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Zend Developer Zone:
Judging the winPHP contest, or 10 tips to make the cut
September 04, 2009 @ 08:17:51

On the Zend Developer Zone today there's a new post from Remi Woler, a perspective of his experience as a judge for the Eurpoean WinPHP contest.

I figured the judges would be busy as hell in the time between the end of the contest and the announcement of the winners. Seeing all those great contributions, I was actually starting to fear my days of DPC would be filled with application reviewing. It did not exactly turn out that way...

He lists out some of the major pros and cons he saw when reviewing the applications for how they met the goals of the project and tips for future participants in the event (ten of them):

  • Don't have all business logic in a third party application, and only write a nice GUI on top of that.
  • Comment your code
  • Collaborate
  • Contribute to the community
  • Do not ignore the existing wisdom
  • Write manuals and how-tos
  • Do not dishonor yourself when giving up
  • Be original
  • Make it work
  • Participate

Lots of these tips can also be applied to any kind of software project out there and can only make them better in the long run.

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Community News:
WinPHP Challenge Comes to a Close (Two Perspectives)
June 03, 2009 @ 11:13:38

Rob Allen and Juozas Kaziukenas are both wrapping up their entries for this year's WinPHP Challenge and have posted about it (and some of their thoughts on the competition) to their blogs.

From Rob:

I learnt a lot about setting up PHP in Windows. It's amazing how much easier it was the second time when I installed it on the Leaseweb server. The Web Platform Installer is very good as long as you remember to stop the IIS service before running it! It's also very odd that the installer doesn't install PEAR or PDO_ODBC. I'm very glad that it uses the exact same installer as available at windows.php.net, as it makes correcting these oversights trivial.

And from Juszas:

It's been more than a month since this competition started, but the time ran very quickly. Today I'm going to summarize what I've used to create my entry and what I've learned. [...] I think I have done everything that was required and now will try to push this application even further. Maybe Microsoft itself will show interest in it, because what I've done and used has been key topics in MIX 09.

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Rob Allen's Blog:
Zend Framework connection to SQL Server using SqlSrv
May 13, 2009 @ 09:32:27

Rob Allen has posted the settings you'll need to connect the Zend Framework with a SQL Server backend (via SqlSrv).

It turns out that fellow challenger Juozas Kaziukenas also needs a connection between Zend Framework and SQL Server, so we have joined forces to create App_Db_Adapter_SqlSrv and associated classes. Juozas started a project on codeplex at http://zfmssql.codeplex.com/ and has enabled me to commit to the project too.

Rob based his implementation on this and has set up his application.ini file to use the SQLSRV adapter (example included).

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Juozas Kaziukenas' Blog:
Zend Framework and Microsoft IIS
May 05, 2009 @ 09:37:18

In conjunction with his participation in the WinPHP Challenge, Juozas Kaziukenas has made the effort to get Rob Allen's Zend Framework tutorial (here) up and running on his Windows Server install.

My task today was to make Rob Allen's Zend framework tutorial project run on Windows. Some years ago such task could have been a problem, but as you will see, now it's nothing special.

He came across a few hurdles along the way:

  • Permissions on the wwwroot
  • Routing in IIS
  • Limitations with the MSSQL driver
  • Possible file permissions issues
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Zend Developer Zone:
Zend joins the European WinPHP Challenge
April 29, 2009 @ 09:37:37

As this post on the Zend Developer Zone mentions, Zend is joining in on the European WinPHP Challenge by offering additional prizes to the winners.

Zend is announcing today that they are joining up, and are offering as prizes to the 3 winners a one year subscription to Zend Server, and licenses for Zend Studio. The winners will be announced at the Dutch PHP Conference in Amsterdam.

This year's challenge has already started, so the registration is closed but you can keep up with the (six) contestants on this page of the DPC wiki.

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Juozas Kaziukenas' Blog:
Using PHP with C# written libraries
April 23, 2009 @ 07:57:17

Juozas Kaziukenas has written up a new post (as a part of his participation in the WinPHP Challenge) about how he's combined C# code with PHP code in his development.

Actual PHP part is very easy to write, because only thing you need to do is to create COM object. However, making your dll's visible by PHP is a bit tricky.

He points to this tutorial as a starting point and issues he had with ComVisible and some example code that finally got things working.

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Juozas Kaziukenas' Blog:
First Annual WinPHP Challenge
April 22, 2009 @ 09:33:32

Juozas Kaziukenas is also participating in the WinPHP Challenge and has already selected his project:

My project will allow people to upload huge collections of photos (probably archived in one zip file) and get nice online gallery. Users will have selection of Ajax or Silverlight version and password protection for galleries. If I have time, I will also add ability to select different photos shuffle style, background theme and/or music, and maybe even automatic tour with captions.

He's chosen to go with the Zend Framework as a backend and has already begun setting up the server with Windows Server 2008 and IIS (as connected through a remote desktop connection).

He has also looked at Deep Zoom and Dynamic assemblies to include them into his app.

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Stuart Herbert's Blog:
Participating in the European WinPHP Challenge 2009
April 21, 2009 @ 12:03:18

Stuart Herbert has decided to get in on the action and enter himself into the WinPHP Challenge (as sponsored by Ibuildings).

Generally, folks choose to deploy web-based applications on Windows Server because they already have Windows Server. Selling them something that will only work on Linux is a tough sell, so a competition like this that seeks to show off how well PHP works on Windows should be another small step forward for all those small ISVs like Box UK who want to sell products written in PHP - provided Microsoft actually do something marketing-wise with the results.

His idea is to build a PHP/.NET tool that can act as a web services gateway. He's already started development and blogs about getting the environment all set up - Windows Server 2008, IIS7 and PHP 5.2.9 For Windows.

He's made another post with an update on his status - finishing out the development environment with PHP up and running, setting up a database, picking an IDE (Visual Studio) and setting up a version control system (git).

In this post he takes about what he's trying to achieve with his application and some use case examples and in this other post some of the feedback he's gotten about his dev environment.

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techPortal:
2009 WinPHP Challenge
March 23, 2009 @ 14:59:32

The Ibuildings techPortal site has a new post open to European developers to win airfare, hotel and a ticket to the MIX10 conference in Las Vegas (NV).

We love giving stuff away to developers. So we are really happy to be able to announce that our friends at DPC09, Microsoft, and Leaseweb have come together with us to sponsor the first ever European WinPHP Challenge. We want you to build your next Open Source project on IIS7/PHP and win prizes.

The winner of the challenge will be the one that best takes an application (a new one, not a port of a current project) and creates it on a Windows/IIS platform. Entries will be judges on originality, completeness, use of Windows features and documentation. Registration starts April 2nd and the actual contest will start on April 15th. You'll have about a month and a half (until May 31st) to get your application in tip top shape and ready to be judged.

Keep an eye on the wiki and the techPortal for more details as the start of the contest gets closer. Oh, and since its the "European WinPHP Challenge", only PHP programmers in Europe and the UK are eligible.

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