Some of AOE's own attended the recent International PHP Conference 2015 in Berlin. Here's a report of some of the conference highlights from their perspective.
We gathered at the Hotel Maritim in Berlin for three days for one of the largest PHP events in Europe: the Spring edition of the International PHP Conference 2015. The IPC is a global event for PHP developers, web workers and IT managers.
Although the topics presented were nicely mixed, we noticed that the interest in PHP Frameworks (mostly Zend and Symfony) was apparently higher than in CMS solutions. Nevertheless, Patrick Lobacher from Pluswerk AG had a very interesting presentation about the TYPO3 NEOS content management system.
First of all, the project will try to move away from the TYPO3 brand and position itself as an independent solution. As a result, the project will be renamed and will remove TYPO3 from its name, leaving just NEOS CMS remaining.
Starting with version 2, NEOS CMS will provide a couple of very important features out-of-the-box, for which, in a traditional TYPO3 installation, third-party extensions were needed. Just to mention a few: SEO Package, Analytics Package and an improved access permission system (ACL). Additionally, the CMS is being moved further in the direction of front-end editing of the content.
While features such as easy deployment with Surf and support for usage in the Cloud are already available, the users will still have to wait for the File Abstraction Layer (FAL), which has been available in TYPO3 since version 6.0.
Patrick's presentation is available on SlideShare.
PHP7 has been vastly improved and will offer a huge performance gain along with type hinting for primitives (string, int, bool) and return types. Current benchmarks show an impressive improvement of up to 50 percent in performance (mainly due to reduced memory usage). It remains interesting to see what the release of PHP 7, announced for November 2015, will bring in terms of market acceptance and usage.
We had the pleasure of meeting the creator of PHPUnit, Sebastian Bergmann, at the conference – as well as Konstantin Kudryashov, the creator of Behat and phpspec.
It appears that behavior driven development (BDD) is gaining ground. At the same time, Sebastian Bergmann showed appreciation of phpspec as a modern tool appropriate for test driven development (TDD). In a nutshell, phpspec is focusing on behavior- and not implementation details.
While phpspec can replace unit tests by testing the internal behavior, it is not the appropriate tool for acceptance or functional tests. This is where Behat comes in. Behat works with human readable specifications and can test a system from outside. Together with Mink, a browser emulator abstraction layer, it can also replace traditional Selenium tests.
In an excellent keynote, Chris Heilmann explained how Microsoft has learned from its mistakes with Internet Explorer and how the new browser Edge (originally Spartan) can now compete head-to-head with Firefox and Chrome.
We very much enjoyed meeting Ben Busse and Ben Van't Ende (former TYPO3 Community Manager) who introduced us to a promising Open Source product for providing RESTful services called DreamFactory.
The IPC Spring 2015 in Berlin was time and money well spent!
(with contributions by Felix Semmler and Daniel Zohm, AOE)