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Looking for someone who can do PHP

This is for this project.

Someone started on it but got too busy to continue.

I know a guy who is very good at all this but is too busy also. He advises me that the best thing is to do is to find an experienced programmer who can do it all in basic PHP and avoid complex 3rd party frameworks or dependencies, which generate vast amounts of code and are a nightmare when it comes to security updates.

It is fairly obvious that the project will comprise of

  • a query form (public)
  • a data entry form (accessible only to EuroGA authorised posters, verified via OAUTH)
  • a database and code running on the server
  • a provision for a regular backup

I have a detailed spec for the data entry; this determines the database structure. I don’t want to post more because I want to get this fully working and really nice and release it only then.

The server will be a virtual server, separate from the EuroGA server (which anyway has no PHP on it, for security) and it will not contain sensitive data.

I wonder if is any good for this sort of thing, or maybe there is another site where programmers hang out looking for work, or maybe does someone here know someone? It should be an interesting aviation related project. There is a bit of money available but not commercial rates.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Why php? I started something along these lines a couple of years ago but it went nowhere, I think the code is at It was a nodejs frontend coupled to elasticsearch for storage/search, continuously deployed in kubernetes/google cloud engine by circleci.

It has to be very straightforward, standalone and maintainable by any competent programmer in years to come.

PHP is by far the most commonly used server side language.

All the other stuff just goes out of fashion after a few years at most. Look at Ruby for example, and try finding somebody who knows it today (and who works for under 1k a day ).

Code simplicity is also important in the modern age, when input data needs to be sanitised in a transparent and controllable manner. One sure thing about any site like this is that people will try to trash it.

This site will not have any paid sysadmin looking after it. There is simply no money for server maintenance at commercial rates. It is the same with EuroGA, where the donations cover hosting and small enhancements. It can be done; for example my original site has been running largely untouched for 19 years. It needs to be simple and very robust.

The HTML also needs to be simple, to avoid the constant hassle of browser dependencies. You get a lot of this stuff when using 3rd party code, where people do clever (dirty) stuff and something stops working every few months, but can’t be fixed because the problem is deep inside some 3rd party code. Many websites now work only on Chrome, current version.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

An efficient way to deal with cross-platform compatibility of html/css is to rely on the bootstrap framework, – it’s backed by Twitter and has tremendous traction.

If I were you I’d focus on finding the right person and then I’d let them use whatever tool they think is fit for the job, provided that the data format is well defined and easily importable/exportable, especially if they are going to donate their time for this project.

Last Edited by wleferrand at 11 Nov 18:43

We are starting to use Bootstrap (and do most of the user interface in Javascript, with the business logic behind a restful API). In almost every way it’s a lot less painful than PHP, especially since the back end can be written in a better language than PHP and can do things like manage connections to other systems more intelligently since the program exists for more than one HTTP request which takes out a lot of overhead, and it can use things like a decent, well understood, well supported ORM when databases have to be involved. My wife’s company does their entire UI using Bootstrap and jquery (and it’s a complex UI, it’s not a public website – but deploying an application on the browser is a lot easier when you’re supplying companies with a completely locked down IT infrastructure where getting a traditional client application installed requires forms filled in triplicate, buried in a swamp for 3 months, then passed through the digestive system of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal before anyone even considers it a valid change request).

Last Edited by alioth at 12 Nov 10:28
Andreas IOM

The problem with anything like this is that some years down the road it will be out of fashion, anybody knowing it will be so busy they can’t even look at it, and if they do find time they will be charging £1000 per day.

That’s what happened to every development language/framework which was fashionable say 10 years ago.

It is OK for a commercial project with unlimited funding, not a volunteer-run and donation-funded project, run by someone like me who has reasonably good IT expertise in general terms, can login somewhere with Putty and hack around with Vi, but relies on specific-language skills of others to do server config, maintenance and enhancements. In this case stuff has to “just work” and be capable of being picked up by somebody in 10+ years’ time. EuroGA has already been running 7 years.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Are you planning on opensourcing it?

No way; OS software is an invitation to every hacker out there. Look at what happens with e.g. Magento. Constantly hacked and has to be constantly updated, and with loads of dependencies each update takes an expert all day, and don’t ask how I know The problem is so bad that you basically have to assume the system has been hacked and the only thing which saves your business from a disaster is the use of an external payment processor (generally Paypal) for CC payments. All the open source forums have been hacked too; certain UK ones many times and usually with some clever trojan installed.

Also I don’t see the value of loads of people running a copy of an airport database; dilution is the opposite of trying to create a good community resource.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Well, it can help attract contributors, especially for a project “by the community for the community”. As for security weaknesses, some would argue that the larger reviews (either well or ill intentioned) that OS code gets increase its robustness, not the opposite. There is probably enough software talent in the Euroga audience to pull that off.

Back to your OP, if what you are looking after is a cheap developer then yes you can get great work done on upwork & the like if you are willing to 1) write highly detailed specs and 2) perform daily reviews. For the deployment part I know a great guy who can do it properly in little time (I asked him to redo the infrastructure of this summer).

This search has got me to write a detailed spec. Previously I had a spec for the data entry form (which basically drives the database content and most features) but now I am doing the whole thing. And predictably it has grown

I believe got totally wiped out recently, including backups.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
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