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.
Regular Expression Basics – Ciarán Walsh
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.
Image by skoop.