Archive for the 'programming' Category

Published by Fabian on 24 Oct 2009

symfony Bug Hunt Day coming

On november 14th there will be a symfony bug hunt day, organized by the benelux PHP user group.
I will be attending, and Fabien will also be there. The event was initiated by symfony community manager Stefan, so he is in as well.
Stefan also announced the event on the symfony blog.

The main goal of the day is to make symfony 1.3 ready for release. But I am happily accepting patches for symfony 1.2 as well. symfony 1.2.10 will be released at the end of November, and it will be the last release in the 1.2.x series. So also the last release I will be managing for now.

So if you are around Antwerp you are welcome.

Or perhaps 4 days later? Ill be at the devoxx Java conference as well :-) [no need to start php vs java flame wars]

Published by Fabian on 18 Oct 2009

Developers do not need SCRUM

During my daily job we are talking a lot about SCRUM. We need to talk a lot about it because we need to convince customers that SCRUM is a good idea. But I think we should never talk to developers about SCRUM. The reason for this is that SCRUM is a project management framework. It is made for people managing projects. And it is a great tool for that. But let us face it: developers do not care about project management. It does confuse them. They are developers not managers. SCRUM can be explained easily to them:

Listen lads & guys, you are tasked to work as a team on the companies product. We are doing it differently this time, instead of working on the boring DB all day, we are rotating tasks so everybody gets some joy. And because we just want to do the best for the product, management comes tomorrow to us and tells us what high prio tasks to work on. Deadline for those tasks is in three weeks, but I am sure we can make it. I also do not want some boring project status meetings. Just meet every morning at 9 and in 15 minutes let us say what we work on so we can help each other in case there is need. Ready? Lets do it! In case you need anything just come to me.

See? No word of SCRUM or any of its buzz-words. Developers are happy and they do not have to bother with management. Thats management stuff. Instead they can experiment with eXtreme Programming practices, because they are fun for developers.
And from managers point of view this is also ok. They have everything they need, and in case they need any technical expertise they will consult someone of the team as they did before.

What do you think, is the hype with SCRUM perhaps too much for devs?

Published by Fabian on 10 Oct 2009

Review: Symfony 1.3 Web Application Development Book

Today I received my copy of the new symfony 1.3 book as I said earlier the day in my tweet.

In the meanwhile I had a chance to read the book, skipping all the coding. The book is easy to read and teaches to build a milkshake shop along the pages. However there is no new idea, because the TOC matches to ones from other symfony books. And I must state that the book suffers from a few things:

  • You can note that this book was “upgraded” for newer versions. It says Propel 1.2 is used, which is not true anymore since symfony 1.2. It gives links that point to 1.0 documentation and for installation 1.2 links because “at the time of writing 1.3 was not released”. I can understand that as publisher you want to have a book that covers the current version. But be fair with your customers. This book does know nothing about Doctrine (1.2) and Propel 1.4  which are the main libraries included in symfony. As part of this the book also explains emails wrong. Well at least it uses swiftmailer, but in 1.3 there will be native symfony support based on swiftmailer.
  • Code examples have syntax errors, are multi page ymls that the reader should “copy” (ok, sourceode is available as download) and contains comments like
    //create new criteria
    $c = new Criteria();
  • The application being built shall look nice, to achieve that tons of style information clutters up the examples. it is hard to see where the important stuff comes from. I would have preferred a complete (complex) css that styles everything so that the examples are easier to read
  • The book does not tell anything about “symfony cc” [ok it does, it says this is explained when installing a plugin, but when you have read up to there, there is no note of this as well]. From my experience “symfony cc” was the answer to most of the questions on the mailing list. Symfony book should spend a whole chapter of teaching this :)

On the bright side we have:

  • The book uses symfony Forms, which many people find under-documented. Perhaps the book can help here?
  • The book uses symfony 1.2 admin generator and avoids the 1.0 compatible deprecated features.
  • It illustrates a way to send emails. Something which was a challenge for symfony 1.0-1.2 users.

If it would have been a symfony 1.2 book, I would have recommended it. But the forced upgrade to 1.3 harmed it. I hope that Packt and the authors will update the book after release of 1.3/1.4. For over 40 Euros I would have expected a much better book.

Published by Fabian on 17 Sep 2009

New symfony book coming

I was asked if I could review a new book coming out soon.
It is called symfony 1.3 web application development.

Covers all the new features of version 1.3 – many exciting plug-ins for you

But… hmm thats interesting. 1.3 is neither out, nor are its features finalized. Also, I don’t know the authors, which is a bit strange.
I will see. I will review it and report again.

Published by Fabian on 20 Jul 2009

Proposal for a new Javascript Event

Fresh from my daily coding:

<div onlick="nextItem()">next</div>

took a while for me to realize why it did not work as desired. However, wouldn’t that be a good event for some adult content sites?

Published by Fabian on 03 Jul 2009

Beautiful Continuous Integration?

Its great to see that continuous integration acceptance is growing. Sismo is the CI system created by the symfony team for monitoring symfony itself. It is written in symfony and will be open sourced.
When I first saw it, I was not happy about it. Mainly because it is “yet another tool”. But what I do like is to look at it. Its the most beautiful CI frontend I know. You might argue that being beautiful does not matter for a software development tool, but I tend to disagree. It just makes it more pleasant to work with it.

Chapeau, Sensio designers. I really like your designs. I think the symfony components website, which just had the third component launched, is one of the most appealing framework/library sites I have seen so far.

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