In a recent press release, we see that Zend has released version 4 of its Zend Guard. As the release states, "Zend Guard 4 is comprised of two key components, the Zend Guard encoder and the Zend Guard license manager which enables the protection and mass distribution of commercial PHP applications. Licenses can be easily modified or renewed, without deploying new software. Developers can pick-and-choose from a variety of flexible licensing models such as concurrent users, time limited, segment of network, or server specific." For more info, visit Zend's website.
Join the PHP Thinktank
Davey Shafik has been busy creating a new outlet for the PHP developer who is serious about discussing things other than parse errors. He calls it the PHP Thinktank and has set up a few modes of communication. First, there is the irc channel #php.thinktank at freenode.net. If you visit the channel, you'll find an active and extensive group of professionals who like to talk about everything from design patterns to frameworks, and even some entertaining OT discussions. Through this, they occasionally set up a teamspeak VOIP group. Secondly, Davey has also created a website and wiki for the Thinktank which can be seen at www.phpthinktank.com. You can also read about the underlying concepts of the thinktank by going to Davey's blog: http://www.pixelated-dreams.com/.
Minor Unpatched Security Alert in phpMyAdmin
Secunia is reporting a less critical security bug in phpMyAdmin v1.x and 2.x that is yet unpatched. Per the security release, "Input passed to the 'sql_query' parameter in sql.php is not properly sanitised before being used." The proposed solution: "Do not visit untrusted web sites while being logged into the administration interface." So there you have it. To read the complete security alert, visit Secunia's website: http://secunia.com/advisories/19659/
Google's Summer of Code Announced
If you're a student and a kick-butt coder, you may want to consider applying for Google's Summer of Code. I haven't yet seen any PHP-specific projects listed, however, there are PHP entities on the mentor list so it's sure to follow. As well, Rasmus Lerdorf brought this up to the php-internals mailing list, and several ideas have been floating around. Google doesn't let just anybody into this code-fest, however, so to view the entire rundown of how it works, go to http://code.google.com/summerofcode.html.
XAMPP Beta Needs Testers
Apachefriends has just released the latest beta version of their XAMPP software, with PHP 5.1.2 and 4.4.2, MySQL 5.0.20, eAccelerator 0.9.4,and phpMyAdmin 220.127.116.11. They would "very much appreciate" testing and reporting back with any problems before the stable release in 1-2 weeks. To download your copy and give it a whirl, go to http://www.apachefriends.org/en/xampp-beta.html
Zend Framework Preview Release 0.1.3 Available
Zend announced the latest preview release to the popular Zend Framework (along with giving the site a facelift.) This release includes the Zend_Search_Lucene module to the standard library, among other things. Also, they've been putting forth a lot of effort into beefing up the online manual, which you can see at http://framework.zend.com/manual. To download your free copy of the preview release, go to http://framework.zend.com/download
I would be remiss in my duties if I didn't include what's new at PEAR and PECL. Recent PEAR releases include:
DB_Table 1.3.0RC4 - Builds on PEAR DB to abstract datatypes and automate table creation, data validation, insert, update, delete, and select; combines these with PEAR HTML_QuickForm to automatically generate input forms that match the table column definitions.