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PHP in Visual Studio

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PHP is one of the most popular programming languages for server-side web development. It’s used in many frameworks and CSMs like WordPress, Laravel, Symfony, and others which are behind a sizable chunk of the Internet.

Visual Studio is a powerful IDE, but its focus didn’t align with some languages, PHP being one of them. As time progressed more languages found their way to Visual Studio, like Python and eventually PHP. A Prague-based company called DEVSENSE developed an extension called PHP Tools for Visual Studio which has been available in the Visual Studio ecosystem for over a decade.

Image editor

Since its inception PHP Tools for Visual Studio was a paid extension, offering a free trial. Now, that’s changed. DEVSENSE is releasing a big part of their offering as a free extension, leaving some features as paid ones. That allows PHP developers to work in Visual Studio and take advantage of all the great stuff which is available.

That means developers will get IntelliSense, formatting, project system, on-the-fly code analysis, composer (PHP dependency management) integration and other advanced editor-related features for free. In the latest version, PHP Tools support PHP 8.2 which hasn’t been released officially yet, and other things like generics which are a must-have for frameworks like Laravel. Other features like debugging, refactoring, unit testing, and code lens are available in the premium offering. The detailed comparison matrix can be found at https://www.devsense.com/purchase

Quick start

First, install PHP Tools for Visual Studio

Create your PHP project

After the installation:

  • Select Create a new project from the start page or File > New > Projectfrom the title bar
  • In the language combo box select PHP, select PHP Web Project, then select Next
  • Name your project and select Create.
  • At this point, you can select the project template. Let’s choose Empty Web Site and select Next: Image new project
  • Now, you can select which PHP version to set for the project. For this short tutorial, we can go with PHP 8.1 and select Finish. PHP Tools will check your environment and install and configure PHP which is set up in the project: Image install

Use the PHP Editor in Visual Studio

When the installation is finished, the project will open. In the editor, you can hover over any symbol to get a tooltip. Or press Ctrl + Space to see the IntelliSense for the current context.

Image tooltip

Run and Debug PHP in Visual Studio

Place a breakpoint F9 and hit F5 to run the project and start debugging. The server which is configured in the project (by default it’s PHP’s built-in Web server) will run and a browser opens. Then the breakpoint will get hit.

Image breakpoint

Congratulations! You are debugging PHP in Visual Studio.

This was a simple walkthrough of how PHP Tools for Visual Studio can be used where you have one project in the solution. A more complex setup is possible: developers can add PHP projects to their existing solutions (*.sln) – having one IDE should make their life easier, or they can work with PHP just by opening a folder. More tutorials can be found on DEVSENSE’s documentation.

Next steps

If PHP development in Visual Studio is interesting to you, please install PHP Tools for Visual Studio and make sure to let the authors know how you like it, what features you are missing or if you run into anything that could be further improved. You can reach them at DEVSENSE’s PHP Tools Community Forum.

The post PHP in Visual Studio appeared first on Visual Studio Blog.

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Windows 95 went the extra mile to ensure compatibility of SimCity, other games

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Microsoft wanted people to have zero reasons not to upgrade to Windows 95. That meant making sure <em>SimCity Classic</em> worked, with some memory-reading workarounds.

Enlarge / Microsoft wanted people to have zero reasons not to upgrade to Windows 95. That meant making sure SimCity Classic worked, with some memory-reading workarounds. (credit: Chris Hsia / Flickr)

It's still possible to learn a lot of interesting things about old operating systems. Sometimes those things were documented, or at least hinted at, in blog posts that miraculously still exist. One such quirk showed up recently when someone noticed how Microsoft made sure that SimCity and other popular apps worked on Windows 95.

A recent tweet by @Kalyoshika highlights an excerpt from a blog post by Fog Creek Software co-founder, Stack Overflow co-creator, and longtime software blogger Joel Spolsky. The larger post is about chicken-and-egg OS/software appeal and demand. The part that caught the eye of a Hardcore Gaming 101 podcast co-host is how the Windows 3.1 version of SimCity worked on the Windows 95 system. Windows 95 merged MS-DOS and Windows apps, upgraded APIs from 16 to 32-bit, and was hyper-marketed. A popular app like SimCity, which sold more than 5 million copies, needed to work without a hitch.

Spolsky's post summarizes how SimCity became Windows 95-ready, as he heard it, without input from Maxis or user workarounds.

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France reveals hidden swimming pools with AI, taxes them

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France reveals hidden swimming pools with AI, taxes them

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

Using an artificial intelligence computer vision system developed by French IT firm Capgemini, the French tax office (often called "Le Fisc") has identified 20,356 residential swimming pools that had previously gone undeclared. According to The Guardian, this has opened up €10 million in additional tax revenue, leading the way to the government taxing other undeclared architectural features such as annexes or verandas.

To find undeclared pools, Capgemini's software—with help from Google's cloud processing—automatically recognizes pools in aerial photographs (by looking for blue rectangles, for instance) and compares the results to records in real estate and tax databases. If it finds that a relevant address doesn't have a pool registered, the owner is in violation of tax law. The program began last October on a limited basis, covering only nine out of 96 metropolitan departments. At first, the system confused solar panels for swimming pools with an error rate of 30 percent, but Le Fisc says that it has since increased the accuracy.

The French government taxes real estate based on its rental value, which increases when owners build additions or improvements such as swimming pools. For example, a 30 square meter swimming pool will result in around €200 of extra taxes per year. Private pools have lately become more popular in France due to the recent heat wave, but they're also controversial due to their water usage during a historic drought.

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zipcube
90 days ago
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Dallas, Texas
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The Windows 11 taskbar is getting better for people who open tons of apps

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Microsoft is testing a new way to handle taskbars with too many open apps.

Enlarge / Microsoft is testing a new way to handle taskbars with too many open apps. (credit: Microsoft)

We appear to be entering a period of Windows' development where we can expect new features and tweaks to come to the operating system several times a year. To that end, Microsoft continues to add, remove, and generally experiment with Windows 11's features and user interface via its Insider Preview channels.

The most interesting addition we've seen in a while is rolling out to users on the experimental Dev Channel now: a modified version of the taskbar with much-improved handling of app icon overflow when users have too many apps open at once. Click an ellipsis button on your taskbar, and a new icon overflow menu opens up, allowing you to interact with any of those extra icons the same way you would if they were sitting on the taskbar.

This would be a big improvement over the current overflow behavior, which devotes one icon's worth of space to show the icon for the app you last interacted with, leaving the rest inaccessible. That icon will continue to appear on the taskbar alongside the new ellipsis icon. Microsoft says that app icons in the overflow area will be able to show jump lists and other customizable shortcuts the same as any other app icon in the taskbar.

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cbenard
130 days ago
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Still a no-go.
Plano, Texas

Microsoft previews a new, totally redesigned Outlook for Windows app

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The new Outlook client for Windows will unify the web and offline clients—when it's done, anyway.

Enlarge / The new Outlook client for Windows will unify the web and offline clients—when it's done, anyway. (credit: Microsoft)

For years now, Microsoft has been planning behind the scenes to unify its disparate Outlook clients across the web, Windows, and macOS. Today, that goal moved one step closer to completion with the introduction of a new Outlook client for Windows users that closely mirrors the interface and functionality of the Outlook web client.

The new app is available to Office Insiders in the Beta channel who have work or school Microsoft 365 accounts. Regular Microsoft accounts aren't currently supported. This appears to be the same version of the Outlook client that leaked to the public a couple of weeks ago.

A unified Outlook client, also known as "One Outlook" or "Project Monarch," will be an especially welcome change for Mac users. The Mac version of Outlook has always looked different from and been less fully featured than the Windows client, though the current situation is much better than the bad old days of Microsoft Entourage.

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cbenard
195 days ago
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LOL "In-development and planned features that aren't yet supported include support for IMAP mail accounts, @outlook.com accounts, offline use, use with multiple accounts, and support for working with .pst Outlook data files."

What even is this? Just an Electron wrapper around the web version?
Plano, Texas

Sega is reportedly working on big-budget reboots of Crazy Taxi and Jet Set Radio

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Jet Set Radio Hd
A screenshot from Jet Set Radio HD.

Sega has reportedly started work on big-budget reboots of two cult titles: Crazy Taxi and Jet Set Radio. According to a report from Bloomberg citing “people familiar with its plans,” the Japanese game giant wants to create new games that can become global hits like Fortnite and deliver recurring revenue.

Fortnite, of course, has built its success on a number of attributes. It’s cross-platform, free-to-play, and generates money for publisher Epic Games through the use of cosmetic micro-transactions. Bloomberg doesn’t state that Sega is following this mold exactly, but it’s hard to know how you’d create a Fornite-like hit without ... replicating Fornite’s key traits.

Vague hints of Sega’s plans in this department have been appearing for a while now. In the company’s annual earnings report for the year ending March 2021, it named Jet Set Radio and Crazy Taxi as “examples of past IP” it wanted to utilize through reboots, remasters, and remakes. (Other games named included Rez, Panzer Dragoon, and Streets of Rage.) This same report discussed an internal “Super Game” initiative, which Sony exec Shuji Utsumi later explained would mean building multi-platform AAA titles with global releases. (He also alluded vaguely to NFTs, but honestly I think executives just say this as a reflex right now.)

Earlier this month, Utsumi said that several Super Game projects were currently underway, and Bloomberg is now saying these include Crazy Taxi and Jet Set Radio. The new Crazy Taxi game has been in development for a year, says Bloomberg, with a targeted release of 2024 to 2025. No such timeframe for Jet Set Radio is mentioned, and the publication stresses that “both new games are in the early stages of creation and could still be canceled.”

Things are still very much in development, then, but it’s tantalizing to imagine what Sega might do with these properties. Both titles arrived on Sega’s Dreamcast in 2000 (Crazy Taxi appeared in arcades the previous year) and gained cult followings for their stylish graphics and soundtracks. Crazy Taxi tasked players with delivering fares around a fictional San Francisco as quickly as possible, while Tokyo-based Jet Set Radio offered a number of game modes focused on inline skating and graffiti tagging.

Both titles are much more focused on gameplay than story, but Jet Set Radio’s use of factions and competitions seems particularly well suited to the sort of mass-participation multiplayer that has helped make Fortnite so popular. And who knows, perhaps a reboot of Crazy Taxi will mean a new theme song from The Offspring? That would certainly get the attention of anyone who played these titles on release.

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