I attended TekX in Chicago last week.

I’ve been attending tek for (I think) four years now, and it’s consistently the best conference I do all year. It’s pretty much the only conference where I attend talks and feel like I’ve gotten something out of them more than merely academic interest. And this year, the Wednesday keynote (Josh Holmes) was the best keynote talk I’ve attended in years. He spoke about the value of simplicity. Specifically, the value of understanding what the customer needs (possibly as distinct from what they ask for?) and giving them that thing they’ve asked for, rather than a framework for generating frameworks for solving a larger class of problems that might some day solve the one they have.

I attended Derick’s talk about the DateTime stuff that he’s been working on. Although I was aware of some of this stuff from his talk two years ago, it was unfinished at that point, and so I haven’t actually played with any of it. I expect to have uses for it, starting today.

Having worked for a while on the DateTime stuff for Perl, I know how hard timezones are, how hard recurring events are, and various other things associated with calendars. Derick has done amazing work.

I attended a talk by @lornajane about Subversion and Git. This was the first non-religious comparison that I’ve seen. I’m so very turned off by the religious fervor that seems to always go along with discussion of revision control. Lorna’s discussion of comparative features, benefits, and so on, was very refreshing, and I finally feel that I have some idea what the real differences and similarities are. This talk was followed by a talk about Git which was more religion and less information, but still gave me some good solid information. I’ve been using Git now for 2 or 3 weeks, and so far I hate it. It appears to solve problems that I don’t have, and make simple things into 3 or 4 steps rather than 1. Offline commits are clearly a really cool thing. Nothing else that Git offers seems to be terribly useful. The rhetoric around Subversion being old and crufty, while Git is new and shiny, just doesn’t seem to match the reality.

I really should write a separate post about Git. I’m getting sidetracked.

Anyways, TekX was brilliant, and I highly recommend that you put it on your schedule for next year if you do anything in the PHP world.