PHP Weekly Reader – March 30th 2008

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I have been doing some research on build tools this last week, and was hoping some new articles would crop up that were related so I could accomplish two things at once, write my weekly review and learn about new tools, unfortunately that didn’t happen.

There were a few articles about tools I already use and Getting an overview of all targets accumulated in a Phing build file actually told me something I didn’t know, the best part was the link it provided to this site — Build Doctor. There is a lot of good information on build doctor even if little of it is directly PHP related. Other than that the only tool related articles I found this week were for a new release of PHPUnit and phpUnderControl. There was also an announcement by Travis Swicegood that he will be writing a book on Git. I doubt I’ll ever master SVN much less move on to something new any time soon but if I do I’ll pick up a copy of this git book when it comes out.

Interview with Andi Gutmans

I’m not anti-Microsoft, I use their products and I like them, I am one of the few PHP developers I know who doesn’t bash windows, I like a lot of things Microsoft produces but I can’t put my finger on what made me uneasy about Microsoft and PHP in this interview with Andi Gutmans, just a gut feeling I guess. It seems people would learn that Microsoft is a public company and their only concern is profit and growth for their shareholders, feel good overtures to the open source community are only meaningful in the context of profit for Microsoft. Thinking it means open as in we want to work together for mutual good is a mistake.

PHP 5.3

I am really excited about this release, it means I get to play with my pet framework to implement some things that rely on features I’ve been waiting for, but the best news was this –PHP 5.3: Up to 30% performance win

Annoying site(s) of the week

Is it just me or is this an annoying pile of #@!@$^#? I keep seeing articles from this site pop up on dzone. It actually claims to be good for beginners. It may inspire me to actually build something useful as an alternative, it really bothers me that much. This site is a little better but still this article just doesn’t do the topic justice, its no wonder PHP gets such a bad rep when so many “beginner” and “tutorial” sites pass off their advice as best practices.


Has anybody read Mobile Web Development yet? I think I’m going to pick it up, I am working on a project that mobile support is a big part of so I can justify yet another book. I might pick up Jeff Atwoods recommendation Revisiting The Facts and Fallacies of Software Engineering while I’m at it.


The Google Summer of Code application deadline is here. I wonder what project will get some love. I understand that Google has their own motivations for sponsoring these students, but I think a foundation offering grants to experience developers who aren’t necessarily students would make so much more of an impact.

A Disappointing Week

This week was not really all that exciting as far as my feedreader goes, I don’t think there was one article with code that I felt the need to pass along, thats sad. I think everybody has spring fever, I know I do.

Come on Bloggers give me something to read besides the above mentioned annoying sites of the week. I need some good articles on PHP tools, particularly build automation and testing.

Ahhhhh..this is what happens when you have too much time on your hands — Codetcha! And AsciiArt, I know its not PHP but its a cool take on an old school art.

Edit: Lukas pointed out that I maybe my feedreader had somehow missed his article emPHPower, actually I hadn’t missed it and it should definitely be on everybodys reading list. I did forget to mention it because I had been thinking of adding my own two cents in another post.


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  1. Lukas  March 31, 2008

    Guess you kicked me of your feedreader then, or maybe my blog posts werent exciting :(

    Here are the links .. believing it was all an "accident" :)

    emPHPower (brain storming on a PHP advocacy organization):

    Rasmus on big libs and APC (on the example of Doctrine):

  2. Doug Hill  March 31, 2008

    :) The "emPHPower" idea is is awesome! It was an accident that it got left out BUT thats only because I am saving it for its very own post. I have been kicking around some ideas in my head every since I read it.

    I hate the name by the way.

  3. Lukas  March 31, 2008

    Hehe .. its only a "code name" for now. I did reg the domain for the hell of it. Anyways, looking forward to your blog post.

  4. Jonathan Street  March 31, 2008

    A tutorial site with sound advice? That would never work!

    You need a bit of a feel good factor. The easiest way is to miss out all the hard stuff. $sql = "SELECT * FROM table where id = $_POST['form']" works perfectly well in any article looking at database access. Why make it more complex?

    When you were talking about alternatives to GSoC the first thing which came to my mind was "emPHPower". I've no idea where that's going to go but it does look interesting.

  5. Loic Hoguin  April 1, 2008

    Annoying site(s) of the week

    Dear sir, I can only agree with this part of your post. Greetings.

  6. Julian Simpson  April 5, 2008

    Hi Doug,

    Thanks for mentioning Build Doctor. Most of what I do in my day job is Ant and Nant style work, but I don't want to limit Build Doctor to just those. Build and deployment (especially deployment) is often overlooked in software and web projects; Build Doctor is about spreading the message that they are an integral part of development, not an afterthought. I should probably cover Phing and Rake ….



  7. Doug Hill  April 5, 2008


    Phing and rake coverage would be awesome! I agree with you about build and deployment not being given enough attention, especially on smaller projects. I am a fanatic about trying to automate the entire build and deployment process right from the first line of code though, so I will study anything that gives me insight into making it easier even if its not directly related to the language at hand.

    Keep up the good work.

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