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New: Open Source Software from php[architect]

Posted by on April 1, 2014

[Note: This was our April Fool’s Day prank for 2014. Hope you enjoyed it! Or at least sharply expelled breath from your nose. We’ll take that.]

[Update: Based on popular demand we created a t-shirt with this design!]

At php[architect], we are developers excited about developments in web development. PHP has gained dependency management (Composer), a standard package repository (Packagist), and a JIT VM (HipHopVM aka HHVM). Associated technologies have moved forward, too. CSS has gained logic with SASS and LESS, new template systems have emerged on top of PHP (Twig) or independent of PHP (Moustache). And even JavaScript has moved from the front end to the back end with node.js.

It’s that last development which sparked our latest idea, and we think it will revolutionize web development. If JavaScript can go to the back-end, why can’t PHP come to the front end? And, why can’t it take advantage of the advances in PHP’s performance to compete with the innovations in front-end JavaScript engines?

That’s why we’re pleased to announce our front-end PHP solution. We’ve based it on HipHopVM, and accordingly we’re calling it PHP Front-A-Lot. We think PHP Front-A-Lot will do for front-end development what PHP did for back-end development, making it accessible to anyone with a few minutes to learn some basic commands. Plus, we wanted a real object-oriented language available to front-end developers.

To do this, we’ve had to make some changes. For example, PDO isn’t feasible on the front-end, but the mysql extension is just perfect as an interface to any front-end data stores. Additionally, to address security, we’re defaulting magic_quotes to On. Finally, because variables persist in the front end, we’ve re-introduced register_globals and defaulted it to On. So veteran PHP programmers will be able to use their almost-forgotten PHP 4 skills to be up and running quickly.

New PHP programmers may be less familiar with these concepts, so as new innovations come out, our mutual friend Matt (we’ll introduce him later) is creating a script archive to store useful examples by users for users. We won’t act as gatekeepers; we want the innovation to flow at startup speed!

So if you want to take a step into the future, head on over to Tigris and export PHP Front-A-Lot from CVS!

the PHP Front-A-Lot Team!


Sandy has been developing websites in PHP for 14 years. Starting in government, he endured the Dot Com bubble before working with nonprofits for over a decade and managing a team of developers. Finding a love of mentoring developers, he worked at the career management startup mojoLive before co-founding and taking on php[architect]'s training services.

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