tek11 has come to a close

As with all good things, tek11 came to a close.  This website exists as an archive of the speakers & sessions that were presented.   Please visit tek.phparch.com for details on upcoming conferences, as well as phparch.com to find out about other conferences we run as well as our other products, such as php|architect magazine, training, and our book series.   Thanks for making tek11 a great experience and we look forward to seeing you at a future conference!

Getting ready for the TestFest at the Hackathon

The following post was written by Rafael Dohms.

Chances are if you are not out drinking beer at Shirtless Jim’s or at the Chicago Bull game you will be hanging out at the php|tek Hackathon. Aside from all the cool projects present there, one of the easiest to get involved with is testing PHP. This is quite simply the action of creating tests in the PHPT format which run regular PHP function through the drills, can’t get any easier then that.

If this strikes your fancy and you would like to contribute to PHP, its important to come to the Hackathon with your ammunition fully packed, so I’m going to give you a few tips to get you going faster:

Setup your Environment

Running PHPT tests is very easy, you just need to compile PHP from source and run make test. So first thing you should do is download the latest source from the website, and compile it, to make sure you have all of the libraries and everything you need to get to the point where you can run tests, follow these steps:

  1. wget http://br.php.net/get/php-5.3.6.tar.gz/from/www.php.net/mirror
  2. tar -xvf php-5.3.6.tar.gz
  3. cd php-5.3.6
  4. ./configure
  5. make

You do not need to run make install, at this point you are perfectly capable of running make test by pointing PHP to your own test directory. Its a good idea to run make install so that you have a working version of the correct PHP release, since PHPT tests are basically PHP code, you can run the test code to copy outputs you can use later testing.

Get to know a bit of PHPT

We will be showing a bit more of this at the hackathon itself, but its a good idea to get used to the PHPT syntax. You can check it out here: phpt. But the basic test has 3 sections, TEST, FILE, EXPECT. This is how a regular testcase looks like:


Hello World Test Description


<?php print ‘Hello World’ ; ?>


Hello World

TEST is the description of the test, what shows up when you are running it

FILE is the actual code that will be executed by that test. If you run this phpt files as if it were a .php file, this is still actually executed, good debugging.

EXPECT is an assertion, its what the output of the code in FILE will be checked against.

Figure out what you want to test

Once you know how to run tests and how to write them, the next step is to figure out what you want to test. You can pick: write tests for a bug report or select a piece of code that is not covered yet.

If you choose to write tests for a bug, just go to the bug tracker and look for a nice report that you can isolate and replicate in a test, naming convention will be bug[number].phpt

If you choose to cover a piece of un-tested code, then you need to get a little comfortable with C and with the GCOV. The GCOV page basically tells us which lines of code were executed by our regular test suite, this in terms of C not of PHP, so you need to understand a little of the underlying C structure to identify what function that code belongs to and in which scenario its executed. You can then use the naming convention [function-name]_[basic|variation|error+counter].phpt

We will be looking a little closer at this at the testfest. If you want to get more information and dive a little deeper, check out this presentation and they will give you a little more detail on each of these topics, also feel free to ping me on Twitter (@rdohms) with questions, and see you at the Hackathon!

Hack and win with Tropo at php|tek

The following post was written by Adam Kalsey

It’s ironic that most developer conferences are nothing but speakers. It’s like developers spend all year avoiding meetings so they can come to one event and do nothing but sit in meetings for a few days.

I don’t know about you, but I like my developer conferences to include a little developing.

At php|tek this year, Tropo is hosting a developer contest and a hackathon on Thursday night. We want to help you take all the ideas you’re learning at the conference and put them into practice building something useful. We’re starting the hack-a-thon right after all the sessions are over, so you won’t even need to miss your favorite speaker.

In addition to Tropo, a large number of other projects will be at the hackathon to help you get started with their stuff. CouchDB, Frapi, Gowalla, JoindIn, Node.js, Phergie, PEAR, PHP Core QA, Spaz, web2project, Windows Azure, and Zend Framework will all be represented, in many cases by the project creators and leads. You don’t need to hack on one of these projects, of course, but we’ll all be there to help and answer questions if you want to.

“But I was going to go grab dinner and a drink!” you might say. Well, hey, we’ll have food and drink there, too. “I was going to hang out with my friends!” They’re all going to be there. “I need to go shoe shopping.” Uhhh, you’re on your own there. See you when you get back.

In addition to the Thursday hack event, Tropo’s putting on a contest. Build an application using Tropo and PHP, and win fabulous prizes. You can work on it at the hack-a-thon or on your own time.

The developer contest runs all through the conference. Heck, start today if you want. Tropo’s communications APIs are free for development use and have native PHP support, so there’s no reason not to enter. Entries are due Friday at 9am and a panel of your brilliant peers will be judging you, or at least your application, to pick a winner to announce at the closing keynote.

The Official Rules for this contest can be found on the Tropo site. The highlights are…

  • Contest open to residents of the 50 United States and DC 13 or older
  • Eligible entries must use Tropo and PHP
  • Contest runs from May 12, 2011 12:00am Central time to May 27,
    2011 9am Central time
  • Prizes are an Apple iPad for first place, second place gets a Parrot.AR Drone quadricopter, and third place wins an Amazon Kindle.
  • Entries will be judged according to the Extent of Tropo Features Utilized, End User Experience, and Perceived Commercial Viability
  • To enter, complete the entry form at http://bit.ly/TropoTek11

We look forward to seeing you at tek! Bring your questions, your code, and your laptop. We’ll take care of everything else.

Tek is goin’ digital!

One of the things that I have always wanted to change in our conferences is the way we hand out collateral materials. Typically, we want to make sure that all attendees have ready access to a lot of critical information, such as scheduling, talk synopses, speaker bios, and so on. Similarly, our sponsors also want an opportunity to pass along a handout or two, and maybe a few freebies.

All this paper, sadly, has a very limited shelf life. Conference programs are easily misplaced, pamphlets are often discarded, and so on, and so forth. The end result is an enormous amount of waste—I’m pretty sure that, last year, we probably shipped, handled, and handed out at least 500lbs. of paper—and less value than everyone would like.

This year, therefore, we have set out to “go digital” and limit our paper usage as much as possible. As part of this initiative, we are going to introduce a few changes:

  • First of all, we won’t have bag or handouts. Instead, we’ll give all attendees a USB key with all the materials, including cool demos and software from our sponsors.
  • The conference program is going digital, as well—we’ll make it available for download in PDF, ePub, and MOBI format so that you can pick it up and install it on your computer or e-book reader of choice.
  • We are hard at work on a mobile app for the conference—it will let you consult the schedule and speaker bios, create your own custom schedule, and interact with the other attendees using group messaging. It’ll be a great way to keep on top of things (including the many and sundry evening activities) without having to reach for a piece of paper all the time. Oh, and the app will work on Android, iOS, and Windows Phone 7 devices (pending, of course, approval from Apple and Microsoft).
  • If you don’t happen to have a smartphone, don’t worry: we are still going to print schedules, but these will be on lightweight postcards that are easier to carry around and don’t create too much clutter.

The app is chugging along rather nicely—we are testing the iOS prototype and are going to start working on the Android and WP7 versions shortly. Once it’s complete, we plan on open-sourcing the mobile app, in the hopes that other conference and user-group organizers will find it useful to help reduce their environmental footprint as well (and maybe help making it an even better app!).

There you have it, then. We’re goin’ digital, and we hope that you will be there to enjoy the wonders of technology with us (while having a smashing good time with your friends and colleagues from the PHP community).

Check it out, schedule is up!

All of us here at php|architect have been working like monkeys (some more like monkeys than others) to get all the details of the tek11 schedule on-line. We are happy to say that everything is now on-line and in place. Now only do we have the schedule page up but now all the author pictures and biographies are up along with complete descriptions of the talks.

tek11 will continue the five year tradition of the PHP community gathering in Chicago to share ideas and inspiration. Last year, a great time was had by all and this year will be no different. Get your ticket today and make sure you are there in May!

The schedule is almost ready!

January 12th is here, and so is the schedule.

Well, not here on the website. It’s here on a shared document that the selection committee has been working hard for the last three weeks, foregoing the traditional Christmas celebrations and general drunkenness that accompanies the selection process.

Like every year, the members of the selection committee have taken matters seriously and painstakingly graded each and every proposal individually. Given that we received over 350 proposals, this took some time, but not as much as the ensuing nightly arguments and fights—yes, when it comes to the php|tek schedule, the gloves come off—that have occupied us across two timezones, three states and a Canadian province.

Lame jokes aside, the process has taken a little longer than our already-conservative schedule anticipated. Thus, I am here to tell you that, while we have finalized the talk selection, we are going to take an extra day or two to make sure we don’t get “selection remorse” and to make sure we have arranged the schedule in a balanced way. We hope to start sending confirmation (and, unfortunately, rejection) letters on Thursday and publish the schedule by Friday.

Thus, if you’ve submitted a talk (or three), keep your eyes open for an e-mail from us. If you’re just anxious to get your eyes on the schedule, hang on for a few more days. And remember—our Charter Ticket program is in effect until the schedule comes out, so don’t forget to take advantage of it for the lowest price on our full-attendance tickets.

Call for Papers open until December 17th

Welcome! It’s our pleasure to announce the next edition of php|tek, which will take place in Chicago, IL, between May 25 and 27, with a tutorial day on May 24.

Our Call for Papers is now open; we will be accepting submissions until December 17th—after which our conference committee will hole up in their secret air-conditioned underground lair to prepare next year’s schedule.

We welcome submissions from everyone—even if you have never spoken at a conference before. Some of our best presentations have come from first-time speakers, so it never hurts to try.

We have also made some improvements to our Speaker Package; we now cover all transportation costs, and we doubled the room-night allowance for all speaking slots.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Charter tickets now on sale

Charter tickets, you say? And what might those be?

Easy enough: Charter Tickets are special tickets that are available only until we publish the conference schedule on January 11th.

The “special” thing about them is the price: you get all the goodness of a Full Experience ticket, which includes both the main conference event and the tutorial day for just $700. That’s a full 50% off the regular at-the-door price of a Full Experience pass.

The idea behind Charter Tickets is simple: we want to reward our most faithful attendees—those who want to attend php|tek for the unique experience that it brings, and trust us to come up with a presentation program whose quality is in line with what they have come expect from us.

Because of the deep discount, we only have a very limited number of these tickets available for sale. Get yours before they’re all gone!