Just yesterday, after almost 4 months of being done, PHPixie 3 got its first stable release. From now on the releases will follow in a SemVer-ish fashion. The version will be in a 3.X.Y format, with Y increasing with minor changes such as documentation updates or bug fixes, and X increasing every time the API changes.
This release was made possible due to the immense amount of help I got from people reporting bugs, finding discrepancies in the documentation and sending in pull requests. That got me thinking that concentrating on just the software when I started development was huge mistake. I was under the impression that as soon as the code is good enough the community is going to build itself. Now I see that an opensource project consists as much of the community as it does of code, and that part has to be actively built too.
Good community keeps people in stronger than good software and can easily surpass it. For me one such example is the Gentoo IRC channel, even when I was on a different Linux distro I would still hang around the Gentoo IRC, just because I liked it there. An even better community is the NetHack channel, asking real people questions about in-game items is far more enjoyable than just consulting the wiki. In that it remains the best multiplayer-ish experience I’ve ever had with a game. And now I want PHPixie to become something similar.
The first step, and I haven’t seen that done before in the PHP world, was including a link to our chatroom in the error template. So every time an exception jumps out you know exactly where to start looking for help. I’m also pondering the idea of getting rid of the forum entirely as Github issues fulfil that functionality much better. The only thing holding me back is the possibility of alienting users without a Github account.
All of the websites content, apart from the blog posts, is now freely editable, e.g. component documentation pages are generated from the README.md files in their repositories. This makes the website easily translatable to any other language and also usable with any static site generator.
The blog is going to get a new post at least once per week, and since I have finally figured out how to do proper video recording I plan to include more video tutorials on general PHP stuff. I also started actively submitting my talks to conferences, and hopefully this will help us to further grow in numbers.
Please let me know if you have any ideas for creating a better environment for the community or some other helpful advice.
P.S. There are still PHPixie stickers to give away that I can ship worldwide, so tell me if you want one.