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 Enterprise PHP sold very well and it's not outdated yet, but writing it was addictive and now I just feel like writing another one.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.
November 3rd, 2008 by Ivo
This fall is quite a busy time, conference wise. This weekend I returned from Microsoft's PDC2008 conference (small report on the PHP related things on the company blog). This week I'll be at the office to catch up with people and to start our PHP Center of Expertise with Cal Evans who had his first official work day at Ibuildings today.
Next week, I'm off to Atlanta for php|works. I will do my 'Enterprise PHP' talk there. It'll be the last time I'm doing that talk. It started as a 25 minute introduction at a Zend business seminar 1.5 years ago, and has since evolved into a book, a series of conference talks and into an upcoming column in php|architect magazine. That stretches the lifetime of the talk, and I'll start working on a whole new topic for next year.
Directly after php|works I'm off to Redmond, where Microsoft has invited a group of people from the PHP community to their 'Web Summit' to talk about things like PHP on Windows, and then from there I'll be flying to Manchester, for the phpNW conference in Manchester. I will take part in a panel discussion, the topic is 'State of the Community'.
phpNW is the first of its kind in the North of the UK, and there are only a few days left to get tickets at the special early bird price of 50 GBP. 50 Pounds is very cheap for a conference of this size. You'll learn as much as in a training course, yet you pay only a fraction. It should be very easy to convince your boss that you should go there, if you are in the UK.
And then I hope for a quiet December month, which gives me some time to reflect on 2008, and to start working on plans for 2009 (exciting things are ahead).
June 27th, 2008 by Ivo
Jeej, my talk on 'Enterprise PHP' has been accepted for this year's Zendcon!
The presentation I will be doing has grown into a sort of companion or introductory talk for my book, describing the life cycle of PHP projects from the early start to completion, including tips on tools to use in each part of the process.
I'm really looking forward to Zendcon. Last year's was great too. A lot of people to talk to, and an enormous amount of sessions. Of course there will be a lot of Zend promotion, but can't blame them for that. They organize it, and we did a lot of Ibuildings promotion when we organized DPC. That's the privilege of organizing.
The only annoying thing is that Zend pays the speaker's airfares in the form of a check. Check's are hardly used anymore outside of the US, and as such, the fees for processing one are ginormous. php|architect once mailed me a check which cost 20% of the amount on the check to clear. Zend: welcome to the internet, please consider electronic wire transfer or paypal.
Registration for Zendcon is still open. You can register here.
June 18th, 2008 by Ivo
I'm happy to announce that as of today, my book entitled 'php|architect's Guide to Enterprise PHP Development' is available.
The book covers the entire development life cycle of PHP projects, and can be ordered through the php|architect website. php|architect has the following description:
"Whether you are running a large scale web app in a PHP-based environment, or if you are considering switching your site to PHP, our new book, php|architect's Enterprise PHP Development will surely be a valuable resource for you and your development team. This book is the only one of its kind and is unparalleled in terms of content and practical usefulness."
I leave that last sentence up to the judgement of the reader, but it's true that it's one of the few books that's not about PHP code, but about the entire development life cycle.
I owe a lot of thanks to Elizabeth Naramore and Marco Tabini of php|architect, for getting this book out.
If you order the book, also check out its companion website. I will collect feedback on that site, and will regularly post errata or other updates.
June 2nd, 2008 by Ivo
This weekend I was at the Pinkpop Festival enjoying bands such as Metallica and Rage Against the Machine, when I received a tweet from Marco Tabini announcing that the book I have been working on, "php|architect's Guide to Enterprise PHP Development", is about to be published and can now be pre-ordered! I've been working on the book for quite a while and it's nice that it's finally being released now.
In the book I talk about the entire development lifecycle of PHP projects, from preparations such as building a team, gathering requirements, creating an architecture, all the way through implementation to delivery, operations and maintenance. It is intended to help improve every step of a PHP development project.
Release dates for the book are June 12 for the PDF version and June 26 for the print version.
All three can be pre-ordered, and if you do, you'll receive a 15% discount.
April 18th, 2008 by Ivo
I've recently read Cal Evans's Zend Framework book.
Before I voice my opinion, a disclaimer: I have met Cal personally; in fact I'm having diner with him next Monday, I'm writing a book for php|architect, and my company is a Zend partner. I could not be any more biased.
If you still trust my judgement (and I will try to remain objective), read on.
First of all, the book is fun to read. I like Cal's writing style. He's able to teach stuff while keeping it light and funny. And that works; the book is never dull so it's easy to read in a short time frame. (I never read things in a short time frame though, still took me a month to read it, but that's me; not the book.)
The book first covers the important bits of ZF, such as setting up a ZF application, and working with views and the controller.
What I really liked was that Cal covers the Model properly. Recently there was some fuzz: the now infamous 'heckler at the phplondon conference' called framework authors 'criminals' because they called their frameworks MVC while they only provided Views and Controllers. Cal discusses how to use both a thin model (just a wrapper for the database) and a thick model (business logic) in a Zend Framework application. The book demonstrates, with example code, that you don't need a 'Model' class in the framework itself to work with a Model. A Model is application specific anyway, it contains the business logic of the application. This was refreshing. It was almost as if it was written because of the phplondon incident but the book was written well before that.
After covering all the important bits, some less important but nevertheless useful topics are covered: caching, web services and two-step views (layouts).
The book is full of code samples, and from the book's website you can download the sample code so you don't have to copy the code from the book manually.
Of course, I also have a little criticism. In some parts of the book, things are explained rather quickly. In particular in the web services part, I had to reread some parts a few times before I grasped them. I had the feeling that the rest of the book had a calmer pace, which made it easier to understand what was explained.
Also, there were a few bugs in the book, in particular spelling. However I must be careful to say that, my book might have the same issue.
Regarding bugs in the example code; Cal keeps track of them at the book's companion site, so if you run into an issue when running the sample code, first check the site to get the latest code.
All things considered, it is a useful, well-written introduction to the Zend Framework. I can recommend anyone who just started working with the framework, and anyone considering to use it, to read the book. It will not only show you how to get things done, it will also give some insight into how the framework works and why things are the way they are, and this greatly helps to understand the framework.