This year’s PHP UK Conference was held at a new venue, the very lovely “The Brewery” in central London. Kris, Tom and Jay headed up from Exeter to check out the event on the 22nd Feb 2013.

On the train...

On the train…

Unfortunately there were a number of Tube signal failures on the morning of the opening day, meaning pre-registration took a lot longer than usual, and by the time Jay and Kris had arrived, there was no more breakfast food left in the hall!

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Opening Keynote

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Above: Aral speaking at a (non PHP) conference: Photo credit: Christina von Poser

The keynote was delivered by Aral Balkan Aral, and was a fantastic insight into design and user experience issues in every day life. Very funny, very engaging, and a perfect start to the day. Hopefully the PHP UK organisers will have the videos up soon!

Things to note: PHP’s release schedule is running a lot faster, almost a point release every year. This means that PHP 5.3 will soon be only receiving security fixes, and by the end of the year it will almost be obsolete. “Every minor release should at least have 2 years of security and bug fixes, followed by at least 1 year of only security fixes, for a total of a 3 year release process for every minor release.”

Talks

There were a variety of talks running throughout the rest of the day happening on three seperate tracks, plus an ‘un-conference’ (where anyone can present on a topic in 20 minute slots). We chose mostly different things from each other, so we covered a lot of the content that day! Our personal highlights were:

Kris: Event Stream Processing in PHP

by Ian Barber @ianbarber [blog]

Using React PHP and some simple functions, Ian showed how to do realtime analysis on incoming data streams. (Video will appear here when it’s released)

I also very much liked his talk from 2012, using machine learning tools (SVM) within PHP:

Tom: Help, I’m Running Out of Memory!

By Julien Pauli @julienPauli

Excellent advice and information in dealing with situations where your PHP application is running out of memory. Contained many tips and techniques for tracking down the root cause of the problem. Delved into the workings of Linux memory allocation and introduced me to a number of new tools – perfect for a Linux geek like me!

Jay: Advanced JavaScript Techniques for Modern Web Applications

By Bastian Hofmann @BastianHofmann [blog]

Centering around the Meteor JavaScript libraries (still at an early development stage, but progressing at a pace), explaining techniques using Meteor based templates to inject some very cool functionality and real-time updating with a minimum of effort.

The Good

Good food again this year, and good selection of beers and snacks as well. The break sessions and morning breakfasts could have done with being a bit more plentiful though, as they quickly ran out of food!

Freebies – lots of freebies were given out by presenters during talks, and by sponsors/exhibitors during the breaks. Mugs, T-shirts, stickers, even some Sugru! The delegate package was also handy, with a chunky notepad and pen, and a special print edition of the “Web & PHP” magazine.

Hackathon/Unconference – these were good distractions, and had we been staying longer in London we would definitely have hacked some code together for the competition – maybe next year!

The Bad

Silly closing panel discussion. Bad topic choice methinks.

Having to go home and thereby miss all the socials/hackathons 😐

The Ugly

Kris having beer spilt all over him by organiser Ciaran Rooney!


We will update this post as slides and videos become available, and we’ll see you all next year!