I’ve been silent again. I know, it’s not what I intended at the beginning of the year. It’s just that it’s so much fun to go off and build stuff. I get sucked into all sorts of side projects outside work that are interesting and time consuming (not to mention time spent with the fam — two under the age of 2 is both a joy and a handful!).

So here’s one glimpse into my recent projects. I’ve been hacking away at another WordPress site. It’s a volunteer project I do mainly on the weekends. It’s been interesting to fiddle with PHP more in depth while still doing heavy Rails stuff in the evenings. I forget how functional style programming tends to work. Shared variables abound, and one file melds into another. PHP seems really good about working with files, though. It’s really amazing how easy it is to say, “now go use that file”. I’ve done stuff like that in JSP and other languages, but it’s pretty darn simple in PHP. The mental concepts of assembling a web page seem to be all about choosing the file that renders a certain part of the page. That’s different from JSF where you think mainly about assembling components, and different from Struts where you often think of Actions or logical forwards, and different from Rails where you think of the method in your Action and the responds_to block.

So it’s not likely that I’ll hang out in PHP land for long. Nor is there any danger of me evangelizing it, but I look at this as simply one of many recent experiences I’ve had while building something that confirms another of the Pragmatic Programmer’s axioms: learn a new language every year. I’d add, Do it while hacking something together.