PHPNW10 – An Overview

I had a fantastic time at phpnw10 this year. Met loads of old friends, and made a few new ones. The main conference kicked off on Saturday morning with a keynote by Lorna Mitchell entitled “Teach a man to fish”. This was about how team training is important with proper feedback mechanisms which enable a developer (and a team) to learn from their work and give them the skills to teach themselves further. Following that I went to see Derick Rethans giving a talk on geolocation within PHP. This gave me a great insight into how geolocation/mapping works online and has given me some food for thought for my MSc. After, I headed back to the main track to see Ian Barber speaking about debugging. I find that this is the sort of talk I can’t get enough of, and discovered a couple of cool new tools to help with debugging on top of the existing ones I already use.

After lunch I saw Michelangelo Van Dam talking about unit testing within ZF. Like everything with ZF, it seemed a lot easier than I thought it might be. Then there was another ZF talk in the same room by Rowan Merewood who, as always, gave a rather entertaining talk. It was about Zend_Acl and used real-world examples (ship classes from Star Trek) to demonstrate how they work.

Scott MacVicar gave a really interesting talk on HipHop for PHP, allowing PHP code to be compiled. He went through the process of using it, what the current limitations are and the plans for the future. As this was Scott, heckling was aplenty, and made this talk very enjoyable! Then it was back to the main track for the final session: The Framework Shootout, a panel session chaired by Marcus Deglos. Although there were no definitive conclusions that came out from the panel, it was very interesting to see different people’s take on things, and the strengths and weaknesses of a variety of frameworks.

Overall it was an excellent event with excellent attendance! However we have a bit of a dilemma now. We have reached the capacity of this venue. This means that if we want to expand we will need to find a new one. If you have any thoughts/ideas/recommendations on not only venues around Manchester, but how we can expand further to increase the impact of the PHPNW group, please let me know! Finally I would like to thank Jeremy Coates and all the helpers on the day, the event ran fantastically smoothly and it was all down to you, thanks everyone!

Netbeans 6.9 Beta + Zend Framework

Having just got my brand new MacBook Pro, I’ve been setting it up as a development environment (blog post about that to come). I decided to install the new Netbeans 6.9 beta. The main reason for this is the Zend Framework (and Symfony) support.

In the past I have found Netbeans to be pretty good with code-completion when being used with Zend Framework, however with the release of Zend Tool (something I do really like), you’ve had to switch from Netbeans to the command line in order to create the project and then create a new Netbeans project from existing sources. This was a bit of a hassle.

Now, all you need to do is download the Framework, go into the Netbeans preferences > PHP > Zend tab, Zend script box should point to the zf script (from within the bin directory of the ZF downloading). On Mac and Linux it wants the file (on Windows it will probably want the zf.bat file, although not tested). Once that has been set up, you can now create brand new Zend Framework projects from within Netbeans, and it preconfigures everything for you. Lovely!