PHP Weekly Reader – March 16th 2008

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I spend way too much time reading blogs, surfing PHP and web development articles online. I resolve to cut back but things just sneak back into my reader somehow, and believe me dzone doesn’t help. But I’ve came up with a way to justify all that time, I call it research.

I thought I’d share a bit of this research so every Sunday night you will find a bit of commentary and a lot of links to things I found interesting in the PHP world over the previous week. Personally I like articles with code so you might see a lot of how-to links, and I don’t much care who is going to what unconference, conference, camp or meet-up so I won’t be tracking anyones itinerary. If you think I missed something let me know, really I hate missing out on new articles.

As for all the really bad articles out there, yeah I probably read them, but I will try to remember the saying “If you can’t say something good about something, don’t say anything at all.” Yeah Right.

Why can’t they just say I’m Sorry?

CIO has a new article PHP’s Enterprise Strengths and Weaknesses, Take 2 in which John Coggeshall responds to their earlier article on PHP. In the opening Editors Note I read this “Some readers disagreed with the points made in our previous article.”. My opinion — “I’m sorry, I was wrong” works for me 90% of the time, geez.

Zend stuff

First off congratulations to Zend. They won a Jolt Productivity Award for the Zend Framework, Zend Studio for Eclipse was also nominated. Zend Studio for Eclipse was released in January and I’m starting to see reviews pop up. Sarah Hermann at ThinkPHP says “Overall I think Zend Studio for Eclipse is a great tool to develop PHP applications.” and Michael J. Ross at PHPDevCenter concludes his review with “Zend Studio is strongly recommended to individuals and teams building PHP applications.” pretty strong recommendations. I give PDT which Zend Studio for Eclipse is built on a try every couple months, my opinion is.. its okay. If they would just trickle down the code formatter to PDT I would give it a better than okay. Zend Studio for eclipse is probably in my future. Or maybe Sun is in my future. I know, I know I shouldn’t help spread FUD but hey its fun sometimes.

Other Zend Framework stuff I read even though I don’t use it

My favorite Zend Framework related article this week was Pear Vs. Zend Framework I don’t agree with everything in th article but I do think the Zend Framework was misnamed it should have been Zend Repository. Actually I find some good in both , I just don’t think inclusion in either is automatic commendation from the best practices gods. The comments on this article How Zend Framework is Losing the wrong war leaves me wondering even more is it a framework or not? It kinda sorta is but not.

Just to prove that I’m up to date and interested in the Zend Framework I read ZF Community/CMS Bugfixes is part of a series on ProDevTips I’ve been following.


It was a disappointing week for coding and design articles. I’ve been a big fan of the SPL, It is very under documented almost but not quite undocumented so this was a great find Introduction to SPL, I haven’t read it all yet but hopefully it goes beyond the documentation.

I didn’t agree with Dying with grace – PHP’s register_shutdown_function but it lead me to read this Re: Shutdown error handlers which makes me wonder why I click on links that lead to that particular blog.

PHP6, Unicode and TextIterator features I get intense headaches every time I think about the chain of things that can go wrong with i18n, at least it looks like we can hope to remove PHP as a weak link in that chain. Oh not to mention the wars that can start when you try to decide just who is the center of the i18n universe just go take a look at What’s Wrong With Turkey?.

PHP Releases

I just noticed that wampserver has a PHP 6 Dev snapshot a little outdated but I think I’ll play. I wonder why they don’t have a PHP 5.3 package? After all I just read PHP 5.3 – A Heavy Hitter in Training

Best Practices

I wish I had thought of this URLs Can Be Beautiful while pretty URLs aren’t a coding best practice the attention to detail and usability tells me something about the people who write the code behind them. Just too cool.

Paul Jones has a nice write up about Line Length, Volume, and Density and how it affects code readability and maintainability, along the same linesI found this article Sniffing refactoring needs. I wonder if PHP_CodeSniffer looks at length, volume and density.

Trends you better keep up with

You better keep up with this stuff because like it or not its where we are going. Semantic web is here: Yahoo! and microformats, Yahoo Tackles Semantic Web and The value of Web services for PHP

Some books I probably won’t read

Even though I probably won’t read them at least any time soon, I’m always happy to see PHP books being published, I knew Delphi was dying when the books dried up. There is a new book for CodeIgniter CodeIgniter for Rapid PHP Application Development read a review over at phpclasses.

Drupal seems to be popping up a lot in my reader, seems like version 6 is on fire. No new book yet but there is one in the works Pro Drupal Development, Second Edition due out umm sometime.

Useless slides

What in the world do I do with slides? They are not even as helpful as the back cover of a book. No less than 1, 2, 3, 4 things I looked at for no reason, yet another time waster I need to work on eliminating.

Okay 3 more things

Just kidding, I have to stop somewhere. Now that I’m at the end of and reading over it I realize just how easy it is to look at discrete bits of information and miss the big picture, I’m going to really enjoy writing these Weekly Readers. I hope you enjoy them too.

Nobody pointed out that I had the wrong month in the title!


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  1. Jonathan Street  March 17, 2008

    dzone is evil. I've managed to temporarily ban it from my feed reader which is helping to keep my addiction under control. I fear it will re-emerge though.

    "I didn't agree with Dying with grace – PHP’s register_shutdown_function but it lead me to read this Re: Shutdown error handlers which makes me wonder why I click on links that lead to that particular blog."

    As far as I could see the two links in this paragraph were identical. I think I know which blog you're talking about though.

  2. Eirik Hoem  March 17, 2008


    I think you got the lin to "Re: Shutdown error handlers" wrong. That's over at Richards blog ("phpguru").

  3. Doug Hill  March 17, 2008

    Right, it is phpguru that I wonder why I ever visit. I can't help it though I keep thinking with guru in the site name it will produce enlightenment. :) I better go back and check my links.

  4. Cal Evans  March 17, 2008


    Great wrapup. If you ever want to post on DevZone, drop me a line.

    @Jonathan, if you think is evil from a readers perspective, you ought to try being a Zone Leader on! :)


  5. Doug Hill  March 18, 2008

    Thanks Cal

    I'll do that!

  6. Yvonne  March 19, 2008

    You have got to be the smartest most talented man on the whole internet. I absolutely love reading everything you write…….even though most of it is just way over my head. You are the best part of my day.


  7. Maritza Sorbo  May 18, 2011

    Great info thanks! What language is close to php as far as functionality and ease of use?

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