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while i'm off galavanting in the aspen trees, some of my counterparts are up in san francisco attending zendcon, a php conference.

some updates on some news that microsoft is announcing at zendcon...

    • FastCGI for PHP -- this was a collaborative project between zend and microsoft to build a better fastcgi implementation for windows.  announced today will be that zend will be redistributing FastCGI in Zend Core.  additionally, zend will make sure that FastCGI is supported in the server core installation option for windows server 2008!
    • zend and microsoft partnered again to provide a component for the zend framework for php developers/apps to make use of supporting information cards for identity integration.
    • finally, microsoft is making available a first preview build of a sql server 2005 driver for php.  this is designed to enable php developers to have a reliable and scalable driver for sql server.

so php developers, what do you think?

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i'm sitting in 's presentation at about building rich internet applications in php.  my expectations will be that this will be talking about ajax and flex (given the nature of the conference).

andi's first talking about the nature of ajax for rich applications in php.  what is cool is that he mentioned the micorosft ajax client library and the codeplex php kit in the talk so far.  he said he likes talking about it because it demonstrates the nature of ajax standards. 

he also talked initially about simplexml as a mechanism for communicating with ajax services.  i used simplexml myself in the learn2asp.net series for php that i helped out with.  i found the microsoft ajax implementation easier to consume even if there might be one more task of implementing the interface.

andi's now showing a chat application build in ajax/php.  it's a basic chat application, but then integrates yahoo keywords services, highlighting keywords in the chat text.  then clicking on the text integrates with flickr to get pictures based on that keyword -- providing an end-to-end seamless service. 

so how was the sample built?  zend framework.  andi walks through the zend framework architecture, highlighting areas of json serialization, etc.  he's talking now about using the model-view-controller (MVC) pattern for developing the chat application and how the zend framework uses this (i.e., routing is one simple example, mapping URI requests to actions).

hmm...this really is more of an MVC using zend framework talk so far...interesting, but not what i expected so far.

one cool function for ajax developers: Zend_Json::encode($yourArray), oooh, even better: Zend_Json::fromXML($response->getBody())

so what will be in zend framework vNext?

    • much faster release cycles (monthly to bi-monthly mini releases; 4 times a year minor releases)
    • ajax-enabled form components in v1.1
    • ajax support in eclipse-based dev tools (javascript editing/debugging, syntax highlighting, toolkit support, code completion)
    • zend component model (server php component architecture; ajax client toolkit, client-side messaging; tooling in dev tools/ides for components)

andi's giving a security talk regarding php next...think i'm headed to somewhere else though.  zend framework looks very useful for php developers.  i'd love to start seeing the mvc implementation of the zend framework run through the fastcgi implementation for IIS and see what php developers think of that!