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Marc Wandschneider is a professional software developer with well over fifteen years of industry experience (yes, he really is that old). He travels the globe working on interesting projects and gives talks at conferences and trade shows whenever possible.

My Publications:

My book, "Core Web Application Programming with PHP and MySQL" is now available everywhere, including Amazon.com

My "PHP and MySQL LiveLessons" DVD Series has just been published by Prentice-Hall, and can be purchased on Amazon, through Informit, or Safari


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Aug 24, 2006 | 02:11:10
Announcing Payjacks, an Object-Oriented PHP Ajax Web Application Framework
By marcwan

I am happy to announce the immediate availability of Payjacks, currently at version 0.2.0. Payjacks is a PHP/Ajax web application framework I’ve written using the object-oriented features in PHP5+.

Payjacks can be downloaded here:

http://chipmunkninja.com/download/payjacks-0.2.0.tar.gz

What is Payjacks?

Payjacks is an object oriented PHP-Ajax web application framework I’ve written to help write robust and organised web applications. It was designed to require a minimal amount of effort to get your own web application up and running, while helping with such tasks as accessing a (MySQL, currently) database or providing a framework for sending asynchronous Ajax requests back to the server.

Payjacks uses many of the new object-oriented features in PHP 5 to do its work, and handles most of the details required to run a robust web application.

Some of the main features are:
  • Fully object-oriented.
  • Support for various types of Asynchronous Ajax requests, including submitting forms asynchronous or simply sending your own data strings asynchronously
  • Robust error handling and exception handling, allowing for customisable error pages and otherwise helping you help your users when things go wrong.
  • Support for URL processing. Thus, instead of having URLs such as http://mysite.blabhalblahblah.com/SomePageName.php?showarticle=getname you can have your site do things like: http://mysite.blhablahblah.com/showarticle/name. This helps make your application easier to use for power users and helps with search engine indexing.
  • The ability to create simple pages if you just want to test things out and don’t want the hassle of setting up a web application.
  • A full set of samples to show you how to set things up.
  • The framework has been designed from day one with web application security in mind.
  • Full support for UTF-8 and localisable web sites.

When should I use Payjacks?

I use Payjacks for almost all of my “web page writing” these days. You can use the SimplePage class to just throw out a single PHP/HTML page, or you can use the WebApplication class and template off one of the samples to create more robust web applications.

Since Payjacks takes care of so many of the details that many web application authors simply neglect (error handling, URL processing, security details), using it gives you nearly everything you want except for the actual HTML of your pages.

If you want to use asynchronous Ajax requests, Payjacks helps to make this very easy too.

What does Payjacks not do?

Payjacks does not help with generation of well-styled HTML or page content. It merely gives you the framework in which to place your content. There is nothing preventing you from designing and developing perfectly secure and robust yet hideously ugly web applications using Payjacks. It is for this reason that graphic designers earn their paycheques. Even my blog site, http://chipmunkninja.com is very rudimentary and clearly shows the limits of my design skills.

Payjacks Requirements

In order to run Payjacks, you need:

  • PHP 5.0 or later. I’ve tested on 5.0.[45] and 5.1.4. PHP needs to have mbstring and mbregex built-in for any sites not using strict Latin1 pages.
  • A web server. If you want this web server to support the web application system that Payjacks is built around, it must have some sort of URL re-writing capability.

    On Apache, this is mod_rewrite, and can easily be compiled into your Apache build. I have tested and run this on Apache 1.3.xx and 2.0.yy.

    For IIS, there are a number of mod_rewrite clones, ranging from very free and open source to very expensive and not open source.

More

Payjacks is currently version 0.2.0 and should be considered development quality only right now. I plan on making some minor changes to function signatures in the next few versions (mostly to get rid of some parameters that I thought I would need for localisation, but have since realised were the wrong way to go about the problem).

If you have any bugs, comments, or questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at marcwan@chipmunkninja.com.

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