Interview Errata

I wrote previously that Marcus Whitney had interviewed me for Pro-PHP podcast; well, it is online at last! 🙂 Thanks again, Marcus, for the opportunity, and don’t worry about that high-pitched whine — I guess that from me talking so fast the whole time (I had no idea I did so). It was a great experience for me. 🙂

I misspoke a couple of times, and I want to correct those statements here, as well as provide links to some people, projects, and sources I mentioned.

Regarding the PEAR proposal for Savant, I said it ended up at -3; in fact, it ended at +2 (but needed a +5). You can read many of the comments here, but there are a lot more in the PEAR-DEV mailing list archives in several different threads.

I mentioned Matthew Weier O’Phinney near the end, around the discussion of Solar collaboration; he runs the PHP-based Cgiapp project. Also regarding Solar, I failed to mention Clay Loveless, who has provided hosting, services, and moral support for Solar.

I think that’s it; if anyone else notices inaccuracies, or just has questions in general, leave them in the comments here or at Pro-PHP and I’ll do my best to answer them. 🙂

Solar 0.7.0-devel released

After too-long a hiatus, I’ve released Solar 0.7.0; you can get it from our PEAR channel server here. (Solar is a simple object library and application repository for PHP5; it is similar to PEAR and Horde, and might be described as a library-like framework for MVC development.)

The interim was filled with lots of improvements, not the least of which are some new classes and fixes from Matthew Weier O’Phinney. His work on the forms portions has been helpful and enlightening; I think we may now have a true MVC contender against HTML_QuickForm when combined with the improved form plugin for Savant3.

The change notes are quite long; you can read them below.

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Savant3 alpha2 Released

Savant3 is a PHP5 E_STRICT compliant template system; it is non-compiling by default, which means it uses plain PHP for its template language. It supports object-oriented plugins and output filters, supports multiple paths for template sources so you can “theme” or “skin” your application, has built-in support for streams as template sources, and has an automated hook for custom user-defined compilers.

The change notes for this release (3.0.0alpha2) are:

  • This is an ALPHA release; while mostly stable, future releases may break backwards comptability.
  • Added methods for escaping output (and for printing of escaped output). As a result, the ‘scrub’ plugin is deprecated and will be removed from future versions of Savant. Use $this->escape() instead of $this->scrub(), and "$this->_()" instead of "echo $this->scrub()".
  • Added new plugin ‘html_attribs’ to standardize how HTML attributes are added to a tag.
  • Added a whole series of ‘form_*’ plugins, one for each element type (button, checkbox, radio, select, text, and so on). These plugins generate only the related element with no layout, and have a standard argument order (name, value, attribs). In addition, they are Solar_Form friendly; if the first argument is an array instead of a string, that array is assumed to be a Solar_Form element array with ‘name’, ‘value’, ‘attribs’, etc. keys. Having them as separate plugins will make it easier to add new form elements, e.g. ‘form_date’ and ‘form_time’ pseudo-elements, a la HTML_QuickForm.
  • Added new ‘form2’ plugin that uses the ‘form_*’ plugins instead of embedded methods for generating elements. It mimics the current Savant2-derived ‘form’ plugin and is almost identical in function.
  • With respect to the new ‘form_*’ and ‘form2’ plugins, this will be the last release with the current Savant2-derived form plugin. The new ‘form2’ plugin, and the ‘form_*’ plugins, will be separated into their own Savant3_Plugin_Form package so they can be upgraded and maintained separately from the core Savant3 distribution.

YaWiki 0.22 released

YaWiki is “yet another wiki” for PHP. While YaWiki was originally designed for collaborative documentation efforts, it also serves nicely as site framework and content management system; sites such as Yawp and Solar use YaWiki and a custom theme.

The change notes for this release of YaWiki are:

  • Schema Change: Added a column to the “yacs” table (“yet another comment system” ;-). Run the “docs/MIGRATE_021_022” SQL code against your database, otherwise comments won’t post properly.
  • Now requires Savant 2.4.0, as the default theme templates make extensive use of Savant2::_() to help automate output escaping.
  • Fixed bug in search template noted by David Coallier and reported by Davey Shafik. Thanks, guys.
  • Comment submission now redirects to the same page as the comment was posted on; previously, overzealous application of htmlspecialchars() interfered with proper redirection, sending the commenter to the HomePage for the area.
  • Comment submission now captures the commenter’s IP number.
  • Comments are now deletable by the page administrator, not just the area administrator.

When Marcus Whitney interviewed me last week for Pro-PHP (hey Marcus, when’s that one coming online?) he asked about some YaWiki technical highlights. I gave perhaps too quick an answer; here’s a more-full one from the YaWiki site itself:

  • Uses the Yawp foundation for PHP applications.
  • Built from PEAR and PEAR-compliant objects such as…
  • Database abstracted with DB_Table; works on most anything from MySQL to Oracle, and self-installs the database tables
  • RSS feeds for page content changes (all pages in all areas, all pages in one area, or one page in one area)
  • Has a special AreaMap page that lets you define a page hierarchy for navigation elements
  • Supports separate name spaces (called “areas”) in one installation
  • Supports anonymous users and user authentication
  • An access control list that lets the wiki administrator control who can edit and view individual pages in each area
  • A comment system for users who are not allowed to edit pages directly
  • Theme-aware (build your own look and feel) using the Savant template system

Interviewed for Pro-PHP

I can’t claim that I’m starting a new series like Chris Shiflett, but Marcus did honor me by asking if I’d give an interview for Pro-PHP. Of course I accepted. 🙂 We had attempted it two previous times (once by Skype and once in-person) over the past few weeks, but due to technical difficulties they both fell through. Third time’s the charm, though, and the interview itself went off without a hitch yesterday (by Skype on a much-improved connection).

We talked about everything from Savant (including comparisons to Smarty, and the failed PEAR proposal) to YaWiki, Yawp, and Solar, as well as some of my ideas about how to write code. I felt like I was rambling on at least half the time, and although I had the presence of mind to mention names where I could, I’m certain to have left out important folks. When I listen to the interview in its edited state (which I guess will be when everyone else does 😉 I’ll make a list of everyone I failed to recall and post them here, or perhaps as a comment to the Pro-PHP blog entry.

And of course I can almost guarantee that it’ll generate a(nother) spate of offended sensibilities; I seem to do that even when I edit my own written comments, I can only imagine how bad it’ll be when I’m speaking without benefit of rephrase. 🙂

Update: I just posted a followup to the interview here to proved errata and links.