by hjanssen on May 27, 2009 07:29pm

Last week I got the perfect excuse to get out of the Planning and Budget process that we are going through right now, attending PHP|Tek, which was a welcome escape as planning and budgeting in any company is usually enough fun to make a grown man cry!

So last week I went to PHP|Tek in Chicago to speak and meet folk from the PHP community. As always, I greatly enjoy meeting the people who write and use PHP, and I have been to and spoken with enough of the speakers at past events that I know a lot of the core people by first name.

Kind of funny that we now have gotten to the point inside of Microsoft that we are almost old hats at Open Source conferences Smile

There were two days prior to the conference where a group of core PHP developers and community people talked about the state - past, present and future  - of PHP. It was super cool to be invited to that one!

Unfortunately I was only able to join one of those two days: amazing that flying from Seattle to Chicago takes the better part of a day!

The discussions there where very wide ranging, from whether there will be a PHP 5.4, what 6.0 will bring, which bugs are current show stoppers, where PDO is going, etc. etc.

For me PHP|Tek remains a very nice ‘community' conference, where the focus is on the community of PHP and not the business/vendors of PHP.

These kinds of conferences are the best way to network, and it would take too long to talk about all the people I spoke to. But Elizabeth Smith and I talked about us writing documentation for php.net (I have been wanting to write the ‘how to build PHP for Windows' part) so hopefully look for more documentation written by Microsoft for php.net soon.

As always I talked to a lot of the usual suspects: Scott MacVicar, Andrei Zmievski, Derick Rethans, Sebastian Bergmann, Chris Shiflett, Cal Evans and others.

Oh, and if you are really bored, check out the latest May issue of php architect, which has a bunch of really cool articles about PHP and Windows. Some of them were even co-written by me, which gives you an idea how far php | architect has sunk to have people write articles for them Smile

I just checked out the Website, and the May issue is not posted yet. But everybody who attended PHP|Tek got a copy of that issue in their goodies bag.

I always enjoy giving sessions and the session I did give at PHP|Tek was ‘PHP 5.3 The best PHP on Windows Yet' , and I got some really good feedback. I think I had about 40+ people in my session. People are always surprised to see Microsoft's involvement with PHP and what we have done with the community so far.

It is a talk I have given before. It starts with describing what the organization I belong to (the Microsoft Open Source Technology Center) does and how we work inside of Microsoft. After that I go into some detail about why PHP 5.3 is the best PHP on Windows

Did you know that, for example, with PHP releases prior to 5.3, the code was build with libraries that were more than 10 years old and for which nobody really had any idea where the source code went? So it was built - linked rather - with object files that were more than 10 years old.

It makes it really hard to fix/improve stuff that you do not have the source code for Smile

Well, pretty much all the issues of the past are now gone. I will make sure I write a blog about what truly went into PHP 5.3 for Windows soon, if the budgeting and planning process doesn't kill me before that point. In the meantime, here is a link to phpfreaks where, a few weeks ago, I posted a bunch of what we have been doing.

One really interesting thing is that there were a lot of Microsoft people at this conference, specifically from the DPE (Developer Platform Evangelism) side of Microsoft.

These are the people who are very much field and customer focused.  From my conversations with them, they enjoyed the conference and were glad to get the opportunity to speak with a lot of the OS crowd. It is amazing how much we all have in common once we talk about technology.

Thanks to the people who put on the conference: of course Marco Tabini, the man behind PHP|Tek, but especially Elizabeth Naramore, who is the unsung hero that is the real driver behind keeping PHP|Tek running smoothly! Smile