PHPLondon Conference

The conference, as you might have guessed, was in London. It lasted one day and was scheduled to run from 9:30 until 17:00. As Mike and I were driving this meant that our conference day started at about 4:30 with Mike picking me up at 5:00. Three hours later we parked at Amersham and took the tube arriving at the venue at 9:20.

The conference took the format of dual tracks and between the two of us we covered every single one. the first talk was by Ivo Jansch of iBuildings, which focused on the adoption of PHP into Enterprise solutions and his slides can be viewed on slideshare. It was nice to see that Edge Hill Web Services team are clearly on the right track but perhaps adoption of some of the slicker testing strategies proposed would be beneficial. I’m particularly interested in taking a good look at PHPUnit, Xinc and Xdebug.

The talk by Scott MacVicar and Mike Sullivan built on Ivo’s ideas and offered some real world examples of development for Enterprise solutions but, for me, it didn’t quite deliver. Maybe it was aimed at delegates that had yet to embark on large scale enterprise applications.

In contrast the next session on SQLite3 was something I’d never come across before. The talk began with SQLite’s widespread use including Apple’s iPhone, and it certainly seemed that it was a more favourable option than using config files for small applications. In addition PHP5 ships with SQLite3 and only needs a few configuration line changes to enable it, but some forums suggest that it is not as easy as it seems.

The mid-afternoon session had two bite sized talks on testing PHP and Project Zero. The testing PHP talk was not as I had thought about testing your own PHP code but about getting involved with testing PHP source code, something I’d never thought myself clever enough to even look at, never mind actually have a go at. It seems that if you can write PHP you can write PHP tests too. If you fancy having a go have a look at the PHP-QAT site.

Project Zero is IBM’s incubator project for RESTful Web services. The demo simply looked a lot like Yahoo Pipes but I suspect that if you dig deeper there’s a whole lot more.

The whole shebang was brought to a conclusion by Derick Rethans, who spoke about his personal PHP journey. This light-hearted look at PHP again hammered home the need to focus on security and testing (it also plugged Xdebug which he wrote). You can see the slides here, but unlike other speakers his slides act mostly as a visual aid to his presentation style and don’t really reflect the quality of the content.

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