50% There

19 December 2006 » In PHP » 7 Comments

Unicode upgrade stats

Well, PHP boys and girls, this feels like quite a milestone: 50% of the 3084 functions that are bundled with PHP 6 have been upgraded to support and work safely with Unicode. I think it was hovering at around 10% only a few short months ago, so the development has definitely accelerated and, hopefully, the avalanche effect will continue. Preview release, here we come.

Linkblog Redux part Deux

20 November 2006 » In Other » Comments Off on Linkblog Redux part Deux

Thanks to Evan, the RSS autodiscovery on my linkblog is now fixed. Consider this another opportunity to subscribe. 🙂

Linkblog Redux

19 November 2006 » In Other » 1 Comment

Hey, you. Not, not you. You, the one reading this blog. Did you know that I now also have a linkblog that has the best links that I come across that day? You should read it. And subscribe to it too. And then read it again. It’ll be funny, thought-provoking, and educational. And it’ll help you lose weight. Oh, and get the girl or boy you’re after. Seriously, 4 out of every 5 bloggers agree. So, go ahead, click on it. You know you want to. See you there.

Vote for me in JPG Magazine

16 November 2006 » In Photography » Comments Off on Vote for me in JPG Magazine

I submitted three of my photos for JPG Magazine’s issue 8 contest, one for each theme that they have. If one of my photos wins, it’ll be published in the next issue among other winners. Please vote for me and help me win!

A Thought Experiment

03 November 2006 » In Funny, PHP » 5 Comments

George related this gem at the Zend Conference. Someone (let’s call him Bob) came up to him, and had this exchange:

Bob: If you were a PHP function.. which function would you be?
George: <unblinking stare of incredulity>
Bob: I am part Native American, so I think I would be apache_terminate_child().
George: <backs away slowly>

Slides from Zend Conference

02 November 2006 » In PHP, Talks » 1 Comment

I gave a talk on PHP and Unicode at the Zend Conference 2006. It was actually at 8:30 in the morning on the day of my birthday (November 2), which I thought was a nice touch on Zend’s part. Additionally, all the sessions in the conference were numbered with track number and order, so my session’s number was 2-11. Coincidence or not? In any case, the slides are online now.

Photos from NYC

24 October 2006 » In Photography, Travel » Comments Off on Photos from NYC

I was in New York this summer to give a talk at the NYPHP Conference and stayed an extra day to hang around and visit a couple of places that I have not seen before, such the re-opened MOMA. I shot some photos there and some on the streets around Washington Square Park. The results are on Flickr.

“PHP Eats Rails for Breakfast”

21 October 2006 » In PHP, Tech » 3 Comments

That is indeed the title of the article on Ohloh, a site that collects information on open source projects and gathers statistics by analyzing the source code of those projects. So far they’ve indexed over 3,000 projects and their conclusion seems to be that among Web scripting languages, PHP is the undisputed champion (as measured by the LOC count).

Measured purely by the number of new lines of code, PHP leaves all other web-scripting languages in the dust, and continues to grow. Quite simply, one-fifth of all open source code being written today is written in PHP.

This, combined with their observation that the relative number of developers working in PHP is not increasing and that the number of new projects being started has actually decreased, leads to an interesting premise: the trend for for PHP-based projects points towards mature code bases. Meaning that the developers prefer to work with existing applications or frameworks and increase their output through updating these applications rather than starting new ones. In general, that seems to be a good trend, if one can rely on the data gathered by Ohloh. I have not done an exhaustive examination, but there are some puzzling things in the data on PHP project itself. For example, how do they calculate “man-years” for each developer? My number is 5.5, which puts me fourth on the list behind Rasmus, Derick, and Frank. I know I’ve been working on PHP longer than that. And then, Andi and Zeev are actually below me with 5.3 and 5.2 man-years respectively. The account with the most man-years seems to be our automatic changelog committer script, even though it committed a total 0 lines of usable code. 🙂

Even without Ohloh’s data, one could venture to say that the code base of projects using PHP is larger than those of Ruby or Python. A lot of that is due to the accessibility of PHP, I think, but does pure lines-of-code count give indication to the quality of said code? Of course not. I think Ohloh is providing a useful service by tracking this kind of information, but I would take its results with a few grains of salt.

Linkblog Launched

11 October 2006 » In Other » Comments Off on Linkblog Launched

Throughout the day I usually come across a number of links that I want to share with people. I usually archive them on MyWeb, but I thought that it wouldn’t hurt to have them on my site as well. So, following Jeremy Zawodny’s example, I am launching a linkblog. The RSS feed of the links is available as well.

Recruit This!

09 October 2006 » In Rants, Work » 2 Comments

By virtue of living in Silicon Valley and working at Yahoo!, I frequently get phone calls or emails from recruiters. Their general expertise and cluefulness range is pretty wide: some are knowledgeable and do their research on my background before contacting me, while others expect that Hey, I have a C#/.NET as well as Java positions in New York City, please get back to me as soon as possible will garner some sort of response. And of course there’s the middle ground. But by and large, the scale is definitely skewed towards the not so good side. I received another “hot” email today:

Hi Andrei,

I am a recruiter in software industry and I work with few exciting
start-ups and other big companies in silicon Valley. I got your resume from internet and would like to discuss about some opportunities in Silicon Valley. Please let me know what would be the best time and phone number to reach you.

Where to start… First of all, I understand that English might not be this gentleman’s second language. Still, when you contact people on behalf of your clients, you do want to project a professional attitude, and that involves correct grammar and spelling. But even disregarding that, the email is very, very vague. So I applied my patented DeRecruitoMizer™ algorithm to it:

Original: Hi, Andrei
Decoded: My mail merge software tries to be personable. Nifty!

Original: I work with few exciting start-ups
Decoded: I don’t really care that omitting an article conveys a completely ridiculous impression upon the person I am contacting.

Original: I got your resume from internet
Decoded: I, for one, welcome our Google overlords whose mind-bending search technology put your resume in the top 20 results when I typed in “C#”, even though it is mentioned only once in the text under “secondary experience”.

Original: let me know what would be the best time and phone number to reach you
Decoded: Come on, call me. I know you are desperate for a sucky job in New York City, since you have your resume on the intraweb. You are desperate, aren’t you? Aren’t you? Why won’t you talk to me? Whyyyyyy? <sobbing>

I think that, given the top tech news of the day (hint: the combined service name might be GooTube), I think my response was quite appropriate:


Can you still get me into YouTube?


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