php|works 2007: Day 2

Even though today is officially “day 1” of php|works, I consider it “day 2” because I spent the majority of yesterday (six hours of it) standing and talking to a room full of people about topics they need to know to pass the Zend Certification Exam. It was a tiring day, and my lack of sleep and trek through two hours of Atlanta rush-hour traffic didn’t help. Still, I made it through the day, I think the tutorial was a success, and I hope that those attending who took the exam yesterday or today passed with flying colors.

Today began with Andrei Zmievski’s keynote entitled “The Future: PHP6,” or “Im in ur endginn, playin wif ur stringz.” Here are a few notes I gleaned from his presentation:

  • Unicode is so simple you could probably explain it to Paris Hilton, or Miss Teen South Carolina might be able to explain it to you.
  • PHP6 = PHP5 + Unicode, PHP5 = PHP6 - Unicode, Unicode = PHP6 - PHP5
  • mojibake: phenomenon of incorrect, unreadable characters shown when software fails to render a text according to its associated encoding
  • “APC is the best thing to happen to PHP since Rasmus stopped working on it single-handedly.”
  • “Ask yourself: Can I live with PHP 4? Until 8/8/8? If yes, you’re done. Thanks for playing.”

Afterwards, I supported my colleague, Maggie Nelson, by attending her talk, “You Don’t Need A DBA.” I had the opportunity to see a preliminary version of her talk, and while I enjoyed the preliminary version, she had vastly improved it with great examples and information.

After Maggie’s presentation, it was my turn to give my talk “Designing RESTful Web Applications.” The slides for this talk are already available on my site.

Due to some unavoidable distractions from work, I had to miss the lunchtime keynote, “PHP 4 is dead! Migrate your code,” delivered by Chris Shiflett. This was unfortunate because I was apparently featured in all my drunken karaoke glory on one of the slides. Now, I’ll never know how I helped to convince people to transition from PHP 4 to PHP 5.

The highlight presentation of the day, though, was perhaps Sara Golemon’sHow PHP Ticks.” In this talk, Sara explained how the PHP engine converts PHP code into tokens, which get further converted into their opcodes that the Zend engine then runs. It was very informative and not at all dry, due mostly in part to Sara’s sense of humor and presentation style. Two big take-aways from this talk:

Now it’s time to head to the reception and enjoy the nighttime festivities.