Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Zend Developer Zone 3.0(?)

While Zend Developer Zone (a.k.a DevZone) perhaps hasn’t gotten as much attention as Zend Framework or the Eclipse PHP Development Tools (PDT) project, it’s an essential piece of the three pronged community-focused strategy Zend launched with the PHP Collaboration Project back in 2005.

DevZone takes an important place alongside Zend Framework and our Eclipse-based tooling as an equal partner in collaboration.  Open source companies’ tail wind is the community—and the learning and mentoring environment that comes with it. We have always strived to help support the ongoing process of cross pollination among the community which has truly matured the PHP eco-system as a whole. Professional content, leadership, and expertise associated with the very best practices of PHP are the key to what has made PHP a mature Enterprise-ready Web solution.

When I started working on the concept of the DevZone back in 2005 I called it I actually still have the presentations which I used internally to get the necessary buy in. I felt that in order to mature PHP, that building both a professional Web application framework and supporting the de-facto standard Eclipse framework was not enough. We needed to create a platform which enables our users, our partners, our customers and Zend to deliver best practices and methodology to the community. We have been blessed with the many contributions DevZone has received so far both from individuals and industry heavyweights like IBM and Adobe.

We have also been fortunate to have a line of great community advocates for PHP, from Jayson Minard, to Cal Evans, and I’m now excited that Eli White ( ) will be joining Zend. The Zend Editor-In-Chief role or “Community Guy” as Eli puts it is a tough role. It is designed for somewhat of a super human who has strong community building skills, editorial skills, deep PHP technical knowledge, broad software knowledge with an ability to bridge out into other communities, strong presentation skills and the list goes on. Surely a hard role to fill. While none of us are super humans I think Eli is really a great fit for this role and has strengths in all of these areas. While Eli’s predecessors have done an excellent job it is always the responsibility of the next generation to take things to the next level. I have no doubt that Eli has the energy and the talent to do that. I personally am looking very much forward to working closely with him because as Eli’s predecessors can attest, the community role and the developer zone are very close to my heart.

Please welcome me in wishing Eli well in his new position! I am sure he’s already busy cooking up some interesting ideas.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Seven Things About Me - Tagged by Marco

I've been tagged by Marco Tabini. This gives me an opportunity to share some things you may not know about me:

1) I was born in Switzerland to a Swiss father and British mother, moved to Israel at the age of 10, started at an Israeli school and within a year I moved to an American school (in Israel) where I graduated with a US high school diploma. As a result I don’t know any language perfectly. English is my best but I still lack a very broad vocabulary.

2) I got a warning letter during my studies at the Technion that if I don’t shape up they’ll kick me out. Working on PHP was just so much more fun. I am one of the only people I know who didn’t even know who most of their lecturers were (until today) as I rarely attended classes. I spent my days sleeping and the nights coding.

3) I am training myself to make the perfect Cappuccino. Although I’ve only been a serious coffee drinker for about three years, making a great cappuccino has become a hobby of mine and I have all the right prosumer equipment to do so.

4) I was on the varsity basketball team in high-school and even flew abroad for some competitions. Although I only play about once a year or two I am still a decent shot when I get the chance (but I lose my breath within a couple of minutes).

5) I envy graphics and Web designers. I have close to no artistic talent but have always wanted to find time to develop this side of me. Unfortunately I haven’t even managed to find the time to learn Photoshop yet alone practicing on the artistic side.

6) I hate shaving. I really hate shaving. When I was in the army I made sure to time the shave just often enough so I could still get away with not shaving every day. Unfortunately these days Eyal, my four year old son, complains when I want to kiss him and I’m not shaved so there’s finally someone who’s motivating me. Wife and Army didn’t do quite as good of a job.

7) I love food and eating out. Typically we start our days off, first thinking where we’re going to eat, and only then what we’re actually going to do. My first two hours of my first time in New York were spent booking restaurants for every day of the following week.

Here are the people I'm tagging:

- Marcus Börger: Smart guy and happens to live in my original hometown of Zürich.

- Mark de Visser: Few know the open-source space better than Mark.

- Roy Ganor: Leads the Zend Studio and PDT team and still not broadly known despite having a lot of interesting thoughts to share. Need to get him aggregated onto :)

- Stas Malyshev: First person to join Zend and someone who's opinion I deeply respect (even if I don't always agree).

- Christopher Jones: Probably the first big vendor employee to get deeply involved with the PHP community.

- Gaylord Aulke: Very talented and experienced Web architect who's led many great projects.

- John Coggeshall: Who I am sure can surprise us all with his factoids.


And here are the rules I'm supposed to pass on to the above bloggers:

* Link your original tagger(s), and list these rules on your blog.
* Share seven facts about yourself in the post - some random, some weird.
* Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
* Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs and/or Twitter.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!

Looking back at 2008:

This has really been a crazy year. Probably the first year I truly felt I couldn’t keep up with everything that was happening around me (in a good sense). Not because of the depression in the market but rather because many different aspects of our business, community and eco-system have accelerated. Amidst these changes I have also taken on additional roles at Zend to help drive the next phases of our multi-year strategy.

For Zend this has been an important year in delivering on our long term strategy and plan. The PHP Collaboration project which we announced at the end of 2005 has really come to fruition and delivered on its promise including:

- Zend Framework: This year we have had three major releases of Zend Framework, 10 million downloads since inception, two new partners w/ Adobe Systems and Dojo (SitePen) joining as contributors, and many more contributors joining the project. We are very proud that significant content in each release of ZF was not driven by Zend but rather the community. Zend Framework also has driven more opportunity to Zend with both small and large customers unfortunately it is not easy to get the largest ones to agree to being named in public; suffice to say that Enterprise adoption has significantly accelerated. Also we are seeing the next-generation of PHP applications emerging built on Zend Framework including Magento, PHPProjekt and others; some already public and some not, but both driving value to our users and opportunity for Zend and our partners.

- PDT: The 2nd open-source project we launched with the PHP Collaboration Project is the PHP Development Tools (PDT) open-source project at the Eclipse Foundation. This project also has been a great success for us. It has been consistently ranked in the top 2 most popular projects at the Eclipse Foundation which is not only impressive by itself but especially so as Eclipse has traditionally been more focused at the Java community.

On the commercial product side it has also been exciting. We launched Zend Studio for Eclipse 6.0 in January 2008 which builds on top of PDT and delivers a fully fledged IDE for professional developers on the Eclipse framework. We followed with 6.1 in September adding better support for ZF, Ajax and SQL.

On the application server side we released Zend Platform 3.6 w/ enhanced support for page caching esp. URL-based schemes which is critical for framework based applications, enhanced our support for monitoring and root cause, and delivered a variety of additional enhancements. Our reliable PHP offering, Zend Core, which delivers a fully-supported PHP offering including hot fixes to keep PHP up-to-date with the latest critical issues, also saw several releases including version 2.5. And all this not only in the standard packages on Linux and other OSes but also on the IBM i (AS/400) where we drove additional innovation including a 5250 bridge which enables IBM i shops to modernize and move to the Web extremely quickly while retaining the flexibility of working with a language like PHP.

What’s coming up in 2009?

The economic reality drives opportunity for companies like Zend as our solution and eco-system deliver a low-cost and high-quality alternative to Java and other more expensive solutions. While spending has tightened our experience during the dot-com bust was that ultimately it increased the opportunity for Zend. The world back then shifted from an almost de-facto standard stack of Sun, Weblogic and Oracle to embracing Linux, PHP and MySQL. With the large Java vendors already struggling to resurrect their relevance in the Web application space I believe the current economic climate can only accelerate the market opportunity for us.

2008 was an important year for us. Not only did we finish delivering on the first part of our long-term strategy but spent a good part of the year driving a strong roadmap for 2009. The foundation for this roadmap is to leverage what we have achieved so far and deliver a fully integrated and mature solution for professional PHP shops. Some key goals include:

- Continue contributing to the open-source projects which we use as a basis for our solution including PHP, Zend Framework and PDT and help drive ubiquity in the Web market.

- An increasing emphasis on service and quality. This means more frequent releases, more frequent hot fixes, more opportunity for our users to contribute to the process and a preference to reduce the support matrix to enable more focus on the most common setups.

- Simplicity: We want it to be easy to get up and running with Zend, both on the development and the production side. We are putting a big emphasis on making the whole adoption of our solution easier and more straightforward.

On the application server side we have an exciting roadmap which again leverages the investments we have made thus far. We will be focusing at simplicity, streamlining deployment, performance management and delivering a supported and up-to-date PHP. We have spent the past year working on integrating some of our key goals on the application server side and are looking forward to delivering it to market in 2009. As we will roll out a lot of this work we also continue to have a strong feature roadmap for the year on delivering additional value with at least one very cool innovation cooking in the garage. We are also on the look-out for PHP 5.3 and have already made preparations to pick-up and support this major new version when it goes GA.

On the development tools side we have a strong roadmap for Zend Studio for Eclipse. We will be building this roadmap on PDT 2.0 which the team released two days ago (congrats!). PDT 2.0 brings a new source editing experience to PHP developers with a new robust platform and with many new features. It also has more than 500 issues fixed. We believe the time we are investing in PDT will serve us well when we continue to drive innovation around Zend Studio for Eclipse. We have also announced that we will be joining the Galileo simultaneous release ( which will provide better synchronization between the various projects in Eclipse and the PDT project and ultimately will deliver more value to our Zend Studio for Eclipse customers. This also puts PHP in the list of leading top languages that provide “Eclipse Aligned” packages (currently these are Java, Java EE and C++).

Not only does our roadmap hold a lot of opportunity for our partners but we’ve been working throughout the 2nd half of 2008 to continue driving various partner initiatives. We are fortunate to have strong partnerships from small ISVs and SIs to larger corporations like Adobe, IBM, Microsoft and Oracle. We continue to drive joint community contributions, product integrations, customer successes and other initiatives with our partners which will continue to strengthen and roll-out throughout 2009.

If you’ve made it this far I’d like to close by thanking all of our community, customers, partners, and employees for not only making 2008 an enjoyable year but for also supporting us towards rolling out a successful 2009.

Happy New Year!