Big Trouble in Little OSCON

It turns out two of my talks have been accepted at OSCON this year.

OSCON 2k6 speakers

They are “0 to 60 in 45 minutes: A Down and Dirty Ajax Design Patterns firedrill” in the new AJAX track and “The Underpants Gnomes Strategy Guide: An Ecards Case Study” in the PHP track.

Given my penchant for working on my talk during the conference, I figure I am royally screwed this time. How am I supposed to cram two talks worth of slides during OSCON week? Does this mean I’ll actually have to prepare my talk beforehand? *shudder*

I knew I should have submitted my MAMP talk (Mac Apache MySQL PHP). That one has been rejected for six different conferences in a row.

Watching a flub in real-time

In any case, if you want to see me fall flat on my face, here is my bio and two abstracts:

About me:

Terry Chay was the only Mac user at Plaxo, where he develops the web-based version of their product (they tolerate him because he stinks at CounterStrike). In past lives, he developed the communication layer between an internet-enabled home control device and the web browser, voice portals, PDAs and cell phones via SOAP in PHP, and the first internet travel search engine, also in PHP. He gives seminars on PHP development, which really is just a veiled excuse to play with Keynote. He also thinks it’s pretty cool that he can boast at least six years of Ajax experience in his resume when it has only been around for two of them.

“0 to 60 in 45 minutes: A Down and Dirty Ajax Design Patterns firedrill”

short description: As many “Web 2.0” patterns (in HTML, Javascript, or CSS) as can fit into a 45 minute talk that were actually used to solve real problems of real websites.

long description: Let’s see how many design patterns we can cram into a 45 minute talk. Starting with the basic Ajax pattern itself, we’ll throw anything HTML, Javascript, or CSS that could possibly be called a “pattern” and see what stuck in building live Web 2.0 websites. Anonymous functions, closures, CSS workarounds, and HTML injection are just a few of these patterns. Like any pattern, each has a problem it is designed to solve and “consequences” in doing so.

commentary: Honestly, I have no idea how I’m going to give this talk. The only reason I submitted this one is Caitlin has been bugging me to make a shotgun talk for a a year now.

In order to get the material for this, I’m going to start posting to my blog a lot more in the “Web Development” section. A lot of those posts will be pretty basic, so I’m sorry if it bores you. 😛

“The Underpants Gnomes Strategy Guide: An Ecards Case Study”

short description: How an ecard service that actually made some money was built! Focuses on the interesting (to the PHP developer) stuff: Web 2.0/Ajax tricks, REST integration with a non-PHP back-end, and creating an open API to access Plaxo.

long description: Building your basic eCards service seems to follow the same strategy:

  1. Build eCards site in PHP
  2. ???
  3. Profit!

Well, sometimes that strategy works!

I show how we built an eCards service that sent a million eCards, and reached a quarter million dollars in sales, in the first month of operation.

Ignoring the boring stuff like how database integration and scalability (because, let’s face it, that’s what Operations people are for), we focus on the interesting (to the PHP developer) stuff–like cool Web 2.0/Ajax tricks and REST integration with a non-PHP back end. We show how that was built using PHP (because, let’s face it, we’re lazy) and how doing this helped create an open-API to access Plaxo.

These quick and dirty tips might help you make the Underpants Gnomes Strategy work for you.

commentary: Another talk that’s going to fuck me royally as, even though I wrote Plaxo eCards, I have no clue how it made so much money and Trevor has taken over most of the coding. George, a manager of the PHP track, said he might be interested in more case-studies so I just served my latest PHP application up!

According to David, I broke nearly every rule O’Reilly’s web submission form provided on how to submit a bio, title a talk, and write an abstract. Just goes to show you, it helps to have an “in” with the managers for each of the tracks you are submitting for.

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