is used, and to find public methods, a router is set up. He then goes on to instantiate the server-side script in Ratchet.

**There are four functions of a Ratchets message component interface that are used in this example:**

`OnOpen` gets called when a new connection is made.

`OnClose` gets called when a client quits. It's essential to keep an eye on memory management, and essential to keep tidying up as you move through the code.

`OnError` gets called when there is an exception faced by the user.

`OnMessage` gives the text of the JSON message, which is being exchanged with the client.

For Initialization, Jason continues to walk through the example. He shows how one can loop through the clients, both inside the server and outside the server. Outside the server, it’s a feature of React PHP. On database access, and with traditional standard synchronous MySQL in PHP, what usually happens is that it forces the code to wait for the query to return a result and do nothing — Fortunately, with Asynchronous MySQLi, that is not the case.

John gets into the details explaining Variables, References & Pointers. He also gives a demo where a central site has updated information on the Bitcoin and ether prices. A client terminal reflects the last values. Now the client doesn't have to poll the server for new values. When there is a change in the Bitcoin or ether values, the server pushes down the client's update. No polling helps with a lot of overheads and gets closer to real-time.

### Using Supervisord

For Long-running applications - Jason recommends running a supervisord, use proxy to expose the port, and add a site certificate. Supervisord keeps an eye out for the server running the service; it can be used to restart the service and log any service issues. Recommended proxies are AWS load balancer, Nginx, and HA Proxy. For scalability, use multiple smaller WebSocket servers and a smaller number of clients per server used and load balancing. If one has to support a chat feature to allow clients to talk to each other in near real-time, it is recommended to use [Redis](https:/ /redislabs.com/). The Redis server proxies the messages between the server nodes.

The talk concludes with John summarizing best practices on error handling and takes QnA on various aspects of WebSockets such as handling load balancers and asynchronous calls to MSQLi.

The presentation for this video, along with the code, is hosted at [John Curt's GitHub](https:/ /github.com/johncurt). More info about John's current areas of interest can be found on [John's Blog](https:/ /engagedphp.com/).

### [Watch the video now](https:/ /nomadphp.com/video/219/websockets-in-php)

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