Friday, March 14, 2008

Binding PHP to Windows GUI

Great tool to create Windows GUI applications with PHP - WinBinder was once my favourite toy. Supplied with very easy to follow examples and a great-looking form designer, seemed like it is capable to not only become a standard for making Windows interfaces for PHP, but also the tool of choice for Rapid Application Development. But the progress goes on and Windows is no more preferred desktop system among developers. Many choose Linux, some folks stick with BSD and of course a lot of people fall in love with MacOS. Windows is no more as popular as before and everybody understand that making your application with PHP + WinBinder limits its widespread usage. It is a pity to know that such a great toy may have no future as every effort needs support and maintaining PHP to C bindings for Windows API takes a lot of time and requires a lot of specific knowledge. Although the code for WinBinder is very well structured, the less is developers base the less chances the project has its bugs to be fixed in time. Most WB users are PHP folks and there are not many with required C experience among them. Thanks Rubem Pechansky for inventing this fabulous toy and let's hope that one day cross-platform GUI building toolkits like wxWindows let us create similar nice, fast and nifty appications.