PHP Conference Recap: NetBeans, ezComponents, MapReduce..

This years october edition of IPC in Mainz, Germany was the first php conference I have been to. It ended some hours ago and i am quite happy to have been there. I had several great discussions which pointed me to new stuff (to follow) and also met great people.

First thing that completely fascinated me is NetBeans 6.5 with PHP support. It feels much more easy to use than Eclipse PDT. Its faster (from the little tests i could make) and does not strike when you add several large libraries into the include path. It offers much more help on refactoring and organizing than Eclipse PDT does, for example it offers to generate getter/setter, constructor, inheritance methods. Much thanks to Petr who explained to me in detail how NetBeans works.

Ez had lots of people at the conference (to Kore and Tobias i spoke in more detail) and I had some talks with them about ezComponents. This was especially interesting after the great session on object persistence in ez, as well when I heard that ezcMvc, a model-view-controller component, wil be included in the next release of ezc in December 2008. ezComponents has a Database layer, that does not seem to enforce too much overhead on you but still offers great extensibility through a persistence layer and a library that offers to build Database Diffs. The latter feature is really great and I will definitely have a look at this.

Sebastian Bergmann had a great talk on MapReduce which is an old LISP programming paradigm to work with huge datasets. This style was recently revived by Google because tasks can easily be split and distributed for computing on different nodes with hundreds of threads. Implementing a working example in PHP is really easy, just finding a good way to process your large data seems to be a topic that needs lots of thinking.

Additional great things:

  • Meet Thomas, the guy that wrote Weaverslave (I use it for years to build simple php applications).
  • He is working on a cool open source project Carica Cachegrind with Bastian Feder that will process xdebug cachegrind files via a webinterface (They told me webgrind is actually calculating the numbers wrong).
  • Jan Lehnhart and Kore Nordmann had some great things to say about CouchDB.
  • Brian Acker talked about Drizzle, which is a forked MySQL that throws out lots of legacy stuff from MySQL out, to build a micro-kernel database server that suites the web.
  • Ulf Wendel talked about Mysqli + Mysqlnd. Mysqlnd will be a new internal driver for PHP to access MySQL through Mysqli and optimizes processing and memory consumption. Additionally Mysqli will be extended to offer asynchronous queries that can be fired at the database and polled latter. To be included in PHP 5.3

Not so good things: There were absolutely to few power lines. People using their notebooks were packed on hotspots where power was available. Please more power plug possibilities next time!

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