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This isn't the BCIT mainframe and Cobol '77 anymore

Github - it's not just for breakfast anymore.
This is one of my usual soft rants about how confusing and difficult smart people make simple things for other smart people.
Executive Summary:

To get Zend running on Windows, with Xammp, use these instructions:

https://github.com/zendframework/ZendSkeletonApplication#using-composer-...
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/11562617/installing-zend-framework-2-...

Do NOT use the latest zen pdf documentation, it is wrong as seen below.

Background:

So as a side project, I have been trying to find a worthy side project for a while now since my wife got pregnant with our first. That was a year ago. I'm busier than ever with travel (on business, sadly) and it's been slim pickings.

Luckily, my luck changed last week as a friend offered me the opportunity to help with some development work that is right up my alley.
Up my alley meaning I'm Vegetarian, and have been for many years, and am trying to be Vegan. Why do I mention that? Well, I can't tell you at the moment but consider it a clue of some sort as to what I'm up to.

However, it is up someone much younger, fitter, smarter, and more web two-point-oh than I am. I am very much a web one-point-oh person, and of course sometimes I do a little bit of networking.

So it is actually in some ways, up someone else's alley entirely and nothing to do with mine.

So I'm going to immerse myself into a project that is built on stuff that is foreign to me. If you're mid-forties, and have written programs your whole working life, I hope this is not foreign to you but it might be actually, depending on what space you're in.

So are you ready for the terms that one only reads about the younger generation using, in hip places like SF and Soho? Here goes:
By the way, nothing new here; instead, just new terms for 30 year old concepts in software development.

* Github - a hosted service for git, which itself is RCS but it saves the whole file, not the deltas in the file. That's it in a nutshell, and covers 90% of it.*
* Git - see above. I think. It's also got a really bad windows installer see this guy, he sums it up perfectly http://mechanicalrevolution.com/blog/git_installation.html
* Zend. This is an automation tool for developers to publish code. I think. It's a bunch of guys making money from something that's free, i.e. PHP, so whatever it is doing is marginal incremental improvements, not something new.
* Smarty. This is a "php template engine" meaning you can store libraries of php code in it. I think. They seem to be selling a webcard of cgi tools. The website has a picture of nubile young lady on it and a lot of ads for various web two-point-oh stuff like bitcoin mining sites and starcraft mining ( again ) and the FAQ doesn't help "The programmer can make changes to the application logic without the need to restructure templates, and the template designer can make changes to templates without breaking application logic." I don't get it. Sounds like just regular coding. But I'm thinking CGI, maybe java, maybe javascript. The world has changed a lot since then.
* Composer. This seems to be something to "manage dependencies." Gee, I wish there weren't quite so many dependencies to be overcome, just so I could manage dependencies!

Anyway, it seems you need all of the above to get Zend working. So anyway, I took a Saturday and figured some of this out.
It was pain to install because, like 90% of all desktop users in the year 2013, I use Windows, not only because I like it, but because i like to develop on the same platform as my audience. ( Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_operating_systems )

I don't have the energy to write down the steps on how I did it, suffice to say it involved a lot of manual changing of the path variable and googling, leaving one to wonder if these tools are so helpful, and used by such smart people, can't their installers modify the path variable for you?

But the real point is the installation instructions all suck.

The latest zend framework installation instructions ( https://media.readthedocs.org/pdf/zf2/latest/zf2.pdf ) are written in a breezy manner which makes you think this is going to be nice and easy, but you're in for surprise as the instructions are in fact flat out wrong, and their very step in the installation instructions leads to the following error:

D:\github>php composer.phar create-project --repository-url="http://packages.zendframework.com" zend
framework/skeleton

[InvalidArgumentException]
Could not find package zendframework/skeleton with stability stable.

create-project [-s|--stability="..."] [--prefer-source] [--prefer-dist] [--repository-url="..."] [--dev] [--no-custom-installers] [--no-scripts] [--no-progress] [--keep-vcs] package [directory] [version]

D:\github>php composer.phar install

[Seld\JsonLint\ParsingException]
"composer.json" does not contain valid JSON
Parse error on line 1:

--------------^
Expected one of: 'EOF', '}', ',', ']'

install [--prefer-source] [--prefer-dist] [--dry-run] [--dev] [--no-dev] [--no-custom-installers] [--no-scripts] [--no-progress] [-v|vv|vvv|--verbose] [-o|--optimize-autoloader]