Spice up PHP applications with OpenLaszlo

Nicholas Chase an I have just written a three part tutorial for the IBM DeveloperWorks web site, about using OpenLaszlo and PHP to develop a distributed Knock Knock Joke (Ha! or Not!) application.

This "Spice up PHP applications with OpenLaszlo" tutorial series shows you how to use OpenLaszlo to create a more interactive interface for your PHP applications and how to use PHP to create more dynamic OpenLaszlo applications. It requires a basic understanding of -- or willingness to learn -- XML, JavaScript, and PHP. Each is well worth knowing for its own merits, plus they plug and play together nicely, since they're all based on synergistic open standards.

This series chronicles the creation of a rating system for knock-knock jokes ("Ha! or Not!"). Part 1 has been published, and the others are in the pipeline and will appear soon.

Part 1 talks about the knock-knock protocol, discusses ReSTian protocol design, and covers the creation of the basic PHP application and a simple OpenLaszlo interface, with graphics and sound, for that application.

Part 2 will discuss deployment options, and show the creation of the OpenLaszlo application as a stand-alone piece that can be deployed on any Web server and communicate directly with a PHP application.

Part 3 expands the application to create a system in which PHP stores the jokes and votes in an SQL database, and creates the OpenLaszlo code dynamically.

You will learn about PHP and OpenLaszlo, how to set up the development environment, and create a basic OpenLaszlo application that will serve as an interface for a joke rating service. OpenLaszlo is a free XML/JavaScript-based Web application programming language that enables you to write interactive multimedia applications that can ultimately be deployed to the browser in many ways. Currently, the target environment is a Flash movie, playable on virtually any modern browser without user intervention.