Report on programming languages and techniques in Development session of RMLL/LSM 2010 (1/4)

This is the first of a series of reports about what happened at the recent Libre Software Meeting 2010 (aka Rencontres Mondiales du Logiciel Libre) in the “Development” technical track I’ve been co-chairing. Note that we expect to have some recordings of most talks released some day, but it takes time. On the other hand, the slides are almost all accessible on the site.

We have started with several PHP-related talks (see the gang of speakers here):

  • PHP development industrialization (by Jean-Marc Fontaine – slides: FR / speech : FR), which was actually more general than strictly about PHP, giving some hints on how to organize the development process in a company
  • PHP code audits (by Damien Seguy – slides: FR / speech : FR) : Excellent (too) short presentation giving an introduction to security audits and PHP secure programming. A must view for any PHP programmer, IMHO.
  • Listen to your PHP code (by Gabriele Santini – slides: EN / speech : FR – EDIT: a preview video recording is visible here (until full conference videos are released on RMLL site)), which was a quite technical and very rich presentation of various analysis tools that can be used to analyze PHP code in order to improve its quality. A must view for advanced PHP programmers for sure.
  • SOAP and RESTful webservices with Symfony (by Hugo Hamon – slides: FR / speech: FR) a speech explaining how to implement web services in PHP applications (SOAP and REST APIs) with the help of modern frameworks like symfony or Zend framework.

After such presentations, we can conclude that PHP development is now something that can be very professional, with lots of tools helping to understand how PHP internal work and how to manage security concerns. On the same hand, here it’s not all about tools and technology, and great care has to be put in procedures, process and methodology, to be able to develop in a professional way in a PHP environment. Actually, some good old guidelines apply as for any other technology/language (see also the other industrialization talks bellow).

Many people came to attend these PHP presentations: maybe a dedicated PHP development sub-track may be organized next year ?

Then we have had some other great programming language-related presentations (in the frame of the global “full english” transversal track). First some technical ones :

  • Go: A new systems programming language (by Uriel – slides: EN / speech : EN) : clear and interesting general presentation of the language.
  • How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love Static Typing (by Alexander Heussner – slides: EN / speech: EN) : quite theoretical, yet very enjoyable presentation about typing systems and the merits of their implementation in different languages, explaining how one may choose different languages depending on the context/constraints of a particular program (particular mention for the graphical slides ;-)).
  • Quick introduction to Ruby 1.9 (by Bruno Michel – slides: EN / speech: EN) : short presentation about ruby 1.9’s novelties

and then a less technical one :

  • Perl 5.12 (by Jesse Vincent – slides: EN / speech : EN) : excellent (“american style”) presentation of the Perl language history and release process, more than a technical description of the contents of Perl 5.12. Excellent to understand how such venerable open source project can sustain development. EDIT: a preview video recording is visible here (until full conference videos are released on RMLL site)

After these, and to conclude about the programming aspects of the development track, there have been some presentations about programming techniques. First some general application development talks like :

  • Accelerated development with Quickly (by Didier Roche – slides: EN / speech: FR – EDIT: the LQ video preview is available online) : great demonstration-oriented presentation about the quickly development environment which helps to quickly generate almost instantly almost full-fledged Python desktop applications. A must see for those wanting to develop on the Linux desktop.
  • How to make applications accessible? (by Samuel Thibault – slides: EN / speech: EN – EDIT: the LQ video preview is available online) : great lecture on how to think about accessibility of (mainly non-web) applications to help impaired (there are far more than you’d think: for instance color-blind people) users. Definitely worth attending (or watching).
  • NoSql databases access in python (by Youenn Boussard – slides: FR / speech: FR) : great introduction to no-sql databases and overview of different such DB programs, with a few pythonic snippets.
  • Introduction to libre “fulltext” technology (by Robert Viseur – slides: EN / speech: FR) : great overview of several open source technologies available to process full-text search in databases.

That concludes this first part of the report. Stay tuned for new episodes.

Please tell us what you thought about this session (including links to other reports), and any suggestions for next year (use comments in this post).

Next parts :

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