Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The perfect X-mas gift

The PHP Anthology: 101 Essential Tips, Tricks & Hacks, 2nd Edition by Ben Balbo, Davey Shafik, Harry Fuecks, Ligaya Turmelle and Matthew Weier O'Phinney.

With over 100 best coding practises, tips and tricks and new object oriented approaches to common situations, this book might be a valuable asset to your bookshelf.

Order now at Amazon or add it to your whishlist for Santa !

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

More nifty features in GMail

It looks as though Google can't get enough of giving out more features to it's GMail users. Now two new features appeared when I logged on:
  • a quick information screen when hoovering over an e-mail address
  • an enriched contact management screen
These improvements follow the recent update when they launched GMail over IMAP.

Apparently the activation of these features happen to occur randomly, since I have collegues who
still await their activation of IMAP.

So to the lucky ones: enjoy the new features and to the not-so-fortunate: hang in there !

Thursday, October 25, 2007

php-abstract podcast: Five ways to kill a software project

On episode 20 of the php-abstract podcast (09/20/2007), Cal Evans presents in a very humurous way what you should not do if you want to succesfully complete a software project. Although I strongly advice you to listen to this podcast I can let you in on the five toppics discussed in this podcast:
  1. avoid all design and documentation
  2. hire a developer with no domain experience
  3. write everything from scratch
  4. make sure your salesdepartment starts showing your project before your development has finished it
  5. let your salesdepartment set the deadlines
And indeed, as a developer myself I see that these things actually happens in the real world and leads to much frustrations for developers and clients. This is clearly the way of the dark path ! So, now you have these 5 golden guidelines, use the force Luke!

PS: I also post this because I read on Zend Developer Zone blog that I could win free books!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

IMAP enabled on GMail

This morning when I arrived at the office, many blogs already mentioned that Google was going to enable IMAP for GMail, and now only a few hours later, it's enabled !

This is a brilliant feature for people who use multiple systems (like me) to check their mails. Even small handhelds, PDA's and smartphones now can have this splendid functionality.

Yahoo! already had this feature on it's Yahoo Mail and on the Apple keynote Steve Jobs showed that the iPhone would make use of this service of Yahoo. Now iPhone users can choose to between the both.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

ZendCon '07 Slides

Cal Evans of Zend Technologies has done a wonderful job collecting several ZendCon07 presentations, so now you can enjoy this information overload straight from your lazy chair.

I also found out that Facebook now hosts a Zend Framework group, where you can discuss best practices, experiences and wishlists. Just head over to the Facebook Zend Framework group, join and participate. See you there.

Friday, October 19, 2007

PHP powers the internet of tomorrow

I'm using a nice catching title to say that PHP is actually grown out to a mature, stable and very adoptable programming language. Looking at the different popular Web 2.0 websites, many of them use PHP or switched over to PHP because of the flexibility of the language, and the rich enhanced features that have been developed for this language.

Most recent switches were made by CDBaby that moved from Ruby to PHP, Friendster switched from Java to PHP and the latest was done by del.icio.us. So, if they all feel that PHP can give them the power to work their Web 2.0 magic, you can be assured that it works for you too.

Companies as Yahoo! and IBM also support PHP as a core development language for their feature rich websites, and other big names in the internet world follow their lead.

A list of currently well known PHP sites:
So, if you still had doubts that PHP is the right choice for you, giving these examples should convince you PHP can provide you the tools to build your Web 2.0 dreams.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

San Francisco: ZendCon 07 final day

Thursday, October 11:
Today is the final day of ZendCon. I really enjoyed being here and the people here are great. Yesterday at the Yahoo! Php party, a karaoke bar was entertaining and lots of fun.

Today I visited the keynote, php migration and QEDWiki (which is actually more focussed on the widgets side of QEDWiki then the wiki itself, but nonetheless a very interesting session). The final keynote will close the conference.

I feel sorry the conference is ending, but I'm going home with lots of information and new contacts. I had a great time at the sessions and keynotes, hearing about new technologies and best practices.

So, after the conference I think I head downtown and see some more of San Francisco.

San Francisco: ZendCon 07 Days 2 and 3

Tuesday, October 10
Many sessions with reasonable content, some actually great stuff. The evening party was for me a great opportunity to meet very high-level php developers and even core php contributors. After the party there was a session to meet the Zend Development Team, which was awsome. And I got a shirt of Zend Framework.

Wednesday, October 11
See Tuesday about the sessions. Although it's great stuff today, it doesn't actually touches the level we would like to receive, but still a great conference.

I'm also looking forward to the MySQL and Yahoo! parties that are thrown afterwards, and I've heard that there's going to be food at the Expo, so you can find me there.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

San Francisco: ZendCon 07 Kickoff

Monday, October 9
Today's the first day of the conference. A day filled with sessions about Best Practices and Certification training. Although there were not many interesting sessions, I got a chance to meet the top development team of Zend, Zend Framework and php developers worldwide at the ZCE Only party.

Monday, October 08, 2007

San Francisco:Registration day at ZendCon07

Sunday, October 8
Sundays are days to relax, so I did. I woke up late, went to StarBucks for coffee and checked my emails. In the afternoon I went over to the Hyatt to get myself registered and to get the gift-bag, containing a program guide, a copy of Linux Journal, a Yahoo stress ball, a yo-yo, a 50% reduction card for PayPal certification and demo material from Oracle, Microsoft Windows Server Release candidate, Adobe Flash FX, and some advertisements.
The rest of the day I'm hanging around at the Hyatt to meet other PHP developers or catch a glimpse from the conference speakers. And they have wireless, so the more reason to stay.

While going through the programm guide, I truely believe this conference is going to be great and I'm really happy I'm here.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

San Francisco, day one

Saturday, Oct 6
I was already up early, so a nice start of the day. I took the bus service to get into San Francisco City. It took me about 45 minutes to get there, but for $1,50 I couldn't complain.

Today's program included a quick tour in the city, a boat trip to Alcatraz and for bonus enjoying Fleet Weekend, with a lot of US NAVY vessels and free air shows.

After spending a couple of hours at Fisherman's Wharf, I headed back into the city with it's cute trains rolling around.

A little fact: parking in San Francisco is regulated by specific terms: vehicles parking uphill need to turn their wheels away from the curve, while parking downhill you have to turn the wheels towards the curve.

San Francisco, getting there

Fri, Oct 5 - 10:25am
I passed all checkpoints and now I'm ready to board on Flight UA951 from Brussels to Washington DC. The weather in Brussels is fine, almost summer time whe had to miss during the summer.

Arrival in Washington DC was a smooth ride, just to find out that my connecting flight to San Francisco was delayed. Due to a late arrival of flight UA937, our departure was rescheduled from 4:29pm to 5:05pm. So, in the mean time I enjoy a venti medium roast at StarBucks, right here at IAD.

Weather conditions seem good, a bit claudy but still very warm. I don't know if this is usual for this time of year or not, but I will find out when I get back here.

San Francisco airport is busy, even in the evening. We touched down at 8:35pm and we were off the plane at 9pm. A 2 minute taxidrive took me straight to Motel 6. These places are good places to stay, but you only get what you pay for. A double bed room with a bathroom, a washing sink and tv. No locker, no internet, no coffee vending machine. But, I have a roof over my head and clean sheets, so that's fine by me.

After treating myself on another StarBucks dark roast and a tripple cheeseburger at Wendy's I'm ready to call it a day.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Getting crushed during morning traffic

Daily commuting on public transport can be fun sometimes, but most of the times you have to endure a lot of agony. So this morning I ended up in an overcrowded bus, while several earlier buses already passed by fully loaded.

The route I take in the morning seems to be overwhelming for the bus company that doesn't seem to care that their customers and drivers are put in dangerous situations. Drivers don't have a clear view outside while taking turns, people are packed up all the way up to the front windshield and everyone gets crushed when people are getting on or off the bus.

The drivers themselves are fully aware of this dangerous situation, but the company "De Lijn" doesn't want to change this, according to the various drivers.
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