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symfony day 2010 – a review

The symfony day 2010 in Cologne was on this weekend and it had some awesome talks. Certainly I had a lot of fun as it was my first conference as a speaker. But I think I wasn’t the only one enjoying hi time there.

For those unfortunate of you who couldn’t attend to it here’s a wrap-up.

First of all I have to thank Interlutions and in person Dennis Benkert and Stefan Jung for organising this event!  From my perspective it was perfect throughout.

Now to the talks.

Doctrine MongoDB Object Document Mapper Jonathan Wage

With all the hype around MongoDB in the database world these days, Doctrine quickly jumped on creating an object mapper for it. Now, just like for relational databases you can transparently persist your PHP domain model to MongoDB in a fast and efficient way.

Jonathan talked about the latest Doctrine 2 development the Object Document Mapper that works with MongoDB instead of a RDBMS. Starting from a plain PHP implementation we explained the benefits of abstracting it by showing simple but descriptive examples.

I am still not really sure about all these NoSQL solutions like MongoDB or CouchDB. I always get the impression that they perform much better and that their lack of a schema would support many of my daily requirements perfectly. But I still haven’t developed a feeling for when to choose the one over the other…? However if I would choose MongoDB I would surely use Doctrine 2 ODM for it.

PHP, symfony and software lifecycles Pierre Joye

There was no description of this talk before it actually was held. Pierre who is a PHP core member spoke about the releases of PHP in the past and gave an insight in the internal development process.

It can not be said often enough that PHP itself is developed by a circle of people purely in their freetime. None of them gets paid to do it (except for Pierre beign paid by Microsoft to make sure PHP works on windows). We the PHP community owe them a lot.

Unit testing symfony plugins with PHPUnit Christian Schaefer

When developing symfony plugins for use and reuse in your projects and maybe (hopefully) by the symfony community you want to make sure that a new release doesn’t break with backwards compatibility. While symfony comes with lime the de facto standard for unit testing in PHP is PHPUnit and it offers much more. This session will show you some of the best practices of testing symfony plugins. You will learn how to organise your tests and how to reduce your dependencies to the bare essentials.

Well this was my own talk and I had some good feedback on it. Basically I summarised what you have to do to develop your symfony plugins with the support of PHPUnit tests.

Advanced symfony Techniques Kris Wallsmith

Go beyond the documentation and explore some of what’s possible if you stretch symfony to its limits. We will look at a number of aspects of symfony 1.4 and Doctrine 1.2 and tease out some powerful functionality you may not have expected to find, but will doubtless be able to use. Topics covered will include routing, forms, the config cache and record listeners. If you’re comfortable in symfony and wondering what’s next, this session is for you.

Kris introduced us to yet some more of his plugins. Request aware routes, keeping POST data when login expired and managing multiple relations in embedded forms where only a few of the functionalities. As always I have to admire the elegant simplicity of his solutions.

Framework or CMS Gaylord Aulke

Frameworks are cool. There are many, they are powerful, they help. Large parts of the php developer community have realized that a framework is the way to go. But how do i “sell” this to the management and customers? When to choose a framework and when to use a CMS or eCommerce system? The talk gives some decision support and reasoning for framework adoption based on real-life examples.

Gaylord illustrated with a lot of anecdotes how developers should communicate their requirements (using a framework over a CMS or else) to the business level. Quite interesting session.

The State of Symfony2 Fabien Potencier

About a year ago, I announced that Symfony2 would be PHP 5.3 only. What have we done since then? In this session, I will talk about the latest additions made to the framework, and I will demonstrate how you can leverage the power of the newest Symfony components.

I get the impression that Fabien likes to use conferences such as this one to announce yet another killer feature and really I can’t get enough of it. After explaining that after a long discussion on the symfony mailing list it was decided that there will be no default templating engine for Symfony2 but instead PHP and Twig templates will be equal alternatives; Fabien went on to tell us about the new security component called Firewall which is modelled after the Java spring framework. It will apparently allow for stateful but also stateless authentication.

Workshop Stefan Koopmanschap

Get to know symfony – at the end of the day, you will have completed your first running prototype app!

In parallel to all the session Stefan gave a workshop where he developed a simple facebook clone called “GesichBuch” together with all attendees. The bit of feedback that I overheard was appreciative and positive throughout. Makes me wonder why diaspora takes so long. 😉

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  • Thanks for a great talk! I recognized a lot from your previous blog posts. But as always, you inspired me to do more testing. Cheers!

    I think all talks were very good but I especially appreciated Fabiens session, when he got the question about his open source involvement. I’m getting a postcard today. 😉

  • @Tobias cheers mate! my post card is already sent out! :)

  • Hey Christian,
    great Job and nice Presentation.

    I was there..;)9

    Thumbs Up!!


  • @Johannes I remember the brain. 😉 Contact me if you need help on the sfImageTransformExtraPlugin.



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