Paul has written a few posts about members of the PHP community and this inspired one by me. It’s about a guy few hear about but all benefit from and his name is Felipe Pena. Somewhat anonymous in the PHP community, he’s a true superstar within the PHP.net project itself.
His path began with several patches to the Brazilian Portuguese translation of the PHP manual. And in typical Felipe fashion, they were unselfishly huge and over time for at least 10 entire PHP extensions. Then on October 25, 2007 a CVS account was requested. Work continued as did dabbling with other parts of the project. For example, every so often several of us on IRC would write comments like “It’d be nice if we had a good docbook skeleton generator, maybe based on reflection” but it was only talk. Then one day Felipe wrote “Hello everyone, what do you guys think of this?” and there it was, a full blown reflection based docbook skeleton generator that takes an extension or class and spits out xml files for use in the manual. A true doer, he does, and did, and continues to do. Talk is cheap, patches are not, Felipe speaks with patches.
Felipe has since moved on to mostly work on PHP internals and continues his talk is cheap philosophy. Well, he of course talks but typically includes solid patches. And when other people talk he responds with patches or offers to create them. When people commit new PECL extensions he often looks at them and offers advice and patches. When something boring needs done he offers to do it. Everyone intimate with the PHP.net project absolutely loves Felipe. I remember at one point referring to him as Nuno #2 but now he’s Felipe #1 :)