If you were starting today in PHP?

I’m kicking around the idea of developing an introduction to PHP series along the lines of the Ruby  on Rails and Python classes being held over at Kauffman Labs.  This would likely be outside of our normal User Group schedule, so don’t think we still couldn’t touch on any of these in our group sometime.

The point of the series would be get new developers up to speed by writing something useful.  I could see it even being used to show off PHP as the perfect platform for any level of developer to get something out their quickly, but leave them with enough foundation they could build for the long haul as well.

I’d love to hear some of your thoughts on technology choices in PHP for such a series.  I haven’t taught a formal intro PHP class since Smarty was the hot new thing, so I could really use your help.  There are just so many really great options to choose from.  I’d love to hear of first-hand experiences, but any ideas will be appreciated.

Read on if you are interested in helping.

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Is PHP growing in Kansas City?

As Dan mentioned in his meeting summary, we discussed numerous available PHP jobs during the last meeting that we knew about that had not been filled. I just added another to our Jobs and Opportunities Forum, which already has several posted.

A quick search on Monster.com found 5 or 6 jobs in just the Olathe and Overland park areas. And a search on CareerBuilder.com yielded several more in KCMO and KCK. It seems that there are just as many (or more) PHP job postings as there are ASP.NET or JSP job postings.

What do you guys think? Is this a sign that businesses in the midwest are finally embracing PHP as their preferred development language? Or am I crazy?

Has anyone noticed an increase in PHP usage among area businesses?

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Help Jared finish this remarkable ERP/MRP system!
Are you looking for a nice Open Source, PHP/MySQL Project to contribute to? How about something nice and impressive to add to your resume? Look no farther than BrotherJonathan. Nearly complete, this project just needs a little TLC to take it to it’s 1.0 release! And you can help!

Visit brotherjonathan.org for more information, screenshots, demos and downloads!

What good is Accessibility

I have always been a HUGE fan of web development for accessibility (not with this site, unfortunately). If I can help just a handful of people read my site, or allow search engines a better chance of finding my content…I’ll do it!

Recently, one of the best articles on the “other” benefits of Accessibility has appeared on sitepoint.

Be sure to check out Part 1: Increased Usability and Part 2: Better Search Ranking. This is required reading! ;-)

Q:So, what was with the wierd comments? A:SPAM

Last night a very kind person sent me an email that someone had started sending (shall we say) off-topic links in anonymous posts. I wish I didn’t have to, but this morning I turned off the anonymous comments. My intent was to make the site as easy to post to as possible…even if you didn’t have an account. As of today though, that had to change.

I ended up deleting over 250 comments from the comments table. I had thought about just emptying the comment text, but I just wanted them gone (oops). Well, I ended up invalidating some of the comment threads…sorry about that. I will try to get them back if I can. The posts are all still in there, I just need to re-attach some of them.

So, what was with the weird comments?

I’m noticing that some anonymous user (or script) has been adding the following comments…and I really don’t know why:

  • It’s nice here
  • Who fool the tricks of time
  • I’m searching for more
  • I agree with this

We get so few comments, that I don’t want to remove them if someone out there just uses a macro or something to comment on stories. ;-) But, when I start seeing two of them on the same story, I’m getting ready to remove them. Anyone know the scoop?

Getting text from users.

I have been learning a lot from hanging out on sitepoint.com these days. Especially the PHP Blog run by Harry Fuecks (yes, the phppatters guy). Those of you who know me know of my completely biased opinion towards this man.

Anyway, my search for alternative ways of entering content into our content management system has led me here:
http://wiki.ciaweb.net/yawiki/

You may be interested in their Text_Wiki and Text_Diff pear packages. Text_Wiki is not yet in the pear system, but can be downloaded and installed using the pear command.

The site also sports a very nice template system called Savant. It is simple, clean and uses PHP as its template engine. No, it is not as feature filled as Smarty, but it seems to be a lot less confusing.

And, for what it’s worth, we have currently ended up with the FCKEditor from http://www.fredck.com/fckeditor/ . It is windows/IE only for now, but degrades nicely into a text box for all other systems. Hmmm…a text box that uses Text_Wiki perhaps…

Anyone else have tools they like to use?

Happy PHPing.

- Dan

Creating a PHP Engine of sorts

As a developer for many years, I have struggeled for a Engine that requires no interaction of a client to server. Allowing an auto involk to load certian scripts at certian times. Like a Ticker of sorts.This would reduce a client-side involked load time with includes. In case im still not very clear on what Im looking for. Think of a script on a server that auto updates your MYSQL data and you never have to goto it or load it. For thoses without their own server who use a hosting company. I have wriiten many Scripts that do vast amounts of datacrunching and processing, user inter-action , and you name it. One thing I have never been able to understand is how to make a script load and just run with-out a client action.

If this is small cheese to you then be kind and inform me of such cheese for i have no clue..

Taking the step from personal to distributed

I keep creating scripts that other people want to use… In creating them, I basically did whatever I needed to to bend them into shape to do what I wanted… In order to distribute them to others, I pretty much have to set up everything myself… Obviously, this creates problems – even people who know me have a hard time giving me root access to their mysql db and such…

So what I’d like to see is a discussion of guidelines on how to package your php/mysql solutions for distribution so that it’s easier on the other end to get them up and running.

Part of this would be proper coding and commenting to begin with, I’m sure… But scrubbing existing code is a part of it as well. Are there any helpful functions, code bits, etc that ease the process? Any other helpful hints on how to accomplish this?