Welcome, New Year, and Other Miscellaneous Things

We’re well into the New Year – 24 days to be exact – and I’ve long since been putting off this post, but it’s not really a single post. Instead, it’s a collection of things that I’ve been wanting to say but have been putting off, and it’s a look forward to things I’m working on, would like to see happen, or would like to be involved with this year. So, rather than the obligatory look back at what I did last year, this is a look forward at what I’m interested in for the coming year (in no particular order).

First of all, I would like to offer some congratulations to a handful of friends of mine. These congrats have been a long time coming from me and are already old news to many of you. In no particular order, I want to congratulate: Andrei Zmievski on being hired as an Open Source Fellow at Digg; Jon Tan on taking a role as the new Creative Director at OmniTI; Cal Evans, who moved to the Netherlands to be the Director of the PHP Centre of Expertise at Ibuildings; Marco Tabini and Keith Casey for launching Blue Parabola, and Matthew Turland for joining them; Eli White for accepting a position at Zend as the Zend Community Manager/Leader & DevZone Editor-In-Chief; and last, but not least, Brian DeShong for his promotion to Director of Technology at Schematic.

Next, I wanted to take a moment to mention and promote the writing I’ve been working on. I didn’t publish a single thing last year, and in 2007, I published only one article, so I resolved this year to get off my ass and remedy this. In February, php|architect will publish my article entitled “Grokking the REST Architectural Style.” This article attempts to explain what Representational State Transfer really is by going beyond peoples’ fascination with designing URLs, using XML, and focusing on HTTP methods. Instead, I’ll look at the real heart of REST with hopes that readers will fully understand what it means to build a RESTful application. A fellow web services aficionado said of the article, “I think you expressed very nicely what the concepts are all about – and without a URL or HTTP verb in sight!”

Following the REST article, in March php|architect will begin publishing my monthly column “From the Cloud.” In “From the Cloud,” I’ll be looking at practical web services you can use, as well as exploring trends that are transforming the way we use the Web. Here’s a quick blurb from the column that describes its focus:

bq. As the Web matures and enters its third decade of life, many services are turning to cloud-based models of data storage. End users are becoming more and more comfortable with the notion that their data lives in the ether of the Internet rather than on their personal computers. Finding that data, retrieving it, manipulating it, and using it in meaningful ways are the challenges that face the era of the intelligent Web. I hope you’ll join me each month as we explore these services and technologies From the Cloud.

Finally, later this year, php|architect will publish another article I’m working on that will take a practical look at using HTTP in your applications in a RESTful way. There may also be a book idea or two in the works for me, but more on that later.

Oh, and I also had the privilege of being invited again to write a PHP Advent post during the month of December. I wrote a post entitled Practice Safe & Idempotent Methods.

Furthering my ramblings in this post, I also wanted to mention some community projects I’m working on this year. As always, I’d like to see PHPCommunity.org evolve and grow into a real website that offers real value to the PHP community, so that’s on my list of things to do. I’ll post more on that in the future. In addition, I have some plans for Atlanta PHP this year that include a new website, incorporation so we can accept donations, and an event to occur later in the year, but you’ll hear more from me about this as the details are finalized. Inspired by my own writings for the “From the Cloud” column, I’ll also be developing a PHP library of classes for interacting with various web services. This began with the Amazon Web Services library in PHP project, but I’ll be migrating that elsewhere to be part of a larger project in the near future, so be on the lookout for that.

Last, but not least, I wanted to mention the website that I built for my dad over the holidays. He recently launched his own business, Small Business Resource Associates, that provides services to small businesses and commercial real estate investors. I did all of the HTML/CSS and PHP programming for the website, while my aunt did the design work. It was an interesting project for me because I haven’t really touched front-end (client-side) web development in several years (I stick mainly to back-end, server-side development these days), and I was proud that I was able to make a website that validates successfully as XHTML 1.1. Another interesting part of the site is that it has a blog, something that I don’t believe many in the financial services industry are doing, so I think that’s one thing that sets apart Small Business Resource Associates from the competition. If your small business is looking for a loan, business plan, business consulting, SBA help, etc., please check it out.

Well, that’s a wrap. I’ve got a growing list of topics I want to blog about, so I hope that you’ll be hearing much more from me this year than you did last year.

Happy New Year!