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Mailing Lists and Newsgroups

Whereas most of the aforementioned websites offer up-to-date PHP information, there is very little interaction: If you have a programming problem, it is hard to get help. In that situation, newsgroups and mailing lists are the better choice. lists most of those lists (see Figure E.2); here we present the most relevant ones.

Figure E.2. All PHP mailing lists in a nutshell.

However, do note that mailing lists and newsgroups are about giving and taking. Just posing question after question and never trying to answer other people's questions will not get you good answersat least not for long. There are also some common rules for mailing lists and newsgroups:

  • Be nice, friendly, professional, as you would be in a face-to-face conversation.

  • If someone has another opinion, at least consider this opinion before firing back.

  • When you have a question about code, post only relevant portions of the code. If you have a script containing 1,000 lines of PHP code, you might post only the for loop that creates the error. By trying to minimize the script, most of the time you even find the error you were looking for.

  • Post in plain text onlyno HTML/RTF postings.

  • No file attachments; offer files to download, if possible.

  • When quoting, quote only relevant portions of the previous email, not the whole email (a complete waste of bandwidth).

  • When referring to quoted text, post your comments under the quoted text.

  • "Please" and "thank you" are not forbidden terms.


These unwritten laws are called Netiquettea mixture of Net and etiquette. Netiquette has its own RFC, RFC1855. You can find it at

All official mailing lists are also available via newsgroup access. There is a Web-based newsreader at<name-of-group> (see Figure E.3). However, it is rather slow, so you might consider using a newsreader or for this task.

Figure E.3. offers Web-based newsgroup access.

About the mailing liststhe aforementioned overview page (refer to Figure E.2) offers the possibility to subscribe to individual lists. Apart from getting each email, there is also a digest option. In that case, you get cumulative emails only once a day or so, when enough postings have been sent to the list.

After subscribing to a list, you have to confirm your email address by visiting a link in a verification email you get. Afterward, you are subscribed to the mailing list.

Apart from the newsgroups, there are also standard newsgroups for PHP in Usenet, without the possibility to subscribe by email.

Following is a list of all relevant PHP newsgroups offered. All groups starting with php.* are official ones and hosted at

  • comp.lang.php General PHP discussions, not affiliated with

  • php.general General PHP discussions.

  • php.announce New versions of PHP are announced here.

  • php.db Issues with databases.

  • php.install Installing PHP.

  • php.soap PHP and Web services, both PHP5's new SOAP extension and other modules (for example, PEAR::SOAP and NuSOAP).

  • php.i18n Internationalization and localization.

  • php.evangelism Evangelism list, unfortunately tends to be very ideologic.

There are also a number of internal lists, such as those for developers or people with CVS accounts; they are listed on

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