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phpDay 2010 international talks

Posted by on May 20, 2010

Friday 15th has been the central part of the phpDay Italian conference, and the most intensive one, in which the international speakers made their long awaited talks (and whose videos are available online).

In the morning, Dustin Whittle from Yahoo! presented YQL, a SQL-derived language that can be used to access hundreds of web services. The Yahoo! platform translates SQL-like queries (such as SELECT, UPDATE and DELETE) into requests, eliminating the need to learn a new API for every different service to integrate in the PHP application. Whittle also talked about the open source platform the teams at Yahoo built, which includes PHP in the front end.

Meanwhile, Daniele Teti explained the process of Continuos Integration for PHP applications in one of the most crowded sessions here at Corropoli. This year’s topic, quality, has influenced the choice of talks which have been widely considered interesting.

Fabien Potencier also gave his talk on Dependency Injection in the last morning session. The symfony project leader built from scratch a Dependency Injection container using PHP 5.3, while at the same time demonstrating anonymous functions and closures. He said he wants to bring PHP to the next level, and he now preaches Dependency Injection as he was pitching the use of frameworks and the adoption of testing in the last years.

The three tracks of the conference are loosely connected, so that talks from different tracks usually do not overlap the same development field (for example Windows-related talks are grouped in the same track every day.) Though, lots of people would have split in two to follow both Fabien Potencier and Dustin Whittle and their absorbing sessions.

About the PHP on Windows track, the Microsoft guys have done a good job in showing how the attitude of their company towards PHP has radically changed. PHP is now seen as an empowering tool instead of a menace to .NET, and Microsoft demonstrates his support for PHP on Windows Server with WinCache (the equivalent of Apc) and the SQL Server driver for PDO. The evangelist of Microsoft Italia Pietro Brambati has also announced the creation of an Italian user group dedicated to support PHP applications on IIS.

One of the most eye-opening talks was held by Felix De Vliegher (from iBuildings), who showed a set of use cases and PHP client code for Gearman. Gearman is an open source daemon to dispatch processing requests to a list of nodes (workers), and it is supported in PHP both as an PECL extension and as a PEAR client library. The use of Gearman can aid PHP scripts in dealing with intensive tasks which should be offsourced to other machines to offer a prompt response to the user.

Remember that all the slides from the conference will be available on SlideShare in the next days, as the speakers get the time to upload them. Furthermore, the majority the videos of the talks have been recorded on ustream and can be viewed at any time even if you did not participate to phpDay.

05-20-2010 – Fixed spelling of Felix’s name.

Marco is the keeper of keys and Chief Garbage Collector at Blue Parabola. He can be found on Twitter as @mtabini.
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