Manuel Lemos, site manager of PHP Classes and author of "Being on the Internet," on the anniversary of the "www"
"To understand Internet one must understand the user needs"
Manuel Lemos vem falar à UA sobre a sua experiência com o PHPClasses
Author of the well-known book "Being on the Internet", published in 1998, Manuel Lemos, former student of the University of Aveiro (UA), is the manager and owner of the site PHP Classes, a site that helps building websites with 1.3 million users. He lives in Brazil. From there, he answered to a number of questions related to the anniversary of the "www", on the 12th March. The author of "Being on the Internet" talks about the challenges of Internet these days...

About the Internet and your book, published in 1998, the deceased Eurico da Fonseca wrote: "... for the first time in history, by means of the Internet, whoever needs specific information on topics of interest, may search for them wherever they are in the world crossing borders and shortening distances. There are positive and negative aspects in the freedom in Internet as in all that is free, as there are technical aspects that everybody should know to make better use of it. "If this was true in 1998, today this comment is even more relevant ... Are there big differences between "being on the Internet," today, and backwards in 1998, when the book was published? If so, which are the main differences?

In fact, Internet is very different today, but keeps being just another form of communication between people. Therefore the principles of being well on the Internet worthy in the past continue to be worthy today and always. What may have changed most dramatically is the speed of communication. Nowadays, information circulates quicker and reaches far more people in less time. This means that, for example, people and companies must be prepared to react rapidly to the disclosure of information that affects them, either authentic news or even rumors based on false information.

For those who want to be on the Internet today, which books/readings would you recommend? Or is being on the Internet nowadays so intuitive that you do not need any guide?

I think that with common sense and life experience, most people end up understanding well what is right or wrong on the Internet, as in life outside the network.


As manager and owner of the website "PHP Classes", with tools for building websites, do you consider that there is a pattern in the evolution of the use of PHP classes, either in the past or currently?

Yes, for sure. The PHP community is very big. So there are highly qualified professionals who share best practices that have helped others to learn how to build classes with more quality and utility.

After the PHP Classes, which kind of website/ portal would you like to create to meet the needs of today’s Internet?

The website PHP Classes is targeted to users searching for components to develop websites and web-based applications programmed in PHP. To understand the needs of Internet it is mandatory to learn about the users’ needs. It's almost like saying you need to understand psychology, as it studies the behavior of people. Unfortunately psychology learnt at many universities is not enough to help understand the needs of people on the Internet. By coincidence, when I was back in Aveiro last December, I was invited by the Department of Communication and Art of the University of Aveiro to give a talk on a subject strictly related to psychology. The purpose of the talk was to share what I learned about how to create successful businesses, on or off the Internet, so that others use the same principles when creating their own businesses. In order to create successful business, you need to understand well the minds of customers, suppliers, employees and even partners, i.e. people in general. Psychology is precisely the science that allows us to understand people. To this respect, my lecture focused very important psychological principles to understand and meet the people's needs. Slides and video of the talk for those interested in understanding are available here: or

How did the training at the University of Aveiro contribute or contributes to the work you are currently developing?

Unfortunately most of the technical knowledge I have gained at the University is currently outdated or no longer applies to what I do. However, more than this technical knowledge, attending the University of Aveiro for many years, allowed me to significantly expand my vision of the world and how people live and work in community, learnings that I also applied on my PHP Classes, for the site is a community of over 1.3 million registered users worldwide. Much of what I learned about involving communities of people committed to common goals comes from the university experience.

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