Now that the Joomla Developer Conference is over, I'm taking a bit of time to slow down and work on a few things and catch up on sleep. Curiously enough after shifting between time zones (from Brisbane [GMT+10] to Seattle [GMT-8] to New York [GMT-5]) I think I just switched back to Brisbane time even though I'm still in New York (yes, I slept all day!).
So in my last blog I covered a bit of my last week and a half of Joomla! conference travels. I was sitting in the middle of Microsoft's Web Developer Summit at the time which turned out on the whole to be an interesting event. MSWDS09 was an event where Microsoft took the chance to bear a whole heap of criticism and feedback over its products as well as make connection. The one thing about being behind on your blogging is that people have already beaten you there. Check out some of the blogs from other participants of the event. I feel that for the Joomla! project I've made some valuable contacts with different people within the organisation that can help improve Joomla!'s support on Microsoft's platforms. At the end of the day this is primarily what they're interested in which in my mind is fine. They seem to be more accepting of the fact that a lot of open source can run on Windows and help their ecosystem instead of causing it more damage. For myself personally I've seen environments that are very Microsoft friendly to the point that they're not interested in using Joomla! because it doesn't operate well. So working with Microsoft to improve support for Joomla! on their platform not only helps them but it also helps the Joomla! project.
So when MSWDS09 finished, I spent some time and worked with some of the Microsoft guys to get Joomla! into the Web Application Gallery. I think I met nearly 20 different people in our travels to get it working and by the evening we'd submitted and uploaded our initial package to the Gallery. You can check out Joomla! on the Gallery right now and even install it. To be honest the Web Application Gallery is perhaps one of the easiest ways to get Joomla! up and running on a clean Windows install. It is a small download for an application which handles working out what dependencies you have. For installing Joomla! we need PHP, MySQL and a web server where Microsoft helpfully choose their own IIS here (to be expected - it is Microsoft after all!). It will also install WinCache, Microsoft's own PECL extension to provide caching support in Windows, to improve performance. They've only just released WinCache so hopefully it will get some further work on it to improve it. Whilst I was there I had a chat with a few other people about some projects that hopefully will see the light of day (you never know with Microsoft and unfortunately I can't comment more specifically) and i also managed to get some time to have a chat with the SQL Server people about their new driver for PHP (unfortunately Windows only at the moment, hopefully they'll build a Linux version too!). Their new driver has the advantage that it speaks UTF-8 which means that shifting Joomla! onto SQL Server became a bit more of a reality.
So that was a bit on my time in Seattle and now for the Joomla! Developer Conference in New York City. It was a great event with something like 60 or so people in a room together and many more via the live stream. I liked the event because I was able to put a face to all of the names that I've seen around the place. You also pick up on different tools and technologies, for me a new project called "My Code Spark" from one of the lightening talks looked great as well as Tienda, a clean room shopping cart which appears to be coming soon. I also gave a small presentation on some of the stuff I'm doing with update and at some point I'll turn that into either screencasts or blog posts somewhere. If you missed it and want to catch up on what was said check out the videos from the event on UStream's Joomla Developer Conference 2009 Channel. You can watch the presentations online at your convenience. I'd like to thank all of the people who came to the Developer Conference (even the poor guy from Microsoft who had a pen thrown at him, sorry!) for making it a wonderful event. We've got some exciting times coming up with the Joomla! project (well, don't we always?) with not only 1.6 but the entire developer community in general.
So all in all I'm going to take a few days down time to recover from everything as well as spend a bit of time relaxing and catching up in New York. It is an entirely surreal experience being here and hopefully I'll do some stuff like catch a Broadway musical or similar. I'll also be doing some more Joomla! work and I might even work on getting my email back to sane levels again or write the odd blog post on my personal site. See you all on the flip side!