Archive for the 'Useful Information' Category

PHP4 End of Life Announcement

Saturday, July 14th, 2007

The community wanted it and evidently the guys upstairs did too. I just read on Slashdot that PHP has announced that PHP 4 is on its way out by the end of the year.

This is big news and will affect quite a bit of people — specifically project developers and web hosts. Read the discussion that follows for the community’s [somewhat biased] reaction. As an active PHP5 (and sometimes still PHP4) developer, this is wonderful news. PHP 5 has been around for the past three years and has been stable for the past two years. A lot of hard work has been put into making PHP 5 a faster, more stable, and more secure platform for web developers to use.

According to the official PHP announcement:

The PHP development team hereby announces that support for PHP 4 will continue until the end of this year only. After 2007-12-31 there will be no more releases of PHP 4.4. We will continue to make critical security fixes available on a case-by-case basis until 2008-08-08. Please use the rest of this year to make your application suitable to run on PHP 5.

Migration guides also exist to make the transition easier:

Two Podcasts You Must Subscribe To

Monday, July 9th, 2007

If you’re not into the whole Podcasting thing yet, you need to be. Free education (and entertainment) is very hard to come by these days and when it comes along you should embrace it fully.

I’ve subscribed to many PHP related podcasts over the last two years or so and only two really stand out amongst the rest. It only seems natural that they come from two of the industry’s most influential leaders: Zend and php|architect.

PHP Abstract is a newer podcast offered by Zend’s Developer Zone. They have short episodes (usually no longer than 10 minutes) that are very informative for most PHP developers. At the time of this writing, they have released nine episodes all of which I’ve listened to at least twice. Zend has worked very hard lately at putting a focus on helping out the community and this is just another great resource that is freely made available to us.

The Pro::PHP podcast, presented by php|architect, is another podcast hosted by Sean Coates and my good friend Paul Reinheimer. Pro::PHP is offers more of a casual, less formal approach to podcasts. You can really have fun while listening to Sean and Paul’s conversation and still learn quite a bit. Also, you can expect these podcasts to be considerably longer than those in PHP Abstract (usually averaging about 30 minutes in length).

Make sure to add these to your iTunes (or whatever client you happen to use). You certainly won’t regret it!

The Time Has Come: Go PHP 5

Friday, July 6th, 2007

It’s common knowledge that PHP 5 is the latest and greatest release of PHP. It’s object model being completely revamped, instances passed by reference, the reflection API, and the piles and piles of language improvements over the years speak volumes of the stability of our beloved language. So what gives? Why is PHP 4 still around, actively developed and supported to this day?

It’s quite obvious that you can’t just abandon a version’s users once something new and improved has come out — that wouldn’t be profitable for the community. Instead, do as all good communities do: train, educate, and allow some time for upgrading. Now three years have passed since PHP 5 was announced and it’s time to move on. is a site/movement that have set a firm date to stop community support of PHP 4 and to make the minimum version requirement to 5.2. Their proposed date is February 5, 2008. Although the site is a bin minimal and doesn’t provide any resources beyond a list of supportive hosts and applications, I still feel that this movement is a good one and carries with it great potential. I made the switch to coding entirely PHP 5 about one year ago and I have yet to run into any problems whatsoever.

What is the communities reaction to the thought of dropping support for PHP 4?

Upcoming Meeting Dates

Thursday, July 5th, 2007

Wonderful news guys: I have new meeting dates confirmed! They are as follows:

  • Saturday, August 4th
  • Saturday, August 25 (Instead of September 1, allowing traveling for Labor Day on September 3)
  • Saturday, September 29
  • Saturday, October 27

Meetings for the above dates will be held at DeVry University in Room 108 from 3pm to 5pm. I will be presenting a talk on Web Services on August 4th (witty title coming soon, I promise). I would love to see some folks step up and give some talks for the other three slots. Please propose any ideas in our discussion group.

Be sure to plan around these dates! More information will follow once more specific details come my way.

Zend Framework Hits 1.0

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007

Just shy of the two year anniversary, Zend Technologies has released version 1.0.0 of the Zend Framework for production use.

If you haven’t checked it out yet, the Zend Framework is a rock-solid framework written in PHP 5 that offers solutions for most of the issues web developers face on a day-to-day basis. It is completely open source and falls under a very loose license and their contributers must also agree to and fill out a Contributer License Agreement which is based on Apache’s. In other words, feel free to pick it up and use it in your projects without fear of IP violations.

While using it, you may notice that it has a PEAR-like feeling to it (even though they don’t use all of PEAR’s coding standards throughout the library). As a result, its “use at will” architecture allows you to load only the necessary components in your application as well as insures that it plays well with other frameworks.

One criticism that I have with the framework is that there is no project creation utility, specifically for the MVC libraries. Granted, this slightly goes against the deliberate openness of the framework, but MVCs aren’t noted for their ease of set-up. This could be a bit premature since the framework is still a little young. I’m sure that we will see it evolve quite a bit over the years.

I’d love to see someone [else] put together a talk about this so everyone can benefit from a full presentation of the code. Let’s hear what you think!

Lists for You to Join

Tuesday, April 10th, 2007

I have just taken the time to set up two Google Groups for the CFPHP group.

Central Florida PHP

The Central Florida PHP group is an open discussion for any PHP developer who wants to discuss anything related to PHP or this group’s activities.

Central Florida PHP Announcements

The Central Florida PHP Announcements group is an announcements-only group (IE: nobody can post except for admins and super heroes).

You will find signup forms on on the sidebar of this page if you want to quickly join.

Secure PHP Wiki

Friday, December 1st, 2006

While searching for some PHP-related information, I managed to stumble across this interesting security website.

I hope you all find it useful!

Zend and Microsoft Kiss and Make Up

Monday, November 6th, 2006

And I quote:

Microsoft has formed a technical partnership with Zend Technologies to optimize its open-source scripting language PHP to work better with Windows Information Server.

You can read the full article Microsoft Wants Speed Advantage With Open Source PHP on Dr. Dobb’s

This is some interesting stuff–definitely something I did not expect from a closed-source company with a highly competitive server-side language. I’m quite sure that ASP will continue to grow in it’s own direction, completely independent of PHP’s influence. What I’m hoping for is a much tighter integration with IIS because running PHP as a binary really sucks.

Defining Web 2.0

Friday, November 3rd, 2006

Greetings all. Forgive the somewhat off-topic post but I’d like to write a small informative post about a topic that has been popping up left and right at the firm I work for (as well as all over the web): Web 2.0. This post is being written not to remove the phrase “Web 2.0″ from your vocabulary, but rather to insure that you use it correctly through conversation.

First off, in order to understand what Web 2.0 is, you must understand what it isn’t.

Web 2.0 Isn’t a Style

I always hear people saying things to the effect of “Redesigned with a [Web] 2.0 look”. If this is you, sorry buddy, you missed the point. If Web 2.0 was a look then we would need to account for all of the various design trends over the last decade or so (including the God-awful pill buttons, gradient text and unmatched, obnoxious color schemes); in which case we would be somewhere in the neighborhood Web 10,000.7 or so.

Web 2.0 Isn’t a Behavior

JavaScript is once again being embraced by the community (thankfully) and you are sure to see lots of slick animations, fades, wiggles, pops and their friends. Although JavaScript is currently at version 1.7 and is most likely in it’s second reincarnation (from a trend perspective), JavaScript does not offer a good definition of Web 2.0.

Web 2.0 Isn’t a Technology

There are lots of buzz-words and acronyms floating about the web now. AJAX, Ruby on Rails, SOAP, REST, Web Services, XHTML, CSS etc. If any of these technologies were Web 2.0, the folks giving the version numbers would need to get a little history lesson. Asynchronous web applications have been around for years (via JavaScript and Flash). Ruby is a well seasoned language with an MVC wrapper around it to make it plug into the web nicely. SOAP, REST, and any other XML-based standard (including XHTML) have also been around for quite some time now and have seen several iterations.

What Web 2.0 Is

It’s possible that you are pretty confused at this point seeing that I’ve made a small list of what Web 2.0 isn’t. So here it is:

  • Web 2.0 is nothing more than an idea; a great one at that.
  • Web 2.0 is user-centric design/development.
  • Web 2.0 is separation of presentation and structure.
  • Web 2.0 is semantic.
  • Web 2.0 is accessible.
  • Web 2.0 is usable.
  • Web 2.0 is using the Internet as a stable platform for applications, commerce, communication, etc.

To put it in complete layman’s terms, Web 2.0 is simply us looking back, reflecting on the past, examining mistakes and making damn sure never to do them again.

Hopefully folks reading this will have further clarity on this seemingly confusing topic. Truth be told, Web 2.0 is simple. Granted, there are lots of technical details that I’m excluding from this post. In summary, think of this more of a general synopsis aimed toward the folks who are adding more to the confusion. If you are interested in learning more about this, be sure to read Tim O’Reilly’s “What is Web 2.0.”