FAQ

ZendCon Panel and Next Steps

Rafael Dohms
Oct 6, 2008 at 4:49 pm
Hi everyone,

Well we had a great talk at ZendCon, some cool ideias, some cool prospects
and such.

I would like to get the ball rolling on some of those topics, like Zend
offer of the PHP dev Database and the ideias on the php.net Maps to help
people find groups in their areas.

Joining me here i guess most of the groups i represented at the meetup are
already in the mailing list now, so they can speak out.

BTW here goes the audio for that:
http://devzone.zend.com/article/3941-PHP-User-Group-Panel-Discussion-at-ZendCon-UnCon

Rafael Machado Dohms
http://www.rafaeldohms.com.br
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9 responses

  • Tim Stiles at Oct 6, 2008 at 6:27 pm
    GREAT!

    I hope to listen to the audio very soon!

    Tim Stiles,
    Co-Organizer, DallasPHP
    WatchMaker, Icomex.com


    On Oct 6, 2008, at 11:49 AM, Rafael Dohms wrote:

    Hi everyone,

    Well we had a great talk at ZendCon, some cool ideias, some cool
    prospects
    and such.

    I would like to get the ball rolling on some of those topics, like
    Zend
    offer of the PHP dev Database and the ideias on the php.net Maps to
    help
    people find groups in their areas.

    Joining me here i guess most of the groups i represented at the
    meetup are
    already in the mailing list now, so they can speak out.

    BTW here goes the audio for that:
    http://devzone.zend.com/article/3941-PHP-User-Group-Panel-
    Discussion-at-ZendCon-UnCon

    Rafael Machado Dohms
    http://www.rafaeldohms.com.br
  • Ben Ramsey at Oct 16, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    On 10/6/08 12:49 PM, Rafael Dohms wrote:
    I would like to get the ball rolling on some of those topics, like Zend
    offer of the PHP dev Database and the ideias on the php.net Maps to help
    people find groups in their areas.
    My concern here is that, while Mark de Visser made this offer on behalf of Zend,
    he has since left Zend, so I wonder whether this offer is still on the table and
    who at Zend is now the community contact to help make this happen for us.

    Is anyone on this list a representative of Zend who can answer some of these
    questions for us?
  • Cal Evans at Oct 16, 2008 at 2:54 pm
    Hi Ben, Rafael! (and everyone else)

    You would need to contact Brad Cottel. He's the one that will be responsible
    for this kind of thing. I'm cc:ing him on this thread so he will be aware
    of your interest.

    =C=
    On Thu, Oct 16, 2008 at 9:16 AM, Ben Ramsey wrote:
    On 10/6/08 12:49 PM, Rafael Dohms wrote:

    I would like to get the ball rolling on some of those topics, like Zend
    offer of the PHP dev Database and the ideias on the php.net Maps to help
    people find groups in their areas.
    My concern here is that, while Mark de Visser made this offer on behalf of
    Zend, he has since left Zend, so I wonder whether this offer is still on the
    table and who at Zend is now the community contact to help make this happen
    for us.

    Is anyone on this list a representative of Zend who can answer some of
    these questions for us?

    --
    Ben Ramsey
    http://benramsey.com/


    --
    Usergroup Coordination Mailing List (http://ug.php.net)
    To unsubscribe, visit: http://www.php.net/unsub.php
  • Hans Zaunere at Oct 16, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    I would like to get the ball rolling on some of those topics, like Zend
    offer of the PHP dev Database and the ideias on the php.net Maps to
    help people find groups in their areas.
    Sorry for coming into this discussion late, but could someone expand on what wants to be done and what's needed? Seems as though we have more than enough skill sets among us to handle most anything.

    H
  • Rafael Dohms at Oct 25, 2008 at 10:17 am
    Hans,
    During our chat at ZendCon, we were talking about how to get new members for
    the groups, how to ge local PHPer on the local groups, so Mark Offered the
    Zend DB so we could reach all the PHP developers you have stored.

    This would mean getting them info on the closes group, or simply getting in
    touch with them all.

    The nature of this share was not described, and maybe Ramsey has a better
    ideia on how it should be.

    Should we elect someone to be the Zend representative and talk to them?

    As for the Maps:

    I'm currently working on this for the Brazilian community, so when it
    evolves i would like to take it to php.net. We have been discussing
    parameters and metrics to determine if a group is active automatically.
    I have incorporated some of the suggestions given here, but i've added a
    automatic layer on top of it, so that most of the time no human interaction
    will be needed, but we will still have the humam factor for lat case
    scenarios, before we pull the plug.
    I'll have more news on this as it evolves and will share with you the code
    for beta testing also.

    Cheers

    Rafael Machado Dohms
    http://www.rafaeldohms.com.br

    On Thu, Oct 16, 2008 at 14:14, Hans Zaunere wrote:

    I would like to get the ball rolling on some of those topics, like Zend
    offer of the PHP dev Database and the ideias on the php.net Maps to
    help people find groups in their areas.
    Sorry for coming into this discussion late, but could someone expand on
    what wants to be done and what's needed? Seems as though we have more than
    enough skill sets among us to handle most anything.

    H
  • Hans Zaunere at Oct 25, 2008 at 7:36 pm
    Hello, thanks for the heads up....
    During our chat at ZendCon, we were talking about how to get new
    members for the groups, how to ge local PHPer on the local groups, so
    Mark Offered the Zend DB so we could reach all the PHP developers you
    have stored.
    So likely they would be willing to do an email blast for us, or include a note in their newsletter, as it sounds.
    This would mean getting them info on the closes group, or simply
    getting in touch with them all.

    The nature of this share was not described, and maybe Ramsey has a
    better ideia on how it should be.
    I assume we would have a site that lists all the user groups, and then this email blast will direct to that site?

    H
  • Rafael Dohms at Oct 25, 2008 at 8:22 pm
    Michelangelo,

    Yes PHP Classes has them.. but it does not check groups and is extremelly
    outdated, so if we are moving to php.net we should move with something much
    better.

    once i;m doing this for the local groups, and as a distraction and ZF study,
    i have no problem in doing it.

    Rafael Machado Dohms
    http://www.rafaeldohms.com.br

    On Sat, Oct 25, 2008 at 17:44, Michelangelo van Dam wrote:

    Hey Hi all,

    Maybe we should have a wiki set up for documenting the best ways in
    contacting PHP developers within a certain region, but in the mean time I
    would like to list our approaches that might inspire other user groups as
    well.

    Let me just say that PHPBelgium is the only user community in Belgium, so
    the resources listed here are for communicating people in a country, which
    might not be a solution for everyone.


    - website with news and events
    - meetup.com to manage our meetings (and provides a mailing list for
    communicating)
    - twitter.com to announce PHPBelgium novelties
    - promoting PHPBelgium flyers through a nation wide chain of IT
    specialized bookstore
    - contacting other UG's (like Adobe, MySQL, ...) to announce our
    activities
    - having our meeting schedules taken in the newsletter of a nation wide
    association for professional developers
    - inviting IT press reporters to our meetings to discuss our objectives
    - contacting local representatives of Zend Technologies, IBM, Sun
    Microsystems, Microsoft and Adobe


    Besides these "formal" contact approaches, I visit as manny IT-related
    events and conferences mingle amongst the attendees to promote our causes.

    Referring to Rafael's suggestion of using maps, I know that PHPClasses and
    meetup.com use maps already... is there a way we can use (incorporate)
    these instead of re-inventing the wheel all over again ? I do agree with
    Rafael that these maps should move towards php.net (is this a possible
    solution ?).

    Best regards,

    *Michelangelo van Dam*
    *Zend Certified PHP Engineer*
    *
    *
    Read my blog: http://dragonbe.com
    Follow me: http://twitter.com/DragonBe

    On 25 Oct 2008, at 12:16, Rafael Dohms wrote:

    Hans,
    During our chat at ZendCon, we were talking about how to get new members
    for
    the groups, how to ge local PHPer on the local groups, so Mark Offered the
    Zend DB so we could reach all the PHP developers you have stored.

    This would mean getting them info on the closes group, or simply getting in
    touch with them all.

    The nature of this share was not described, and maybe Ramsey has a better
    ideia on how it should be.

    Should we elect someone to be the Zend representative and talk to them?

    As for the Maps:

    I'm currently working on this for the Brazilian community, so when it
    evolves i would like to take it to php.net. We have been discussing
    parameters and metrics to determine if a group is active automatically.
    I have incorporated some of the suggestions given here, but i've added a
    automatic layer on top of it, so that most of the time no human interaction
    will be needed, but we will still have the humam factor for lat case
    scenarios, before we pull the plug.
    I'll have more news on this as it evolves and will share with you the code
    for beta testing also.

    Cheers

    Rafael Machado Dohms
    http://www.rafaeldohms.com.br


    On Thu, Oct 16, 2008 at 14:14, Hans Zaunere wrote:

    I would like to get the ball rolling on some of those topics, like Zend

    offer of the PHP dev Database and the ideias on the php.net Maps to

    help people find groups in their areas.


    Sorry for coming into this discussion late, but could someone expand on

    what wants to be done and what's needed? Seems as though we have more than

    enough skill sets among us to handle most anything.


    H



  • Tim Stiles at Oct 26, 2008 at 1:43 am
    I've done a couple of sites that needed the cooperation of multiple
    non-professional groups. You must plan for the fact that the groups
    are chaotic. The groups persist, but the contacts for those groups
    change frequently, without notice, and almost always without any sort
    of plan for smooth transition. They also are rarely interested in
    your problems. Sometimes, the group entries are just abandoned, but
    there are sometimes disturbingly loud conflicts and power struggles
    over them, which have absolutely nothing to do with you or your
    purpose. This can throw your simple contact list mechanism into
    complete chaos.

    A) I know that fully automated systems are what we all desperately
    want (since our real lives always get in the way of the fun stuff),
    but it almost always results in entries that are obsolete or
    deliberately deceptive. Requiring someone's conscious approval
    before an entry comes online is a strong deterrent to misuse and
    almost always guarantees validity coming in. Once they are in the
    system, there is less chance that people will play games, automate
    everything you can. If you have to automate the process of approving
    entries, make certain there is a responsive dispute mechanism so that
    dead or contested links can be pulled offline quickly. (Case in
    point, I've been trying to get an entry corrected on PHP.net's
    calendar for three years, but I didn't submit it, he's off the grid
    now, and an update protocol is practically non-existent.)

    B) Active groups are proactive about promoting their existence. They
    won't mind responding to a periodic email asking "Are you still
    there?" It's also easier to get them to update their info if they
    don't have to remember to visit and log in to your site on their
    own. An authoritative email contact is mandatory, a secondary email
    contact is preferred. Instead of an entirely login driven system,
    make use of a timed-access email-invitation system.

    C) PLEASE PLEASE Make entries expire unless they are confirmed via
    the people who submitted them. Don't rely on a web page test
    mechanism - web pages can stagnate for years, transfers of authority
    and administrative access to those sites are not always seamless, and
    internal disputes within groups are not uncommon, let alone unheard
    of. Set up plans for changing of administrative contacts, especially
    the circumstance where the original registrant drops off the face of
    the earth with no warning. (example: if a group leaves meetup.com,
    any other meetup.com registrant can claim their name with no
    warning. I've seen it happen with a couple of different web design
    groups in the Dallas area.)

    BAD DATA IS FAR WORSE THAN MINIMAL DATA.

    Tim Stiles,
    Co-Organizer, DallasPHP
    WatchMaker, Icomex.com


    On Oct 25, 2008, at 5:16 AM, Rafael Dohms wrote:

    I have incorporated some of the suggestions given here, but i've
    added a
    automatic layer on top of it, so that most of the time no human
    interaction
    will be needed, but we will still have the humam factor for lat case
    scenarios, before we pull the plug.
  • Rafael Dohms at Oct 26, 2008 at 1:35 pm
    I'll respond below inside you mail

    Rafael Machado Dohms
    http://www.rafaeldohms.com.br

    On Sat, Oct 25, 2008 at 23:43, Tim Stiles wrote:

    I've done a couple of sites that needed the cooperation of multiple
    non-professional groups. You must plan for the fact that the groups are
    chaotic. The groups persist, but the contacts for those groups change
    frequently, without notice, and almost always without any sort of plan for
    smooth transition. They also are rarely interested in your problems.
    Sometimes, the group entries are just abandoned, but there are sometimes
    disturbingly loud conflicts and power struggles over them, which have
    absolutely nothing to do with you or your purpose. This can throw your
    simple contact list mechanism into complete chaos.
    A controlled state is nirvana in any situation, so yes.. chaos is the
    default result. But we can have controlled chaos.

    A) I know that fully automated systems are what we all desperately want
    (since our real lives always get in the way of the fun stuff), but it almost
    always results in entries that are obsolete or deliberately deceptive.
    Requiring someone's conscious approval before an entry comes online is a
    strong deterrent to misuse and almost always guarantees validity coming in.
    Once they are in the system, there is less chance that people will play
    games, automate everything you can. If you have to automate the process of
    approving entries, make certain there is a responsive dispute mechanism so
    that dead or contested links can be pulled offline quickly. (Case in point,
    I've been trying to get an entry corrected on PHP.net's calendar for three
    years, but I didn't submit it, he's off the grid now, and an update protocol
    is practically non-existent.)

    This is an interesting point, and i will implement a dispute system so we
    can solve these problems, but without getting into them, which is negative
    and we just would not want the hassle.

    And as we here in Brazil have 2 or 3 coordinators in each group, not just
    one, i'll implement something along that line, so we don't rely on a single
    contact.

    B) Active groups are proactive about promoting their existence. They won't
    mind responding to a periodic email asking "Are you still there?" It's also
    easier to get them to update their info if they don't have to remember to
    visit and log in to your site on their own. An authoritative email contact
    is mandatory, a secondary email contact is preferred. Instead of an
    entirely login driven system, make use of a timed-access email-invitation
    system.
    This is not rulled out. We have a automated verification system, which i'll
    explain in the next step. But on top of that we have an administration area
    for the groups where i thought of putting a "I'm alive" button for pro
    active verification. The email will also happen in case the AVS detects lack
    of activity, in which point 3 sequenced alert mails will be fired for the
    admins to reply with an "hello"

    Also the authentication module will be .. well modular. So we can plug new
    ways to log in as we see fit, the first prototype will go with a WP
    integration as its our current reality in the national representation here
    in Brasil.

    C) PLEASE PLEASE Make entries expire unless they are confirmed via the
    people who submitted them. Don't rely on a web page test mechanism - web
    pages can stagnate for years, transfers of authority and administrative
    access to those sites are not always seamless, and internal disputes within
    groups are not uncommon, let alone unheard of. Set up plans for changing of
    administrative contacts, especially the circumstance where the original
    registrant drops off the face of the earth with no warning. (example: if a
    group leaves meetup.com, any other meetup.com registrant can claim their
    name with no warning. I've seen it happen with a couple of different web
    design groups in the Dallas area.)
    I will implement a verification system.
    The automated Activity Verification system (AVS) is a X step program. I'm
    creating various mechanisms for activity verification, this means, checking
    the website, checking the mailing list, php calendar maybe, and this will be
    extendable.
    ehehehe I just spent a few hour explaining this in our list, so let me try
    to summize.
    The process is composed of a list of "criteria" ordered by relevance. So for
    example, site activity, list activity..etc...
    The robot will periodically run through this list checking for the correct
    metrics for each criteria
    If any criteria is met.. it exits, if not it goes on to the next criteria..
    so if a groups has X posts on the site in a month, it passed and we go on to
    the next group, if it does not we go check the mailing list.. and so on.
    If all criteria dont match, we sent a warning mail.. 3 chances for the
    admin/responsible to hit the "i'm alive" button, if he does not, then the
    group goes inactive waiting for re-activation. (never delete, just soft
    delete)

    So this balances manual and automatic verification and is totally
    customizable from admin panel.. like how many mails /month is active? how
    many posts? and such...

    Well this is what i'm planning and has been approved in brasil, so once its
    in a beta release... i'll put it up so that we can look at it from a
    international point of view and see if it fits... and if needed we will
    branch it.. do a php.net branch and adequate it to other standards.

    But i think we have most of the problems covered. And i'll incorporate any
    new suggestions as they come.

    Thanks for the feedback guys.. good stuff!
    BAD DATA IS FAR WORSE THAN MINIMAL DATA.

    Tim Stiles,
    Co-Organizer, DallasPHP
    WatchMaker, Icomex.com



    On Oct 25, 2008, at 5:16 AM, Rafael Dohms wrote:

    I have incorporated some of the suggestions given here, but i've added a
    automatic layer on top of it, so that most of the time no human
    interaction
    will be needed, but we will still have the humam factor for lat case
    scenarios, before we pull the plug.

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