About the Author

Chris Shiflett

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


php|works

php|works turned out really well. Marco and everyone else at php|architect did a super job with everything.

The conference was split into three tracks: two technology tracks and a business track. This meant that there were always three talks to choose from, although most attendees were technical people. During my talk (PHP Session Security), the other technology talk was something on DB2, so my room was very crowded (standing room only). Apparently the DB2 talk had a total of 2 people in the audience, and Derick explained that this is referred to as being rasmussed (some other people thought the correct term was harasmussed, so I'm not sure). I think this was the first time I've rasmussed someone, and I promise it was an accident. :-)

Having the business track was interesting. It provided a nicer mix among the conference attendees. While I found myself often in disagreement with speakers from the business track, I always enjoy having my opinions challenged and getting a glimpse into other perspectives.

As an example, I don't understand why people still choose Java for creating Web applications when it's the more expensive and time-consuming choice, developers are more expensive and less competent (on average), and there doesn't exist a Java Web application that doesn't suck. Do people who make this decision think they can beat the odds or something? Well, I still don't have an answer that has any merit, but Richard Rosa explained why some companies make this decision, and he also pointed out that Java isn't such a bad choice for middleware.

While in Toronto, I also made a trip to Tucows, which was interesting. In addition to getting a squishy cow with their logo on it, I met Joey deVilla of The Farm. I was surprised to learn that domain registrations and other Internet services now make up the vast majority of their business.

There has been plenty of coverage elsewhere - I'll try to mention the links I know about:

If you know about any other links, please feel free to add them to the comments.

About this post

php|works was posted on Sat, 25 Sep 2004. If you liked it, follow me on Twitter or share:

9 comments

1.RailsLover said:

"As an example, I don't understand why people still choose Java for creating Web applications when it's the more expensive and time-consuming choice, developers are more expensive and less competent (on average), and there doesn't exist a Java Web application that doesn't suck."

Yeah, coming from PHP and using Ruby to build Web applications now, I must say, that the same goes for PHP. Java is worse of course when it comes to web apps. But PHP? Come on! Just show me one web app done in PHP that doesn't suck. If you want to redo your 50000 lines of code PHP web app in Ruby on Rails you will probably only need 10000 lines for it. So, yeah, go and have a try ;)

Sun, 26 Sep 2004 at 00:17:44 GMT Link


2.RailsLover said:

http://www.rubyonrails.org is the address

Sun, 26 Sep 2004 at 00:19:44 GMT Link


3.Chris Shiflett said:

That's a poor attempt at a troll, since Google and Yahoo use PHP. You can see more sites using PHP at:

http://www.dreamlab.ca/technology/phpsites/

While I think Ruby is great, I don't expect to see it go anywhere, because it has no niche to call its own.

Sun, 26 Sep 2004 at 02:13:07 GMT Link


4.Nikita Zhuk said:

"As an example, I don't understand why people still choose Java for creating Web applications when it's the more expensive and time-consuming choice, developers are more expensive and less competent (on average), and there doesn't exist a Java Web application that doesn't suck."

You're right about Java being expensive choise, because developing Java in _right_ way requires a lot of time for design, writing proper unit tests, and of course for writing code itself, and time is money. But there are some reasons why some companies use Java for web applications. I'm a Mac developer myself, and when I write some well-designed, stable component in Java (be it a single class or a complex framework), I can use it in native Mac OS X desktop apps (Cocoa) and in web applications (JSP). PHP components are not so reusable (of course I could write a wrapper around PHP script and run it as a task from my Cocoa app, but there would be pretty bad problems). Because of popularity of Java there are also many APIs and frameworks which are available for Java, but not for PHP, so writing them in PHP would require a lot of extra time.

Sun, 26 Sep 2004 at 09:44:00 GMT Link


5.RailsLover said:

"That's a poor attempt at a troll, since Google and Yahoo use PHP. You can see more sites using PHP at:"

I know, I know. Whoever uses PHP says nothing about PHP. Same goes for Java or Ruby or any other language.

I think Ruby will get more popular every day, it already does. Will it ever be as popular as Java or PHP? I doubt so. Does it have to be? I doubt so either. It is about making an intelligent business choice to use a language that is more powerful than the other, if you can do more with less and also faster, there is no good business argument to choose a less powerful language. I won't elaborate on that, I think Paul Graham covers the rest of the arguments very good: http://www.paulgraham.com/avg.html

I also don't want to start a flame war, hence the hidden ID. I have no time for long discussion and all.

I still have to use PHP every day so I follow a lot of the discussion. But it hurts me every time if I have to do something inefficient in PHP which I could do in half the time and half the effort + double the features in Ruby. Ruby is not the end all either, but it is where PHP is not going to be for another 20 years or so.

Sun, 26 Sep 2004 at 11:10:35 GMT Link


6.Dan Scott said:

I was the guy giving the DB2 talk who got rasmussed -- and to be honest I would have liked to have been at your talk, Chris. Ah well... I really enjoyed the conference, and look forward to more in the future.

I _suspect_ that in the next year or two people will become more interested in learning about DB2 and PHP, partially because Wez's PDO looks like a very promising database access approach for PHP 5 (the PDO_ODBC driver is already working *way* better with DB2 than the Unified ODBC driver) and partially because PHP appears to be penetrating higher up in the small-to-medium-to-enterprise stack.

Jason Sweat's Oracle talk attracted a lot more participants than DB2, and it was interesting as he went around the room--about 2/3 of the attendees had no Oracle experience and were just trying to learn more about it. Once they get to the enterprise level (financial industry, health industry, car manufacturers, etc) I think they'll find that most of the database market is fairly evenly split between DB2 and Oracle. So a little DB2 knowledge, especially the gotchas and workarounds that I was focusing on in the current PHP support for DB2, wouldn't hurt in the long run :)

Ah well... like I said, I had a great time: the people at the conference were outstanding, and I hope I get the chance to hang out with them again. And I really hope I get the chance to catch your presentation live, Chris!

Sun, 26 Sep 2004 at 23:58:28 GMT Link


7.Marcus Whitney said:

I was the guy who got Rasmussed by Rasmus himself :) I share Dan's sentiment that I would have really enjoyed being in Rasmus' session, but I had a job to do. At any rate, I was one of the two guys at the DB2 session, and i have to say it was a very informative session on a topic that has long been a mystery for me.

At any rate, it was a real pleasure meeting you and Dan and the rest of the great people who spoke at the conference. I look forward to implementing all that I have learned and seeing you all again. Cheers!

Mon, 27 Sep 2004 at 15:09:57 GMT Link


8.Chris Shiflett said:

Hey Dan, sorry about that. :-) I think you're right about DB2 gaining more attention as PHP becomes more popular in the enterprise. Right now, I think it's a niche topic of sorts, at least at conferences, and security tends to be more exciting.

Marcus, it was great meeting you as well. We'll have to get together for a beer or something next time I'm in Nashville. By the way, you should check out the Sallymacs at the Sherlock Holmes Pub on 07 Aug - they're a fun Irish rock band. If you go, tell them I said hi.

Mon, 27 Sep 2004 at 16:34:14 GMT Link


9.Chris Shiflett said:

Wez has another post about php|works here:

http://netevil.org/node.php?nid=124

His title is sure to make you laugh. :-)

Mon, 27 Sep 2004 at 16:49:42 GMT Link


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