PHPVille almost released today

Today Facebook released a HipHop l33t shizznizzle of a tool for PHP but sadly it’s not the PHPVille I was hoping for. PHPVille is probably a game that encourages PHP community members to work on the PHP project (over at Much like FarmVille, users simply cannot stop playing!

Possible game features:

  • Each SVN commit builds up your worth
  • Not tending to or feeding your PECL extensions will result in them drying up and dying
  • Dead PECL extensions may live on as zombies, as once in awhile people will resurrect them
  • Eventually you may purchase things like an email address, and karma for other SVN repositories
  • Neighbors share and improve each others code
  • Future enhancement: The selling of karma, in bulk
  • Future enhancement: When Oracle purchases PHP, you’ll be rich! [in PHPVille cash]

PHPVille members often discuss matters within the #php.pecl and #php.doc IRC channels on EFnet, or on the various mailing lists.

If you have other PHPVille ideas then please post them here and we’ll create the best facebook application ever! Also, thanks to Ralph and Ilia for discussing this on IRC and offering some of the ideas above. :)

the future of this outdated blog and life streams

This is yet another well intentioned “I’m going to start blogging more” blog post that you see elsewhere but this one is mine. It’s just not the same since micro-blogging (twitter) came along but we’ll see. I almost converted to Habari but then got distracted committing to habari-extras (helping clean up the plugins) and have since been waiting for Habari 0.7 to be released (it’s within the 0.6 cycle currently). And now I’m distracted again, this time with life streams.

So, I’m going to either help work on the lifestream Habari plugin or use something totally different, something geared towards life streams. The arstechnica article titled “Make your own lifestream with open source Storytlr offers several ideas and methods and I’ll most likely end up with something from there. Stay tuned.

And thank you for reading this entry.

communication 2.0 is lame

Today I experienced an enormous flashing light above my head so will write about it now. Communication 2.0 is chaotic and lame. I write to blogs (this one, comments on others), micro-blogs (twitter), social networks (facebook), mailing lists (e.g., php docs), forums and other places yet it’s all scattered and lost as opposed to being together and remembered. Why so Weak?! A new TODO: Change this. How? One route: Locate APIs of utilized resources, mash them together, then do stuff with it like display. Also, research this and related topics like privacy.

Integration that already happens for me today (automagically):

  • Tweets are shown in this blogs sidebar (via a blog plugin)
  • Blog posts are shown in facebook (as notes)
  • Tweets (some) are displayed in facbook (when appending #fb to tweets, using the selective twitter facebook application)
  • iPod touch apps display facebook/twitter info

Obviously this situation can be improved a ton, both by simple means (currently existing applications) or customized (like designing how to gather and use all of this raw information) with the latter being on the ever-growing TODO.

Whatever the case, the current situation is weak and will change. Google wave should help.

simple lock bumping unlocks most of our locks

Today I stumbled upon information about Bump Keys and am worried. Two main concerns:

  • Most every keyed lock on the planet can easily be opened by anyone
  • I was totally ignorant on the subject, and assume I’m not alone

Basically a Bump Key can be created and used by anyone (you, me, anyone) to open most locks including the dead bolts on our front doors. Others have explained these details for years so I feel it’s my duty to relay the information to my friends. Here are a few of the zillion resources on the subject:

In summary: This problem is real but a few companies are starting to take notice. The Kwikset SmartKey looks like a worthy (and affordable) option and a few other high quality/cost possibilities are also available. A few anti-bumping products exist for current locks but I doubt they are as effective as locks designed with lock bumping in mind. Or, simply play the numbers game and hope the bad guys don’t mess with your stuff. Unfortunately, most of us will choose the last option.

a kudos to php geek felipe pena

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 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 project absolutely loves Felipe. I remember at one point referring to him as Nuno #2 but now he’s Felipe #1 :)

So, kudos to Felipe Pena who was also the PHP Brazilian of the year.