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Filling a Niche: PHP, MySQL, and Open Source Web Applications at LANL. Chad Kieffer, Web Developer Los Alamos National Laboratory DOE InterLab 2003 Friday, November 7th, 2003. Alternate Presentation Title: Cool, Free PHP Stuff on the Web.

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filling a niche php mysql and open source web applications at lanl
Filling a Niche: PHP, MySQL, and Open Source Web Applications at LANL

Chad Kieffer, Web Developer

Los Alamos National Laboratory

DOE InterLab 2003

Friday, November 7th, 2003

LA-UR 038001 11/2003

alternate presentation title cool free php stuff on the web

Alternate Presentation Title: Cool, Free PHP Stuff on the Web

(Without the sticky legal issues surrounding music sharing)

LA-UR 038001 11/2003

example lanl in the news
Example: LANL in the News
  • Challenge: Make it quick and easy for content developers to post simple news content without knowing HTML or HTML authoring tools
  • Solution: Build simple database-driven content management tool with web-based administration tools

LA-UR 038001 11/2003

web development evolution
Web Development Evolution
  • 1994: In the beginning, there was HTML
  • 1996: Perl CGI for form & text processing (ex. Press Releases)
  • 1997: Dreamweaver library items/ templates
  • 1998: Apache server-side includes
  • 1999: Investigated JSP and ASP
  • 2002: Now there is PHP/MySQL

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factors in our team evolution
Factors in our Team Evolution
  • IT department focused on enterprise-level applications
  • Able to hire and develop dedicated developers

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how our team thinks
How Our Team Thinks

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why php and mysql
Why PHP and MySQL?
  • Already in LAMP environment
  • Free
  • Fast and powerful
  • Cross-platform
  • Easy for non-programmers to learn
  • PHP supports most popular databases
  • Growing popularity
  • Many useful open source applications

LA-UR 038001 11/2003

why not php mysql
Why Not PHP/MySQL?

PHP

  • No corporate source of support
  • Poor XML support
  • Not truly object oriented (yet)
  • Developer tools are immature

MySQL

  • No stored procedures or triggers

LA-UR 038001 11/2003

open source pros and cons
Open Source: Pros and Cons
  • Pros
    • Free
    • Standards friendly
    • Great community support with little corporate intervention
  • Cons
    • Little corporate support (training, installation)
    • Poor documentation
    • Potentially steep learning curve

LA-UR 038001 11/2003

open source applications
Open Source Applications
  • Candy stores: sourceforge.net, hotscripts.com
  • Test drive at opensourcecms.org
  • Popular Applications
    • MySQL administration: phpMyAdmin
    • Image Management: Gallery
    • Collaborative project management: phpCollab
    • Discussion board: phpBB
    • Code documentation: phpDocumentor
    • Full-featured web portals: PostNuke, Tiki, GAIM
    • Groupware and e-mail: Horde, Squirrel Mail

LA-UR 038001 11/2003

if you haven t built it maybe someone else has
If You Haven’t Built It Maybe Someone Else Has

PhpGedView

  • Web-based genealogy application
  • Uses standard genealogy data format (GEDCOM 5.5)
  • Maybe we could use it for organization charts?

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sample lanl applications
Sample LANL Applications
  • PHP public class library Payroll Calendar , RSS Feeds
  • Service request forms: IPSR, 3rd Party Software Requests, ESA-WMM HE
  • Conference registration forms
  • Content management: LANL in the news, Protecting Information, Helpdesk, R&D proposal tracking, Licensable technologies directory, Personnel skills directories
  • Utilities: Network Registration Service, Web Publishing Assistant, Authorities Manager, Phone book
  • Training: Simple quizzes
  • Many dynamic enhancements to static sites

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development practices
Development Practices
  • No widely accepted PHP application framework (MVC, Struts, .NET)
  • Fusebox framework for PHP
  • Source management (not yet)
    • CVS

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php authoring tools
PHP Authoring Tools
  • Macromedia Dreamweaver (Mac/PC)
  • Zend Studio (Mac/PC/Linux)
  • Eclipse + TruStudio Plugins (Mac/PC/Linux)
  • BBedit (Mac)
  • Homesite (Win)
  • Ultraedit (Win)

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lanl developer community
LANL Developer Community
  • PHP Study Group
  • Bring together PHP developers from other groups to share ideas, work, and expertise.
  • Expand PHP public class library

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closing remarks
Closing Remarks
  • Contact me at [email protected]
  • Would love to expand the PHP developer community within DOE
  • If you embrace open source, give back to the community

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example lanl payroll calendar
Example: LANL Payroll Calendar
  • Problem: Tedious update process of static calendar graphics
  • Solution: Found a freely available PHP class that creates and displays an HTML table-based calendar for a specified month and year

LA-UR 038001 11/2003

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