I started playing around with PHP somewhere between 1999 and 2000 which does not necessarily make me a good PHP developer, but I have seen a lot of PHP History. One of them is PHPclasses, which existed way before GitHub, Packagist and all the Fanboying in the PHP community.

It was my go to destination for PHP libraries as I had a early dislike for PEAR (for no real reason actually) and there was no real alternative (except maybe SourceForge??). I even “contributed” a shitty class (SOCKS5 Client) in 2008 (did a modernization on GitHub), but even though PHPclasses was in my bookmarks (and I occasionally stumbled on it via Google) it was always very annoying to use:

  • forced registration to view source code
  • some great talented developers, but also a lot of low quality “libraries” (usually mixed up with hardcoded HTML)
  • nothing against advertisement, but the placement combined with the “layout” did not make it fun to browse
  • shitty layout was shitty back then (even then it felt like from the 80s), the recent relaunch still feels like from the 80s, but with more graphics
  • no repository
  • mainly something like “one author = one library” as opposed to “collaboration” which you will often find on GitHub

Today Phil Sturgeon, whom I had the pleasure to meet at the PHP mini conference in Cape Town this year (no idea who he was before that, but funny outgoing guy, and seems to know more about PHP programming than I do) started a wave that many of us developers were not saying out loud:

PHPclasses.org sucks!


Do me a favour. Tweet this way with your opinion; A) You use and love @PHPclasses. B) You wish it would fuck the fuck off. C) Other.
— Phil Sturgeon (@philsturgeon) August 4, 2014

The response on Twitter is huge, and you can most probably guess which answer was voted most.

Funny enough Manuel Lemos decided to chip in, turns out he sucks* as well. Very stubborn and failing to acknowledge feedback, he still insists that forcing user registration for viewing source code is the right thing to do.
Sites like GitHub actually give a perfect example that you can perfectly have guests view source code and only force registration for “ratings” or “subscribtions”. And there is not less “fame” for the developers.

@philsturgeon That is your opinion and it is OK for you to disagree with the other near 1.3 million registered users of @phpclasses .
— Manuel Lemos (@manuellemos) August 4, 2014

Anyhow, the same reason why PHP: The Right Way should be preferred over old sites like tizag or tutorialspoint, if you are new to PHP, please do not go to PHPclasses.org but use Packagist (you do not even need to use composer) or GitHub to find useful PHP libraries that will help you accelerate development on your next project.

I do hope PHPclasses.org will get a grip and do a massive relaunch, but I doubt someone as stubborn as Manuel can pull it off. The decline of his Alexa Ranking should indicate that “the-PHPclasses-Way” will not last forever.

*Update: Matthias N. noted in the comments that it sounded mean. I just wanted to clarify: this should not be meant as a personal attack on ML, as I do not know him personally and therefore would have no reason to attack him personally. So saying “he sucks” is my simplified opinion about him based on how he has been reacting to criticism for a long time. It is a shame since his website had quite some large potential & reach.
Additionally, while I am very “harsh” in my post, I am also not shy to wish him the best with the project and hopefully a “turn” in his current path.