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January 18, 2022

Zend and the PHP Foundation: Our Involvement and What It Means for PHP

State of PHP
PHP Development

Late last year, a list of leading organizations within the PHP space, including Zend by Perforce, announced the formation of a new non-profit organization that formally governs the development of PHP – the PHP Foundation. 

In this blog, I share my thoughts on how Zend plans to contribute to the PHP Foundation, and how I believe the PHP Foundation will serve the greater PHP community.

A Brief History of Zend and PHP

Zend is referred to as “The PHP Company,” and for good reason. Zend was founded in 2003 by Andi Gutmans and Zeev Suraski — two of the driving forces behind the historical improvement and widespread adoption of PHP. While Andi and Zeev have since left Zend to explore new projects, Zend has still maintained an ongoing contribution to PHP. 
 
In addition to Zeev and Andi, many other Zend developers have contributed to the PHP project and other projects within the PHP ecosystem. One of the people instrumental in continuing these contributions has been Dimitry Stogov, who joined Zend in 2003. During his tenure as Principal Engineer at Zend, Dimitry has contributed over 8000 commits to PHP, including the addition of over 940,000 lines of code (and the removal of 580,000 lines of code).   

The PHP community is diverse and broad, and has remained a vibrant ecosystem thanks to innumerable contributions from many companies and individuals. 

Why a PHP Foundation? Why Now? 

In short, the sheer scale and importance of the PHP project has warranted a formalized, independent, and non-profit governing body for years. The PHP Foundation isn’t the first attempt to fill this need. Previous groups have attempted to create a body (like the PHP Interest Group). However, certain events and ideological shifts (as detailed in the initial announcement from Roman Pronskiy) have allowed the PHP Foundation to quickly gain widespread support within the PHP community. 

The PHP Foundation will be a non-profit organization whose mission is to ensure the long life and prosperity of the PHP language.

How Will Zend Be Involved in the PHP Foundation?

Zend will continue its investment in PHP through development and monetary contributions to the PHP Foundation. As a founding member of the PHP Foundation, Zend, alongside other founding members, will help to guide the growth and betterment of PHP via its seat on the PHP Foundation governing board. 

Zend will also continue to contribute directly to the PHP Core project, and to additional projects within the PHP ecosystem. 

For more information, please read our recent press release here.

How Will the PHP Foundation Make PHP Better? 

Despite its relative infancy, the PHP Foundation is already well supported. With nearly $350,000 USD in monetary contributions from 1218 teams and individuals at the time of this writing, PHP is receiving more attention and public funding than ever before. 
 
Funding aside, one of the most impactful goals of the PHP Foundation is to increase the number of people actively developing and contributing to the PHP language. For many years, PHP has been largely maintained and improved by a small group of core contributors. Having a well-funded organization can help expand these efforts and attract new talent to drive PHP forward.

How Can I Get Involved in the PHP Foundation?

There are two main ways to get involved in the PHP Foundation: 

1. Donate to the PHP Foundation

The PHP Foundation is currently raising money via their page on the Open Source Collective.

There are three tiers available for recurring  donations, including Backers ($5 USD/Month), Supporters ($100 USD/Month), and Sponsors ($10,000 USD/Year).  

2. Get Involved

If you want to contribute your time to the PHP Foundation, please reach out to them directly at phpfoundationofficial@gmail.com