Subject Re: Php-firebird relationship
Author Myles Wakeham
Sakhile Njoko wrote:

>Thanks Lester. That does shed some light but I really would like
>Firebird being included under "Related Sites" too. Your suggestion
>makes a lot of sense because if we don't do what you say the
>perception that Firebird people don't use Php will get entrenched even
>more instead of changing it.

I think this may be a bigger problem than you are alluding to. PHP, as
a programming language, emerged first as a scripting solution to extend
what HTML pages could do, much in the same vein as ASP, Perl, etc.
Because of the immense popularity of the Internet, almost by osmosis the
need to develop for a web browser as a platform became critical and web
developers looked to whatever tools they could use to meet that need.
PHP has grown a lot since, but it bears a lot of legacies from its past.

The biggest effect of this is a huge diversity in the end user/developer
of PHP and their skills. Many are just using it for a 'Contact Us' page
on a site. Others are dabbling in it because their CMS (ie. Wordpress,
ExpressionEngine, Drupal, etc.) was written in it. Some find themselves
using it because of a CRM product (ie. Sugar) that they are using, or an
eCommerce shopping cart (ie. osCommerce, etc.). Those products are all
faced with other challenges, mainly from hackers that see prey with end
users who are not developers, and therefore target those popular free
products for fun & profit.

How does this all affect Firebird? Well the reality is that if a large
percentage of the PHP community are not experienced developers, the
advantages of something as powerful as Firebird may be lost on them.
MySQL is an 'assumed' database for PHP because it was bundled with the
various Linux distros by default that cheap, shared hosting options come
with. So that's why PHP assumes MySQL. If those distros and the shared
hosting community happened to get Firebird for free, and this was 5-10
years ago, maybe then there would have been a chance to evangelize it
further. PostgreSQL did manage to succeed in that regard. But now, I'm
not sure if that is a mountain able to be climbed. I'd love to be
proven wrong though.

Firebird, like PostgreSQL, offers so much more than MySQL for
developers. But 50% of the PHP community are not hard core developers
who would take advantage of those features. And the other 50% of the
PHP community who might call themselves developers... We many are
probably not that - they hack and change existing open source projects,
etc. About 10% of the PHP community probably ARE true developers in
that regard and that would be audience that Firebird would best go
after. However like all marketing efforts, you have to be able to
target the demographic that you want to convert and that's a really hard
thing to do in the PHP community.

Myles Wakeham
Director of Engineering
Tech Solutions USA LLC
Phone +1-480-451-7440