Dangerously close to going the whole of November without a blog post so I thought I’d catch up with a quick review of the PHP North West conference last weekend.
London has had a conference for a number of years so it was about time there was one up here so myself and Andy made the trip into Manchester to take part. The conference was organised by a few people from the PHPNW user group but it was better run than most “commercial” conferences I’ve been to.
Welcome Keynote: KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) – Derick Rethans
I must admit I wasn’t too impressed by this. At times it came across as a bit of a rant towards certain technologies without going into details about when they might be of use. For example sIFR was shown with a buggy version of AdBlock where it didn’t show any headings – yes, potentially a problem but for some it may be worth the risk.
MySQL EXPLAIN Explained – Adrian Hardy
Very good session giving an overview of how to use the EXPLAIN command to find out what MySQL is doing and help optimise your queries.
Basic introduction to regexps. I’m still looking for a text editor that supports perl style regular expressions in a logical way – Notepad++ does very odd things with line endings.
Index and Search, options for PHP programmers – Zoe Slattery
I think some people were expecting more of an introduction on how to use Lucene to add a search engine into your site but I found it really interesting. My two take-home points:
- Lucene on Java + JIT is 50 times faster than Zend Lucene!
- Java Lucene has a cool standard analyser – picks out things like email addresses and company names like “AT&T”
The Power of Refactoring – Stefan Koopmanschap
We should do more test. Really.
Twittex: From idea to live in 7 days – Stuart Herbert
Following Twitter’s announcement that they’d be stopping SMS delivery of updates to UK users, Gradwell spent a week working on a system to fill the gap. The result maybe wasn’t as popular as they’d hoped but the experience seemed invaluble. It’s a lot like Bath Web Services’ Get Creative Week.
Panel Discussion: State of the community – Ivo Jansch, Steph Fox, Scott MacVicar and Felix De Vliegher
The conference ended with a panel discussion. Maybe not of immediate relevant to the work we do but everything talked about with trickle through.
I’ll leave it at that. Congratulations to the organisers on a great event.