PHP London Meet and Some Heckling

I’ve been in London on business again this week (hopefully my wild travelling will calm down a bit now) which had the nice side-effect of allowing me to get to the PHP London meetup on Thursday. It was nice to see people that I met at the conference the previous week and also to meet some people who I hadn’t managed to catch up with previously.

The talk was from William Coleman of Microsoft talking about FastCGI and using PHP on Windows. He’d have done better to not say “We’re all guys here” in his opening remarks as I found myself heckling a speaker for the first time in my life!! I counted 4 women there out of 35 or so people, so a minority but a definitely existing one. He did apologise (about 17 times and after digging a bigger hole) and I had a brief chat with him later on, and gave him my business card.

The talk was good and interesting, and he brought with him a remarkable sense of humour, which he probably needed since there were lots of smart comments coming from all angles. He did however impress upon us that performance of PHP on Windows is now comparable to performance of PHP on Linux, which was actually very interesting to know. Personally I have been staying away from PHP on Windows for 5 years or so but since I now work for Ibuildings who are Zend partners, then I guess I need to have more of a clue! Other than a few confusing moments where a comparison was made between running PHP on Windows against running it on Apache (what? Is Windows a web server now?) it was a good session and its nice to hear about these developments. My feeling is that no matter how stable PHP is on Windows, its the stability of Windows itself that means I’ll be avoiding it in my production servers for some time yet.

The punchline of the evening? Apparently microsoft have invented this great thing, called a shell, where you can just type comands in to your server rather than clicking on things, so you can manage servers remotely …

4 thoughts on “PHP London Meet and Some Heckling

  1. I knew the shell was a microsoft invention. It’s far too useful to be invented by anyone else ;)

    And if this comment comes through, it is because I removed my URL from the homepage field again ;)

  2. As a minor point, Windows Server 2003 has got a good reputation for stability.

    We don’t use it due to licensing costs and the hassle of using rsync with it.



  3. For some time now IIS management can be automated programmatically and with standard command line tools. I write MSI installer files that do this in VBScript for example – it’s a dirty job but someone’s got to do it. Is Windows Powershell the new invention you’re thinking of?

  4. stefan: I really can’t replicate the problem – grab me on skype some time and let’s untangle it.

    Rob: That’s interesting to know about stability, I had no idea and I guess it may come up sometime.

    Geoff: powershell sounds plausible, yes.

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