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Yahoo Lays Out Welcome Mat For PHP Devs

Yahoo is expanding its support for PHP, with the launch this week of the PHP Developer Center as part of the Yahoo Developer Network.

PHP and Yahoo are certainly not strangers. Rasmus Lehrdorf, the original creator of PHP, is actually a Yahoo employee after all.

The new PHP Developer Center on the Yahoo Developer Network includes how to articles, code samples and other resources in support of helping PHP developers integrate applications with Yahoo Web Services.

"What we're trying to do in the developer network is support third-party developers and make it easier for them to develop Web site and other applications that integrate with Yahoo," Jeffery McManus, director of Yahoo Developer Network, told internetnews.com.

McManus explained that giving language-specific assistance to developers goes a long way toward not only helping them get up to speed and integrating with the platform but it also creates a lot of interest in the platform, as well.

"It basically tells developers that if you are coding in PHP, you are welcome and we would love to have you write applications that integrate with Yahoo," McManus said.

PHP is one of the most popular open source languages currently in use and is a core component of the LAMP (Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP) application stack.

PHP has come a long way since Lehrdorf's original effort over a decade ago. Three release versions are on the horizon, and it is a viable challenger to Java and .NET.

The developer network team, as well as other technologists within Yahoo, including Lehrdorf, contributed to the code and content.

"[Lehrdorf] actually contributed some code examples and has been tremendously supportive of the efforts that we have undertaken to open Yahoo using Web Services almost from the beginning," McManus said.

"He's been very influential and obviously has a lot of depth on the platform and is in a lot of ways a guiding light, particularly with respect to what we are doing with PHP developers."

McManus admitted that Yahoo currently doesn't know exactly how many developers may consume Web Services via PHP.

"It's a chicken and an egg problem: without a PHP Developer Center we don't end up with a critical mass with a community of PHP developers," McManus said. "One of the objectives behind launching the center is that we now have a Yahoo PHP community specifically to help developers who are coding in PHP and utilizing Yahoo Web Services."

According to McManus there are more than 20,000 developers using various Yahoo technologies.

PHP is not the first and it won't be the last language-specific center in the Yahoo Developer Network either.

A JavaScript Developer Center was launched in December and McManus expects to do others, soon.

"Ultimately it is our objective to provide a language-specific development center for every language that matters," McManus said. "It's just a matter of which ones we get to first."