About two weeks ago I attended the Dutch PHP Conference with many thanks to PHPWomen and Ibuildings for the ticket. So far I have attended almost all editions of the Dutch PHP Conference (DPC), I only missed one. So I knew it would be awesome before it even started and I was right! I arrived Thursday evening and spend the evening with some of the speakers and friends I know from other conferences and earlier editions of DPC. It was great to see everyone again.
So on Friday morning the first day of the conference started and it started with one of the best keynotes I have ever seen! Aral Balkan talked about User Experience. The talk was full of anekdotes and really inspirational. After that I attended the “TDD and getting paid” talk by Rowan Merewood. I had seen him speaking before and he is a great speaker with a lot of knowledge. Although I know quite a bit about TDD and Unittesting, the talk had a practical approach which was very interesting. The second talk of the day was about IPv6. It was a bit too technical for me and it somehow didn’t get my attention. After that it was already time for lunch.
After lunch I attended the Uncon. Last year was the first year there was an Uncon at DPC. I didn’t attend it back then, but this year the Uncon had some really interesting talks and I attended three of them during the two conference days. This talk was about the internals of DocBlox. DocBlox is a new tool, written by Mike van Riel, to replace phpDocumentor. It was interesting to see how he managed to reduce the amount of memory and time needed to generate the API documentation of a project. He even build his own Reflection API using the PHP tokenizer. Too bad the talk was only 45 minutes, because I would have liked to see more of it. Because it’s opensource I still can ofcourse, if I ever find the time. So then it was time for a talk by Stephan Höchdorfer about external depency management. It wasn’t quite what I expected unfortunately. After the break I decided to skip a session because I was really tired and the “hallway track” was also great, just talking to friends and relaxing. By then it was time for the last session of the day. It was a hard choice between Advanced OO Patterns and HTML5 for PHP developers. Since we are doing HTML5 at our company at the moment I decided for the HTML5 talk by Thorsten Rinne. It was an interesting overview of the new HTML5 functionality. So it was a really interesting first day of the conference.
Like every year there was a social organised and sponsored by Ibuildings, Github and Sanoma Media. In my opinion the place was too crowded and the music was too loud to actually have a conversation. So by the time I arrived most of the speakers and friends I wanted to speak to already moved to another bar right around the corner. We had a great evening and I made some new friends too. By the time I got to bed it was really late, so I forgot to set my alarm clock. I did wake up in time, but I was still really tired so I decided to skip the keynote about API’s by Helgi. Apparently it was a great keynote, at least that’s what everyone told me.
For me day two of the conference started with the presentation from Jouzas Kaziukenas about the new era of PHP frameworks. It was an interesting overview of the history and future of PHP frameworks. The two most used PHP frameworks are both working on a new major version which is PHP 5.3 only. If you missed the talk and still want to see it, you can at PfCongres in Utrecht, The Netherlands on September 17th. Next session was again an Uncon session for me about documentation. It sounded really interesting but somehow it didn’t get of the ground really well. At the end I finally managed to find out the talk was about Docbook, which sounded really interesting, but it was just too bad that the speaker didn’t get in the flow of the presentation so the story was a bit lost. I think Docbook is interesting and I certainly will look into it to see if we can use it at the company I work for. And then it was time for lunch again.
The talk I attended after lunch was by Ligaya Turmelle and Raymond DeRoo. They talked about Character sets in MySQL. Basically they said: Use Latin1 if you can, otherwise use UTF8. I asked them afterwards some advice for our own database since we are using utf8 and latin1. They confirmed what we already thought at the company that we should be using UTF8 only. Only because our application is international and we need to support different character sets. So thanks for the advice guys, luckily we were on the right track already! By then it was time for my last Uncon session about the PHP build tool Phing. I already knew about Phing because it comes with the database deployment system DbDeploy. I talked to the lead developer of Phing about changing the way DbDeploy works to fit our needs and got some great inspiration to change this (backwards compatible ofcourse) to fit our needs and hopefully the needs of more people looking for a database deployment system. After a short break it was time for the closing keynote from Cal Evans about Open Teams. I had already seen this keynote at the PHPBenelux conference in January, but it was very entertaining and good stuff to repeat from time to time.
And after the closing by Harrie Verveer DPC was over already. I had a great time, met old friends and made new friends and got new inspiration to last for at least a couple of months untill the next conference. DPC was awesome like it is every year!