by Kaj Kandler
I attended yesterday the Boston PHP Meetup (User Group) meeting for August.
Scott Mattocks introduced the basic concepts of PHP-GTK 2. He gave a well researched sample application using PHP and the Gimp Toolkit (GTK). The application queried an online database of events. His presentation went from from an empty window to the mostly functioning application with query form and result page.
Following his presentation we had a lively discussion about features such as long running tasks and complex widgets. Scott also assessed the learning curve as being a bit steeper than HTML forms but not as steep as Swing for example.
Finally we wondered “When would you use this kind of interface instead of plain server logic and HTML in a browser?” We figured that applications with sophisticated interaction patterns or requiring access to local data/databases would be best suited for PHP applications with an GTK interface. The caveat appears to be that there is limitations in deployment. The currently best method is deploying PHP, the libraries and the GTK one at a time. An alternative is emerging in Gnope, the PHP application installer.
Some lucky dudes took home Scott Mattocks book “Pro PHP-GTK” and T-Shirts. also many thanks to Optaros for hosting.
by Kaj Kandler
June 1st was once again PHP Meetup Boston night. Mark Withington, the organizer had invited Mike Potter from Adobe’s Developer Relations team to present about the upcoming Flex 2.0 web-application framework and how to use it with PHP back-end applications. Mike gave an impressive overview of Flex 2.0 and how easy it is to create impressive user interfaces with a few lines of xml and ActionScript.
Here is what I took away from this meeting:
- Flex 2.0 is a really impressive development and expected to be out within the next 60 days. See for yourself, what Mike did with Flex2.0 and Drupal. He also demonstrated an open source PHP-Flex bridge, called AMFPHP. Flex 2.0 competes with open source projects such as OpenLaszlo and ZK1. However, Mike thinks it is the stronger platform. He said that a basic command line SDK will be free and the Flex 2.0 developer IDE based on Eclipse will be less than $1000 per developer license.
- Mike described another project that my interest. The project is called Adobe Apollo and is expected to come out by the end of the year. He described it as a stand alone flash application engine, that can be used to package Flash (and Flex) based applications to be installed on a user’s desktop. The really cool statement to me was that it also should run AJAX based applications.
- Triggered by a question from the audience, Mike briefly introduced Adobe’s AJAX framework, called Spry. This also looks very powerful and I have to revisit this topic, once I learned a bit more about it.
This was an evening really well spent. I learned a lot and met a bunch of great people. If you are a PHP developer or a software developer in Boston, I highly recommend to go to the PHP Meetup.