silverorange labs


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Keir -

The PSeries sounds interesting. Is it a custom set of classes / server components or am I on completely the wrong lines? Without giving too much away can you tell us a bit more about it?

Steven Garrity -

Keir, you’re along the right lines. The PSeries is our name for the library of PHP code that we use to develop most of our projects. It’s basically a collection of classes for handling database interaction, form creation and processing, and anything else we found ourselves doing repeatedly. By the way, I’m not really a programmer (I just play one on the web – I mostly handle XHTML/CSS design/layout) – so this is my best effort at an explanation.

CMax -

Steven, It appears all or most of your work is done in the MS\Windoz environment. Pray tell, will you provide Linux users the opportunity to benefit from your creativity?

Steven Garrity -

CMax, while most of our workstations are Windows-based, our servers are mostly linux-based (PHP on Apache on Linux). The entire PSeries codebase mentioned above is in PHP, which is running on linux, but works anywhere PHP works.

As web developers, we see our work as somewhat platform-agnostic. That said, we have been favouring more and more open-source options. We working on having similar flexibility with database options now too.

CMax -

Yes, yes. The operative words, "somewhat platform-agnostic". That's what I was looking for. And the attitude, "favouring more and more open-source options" more specifically.

_Not to get evangelistic, or anything- but_ I would suggest MySQL. (Just trying to be annoyingly helpful.)

Keir -

Steven, you certainly had me fooled. As someone who is currently trying to find time to get to grips with PHP, mySQL and more advanced CSS layout techniques (thanks to the recently published SitePoint book HTML Utopia) I was wondering what kind of tools you guys favour to develop your sites in.

I have favoured Dreamweaver for some time but I find that although it is undeniably powerful it tends to dislike you messing around with its code, effectively reducing it to a glorified text editor if you want to hand code. Are there any tools out there you can recommend?

Steven Perry -

I find EditPlus to be a really great text-editor. Homesite is also pretty good, but has been picked up my Macromedia, and since they make Dreamweaver, I'd rather not support their products :P

Brian -

Textpad is a great little editor with pretty decent syntax highlighting. Dreamweaver, while the best WSYWIG editor, doesn't have the same level of control as hand-coding would. Not to mention the lack of php interaction; when coming in and out of xhtml with php code, it's often difficult to decide on a standard way of coding xhtml into php code and vise versa. Whether you close the php then put in the code, or whether you use print() or echo within the php itself.

And the talk about DB work. Do you you guys primarily use mySQL due to its 'ease' of use/installation on windows machines? More and more talk has been on the features of pgSQL over mySQL (long list) and mySQLs 'notepad'-like databse (not a real RDBMS?). While I deal mostly in mysql also, I think I'm going to jump into pgSQL cold turkey.

Steven Garrity -

I hope I don't sound too much like a <acronym title="Bastard Operator from Hell">BOFH</acronym>, but I'd rather not have a discussion of which text-editing tools are the best. That said, I'm glad to hear feedback from you guys.

Brian, if you are asking what we at silverorange use as a database - we don't use MySQL at all. We actually use MSSQL and PostgreSQL (hopefully more PostgreSQL and less MSSQL in the future).

Paul Scrivens -

Do you guys plan on adding any trackback features to the weblog system? I would love to trackback to you guys from my site whenever I plan to leave huge comments.

Steven Garrity -

Paul, we have no plans for TrackBack support in the silverorange weblog platform. Partially for the reasons outlined by John Gruber, and partially because we haven't seen the need. If there is a lot of demand, we'll re-evaluate.

David -

When you say "...or pay us lots of money.", how much is lots of money precisily?


Seshu -

Hi. Since you are unwilling to open your photo gallery code to the public, could you at least wholeheartedly recommend a PHP-based gallery service?


charliew -

How much is "lots of money"?

Gate -

When you say "...or pay us lots of money.", how much is lots of money precisily?

... lemme make an offer here,
" one billion dollars!" USD ofcourse ;)

BTW nice site, and nice work.
It's been a pleasure lurking you peeps.


Michael -

I fail to see any real reason for not releasing these things other than you dont want to.

Behind the fancy name of PSeries lies a bunch of PHP files which is a bunch of classes doing trivial stuff like DB interaction etc. Thats all fine but absolutely nothing speciel in any way. You can find thousands and thousands of these libraries on the net and just about any half-decent developer has his own toolkit of classes and reuseable code. Then why are you holding PSeries so close to your body like it's the holy grail?

And the other things a extremely trivial as well - Personally i have no interest in a mediocre gallery system which i can find a thousand other places which even looks better. The weblog - Well its the same story.

Im not trying to lay out a trail of flame bait, but just wondering why you are talking about things like its a deep deep trade secret and thats why you cant release things.
Creating your own basic framework to reuse code has been done for many years by alot of people.

Just wondering.

Isaac Grant -


Honestly, at this point, the thing keeping us from releasing anything major like the PSeries, Gallery/Blog system, or anything else that we've developed is lack of documentation, no desire to do support (for the code as it stands), and some general aging cruft in the code. And if we do release something to the community at large, we'd like it to be usable. Which to be honest, without documentation, our PSeries is not even close.

We did go through a period where we were worried about such things as trade secrets and keeping a competitive advantage. But honestly that passed well before we made the posts to labs. When we talk proprietarily about stuff on labs, its because of the reasons in the above paragraph.

And yes, there is nothing particularly special about a reusable code framework, for any language. We're quite found of ours - and haven't found anything yet that lets us do simple tools as easily or quickly. Thats not say we've done anything new - we've just developed something that fits what we need very well.

Over the life of silverorange, we've become more and more dependent on the work of the open source and free software community, and we do desire to give back. Some of the posts on labs obviously don't do that, and just talk about things that will never see the light of day. This is a bit frustrating to us as well. But if we do give back, we'd selfishly like it to be used, and more importantly, like it to be usable by other people. And until we get things to that stage, we won't be realizing our toolkits, blog/gallery systems, or any other large piece of code.

I hope this answers some of your questions.

Michael -

Thank you very much for your reply and its nice to see that you didnt take it for more than it was :)

But although i can see your point why dont you just release PSeries(Thats what seems most interesting to me) without the documentation and support. Alot of smart people are reading your site and most of them would proberbly be able to use it just fine without a documentation - Plus you could also just do an automatic documentation for the libraries and then let the community work on articles, code examples and such?

Burhan -

I tripped upon your site while googling for 'css + tabs' and I'm glad I found it. I always suffer from design block, and this site is great for getting a fresh idea on an old subject.

I whole-heartedly support your stance of not releasing your library. I can relate first hand the snowballing effect of releasing some code; and then having to support it when really, you just wanted to put it out there without any strings attached.

For the people wondering about 'best' text editors. There really isn't one -- simply because not everyone works the same way. At my workplace, we have a team of three developers, and all of us have different preferences. My advice is to try them all, and stick with the one that you like best.

Here are my recommendations :

OS X - Text Editor
I like TextEdit. Great look and feel, bracket matching and collapsing, syntax highlighting, and my best feature -- command line integration. So, for quick one-liners, instead of opening up terminal, fire up TextEdit and hit the hotkey to execute PHP code. At 49 euros, its a steal. The only feature I would like is edit-over-FTP.


I like Zend Studio simply because its a complete, integrated environment, and looks very much like my Windows version.

Windows - IDE
I use Zend Studio because its a complete development environment -- including a debugger and SQL integration. Its still not without some quirks which I am pointing out to Zend to fix in the next version of ZDE. My most requested feature (Subversion support) is finally integrated, so I'm a happy camper.

Windows - Editor
I'll have to second EditPlus on this one. Great, lightwight, edit-over-FTP and tools integration make a great replacement for Notepad. Other nice feature is a built-in web browser hook, so you don't have to open another application to preview your work.

Keep up the good work.

Isaac Grant -

Michael and anyone else who's intrested,

When I mentioned in my previous post that we desire to give something back, and that things were in the works.

Well, may I point you towards Swat. Not a lot of content there yet, and not official yet (but what is official really). Expect some sort of detailed announcement in the near future, as well as a fleshing out of the content on the site.

But the repo is live, and has working code.