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Summer vacation in open source land

Note: This article was originally published at Planet PHP on 11 September 2012.
Planet PHP

So I decided to take 2 months off this summer, quite on short notice so I would like to thank the Liip management to be so flexible on this. Of course I don't really ever take off from open source, so I have spent a fair bit of time working on the Symfony CMF. Gathering feedback from the community via multiple blog posts, which taught me some things about OSS and then doing something with it like starting documentation, a simpler initial setup and adding some missing features. I also gave talks about Symfony2 at user groups in Vienna, Odessa and Kiev and attended DrupalCon in Munich. Oh and I gave another talk at Centralway as they seem to also be diving into the world of Symfony2. During my time off I also spent a bit of time tweaking the integration example we have with Magnolia ahead of my presentation at the Magnolia Conference on PHPCR on the second day back from "vacation". It seems like just as my "vacation" contained what others would consider work, my week back at "work" contained what others would call "vacation", i.e. I traveled to the Croatian island of Bol to attend ezSummerCamp to teach about Symfony and help interface the ezPublish community with that of Symfony2. Finally I attended the Symfony2 CMF hackday in Fribourg. What follows are some more details on what I learned along the way of all these trips and the things I worked on in between.


So I was approached by Julian at Symfony Live in Paris if I would be willing to come by and help energize the local Symfony2 user group with a talk. As I was planning a trip to the Ukraine and Russia, I noticed that there would be cheap options to fly via Vienna so I contacted Julian who made it all happen quickly and was kind enough to host me. What is great is that several Drupal core developers also came by to my talk and it seems like there is now more and more Symfony2 - Drupal collaboration going on between the user groups in Vienna. Speaking of user groups, there is a new section for events on the Symfony2 websites listing meetings around the world.

Ukraine and Russia

I then went on to Odessa to play at the Ukrainian Beach Ultimate Frisbee Championships where I placed 3rd playing with the team from Odessa. However I also did a presentation on Symfony2 at the Ciklum offices to a crowd of about 20 developers from the region. After Odessa I went on to Kiev where I did another talk, this time to about 130 people in a panoramic room overviewing Kiev, at a Ciklum office. I have met some developers from Ciklum through the projects we did for NZZ, who had invited me to come speak, so I was very happy I could make it happen. Ciklum on the other hand took care of airport pickup, a place to stay in Kiev and a full day personal tour of Kiev. What stood out from these talks was that there were a huge number of developers with really cool ideas and projects that somehow do not yet feel connected enough with the rest of the community. So I was happy to do some tweets and email forwarding for them to get their voices heard. For example one developer was having performance issues with Symfony2 forms so I suggested that he would create a test project on github and mail me the url which led to some major work by Bernhard to address form performance issues. I went on to also travel to Moscow and Nishny Novgogrod to also play the Russian Championships, finishing 3rd and 4th in the open and mixed divisions and winning the spirit prize. Unfortunately I didn't manage to organize any talks while I was there, but I hear some people from Moscow attended my talk in Kiev.

Working on the CMF

On my return I began focusing on the CMF. The main feedback lesson I got was that while people were telling me that "PHPCR is too comp

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