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Random thoughts, bright ideas and interesting experiments. In short the ramblings of a fulltime nerd.


International PHP Conference - WebTechCon 2010 - A Wrap Up

Jakob Westhoff

The IPC 2010 is over again. Actually it ended last Thursday, but unfortunately I had no time to write this article before. It was a great conference as always. Meeting with the PHP family again has been as exciting as always. I did not only have a lot of fun, but gathered some new ideas for future projects as well. Having occupied myself with a lot of JavaScript and jQuery stuff in the last one and a half years I decided it would be appropriate to share some of my gathered knowledge. Therefore, I gave two jQuery related talks at the WebTechCon this year, which took place in parallel to the IPC.

Developing jQuery plugins with ease

In this talk I gave an introduction to the concept of jQuery plugins. I described what plugins are for and in which ways they can be used. Furthermore I presented a general approach for creating new methods on jQuery sets -- one of the mostly common plugintypes. By pointing out most of the struggling points I provided a robust set of building blocks allowing each one of the attendees to easily create their set method plugins without having to worry about the most common mistakes.

An introduction to jQuery-UI widget development

This talk I gave on the third day of the conference aimed at explaining another kind of jQuery plugins: jQuery-UI Widgets. jQuery-UI has been developed as a set of reusable controls and widgets. It utilizes the jQuery library as its foundation and obeys to the same principles as jQuery itself. Instead of creating every widget on its own the UI developers created a framework which can be reused by everyone to harness its power, while developing own components. During this talk I gave a general introduction to this framework. I demonstrated the API as well as the way it tries to solve common problems. I think I have accomplished my task to give everyone of you a basic understanding of what a widget is exactly and how to start developing your own with jQuery-UI.

I had a lot of fun in both of the sessions. Extrapolated from the responses I got I can only assume the audience had fun as well. I am quite confident that I have been able to stop you from making the same initial mistakes I did, when first encountering jQuery plugins.

Workshop day

The regular conference ended on Wednesday evening. However there were some workshops scheduled for Thursday. I hosted a full day workshop about jQuery in cooperation with Bastian Feder. We decided to experiment with a new approach by playing Jeopardy with the audience. It worked great. By letting the audience decide what exactly they wanted to learn a really vivid and lively session took place. I had a lot of fun explaining all the different aspects of jQuery and JavaScript in general. I just packaged slides for the topics we presented. Some of the discussed topics were shown using live examples or by drawing to the flip chart. Therefore not every section has got proper slides.

Due to a lot of people asking us about this. We provide sessions like that for living. Therefore if you are interested in in-house workshops and sessions don't hesitate to contact either one of us. Furthermore we are always searching for opportunities to share our knowledge. If you offer professional training sessions and you are still searching for a team to present JavaScript related topics, let us know.


As always the IPC had been a lot of fun. I met a lot of interesting new people, reunited with old friends and finally met some guys in real life I only knew by online communication before. I want to thank all the participants, the speakers and the great orga team, who made all this possible. I am looking forward to the next family meeting during the IPC Spring next year.