Extreme Programming

With an exciting development project ahead, some of which David alluded to in a recent blog entry, I am looking closely at what has worked in the past. I had good success implementing some of the strategies of Extreme Programming (XP) and to that end I am now partway through Extreme Programming Applied (the one everyone recommends). Agile methods and complex web applications seem like a match made in heaven.

While XP doesn’t deal with specific coding standards for a particular language (like PHP), it does provide the kind of guidance that seems to naturally lend itself to good code. Between pair programming and unit testing, the bases are covered for functionality and knowledge sharing. But I still see the need for something like PHPDocumentor combined with a clear set of rules for how to write those DocBlocks. Armed with all that and some clear objectives from the top, the road to a flexible, high quality system seems walkable.

En Garde!

I had my first Tuesday night adult beginners’ fencing class tonight at the Los Angeles International Fencing Center. It was great! Muscles I never knew I had are aching, but I enjoyed it thoroughly and am looking forward to next week. Who knew being tall and double jointed might actaully be an asset?

The Achilles’ Heel of Darwin

Or, “Why I Was Up So Bloody Late Last Night.”

It’s true. I did a dumb thing. I used apt-get to install Apache 2.0, then tried to load up PHP5 compiled for Apache 2.0 using the recommended installers from PHP.net. I should have known that Apache was still at 1.3 (which I later discovered after the fact with httpd -v), that mixing and matching between the Debian-bound apt-get and the Darwin package manager was a bad idea. I spent hours scraping and reinstalling my system when dependencies failed for just about every command line app I use — including the app I live my life in — ssh.

This brings up a couple points. The first is that Darwin should have been called DINQU — Darwin Is Not Quite UNIX. Because it’s true. Maybe the Mach kernel is still there, but just about every other piece seems to have been heavily modded by the troops in Cupertino. So, the more you start doing things the UNIX way, and not the Apple way, the more you take your life in your hands.

The second point will probably shock you: I found something that Windows does better!
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What I Really Think of PHPSEC

PHPSEC, the PHP Security Consortium, has been launched. Ever since Marco Tabini’s call to arms for the PHP community to rally around PHP for business, I have been thinking about how I can support the effort to bridge the gap between enterprise and the brilliant PHP coders I have met along the way. Having given it some thought, I have a lot to say about how to bring PHP to the conference table. Hopefully I can sketch out a little of my thinking in this post.
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No Wonder!

BrandChannel.com just gave Apple it’s reader’s choice award for most popular brand — above Google, Starbucks and Ikea! This just seems to confirm my instincts that the iPod “fad” has helped Apple’s credibility to skyrocket.