Back in March I had the opportunity to work on a project for Microsoft that is now coming to light. I was tasked with writing a PHP wrapper for the Bing API that Microsoft has been building. I’ve written API wrappers before and it is either a fun experience or it is a nightmare, depending on whether the API is easy to work with. I am pleased to report that the Bing Search API is well thought out and very easy to work with. For PHP developers, I am hoping that what I am about to show you makes it even easier.
Disclosure: I work with Blue Parabola, Microsoft is a customer of Blue Parabola. Blue Parabola also puts on the TEK series of conferences.
It seems like every six months or so I write a pro-Microsoft post. It’s not really on purpose, it just seems like two to three times a year they remind me that there are pools of brilliance in that company, even if they are surrounded by oceans of stupidity.
This post’s catalyst
I have a lot of contact with Microsoft due to my job. However, most of it is at a detail level where it is easy to lose the big picture. It wasn’t until TEK·X and the session Tips & Tricks to get the most of PHP with IIS, Windows, and the Windows Azure Cloud by
Sumit Chawla & Kanwaljeet Singla that I got a glimpse of the big picture again. I began to see all of Microsoft’s efforts together as one, instead of seeing them as a series of individual efforts.
: If I had paid attention to Ruslan Yakushev’s webcast, “Making PHP faster on IIS
“, I probably would have written this post earlier.
After several years in the PHP Community I’ve come to realize that there are 4 major events on the PHP social calendar, tek, DPC, ZendCon and MSWDS. (Microsoft Web Development Summit) There were 3 MSWDS that took place while I was at Zend and try as I might I could not score an invite to this private party. However, last year my number came up and I was luck enough to be invited. (My thought from MSWDS08 can be found here.) While I had a good time last year, this year was an order of magnitude more interesting, fun and productive for me personally.
I met some new people
This year wasn’t just about the PHP core community, we had attendees that represented the Joomla, Drupal and WordPress communities. I don’t think any of them were official representatives of those communities but they were developers who worked in and around those projects. It was great to meet these guys and I look forward to growing the friendships that started there.
I reconnected with old friends
There are a lot of people in the PHP community that interact with each other almost daily but we only get to see each other in person a few times a year. It was great seeing all my old friends and just hanging with them.
I was co-host this year
Those that know me well know that I’m an attention whore. I love being up in front of a crowd. So I was honored and happy this year when Karri asked me to help host the event. I got a lot more credit for the success of the event than I deserved but was happy to play my small part.
I learned a few new things
To be brief:
- Even if you don’t like installing plugins, Bing Maps makes Silverlight worth installing. It’s not a game changer but they are doing some things that Google isn’t and competition is always good.
- WebPI is continuing to grow and get better. Each time I look at this tool they have either added something new and cool or sanded down a lot of the rough edges to make it more useful.
- WordPress will run on Azure. I seriously had no idea. I can’t afford Azure just to run my blog but if they adjust the pricing a bit, this could be a serious game changer for small-time bloggers like myself.
- The more people I get to know at Microsoft, the less I’m able to despise the company. Oh sure, they patented sudo and nobody at the conference was able to do anything about those “special kind of stupid” decisions that big companies make. As long as they keep hiring people like Josh, Peter, and Karri though, it’s hard to just paint them with one big evil brush.
- Blocking irc on your “guest network” is an exercise in futility. It does no good and 30 minutes after we’ve all connected and found ways around it, we just laugh at you.
Again, I can’t seem to say thank you enough to Karri and Tanya for all the work they did to put this summit together. Y’all were awesome hosts and we are all in your debt.
I want to say a special thanks to all the attendees. This year’s summit was great because only a few people just sat there and listened, almost everyone participated at some point. A special thanks to Keith for standing up and getting righteously pissed off because it was the right thing to do.
Most of all though, thank you Microsoft in general for asking my opinion and listening to it. Be warned though, I’m watching you. I want to see if you actually listened.
Until next time,
I <3 |<
My tests were performed on a Release Candidate of the code. The final code has now been released and Ibuildings has published a benchmark of WinCache 1.0.
Those of you who follow me on twitter know that recently, I tweeted that I had installed Microsoft’s new PHP Opcode Cache, WinCache on a test machine and didn’t see much difference in performance. I then later tweeted that it was probably due to my inexperience in managing II7 and not necessarily a failing of WinCache. In between those two posts, I received 2 messages from people working with Microsoft, the most helpful being from Ruslan Yakushev. If you recognize that name it’s because he writes a lot of good stuff over at iis.net including the getting started guide for WinCache.
I’ve been doing a lot of research on PHP running on Windows lately and I’ve been really surprised by two things.