2006 Sourceforge Community Choice Awards Announced
This year's winners of the 2006 Sourceforge Community Choice Awards were announced at the LinuxWorld Expo on April 5. Among the notable winners were phpMyAdmin, which won in the Database and SysAdmin categories (kudos!), XOOPS that came in first runner-up for the Development category, and aPapi (A Paypal API) and SugarCRM which won first place and second runner-up respectively, in the Financial category. Congratulations to all the winners! For a complete list, you can visit Sourceforge at http://sourceforge.net/awards/cca/.
International PHP Conference CfP Announced
The 6th Annual International PHP Conference will be held in Frankfurt on November 5-8, 2006. They have announced the official Call for Papers, effective until April 30, 2006. For a complete description of the kinds of sessions and tutorials they are looking for, you can visit their site at: http://phpconference.com/.
Exceptions With a Twist
Thanks to some code worked up by Harry Fuecks, you can now view exceptions thrown by the Zend Framework a little clearer. And actually, as Harry states, his code is not specific to Zend's Framework. He calls it the "Pretty Blue Screen" and according to him, "the idea is not original—it’s PHP port from webpy which used code from Django—imitation and flattery." The entire code (which Harry warns should be used on dev servers only) can be seen at his Sitepoint Blog, http://www.sitepoint.com/blogs/2006/04/04/pretty-blue-screen/.
NuSphere's PhpED 4.5 Released
NuSphere has announced the latest release to their award-winning PHP IDE, PhpED. Version 4.5 offers Multiple Language Syntax Highlighting, full support for PHP 5.1.2, Dynamic Syntax Highliting, Smarty Highlighter, SQLite and InterBase support, and the NuSphere Internet Explorer® Toolbar for easier debugging. You can download a free trial version or read about all the other features present in this PHP IDE by going to http://www.nusphere.com/products/index.htm.
TIOBE Bumps Up PHP
The TIOBE Programming Community Index released the yearly results of the ultimate popularity contest in the geek world. PHP bumped up from #5 on the list to #4. Other notable changes include Java's rise to #1 and Ruby's rise from #32 to #18. 'Tis a bittersweet time for me, though as I watch my old friend COBOL slip from #14 to #17. For the complete listing or more information on how this index is compiled and what constitutes eligibility, go to the TIOBE site: http://www.tiobe.com/tpci.htm.
PEAR/PECL Releases
I would be remiss in my duties if I didn't include what's new at PEAR and PECL. Recent PEAR releases include:

    * HTML_QuickForm_Livesearch - Element for HTML_QuickForm to enable a suggest search
    * Gtk2_IndexedComboBox - Indexed Gtk2 combo box similar to the HTML select box
    * Gtk2_EntryDialog - Message box with text entry field
    * XML_RPC - PHP implementation of the XML-RPC protocol
    * DB_Table - Builds on PEAR DB to abstract datatypes and automate table creation, data validation, insert, update, delete, and select; combines these with PEAR HTML_QuickForm to automatically generate input forms that match the table column definitions.
    * HTML_AJAX - PHP and JavaScript AJAX library
    * Console_Table - Class that makes it easy to build console style tables
    * MDB_QueryTool - An OO-interface for easily retrieving and modifying data in a DB
    * HTML_QuickForm_advmultiselect - Element for HTML_QuickForm that emulate a multi-select

And for PECL, we had:

    * ares - Asynchronous Resolver
    * ibm_db2 - Extension for IBM DB2 Universal Database, IBM Cloudscape, and Apache Derby

As always, you can download or learn more about these packages at http://pear.php.net and http://pecl.php.net.

See you next week with more tidbits from the PHP world!