Skip to content


me @ php|works and zendcon06

The rumours of me being very busy are entirely accurate. However, I haven't forgotten PHP. I've even written some PHP code in the last month (shock! horror!). Next week I'll be attending php|works and presenting on three topics:

  • Extending PHP. (3 hour workshop)
  • PDO
  • Best Practices for Sending Mail with PHP (a new talk!)

For the extending PHP workshop, I'll be pretending to be Sara Golemon, author of the book "Extending and Embedding PHP", who unfortunately couldn't make it in person. I have a copy of her book and have given my own version of this workshop a couple of times in the past, so it'll be almost as good as the real thing :-)

I think I've mentioned the new php-mail-best-practices talk briefly before; a lot of sites send out email, whether its directly triggered from a web interaction, or whether its a scheduled update. For instance, sends mail in response to mailing list subscriptions, bug report submissions, regular assigned bug reminders and so on. In this talk I'll be touching on some good approaches to crafting the email, sending the email and doing both of those things "responsibly" and "managably" (if that's even a word). These last two are particularly important in a world drowning in spam, but don't tend be high on the priority list for people putting together a web site.

I'm also going to be at the Zend Conference this year, giving my PDO talk again. Despite my initial concerns that the conference would be a bit too "biz" oriented last year, it turned out to be very good, so I'm really looking forward to this years edition.

As always, I try to make myself available to the attendees when I'm at a conference; if you have questions that you think I can answer, please don't be afraid to approach and ask me.

I'll see you there if you're there :-)

PDO FUD; less anecdotes, more facts

I was just skimming over Santos' Post about SDO, and was saddened to see more anecdotes and less facts.

Here are two points that you should take note of:

I'd love to see someone run some fair comparisons and publish the numbers.


One of the things on my agenda for OSCON (which was excellent, just like last time) was to sit down with a couple of the folks from IBM to discuss why the SDO extensions hadn't taken off as they'd hoped, and what they could do to foster some growth.

One of the things that was apparent was that this SDO stuff has quite a high barrier to entry--too many three letter acronyms for starters, and its origins in the C++ and Java world don't help make it very accessible to the typical PHP developer.

I'm pleased to see that IBM are already acting on a few of the things we discussed, the most visible of which so far is the publication of and introduction to SDO and working with XML using SDO.

If you've wondered what this SDO stuff is all about, please read through those articles. After having done that, if theres something you're not clear on, or if everything is clear, or if you have some other thoughts on the matter, then please take a moment to send your feedback to Graham Charters (you'll find his email address on the top of the articles).

Graham and the rest of the SDO team would really love to hear what you think about SDO, so that they can work on making it easier to get into.

Do you want to work on my team?

In addition to the PHP web dev openings that Laura mentioned, we're also looking to hire some mid-level systems engineers to code primarily in C on UNIX/Windows.

If you're interested in working directly with George, Theo and myself (and the veritable host of other smart, interesting and fun people that also work at OmniTI) on some of the fastest, most highly stressed core infrastructure applications ever created, then we'd like to hear from you.

If you're looking to work hard, learn a lot and have a lot of fun while doing both of these things, then please look over the job description and send your applications to

PHP, the trading card game!

Cal Evans of Zend's DevZone accidentally revealed his php community who's who flash cards (so that he can put faces to names at the conference)--and it looks just like a trading card game.

Luckily for you, Terry Chay was on hand to document them:

You can see more of these on Terry's flickr stream.

The flip side of the cards has each PHP community members bio on the back (I don't think Terry managed to capture that).

It appears that Cal's print run had a glitch, as you can see from this pic:

Looks like Zak has yet another lookalike. At OSCON 2005, there were three Zaks:

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?

deja-vu / nostalgia

I was pleasantly surprised to see this picture on Henri Berguis' blog just now:

I'm pretty sure that this is within a couple of hundred yards of the apartment block that I lived in about 18 years ago in La-Linea, Spain.

Back then, those seats on the waterfront were poorly maintained white-washed concrete blocks, some of which had fallen down towards the coast. The other side of those blocks used to be a rocky slope leading down to the water.

If you followed the road closer to the Gibraltar border, you could park your car on the road side and a group of gypsies would "look after" your car in exchange for a small fee (typically pocket change, if I remember correctly). If you felt that their protection wasn't worth much, you'd return to find that someone had indeed broken into your car and removed any valuables. I wonder if they're still protecting cars to this day?

Want to work with us at OmniTI?

My friend and colleague Laura Thomson is posting about some job openings at OmniTI.

Here's a copy-and-paste excerpt from her post:

We are currently in need of four people:

  • A junior PHP dev
  • A junior-ish web designer (Photoshop, HTML, CSS, Javascript + ideally some coding)
  • An Oracle DBA
  • A PostgreSQL DBA

The job ads will be up on our website shortly, but if you are eager to act before then, please email me your resume at

You can find some background about how we hire and what we do on our previous job posting here and here.

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?