PHP Community Project

PHP people raising their hands in a triumphant shout of 'Ehhhhh!'

On 1 December 2003, Chris Shiflett announced the PHP Community project from his blog, as well as the php.general mailing list. While the community website envisioned never fully took shape, so many opportunities were created out of this initiative. I believe that, had it not been for the PHP Community project, there are many people—myself included—who would not be involved in the greater PHP community today as authors, speakers, and OSS contributors.

For the most part, the community-building spurred by the PHP Community project took place in the #phpc IRC channel on the Freenode network. I want to use this space to highlight some of the initiatives that came out of this project. If I’m missing something, please let me know, and I’ll add it to this list.

Initiatives Growing Out of #phpc

PHP User Groups
Over the years, several PHP user groups started either directly or indirectly from participation in the #phpc channel. One group that can be directly traced to #phpc is the Atlanta PHP user group.
PHP Security Consortium
The PHP Security Consortium was an international group of PHP experts dedicated to promoting secure programming practices within the PHP community. It was successful at raising awareness of a variety of web application security vulnerabilities and how to write defensive code against particular kinds of attacks.
PHP Appalachia
The first PHP Appalachia retreat grew out of discussions on #phpc among Elizabeth Naramore, Aaron Wormus, Chris Cornutt, myself, and others.
PHP Women
In October 2006, Ligaya Turmelle and Elizabeth Naramore both blogged calls for women in the PHP community to “stand up and be counted”1 2. These posts were a reaction to discussions occurring in the #phpc channel and formed the foundation for what would become the PHP Women organization.
In 2008, after some conversations in the #phpc channel discussing wrapping the libircclient library in an OO API as a PECL extension, Matthew Turland launched Phergie an IRC bot written in PHP.
PHP Mentoring
In the early days of PHP Women, a Big Sis/Little Sis mentoring program was established to mentor developers in both technical and life skills. The program was wildly popular and grew to be inclusive of women and men. Fast-forward to July 2012, through increasing interest in a broader program and after giving several conference talks on mentoring, Elizabeth M. Smith launched the PHP Mentoring project. Though not a direct result of activity in #phpc, I feel that there’s an indirect relationship with the PHP Community project.
PHP Community Conference
In 2010, there were almost no regional, community-organized PHP conferences in North America. I decided to change this by creating the PHP Community Conference in 2011. The goal was to create a different kind of conference atmosphere. We encouraged our speakers to focus on projects rather than technical how to​s, as we wanted to highlight people with a passion for making things with PHP. I think we succeeded in this goal, and as history has shown, a multitude of regional, community-run conferences erupted following ours.

In 2004, the PHP Community project ran a logo contest. There were many submissions. The winning submission, announced on Chris Shiflett’s blog, came from Peter Jovanovic and Richard Davey.

PHP Community Logo

A modified version of this logo is still in use in many places, and I’m often asked why the logo contains these colors. Historically, the PHP project had three major, flagship projects, of which these colors are representative:


My very first blog post was about the PHP Community project. In fact, it’s why I created this website. Here are some links over the years related to the PHP Community project.

The Future

I’m not sure what the future holds for the PHP Community project, though I have some ideas. In the later half of 2015, I plan to share some of these ideas on my blog, so stay tuned.

  1. All the women in the house - stand up” by Ligaya Turmelle

  2. Where are our PHP Sisters?” by Elizabeth Naramore