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My Berlin Buzzwords 2010 recap

I attended Berlin Buzzwords 2010 for the last two days and aside from meeting a bunch of great people during talks, here are some take away notes from this conference:

  • I got introduced to new stuff — such as HyperTable (c++ bigtable implementation), which I had never heard of before.

  • I actually know a lot more about hadoop, HDFS and tika now than I did before — though I won't be able to use any a lot of it soon. The HDFS talk in particular was interesting as it got rid off the bells and whistles (OMG distributed file system and replicated!!!) for me. On Hadoop — it was easy to feel a little overwhelmed.

  • No MongoDB for me.

  • Hilarious: "Localhost is local most." (by Mario Scheliga)

  • (On HDFS' issues with the NameNode:) "Highly available vs. pretty highly available."

  • A lot of people talked about scaling (in and off talks) without a) having any first hand experience and/or b) a need for it. That was probably the buzzwordy part about this conference.

  • I did not learn as much about Lucene as I wanted or had planned. Primarily because the nature of the talks was a little too advanced for me. A basic introduction to Lucene/Solr's architecture and ways to scale out is still on my wish list.

  • I noticed that contributors to Apache projects like to discuss Jira issues in their talks.

  • Twitter is using Lucene/Java to scale out its (near real-time) search, but sticks to trivial types (instead of objects) to (re)gain performance.

  • Riak seems pretty cool: consistent hashing, auto-balancing, sharding — must investigate more. Also, Rusty Klophaus is a cool guy and I learned that Basho is not just a software company, but they also have a band. And riak is Indonesian and stands for something like how the water flows.

  • Cassandra looks interesting as well. Considering they are Java not written in Erlang, a lot of people seem to like them anyways. Also, Eric Evans is a great presenter — kudos to him. I especially liked the part where he suggested to not use Cassandra for obvious reasons, but the inner geek disagreed.

  • I don't know why presentations by Nokia, are like that. I'm missing a little enthusiasm about work or project.

  • Bashing other projects sucks. Also, introducing yourself with, "We are like X but better.", makes you look shady as well.

  • Benchmarks on slides really suck. And if people still can't resist, they should have a better explanation for them.

  • Berlin Buzzwords really had a great venue.

  • Thanks mucho to the organizers — Isabel, Simon, Jan & newthinking — for an interesting conference.

For more details, head over to Rusty Klophaus: 2009: My takeaway

Sorry, I'm late for a post-conference praise — but anyway!

JSConf(.eu) was one awesome conference. But you may ask why?

So for starters, and full-disclosure, I know a couple of the people who were involved organizing the conference, but that's not all.

Here is what they did to make it an awesome conference

The organizer managed to cram a ton of interesting sessions into only two days. For those sessions they invited very interesting speakers and also managed to attract not less interesting attendees. Season those two days with three awesome parties (pre-conf, conf, post-conf (and one insane post-post-conf)), and you will only begin to imagine what you missed out on. In any case, go check out twitter, the pictures and the slides!

Meet & greet!

Without further ado, here's a list of people I recommend not only following on Twitter, but also hanging out for realz (in alphabetical order):

@amyhoy, @binary42, @cramforce, @eamonleonard, @furf, @janl, @nonken, @paulca, @psvensson, @roidrage, @ryah, @sh1mmer, @thomasfuchs

(Hope I didn't forget anyone!)

Thanks, and I'll hopefully see everyone soon, or next year! :-)

DevHouseBerlin aftermath!

This year's DevHouseBerlin is almost over, and this is what I managed to do.


Planet-PHP's code has been opensourced for a while and when I started setting up a planet for PEAR I wasn't exactly happy with what it did. Aside from the obvious PHP4 vs. PHP5 issues, the unfortunate lack of documentation, I don't understand why anyone wants to transform an XSL with PHP, to generate PHP. And the bottom line, it didn't work always and I didn't want to debug it any longer.

The notable features include:

  • Restructured the code to only expose what is necessary in the document root.
  • Fixed/improved configuration handling.
  • Extended/improved templating.
  • Code cleanup, where possible.
  • Fancy URLs and front controller pattern using Net_URL_Mapper! :-)
  • Webbased admin to add and remove feeds to the planet.

Long story short — the code is on github. It's semi-complete, on the list of things to do are removing the libraries which became obsolete, a (new) submit form, a cache and maybe re-writing the importer/aggregate script.

Also, kudus to Christian Weiske for contributing the admin and generally helping out. :-) is a nifty service which allows you to spam protect your email address. So, for example, instead of display [email protected] on your website, you'd provide a link where people enter a captcha to see your email address. I know this is not compliant with the German law and what not, but I wrote a service wrapper for their API anyway. I'll put it online when I find time. The code is on Github, check the README for an example.


I never had a chance to explore Net_Url_Mapper before and I must say, this is definitately one of the (many) raw diamonds in PEAR. Raw because its lack of documentation is not exactly helpful when it comes to adoption. Since I spent some time with the package on the Planet-PHP rewrite, I decided to contribute documentation. If you're anxious to check it out, follow this link, or wait until next week when the manual on the official website is updated.

PHP in schnell

Sorry, this is all in German. Or at least Germenglish. ;-) The slides are not rocket science and show a basic introduction to "faster PHP". Things to do, things to avoid, some autoloading and a little on "shared nothing" in the end. There are some speaker-notes included (link) to make the slides more valuable for those who couldn't make it.

Hier die Folien zu meinem Vortrag "PHP in schnell" bei der PHP Usergroup in Berlin im September 2009. Leider sieht man unten keine Notizen (speaker notes). Man kann sie jedoch sehen, wenn Ihr über folgenden Link (Actions > Show speaker notes (Vorsicht: Rechtschreibfehler usw. inklusive)) die Präsentation öffnet.

Wer Fragen hat, darf gerne kommentieren oder mich einladen. ;-)

Vielen Dank an alle die da waren. Und Danke an den NewThinking Store Berlin für den Ort, Beamer, Internet und das Glas Wasser. ;-)

BEPHPUG: PHP in schnell

German content ahead!

Neu, neu, neu: Die Berliner PHP Usergroup trifft sich im September bereits am Dienstag, 1. September (morgen!), 19 Uhr im NewThinking Store Berlin. Der NewThinking Store ist in der Tucholskystrasse 48 (Berlin-Mitte).

Aktuelles Thema: PHP in schnell (Optimierung, Fallstricke, etc.)

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In English: For this month's user group meeting, we meet on the 1st September, 2009, 7 PM at NewThinking Store in Berlin-Mitte. The topic is "Faster PHP" (Do's and Do not's in optimization.)