With Puli being a trending topic and point of conversation within the developer community, we have Bernhard Schussek, Symfony2 Core Developer also better known as “webmozart” presenting an insightful and creative talk on ‘Puli: PHP's Next Package Revolution’ at SymfonyLive London 2015. We caught up with Bernhard to ask him about his journey with Symfony, his background and experience, and the talk he is most looking forward to in September!
Could you give us a quick summary of your background?
I started programming at the age of 13 when a friend at school told me of Visual Basic. I got really excited about building things. Later I learned about PHP and decided to study computer science. At about the same time, in 2006, I came across an article about Symfony in a PHP magazine. I read the complete documentation in a weekend and was hooked! Could it be true that you could solve so many web problems with such simplicity?
How long have you worked with Symfony?
The company I worked for when I first heard of Symfony was relaunching an eCommerce platform. I decided to use symfony 1.0 (yes, lowercase!) to build it. The experience was great, but we also hit a few limitations. I tried to work around, started to report bugs and wrote small patches. I blogged about improving the framework and in the end was doing just that by building and taking responsibility of several components in Symfony2. Since then I've been working on Symfony's core. Being part of this great community has taught me a lot of things, for which I am forever grateful.
Which talk are you most looking forward to at SymfonyLive London 2015?
I'm really looking forward to Matthias Noback's talk "Hexagonal architecture - message-oriented software design". I have heard much about the topic, but didn't have the chance to look closer into it or use it in practice. I would also like to see James Solomon's "How Spotify.com transitioned to Symfony". I love music and use Spotify every day. It's exciting to hear how two tools that I love are combined.
Why do you believe Puli is the future of PHP?
I think the PHP community is undergoing a very interesting transformation at the moment. We used to be a big bunch of lonesome riders, working on their projects in isolation. When the first PHP frameworks came up, those developers formed communities to share their knowledge and code. Recently, these communities are slowly merging into one big PHP community. We are getting rid of useless opinion wars and are collaborating on great, framework-agnostic tools instead. I think that's exciting! If we continue this path, the PHP ecosystem will grow faster than you could ever imagine just two or three years ago.
A few puzzle pieces are needed to get there, however. Composer and the Framework Interoperability Group (FIG) were two of them. Puli is another.
How difficult has the development process of Puli been?
The most difficult part of building Puli was finding out what the tool actually is. The tool started as a very technical solution: a simple "resource locator" that loaded files similarly to the PSR-4 class autoloader. But the more I and others used Puli, the more we saw what it could be: the next generation of Composer packages! Packages that can be installed and enabled in your application with a simple "composer install", independent of your framework or platform.
How big do you believe Puli can grow to be?
I think Puli can be very big. In fact, I think that Puli will be a commodity just like Composer a few years from now. Puli allows frameworks and other platforms to get rid of their boring package management tasks. Instead, they can rely on Puli and Composer for that and focus on what they do best: providing tools and conventions for building great applications with ease.
Is there still a place for package-specific frameworks?
We will always need frameworks. Their benefit is that you can drop any developer into your team, as long as they are familiar with your framework. There will also always be packages that are highly coupled to a framework. But with Puli and standards like PSR-7, it will for the first time become *possible* to create easily usable packages (think: plug 'n play) that are not coupled to a framework. I'm really looking forward to what our community will create once we open that door.
Bernhard is just one of our eleven speakers who will be presenting at SymfonyLive London 2015, he will be sharing his knowledge, expertise and industry insights with you on the day. Due to the popularity of the conference, places are now extremely limited so to avoid disappointment why not secure your place now?
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