Sessions at PHP North West 2011 on Sunday 9th October

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  • Anti-CMS Evolved

    by Michael Nolan

    At the 2009 PHPNW Conference Michael presented some of the work he’d led at Edge Hill University. This was around building an “Anti CMS” system to manage different types of data rather than using expensive off the shelf systems that don’t do what you want. At the end of that talk he mentioned that “Anti CMS” was great for many things but wasn’t a perfect solution. He indicated that he’d like to come back and show how they’d tried to solve the problems of delegating control of websites to non-technical users, mixing together a variety of PHP systems to produce a seamless looking website and doing it all on a close to zero budget.

    The talk will cover the following:

    • Recap how originally an “anti CMS”system was built using symfony to manage structured data: normal content management systems can be great for some sites but no good if you’re managing more advanced sites and want to easily reuse data.
    • Delegating control over department websites using WordPress as a lightweight-yet-powerful CMS: making use of WordPress Multisite and deeply embedding it into the rest of the site.
    • Customising WordPress with themes, plugins and hooks: making WordPress look right and providing the right functionality for your users.
    • Overcoming the challenges of adopting new systems: build it and they will come – or will they?
    • Getting “buy-in” from management.

    At 10:00am to 10:30am, Sunday 9th October

  • Feeling Secure? Notes From The Field

    by Paul Lemon

    I’ll be sharing our agency experience of developing secure web applications for some of the UK’s leading high street banks and brands with a focus on the pitfalls you face when developing code in PHP. The talk will contain specific details on the many attack vectors that hackers will use to attempt to access and exploit your site and how you can improve your development process to avoid them.

    Topics covered will include some old chestnuts like XSS (Cross Site Scripting) and SQL injection through to issues like XSRF (Cross Site Request Forgery) and Session Hijacking.

    The talk is aimed at developers who have perhaps not truly considered security of their applications before to developers who would like to extend their knowledge. The talk is aimed at software developers and will contain practical code-based examples and solutions.

    At 10:00am to 10:30am, Sunday 9th October

    Coverage slide deck

  • Social Media Integration

    by Matthew Kellett

    In this current day of social media, there are numerous ways to make use if the various API’s and tools out there. This being said, how many people make full use of them to drive traffic to their own sites rather to these social media sites?
    The answer … less than 2% of all people who use social media have thought about making better use of it within their own sites.

    The main purpose of this presentation will be outline how the various Facebook APIs can help to enhance and drive traffic to your sites.

    The topics to be covered throughout this presentation will include building and maintaining dynamic Facebook Apps and pages by utilising live examples. It will also describe and demonstrate the main plug-ins that you can embed into your own sites in order to improve your visitors user experience and drive even more traffic to your sites.

    The final thing I will cover is the information that can be retrieved when people, who frequent Facebook, will provide to you when they visit your site. By making better use of this information it is possible to generate content relevant to the demographics of those visiting you or enable you to better target your preferred demographics.

    At 10:00am to 10:30am, Sunday 9th October

  • Git For Subversion Users

    by Stefan Koopmanschap

    With the move of many big PHP open source projects to Git (and Github), PHP users worldwide are now exposed to a new version control system that is very different from good old Subversion.

    In this talk, the concepts of Git are explained to those not yet converted to Git. The benefits of Git over Subversion will be discussed as well as how to use Git successfully for open source projects but also for your own projects.

    At 10:30am to 11:00am, Sunday 9th October

  • Many To Many - No Man Is An Island

    by Jacopo Romei

    Every problem in software development will need a good interaction among people to bring about a solution. Where there is excellent software we will find a team able to communicate proficiently. Social intelligence, communities of expertise, user groups and open source projects are the real engine powering our growth as developers day by day.

    Leverage your best: the others.

    At 10:30am to 11:00am, Sunday 9th October

  • Using URL design to create better web sites

    by Walter Ebert

    Every web page has a URL! No matter how you develop your web site, you will be generating URLs. So you and your web site visitors have to live with them for a long time or put in a lot of work to change them. The talk will not only explain why URL design matters but how your code can be affected and also how it influences the user experience. Good and bad examples will be discussed which will enable you to make easier decisions about the URL design for your next project.

    At 10:30am to 11:00am, Sunday 9th October

  • Compiling PHP - Bringing Down Walls & Breaking Through Language Barriers

    by Richard Backhouse

    Phalanger is an open source tools that allows PHP to be compiled down to the .Net CLR. The value of this might not seem immediately obvious but there are real world use cases for how this can be used. Jadu use Phalanger to compile our PHP based CMS to .Net and use C# to create an ASP.Net front-end. This unlikely marriage of technologies combines the power of both languages and opens new opportunities to developers.

    The aim of this talk is to give an account of Jadu’s involvement with the Phalanger project and describe our experiences along the way. How and why should an enterprise content management company use Phalanger? What benefits does it bring? How do developers find working with Phalanger?

    The talk will cover:

    • What is Phalanger and what can you do with it?
    • some history
    • overview of what Phalanger does
    • Why in God’s name would you want to do that?
    • real world use cases
    • Using Phalanger with a pre-existing PHP project
    • How to compile and use existing projects, e.g. phpBB and WordPress
    • Getting down and dirty – mixing .Net and PHP
    • A bridge between .Net and PHP
    • Use a PHP library / system from within .Net

    At 11:30am to 12:30pm, Sunday 9th October

  • Stop Wasting Time By Applying Clean Code Principles

    by Volker Dusch

    Does: “Everything needs to be documented!” sound familiar to you? Do you like the idea?

    This talk aims to make a case for the point that forcing developers to document every single piece of code will not result in good documentation. It will generate superfluous documentation and even impair the code quality!

    It is really easy to write docs for bad code because short and indescribable named functions need to be explained while code that clearly communicates its intentions and actions does not.

    The question discussed include points like:

    • What needs to be explained and what doesn’t?
    • Why is it a good idea to invest time into thinking about class and function names instead of documenting them?
    • What should be included in a commit message?
    • Can we get better and more meaningful documentation by writing less of it?
    • What is the gain of certain documentation concepts?

    Further discussion where documentation is really needed and showing some common documentation “refactoring” patterns. By explaining ideas like “replace comment with function call” and “replace description with variable” the talk aims to save the time of every developer. Spending it once while writing the code and then saving the time of everyone involved by not making them re-read documentation that only tells them what they should already be expecting by reading the class and function names.

    At 11:30am to 12:30pm, Sunday 9th October

    Coverage slide deck

  • Teaching (mostly) PHP

    by Clinton Ingrams

    Clinton teaches students to produce good quality web applications with PHP which has proved to be a greater challenge than any other language paradigm he has taught, due to the wide range of technologies that need to be seamlessly combined, and the added requirement for an awareness of security issues. He currently teaches a final year degree module to students of a wide range of abilities and experience. Some of them have worked as PHP developers, others have some exposure to JSP or .NET, the remainder have C, Java or VB experience, according to their course.

    To this end Clinton has implemented a series of exemplars covering different aspects of the paradigm, which have slowly coalesced into a proto-framework focussed on promoting good practice, at the same time being flexible enough to allow students to develop their own ideas.

    This talk will present the main features of this framework, and also invite ideas/collaborations.

    At 11:30am to 12:30pm, Sunday 9th October

  • Closing Remarks

    At 12:30pm to 12:45pm, Sunday 9th October