Archive for the ‘PHP’ Category

Those who pay attention to my occasional seemingly random tweets may have noticed this tweet, back in March. It's the first line of the Bob Dylan song "Times they are a'changin", and it marked the start of a long thought process. I had a '10 year itch': I was at Ibuildings since january 2000, back then a 5 person web development shop in the south of the Netherlands, and over the years I had helped Ibuildings grow into a 110+ people PHP service company with 5 offices in 3 countries. Very proud of what Ibuildings had become and my own role in the company, I had a growing feeling of 'what next?'.

In my enterprise PHP book I mentioned 5 major goals I wanted to accomplish in life: one of them is to found and build a company of my own. And although Ibuildings has always felt a bit mine, that's not the same. So I slowly started thinking about starting from scratch and building a new awesome company. Over the course of the next few months I searched for reasons to leave and reasons to stay, but eventually I knew that in my heart I had already made the decision in March, and all I was doing was finding reasons to validate that choice. There's a saying that in the end, you'll only regret the things you DIDN'T do, so finally I made the decision to go for it.
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It's been a while since my last post. My blog pattern these days is that I write a blog post when I have an opinion that doesn't fit in a tweet. :)

There's been a debate in the PHP community about the use of public, private and protected. Apparently the Symfony project has decided that private is Evil, and should not be used. I don't care much about Symfony as I'm not a user, but it turned to a discussion on OO theory when Stefan defended the position by claiming that you 'should have the right to extend a class's methods if it doesn't support the use case you have'.

On Twitter, things got worse. Marco Tabini mentioned private has no role in open source code insinuating that it's about who can read the code and Travis Swicegood mentioned that protected code indicates code that is in the wrong place and later that it prevents unit testing because it creates un-testable units of code.
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PHP as a template language

February 11th, 2010 by Ivo

It's been a while since I blogged, but I just ran into another zealot pointing me to NoSmarty.net when I mentioned templating.

I think I've said it before. The tool you use should depend on the job you're trying to do. So to say that Smarty is wrong just because it is, does not feel right.

I agree that in many cases PHP can be used as a template language just fine, but there are situations where a Smarty template (or any other templating engine) is just that more pleasant.

Here's a bit of template code that I encountered yesterday. Its use of php as a template language is hideous. Because it's a template for an xml message and because it needs to cope with systems with short open tags on and off, it looks like this:
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ZendCon 09 – Update and Slides

October 22nd, 2009 by Ivo

In my previous post I collected rumours about the opening keynote. Turns out none of them were right. The announcements were a beta of Zend Studio 7.1 and the beta release of Zend Server 5.0. The latter does get a step further in the enterprise direction with the addition of a Job Queue feature. I personally wasn't too impressed, Job Queues were already available in Zend Platform a year ago, and has since been overtaken by Gearman adoption. The new 'code trace' feature, which adds a kind of 'flight recorder' to PHP apps, looks very promising. Where past versions were already able to pinpoint where the problems were, this version will also give you a complete trace of every function call and parameter up to the problem. According to Andi Gutmans it performs fast enough to do that even on a production environment. I'm definitely going to check that out.

Today I had my own talk, "PHP and the Cloud". I had a godo 45 people in my session, which means that I owe the PHPBenelux usergroup a beer, since they showed up with 63 people for my Try-out last week. :-)
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ZendCon 09 – The Rumours

October 20th, 2009 by Ivo

In about 15 minutes, Andi Gutmans is about to kick off ZendCon 09 with his opening keynote. Yesterday during the tutorial day and this morning over breakfast, I've been polling people to see what big announcements they expect this year. "Microsoft buys Zend" and other fun but improbable announcements aside, here's a selection of what people think might be announced today:

  • Zend Certification for PHP 5.3
  • Zend Framework 2.0
  • a Google AppEngine for PHP
  • Zend Studio Certification
  • Zend Server for OSX
  • Zend Server Enterprise Edition

If you follow me on Twitter, I'll probably mention any specific announcements there realtime.

Long time no blog

August 19th, 2009 by Ivo

Somebody just kindly reminded me that it's been over 3 months since I last posted on my blog. Oh my.

What kept me busy mostly the past months is my new home. I moved to Utrecht (which is more in the center of The Netherlands, so I can get around more easily) with Leoni, and as developers say, the house is "90% done". So it'll keep us busy for a few months. :)

Things at Ibuildings are hectic as always. Our UK office is growing like crazy and is nearly half the size of our NL operation already. And we're working hard to get our Italian office up and running. Behind the scenes we're already working on things there, so if you're looking for a cool PHP job in Italy, drop me an email (ivo at ibuildings dot com). (Actually Ibuildings NL and UK are looking for senior developers too, if you're interested). After a succesful DPC back in June, we're planning a few more events so keep an eye on the Ibuildings website for news on those.

Another thing that has kept me busy is one of my personal pet projects, Flackr, a twitter based breaking news aggregation site. It has fairly basic functionality at this point (we've been mainly working on the news aggregation and event detection algorithms), but will eventually grow into a 'newsroom 2.0' type application with pro features for journalists. Here's an example of how it tracks tweets related to the Hurricane Bill including pictures. Contrary to many twitter aggregators, it doesn't follow the masses, but trusted sources only.

Finally, I'm happy to announce that I've started work on a new book. Enterprise PHP sold very well and it's not outdated yet, but writing it was addictive and now I just feel like writing another one. The book will be about PHP and Cloud Computing. This time around I'm not working on it alone, I'm co-authoring it with Vito Chin, author of the GMagick PHP extension, among many other things. The expected publication date is early 2010.

That's it for now; I hope to pick up blogging with more actual content after summer.