PHP 4 is going, going, gone

What a week it's been! Eight days ago, we launched GoPHP5.org to try and break the stalemate that kept PHP 4 on past its sell-by date. At launch, we had a half-dozen projects and about 10 hosts that had signed up.

What a difference a week makes.

Glue code: Component module

Lullabot's Jeff Eaton has been talking about "Glue Code" lately; that's the extra little bit of code you write to make module A talk to module B to add that last little bit to that View you setup with that CCK-based node to make it just right. He's started spinning some of it off into modules, like Top Node, and asked for other people's favorite glue. Here's mine. :-)

Go PHP 5, Go!

Go PHP 5!

"Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have." --Margaret Mead

A while back, various people were lamenting the state of PHP 5 adoption, myself included. What to do about it? How to get hosts to let programmers leverage the added functionality that PHP 5 offers? How can we do that without cutting off 80% of our user base?

The solution a few people suggested was team work. If all PHP projects stopped supporting PHP 4 and made the jump to PHP 5 at the same time, none of them is penalized in the market for being "first" and web hosts will have a clear business case to upgrade their systems to PHP 5. We can then all start offering faster, cleaner, more powerful, more secure web software.

But how does one get all PHP projects together to agree on something like that? Actually, it's fairly simple. You ask them.

POTM for June: chx

I'm going to bend the rules a bit for June. Technically POTM is for open source projects, not people. But this month I've decided to go ahead and declare Karoly "chx" Negyesi, Drupal developer, as my open source "project" of the month. :-)

Quote 65

You can only have a beer if you're working on something under version control.

— My Boss

Yes, I am certifiable!

So it only took them a month to grade it (silly paper exams), but I finally heard back from Zend about the Zend PHP 5 Certification exam I took at php|tek last month. I passed, of course. :-)

Let the bad puns begin!

On code legacy

Dries has been commenting recently, both on his blog and elsewhere, about one of the chief advantages of using open source: All developers/users are on equal footing. If you try to learn a proprietary app or framework, you know what the main developer feels like deigning to let you know. Anything else is either a mystery or, in some cases, illegal for you to find out (if there's any encryption or copy-prevention involved). You can never be as good an expert as the author, because the author has access to the Holy Book (code) and you don't. With an open source project, everyone gets the same access to the code. The only thing stopping you from being the best expert on the planet is your own skills and time.

He's very right about why you should choose to use an open source project. But what about why you should start one, or release your own code open source? As a developer, that's a far more interesting question for me.

People vs. Process

I am a regular reader of TheDailyWTF. Aside from being thoroughly entertaining, it's a great way to learn what not to do by example. Sometimes, though, they have a really insightful article, like The Great Pyramid of Agile. It's spot-on.

Quote 61

Debugging is twice as hard as writing the program, so if you write the program as cleverly as you can, by definition, you won't be clever enough to debug it.

— Kernighan's Law

POTM for May: jQuery

There was a time when I hated Javascript. I'm sure many people hated Javascript at one point. Many still do. Back in the 90s, Javascript seemed to exist primarily to confuse web developers, to provide buggy stock code that designers could copy and paste to provide pointless effects that broke in every browser but the one they were using, and to make web pages cute and therefore unusable.

In the modern day, though, that has changed. Javascript is now cool, and actually fun to program in. There are two main reasons for that, in my experience: browsers that only mostly suck instead of completely suck, and jQuery.

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