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Author: Manuel Lemos

Posted on:

Categories: New site features

Today was the PHPClasses site 11th birthday. Despite there was no special celebration, it is time to review the developments of the past year.

This article covers also the plans for the upcoming developments, including the launch of a new site derived from the PHPClasses site, which will certainly address the needs of many Web developers.




Contents

11 years and counting

Past year in short review

The new design contest system

More jobs for PHP developers

A better site search

Upcoming developments

A new site for Web developers

Sharing revenue with the best contributors

Other features users would like


11 years and counting

Yet another birthday. Right, it was in June 24 of 1999 that the first public version of the PHPClasses site was launched.

11 years is a long time for any site to be in activity. It means it survived at least one dot-com bubble and one world economic crisis.

I lost count of how many times I received proposals to sell the site over all these years. I think it were 9 or 10 proposals. Some buyers keep coming back to check if I am already interested to sell. I think I will never sell, but never is a word that is probably too strong to be definite. Time will tell.

I certainly keep working on the site full time as always. This means that more and more the site has been a great source of personal satisfaction, realization, and fortunately a good enough source of revenue to keep me working on it full time for as long as I wish. I see no reason for me to stop doing it.

Past year in short review

After many years of development and over 235,000 lines of PHP code, there are still plenty of features that could be implemented to address the site users' needs.

However, I have noticed that most features that need to be implemented are more and more complex, and so they take a longer time to be ready to be released.

The new design contest system

One of the latest developments that took the whole 2009 and part of 2008 to be implemented was the design contest system. That was quite a challenge. More than 1 year of development. But it was well worth it. It nailed one source of frequent user complaints.

Once the winning design was launched and a few browser incompatibilities were fixed, all of the sudden, the users stopped complaining in Twitter about how the site looks. Actually, after several months of the launch of the design, there are still users in Twitter celebrating the new design. Mission accomplished!

There is still work to do to improve the site design, but the remaining issues are not really about aesthetics. Those issues will be addressed in the future, as time permits.

More jobs for PHP developers

As you may have noticed, lately there has been an increase in the number of jobs that are being posted in the site PHP jobs section. That is the result of an improved approach in the process that leads to posting PHP jobs.

A new method has been implemented to actively prospect PHP jobs of interest, as they are made available by the companies seeking for PHP professionals.

This means that there is a semi-automatic method to find and post PHP jobs that match the demand of the PHP developers that are looking for jobs.

A great part of such PHP developers are looking for jobs that can be done remotely. That is because they would rather work from home, and hopefully increase their quality of life. That is why you see now more telecommuting jobs, some that can even be taken by PHP developers from countries different than the countries of the hiring companies.

Since this method of finding those jobs requires some time to evaluate and post the jobs, these jobs are made available first to the site premium subscribers. During the first 23 days of the 30 during which the jobs are posted, only premium subscribers can apply to these jobs.

Only in the last 7 days the jobs are made available to all site users, but then the jobs may have already been taken by PHP developers that applied early when the jobs became available. Therefore, if you are actively looking for PHP jobs, it is recommended that you become a premium subscriber.

There are two ways you can become a premium subscriber. One is to submit innovative classes, so you can be nominated to the PHP Programming Innovation Award that happens in the site every month. Every nominee gets a free lifetime premium subscription, besides other eventual prizes from the award sponsors.

The other way is to purchase a premium subscription. It is quite inexpensive. It only costs USD $15 for 3 months, or USD $48 (20% discount) if paid annually. It is just a few hours worth of paid PHP consulting work. You can quickly recover that once you get the PHP jobs you want.

A better site search

Another development that took place in the last year of life of the site was the internal site search.

Previously the site search was actually a co-branded version of the Google search for this site. It was not very good because Google does not have any notion of the structure of the site content. All search results would appear mixed, regardless of the section of the site they belonged.

In 2007 it was implemented an internal site search engine that provided a better presentation of the search results. It displayed the results separated by tabs according to the section that they belonged.

This is much better, as the users can find what they are looking for in the sections of the site they want to search.

Then the internal site search was made available only to premium subscribers, as it was believed that internal site search pages could not contain Google advertising.

After clarification with Google that after all advertising was allowed in search page results, the internal site search was made available to every user in 2009.

Upcoming developments

The development of the site never stops. That is what I do most of the time. Lets take a look at the most important upcoming developments.

A new site for Web developers

One of the developments that I have been working on in the latest months is a new site of interest for Web developers in general.

I expect to launch that site in a few weeks. It is not a big secret but I am not going to enter into much detail right now, as between now and then things may change. One thing that I can tell you now is that the new site is based on the PHPClasses site code.

What has been taking me more time to implement is a single sign-on system based on OpenID, so current users of the PHPClasses site do not have to create new accounts to login in the new site.

So for now, please be patient and expect to hear about this soon. For the latest updates, you may want to follow the PHPClassesEarly Twitter account on which I post news about developments of interest before I announce them in the PHPClasses site blog.

Sharing revenue with the best contributors

The main reason why this site is well appreciated among the PHP community is the quality of the content submitted by the site contributors.

However, most contributors do not get much more than a pat on the back for the benefits they provide to the users that use their work. This does not sound fair to me. I have written about that a few years ago when I talked about what I expect from an eventual Web 3.0.

Since then I have been thinking about ways to compensate the authors that contribute to the site. The site already provides prizes to authors that submit innovative classes. But that does not compensate all authors that have their work published.

It does not seem to be viable to share revenue with all authors, but I think at least the authors of the most popular classes should be compensated somehow.

I have been thinking about ways to share revenue with those authors. That is one my goals for this year. Stay tuned for upcoming developments in this area.

Other features users would like

As I always say, many of the best features implemented in the site were suggested by the site users. Despite the developments described above have top priority, I may implement other features suggested by the users meanwhile.

For years I have been taking note of features that have been suggested. Unfortunately it has not been possible to implement all of the suggested features. I have to sort the priorities and implement first those that are more urgent.

Nevertheless the suggested features have been tracked in a public site, so I can get back to them soon or later. Often I decide to implement certain features first, depending on the frequency of the requests for such features.

If you would like to help sorting which features are more urgent to implement, please browse the list of suggested features. You are more than welcome submit comments there or to this post regarding the features that you think are more important.

If you have other ideas for interesting features that could be added to the site, you may also submit feature requests in that site or post comments here, so we can all discuss about it.

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Comments:

1. Congrats and best wishes for the future - Zytara (2011-11-29 10:17)
Congrats... - 0 replies
Read the whole comment and replies

5. 11 years - Josť Filipe Lopes Santos (2010-07-01 18:52)
11 years... - 0 replies
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4. Happy Birthday - Abhijeet G Kinjawadekar (2010-06-28 04:58)
Congrats phpclasses.org... - 0 replies
Read the whole comment and replies

3. Congrats - Ermopo (2010-06-27 11:27)
Happy birthday... - 0 replies
Read the whole comment and replies

2. Kudos - Prasant Kumar (2010-06-26 03:18)
Congrats... - 0 replies
Read the whole comment and replies


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