What's In Chris' Brain - June 2007 Edition

Well, it's certainly been a very eventful month for your not-so-humble blogger. Here's what's been ratling around in my brain lately:

  • Finally sent over my contribution to PHP Abstract, the podcast sponsored by Zend and put together by Cal Evans. I'll be talking about "Opinionated Software" on a future edition of the podcast. My wife said it was a perfect topic because I'm such an opinionated person.
  • What stops more people from adopting lightweight web servers like lighttpd and my current favourite nginx for their PHP setup? I used to think that mod_php was all that and a bag of chips, but running things via FastCGI seems to be providing me with the kind of performance I like. I wonder if anyone has done a comparison on how to scale out a PHP site that use php-cgi?
  • Rallyhat will definitely be a Python site, and I'll be building it with Django. As my friend Kevin pointed out: "It's almost like programming in a DSL thanks to all those magic methods in Rails and Django."
  • Until gwoo and PhpNut from CakePHP showed me how to get the most of out using Bake I never understood why it's such a useful tool. For a current project I've been using bake to build out all sorts of functionality in a fraction of the time it used to take me. If you do stuff with CakePHP, do yourself a favour and learn how to use bake.
  • I discovered that I can actually be more productive using vim as my editor for all my PHP work. Go check out Andrei Zmievski's talk on using vim with PHP. Don't fear the command line you OS-X and Linux types! I never thought I'd like using vim but I've learned to work with it.
  • I should be getting my new MacBook Pro in the first week of July. Of all things I miss the most having to work on my 8 year-old PC at home (I'm running Ubuntu Feisty Fawn with E17 as the window manager) I miss Quicksilver. I still find myself typing Ctrl-Space to bring up the program loader. If you use OS-X check it out. Once you start using it you'll wonder why you didn't use it before.