In midst of our preparations for FLOW3's 1.1 release, I started travelling to a row of conferences to spread the word and share the experience we could gather during the last few months. It is a special tour this time as FLOW3 is, with its 1.0 release last October, still the new kid on the block - and that although its developed has started years ago.
In this post I'll share my sights from the first leg of the journey - the International PHP Conference in Berlin.
Like in the past years, the Spring Edition of the IPC took place the Maritim Pro Arte Hotel. The Maritim not only easily hosts the hundreds of participants, it is also perfectly located in the heart of Berlin – which made me take my usual walk from Berlin Central Station to the venue right through the beautiful government district, passing by the Reichstag and Chancellor's offices.
For me the conference started off on Sunday where I had the chance to introduce about 20 participants to FLOW3 during a half-day workshop. In order to give a broad overview of FLOW3's key concepts and features, I chose to not make it a hands-on tutorial because for this to work out nicely, a reasonable amount of time needs to reserved for set up and help for those who might get stuck while trying out the examples.
Following a three-hour presentation with only a coffee break in the middle was certainly a challenge for those who were listening. Thus I was happy to hear that the worshop was neverteless well received and a few of the participants reported back the next day to give feedback on what they hacked until late evening to play with FLOW3's features.
On Monday I gave a talk which squeezed the topics of the half-day workshop into 45 minutes. The pace was high but again, the motivation was not to actually teach but to give an overview of a big part of the framework. I also attended the Symfony 2 introduction a bit later and - because it had a much slower tempo - it could only barely scratch on the surface and left out a few of Symfony's features which would have been worth pointing out.
My second talk on that day was dealing with the integration of third-party components into FLOW3. Unfortunately, the implementation of the key feature I wanted to demo, wasn't fully ready in time – a tribute to the early call for papers and the wish to still present something hot. So instead of giving a live demo of just dropping a Symfony or Zend Framework component into FLOW3, I explained the motivation and mechanics of this feature: It is all based on a full Composer and PSR-0 class loading support and allows you to just apply FLOW3's object management and Aspect-Oriented Programming functionality on an included component - without further modifications or configuration. This will be an incredibly useful feature for cases where the behavior of a component should be enhanced, but its code must stay unaltered to ensure a smooth upgrade path.
The packed Monday ended with a panel discussion about frameworks: Lukas Kahwe Smith (for Symfony), Mathew Weier O'Phinney (for Zend Framework) and me shared our view on the PHP framework landscape and explained what we miss and love most in our respective implementations. Derick Rethans did a great job moderating the panel. He set up a Twitter wall which showed questions raised by the audience and chose the right ones to keep us sweating.
On Tuesday I had to leave right after lunch, but could, at least, talk to a whole lot of people - speakers and attendees - and record an interview with for PHP Magazin with its chief editor Thomas Wießeckel
In essence, this year's IPC SE was a great experience. From the perspective of the TYPO3 project, we couldn't have gotten a better stage to show off our most recent work. But even aside the marketing aspect, it was a well used opportunity to discuss the rather new approach FLOW3 is taking and which route our nextgen CMS will take.