This week I attended the International PHP Conference in Frankfurt, Germany. I had the chance to meet members of the PHP community, both users and internals folks. I was there talking about Project Zero. It was great to be able to discuss Zero with PHP developers. The ability to mix Java and PHP in the same application/process whilst maintaining clean interfaces appealed to several people I spoke with.
I particularly enjoyed Zoe Slattery's short talk on testing the PHP engine using PHPT tests. Zoe showed some of the engine coverage data and explained how incomplete the test suite for the engine remains even after a thousand new testcases were added in 2007. It seems that we need tens of thousands of new tests. I've recently started contributing tests myself. The tests themselves are easy to write but getting them committed really requires a CVS id. After the talk, a few of us kicked around some ideas for increasing the number of testcases contributed by the wider community (non internals folks). We noticed that people are very willing to contribute doc comments but not testcases. The consensus was that we need to make the act of contributing a testcase much easier and socially rewarding; We need to give people some visible feedback and kudos for contributing a testcase so we can hook into the "Wikipedia effect".
The slides from my talk on PHP in project Zero are here.