Wednesday, March 11, 2009


PHP, Help from Companies & Licenses

Having been at a Conference a few days ago, I was reminded of something. I have several times been asked how companies can help PHP. And my typical answer is about contributing tests and making sure PHP runs under or with their products, be that operating systems, databases or other back ends; or tools in any way. However I just updated the PHP Version info in a few hundred source files from 'PHP Version 5' to 'PHP Versoin 6'. And I also found that the License file lacked an update to 2009. And at this point you might already guess what the addition to my typical answer is. Why can Zend not simply change the license of the Zend Engine to PHP License?

Why do we want this?

Becasue it creates issues with using PHP. And we do not even inform people about it, because we are silent about this fact.

So is there a reason why this has not happened already long ago?

Some people claim it is because of ownership. So one question actually is who owns the code. And being a friend of numbers and cryptic shell code, here is some data:

$> cvs annotate Zend 2>/dev/null |
grep -v '(changelo ' |
awk '/[0-9.]*.*\(/ {


for(n in C) {
printf "%5d %4.1f%% %s\n", C[n], C[n] * 100 / L, n
}' |

sort -r

36863 25.6% dmitry
29428 20.4% andi
15323 10.6% tony2001
9541 6.6% stas
6894 4.8% andrei
6665 4.6% zeev
6504 4.5% felipe
5711 4.0% helly
5381 3.7% scottmac
5341 3.7% sebastia
2760 1.9% iliaa
2607 1.8% nlopess
1731 1.2% derick
1550 1.1% sniper
1108 0.8% kraghuba

I skipped changelog and everyone who contributed less than 1000 lines got stripped manually (which makes it 15 lines).

Does that mean Zend owns the engine? In terms of the License they do. In terms of contribution I do not. Simply because other people like me contributed does not mean we share ownership. Not even if there wasn't a single line written by Zend employees left. So is the other way round true, and Zend owns the engine because employees have written the engine? Also not, because we do not know whether they did it in their spare time or were paid for it. So why does Zend own the engine? Simply put, the License file says so.

And there is another area that uses an arbitrary License. The TSRM library. Here is the data (again top 15 lines only):

957 21.5% andi
804 18.0% zeev
785 17.6% dmitry
402 9.0% dbeu
384 8.6% sascha
242 5.4% sebastia
167 3.7% rvenkat
136 3.1% tony2001
99 2.2% wez
65 1.5% dreid
63 1.4% iliaa
53 1.2% stig
53 1.2% helly
50 1.1% sniper
28 0.6% sesser

The fun is that hardly anyone but Windows users need this library. Yet it interferes with using PHP in the same way the Zend License does. Simply because it is an arbitrary License.
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Sunday, March 8, 2009


New York, Part II

I was really happy after arriving at the apartment building, that for the coming week I got a very nice apartment in the Chelsea area. There is a Whole Food market just at the opposite corner. And also a lot of restaurants and bars. So, being hungry but not too much after the Sugar Shack, or should I say Sock, I set out for something smaller. Usually one would find that hopeless, since in USA people seem to always confuse Quality and Quantity. But heck I found a place called brgr on 7th Avenue between 26th and 27th street. I somehow got the feeling that they wrote the name that way, to hint that they actually would not hold size over everything else. Inside I found myself corrected, not only did they obviously care not so much for size, but they really seemed to care about quality. Heck they even get their pattys made from grass fed cows. Yeah, we live in such a perverted world that most beef you eat comes from cows that eat other animals and a bunch of chemicals for drinks. Originally I planned to have a Jamba Juice, which I happily also found next to the apartment building, but then brgr offered a Blueberry - Pomegranate Milkshake. Hmmmm, delicous.
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PHP Quebec 2009

Unfortunately this year I could not go snowboarding before PHP Quebec 2009 Conference because of my work schedule. So I flew from NYC to Montreal only on Tuesday afternoon. The conference yet again changed the Hotel and was this year held in the Hilton Montreal Bonaventure. Personally I liked the Sofitel better as a hotel, but for the conference the new hotel is definitively a better choice. We had more rooms, generally more space and - a working WIFI. Probably the first conference with a working WIFI. Thanks Anna, Sylvain and Yann. The conference itself was good as always and we had a lot of fun during the evenings - of course. I gave two planned talks and I had to jump in for my dear friend Sara, who could not come herself because she got sick right before the conference. Luckily my friend Johannes agreed to join me for the jump in on the extension writing talk. And we really both enjoyed the Worst PHP Practice talk, for which actually my wife Caitlin had the idea - thanks for that (and many other things). The talks are online:
Other talks were luckily not too much about PHP 5.3. Instead it turns out that people are interested in the current stable platform PHP 5.2 and are willing to get us core developers more time to get the new features, most notably closures , namespaces and Phar done right (to name a few I contributed to). If you are still interested in more about PHP 5.3, check out Johannes' talk . Something else of interest; I was happy to hear and see that other presenters used Google Chart API in their talks for examples.

At the last night of the conference we went to Le Deux Pierrots. And of course we finished the conference week with a visit to Sucrerie de la Montagne. And believe it or not, we poured sugar syrup onto soup and coffee as well as over mashed potatoes, meet - and - sugar pie. Finally in the afternoon I had to leave to the airport - learning from last years stress with getting the plane, this year I booked a later flight.
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New York, Part I

I spent last week in New York City but was not so happy because of the apartment I got. It used direct steam heat with an outlet for every radiator. And of course my room also had an opening to the outside for the cooling device. So I got a combination of very dry hot air and very dry cold air into my micro room - so large, it barely had space for the bed. So I ended up with three days of nose bleeding. But I had to work far far too much anyway, so I did not see much of the apartment anyway. The neighborhood was o.k. Actually quite close to central park. But as it was cold I didn't make use of that. There was also a good breakfast place, with really nice bread. Anyway, hopefully next weeks stay will be better.
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