One of the other developers for IntraHealth has been abusing PHP in every way possible. This time Carl may have gone too far. We’re putting together a “shelf-top” appliance for installations of iHRIS that don’t have a server room to rack-mount equipment. As much as possible, we want to make it easy to plug the box into your network and go with as little fiddling as possible. To that end, I found the Mini-Box M200 with an LCD panel that we could set up with a simple menuing and configuration system. In all the other projects we’ve been working on, we’ve used PHP because of, among other things, the low barrier to entry it offers compared to, say, Java. PHP has been irritating at times, but I think it may be worth it if it means that we can get more people involved in the client countries. When I first saw the LCD panel, my thought was “You know, it’d be nice to have an ncurses front-end for that thing.” Then you could test in terminal window and deploy it without changing your code. Carl had the same thought. So he began hacking out an ncurses-based menu system for the LCD display. And it’s written in PHP. I don’t think I’m going too far out on a limb here to say that this is the first PHP code designed to be used through an LCD panel. This only confirms my suspicion that Carl is a genius, of the evil, insane variety.