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SymfonyCon Berlin

Even if you don’t use Symfony, if you have programmed in PHP, then chances are that you’ll have heard of Fabian Potencier. So it was nice to see him in person on stage in Berlin.

He gave two keynotes, the first on work that Sensiolabs were doing on a new cloud service, the second on a new command line application that aims to make it easier to create a new Symfony project from scratch, with Symfony components and curated bundles from the open source community.

Andrew Carter gave a good talk on creating long-running PHP applications, which evaluated using PHP-PM and PHP FastCGI. Even though I don’t plan on creating something using these in the near future, it was nice finding out about something fairly obscure and coming away with a good overview of creating long-running PHP scripts and the trade-offs: the risk of memory leaks, which may have previously gone unnoticed, and architectural complexity.

Damien Alexandre gave a conference item on FOSUserBundle. He was critical of the code, but it was constructive criticism and a good example of how to call out a problem, but also encourage people that it can be fixed.

Tobias Nyholm introduced Symfony’s support for state machines using the Workflow component, so I’m now on the lookout for any future business logic requirements that could be implemented using states. There must be a way to shoe-horn a state machine in somewhere into future development.

Deutsche Oper Berlin

Whilst in Berlin, I saw the first opera that I ever listened to: Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail. I was twiddling stations on the radio on one hot summer afternoon in 2007, and it was playing on Radio 3 and found myself listening to the whole thing.

I had read an interview that gave it only one star, however wasn’t discouraged. If it only had one star, then it must have been interesting, right? Far worse to only get three, then it would have been average.

It turned out to be a memorable performance. There was a homage to Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, a crystal meth lab, and a monster truck. It was bombastic, but there were certain parts that were also charming, like when Konstanze (Olga Peretyatko) walked off-stage slowly filming her crocodile tears on a mobile phone, which she then played-back in real time.