PHP: Under The Hood

Davey ShafikThis month’s meeting will take place on Monday 18th August, 7pm for 7.15pm start, at The Skiff in Brighton as usual.

This month we’re excited to welcome Davey Shafik, a Community Engineer at Engine Yard and a well-known member of the PHP community. Davey will present “PHP: Under The Hood”, streamed live via the magic of the internet!

Performance issues can be caused by many things, from database interactions, web services, disk i/o and, less frequently, the code itself.
We would typically turn to a profiler like xhprof to diagnose these issues, but what if the bottleneck is PHP itself, where do you turn?
This talk will take that inspection a step further and look under the hood of PHP, at the C internals of how things tick.
This talk covers what every PHP developer should know about their tools — like what’s really going on when you use double quotes vs single quotes.
If you’ve ever wanted to know exactly what your code is doing, and why ++$i is faster than $i++, this talk is for you.
Note: This is an advanced talk, you should be extremely familiar with PHP and have some experience with profiling if you are to get the most from this talk.

This promises to be a great talk, and EngineYard have also kindly donated some free swag to give away – currently in transit at the moment from the USA!

As usual, our meeting is on Lanyrd and – please mark yourselves as attending if you’re thinking of coming :-)

Drupal – the ECK

Jeni TehanThis month we welcome Brighton-based Drupal developer Jeni Tehan, who’ll be presenting on the Drupal Entity Construction Kit:

The entity system in Drupal is incredibly powerful and is how nodes, taxonomy terms and users in Drupal core are built.  But what if our data or functionality doesn’t coincide with an existing entity type and we need a way to create custom entities, forms and ways to manage those entities?   The Entity Construction Kit (ECK) allows us to stop shoving all of our data into nodes, and quickly create custom entities to handle our specific use cases through the Drupal UI.

Let’s talk a bit about what ECK can do, when you should use it and why you should use it.


Jeni Tehan is web developer and director of Delicious Creative in Brighton and has been a Drupal specialist for the past seven years.

Using Symfony2 Components In Your Application

Lars Janssen

Hi all,

Hope everyone enjoyed last month’s presentation – thanks to Michael Heap for presenting. This month on Monday 17th March, we welcome back BrightonPHP regular Lars Janssen, who’ll be presenting on Using Symfony2 Components In Your Application:

Symfony2 is a modern PHP framework that can help you create clean, maintainable applications. Maybe you would consider adopting it, but don’t have the opportunity to start afresh? Fortunately, Symfony2 is very modular so you can incorporate some of its stand-alone components without having to rewrite your whole application.

In this talk I will give a brief introduction to the Symfony2 framework and some of its components such as DependencyInjection, Config and YAML, Form and Validator and also Console. While not part of Symfony2 itself, I’ll give Twig and Monolog a mention as well. I will show how any of these can be added to an existing application, so hopefully by the end you’ll want to try some of them yourself.

As usual the meeting will be held at The Skiff, arrive 7pm for a 7.15pm start. Following the presentation and discussion, we’ll head to the pub. The event’s over on Lanyrd as normal, together with for feedback. Mark yourselves as attending! :-)

Vagrant and Ansible

Michael HeapThis month’s meeting will take place on Monday 17th February, 7pm for 7.15pm start, at The Skiff in Brighton as usual.  This month we welcome Michael Heap from DataSift, who’ll be presenting on Vagrant and Ansible:

“It works on my box”. “I don’t have a day to help Dave set up his new PC”. “I swear I had the same version installed!”

Sound familiar? It was for me too before I started using Vagrant and Ansible.

Vagrant is a tool for automating the creation of virtual machines. Of course, that’s only half of the battle – once you have a machine you need to configure it. That’s where Ansible comes in.

Ansible is a powerful server automation tool (think Puppet or Chef, but with a *much* lower learning curve), allowing you to install software and configure things as you need in a reproducible way.

By the end of this talk, everyone will be able to go home and create a Vagrant box that installs PHP, Apache2 and configures an example website with a custom VirtualHost in under 30 minutes.

Michael’s biography:

Michael is a fixer, working mainly with with PHP/NodeJS/MySQL and doing bits of server administration on the side, he goes where things need working on.

Currently, he’s a member of the platform team at Datasift, working as part of a team that processes and augments various incoming data sources (including the Twitter firehose) before redistributing it to customers.

As usual, the event is listed over on Lanyrd – please mark yourself as attending if you’re planning to come!

Functional Programming in PHP

Happy new year!

Simon HolywellHope everyone had a lovely festive period. We kick off BrightonPHP in 2014 welcoming Brighton developer Simon Holywell, who will be presenting on Functional Programming in PHP:

In the PHP world functions are generally sneered at due to their simplicity and perceived as an evil side effect of spaghetti code. This is not necessarily the case however as when functions are combined in a logical manner they can be very powerful.

In fact they can be deployed to great effect in all manner of applications to create advanced and potentially less error prone software. This talk will take the form of a gentle introduction to functional programming concepts in a PHP context.

It will cater to a variety of levels of knowledge. Right from those who have never heard of functional programming to coders who have been practicing aspects for years in other languages (JavaScript!) – perhaps without even knowing.

During my talk you’ll hear some history, functional theory (introduced gently I promise) and of course some practical examples. You definitely do not need to be a mathematician or expert/functional coder to enjoy this session.

Simon’s biography:

My name is Simon Holywell and I am an Australian Zend certified lead developer working at Mosaic in Brighton. Previously I have worked in London, Melbourne and Auckland for web development firms.

Currently, I am nearly complete with a book about functional programming in the PHP language. For more information see

I have a blog ( and twitter (@Treffynnon) where you can keep up to date with my exploits.

I live on the south coast of England with my wife, children and a dog. I am also a big fan of motorcycles although I am in-between bikes at the moment.

As always, please do sign up over on the Lanyrd event, and also over at this month’s event on Feedback is always welcomed – both on the talks and on the meetup in general!

This month we’ve also got 3 copies of the e-book “Simple Botting with PHP” to give away, courtesy of BrightonPHP stalwart Andrew Collington.

See you there :-)