My schedule was crammed right after php|works 2006, so I could not find an earlier possibility to blog. Anyway, the extended entry contains my short report on php|arch's second conference this year.
After food and drinks, I missed Rasmus's keynote (ran into someone I know in the lobby), but then it was Rob again with some interesting demos on XML security. I also saw parts of Andrei's Unicode talk, always interesting, and I find the attendees' interest in this talk really encouraging for PHP 6. Next up was the web security trends talk — again, but as usual I swapped content and slides in and out and prepared a lot of demos. I thought I had a slow start, but after a couple of minutes the session went smoothly; actually really smoothly, fantastic feedback from attendees. Other instances of this particular talk have reached the top 5 of several conferences in the past, so it is quite popular, but there are some days when things just seem to go exactly your way. I was of course in an excellent mood then and mingled at the conference for the rest of the day.
Well, it was obvious what would happen next. May laptop had crashed the day before I flew to Toronto, so I had a replacement machine with me anyway, and most of my (backed-up) data on an external hard drive which also contained the data (slides, demos) for my next and final session. Note the past tense in "contained" — the external drive broke down while I was in Toronto. So I had to recreate all demos on Thursday morning (luckily I did have an old but usable backup copy of the slides), but finished on time for my Flash/PHP session. The luck was back: All live demos worked. Also on that day, I went into Cal Evans session titled "Zend's New Studio". Actually, he could not talk about Zend's new studio (probably something planned for Zend's annual conference), but he did give good information about Zend's editor situation and also mentioned that Zend Studio will continue to exist and always be a superset of the Eclipse version.
Then I already had to check out of my room, since my flight left that evening. I managed to attend Derick's ranting hour (once again quite entertaining and informative), switched back and forth between Sebastian Bergmann's AOP talk and Lukas Smith's portable database apps session, was on a panel on the new Zend PHP 5 Certification (expect a separate blog entry on that later) and then rushed to the airport (if you want some advice which airline to avoid in the future, email me).
php|works was not as well attended as php|tek earlier this year, but once again the overall mood was excellent, the location was nice and both attendees and speakers told me that they really enjoyed their time there, as did I. I try to drastically cut down travelling for the rest of the year, but am already looking forward to next year (although php|tek will once again be in Orlando, hopefully not near the airport ).
I, too, have had little time to reflect on php|works 2006 since I returned from the conference, but now am taking a bit of time to contact the speakers and thank them for their efforts. Anyone reading this who has not attended php|works before: make plans to do so next year! It is well worth your time and money. I attended your AJAX and PHP Bootcamp, and found it very useful. Since I was fresh (it was in the first timeslot for sessions that day), my notes nearly captured all of your slide material and comments - but not quite. I found you amplified the slide material very well, by the way. The session started about 1/2 hour late, but the session did not suffer from the delay, and you still spoke for nearly three hours without a microphone! One reaon why thanks are in order. Thanks also for recommending use of the DOM Inspector in Firefox - a great aid to developers. Christian gave out books in exchange for correctly answering trivia questions. Recognizing that Colorado is square came in handy for me; I'm now the proud owner of a copy (unsigned as yet) of PHP Phrasebook.