Book review: Zend Studio for Eclipse - Developer's Guide

Book: Zend Studio for Eclipse, Developer's Guide
Authors: Peter MacIntyre and Ian Morse
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Pearson Education

Zend Studio for Eclipse, Developer's Guide from Addison-Wesley Pearson Education is a guide to Zend Studio for Eclipse (ZSE) for intermediate to advanced developers.

The book has 18 chapters, with the first 16 covering the different views and preference settings for each specific task. The first 5 chapters are explaining basically the layout of the Eclipse working environment, with a focus on how to modify these views for your own benefit. The last 2 chapters are devoted to working out an example application using ZSE with Zend Framework.

Personal opinion
This book is in my opinion a beginner's guide into using ZSE, aiming at PHP developers that have a knowledge of general concepts like versioning, debugging and refactoring. I personally was hoping to see advanced settings to tune the IDE into a powerful developer's tool, but it was merely a basic explanation with the correct terminology for a product that I've been using well over two years now (yes, I was also beta-tester for it).

If you're new to Eclipse in general and specifically Zend Studio for Eclipse, I believe this book is going to be a valuable asset. It will not only give you insight in how the Eclipse IDE works, but it shows you also the possibilities to turn this into a very powerful tool for building PHP applications.

But if you're already a ZSE veteran I'd have to advice not to buy this book since it has no extra value then to explain the settings/views you've been using all along.


Successful 6th annual FeWeb Conference

Yesterday evening I attended the 6th annual FeWeb Conference in Edegem, Belgium with my Ibuidlings collegues Ivo Jansch, Harrie Verveer and Bjorn de Haan. Also fellow co-founder of PHPBelgium and soon-to-be collegue Felix De Vliegher was there. According to their own blog over 200 persons attended this year's event that had several short tech-tracks and 3 key notes.

I first attended the "Battle Flash vs AJAX" between Peter Elst and Peter-Paul Koch and although it wasn't really a battle, it became clear that there's much to say about RIA's in general.
You can find the presentation on slideshare (where else ?).

After the break FeWeb chairman Marc Mestdagh announced the planning for 2009, followed by handing out awards to the FeWeb Quality Label winnars (Webdoos, 2MPact and Media Mates).

Wim Roggeman of the Belgian Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) talked about copyrights and the new social infrastructure of the Internet today. Nice to see that he's using the succesful computer gaming industry as a showcase how the music industry should work today.

Final keynote was given by Luc Beirens, chief of police for the Federal Computer Crime Unit (FCCU), where he gave an interesting talk about e-crime today and how cyber criminals use the same networks as we to operate (except they're not as visible). A few interesting facts he mentioned were:
  • India has now "cyber soliders"
  • There are still many security issues related to input validation and filtering
  • Identity theft will become a serious threat
  • There's a need for a global jurisdiction to fight off cyber crime
  • End users should have some responsibilities as well (ref. driver's license)
Twitter was heavily used during the sessions, making it possible for people who couldn't attend to have an idea what they were missing (#feweb).

Of course the drinks and social event were also a highlight of the evening, talking with so many people and discussing ways to promote PHP in Belgium. Through this post I wish to thank everyone for their input, we will work something out.

Many thanks for the organization of FeWeb Conference 2008 (and the sponsors Combell and bSeen).

FeWeb is an organization for web developers in Belgium that provides information about legal concequences linked to the job as "web developer", interacts with the government and the industry to advocate the role of the industry and issues a quality label for Belgian web development agencies.


Belgacom - Proximus roaming failure

In this day and age people have a tendency to check the internet first before calling tech support, but apparently some big companies don't get that.

I'm in the Netherlands now and since this morning my mobile phone has no service. So I checked the websites of both Proximus (my cellular provider), Belgacom (it's mother company) and Vodafone (it's partner) to see if there's a problem with their network or services. Nothing was mentioned, nor was there any reference that anything was wrong.
So I spend the whole morning calling to tech support of Proximus to figure out why I don't have any service.

First I was kept on hold for about an hour. In my second attempt I could finally was ablte to talk with a tech support agent telling me the whole roaming service was down and all people abroad weren't able to connect to the cellular network.

This was a general system failure that already lasted several hours but the company didn't even bothered to mention this on the website, having it's customers calling tech support from abroad (paying huge international phone call tarifs) just to find there's a problem at the company.

Dear Proximus, put this kind of failures on your homepage ! This saves a lot of stress, and gives your customers the posibility to provide alternatives to contact friends, family or customers.