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PHP user group contacts, Bandwidth saving, Metastorage database access enhancements - PHP Classes blog

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Author: Manuel Lemos

Posted on:

Categories: New site features, PHP User Groups

This month I have been working most of the time on the development of packages and tools that I will be using to implement new services and existing service improvements in the PHP Classes site.




- PHP user groups responsible email contact

First I would like to talk about PHP user groups. As you may know, the PHP Classes site provides great exposure to the PHP user groups that would like to benefit from it to attract more members. Such exposure is given mainly by listing the user groups of the country to each user right after the login page.

The user groups are also listed by country here, but it is not the place that gets them most of the visibility.

http://www.phpclasses.org/browse/group/

Anyway, many user groups responsible users have contacted me to tell that this has been working great and consequently their groups are growing well in number of members and organized events.

Unfortunately this is not the case with all user groups. Some users want to form PHP user groups in their region but they build simple pages, forgetting to mention any e-mail contacts or the group mailing lists. This way it is hard to provide means for the potential user group members to communicate.

To solve this problem, starting this month of August, in the listings of active user groups there is a new link labeled "email contact". When you click on this link you will be prompted with a CAPTCHA form to perform human user verification. This is meant to make it difficult for robots to get the email contact.

After you pass that form you will get access to the email address of the user that is responsible for the listed PHP user group. Hopefully this will help beginning user groups to effectively get started. So, do not hesitate in contacting the user groups responsible to help making your local PHP community to grow.

BTW, if you were not familiar with the PHP user groups exposure initiative of the PHP Classes site, but you have a local PHP user group of your own, feel free to go here and submit your user group details.

Note that you need to provide a link back in your user group page that the PHP Classes site users to regulary monitor your user group to make sure it is still alive. More details in this form page:

http://www.phpclasses.org/submit_user_group.html


- Bandwidth saving

The continued growth of the number of site users has been making the site consume too much bandwidth. To reduce the bandwidth consumption I had to take a few measures to avoid excessive hosting expenses.

One of the measures is to eliminate the content that is sent ny the site in the alerts and newsletter messages and reduce it to the absolutely essential.

This means that certain redundant links were turned in plain text or simply removed. I also had to remove author pictures in some places, use package short descriptions instead of long descriptions, and stop syndicating content from certain news feeds to the newsletter that were not really relevant.

Now the bandwidth consumption is moderate. If you feel that I have removed something that you considered important, just let me know so I can consider adding it again later.


- Metastorage database access enhancements

As I mentioned, this month I have been working on enhancing the tool Metastorage. In case you do not know that already, it is a code generator tool that generate data object classes that perform object-relational mapping.

http://www.meta-language.net/metastorage.html

It has been providing me greater productivity in developing new services for the PHP Classes. One of the services that was implemented with Metastorage is the PHP Classes per package forum system:

http://www.phpclasses.org/discuss/

I am working on new services, but first I needed to add a few enhancements to Metastorage. Some of the planned enhancements depend on adding certain new features to Metabase.

In case you do not know it, Metabase is a database abstraction package that provides total independence from the RDBMS to the applications that rely on it. It provides RDBMS independence not only in the database access aspects, but also to the database schema installation and updating. The whole PHP Classes site was built using Metabase.

http://www.phpclasses.org/metabase

The new Metabase features are almost all implemented in some drivers. The problem is that Metabase has many drivers to support many databases, like MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, Microsoft SQL server, Microsoft Access, Informix, Interbase, SQLite, Mini-SQL, ODBC, etc.. So, updating all the drivers to implement the new features will take me too much time.

To avoid spending too much time, for now I will be implementing the new features only for the most requested databases.

Metastorage and Metabase are Open Source. So, if you are interested in using Metastorage and/or Metabase, I would like you to help me deciding which are the most important databases to support by responding to this survey in the metal-dev mailing list. Just say which database or databases you would like to use with Metastorage or Metabase:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/metal-dev/surveys?id=12118553


Thank you in advance for your help,
Manuel Lemos

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