Monthly Archive: April 2009
April 3, 2009

UPDATE: Oct 20, 2010

Since writing this article I have been working on FirePHP 1.0 and a new client tool to achieve the kinds of things I describe below much more easily. The new tool is called FirePHP Companion and aimed at streamlining the PHP development workflow. There is still a lot of work left to do, but you can already take a look at how the demo provided here can be implemented easily with FirePHP Companion.

As mentioned in a previous post I wrote a column for php|architect about how FirePHP can be used for Ajax development. I am re-publishing the complete article here. Enjoy!

FirePHP for Ajax Development

There are many integrated development environments and tools available to aid in building Web 2.0 AJAX applications with PHP, but nothing comes close to the ease of use and tight Firebug integration that FirePHP provides.
PHP: 5.2+
Other software: Firefox, Firebug
Useful/Related links:

My purpose in this column is to introduce you to FirePHP, the problem it solves, and how it is intended to work within your application for maximum benefit. I will present some useful high-level knowledge to make it easier for you to integrate FirePHP into your application.

This is not a step-by-step tutorial. I have made a complete demo available for download, along with some useful libraries illustrating all the concepts covered here. I want to emphasize that the demo is only one possible implementation. There are many other possibilities.

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April 1, 2009

I recently discovered Zend Server and the free Community Edition which I think is a great development. We finally have a standard platform to code against. Not so much in terms of the bundled install of PHP and apache which has been offered for a while; but rather in terms of a standard directory structure, configuration and web-based administration system. More on that later.

Better yet this PHP environment bundle is backed by Zend which means it will stay maintained and likely make it into many corporate environments. It also ships with Zend Framework and PEAR which means it has full native FirePHP support right from the start! If you need another reason it also installs nicely alongside your existing Apache/PHP install without any conflict out of the box. There is really no reason why you cannot run Zend Server in parallel to your existing setup.

I am going to walk you through how you can get FirePHP setup for ZendServer with the help of some glue code. The glue is available from the FirePHP PEAR channel and will be maintained along with FirePHP going forward. At the end of this tutorial you will have FirePHP available automatically for any Apache vhost you configure on your Zend Server.

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