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OSCON coming up

Tomorrow afternoon I begin my 3-hop flight, via my favorite airport (Phoenix... I got stuck there on my last visit to the west coast) to attend OSCON. I'm giving my tried-and-true PDO talk again this year (yeah, yeah, but I have new material for php|works).

As usual, I'm looking forward to the gathering of OpenSource folks for drinking^Wbrainstorming sessions, and the opportunity to be subjected to cross-polination from non-PHP projects.

See you there?

I'll be at php/db|works 2006

I'll be giving my usual PDO talk, and a brand new, never-been-seen-before, talk: "PHP and Mail: Best Practices". This will be focused on good, responsible techniques for PHP applications that send out email, from accountability and performance viewpoints.

You can find the schedule online here; as usual, a lot of experienced folks (including several of my colleagues from OmniTI) are giving talks, and this year there are some damned good prizes to be won at the social events.

See you there?


Scott Kveton of the OSU Open Source Lab (who graciously provide hardware and bandwidth for many open projects, including told me about OSCamp, which seeks to organize the buzz of fringe activity that surrounds OSCON each year.

I know that Rasmus particularly likes to get together with the local community at conferences, something which is often made difficult for them by the high entry prices (any price is high if your ticket isn't being covered by your boss). Last year a bunch of us PHP folks went on down to Portland's PHP User Group to give them a compressed version of the PHP talks at OSCON for free (as in pizza).

OSCamp is intended make these fringe gatherings feel more like part of the conference while still remaining free for anyone to attend. It's still in the early stages of planning/gathering, but I'd say that it's fair bet that "us PHP folks" will be doing something for the local community again this year.

I just sent out an email to the folks I know, so I'll keep you posted.

PDO::MySQL slides from MySQLUC 2006

I tried to upload my slides from the conference, but run into problems with a firewall somewhere, so they've had to wait for me to return home.

So, here we are: Using MySQL with PDO (PDF).

This was my first MySQL users conference, and it seemed to go well. Truth be told, I'm not a database fanatic (which is ironic considering my involvement with PDO), so I didn't find a lot of the material to my taste. I did learn a few things from Jim Winsteads embedded mysql talk (something I bet he'll be surprised to hear :) and also Hartmut Holzgraefe's mysqli talk. I also got to chat to Monty about the issues I mentioned and meet some new faces, including my Evil sysadmin, some old and some older faces (Hi Sterling :)

The conference was quite big; 1500 attendees, 6 tech tracks (there were a couple of other non-tech tracks too, but I forget exactly what they covered) and a lot of BOF sessions. If MySQL is your bread and butter, you might want to consider attending the next one.

Back from Paris

I'm back home from my Paris trip; it was a long day of travelling, but it all went smoothly. On the train from Gare du Nord to Charles de Gaule I saw a burnt out wreck of a truck; perhaps it was from the rioting, but I couldn't say for sure. This was the only sign of unrest that I saw on the whole trip; a big contrast from the country-on-fire images broadcast via CNN. Admittedly, I only saw a limited section of the Paris area while I was there, so who am I to make a sound judgement?

I've updated the PDO slides from my presentation at Forum PHP 2005. These slides are from the long version of my talk, rather than the shorter 45-minute version that I gave there.

After a slightly shaky start, the trip turned out to be a success. The start was shaky because the service at my hotel wasn't all that great; apparently just giving my surname was not good enough for them to find my reservation, so I had to scrabble around my email (lucky that I had my IMAP mailbox sync'd to my HD!) to find additional information. After then waiting for the english speaker to finish his cigarette break, I could finally confirm my reservation. I then had to wait for my room to be made up. Not the best service I've ever had; I think they probably assumed that I'd come from England that morning, when in fact I'd been travelling from the USA since the day before. Oh well.

The hotel was ok though, and they had free wifi access for guests. It was WEP protected and when I asked about the WEP key, the guy at the desk said he didn't have any more boxes. Strange. The next night I was lucky and managed to obtain a box... it turns out that they use a little box with a wifi-to-ethernet bridge in them; one end of the box plugs into the AC outlet in the wall, and the other into your ethernet port. Interesting approach; it means that they don't need to worry about giving out their WEP keys, can provide service to people without wifi cards and that they don't need to plumb in wired ethernet either.

I've arrived at Forum PHP

I'm sitting in the soundproof booth at the Forum PHP in Paris. I've been up for more than 24 hours straight (don't you just love timezone shifts!) so I'm feeling pretty tired. Contrary to the doom and panic mongering that was on CNN while I was waiting at the airport in Atlanta (that's the airport with the really long walk between the domestic and international concourses), Paris doesn't seem like it's about to be torn down by rioters; seems pretty peaceful and not tense at all. I've been told that the unrest is mainly in the suburbs, and was mostly outside of Paris itself last night.

I've also heard pretty bad things about Charles de Gaule airport, but found it to be quite empty and easy to navigate when I arrived just before 7am local time; maybe I've just been lucky :)

While I'm here, I'll be giving my PDO talk and sitting in on a Q&A panel with the other PHP big wigs that are also here (Rasmus, Zeev, Andrei and Zak). After the conference itself, we'll be holding a meeting to hammer out some of the finer details for PHP 6; the other other PHP big wigs are making their way to Paris after the PHP conference that is concurrently underway in Frankfurt.

Back from ZendCon

So, I'm back from ZendCon. I was unsure how this business focused conference would turn out, and I'm glad to say that it seemed to go down quite well. There were a lot of "biz" sessions and that made it feel like there wasn't much technical content at the conference proper--but that was compensated for by the technical tutorials that took place on tuesday.

One of the things I really like about conferences is the opportunity to meet people face to face. Aside from the usual PHP conference circuit crowd (you know who you are!) it was good to see some faces that I haven't seen since my last visit to SF (php{con west 2003). It was also good to put faces to names and voices that I'd only previously dealt with over email, telephone or even just through reading RSS feeds.

I did a lot of "networking" at this conference compared to others that I've attended, having had some good, positive discussions with folks from Oracle, IBM, Microsoft and others about what they're doing, what we're doing and some general plans for the future--nothing top secret or earth shattering (that I know of!) just positive :)

I think one of the biggest things to take home from the conference (besides the swag) is the message that big business recognizes PHP as platform for big business. The presence of these big names at the conference not only helps to improve the perception of PHP as an "Enterprise" platform, but also helps to validate the efforts of everyone that has contributed to PHP (usually on a volunteer basis) over the last 10 years--well done to us all!

PDO Slides from ZendCon

(hmm, I could have sworn I posted these the other day; maybe the wifi cut out just as I hit "save")

You can find the slides from the PDO talk here.

While I'm here talking about PDO, I wanted to give you a heads up. PDO 1.0RC2 will move from PDO_XXX style constants to using class based constants like PDO::XXX. The reason for this change is that it will fit in with namespace support in PHP when it is implemented.

Yes, this should have been changed before 1.0RC1: Sorry.

This change has not yet been made to the packages available via PECL, but is present in the PHP 5.1 branch--including PHP 5.1RC3.

[yes, this text is pretty much a rip off an earlier blog entry I made]

in SF for the Zend/PHP Conference 2005

It's been a long, busy weekend for me; we had our whole house carpeted on saturday, which meant moving all our furniture around. I also built a new bed for Xander; I'm sore from the physical effort and mentally tired from not having any time to unwind. I was up at 4am this morning in preparation for my flight to SF at 7am, and had the "pleasure" of the never-ending morning that goes hand in hand with flying west. All that combined with the customary airplane headache has me feeling pretty beat up.

I'm looking forward to the conference; meeting the usual crowd is always good... and this time around we're "business focused", which should put a bit of a different spin on things... hopefully for the better :-)

PDO Slides from php|works 2005

You can find the slides from PDO talk here.

While I'm here talking about PDO, I wanted to give you a heads up. PDO 1.0RC2 will move from PDO_XXX style constants to using class based constants like PDO::XXX. The reason for this change is that it will fit in with namespace support in PHP when it is implemented.

Yes, this should have been changed before 1.0RC1, but we only just talked about it over the last couple of days. Sorry.

This change has not yet been made, I'm just letting you know in advance; we'll be pushing out a release with this change over the next week, after making sure we're not going to make another change like this.