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A new coding standard for the PHP world?

There is currently a heated debate spawned with the creation and subsequent announcement of a more or less final decision made by a select group of people at php|tek. Now I am a friend of openness, but I have a hard time remembering any significant existing project within the PHP community that actually changed its coding guidelines. For all I know the main CS in the PHP world originated in the Horde project, but adopted and expanded by PEAR, got adopted and expanded by Zend Framework. See the pattern?

Now PEAR is actually trying to do what hasn't been done before, change the CS in an existing community. From being heavily involved in PEAR years ago, I can tell you that all CS discussions on the mailinglist where useless. Of course there are bad CS and there are very good CS decisions. I personally have a few things to say here. But for the most part its about defining a standard and sticking to it. So handing over the bulk of the deciding to the PEAR group (not to be confused with the PHP group that has no real active responsibilities beyond being the copyright holders) was the only sane thing to do. Now they took things one step further and got a bunch more frameworks together. Awesome.

The mistake they made was to publish their findings on a mailinglist on php.net called php standards. It should have been published on the PEAR developer list. Or maybe some new mailinglist, just not one that makes it sound like anything more than a standard to be adopted by the named list of frameworks. Of course they should promote the standard, adjust the standard if needed, but keeping the actual deciding in a small circle again is the only sane approach for this. But making it sound bigger than it actually is, is not the way to go. Let it grow naturally and all will be good.

Comments



Re: A new coding standard for the PHP world?

Just wanted to point out that PEAR is not trying to do change the CS in existing communities. It just happens to be that 4 people from PEAR attended said meeting.
This has no more to do with PEAR than it has with ZF, Symfony, Cake, Solar, Agavi, etc etc.

Just wanted to point that out because you seem to think that PEAR kicked this off and that the PEAR dev ML should have been used (while I agree the php.standards one was a mistake due to certain misunderstanding).

Re: A new coding standard for the PHP world?

I'm glad the PEAR group reached out to other projects to define a new CS for the PHP 5.3 era. Having a consistent standard across projects will be a relief for many developers. This will also be great for tool writers and users.

All coding standards have advantages and disadvantages, but the one thing that makes them really valuable is if everyone uses the same one. silverorange will be using the new CS in our open-source PHP 5.3 code.

As a developer, I don't really care what list the standard gets posted to as long as the news gets to me before I start my projects using the "wrong" standard.

Re: A new coding standard for the PHP world?

I believe that group has now moved away from php.net mailinglist and onto a closed Google Group.

I have also come to the conclusion that if the group had represented itself as "The Interoperability Working Group" (thanks Cal) then things have worked out very different.

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