Zend + Eclipse = .NET?

Update: As I expected. Zend has now released information on the project, officially called the PHP Collaboration Project. It appears that they are more than welcoming of community input, and as such, I’d like to see some immediate ability for the community to propose ideas and I for one would like to propose Crtx_DB_DataObject as a starting point for any easy database interactivity components. (And yes, I will re-license to something of their choosing :-)

From the scattered news sources it seems that Zend is going to announce the Zend PHP Framework. The most in-depth being IBM and Zend to Aim PHP at .NET Through Eclipse.org Open Source Foundation.

It seems there is some confusion about whether or not Zend (etc.) are trying to compete on both an API Framework or an IDE/Workflow framework. Both of which are offered by the .NET/Visual Studio solution.

I will admit, I have mixed feelings about this move either way. First and foremost, I think it is obvious, that any pairing with Eclipse will ultimately mean that there is going to be an IDE switcheroo in the Zend camp. Now, whether this means they will provide some sort of Eclipse based solution similar to the Zend Studio Personal offering (download the Pro trial, let it run out) which will either free; or if they are going to create an Eclipse based Zend Studio Pro equivelent I don’t know. Perhaps they are even planning to keep Zend Studio Pro *and* release an Eclipse/Zend Studio pro solution for those who are already using Eclipse for other development and do not with to use multiple editors.

I also believe, that whatever Zend does create, will be a commercial product (or at the very least, have a very much advanced commercial variant, similar to the current ZDE situation), for two reasons: 1) Upholding current contracts with ZDE license holders 2) If its integrated with Zend Platform… well, enough said :-)

In the last year, I’ve written at least a couple of posts mentioning Eclipse, mostly commenting on my dislike. However, I have tried it again since then, and its not all *that* terrible. TruStudio certainly makes it tolerable. Perhaps Zend can do a better job? :-)

Regardless, Zend Studio, version 5 of which is due to be released soon (I’m sure, since Beta 2 is now out) has seen it take leaps and bounds (such as SVN support, code folding, etc) seems to be a shame to waste such a good product, so again, I wonder exactly what Zend has planned with Eclipse. I imagine, any thing with Eclipse unless they have already been working on it for some time, will be some ways off… perhaps it will be ready for a timely Zend Studio 6 release? Who knows.

The other part of this, is the API Framework. I mostly have mixed feelings about this because I see A lot of hard work going down the commode. But, on the other hand, it will be nice to have some sort of standard, and I believe on Zend can truly bring this to the community. Look at what Ruby on Rails did for peoples awareness of Ruby. I’m sure, that whatever Zend brings to the table, if anything, on this front, there will be plenty of people (myself included) willing to twist it in ways they never dreamed of to create an even better solution for the community.

Furthermore, how will it include PEAR and PECL? Perhaps it will just be a Zend managed PEAR Channel? Now that, would be cool :-D

I think that the main thing Zend needs to remember in this process, is the community. Don’t keep the process hidden, include the community when you can and sift out the gems from the chaffe of all the amazing brains that are floating around in it to include in a community solution.

– Davey