Rasmus Lerdorf


PHP on Hormones
44 minutes, 20.5mb, recorded 2007-04-26
Rasmus Lerdorf

In 1993, when Rasmus first saw the Mosaic Web browser, he knew that the Internet would be the platform of choice. But his employer, a Brazilian company, did not pay heed so he quit to return to Canada to do consulting work. During this six-month period, he found himself repetitively writing the same CGI programs in C. To avoid repetition, he collected his library of C programs and added a template parser that parsed HTML and made calls to his C routines. Thus was born the first version of PHP.

Rasmus believes there are four kinds of programmers. First, the pragmatic ones who are just after solving their own problems. The second kind finds programming as a means of self-expression, like an artist finds self-expression in his art-work. The third are the real programmers who enjoy programming for its own sake because it creates a hormone called oxytocin in them, and the fourth are the open source zealots who wish to change the world. He claims to be of the first kind. He programs to solve his problem and then moves on. He confesses that he created PHP purely to serve his own interest, to solve his own set of problems. He made the source publicly available so others could benefit from it. That set the ball rolling. Today, PHP runs a considerable number of some of the largest websites on the planet.

Hear the story of the evolution of PHP from being a purely procedural language to its current state of a full-fledged object oriented language, from its creator Rasmus Lerdorf. In this presentation, Rasmus also talks about the performance of PHP, profiling, security issues and vulnerabilities that websites are prone to, how to tackle them to some extent, and about his love for API. The slides for this session contain code snippets of the old and new PHP versions and also of the Flickr and Yahoo! Maps API examples.

Rasmus Lerdorf is the original creator of the PHP programming language, the mod_info Apache module, and the ANSI92 SQL-defying LIMIT clause in mSQL 1.x which has now crept into both MySQL and PostgreSQL.

Prior to joining Yahoo! as an infrastructure engineer in 2002, he was at a string of companies including Linuxcare, IBM, and Bell Canada working on internet technologies.


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