FOSDEM '08 is a free and non-commercial event organised by the community, for the community. Its goal is to provide Free and Open Source developers a place to meet.


Interview: Garrett J Woodworth

Garrett Woodworth is the project leader of CakePHP.


Which effect do you hope to reach with your audience?

I hope to show how CakePHP can make application development easier and more enjoyable. I would expect that attendees walk away with an interest in understanding more about CakePHP and seriously consider CakePHP as the framework for their next application.

Cake sees its community as one of its major assets. In what ways does the project support its community ?

Since 2005 we have maintained free support channels through the CakePHP google group and #cakephp irc channel. We have watched these grow tremendously. In addition, we have over 3000 developers using CakeForge to build their open source applications and share them with the world. A little over a year ago we opened up the Bakery where the community could share code and tutorials about CakePHP. The Bakery now contains close to 500 articles all dedicated to helping the community better understand and benefit from CakePHP. Finally, 2008 will bring the first user conference for the CakePHP community.

Conferences... We like that :-) What skills should an ideal Open Source project leader have?

A lot of patience. Dealing with personalities in an open source team can be very different from work or family, as everyone contributes for different reasons. To maintain a successful project, the leader must balance the goals of the individual developer with the goals of the project. Above all, logic and reason must prevail, and if those are missing or clouded by ego or emotion, an open source leader does not one make.

Do you see other PHP frameworks as competing for mindshare?

Sure, and competition is a good thing. Competition makes everyone better. We all make choices everyday and choosing a framework is not done without thought. We are very different beasts and have different approaches to solving problems.

How does Cake differ from Ruby on Rails architecturally?

To do a complete comparison, you would have to look at the differences between Ruby and PHP. However, CakePHP borrows many of the conventions established by Rails. Since both frameworks rely heavily on these conventions, you could say that architecturally the differences are narrow. CakePHP breaks away from Rails when it comes to extending each framework for the needs of a particular application.

Are there PHP5 features that you'd like to use but can't due to PHP4 compatibility?

In some places we have made PHP5 functionality available to PHP4, like __construct() and __call(). This makes the transition from PHP4 to PHP5 seamless for developers. We are even providing an interface for unicode support, so we can handle unicode now and be ready for PHP6 when it is released.

What exactly are the activities of the Cake Software Foundation?

Promote development related to CakePHP. The Foundation handles the supporting websites, organizes CakeFest, maintains servers, and does whatever it can to make CakePHP a great platform for developers.