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User submitted book reviews and package required PHP versions

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Categories: New site features

In this post it is announced a new feature that allows any site user to submit reviews of books and products of the interest of the PHP users.

The package pages are also showing now the information about which PHP version each package requires to run, as well the package version number, if the respective authors have submitted that information.

Loaded Article

* Book reviews as a means to promote the PHP community
* User submitted book reviews
* Required PHP versions
* Package versions

Lately I have been working very hard on the upcoming services for paying subscribers of the site, which are very near to the first release, by the way.

Meanwhile I have been also making several improvements to other site features that are available to all users.

* Book reviews as a means to promote the PHP community

"Book reviews" is a site feature that is very appreciated by the site users, despite it really has not much to do with classes of objects.

In the beginning of the year 2000, I started publishing reviews of books as a means to generate more interest for the site, and also to generate some revenue from commissions from sites like Amazon.

Over the years it proved to not generate enough income to justify the time I spent reviewing the books. For a while I have suspended the publishing of new reviews.

This year I restarted reviewing at least one book a month because I felt that it is a nice way to keep encouraging more authors to write more good PHP books.

I know for a fact that the money that authors make from PHP books they write is not a big deal, considering the time and skill that it takes. Often they get better paid doing consulting work. But writing good books also gets them good reputation.

Therefore, I hope that the reviews that are published in the PHPClasses site keep encouraging qualified authors to write at least one good PHP book. Overall, the whole PHP community will benefit.

* User submitted book reviews

Unfortunately, writing good book reviews takes me more time than I would like to spend. I would rather be working on improving the site features, than taking the time that I spend reading the books and writing reviews that are useful to the site users.

Therefore, I decided to spend some time improving the review submission system and allow all users of the site to submit their reviews.

Since the beginning, the site has a submission system that allows any user to submit their reviews. However, it did not have the possibility to moderate the reviews before publishing. Since I was the only one to submit reviews, this was not a problem.

Now I have just implemented the review moderation system that notifies me when a new book review is submitted. Then I can edit the review before I approve it for publishing, if necessary. That is very similar to the class package moderation system.

Since the system was just implemented, I would rather make it go through a beta testing period before I open it to the general public.

If you are interested in reviewing any books of interest to the PHPClasses site users, please feel free to contact me. Just follow the contact link listed at the bottom of the site pages and let me know about any book reviews or articles you may have written in other sites.

Each review that is published will have its own discussion forum, like for the reviews published in the past. In the forum, users can post their comments and express their opinions.

For now the books for review are only those listed in the reviews page:

If you would like to review another book that is not listed there, just let me know. For now, I will only be publishing reviews of books in English, as it is what most users are interested. This may also change in the future.

Reviewers that demonstrate good writing capabilities may also be invited in the future to review new books submitted by the publishers. Review copies are usually made available for free by the publishers.

I am also considering giving review moderator status to users that prove they are capable for this job.

* Required PHP versions

Over time several users have requested that the classes available in the site have some information about which is the minimum PHP version required to use each class.

This is something hard to implemented without the collaboration of the authors. Even though, I finally implemented that feature. So now you see a field in each class page with the information of the required PHP version.

From now on, authors will be required to enter the minimum PHP version when they submit their packages. Packages submitted in the past will not show any required version.

I would like to ask every author to take this opportunity to edit their package information and fill the required PHP version field.

* Package versions

While I was at it, I decided to add also a field to let authors enter the current version of their package. This was a feature requested mostly by package authors.

The package version field is not mandatory. Authors are recommended to fill that field if they use a consistent version numbering scheme, and they intend to submit newer versions of their packages now or in the future.

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1. Required PHP version - Matthias Mohr (2006-11-30 14:12)
PEAR CompatInfo to get the Required PHP versions... - 1 reply
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