PHP London Conference 2009

From this truly excellent conference, I took away some good memories, some new ideas and a nasty bout of conference flu. There’s nothing quite like being in close proximity to a few hundred people to really spread things around…
Highlight for me was Aral Balkan‘s keynote. It’s always nice to see someone showing plain enthusiasm, and I couldn’t agree more with him about the “lost magic” of computing. Had a chat with him afterwards about AMEE and other things. He also seems to have put together some odd but dull things that I had noticed a need for – EU VAT codings and ISO language references as web services!
I didn’t really enjoy David Soria Parra’s talk on sharding. It all came across as very negative and many of the ways of doing it and coping with the fallout were not really discussed. No mention of MySQL 5.1’s partitioning (which is limited, but is at least a start), or more radical approaches like Sequoia.
David Axmark’s talk on Drizzle was more interesting than I expected, nice to see effort being put into this direction.
Microsoft really does seem to be trying a bit harder these days – their CSS test suite for IE8 is very welcome, and the effort they are putting into PHP, apache and other projects benefits many people. It has to be said that while it’s not a mainstream product, Surface is really pretty cool to play with.
Chris Shiflett’s talk was excellent too; his demos and examples were particularly good, and entertaining.
The post-conference social was great fun, I met lots of nice new people. After our move to France I suspect it will be harder to get to events like this, so I should make the most of them while I can!
I’ve had several ideas for talks that I’d like to do (I get sick of email sometimes!), so I guess I need to get a bit more proactive on actually submitting them to a call for papers.

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