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PHP Designer's Developer

Name: Michael Pham

Age: 22 (born February 1983)

Occupation: Student at Copenhagen Business School, BSc in Business Administration and Computer Science and working with developing E-learning at Nykredit at one of the largest finance companies in Denmark.

Experience/Technologies: Delphi, Java, C / Linux, PHP, HTML, CSS and SQL

Website: MP Software

PHP Designer Summary

Whether you're an experienced web professional or just a novice starting writing your first PHP script, php designer 2005 is a free php editor designed to provide you with the complete set of tools you need for accelerating your process with coding php.

The development environment in php designer 2005 combines powerful features e.g. customizable syntax schemes for php, html, xhtml, css, per, c#, javascript, vbscript, java and sql (ingres, interbase, mssql, oracle, sybase and standard sql) together with a class browser, the possibility to compile and debug php scripts using the standard php interpreter, integration of the php manual, support for parameter hint and auto brackets while writing your code and access to common code libraries.

Furthermore, php designer also includes a ftp client, project manager, todo manager, file manager, support for snippets and a lot more...

The interface in php designer is a cool sophisticated streamlined xp interface with several themes to choose between.

PHP Designer Version Dates

  • 2003: PHP Designer, version 1
  • 2004: PHP Designer 2005, version 2
  • 2005: PHP Designer 2005, version 3
  • 2005/2006: PHP Designer 2006, version 4 (not released)

PHP Designer's Features List

  1. Supports: php, html, xhtml, css, per, c#, javascript, vbscript, java and sql (ingres, interbase, mssql, oracle, sybase and standard sql)
  2. Compile, test and debug with integration of the php interpreter
  3. Class and include browser
  4. Insert php functions using parameter hint
  5. Bracket highlight, automatic close and automatic indent brackets
  6. Integration with the php manual, look up a keyword while writing your code
  7. Todo manager
  8. Project manager
  9. Code libraries
  10. Support for templates and snippets
  11. File Browser
  12. Ftp
  13. Integration with external tools
  14. Make coding easier with build in wizards and dialogs
  15. Support for file format: windows/dos, unix and mac
  16. Cool sophisticated streamlined xp interface with several different themes to choose between

Why did you create PHP Designer?

The story about mpsoftware, and abbreviation of Michael Pham Software started almost 6 years ago. It all started when I was 15 or 16 years old when I got my first computer, a used one from my uncle. The computer was not the fastest, so I was not able to play any new games at that time.

Instead, I discovered the Internet, its possibilities and soon I wanted to learn what was behind it and started to develop websites. Next I had my first homepage and learned how to use html later. I wanted to add functionality to my website and I discovered JavaScript and along came my first application, a simple online html editor based on html and JavaScript.

A Danish magazine who had a freeware edition of a development program, Delphi cover mounted on their CD and the soon the "real" programming began... What was more naturally than making an html editor. I named the program htmlgate and released this freeware program through my website and to my surprise I began getting feedback from all around the world - what a feeling! I even heard that htmlgate had been distributed through several pirate CDs. During these years, I developed other simple editors and one of them was a php editor, which I called php designer. However, with no great success. I then decided to focus on my successful html editor.

The years went by improving htmlgate with great success, but one day in the year 2004 I decided to start on a new fresh project. I wanted to develop a text editor. However, this soon evolved to become a php editor, yet again - and naturally I named it php designer? Compared to the first version this new second version of php designer had success. I began submitting it to different software sites and one of them was www.php-editors.com. I soon received a mail back from the staff at www.php-editors.com - they liked it like many other people who had tried it. That was the starting signal for the php designer you know today. The development with php designer accelerated and soon version 3 was released with even more success. The success with php designer had soon grown bigger then my html editor. I soon realized that I had found a great market to settle in, since there where not that many good php editors available. Especially for free in contrast to the market for html editors.

Who is php designer intended for?

The intent with php designer is for all who need a php editor to accelerate the process of coding php, whatever it is for educational, private or commercial use!

What's planned for future versions?

Make php designer better and better so it will be one of the best php editors available!

In the short term:
Currently I am working on the next version (4.0), which will be introduced as PHP Designer 2006. The new version will be faster to use since files will be loaded faster than it is today in the current version 3.0.6. New features will include a new interface, better support for the php manual integration, localhost preview, xhtml, more wizards, improvements and bugs fixed. More information is to come on www.mpsoftware.dk

In the long term:
It is hard to predict what the future will bring me and take php designer to but I promise you all that php designer will continue to exist.

How many people do you think are using PHP Designer?

This is a difficult questions to answer since I only know how many downloads there are. Below is a simple estimation of how many people from jan.05 until today aug.05 who use php designer, this does not include php designer distributed through computer magazines worldwide.

  • Downloads through download.com: 110,000
  • Downloads through primary website 140,000
  • Downloads through download mirrors: 100,000

What's been your biggest challenge creating php designer?

For me the two biggest challenges with developing php designer is the growing demand for more and more advanced technical solutions and features. Also the affects my personal life.

Concerning my personal life, it is sometimes hard to find the necessary time developing and supporting php designer since I of course have many other things in my life than just php designer and mpsoftware :) for instance, I am a full time student at the Copenhagen Business School (a Danish university). I have to work to pay my bills - and to all of you out there: I am sorry to disappoint you all but I have not become rich from developing php designer :) Finally, finding the necessary time for my family, friends, and not to forget my lovely girlfriend Sarah. Thank you for standing by me for so long.

Luckily, several wonderful people have offered their help e.g. Tom Howells, who helps me manage and answering post at my forum. Bastiaan, who helps me develop technical solutions for my website, and all the people hosting my mirrors - so you will always be able to download the latest version of php designer. Finally, not to forget all the generous people, who have made a donation from time to time. Without the donations I would not have been able to pay the costs of developing, managing and distribute php designer!

Why do you think people prefer Php Designer over anything else?

Well, I think there are several reasons why people prefer php designer. Probably because it is free and has some of the same features like other php editors have, which you have to pay for. I am often told that people especially like the interface... and maybe simple because that there are not many other free and good php editors out on the market compare to html editors.

What are you most proud of?

That so many different kinds of people around the world are using my program, e.g. young people at the age of only 14 to senior people, and find it satisfying for their purposes.

People use php designer for educational, private and commercial use, e.g. I have received several emails from teachers who are using php designer in their classes, individual private people who are using php designer just to learn php and finally people who are using it for commercial purposes.

It has been cover mounted on several computer magazines worldwide, latest on .net magazine issue 140 and discussed on several internet sites, news groups etc.

What would you most like to say to the people who use Php Designer or are thinking of using it?

Thanks to all of you who are using my php designer and I hope you will continue to use it. I will do my best to make it even better. To those who are thinking of using it, why not give it a chance before spending money on a commercial editor, when the same features can be found on php designer? It is free for both private and commercial use and maybe it has all the stuff you need for coding php...

Visit the Php Designer website.

Have any questions for Michael? feel free to join in on the discussion in our forums, Michael has agreed to stop by and answer your questions :)

PHP Editors would like to thank Michael for allowing us to feature PHP Designer and wish him all the best for the future.

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