Giving Thanks

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In the United States, we take the fourth Thursday in November to give thanks for all the things we appreciate, and all the people who matter. I know that without PHP, my life wouldn’t be nearly the same; the language I use every day plays a critical role in everything else I do: it provides money to pay bills, a sense of accomplishment, and the joy of working in a language that is truly fantastic.

We owe lots and lots of people for the PHP language, people who are not often thanked nearly enough. Thus, I have decided to pick five people that have contributed significantly in the last year, and (in no particular order), discuss their accomplishments and thank them each personally. I realize that PHP is an effort of several hundred individuals, and that each one deserves credit; there simply wouldn’t be the space to thank them here personally, but each contributor should know that I personally appreciate each and every one of you.

So, without further ado, thank you to:

Felipe Pena
Described as the “unsung hero of PHP”, Felipe Pena is one of the most important developers of PHP that no one has ever heard of. He goes around PHP fixing all sorts of bugs, as well as working on the new features, and even fixing bugs in PECL packages when asked. He told me that he got started by adding a patch and was hooked – something that others can learn from regarding their ability to contribute.

Scott MacVicar
As the maintainer of the Mac OS X package of PHP, Scott is all too familiar with the problems Apple hands developers in their development enviornment. Scott is an active participant in trying to make PHP run better on the Mac, and has contributed to various extensions, including JSON, Fileinfo, SQLite3 and PDO_SQLite. He bears a large amount of responsibility, as well as being heavily involved in PHP London as its President.

Elizabeth Smith
The PHP language works exceptionally well on Windows, and much of this is due to the work of Elizabeth. She has done a considerable amount of work getting PHP to work on Windows. She tests everything (extensions, frameworks, core builds) on Windows and regularly reports bugs when she finds them. She also maintains PHP-GTK, as well as the Cairo package in PECL.

Derick Rethans
Derick is an expert in all things date and time related. Derick is the author of the authoritative book on dates and times, Guide to Date and Time Programming. He is also the author of Xdebug, which is the single most important extension in the PHP language (install it! You will thank me). Derick deserves praise for his involvement and versatility in the PHP community, and is one of the best resources in the community.

Ilia Alshanetsky
Ilia deserves praise as a regular bug-fixer, as well as being partially or completely responsible for such extensions as SQLite, PDO, GD, and others. He’s served as release manager for several releases as well, ultimately being responsible for rolling the release and getting it out the door for PHP users to utilize.

Brandon Savage is the author of Mastering Object Oriented PHP and Practical Design Patterns in PHP

Posted on 11/27/2009 at 7:54 am
Categories: Friday Inspirations, Technology
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