The Developer Day | Staying Curious

Archive for November 2008



What is the future of relational databases?

A great recorded video keynote from the OpenSQL camp conference featuring Brian Aker. He asks some interesting questions about the state of databases. He has some interesting points about the way we currently use hardware and problems that are at our door and how opensource projects should step up to solve them.

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Common wrong Data Types compilation

Found some nice MySQL data types tips how to create a database schema. Valuable information for intermediate and begginer developers to avoid the common database schema design pitfalls.

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Dynamically Generating PDF Files with PHP and Haru

A great article on planetphp how to dynamically generate PDF files using PHP. In my experience it was never the strong part of PHP. The Haru library seems promising and might be worth to take a look at.

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Review of php|architect / August 2008

I’ve finished reading the August 2008 php|architect edition.

Chatting with Flex

Some nice details about Flex runtime libraries and standardized XMPP chatting protocol.

Writing a Custom WordPress Plugin

An interesting read how wordpress developers implemented it’s plugin system. A worthwhile read if you are interested how a flexible plugin system could be implemented.

Case Study: A Million Products

Found the Entity-Attribute-Value aka EAV model very interesting. It has been mentioned in previous php|architect editions. It’s a great solution where business entities have lots of different attributes. The article shows a realistic approach  how EAV could be implemented.

The Perfect Storm

A trully great article worth reading! Reading the first few sentences i remembered myself in the past. Maintaining legacy projects .. I agree with the article that experience working with legacy projects gives you debugging experience. I’ve met developers who just get lost debugging old legacy code and spend hours and hours looking for a problem while it takes someone else just 5 minnutes to find it. Was interested to hear about the limited GOTO statement in PHP 5.3. The article introduces to one of the worst code smells developers should avoid: Pack Rat Syndrome, Real Clone Wars, Merging of Sins. Pack Rat is when dead code is left behind. Clone Wars is about code duplication. And Merging of Sins is about creating new projects from old ones without cleaning them up.

Nineteen Eighty-Private

Interesting argument. I consider myself a fairly educated developer and I’ve never questioned myself why I make the non-public members and methods of classes private and not protected. I came to a conclusion that libraries should be protected because these can be extended. In other cases where classes are not meant to be extended they should probably be declared final anyway.

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Who is Pablo Picasso in PHP?

I’ve been developing web applications for quite a while now. And overs years it became as a form of art for me. Creating maintainable, performant, scalable, secure and highly available web applications trully requires a lot of knowledge and experience.

It’s easy to say some applications are better than others. Like paintings or music. Some are masterpieces and some are just a pile of crap. Maybe it’s just me but I think that it’s easy to learn what *good* music is, who the *greatest* painters are and see their work and learn something. So I dare to ask the question. Is it the same with web development?

And if you think what i’m thinking you are thinking then … Yes there are open source web projects! And yes some of them are great! But what kind of projects are these projects really?

There’s phpBB. The famous php forum. It’s crap inside. And there’s phpMyAdmin .. it’s also a view of art that you want to wash your eyes with a bleech after. Even though I use it everyday. OK I’m choosing bad examples here. Lets take … WordPress? Well it’s better .. But really? It’s still not a master piece. You can learn more than from others but still not much. And then there are content management systems like Drupal and others which also creeps me out. And finally iI see frameworks. I personally love the ZendFramework. I think it’s one of the greatest things that happened to PHP in recent years. But it’s a framework! You can’t find there any working models, controllers, web services and such. Ofcourse you can find a lot of *other stuff * there  to learn from (like how to create libraries, components or frameworks).

Yes there are great books, blogs, conferences, your company projects. It adds up. But I want to find out who is Pablo Picasso in PHP. I want to see his work and say to myself .. “God! He’s a genius! I love it! It’s so simple and elegant. Why didn’t I do it the same way before?” I think it is healthy for one to evaluate himself among the best and see how far the road he is.

What do you think?

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