About the Author

Chris Shiflett

Hi, I’m Chris: entrepreneur, community leader, husband, and father. I live and work in Boulder, CO.

All posts for Jun 2004

PHP Security Seminar

For those in the New York City area, I'm giving a PHP security seminar tomorrow night at Masonic Hall at 71 W 23rd St.

It's scheduled to be two and a half hours, and I plan to split this into three 40 minute sections with two 15 minute breaks, so that there is plenty of opportunity for hallway discussions, questions, and the like.

It's only $125, and there are still a few seats left. I hope to see you there.

A PHP Guy at YAPC: Part II

Day 3: The last day of the conference came too quickly. I slept in a little (missed Geoff's Apache-Test talk), then walked over to campus. I overloaded on those tasty banana muffins before checking in on Jeff after his 85 minute talk on extproc_perl.

We went to Fuddruckers yet again for lunch with a large group and got back in time to catch a large part of Damian's talk, which was pretty entertaining. Town Hall seemed pretty useless, but I guess it's a tradition. There seemed to be too many people complaining about dumb stuff, like the guy who was upset that he didn't know about the trip to Niagra falls on Saturday morning. Of course, it's been on the wiki for a long time. There were some funny comments on the #yapc IRC channel about that particular guy.

After Town Hall, we (Geoff, Jeff, Mike, and I) went to the speaker's dinner, which was nice. I met Jon Orwant and got to hang out a bit more with Nat. Jim Brandt was there with his whole family. He seems like a really nice guy, and he did a super job with the conference. Other people I recall seeing include Damian Conway, Andy Lester, and James Duncan.

After failing to talk Nat into joining us for a movie, we went to see Dodgeball, which was hysterical. Geoff and I got the souvenir barrels of Coke on purpose, so I now have three of those (Geoff didn't want his).

Back at the hotel, Geoff and Jeff went to bed, and Mike and I hung out at the bar until 5:00 or so. There, we chatted with James and Katrien before they went to bed, and I met Gavin Estey.

Day 4: I woke up feeling extremely tired (and thirsty, thanks to the half dozen pints of Guiness), but managed to get packed up and out by 10:30 or so. We went to Niagra falls, which I had never seen, and that was really cool. We ate the Hard Rock Cafe for lunch, and Mike came up with a true gem of an idea (I'll keep the idea a secret for now). He jokingly mentioned the idea as a Lightning Talk, and we all decided it would work best as a 5 minute movie that we plan to have ready by OSCON in Portland. Now I need to learn how to use iMovie.

I thought the conference was great, and as always, it was good to get to hang out with friends. It's too bad I only see them a few times a year at conferences. Being mostly a PHP guy, YAPC was particularly fun, because my primary goal was to hang out, so there wasn't even any underlying pressure to have a more legitimate reason to be there. It was a nice way to enjoy a conference.


A PHP Guy at YAPC: Part I

Day 0: I took a train from Penn Station to Philadelphia to stay at Geoff's house Monday night (Day -1). We then drove to Buffalo on Tuesday (Day 0) with Jeff and Mike (a former co-worker of Geoff and Jeff). Everyone is staying at the University Inn, but since I had just decided to tag along at the last minute, I didn't have a reservation. I arrive to learn that they're booked, so I end up rooming with Geoff.

The four of us had dinner at the hotel restaurant, then sought out Main Street (at the waitress's recommendation) to have some fun. We quickly learn that Main Street is dead, so we drive to Sean Patrick's to see if anyone is left from the arrival dinner. There were a few people there, including Nat, so we chatted over a few beers, then headed back to the hotel to sleep.

Day 1: We made our way to campus, got registered, and listened in on the last of Allison's keynote. Geoff then spent quite a while trying to get his laptop to play nice with the facility's AV equipment, which was finally successful. Lunch was at Fuddruckers, courtesy of Scott Meyers (of Sams Publishing). Perrin and a few other people joined us.

I listened to Damian Conway speak (my first time hearing him) at his Perl 6 talk. He is a very good speaker, even with his quirky pronunciations of words like data and cache. What surprised me the most about the upcoming Perl 6 features are the non-ASCII characters in the language syntax. The Yen symbol is a zip operator ("it looks sort of like a zipper"), while "naughty French brackets" and "naughty German brackets" are two others. These each have ASCII equivalents, but this decision seems really odd to me. Apparently Perl people aren't very happy either. On the other hand, the coolest syntactical sugar I learned about was the semi-infinite yada (...), which has all sorts of handy uses, all of which are mostly intuitive (which is not how I would describe many of Perl's operators). All in all, I was impressed with Damian's speaking talent as well as what I can best describe as a solid theoretical foundation upon which language design decisions seem to be made in the Perl world.

After going back to the hotel for a bit (I went for a short run), we (Geoff, Jeff, Mike, Perrin, and I) joined other YAPC people at the Anchor Bar, which is where Buffalo wings were invented. Geoff has a picture somewhere of two college girls who apparently didn't notice that the whole room was reserved for the large crowd of computer geeks. Nat's choice for a caption: "One of these things is not like the other."

We finished the night with a trip to the IMAX cinema to watch the new Harry Potter movie (sponsored by O'Reilly). When Mike, Perrin, and I went to get some concessions, Geoff gave me $5 and asked for a large Coke. Well, it turns out that $5 gets you a lot of Coke, so we brought back this enormous souvenir barrel of Coke that required its own special straw. It made for a pretty funny scene when we returned. The movie itself was pretty good, although the YAPC crowd is very unforgiving of all the lame parts and would laugh mercilessly at them. I think the highlight was the IMAX introduction that described how the speakers were laser-pointed at us.

Day 2: Geoff gave his Why mod_perl 2.0 Sucks, Why mod_perl 2.0 Rocks talk at 9, which marked its final showing. The idea will live on at OSCON this summer with Adam's similarly-titled talk, Why PHP 5 Sucks! Why PHP 5 Rocks!.

I watched Andy Lester speak about Perl testing before heading to the Lightning Talks. For some of those speakers, I'm glad they only spoke for 5 minutes. Nat, on the other hand, was excellent (and hysterical).

There was a nice dinner held at the hotel prior to the Perl Foundation auction (I found a picture with Perrin, Mike, Jeff, Scott, and I). The most memorable moment was hearing Uri say something like "who's ever heard of the Developer's Library?" (in a rhetorical manner, suggesting that no one has) while sitting near Scott Meyers, the creator of the series. I think Geoff has a picture of Scott's expression.

Tomorrow is the last day of the conference. I'll give another update once I get back to New York over the weekend.

Adam Trachtenberg's New Blog

Apparently Adam started a blog on his Web site a few weeks ago. Since his site was last updated 6-9 months ago, I just now found out.

He went back and populated it with old news, so you can find out about his new book, Upgrading to PHP 5, hear about our friend Dave's excellent talk on HTML_QuickForm at New York PHP, or learn that he has recently started a new job at eBay.

Good luck with the new job, Adam!