Work on phpArmory 0.4.0 has started, and this time it will be a bit more work going into the classes. While you test and (hopefully) enjoy phpArmory 0.3.2, let me give you all the details on the upcoming 0.4.0 release.
On Aug 27, 2008 the PHP team has released the final release of PHP4, and thus it is time to make the switch to PHP5 in phpArmory, too.
As some may know, PHP5 introduced quite a few features to enhance the OOP features for classes, and make them feel like real classes. Among the changes, there are real class constructors and destructors, plus private, protected, and public keywords became available for class variables and functions. Cheers for this! I have waited for this quite some time, being a C++ developer it just felt wrong to have no real classes in PHP4.
This means, most variables and functions of phpArmory / phpArmoryCache will be changed. For most class variables, their status will become private to prevent their usage from outside the class. All variables have been intended for internal use anyway. If you did use them, stop now. Class functions will be changed to private or protected. Only two functions will become private, as they are intended to be used only inside phpArmory / phpArmoryCache. The remaining functions will become protected (not public!). What does this mean? Simply spoken, protected functions may only be used from inherited classes.
Along these changes the class documentation will be rewritten from scratch, using the phpDoc syntax. I also plan to add new usage examples.
One change yet is not decided on, but you can raise your voice to help me. I am considering to switch the phpArmoryCache class to use PHP data objects instead of using the MySQL extension directly. In common this does sound good, but in reality I am not sure if it would be worth the effort. Does anyone want to use PostgreSQL, SQLite or other database backends for phpArmory? If yes, raise your voice and tell me. If not, this change will probably become a task for phpArmory 0.5.0.