The 2006 DC PHP Conference
I spent Thursday and Friday (Oct 19-20) at the DC PHP Conference with my co-director Patrick Reagan. Overall, the conference was well done, though some of the talks lacked technical depth, possibly because the intended audience was a grab bag of developers and managers from the public and private sector. For most of the conference, Patrick and I attended separate sessions. He should be summarizing his soon; but, for now, here is my take on the sessions that impacted me the most. A nice surprise was how cool and down-to-earth Rasmus Lerdorf is in person. His talk was entitled "Get Rich with PHP"; but, the main focus was demonstrating how to optimize your PHP scripts. He has given this talk before, so I'll just point you to a good summary. Forget about premature optimization, the tricks here are simple enough to use for every page, assuming you have access to the tools. Another pleasant surprise was Eli White's excellent talk about "High Volume PHP and MySQL Techniques" validating what I already knew about scaling PHP and MySQL. You can find his slideshow on his website in OpenOffice format. Mike Ho's talk was entitled "WebServices Integrating with other Agencies"; but, it was really a demonstration of how easy it was to create and integrate SOAP web services using his Qcodo framework and an MS Visual .Net application. Qcodo is still in beta, but looks very promising, especially after this week's beta 3 release. Qcodo will automatically generate the WSDL file, and Visual .Net leverages it to make hooking into service a snap. Chris Shiflett spoke twice about PHP Security Testing, specifically about XSS and CSRF. Both talks were very good and provided very useful and eye-opening information about the dangers of unfiltered user input. Rasmus references PECL::Filter as a good tool to help prevent these problems. This was my first conference in quite a while, and both the conference and the people were great. Congratulations to the DC PHP Developers' Group!