I’ve been waiting for the new year and it’s finally arrived. As always there are so many things I want to accomplish from a personal standpoint and I’d like to see accomplished in development communities.

Personal

I have decided from a learning standpoint, I want this to be the year I really set the standard for how much information I can take in. I’ve really become interested in the mobile market and plan on getting in to mobile development by mid-year. I plan on starting out with Titanium from Appcelerator. Eventually I will move to writing native code for at least Android – I think that’s where the market is headed.

I plan on expanding my knowledge of the languages I am most involved in including PHP, Ruby, Javascript, and the wonderful markup of HTML5 (I’m still using XHTML). I really want to get more involved in writing unit and functional tests in both PHP and Ruby. I really enjoy writing tests and I hope to convince more of the developers and PHP community that it’s something that should be a part of our every day programming. As a part of my learning process, I’d like to do more teaching. I would like to get a general programming group together here in St. Petersburg and just be able to teach and learn from each other. It’s something that is definitely missing in this area.

PHP

The PHP community is one I will always love and cherish. Unfortunately, I feel we are just now getting to the point where we are slowly erasing all the bad habits that we have learned and learning from other languages. With Ruby, I have been a spoiled child and there are many-a-thing I would like to see the PHP community adopt.

First being something similar to RVM. What the heck is RVM?  As the RVM website states, “RVM is a command line tool which allows us to easily install, manage and work with multiple ruby environments from interpreters to sets of gems.” Why is this so important for the PHP community? If we had a tool like RVM, our adoption of newer versions would be quicker and easier. I still have to get familiar with 5.3 and with all the newest frameworks using it, I have a newfound curiosity.

I’d also like to see better package distribution. We have PEAR and PHAR (do people actually use PHAR though?), but I’m not that familiar with either. They haven’t been adopted in PHP community.  It would make distributing your libraries, frameworks, etc. much easier. There is too much setup and XML involved (I have to admit I hate using anything that requires me to write configuration using XML) and that automatically makes me stray away from it personally. Gems are so easy in the Ruby community and we need to find a solution that’s equivalent for the PHP community.

Ruby

The Ruby community has become my new infatuation. The community involvement is just awesome – it far surpasses that of the PHP community. There are so many cool projects and I wish I could get involved in all of them, but I definitely plan on seeing where I can help in some of the major projects such as Rails.

For the Ruby community, I would love to see more projects that really make writing desktop applications and mobile applications less of a chore. Projects such as MacRuby (for writing Mac applications) and Ruboto (for writing Android applications) which do exactly that – make writing desktop and mobile applications easier, fun, and in Ruby!