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Chris Shiflett

Hi, I’m Chris: entrepreneur, community leader, husband, and father. I live and work in Boulder, CO.

Blood, Sweat, and Swear: Terry Chay on Pro-PHP Podcast

I just finished listening to Terry Chay on the Pro-PHP Podcast. Terry never hesitates to share his opinion, and it's always fun to listen to a smart guy who is passionate about what he does. You're also sure to walk away with several new quotes, such as "blood, sweat, and swear" being the key ingredients of web application development. Terry also speaks a bit about Ruby:

Ruby is really good at what it does. The problem is, for what Ruby does really well, I can download Wordpress. [Ruby is] really good at building those apps that have already been built before. PHP is good at finding out what the next Wordpress is.

On Terry's blog, he also comments on the podcast itself and the positive impact Marcus has had on the community:

The community is so disjointed because you have so many people working on so many things. From core C coding (The PHP Group), to business services and CYA documents (Zend), to consulting (OmniTI), to developers of open source and closed source application software and services. What PHP Podcast does is provide the sense of community that connects those disparate groups together.

The interview with Terry Chay is available from the Pro-PHP Podcast site.

About this post

Blood, Sweat, and Swear: Terry Chay on Pro-PHP Podcast was posted on Tue, 15 Aug 2006. If you liked it, follow me on Twitter or share:


1.Emmanuel said:

I disagree a bit that Ruby is only for small application.. Give it a year to mature and PHP community should start worrying .

So far there is no good framework I enjoy working with using PHP and ended up building my own and the community is very disparate with a lot of unfinished projects too or code with unclear status (like PHPClass or Pear being really really poor implementation...).

Matter of fact just posted a bug on phpDocumentor and phpDocumentor is supposedly the reference for phpdoc... unfortunately it runs everything from memory directly so the more file you have in your cvs , the more memory you ll need! (and hardcode hard limit on memory usage ...the bug..)

This is a very poor design and no one in the community ever complained about it because in the PHP community, I feel like a lot of people are just taking the tools are just wanting the quick fix rather that a good solution for the rest of the community (maybe using sqllite would be a very good improvment??). Maybe I am wrong but I really feel like PHP a mostly a lot small group rather than a unified community and this might cause problems. PHP need a strong leader make people excited and wanting to share more in the community.

On another note: lucky you! just saw on the left that you went to the Barca game and saw Ronaldino ;)

Would have love to see them too!

Wed, 16 Aug 2006 at 04:36:39 GMT Link

2.Chris Shiflett said:

Hi Emmanuel,

I don't think Terry means Ruby is only good for small projects. I think his point is independent of Ruby and focuses on the idea that making known problems easier to solve is valuable, but it doesn't necessarily help you solve unknown problems, and there are already solutions to the known problems.

Yes, I got to see Ronaldinho. :-) It was quite an amazing experience, and I feel lucky to have had the opportunity.

Wed, 16 Aug 2006 at 04:46:33 GMT Link

3.Sean Coates said:

Hi Chris,

Thanks for the promo.

Great quote. I agree completely, and I've been saying something similar for months.

I also agree with your interpretation: Rails is particularly good at building a certain few types of applications quickly and easily, and while Ruby (with or without rails) can probably be used to create any sort of Web app, this is where PHP really excels.

My party line has been "Rails is great for creating 8 types of applications. If if fails, it will be because someone wants to create a 9th type."

Either that, or it will get mangled into a do-everything-but-don't-do-it-well soup, just like Java did.


Wed, 16 Aug 2006 at 15:02:50 GMT Link

4.Emmanuel said:

I understand his point but also find the PHP community frustrating at times because of the lack of centralization and supervision/advice from the code team to the actual user. I really feel that the PHP community is bunch of different group but not very unified.

I am actually surprise that unittesting, phpdoc . profiling and benchmarking are separate from the PHP code product. To me those should be integrated within php to allow better unification of framework under PHP and trusting more the release process etc... I picked simpletest but this project although active or phpdocumentor look very stagnant project (and not very scalable for phpdocumentor)... And yet I feel this should be the PHP core team problem and not someone else hacking a framework in PHP.

Has anyone ever mentionned that to them? I am sure a lot of people did... This is what I find disapointing with PHP although very easy to use and solve most of my problem

Wed, 16 Aug 2006 at 16:34:24 GMT Link

5.Chris Hartjes said:

I'm giving a talk at php|works entitled "What Can PHP Learn From Rails" and what I've learned from my experiences with Rails is that it's more about the programming practices that have come out of the Ruby community instead of what Rails offered. Rails isn't doing anything new (except a kickass ORM database wrapper).

Thu, 17 Aug 2006 at 01:07:22 GMT Link

6.33degrees said:

The Ruby comment doesn't even make sense. At the very least, he's confusing ruby with rails, as ruby itself is a general purpose language that is suitable for many tasks that PHP (due to its web oriented nature) isn't. As for ruby or rails not being good at solving unknown problems, it's not at all a convincing statement without any evidence to back it up. Pure FUD.

Thu, 17 Aug 2006 at 04:27:27 GMT Link

7.Terry Chay said:

Oh poor baby! Did I touch a nerve there?

If you actually listened to the segment you’d see that I correct myself and use the term “Ruby on Rails” correctly. Besides, what the fuck do you think I’m talking about? When ThoughtWorks posts this ad are you going to tell me that they mean Ruby or RoR?

FUD indeed, but it seems to be coming from the Java/Ruby world instead of the PHP world where (if you listened to the Podcast) it’s developers realize that the “web problem” emperor has no clothes. (For you Neanderthals out there, I said that you can develop great web applications in any language.)

As for evidence. Listen to the talk! I give at three or four I think (Wikipedia, WordPress, SugarCRM, Joomla). Yeah, I’m sure TaDa! List and BaseCamp stack up really well against those four which I pulled out of my ass only because the previous four people interviewed before me on Pro::PHP Podcast were the inventors of those applications, all written in… What language was that?

All together now…




Sat, 26 Aug 2006 at 02:16:56 GMT Link

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