PHP Hacking

The Milwaukee PHP User Group invited me to speak at their January 2011 meeting, so I talked about PHP Hacking, or at least my perspective on it, with a talk titled: PHP Hacking: The battle between great ideas and not-so-great code.

I recorded the audio from the talk, and since I felt the slides themselves didn’t say much, I thought about syncing the audio to the slides and making a video, but since SlideShare has these things called SlideCasts, I thought I’d give that a try…

John Boutelle has a great intro called Slidecasting 101 which explains it all. I found the SlideCast tool pretty easy to use, my only complaint would be that I’d like to not publish my slides until the audio is synced. If there’s a way to do that, I must have missed it.

As for the talk itself, it pokes a lot of fun at Java, .NET, Ruby (on Rails) and a few other things… Don’t take it too seriously… much of this talk was for entertainment purposes. Also, I mentioned a few people in this talk, or if I didn’t mention them, I mentioned things that they’ve done. Here’s a few: Dave Winer, Rogers Cadenhead, Kellan Elliott-McCrea, Phil Wilson, Vinny Carpenter, Steve Minutillo, Matt Gauger, Tom Henrich, and probably a few more I’ve forgotten…

If you’d like me to come speak at your user group or meeting, let me know… I’d be happy to come and insult whatever technology you’d like, even your own. :)

This presentation is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. You can also see it at SlideShare.


Positive Complaining

John Resig shows us the right way to complain about something… by not even making it appear you are complaining, and offering solutions.

His post on Easy PDF Sharing nails it by saying he loves something (SlideShare) but then asking how it could be improved, and and offering a solution as well (with working code.)

To SlideShare’s credit, they are pretty open to people’s suggestions. When I mentioned them last year, they commented on my post right away, which is always great to see.

I’m really liking what John did, and I’ll see if I can tie into it with my workflow of using S5.



I wanted to test out SlideShare, as I’ve seen a number of people I know post their presentations there…

I did a short presentation for Web414 in early 2007 called Lightbox JS (and Friends). I used S5 because I like S5, it’s XHTML/CSS, it’s standards-based, it lives on the web and gets indexed. Anyone with a browser can see it. It takes no special software to create or consume.


I managed to convert this to a format I could put into SlideShare, but it wasn’t easy. (See Lightbox JS (and Friends) on SlideShare.) This is what SlideShare has to say about formats:

We accept PowerPoint (ppt & pps), PDF, & OpenOffice (odp) files. If you are on a Mac and use Keynote, export to “PDF”.

So my complaint here is that anyone who plans put their stuff on SlideShare will most likely start with a proprietary and/or binary format. I know, I’m one of those crazy people who actually prefer HTML, but if SlideShare becomes the standard for sharing slides and presentations, it could be a bad thing.

The conversion process I went through involved doing screen captures of each page of my S5 presentation, which on the Mac created PNG files. I then converted those to PDF files, and combined them into a single PDF I could upload to SlideShare. This was a short presentation and it still took me way too long to do. What SlideShare needs is an S5 importer (or really, just an HTML importer) just give it a URL and let it import your existing presentation. That would be cool.

SlideShare is a nice service, and yes, they even support Creative Commons, which is a good thing. Hopefully they’ll continue to improve it, and eventually become supportive of us HTML-presentation freaks…