WinBinder is an open source extension to PHP, the script programming language. It allows PHP programmers to easily build native Windows applications, producing quick and rewarding results with minimum effort. Even short scripts with a few dozen lines can generate a useful program, thanks to the power and flexibility of PHP.
PHP is a very popular scripting language that is used mostly for web development but is gaining popularity as a general-purpose scripting language.
WinBinder itself is comprised of a DLL (which is the actual PHP extension), a small set of PHP scripts and some auxiliary files. Of course a minimal PHP installation is required as well.
How does it work?
WinBinder takes advantage of the relatively new CLI SAPI (Command Line Interface / Server Application Programming Interface) that was officially introduced in PHP 4.3.0. A custom-made DLL (a Windows library) extends PHP so it is possible to use the language to build a Windows development platform. The library includes code to manage windows, controls, messages, timers, the registry, GDI (Windows’ Graphics Device Interface) and more. A set of low-level functions allows the programmer to access any Windows function, declare structures and access memory directly.
Controls can be created directly by calling WinBinder functions or via RC files generated from a third-party form editor. These resource files can be parsed in real time, avoiding the need for a separate compilation step.