The Lost Art of Simplicity – My Take on Josh Holmes’ Brain

Any time someone stands up and says “y’all are doing it wrong” I take notice. Then I usually lose interest. But if that person starts to resonate with my own experiences, particularly my own frustrations, then I start to take it seriously.

I have been following Josh Holmes for a little while and he has a talk he started last year called the Lost Art of Simplicity. I took notice. But I never lost interest. His basic spiel is that we developers make complex solutions for simple problems. Nothing surprising right? Except that he attributed it to ego. Ouch. But is that true? Have you ever met a software architect?


Using a DB validator in Zend_Form

Doing some work on a little project of mine while waiting for the keynote to start. What I’m doing is writing a form that needs to make sure that a record is unique in the DB. Doing that in ZF is really easy. Simple set your validator as Db_NoRecordExists. What this does is during the Zend_Form::isValid() functionality it will query the database as part of the validation process. The only parameters you really need are the table and the field if you have already set a default adapter for your Zend_Db models. That makes it really easy to use. Here’s a slice of how I did it.


Best Practices – Part 2

I just got out of Matthew and Lorna’s tutorial on Best Practices and my mind is swimming with all of the things I want to try. So, pretty much a normal day for me. Part 1 can be found in the related links on the right hand side.

Part 2 is basically more of the same; a list of all the things you’re not doing but probably should.

Let’s start with documentation.

End User Documentation


Introduction to MongoDB

Today was the first day of the TEK conference tutorials. These are generally about 3 hours in length and dive into a given topic a little deeper than what you would typically get in a session. The biggest problem is that you can usually only go to one. Theater hopping, in this case, means that you end up getting less entertained.

There were 3 topics that were given.

Building a Zend Framework application

Converting Your MySQL App to NoSQL with MongoDB

Bad Guy For a Day: A Websecurity hands-on tutorial


Best Practices – Part 1

I am in the middle of Matthew Weier O’Phinney and Lorna Jane Mitchell’s talk on PHP Best Practices and after the 3 pages of notes I took in the first hour I wanted to get some things down on virtual paper before getting too far into it. There is a lot of information that they’re giving out.

Source Control

The first thing they talked about was Source Control. Unfortunately, I was doing my writeup on MongoDB and I missed a bunch of stuff. That said, there were two things that I had time to write down.


TEK-X – What I’m excited about

This year wil be my first time going to TEK-X and I will be attending as a member of the press. Therefore, I need to write press-like things. Lucky for you, I really don’t know how to. Instead, I will be talking for the next week about experiences, observations and such. But since I’m writing this from my office and not Chicago it is clear that I am not there. So what I wanted to do was write about some of the features that I am excited to see.


Zend_Amf and Flash Remoting – Some things to note

Having done a little bit of work with Flash over the past several weeks there are a couple of things I’ve discovered as I’ve worked through some practical examples. There’s only really one thing signficant, but a couple of things that you need to be aware of when doing Flash remoting with Zend Framework.

Simple interface? Easy. Useful interface? Just a little harder.

In other words, with a simple architecture it’s easy to do. In a more useful architecture there are some things to be aware of.


For the Flash developers – building your remote endpoint

While I am not a great Flash developer… OK I’m not even a good one, I have been recently been looking at ways of integrating Flash and PHP with the release of Flash Builder 4. I think that PHP is a great way for Flash developers to access their backend systems. This is not because I have anything against any other technologies that a Flash developer might connect with, but instead it is because PHP is a great language to use when another language is your forte.