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The True North Strong and ... PHP?

Published 11/12-2012

Just got back from the True North PHP Conference in Toronto, and boy, is my brain tired! It's probably the increased intracranial pressure from all the nifty ideas bouncing around in there. Herewith, a few random observations and emanations from the talks I attended (with fellow code slinger Rasmus Schultz)...

Reginald Braithwaite set the tone with his keynote, "Why PHP could be the most important programming language in the world." Though the title sounds like flamebait, his main point was that PHP makes it easy to get started, which will tempt more people to try things, which will lead to more innovation.

Eric Hogue gave an intro to Jenkins and Continuous Integration - Jenkins is not so much a tool in itself but a tying-together of lots of existing tools for things like unit test automation, to make it easier to publish code frequently without fear.ACA

Adam Lundrigan and Hugo Hamon gave talks about what's new in the Zend and Symfony frameworks, respectively, and these and several other talks echoed a common theme: rather than being wedded to a single framework or language, developers should choose what works best for a given task, from the rich buffet of options available in the PHP world and elsewhere.

Rafael Dohms gave a great talk about how to fix common code mistakes, and a second one about Annotations in PHP, featuring a plug for our own Rasmus Schultz's nifty annotation tool, and he and Rasmus had some interesting discussions afterward about different approaches.

We sat in the front row, like a couple of nerdy fifth-graders, for Larry Ullman's talk about Yii, our go-to PHP framework at GORGES. We were mainly interested in getting the scoop on Yii 2.0, which is supposed to be hitting alpha around the beginning of the new year, maybe. One tidbit was that the whole thing is being rewritten to more modern coding standards (even more awesomeness?), and the API will not be backward compatible from 2.0 to 1.x. It will also require PHP 5.3.

Joel Clermont gave a nice talk about Hypermedia APIs, a.k.a. (to some, at least) REST. Like many other speakers, Joel strenuously avoided dogma, which I found quite refreshing.

Finally, just when we thought we were running low on acronyms, Anthony Ferrara explained how to stop being STUPID and be SOLID instead. I'm still practicing expanding those abbreviations, but again some very practical tips on building better software, regardless of your language, platform, or even paradigm (did you know that there are at least six ways to complete the phrase "_____ Oriented Programming"?).

So all in all, an enjoyable and education trip to my homeland!


Ted Caldwell Application Developer
Ted Caldwell

Application Developer

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