PHP Classes

A better package rating system

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Categories: New site features, Gamification

The PHP Classes site package rating system was improved to let the users provide better feedback to the package authors.

This post also covers several news of interest like: PHPEdit now available as prize for the innovation award winners; I will be speaking about PHP at Borland/CodeGear Borcon 2007; a new aggregator site about PHP podcasts; and a new wiki about installing applications in PHP and other languages.

Loaded Article

- PHPEdit developers are sponsoring the Innovation Award
- PHP at Borcon 2007
- PHP Podcasts aggregator
- PHP applications installation wiki
- Rated and unrated packages
- Send comments to the authors about your ratings
- New features feedback

First, before addressing the latest improvements made to the site, as usual, let me tell you about other unrelated news of interest.

- PHPEdit developers are sponsoring the Innovation Award

The PHP programming innovation award has been increasing its interest among the PHP community.

This month, WaterProof, the french company that develops PHPEdit, a PHP IDE suite that runs under Windows, has joined the already long list of sponsors of the award. They will be providing one copy of the PHPEdit suite as prize. You may find more about this suite here:

This is great because every month more and more developers have their packages nominated. So, now they have one more choice to pick a prize that may be more of their preference.

- PHP at Borcon 2007

Since the release of Delphi for PHP early this year, CodeGear, a subsidiary of Borland, has demonstrated strong commitment to the PHP language.

Borcon 2007 is a conference organized by CodeGear to promote their tools. This year's edition covers Delphi for PHP, VCL for PHP and other talks of interest to PHP developers.

I was recently invited to speak at Borcon 2007 edition in Brazil. It will take place in São Paulo on October 29 to 31. If you live in Brazil or you happen to be in São Paulo then, feel free to meet me there. Look here for more details about the event:

- PHP Podcasts aggregator

Every month I hear of new podcasts about the PHP language and some of its applications.

If you are not familiar with podcasts, those are like radio shows made available on the Internet, usually in the MP3 format. So, you can download and listen to them on your computer or with an MP3 player device. Often these shows present multiple people talking about interesting subjects.

Since the number of PHP podcasts shows is increasing a lot, Cal Evans of the Zend DevZone fame, just had a great idea. He created a site that aggregates all PHP podcasts in a single place. You can just subscribe to a single RSS feed and keep track of all the latest PHP podcasts.

If you run an interesting PHP podcast show, feel free to contact Cal to have your podcast aggregated. You can go here to learn more about this interesting initiative.

- PHP applications installation wiki

Recently I received a tip from Packt publishing company. They have made available an interesting wiki site. It covers the installation of many types of applications, including some written in PHP. You can find more about this new wiki site here:

- Rated and unrated packages

Now back to the main topic of this post. Some time ago, I received several interesting suggestions to improve the system for rating packages made available in the PHPClasses site.

One of the suggestions has to do with the fact that users tend to try and rate so many packages, that they loose track of which they have already rated, and which they have not rated yet. The package rating page was just improved to address this problem.

Now you can see three tabs that you can click to see all packages that you can rate, packages that you have not yet rated, and the packages that you have already rated. Just click on the links of each tab to browse the packages that you are willing to rate.

Keep in mind that you once you rate a package, you can review your ratings again, as many times as you want. So, if a package has been updated and you feel that certain aspects were improved (or not), it is recommended that you review your ratings.

That can make your ratings more accurate. Accurate ratings improve your chance of raising in the top of class reviewers, that you can see here: ...

Your current position in the ranking is mentioned in the site on the left side of the home page, if you are logged in.

- Send comments to the authors about your ratings

Another interesting suggestion that was implemented, is the ability to send comments to the authors of a package. You can send comments to justify why you rated a package the way you did.

In the package rating form you may find an additional field to let you enter an optional comment. If you enter a comment, you may choose to let the package author receive it privately by e-mail, or post a public thread in the forum of the package being rated.

If you want to comment about your ratings, I recommend that you choose to post in the package forum. That will encourage the developer to reply with public clarifications that may be useful to other users of the same package.

You can use the comments to criticize aspects that could have been better, or otherwise encourage the authors to keep improving their packages, for instance fixing bugs or adding new features.

Please try to be constructive. Personal attacks and flame wars will not be tolerated. Avoid criticizing without giving suggestions on how the author can improve his work.

Keep in mind that some authors are just newcomers and their packages are very simple, just like yours when you started.

When you submit a comment, think about the kind of feedback that you would like to get from your users if you were the author of that package.

- New features feedback

Well these are some of the most important features that have been implemented lately. If you have found something that is not working quite right, your feedback is really appreciated. You can simply post a comment to this message and let me know about any problems or improvement suggestions that you would like to make.

There are several other features planned to be implemented in the future. In case you are not aware, there is a bug and feature requests database available online. Feel free to submit bug reports or feature improvement requests here:

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