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Develop desktop GUI applications using PHP, HTML5, JavaScript and SQLite
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README.md

PHP Desktop

Table of contents:

Introduction

PHP Desktop is an open source project founded by Czarek Tomczak in 2012 to provide a way for developing native desktop GUI applications using web technologies such as PHP, HTML5, JavaScript and SQLite. Think of it as Electron for PHP. It is a convienient tool for converting PHP web apps and PHP CLI tools to desktop applications with little effort. The development workflow you are used to while creating web applications remains the same, there is no new framework / API to learn. The process of turning an existing website into a desktop application is basically a matter of copying it to the "phpdesktop/www/" directory.

In a certain sense phpdesktop acts as a PHP to EXE compiler. It embeds a web browser, a multi-threaded web server and a PHP interpreter. All embedded into a single application, a portable folder that you can easily distribute to end users by packing it to zip archive or by making an installer for your application. The web server embedded is a custom edition of Mongoose, a web server used by NASA on International Space Station. Supported browsers are Internet Explorer and Google Chrome via open source Chromium. The package with Chrome embedded has no external dependencies, everything is included in phpdesktop binaries and works out of the box on a user's computer.

All popular PHP frameworks are supported, see the PHP frameworks support wiki page for example configurations for CakePHP, CodeIgniter, Laravel, Symfony, Yii and Zend Framework. You can create a standalone executable for distribution with the help of the Inno Setup installer. PHP sources can be protected with the many of the available PHP encoders. PHP Desktop is released under non-restrictive license, thus it is free for commercial use.

It is one of the top goals for PHP Desktop to be stable, to work reliably. PHP Desktop does not suffer from memory leaks. PHP by design was never intended for running long hours/days, as desktop applications usually do. This is not a concern when using PHP Desktop, as it is running an internal web server and serving pages through CGI. So when PHP script execution ends, PHP-CGI process is killed and all memory is always freed.

Lots of other useful information can be found on the Knowledge Base wiki page and on the PHP Desktop Forum.

Downloads

There are two ways to be notified about new releases:

  • Watch the project with the "Releases only" option checked
  • Subscribe to the RSS/Atom feed

Support

Fundings for new features

Here is a list of ongoing fundings for new features in PHP Desktop:

Feature Funds gathered Issue Status
Chrome v73 release for Windows $70 of $2,000 Issue #227 Ongoing funding
Initial Mac release $150 of $2,000 Issue #208 Ongoing funding

Below is a list of completed fundings with features already implemented:

Feature Funds gathered Issue Status
Initial Linux release $1,500 of $1,500 Issue #221 Done

Fundings for other features submitted in the issue tracker and the ones presented on the PHP Desktop Pro wiki page are also possible, just let know Czarek.

Support development

If you would like to support PHP Desktop general development efforts by making a donation please click the Donate button below:

Donate

Seeking sponsors

PHP Desktop is seeking companies to sponsor further development of the project. There are many proposals for new features submitted in the issue tracker and on wiki pages. Most notable are:

  • Monthly releases with latest Chrome
  • An automated build system
  • Cross-platform support with full functionality on Mac and Linux
  • More Javascript and PHP API exposed for accomplishing desktop specific tasks
  • Better integration with desktop, taskbar and systray
  • HTTPS/SSL support
  • Custom window themes
  • Running app in background
  • SQLite encryption
  • Desktop notifications

If your company would like to sponsor PHP Desktop development efforts then please contact Czarek. Long term sponsorships are welcome and Czarek is open to ideas about the project. He would love to spend more time on developing this project, but he can't afford doing so in his free time.

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