There are big players who have an eye on the open-source market right now,
IBM being the biggest contributor. HP recently released their own Linux
version on their desktop PCs and is marketing them as we speak. Microsoft is
planning on giving away just part of their source code in their future
products to software developers. Everyone has felt the heat on Open Source
technology, and everyone knows it is the way to go.

The only thing that is missing from most Open Source products, probably
excluding PHP, is user-friendliness. There are a lot of computer illiterate
people out there that have gotten used to the click and drag features that
make using an application so easy, but they never dream of going into a
command line and typing in something. Right now Linux is easy to use thanks
to the abundance of different GUIs out there, but there is no standard, like
Windows has. Also it is harder to set-up for newbies than Windows is (not
really, but for the newbie it's a whole different world). It is a new
concept that users must grab in order to make good use of it. There must be
a way that people can link MS-like features into Linux a bit more so that at
least it will make it easier for people to make that transition over to a
different OS and try it out. After it has the market share it needs, users
will have gotten used to Linux or BSD or whatever and we can do what MS
does, promote a bunch of Linux-specific features into the OS. By that time
they will have grabbed the concept of "free" so much that Windows would
sound ridiculously pricey (especially the licensing). MS can't afford to
give it's OS away for free, just like it could give away it's IE browser and
break Netscape. That's why Open Source is the first real challenge for MS in
15 years.

THEN follows the marketing, where everyone will be backing up Linux because
of it's popularity and low cost, compared to Windows. And we'll see Bill
Gates crawling on his knees and selling his Ferraris to pay his mortgage.
Wouldn't I love to see that, just kidding. Until Linux gets better at
certain things, I think I have no choice but to stick with Windows for now
(especially in the design area). Anyway, that's my two cents worth.


P.S. -- When I say Linux, I mean all Open Source products, including PHP.
Linux is just the driving force. And Christopher, keep up the promotion of
PHP, you have some great ideas. I want it to grow as much as you do. Thanks

-----Original Message-----
From: Manuel Lemos [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
Sent: Friday, August 24, 2001 12:57 PM
Subject: Re: [PHP] The future of PHP


Christopher Cm Allen wrote:
> >
> > I'm afraid that PHP is not yet very credible in that world. The truth is
> > there is not great marketing force behind PHP like there is Sun behind
> > Java or Microsoft behind .Net
> Good point, and how does one go about marketing a language that is
> open-source?

If you don't know it is because you are not very motivated to do it. So,
the first step is to convince and motivate yourself that PHP needs to be

As for what to do, instead of suggesting new ideas, I would rather
recall some old ideas that always seemed to work well.

For instance, provide PHP users compensation. It does not need to be
financial compensation. It may be moral compensation as long as it is
real compensation.

For instance, if I am not mistaken, Guido Van Rossum, the Python
creator, sponsored a contest to develop software development tools with
cash prizes. Only a few won, but the contest attracted a lot of people
and was even mentioned in prestiged software development magazines like
Dr. Dobbs. This required some investment, but if you look around you
will not have much trouble to find a sponsor.

Another point is that they managed to get the media on their side. It
seems that in the PHP community there is little effort to appeal to
media. That is a major waste of oppiortunity because they can provide
some much marketing for free.

One free way to provide compensation to any PHP user is to promote their
work. 2 years ago I started a repository of PHP Classes of objects that
basically allow anybody to contribute regardless of the quality and
utility that you may attribute to what is contributed.

The point is that once users that anybody can have some fame to have his
work exposed to a large PHP audience (over 40.000 subscribers), they
want to contribute as well and the site grows thanks to the moral
compensation that it offers to any PHP user.

There are other class repositories, like the official PHP PEAR
repository, but the scope is different because the contributions are not
accepted arbitrarily, so you don't get as many contributors.

Other than that, PHP resources sites like these should be officially
linked altogether with things like Web rings. It would cause a much
better impression to newcomers or ceptic people as it would make PHP
more credible exposing the real level of support that the whole PHP
community can provide. Unfortunately, the maintainers of PHP main site
and Zend site do not seem to agree that it would be a good idea to
promote other PHP resources sites with banners to pointing to them like
what is done with Web rings.

Ok, these are just a few ideas that would help PHP to be better
marketed. They are not new and have already been discussed before. It is
up to the people that have more active roles in the PHP community to
open their minds and pick them up.

> I do it by not allowing FP like extensions on my server's. All of my
> apps are php or if need be I switch to C/perl.
> If I get pushed hard enough I will do c++ :)
> By your own words though , the  volume of users of a non-marketed php,
> compared to the users of  marketed Java et al. speaks for itself.
> Php holds its own..

But for how long?

> What if a group of developers/designers started marketing PHP?

Marketing does wonders. I should not need to to tell you that. One
problem seems to be some people in the PHP community have some kind of
aversion to the idea of that somebody can make money from free software.
That way you are ruling out people that can do a lot of good to the
growth of the PHP market. I think it is a matter of being more open
minded. The more opportunities you provide to others, the greater are
the chances that opportunities benefit your goals, in this case a a
wider acceptance of PHP making it more credible to people that basically
ignore it.

ok, that's just me trying to be more constructive. :-)

Manuel Lemos

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