With my current contact working indirectly for Vodafone on their mobile portal platform coming to an end, I found myself at the crossroads of having to decide whether to continue to develop my server side skills in JSP, JSTL, etc or re-build my server side skills on the PHP Zend Framework (ZF).
The roles that recruiters are contacting me about seems to suggest that I'm best to focus for the next few weeks on Zend. So this weekend I started to set up my environment.... and what a nightmare!! I'm there now but to give a sense of the effort; earlier Saturday evening I put two hours into setting up ZF 1.11 with NetBeans 7.0 M2 using xampp as the server n windows XP. I had to stop after hitting problem after problem to spend sometime with my children. NetBeans just refused to register the ZF provider.
At midnight having had some thoughts from the various blogs I'd read about the problems, I decided I'd give it half-an-hour before going to bed... I ended up locating ZF in a directory path that had no spaces in the names, I installed a latest version of the PHP engine (5.3.3), I set up PEAR and PECL, XDebug got included... and by 3am it was all working: NetBeans 7.0 M2 registered the ZF provider and created a new project; and PEAR and PECL would respond to the command line (after I'd altered php.ini so that phar.require_hash was set to off).
Having had a lot of experience man-handing apache and some experience with mysql, I think it's time to drop xampp (which has served me well) and just use the components I actually need.
Anyway, this week I need to install and re-familiarise myself with phpUnit and get back into the swing of ZF. Thankfully there are couple of great resources out there that are focused on 1.8 and above rather than the frustrating tutorials for 1.6 and before (the bootstrapping and loading changed significantly).