Posts Tagged ‘community’

Why did the chicken cross the road?

November 9th, 2008 by Ivo

So what does the PHP community think about why the chicken crossed the road?

Lukas Smith: "We should ignore the chicken for now and make sure that the parse-ability, typeability and ide compatibility of what separates this side from the road from the other side is better than the current separator proposal." *

Zoe Slattery: "To ensure the quality of the chicken once it has crossed the road, the code coverage of /ext/road needs to be at least 80%. The chicken will test || die." *

Chris Shiflett: "The chicken should be more aware of Cross Road Scripting vulnerabilities when crossing the road like that." *

Stefan Esser: "Ze chicken needs to be protected from ze stupid dumbasses that have no clue how to secure ze road. I have demonstrated zeveral vulnerabilities in ze road before, but I was ignored." *

Lorna Mitchell: "We do NOT exlude roosters, but we need to encourage the chicken so that it knows that it is ok to cross the obviously male-dominated road." *

Terry Chay: "Fuck, is crossing the road a design pattern? Shit no, it's not a fucking algorithm either. When I blog about it, I'm, like, the guy that totally killed the fucking chicken." *

Paul M Jones: "I don't care why the chicken crossed the road, but we need to benchmark how fast the chicken crossed the road using all the major frameworks. And Chay is a bully for making it cross the road!" * *

Ivo Jansch: "Why did the chicken cross the road? [jaws]Dumdumdumdum...[/jaws]" *

Cal Evans: "Good morning twitterverse! Today is an AWESOME day for the chicken to cross the road! But if it doesn't cross the road in 60 seconds, I'll move to Holland." * * *

Paul Reinheimer: "The chicken crossed the road because I was on the other side. In my KISS outfit." *

Ligaya Turmelle: "Chicken Darlin!" (smooches chicken) *

Derick Rethans: "I debugged the chicken while it crossed the road. I will speak about the results at works, tek, ipc, phpnw, phpbarcelona, phplondon, phpquebec, froscon, phpvikinger, oscon, dpc, phpnorge and zendcon. Hey, alcohol!" * *

Michelangelo van Dam "50 chickens are marching across the road!" *

Harold Goldberg: "We are The Chicken Company. To cross the road, please enter your Zend user id and password." *

Chris Cornutt: "The chicken has posted an update on its blog today, explaining the reasons for crossing the road. Some of the reasons it mentioned are 'wanting to be on the other side', 'just because' and 'what road?'. Check out the full details in the chicken's post, as well as the community's responses to the crossing of the road here." *

Laura Thomson: "All chicken suck." *

Post your PHP community chicken theories below!

ZendCon 2008: more community, less corporate

September 28th, 2008 by Ivo

I'm usually not very late with a conference report, but last week's events kept me busy. With Leoni having to work a Sunday shift however, I have a day to clean up some odds and ends, so here's my report.

The day to day reports can be read on our company blog so I'll just give a more general opinion on the conference and pick two favorite talks.

In many ways, Zendcon08 was an improvement over Zendcon07 (which already was a great conference, but it's nice to see Zend was able to improve it even more). Most notable for me was that the community aspect was bigger than last year. The Uncon (sessions organized by the community outside the main conference) was more prominent and more popular, and featured several outstanding sessions.

Also, the evening events got a lot more visitors than last year. The Yahoo! party was generally considered to be less than last year however, mainly due to the fact that unlike last year, there was only one free drink and any drinks afterward had ridiculous prices. But the ZCE party on monday, the general reception on tuesday and the meet the team session on wednesday were very nice and I got a chance to talk to a lot of people.

The opening keynote was still a bit 'corporate', with Harold, the CEO from Zend talking mainly about PHP adoption in the enterprise and some case studies. I liked it, but 'enterprise php' is kind of my thing; I heard several developers say they rather have something more technical. Another way they made the conference less corporate was that they dropped the vendor keynotes they had in 2007. Since those tend to be overly commercial, it was a good idea to skip them.

My favorite presentation was "The State of Ajax" by Ben Galbraith. I hadn't expected that actually; from the title I thought it would be Yet Another Ajax talk, but it was very insightful and Ben did a great job explaining current and future trends. Most interesting thing I got out of it was getting to know Fluid, a 'site specific browser' that lets you treat webapps such as Gmail, Facebook, Google Calendar etc. as separate desktop applications with even nifty things such as Growl notifications or 'new mail' indicators in the OSX dock. I immediately installed it on my macbook and I love it.

My second favorite was Terry Chay's uncon session on 'Making Frameworks Suck Less'. I hope Terry will convert that into a real talk, as it was even better than his 'The internet is an Ogre' talk: this time he had a lot more valid points and he did a better job of getting them across. (On the other hand, if he converts this to a real talk, probably the charm of running it as an informal uncon session using just a flip-chart will be lost.)

The next conference I'm looking forward to is php|works where for the first time a PHP conference is combined with a Python conference. It will be interesting to see how that works out. But first I'll be visiting Microsoft's Professional Developer Conference in October. Although that is not likely to contain a lot of PHP, I was invited by Microsoft because they want to reach out to the PHP community (which was also obvious from their ZendCon presence), so let's find out what they have to tell us.

Dutch PHP Conference 2008 recap

June 16th, 2008 by Ivo

The Dutch PHP Conference 2008 is over. Since I was one of the organizers, I'll leave reviews of the contents etc. up to others, but here's my look on the conference from an organizing perspective.

On friday, the conference started with a tutorial day. There were 5 tutorials: PHPUnit by Sebastian Bergmann, XDebug by Derick Rethans, Zend Framework by Matthew Weier O'Phinney, Symfony by Fabien Potencier and Stefan Koopmanschap, and Advanced PHP: Design Patterns by Dennis-Jan Broerse. The tutorial day was attended by 150 people.

The day started pretty chaotic; the van that contained the registration badges arrived late, so there was hardly enough time to prepare the registration desk, so we had a small queue, but eventually everybody got in. The other issue we had was that we had asked the venue to provide power because people would bring there laptops. We started off however with only 4 outlets per room, and with 30-40 peple in the room, that obviously is not enough. Luckily, before the first break we were able to get a whole cart with power supplies, which we hastily dropped in the rooms. It looked a bit like a cable jungle, but at least people had juice. :-)

For the rest, the day ran smoothly and according to plan, we had a nice lunch around noon, and overall feedback on the tutorial day was good.

At 17.30, we went to the Werck bar where we had dinner with the Ibuildings crew and a bunch of Zenders (Matthew, Gaylord, Zeev, Steven and Howard). At 20.00, DPC conference people started showing up at the bar for the friday-night conference social. Dinner ran a bit late but around 20.30 we were able to join the other DPC visitors in the bar, just in time for the Netherlands-France euro2008 match. The party was great, the match was superb (NL won by 4-1), and the atmosphere was awesome. Speakers like Terry Chay and Derick Rethans were dressed up in orange (Terry even had created a custom orange shirt with php code on it) and we all had a great time.

At around 23.30 I went back the hotel area with Derick, Terry, Scott, Mike, Helgi and one of the phplondon guys who's name I can't remember. Derick and Terry walked back to their hotel and I had a last beer with the other guys.

I made some final adjustments to my slides for the opening address (which for some reason is more difficult after more than a couple of beers) and at around 1.30 I went to sleep. At 6 I woke up, checked if my adjustments were ok when sober, made some more changes, went over the slides for my afternoon presentation, and got prepared for the main conference day.

The main conference day went even smoother than the tutorial day. Registration was properly prepared and went smooth, everything was nice on schedule (with just a small exception caused by a crashing macbook right before the closing keynote), and I think we were able to organize a very nice conference (feedback is appreciated!).

We had some php|architect books for sale during lunch. We had about 50 books because we had no clue if people would be willing to buy them, but we ended up selling 45 books within the first 20 minutes. We will bring a little more next year. :)

An interesting observation was that the PHP Women had trouble getting people to take their promotional shirts. Where at the PHPLondon Conference they were gone before they knew it, in Amsterdam the men were a little hesitant to wear a shirt with the word 'women' on it (by the way only 1% of the DPC audience was female, which is startling). Together with Matthew Weier O'Phinney I was selected as the girls' official 'Booth Babe', a kind of supporting role with a special edition of the shirts, but I got some really weird remarks on that. I think the phpwomen have to change their marketing to cater to a continental european audience or at least to get the men involved. (Suggestion: s/babe/hunk; babe is usually only used for the female version over here).

When the conference ended, there were drinks and snacks in the lounge, giving people the opportunity to discuss the presentations and talk to the speakers.

And then the day ended with a final speaker's dinner, and that was the end of the Dutch PHP Conference 2008.

There are already over a 100 pictures on flickr, which give a nice impression of the conference.

I'm already looking forward to organizing it again next year! (mark June 12 and 13 in your calendars!)

Small country, big in PHP

April 27th, 2008 by Ivo

PHP is still growing in The Netherlands (according to, 46% of Dutch domains use PHP). A good indicator of PHP's growth is the number of conferences and other events that are organized this year. About 4 years ago, there was only one major event, the International PHP Conference. For some reason however, they moved their 'spring edition' from Amsterdam to Frankfurt. Since then, many other events have been organized over here.

This year alone, there are already 6 major (>50) events; 3 done, 3 to go. Here's an overview:

Dutch Joomla Days

2-day conference on the Joomla CMS.
When: April 4 + 5
Location: Utrecht
Attendees: 250/day
Presentations: 36 (both Dutch and English)
Price: € 65
Reviews: Joomladays site, various authors (Dutch), Danny Peeters (English)


Conference organized by the Dutch PHP usergroup phpFreakz.
When: April 12
Location: Maarssen
Attendees: 250
Presentations: 4 (Dutch)
Price: € 17.50
Reviews: Dimitri van Hees (Dutch), Peter Paul Koch (English), Rool Paap (Dutch), Ruud Alberts (English)

PHP Business Seminar

Seminar targeted at promoting PHP to businesses and enterprises.
When: April 22
Location: Vianen
Attendees: 120 (70 main seminar, 50 tech-evening)
Presentations: 6 (5 Dutch, 1 English)
Price: free
Reviews: Cal Evans, Stefan Koopmanschap, Christiaan Lam, Remi Woler (all in English)

Kings of Code

Web development conference. Not focused on PHP alone but on web development in general (JavaScript, Ajax etc.; PHP is covered by a CakePHP talk)
When: May 27
Location: Amsterdam
Attendees: 300
Presentations: 6 (English)
Price: € 160 (early bird discount of € 30 before May 1st)

Dutch PHP Conference

2-day PHP conference (1 tutorial day, 1 main conference day)
When: June 13 (tutorials) + 14 (conference)
Location: Amsterdam
Attendees: 400 (conference day) / 150 (tutorial day)
Presentations: 17 (English)
Price: € 150 (main conference day, tutorial day sold out)

Eduvision PHP Conferentie 2008

Afternoon PHP conference on various topics.
When: October 23
Location: Apeldoorn
Attendees: 80
Presentations: 4 (Dutch)
Price: € 99

(if I forgot an event, feel free to post it in the comments.)

It is interesting to note that we also see a growth of PHP usage at the larger IT corporations. The PHP Business Seminar for example, was an event jointly organized by us and Sogeti. Sogeti is one of the largest IT companies in the Netherlands. When we first talked to them 2 years ago, they had a campaign called 'From now on, only do Java', and now for the second time they've organized a PHP event with us. This growth in big companies is a nice accomplishment for PHP.

P.S. The program for DPC is now complete, see the post on our company blog.

P.P.S. Ibuildings is on twitter now. For blog, conference and other event updates, follow us.

Dutch PHP Conference 2008 update

March 20th, 2008 by Ivo

I've been asked to post some updates on DPC2008.

The first results of the CFI have been announced. Most requested speaker was Derick Rethans. He'll be at DPC and present an XDebug workshop on the Tutorial Day, and a presentation about the ezComponents framework on the main conference. Most requested topic was a look ahead at PHP5.3 and PHP6. We've found Stefan Priebsch, experienced speaker and expert on PHP migration, to be willing to present this topic. On the main conference day, he will give an overview of the future of PHP.

There are 2 more slots to fill. We're already talking to candidates so expect some more speaker announcements soon.

The total line-up right now is: Zeev Suraski, Marco Tabini, Sebastian Bergmann, Matthew Weier O'Phinney, Lorna Jane Mitchell, Derick Rethans, Stefan Priebsch, Fabien Potencier, Stefan Koopmanschap, Gaylord Aulke, Dennis-Jan Broerse and myself.

The Tutorial Day is almost sold out, there are about 20 tickets left, so hurry if you want to join one of the tutorials. For the main conference day, which has a bigger capacity, 40% of the tickets is sold right now. If you haven't purchased your tickets yet, you might not want to wait until the end, we expect to sell out (luckily not as fast as last year, but it will happen :-) ).

Main website:

Last friday was the third edition of the PHPLondon conference. I had the pleasure and honor of opening the conference with my 'Enterprise PHP' talk. (My slides are on slideshare).

I've attended the first PHPLondon conference 2 years ago, and it was great to see the progress that they made since then. The venue, the presentations, the catering, the organization, everything was improved significantly and contributed to a great conference. I'd like to thank Paul Morgan, Matt Raines and all the crew for organizing this conference. I'm proud that my company was allowed to sponsor this event.

And as with most conferences, the social aspect was even nicer than the actual talks. I've met many old friends, and was introduced to many new ones.

It started with the pre-conference speakers dinner, where I had some interesting discussions on a range of topics including music, PHP, DRM, web 2.0 and how social networks are changing the recruitment business, with Paul Morgan, Ian P. Christian, Toby Beresford, Jonathan Mills and Matt Raines. After dinner, we went to the Theodore Bullfrog pub where members of PHPLondon had just had a presentation on Imagick by Mikko Koppanen.

In the pub I had an interesting talk with vBulletin's Mike Sullivan about running a succesful commercial php project, and met Lorna Jane Mitchell for the second time in two weeks :) and got to know her better half Kevin.

For someone who lives in a country where hardly anybody goes to a pub before 23.00h, it's still a bit weird to see pubs in London closing at that time, but we went back to the hotel and some of us continued drinks and conversations in the hotel bar. Derick Rethans at one point used the phrase "Why does everything around me look green?" ;-) at which point I thought it would be better to look up my bed so I would have a clear mind the next morning. Had a final quick glance through my slides before I went to bed, but I actually fell asleep behind my laptop in the process, so I left that until the morning.

Friday was the conference day, which, as I mentioned above, was great. After the conference there were a few hours of drinks and snacks. Richard Harrison was kind enough to give me one of the famous blue Elephpants (will upload picture soon) and he told me about his new company, Pluggable, which looks very promising.

At the end, a group of roughly 35 went to the Bavarian Beerhouse where we had lots of German beer, German food and 'Dirndl' waitresses.

And that marked the end of a great conference. It's one I'm sure to visit again next year!