The Odyssey of a girl, a dog and the perfect dev environment

Developers are a picky bunch. We have a fairly small team, yet we all prefer different development environments. I think it is safe to say that you don’t come between a developer and his workstation, so we all code on the one we like the most.

As of today, Gentoo[1], Debian, and Ubuntu are all PHP 5.2 based.   Even worse, several of the distributions (dotdeb, Zend) failed to play nicely with the installed environments.   Even when packagers stay current, it’s hard for them to resist twiddling [2] and invariably we end up with subtly different behaviour.   Even the normally stalwart Macs require massaging with MacPorts[3] and are far from free-of-pain.

We’ve decided the best approach is that we use hand compiled PHP for almost all our devs.  Aside from this being two paragraphs on the state of PHP (and some grumbling about it), I’m curious how other dev shops have dealt with this.  How do other shops manage PHP in mixed development environments?  How has the long night of the PHP 5.3 transition been for you?

[1] - http://bugs.gentoo.org/274512

[2] - http://derickrethans.nl/distributions-please-dont-cripple-php-or-red-hat-stop-fucking-around.html

[3] - http://www.macports.org/

Photo by: Joey DeVilla

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