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Community News:
FixThatCode.com Launched
July 30, 2012 @ 10:55:48

Rafael Dohms has started up a new project that wants to help developers get help on their broken code via collaboration with others - FixThatCode.com.

Coding is an art. There are many ways to paint an apple, but which is better? Most of the code we write everyday can be written in better ways to achieve different objectives. Sometimes all it takes is a fresh pair of eyes. Code quality can be observed through various identifying markers. Perhaps you're not aware of them, don't have time to look for them or are too caught up in the moment to notice? That's where FixThatCode.com steps in!

There's a few different categories you can ask for help in including "Make this code better", "Make this code faster" and "Give me feedback". So far there's some interesting examples to look at - mostly in the "Feedback" category as developers look to further their skills by learning from others. The site's still just starting out, but I could see it becoming a good resource to any community - not just PHP!

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Brian Smithwick's Blog:
Software development and the locked box
December 16, 2011 @ 11:41:09

In this recent post to his blog Brian Smithwick talks about the "locked box" that developers can sometimes restrict themselves to - getting to comfortable in the tech they already know and not branching out.

Jason Austin gave a great presentation at CodeWorks Raleigh recently about cultivating one's passion for software development through side projects -- safe spaces where we can play with new technologies and techniques. The point's well taken: as developers, we're probably putting most of our energy towards the thing that must be solved, that keeps us employed, that pays our bills. [...] And so all of us, at one time or another, end up in a backwater of our own devising -- a locked box.

He also puts an emphasis on collaboration and community as it relates to becoming a better developer. By interacting with other code and other projects' developers, you learn not only more about other ways to develop but are exposed to ideas you may not have come across on your own.

I'd add that active participation in the local community is just as important though: the opportunities for exposure to new ideas outside your sphere are greater than your feed reader will probably provide, and the depth of information that you can get in a conversation may be better than any blog post or man page.
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Lukas Smith's Blog:
Loose interface coupling
December 06, 2011 @ 11:02:18

In a new post to his blog Lukas Smith proposes an idea for a loosely coupled interface setup that would allow for easier integration between third-party libraries and other applications.

Especially as for different libraries a different subset of the community could end up collaborating. Here I see 3 options: 1) each library bundles the interfaces (even though they sit in some common namespace), 2) each project asks their users to fetch the common interfaces from some other place 3) runtime "coupling". Option 3) doesn't exist today and is what this blog post is about.

He introduces the idea of a "spl_register_compatible_interface" method that would let you compare interfaces to see if they'd mesh. There'd still have to be a lot of communication between developers to make things match, though. He suggests three "practical issues" that libraries/tools would have to overcome to use a system like this - each framework has their own interface setup, the lead time for collaboration could be too much to be worthwhile, a lack of interest from some about collaboration and the idea of competing interface methods.

He's looking for feedback from the community on the idea(s) though, so go and leave a comment with your thoughts!

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RIAZone:
Integrating PHP with Flash Collaboration Services
December 14, 2009 @ 13:47:28

On the RIA Zone (a part of the DZone network) there's a new tutorial from Ryan Stewart about combining PHP with the Flash Collaboration Services (real-time collaboration and social capabilities via the LCCS) in the second part of his series (part one).

Another great way to integrate LCCS and PHP is with the REST APIs and the library that ships with the LCCS SDK. With those APIs we can perform a number of management functions including creating and deleting rooms, managing roles, and creating templates. These APIs make it very easy to create a customized, dynamic collaboration experience with PHP. You can create rooms on the fly for your users and get information about what kind of content is in those rooms. In this example we're going to create a basic room manager with PHP that will let us create, delete, and view information about specific rooms.

Code is included to use the AFCS PHP library to connect to the Services API and pass in the username and password directly from the user. The request is made and a token is passed back to the calling script. The XML description of the full Flex application is included in the tutorial.

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Job Posting:
The Cochrane Collaboration Seeks PHP/Drupal Developer (Freiburg, Germany)
March 24, 2009 @ 20:56:51

Company The Cochrane Collaboration
Location Freiburg, Germany
Title PHP/Drupal Developer
Summary

The Cochrane Collaboration (www.cochrane.org), an international, non-profit medical organization specializing in the production of systematic reviews of healthcare interventions and at the forefront of knowledge translation and dissemination of medical information, is seeking a PHP/Drupal Developer (Programmer) to head up the technical implementation of a network of websites in Drupal. Currently, we have over 70 websites (see: http://cochrane.org/contact/ entities.htm) managed by contributors (16,000+) around the world. We are looking to use Drupal to integrate and better manage our large, multilingual web presence. This is a chance for a talented and experienced Drupal developer to become involved with a large, non-profit organization in an exciting and innovative project to use Drupal's functionality as a CMF (content management framework) for managing Cochrane's web presence including the development of an intranet, online communities, discussion forums, blogs, wikis and other social and collaborative working environments as well as, eventually, Web 3.0 or Semantic Web technology implementation and development.

Location:
German Cochrane Centre/Deutsches Cochrane Zentrum
University Hospital Freiburg /Universitätsklinikum Freiburg
Institut für Medizinische Biometrie und Medizinische Informatik
Stefan-Meier-Str. 26
D-79104 Freiburg
Germany

Work time: 100%

Length of contract: 1 1/2 years with the possibility of extension

Requirements:

  • Excellent PHP programming skills, with 2 or more years professional experience
  • Experience with demonstrated success implementing large, database-driven, multilingual websites preferably using Drupal
  • Experience with Drupal theming
  • Experience with development of custom Drupal modules
  • Experience with MySQL
  • Outstanding problem-solving skills
  • Able to work as both a team member and independently
  • Are willing to learn and apply new software development tools, technologies, and methodologies
  • Some management experience desirable, as you will supervise the work of our student programmers
  • Near-fluency in English
  • Ability to work under tight deadlines, while adhering to industry-standard development practices

Additional, optional qualifications:

  • Unix scripting
  • CSS, XSLT, HTML and Javascript
  • Well-known in the Drupal community and can provide recommendations from other developers in Drupal
  • Some knowledge of or interest in online health and medical information a plus
  • Some knowledge of German a plus as you will work with our Systems
  • Administrators and possibly other German-speaking individuals here

Benefits and Compensation:

  • Salary: Pay based according to the standard, university tariff
  • Benefits: All the benefits of a large, top-tier university

How to apply:
Provide (English-only, please): CV/Resume/Lebenslauf, at least 2 professional reference letters (Zeugnisse, can be in German), and contact details of current employer, samples of previous work outputs/Drupal deployments (URLs) and documentation snippets from previous coding work.

Chris Mavergames (CMS Project Manager)
Web Operations Manager/Information Architect
The Cochrane Collaboration

Deutsches Cochrane Zentrum
Universitätsklinikum Freiburg
Institut für Medizinische Biometrie und Medizinische Informatik
Stefan-Meier-Str. 26
D-79104 Freiburg GERMANY
+49(0)761.203.6713 tel | 203.6712 fax
+49(0)175.430.3419 mobile
mavergames@cochrane.de
Skype name: c.mavergames
www.cochrane.org

Deadline: 15 April 2009

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Noupe.com:
10 AJAX-based, PHP WebMail Clients For a Great User Experience
March 12, 2009 @ 07:56:47

Noupe.com has posted a top ten list of what they consider some of the best PHP/Ajax-based webmail clients (as based on the user interface and ease of use).

Employees need to access their email from wherever they happen to be '" on the road, at customer sites, remote offices, and at home. [...] Today i wanted to share with you 10 AJAX-based webmail client that delivers the look and feel, usability and performance of a desktop application. Some of the webmail clients listed below are open source code that can be easily modified to better suit user's needs, while others are not. So You must check their license to know the rules.

Included in their list is software like:

Some of these tools offer more than just email too - they can include things like collaboration tools and mobile versions right out of the box.

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ThinkPHP Blog:
Developer Blog for PHProjekt 6 started
March 27, 2008 @ 12:53:34

On the ThinkPHP blog today, Ute has posted about a developer blog that has been started up for PHProjekt:

Seven and half years and a lot of downloads later the development team decided that a complete makeover is necessary not only to include more Web 2.0 features but also to add new functions to one of the most popular Open Source Groupware based on PHP. [...] There are still some months left till PHProjekt 6 will be released but for the time being you can follow the progress in a developers' blog started recently.

The blog already has information on the upcoming version (PHProjekt 6) and a first part of a "what's new" series on additions to the project. PHProject is an open source groupware application providing tools like shared calendars, project management and file management.

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Matthew Turland's Blog:
The Acme of Skill
December 20, 2007 @ 12:09:00

Matthew Turland has posted some of his thoughts about a topic that's being tossed around in the programming world these days - that PHP is "on its way out".

I have to vehemently disagree with this, and not just because PHP is my language of preference.

He gives several reasons to back up the claim including the fact that large players use the language in high-profile sites as well as the recent upturn of popularity the language has seen (as people come back from the over-hyped other languages).

He mentions collaborations between PHP companies/divisions as well as components made to more efficiently run PHP applications on other web server types.

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Zend Developer Zone:
Zend Core for IBM and Web 2.0 Starter Toolkit
August 23, 2007 @ 12:48:00

As mentioned in this post on the Zend Developer Zone, the Zend/IBM collaboration group have released a Web 2.0 Starter Toolkit:

It offers a great start to reducing the coding yet helps you produce cool applications using Ajax, ATOM feeds and REST Web Services. It is a great on-ramp to get you working with Zend Core and IBM DB2 Express-C and Rich Internet Applications (RIA). This toolkit will also work with Zend Core for IBM, check out the FAQ. This is an excellent use case for DB2 pureXML.

It makes things simple like making ATOM feeds from a data in a pureXML database, making web services as simple as a point and click operation and check out the usage of your database via an Ajaxed interface.

Check out the project's website for more information. Currently, the project requires Windows (either XP or Server 2003).

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Zend Developer Zone:
Actuate and Zend Collaborate to Deliver Reporting for PHP
December 07, 2006 @ 13:37:27

The Zend Developer Zone has posted a press review with some good news for PHP developers all over - Zend and Acutate are collaborating to provide reporting (BIRT) to PHP.

he collaboration between Zend and Actuate has resulted in new capabilities in the 3.0 version of the Zend Platform, which is available today for download as a pre-release version at www.zend.com. Zend Platform 3.0 allows PHP developers to quickly integrate reporting capabilities, including charting, to web applications by calling Actuate BIRT reports via the Zend Java Bridge.

New functionality included in this collaboration includes flexibility when generating the reports (output formats/export options), an easy-to-use visual environment, and an integrated charting system including various graphing formats (like pie, chart, area, scatter, and stock).

Check out the full press release for the full story on this collaboration.

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