I have accepted an offer from Company 52 to be their Vice President of Engineering. Many thanks to everyone who helped get the news out about my job search, to those who provided referrals and leads, and to those with whom I had the pleasure of speaking regarding their open positions, including such luminaries as Facebook, Mashery, and Message Systems.
On Thursday, I released version 1.1.0 of the Solar Framework for PHP. Due to a small but critical bug in the PostgreSQL adapter, I released version 1.1.1 with the necessary fix earlier today. Change notes are here for 1.1.0, and here for 1.1.1.
The single biggest new feature in this release of Solar is a Markdown plugin set for DocBook, along with a new
make-docbook command to convertAPI documentation to DocBook files. Previously, the Solar API documentation was wiki-like; now, we take the Markdown-based comments in the codebase and convert them to DocBook, and render the DocBook files in to HTML using PhD. (Incidentally, I tried rendering with xsltproc; after three hours, the processing was less than one-third complete. With PhD, rendering takes under five minutes for the entire API documentation set.)
make-model command now recognizes a star at the end of the model name, indicating it should make one model class set for each table in the database. For example, this will make one model class from the table "foo_bar" …
./script/solar make-model Vendor_Model_FooBar
… but this will make a Vendor_Model class for each table in the database:
./script/solar make-model Vendor_Model_*
That kind of thing is helpful when getting started with an existing set of tables, or when you’re updating your models after schema changes.
Other highlights include a series of small fixes, better CLI output in non-TTY environments, improved automation of CSRF form elements.
Finally, we’ve added a new manual chapter on user authentication, roles, and access control. Find out how, with some config settings, you can instantiate a single object and let it automatically handle user login/logout, role discovery, and access permissions for you! And if you want more direct control over the process, browse on over to these blog entries from CoolGoose:
If you haven’t tried Solar yet, maybe now is the time: run through the Getting Started documentation and see how you like it!
(Cross-posted from the Solar blog.)
My favorite part of these things (as always) is meeting the other attendees. We retired to a nearby bar after the meeting, where I cliqued up with Brian Dailey, Ryan Weaver, Jeremy Kendall, and others. Here are some of the books, blogs, and podcasts that came up in our discussion:
- The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering, Fred Brooks
- Managing in the Next Society, Peter Drucker
- The Essential Drucker, Peter Drucker
- Fooled By Randomness, Nassim Taleb
- The Black Swan, Nassim Taleb
- Economics in One Lesson, Henry Hazlitt
- Surviving In Argentina
- Marginal Revolution
- Cafe Hayek
If anyone there remembers other stuff we talked about, leave a comment and I’ll put it in the main entry.
Combine How Complex Systems Fail with Fooled By Randomness and throw in some organizational behavior models, and you get the human response to unforeseen disaster. We think we can prevent future disaster, somehow, by going through a particular set of rituals. Then Malcolm Gladwell asks, way back in 1996:
But what if the assumptions that underlie our disaster rituals aren’t true? What if these public post mortems don’t help us avoid future accidents? Over the past few years, a group of scholars has begun making the unsettling argument that the rituals that follow things like plane crashes or the Three Mile Island crisis are as much exercises in self-deception as they are genuine opportunities for reassurance. For these revisionists, high-technology accidents may not have clear causes at all. They may be inherent in the complexity of the technological systems we have created.
I think there are lessons here for, among other things, the BP oil spill. As with most of Gladwell, it’s worth your time to read the whole thing.
After a 4-month hiatus, I’m back on the job market again. If you need a web architect, expert (senior) PHP developer, or someone to manage your programming team as a leader/mentor, send me an email: [email protected].