Today really was my day at ApacheCon. Four of the five talks were on things I’m truly interested in – mostly PHP (see previous post). Rasmus gave an interesting talk about using PHP at Yahoo!. He gave some particulars about making high-performance, scalable systems. The other portion of his talk focused around XML support in PHP 5, as well as SOAP and REST services at Yahoo! (including a pretty cool Yahoo! Maps demonstration). There’s a similar demo on his toys blog: http://toys.lerdorf.com/. There were times, however, when he went a little to deep into the details, though I don’t think they detracted from the quality of the talk.
There was another good talk called “Consuming Web Services using PHP 5” by Adam Trachtenberg (eBay). For the amount of time allotted I think it was a pretty good discussion on what to expect when working on REST and SOAP clients.
Scalable Web Architectures: decent. It’s one of those that really got me thinking about how German and I are going to design the DFL system (fewer hits, but extremely high bandwidth per user).
Now for the fun part of this post: Ruby on Rails (RoR). “Cheap, fast, and Good. You can have it all with Ruby on Rails.” It seems like every RoR demonstration I’ve seen fails to really capture a whole lot of attention from the average web developer, including this one. When the presenter, who I believe is one of the main developers of RoR, says that a lot of it is “magic” that scares him because he doesn’t really know what’s going on, what are we supposed to think? Yeah – it’s great that they can make these easy to install frameworks, but you can’t deny that some amount of programming has to go into developing the framework, and after that, the consumer developers still have to figure it all out (or in many cases, practice some kind of voodoo automagical programming methods). Put it this way – it didn’t seem like a lot of those people were very excited after the talk. It appears RoR will remain a novelty for some time to come.