Thanks to everyone that came down for November’s meetup – some good discussion was had, and James’s talk was extremely interesting. For December’s meeting, we’re excited to announce that Mark Baker will be speaking to the group, on the power of PHP 5.5 generators:
One of the new features that was introduced in PHP 5.5: Generators provide an iterable alternative to arrays, or to classes that implement the Iterator interface. At the simplest level, they don’t add anything new to PHP that you couldn’t already do before, simply returning values or key/value pairs to a loop; though they do give you options to perform certain iterative functions without the memory overheads of an array, or without the complexities of lots of boilerplate code that an Iterator class requires.
But look more closely at Generators, and they can be used for much more complex purposes: from simulating arrays with duplicate keys, or keys that aren’t simple integer or string values, to accepting new data each iteration rather than simply returning it, so that you can actually modify their behaviour dynamically, or build Cooperative subroutines, even to simulate parallel processing.
Generators add real power to PHP.
Mark is the Head of Design and Development at Innoved (Innovative Solutions for Education) based in Wigan; a company which (coincidentally) shares offices with his favourite Rugby League team, the 2013 Challenge Cup winners, and which occasionally gets him free tickets to attend Warriors games.
He has been working in the computer software industry since before symbolics.com was registered as a domain name, before the term “cyberspace” was first used in fiction, when Linus Torvalds and Rasmus Lerdorf were still at high school, and Mrs. Zuckerberg had yet to give birth to a bouncing baby social network enabler; and has been developing for the Web in a variety of languages since the days when the Tim Berners-Lee’s creation comprised less than 1,000 sites.
Over those years, he has contributed to a number of open source projects: some still extant, others lost to history. Currently he is coordinator and lead developer for the PHPExcel library, and a coordinator and developer on the PHPPowerpoint, PHPWord, PHPProject and PHPVisio libraries – all part of the PHPOffice library suite. He has also managed to squeeze his name into the credits for PHP 5.5 by contributing a new method to SPL Doubly-Linked Lists. Most recently, he has been working on new datastructures such as Tries, hoping that he’ll be able to get them included in SPL.
His particular interests include PHP integration with office suites, Textual analysis, Geodata and geographic information systems, and “big data” and data analysis.
If you’re interested in coming down, please let us know on the Lanyrd event, even if you’re a regular – it just helps plan how many chairs I need to put out each month, and roughly how many people to expect!
Also a reminder that we’re trialling joind.in for feedback on meetings and presentations – this month’s meeting is on joind.in as an event, as was November’s meeting. Please take the time to add your feedback :-)