7 tools every PHP developer should know

GIT | Bitbucket | GitHub

Distributed revision control and source code management system is what wikipedia says about GIT.  GIT is powerful tool giving you an opportunity to version your code and much more (for example deployment – try it and you’ll love it).

Bitbucket and GitHub are web based hosting services for your repos. Bitbucket gives you unlimited number of private repos (up to 5 users) and GitHub is mostly used for open sourced projects (public repos), so you are able to find there almost every source code you need.

Do you still use Subversion? It’s time to give a try to a GIT.  Are you not versioning your files? You should start with GIT right away!

FTP | Filezilla

GIT deployment is totally cool, but there’s sometimes situation you are not able to use it. For these moments there is the Filezilla – great FTP client supporting linux and windows. Go ahead.

IDE | PhpStorm

Of course you are going to need an IDE. And in my opinion the best one is PhpStorm. For a reasonable price you will get kick ass tool. Integrates GIT, FTP client and terminal, so you really don’t need to switch to other apps during the development. Really worth a try.

Framework | Nette Framework

There’s a lot of PHP frameworks. You probably know Symfony or Zend, but the slickest one is not so widely known framework called Nette. If nothing you should at least check out Tracy (debugging tool), Tester (do you write tests, right?) or Latte (amazing template engine).

Tracy in action
Tracy in action

Dependencies | Composer

You don’t know Composer? And how do you maintain your projects libraries? Go for it right now. This is the future of PHP development.

Hosting | Digital Ocean

If you are maintaining a lot of web apps or websites you should consider to buy a VPS. Just because it’s cheaper and you have the whole environment under your control. There’s no problem with old version PHP, the PHP is set up the way u want to and because you can set up the GIT deployment.

I recommend to try Digital Ocean – it’s working on SSD and servers are really fast and surprisingly cheap. Starts at $5/month, simply scalable.

Server & Database | Nginx + Postgresql

You are probably familiar with Apache (web server) and MySQL. Check out MariaDB (MySQL fork, for now it’s compatible) – it might be better match for your projects. Anyway there’s a lot of great stuff in web servers too. Earlier this year I was trying Lighty (lighttpd) but afterall, the nginx looks like true love for me and I am trying to use this one for all projects from now on. Why? It saves me a lot of server resources and it’s highly configurable.

And at last but not least the PostgreSQL. MySQL is great but not compared to PostgreSQL. If you need to work with JSONs or geodata and you still want to use object-relational database, this is the one.

 Resume

Lot of interesting tools were mentioned above but there’s still lot of them out there. Share your favorite tools in comments. Really looking forward for your opinions.

 

Upgrade from MySQL to MariaDB at Debian

Since I’ve decided to improve performance of my webservers (and migrate from Apache2 to Lighttpd) I wondered if I could do something with an MySQL. And after a research I made a decision that I am going to migrate my servers to MariaDB.
If you never heard about MariaDB you should probably know that MariaDB is a fork of MySQL because MySQL has been bought by an evil company and it’s not so much open sourced and the origin creators of MySQL have decided to do better db server and that’s MariaDB and so on and so on. Boring stuff mostly.Why to migrate?

  • open sourced
  • better engines (in my opinion)
  • performance might be slightly better
  • and it’s fully compatible with MySQL. For a now.

How to migrate?

Surprisingly simple. Python software properties are just for adding new repository by add-apt-repository, you don’t need to install this, if you know how to add repository.

# apt-get install python-software-properties

And add keys:

# apt-key adv --recv-keys --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com 0xcbcb082a1bb943db

Add repository:

# add-apt-repository 'deb http://mirror.stshosting.co.uk/mariadb/repo/10.0/debian wheezy main'

Update packages:

apt-get update

And install MariaDB:

apt-get install mariadb-server

mysql_replace_mariadb.fw

That’s it. During installation will be stopped the MySQL server, installed MariaDB, you will be asked for root password and then will started mariaDB server. Service is still mysqld, actually for you  – nothing changed. Everything works the same way as with the MySQL.

And if have not used the latest mysql version, you should run

mysql_upgrade

after installation.