Porting legacy PHP apps ~ The Series

Mar 3, 2009 00:00 · 501 words · 3 minutes read development php

While I have been blogging for a few years now with varying spare time, this is the first time that I feel the need to publish an article series.

Introducing “Porting legacy PHP apps”, an eight part series of how-to’s, rules and recommendations, and a few bits and pieces of good advice to be published in the next weeks, with the first part of the series debuting this week. The term “legacy” in the title refers to code developed for PHP when PHP version 3 was common on most servers, and PHP4 was right around the corner, mostly used by “early adopters”. Wikipedia of course offers a definition of legacy code for us to read, and you will probably discover a few of those common criteria in this series.

Here is what you can expect to see

  • Part One: Spotting legacy apps. The first part of the series will briefly discuss what a legacy PHP application actually is, and how you can run a quick check on your own applications to see if they qualify for being “dinosaurs”.
  • Part Two: Rewrite, refactor, refine. Since we identified what apps are considered legacy apps, it is time to consider the available options. What’s worth the effort, and what not?
  • Part Three: How to move your app forward. Now that we know more about the available options for making changes to our beloved app, we can take a close look at the type of code which needs to be updated.
  • Part Four: It’s all in the process. Making changes to your app should not be done without a plan. Part four will supply the tools and tasks for you to make your plan.
  • Part Five: The foundation. With PHP5 and future versions you do have the unique option to apply common development methods to your workflow. Test-driven, agile development is not restricted to Ruby and Ruby on Rails, it’s an option for PHP5, too. We’ll explore available options, both available frameworks, and building your own framework.
  • Part Six: Breathing new life into the beast. This is all about Getting Real. By now you should have a plan, and the tools to start refreshing you app, and we’ll make the initial steps together.
  • Part Seven: Are you prepared? Now that our app has made its’ steps into the future, we will take a look at the tasks we will face, once PHP5 leaves the stage, and makes room for PHP6. of course, assuming your customers still love your refreshed app.
  • Part Eight: Final thoughts. This is it. The last part of the series will feature a few recommendations and probably wise words by me featuring insights gathered during my own endeavors with legacy PHP apps.

Code examples of legacy code and new code will be supplied with each part, and some will probably be taken from a few legacy apps that I currently work on as part of my contracted work.

See you back in a couple of days for part one of our series.

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