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. ┬áThis 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 :-)

December’s meeting

Mark BakerThanks 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’s biography:

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 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 for feedback on meetings and presentations – this month’s meeting is on as an event, as was November’s meeting. Please take the time to add your feedback :-)

November’s meeting

James TitcumbThanks to those of you that came to last month’s talk! This month’s talk is by James Titcumb, on “Low Latency Logging“:

Logging is an absolute must for any API or web application, but when starting out, questions such as “how can we do it without disrupting everything else” and “what is the easiest way to log” often come out. I’m going to explore a couple of infrastructure ideas to carry out what I call “high-performance, low-latency” logging to ensure minimal impact to the performance of the runtime application. The talk will show you that a really great logging architecture is a low-cost investment in your application that will definitely pay off in the long run.

Speaker bio: I’ve been doing coding since I got an Amiga 500 and got to grips with my first AmigaBASIC program. Eventually I moved into the wonderful world of the PC and eventually the internet, where I started coding with CGI, Perl and ultimately PHP. PHP struck a chord with me and I’ve been doing it for the past 11 years (circa PHP 4.1 era). Fast forward to today, I’m the Development Manager at and I also run the PHP Hampshire user group, based in Portsmouth. I also dabble in open source projects, currently the Browscap Project (Browser Capabilities Project).

As usual following the presentation we’ll head to the North Laine brewery/pub around the corner for a drink.

If you’re interested in coming, please sign up to the event over at Lanyrd. We’re also trialling using to get feedback – see the event page

See you there!