Month: August 2006

Re: Reading Tech Books

Following in Lig’s lead on the number of books she’s reading, I thought I’d take stock of what kinds of books I’ve been reading on lately. Now, whether I’ll make it finishing them by the end of the year – that’s another story, but at least I’ll have a better idea of where I lie.

These aren’t in an order either other than my own train of thought as I write this:

  • php|architect’s Guide to PHP Design Patterns
  • Theo’s book, Scalable Internet Architectures
  • Ajax in Action
  • Creating Web Pages with Ajax

And, I dont know if it counts, but I also read over 205 feeds worth of information each day to grab the content for PHPDeveloper. Of course, those are all quick reads (well, most of them – some of you bloggers out there get a bit long winded at times – hehe).

Oh, and as far as fiction – I’m rereading the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy for the umpteenth time, but it’s always a good, light read.


Talkin’ T-Shirts

So, remember the t-shirt idea I mentioned before for the conference? Well, I’ve thrown something together for it and wanted to get some feed back on it from all of you lovely readers out there. Here’s the thumbnails.

I wanted to keep in mind both promoting the site (woo!) and the community too (yay!), so I kept the front simple with the PHP opening tag and my domain on the front and on the back….drum roll please….a tag cloud of the people/projects/companies that help make the PHP community what it is today. The different terms are different sizes, but that’s more for stylistic reasons than any kind of reference. There’s no way I could ever figure out how much each of them has contributed to the community and rank them, so I just went with picking at random.

So then, two questions for you all:

  • First off, do you like the design? Would you wear it and enjoy it?
  • And, secondly, would you buy one? Really what I’m getting at here is asking how big of a first run I would need to do. I’m going to have them at this year’s Zend Con but I didn’t know what the demand would be for them outside of that.

So, let me know on the above points – I’d appreciate any kind of feedback you can give!

Baby Steps from ZF to Cake

So, I’ve been playing with CakePHP lately for a project I’m working up. I have to admit, it’s nice – very nice. I can see what all of the fuss is about.

Having used the Zend Framework for a project (a pretty important one, at least to me), I’ve had a bit of experience with the whole MVC style of development. I understaood what the parts did and how they fit together, but the actual development process was still a bit of a mystery to me until I really got into the ZF. I developed my application, worked up a pretty good site, and had things going along swimmingly.

Then I figured I’d give another framework a try for this other project. So, being the (brave?) soul that I am, I switched over to Cake. I have to admit, right off the bat, I almost ran screaming back to the Zend Framework. I was faced with a fully installed framework with a different structure than I was used to, different naming conventions and locations than I knew, and one big thing I wasn’t used to using coming from Zend – models.

So far, I’ve only used the models to act as interfaces to the database tables of their same name, but I know there’s more to them than that. Those working with the Zend Framework might not quite get how they’re used if you’ve never done any other MVC work outside of the Zend Framework, so here’s a bit of a basic summary as best I can tell:

Models are a “go between” for the controller and the view. The controller can look at and use the view to understand what the resource is like behind the scenes and use that to run code to output to the view. In the Zend Framework, since models aren’t even there, pulling information from and pushing data into database tables requires ensuring you have your SQL statements right to make the updates. In Cake, it’s as easy as calling the save() function in the controller and letting the framework (including the model for the table) so the rest.

Switching from one to the other was interesting – naming conventions and locations are less important to the Zend Framework as they are to Cake. Cake has a place for everything and everything in its place. There are directories under the views for the pages of each controller, helpers for each of the MVC components (components for controllers, helpers for views, and behaviors for models), and plenty of “magic methods” to go around.

I know I’m only getting started with Cake, but I do like what I’ve seen so far, and I know that there’s so many features of the framework that I’ve only touched on, but I’ll get there. I promise.

Oh, and, in a parting note, I have to compliment both frameworks on doing an excellent job on documenting their functionality. There might be a few little issues here and there, but over all, they both make life a lot easier through a few simple web pages.

I’ll Be There, Will You?

Well, it looks like I’m going to make it to some conferences this year after all (thanks to an understanding boss). They’re both right there next to each other, so it’ll be good to have it all right there.

First up is this fall’s The Ajax Experience put on by the guys at and the No Fluff Just Stuff Java Symposium Series. I’m not going to be speaking or anything, but since I write for the site, I’m going to be helping out with things. It’s running from October 23rd through the 25th up in Boston, Massachusetts, and if it was anything like the other one earlier this year, there’ll be some great speakers and great developers attending.

They’re still looking for speakers for the event, so if you’re up for giving an Ajax-related talk (preferably Ajax and PHP, but it doesn’t matter too much), check out this page for more details and the email address of where to send your talk information.

The next up, of course, is actually later that week – the Zend/PHP Conference and Expo happening out in San Jose, California. Thanks to the kind people organizing the conference, I’ll be one of the “press” attending the event. I’ve also taken out an ad in the conference program, so if you attend you’ll have to look for the 4th page ad. They haven’t posted the list of speakers yet, but I know it’ll be some good stuff – it always is. The tough part will be choosing which talks to attend.

I might also be doing some shameless self-promotion while I’m there. I was thinking about making up some shirts (something black with a simple logo-based design) to pass out to those that would want them. Think anyone would be interested? At the very least, it’d be fun to wear one myself during the conference. I’d stick out pretty well then, I guess…

Anyway, hope to see some of you out there at either of these conferences. I shouldn’t be too hard to find if you want to stop me and say “hi” while you’re there. I love meeting people that like….

php|tropics 2005 Pictures Flickred (yes, 2005)

So, I’m an (extreme) slacker and, spurred on by Cal posting his photos of this year’s OSCON, I proudly present to you something over a year too late:

My pictures from the php|tropics conference back in 2005.

Yes, call me a slacker, but I finally got them out there – few thought they may be. There’s only a few shots from the actual conference and more outside of it (go figure), but it was a great conference with tons of informative content.