PHP News update: Cal Evans to Ibuildings

Today the Dutch PHP company Ibuildings announced in a press release that Mister ZendCon himself, Cal Evans, is going to lead their PHP Center of Expertise.

Cal Evans, Chief editor of Zend Technologies and PHP community icon, shall change his hometown in Nashville Tennessee with his newfound home of Utrecht where he will lead Ibuildings's PHP Center of Expertise and will assist in their trainingsdivision. This is the greatest asset for Ibuildings and a great loss for Zend Technologies.

The PHP Center of Expertise shall focus on stimulating the PHP community on best practises and software enginering skills.

Wether Cal Evans will maintain his devzone articles, his php-abstract podcasts, being the face for ZendCon and his other community roles is not yet known to this point.


ZendCon 08 review

ZendCon 2008, the PHP conference organized by Zend Technologies Ltd. was held this year in Santa Clara California. About 700 attendees came to see over 60 sessions (and 20 uncon sessions), with at least 25% non-US visitors (ref. closing keynote by Mark De Visser).

Tutorial Day
The first day of ZendCon is Tutorial Day, where half a day is reserved for talks about a specific topics. I attended the "PHP Developer Best Practices" by Matthew Weier O'Phinney and Mike Naberezny for the morning session and "SQL Query Tuning" by Jay Pipes in the afternoon.

ZendCon: Day 1
After the keynote speach "How
PHP leaders are transforming high-impact PHP applications", the series of sessions started, including the unconference sessions.

My personal list
I attended also the Uncon round table discussion ORM by Stefan Priebsch, where a discussion was made about ORM and best practices on how to achieve ORM goals with or without the use of a framework.

Afterwards a Zend Certified Engineers party was organized.

ZendCon day 2:
The keynote speach about Magento e-commerce suite given by Wil Sinclair and the people of Magento, showed how Zend Framework was used for building a robust e-commerce suite.

I also enrolled for the Zend Framework Certification exam (ZFCE) at 10am, but failed it on Zend Search Lucene, Zend Mail and Zend XmlRpc (so I know what I should study for).

My list of sessions:
Ben Ramsey organized an uncon session about PHP User Groups, where an open discussion was made between organizers of user group meetings to see what can be done to improve the quality of meetings and how user groups could combine forces for content, guest speakers and such.

There was a "Meet the team" thing going on, but I missed it due to great conversations with other developers.
There was also a Yahoo! party, with pretty women from Yahoo! and cool coctails.

ZendCon day 3:
The last day only lasted until the afternoon, but nontheless a great day.

My sessions:
The closing keynote was given by Mark De Visser and David J. Neff.

My conclusion:
ZendCon was the best conference ever, where I've made new friends, seen old friends, learned a whole lot and got better insight in processes, best practices, tools and other things.

A minor less positive note: the lack of coffee during the day (and not only during the break in the morning and afternoon) was something many people blogged, tweeted and chatted about.

As a last remark: If you weren't able to attend this year's conference, try to make it to next year's conference !

Cal Evans rocked !


Dutch PHP community meeting

Hey you ! If you're a PHP developer and you're in the area of Amsterdam on September 23, be sure to attend a meeting organized by phpGG, the Dutch PHP user group.

The meeting will be held at the Free University of Amsterdam (De Boelelaan 1105, Amsterdam) in room HG-5A02 and they welcome you at 19.45.

If you care to attend, be sure to mention this on their upcomming page. You can find more details about this meeting on their website

Rumor has it that they are giving away cool stuff, so be sure to check it out !


Using Zend_Captcha with forms and config

If you've been watching my presentations about Zend_Form on SlideShare, here's a little update after Zend Framework 1.6 release last Tuesday.

You start off with a simple contact form in XML. More information about creating this config can be found on my slides about Zend_Form.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

To enable the Zend_Captcha feature within your form, you just add a captcha configuration right before your submit button.
<label>Please verify you're a human</label>

The result is then a nice form with a captcha element.

Validation is done through the form validator, so all you need to check is: $form->isValid($_POST);

So, now fight off those unwanted messages in your database or mailbox and use the power of Zend_Form and Zend_Config_Xml for your ease of use and maintainability.


Release of Zend Framework 1.6

Yesterday evening, while I was celebrating my birthday, the Zend Framework team released version 1.6 of Zend Framework with again a bunch of new features.

Many features that are included in this release were really demanded features by the users of Zend Framework. I just highlight a few of them here.

Dojo Toolkit
Now you can use all the nifty AJAX features right from your framework, so you don't have to load all the library files while you load a page.

Zend Tool
An easy to use command line tool to rapidly deploy Zend Framework projects, making it really easy to create your own skeletons and instantiate all files the way you like it.

File Upload Form Element
If there was a component that was missing from previous versions, it was the ability to upload files through a form component. Well, relax... 1.6 has it.

Captcha Form Element
Now you can add a captcha component to your forms with a breeze. This way your forms will be more or less protected from evil spammers.

WildFire component
For those JavaScripters out there, there was already a great tool for debugging JavaScript code with the Firefox browser, called FireBug. Well, now you can do the same using for PHP using the WildFire component to log right into the FireBug plugin for Firefox.

Other new components are:
  • Lucene 2.3 Index File Format Support
  • Zend_Session save handler for Database Tables
  • Paginator Component
  • Figlet Support
  • ReCaptcha Servicement
  • Zend_Config_Xml Attribute Support
  • Zend_File_Transfer Component
Besides new features and components, a huge list of open tickets were closed. In short, the whole Zend Framework team have done a great job.

Be sure to check out the Zend Webinar later today: Zend Framework and Dojo Integration by Matthew Weier O'Phinney.

I would like to congratulate the Zend Framework Team and all contributors with this release. Again a huge milestone reached. Thank you all.