From: Per Jessen on
Bob McConnell wrote:

> In chronological order -
> Languages: [snip] C++ (Still don't
> understand the purpose of objects or classes).

Two words - encapsulation and abstraction.

Per Jessen, Z=C3=BCrich (17.1=C2=B0C)

From: Per Jessen on
Nathan Rixham wrote:

> (shared) hosts and in developer+projects - but I also worry that it
> doesn't change with the times quick enough, + the core doesn't have
> the same hacker + iterative development focus anymore, contrast other=

> languages which get major functionality added at minor revisions, and=

> minor revisions every few days/weeks and there certainly is something=

> to worry about.
> This said, perhaps the worry is primarily on a personal basis with
> developers loosing time invested in PHP were they to move off to othe=
> languages.
> Real worries in the PHP core for me, are the huge ignorance and lack
> of native support for HTTP (which is somewhat ironic), lack of suppor=
> for NoSQL + RDF tooling, and also support + implementations of the ne=
> sets of webapps APIs.

None of that is very 'core' to me - it's the stuff for libraries. When=

there's a sufficient need, it'll appear.

> Overall, the general sentiment of 'if it can be done in userland, let=

> it be done there' isn't always the best approach (although I
> understand the arguments to the contrary) - ultimately though, PHP
> does feel 'stale' comparatively.

If you look at PHP as a language with a set of libraries, the language
itself is as 'stale' as maybe C or Java or assembler - the language
shouldn't change all that often, nor should the core libraries, but
everything else is free to do whatever.=20

Per Jessen, Z=C3=BCrich (17.0=C2=B0C)

From: "Ford, Mike" on
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Nathan Rixham [mailto:nrixham(a)]
> Sent: 29 July 2010 06:36

> in no particular order:
> What other languages and web techs do you currently use other than
> PHP?
> - if you include html or css please include version, if js then
> preferred libs, and whether client or server side.

XHTML 1.0 Transitional (looking to go Strict)
CSS, mostly to 2.0 but use newer/other stuff where required and
supported by enough browsers
Javascript - again mostly to 1.3 (or whatever the equivalent ECMA
standard is) with occasional forays into 1.5. Not currently
using any public libs, but JQuery on the menu. Homegrown AJAX
libs (based on published techniques).
Oracle database (site licensed corporate standard).

Some perl, a soupcon of Python, a touch of Java, and SirsiDynix
page description language.

> What's your previous language/tech trail?

OMG! Well, started in secondary school (that's high school for you
transatlantic folks) with BASIC back when access was a once-weekly
courier to the local Polytechnic (coding sheets out one week,
printout and punched cards back a week later!).

At university, taught the lecturer on the BASIC module more than he
taught me, but also learned and programmed in ALGOL-60, Algol-68,
FORTRAN-IV (not -II, thank goodness!), COBOL, Pascal, LISP, BCPL,
MACRO-10 (DECsystem-10 assembly language), SNOBOL (in SPITBOL variant),
SETL (a language written as a PhD project and, as far as I know,
confined to a (very small) handful of universities), MINIMAL (a
machine-independent artificial assembly language used to write SPITBOL
and SETL compilers), and probably one or two other oddities I've
forgotten about. Oh, and of course the TECO editor macro language,
in which I wrote a very primitive screen editor when the first
VDUs arrived to upgrade our previously all-teletype labs.

Was also taught about a number of other languages which we never got
to use, such as PL/1, APL, Simula, etc.

Since then, at work, more FORTRAN (up to the -77 version), B, more
Pascal, BBC BASIC, 6502 assembler, Pr1me command (shell) language,
WordPerfect macros, VisualBasic (Word and Excel macros), leading via
Excel macros producing HTML to the current set as above!

> Are you considering any new languages or techs, and if so which?
> - names / links

Not really at this stage, although everything is always under review!

> Is PHP your hobby/interest, primary development language, just
> learning or?

Primary development language - it's the standard scripting language
here. But it's also an interest, and if I had time would be a hobby
too. And I never stop learning!

> How many years have you been using PHP regularly?

At least 9 -- the oldest script still on my hard drive is from July
2001, although I doubt even that is wholly original.

> How many years have you been working with web technologies?

That kind of depends what you mean by "Web technologies", but at
least 15.

In the early 80s, I was dialling in to the PLANET teleconferencing
application at BBN in North America (via the ARPAnet!).

I've been, or
(depending on current name of this institution!) since 1988.

More recently, my first Web pages were written - both coded by hand
and produced from other sources using VB macros - in 1995. Indeed,
evidence of my earliest work can still be seen at (VB macros from Word source)

> Did you come from a non-web programming background?

Non-Web, yes, but very definitely from traditional programming.

> Is your primary role web developer or designer?

Developer, but with a dash of designer thrown in when needed.

> In your developer life, are you an employer, and employee,
> contractor,
> freelancer, part of a team of equal standing members?

Employee, part of a team.

[2 questions omitted as non-applicable]

> Do you have any frustrations with the PHP community, do you find you
> want to talk shop but can't, or find people to work with but can't,
> have
> projects in mind you want to do but can't find people to do them
> with etc?

My only real frustration is in not having enough time to get more
involved! I'd love to contribute to the documentation, and get my
hands dirty implementing fixes and feature-requests, but real-life
just doesn't leave me enough spare time.

> Do you network with other PHP'ers in real life - meetups etc, do you
> tend to shy away, or do you find you circulate in other web related
> but
> non PHP focussed communities?

I don't have time to do techy stuff outside work, so any relevant
networking happens as a result of work projects and tends to be more
project-related than technology-focussed.

> Are you a member or any other web tech communities, opensource
> efforts,
> or standardization bodies - again, if so which?

User groups and support communities for the various proprietary
products I support.

Have recently got involved with Jangle (, and
currently involved in writing a Jangle connector for the SirsyDynix
Symphony Library Management System.

> Are there any efforts, projects or initiatives which are floating
> your
> boat right now and that your watching eagerly (or getting involved
> with)?

Oh, puh-lease! As if I have time for that!

Although, obviously, we keep a close eye on trends -- especially social
networking at present -- in an effort to keep in tune with what our
students might be using!


Mike Ford,
Electronic Information Developer, Libraries and Learning Innovation,
Leeds Metropolitan University, C507 City Campus,
Woodhouse Lane, LEEDS,  LS1 3HE,  United Kingdom
Tel: +44 113 812 4730

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From: David McGlone on
On Thu, 2010-07-29 at 22:28 -0400, Robert Cummings wrote:
> On 10-07-29 10:18 PM, David McGlone wrote:
> > On Thu, 2010-07-29 at 22:14 -0400, Robert Cummings wrote:
> >> Early high school I used to program in basic on a TRS-80. Oh how I loved
> >> saving my programs to audio cassette. Later in high school I learned
> >> pascal and then later qbasic. Later still I studied computer science and
> >> was exposed to many different languages C, C++, Smalltalk, Java,
> >> Scheme, Prolog, Perl, JavaScript, HTML, VRML, SQL that I remember. When
> >> I finished university I walked straight into a PHP job knowing not an
> >> iota of PHP. I came up to speed the first week and fell in love with it.
> >> That was around March 2000. The company there always used Java also, as
> >> part of a desktop suite to manage the web content. Towards the end of
> >> 2002 they began an effort to create a Java based web framework to
> >> parallel their PHP framework and so I used Java more at that time. Then
> >> the dot com crash caught up with them and layoffs ensued.
> >>
> > What High School did you go to? What year? As far as I remember when I
> > was in HS, nothing about computers was offered. this was back in '88.
> I was attending the Nechako Valley Secondary School in Vanderhoof,
> British Columbia, Canada in 1989 when I was learning Pascal. Now that I
> think of it more deeply, it wasn't Qbasic in high schoool, it was Watcom
> Basic while attending Timmins High & Vocational School in Timmins,
> Ontario, Canada in 1990 or 1991. Qbasic was at home :) Actually, I'm not
> sure about Timmins for the Watcom Basic, it might have been Lockerby
> Composite in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. I attended 4 different high
> schools. Some if it is blurry now :)

Sounds like Canada has a good grade school system. I wish programming
languages were offered here when I was in HS.

David M.

From: "Bob McConnell" on
From: Per Jessen

> Bob McConnell wrote:
>> In chronological order -
>> Languages: [snip] C++ (Still don't
>> understand the purpose of objects or classes).
> Two words - encapsulation and abstraction.

Both of which are euphemisms that simply mean obfuscation. I learned
very early in my professional career to eschew obfuscation, so they
don't impress me at all. In addition, I really don't do abstraction
well. I have trouble when I have to deal with more than two levels of
indirection. Having written and debugged a _lot_ of real-time
applications and device drivers, in both assembler and C, I am much more
comfortable with the concrete, like managing I/O registers, interrupt
controllers and circular buffers. Unfortunately, there aren't many of
those jobs left. That's one of the primary reasons I am looking forward
to retiring.

I still believe that OOP is as much of a fad as Structured Programming
and Top-Down Programming were. They all can be used to solve certain
classes of problems, but none of them are a silver bullet for software
development. OOP will eventually learn its place in the overall scheme
of programming, but it will never be universally applicable.

Bob McConnell
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