Art, PHP, Sculpin & more at SymfonyLive Berlin 2015

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I sat down with Rebekah Simensen & Beau Simensen as SymfonyLive Berlin 2015 was wrapping up. Beau is the maintainer of the Sculpin PHP static site generator and was until recently a voting member of PHP-FIG. Rebekah is the artist known as ninjagrl, whom I had heard of because of her #ossart, open-source-inspired work. Beau has promised to come back on the podcast soon to explain all about the PSR 7 HTTP message standard interfaces, but I didn't want to pass up this chance to meet such interesting people!

Topics covered in our conversation include Drupal 8 and its release cycle, fish, Sculpin and its origin story, Symfony and SensioLabs, ninjagrl's #ossart, PHP-FIG, and more.

Comparing company- versus community-driven projects

In our conversation, Beau and I touch on the differences and benefits between a company-driven open source project like SensioLabs supporting Symfony, Twig, and their communities and the larger, wilder world of the community-driven open source project Drupal. Beau points out that in the case of Symfony, "You end up with people who are committed to providing it. They put money into supporting the ecosystem that they're building. I think it's a nice thing and I don't see it that often. It's unique and it's interesting to see what they've done with the community. And they've still been able to build a big ecosystem around it even though it's funded by a company." He continues, "It's nice to have someone who has the final say: 'This is going to happen. This is not going to happen.'"

We then talked about the long Drupal 8 release cycle as an example of something that probably would not have gone down the same way if Dries or a specific company had tighter control over Drupal. To be fair, the Drupal core developer community has recognized this weakness and committed to regular releases and semantic versioning (new features every six months!) for Drupal 8.

Ninjagrl and #ossart

Among other projects, Rebekah's online artist persona "ninjagrl" has made a series of paintings--#ossart--"that have been inspired by the names of open-source projects, services, PHP community lingo, and related technical jargon." We talk about how she was exposed to this world through long runs with Beau and his venting about the stresses and politics of being part of PHP-FIG around 2013.

The poignant "Pull Request" ...

Pull Request by ninjagrl

ninjagrl's #ossart!

  1. Check out ninjagrl's site and galleries at https://ninjagrl.com/
  2. Buy #ossart prints!

Interview video - 22 min. 30 sec.

Guest dossier - Beau Simenson

Beau's bio from monii.com sums it up pretty well:

I keep the engineering team running at maximum power. I architect, design and oversee platform development. This picture we’re painting? It’s got my signature all the way through it, not just in the bottom left hand corner.

Beau Simensen (@beausimensen, beau.io) has been a professional polyglot programmer since 1998. He is the Co-Founder and Software Architect for monii.com and is co-host of That Podcast (@thatpodcast, thatpodcast.io).

An active open-sourcer, he created Sculpin (sculpin.io) and helped create Stack PHP (stackphp.com). He is also the Sculpin representative to the PHP Framework Interoperability Group (PHP-FIG). Beau is a proponent of framework agnostic code. Unglue all the things!

At dflydev Beau was responsible for high-touch client services for two major clients over five years. Tasks and projects included devops, continuous integration, online resource management, enterprise application development, and writing C code for embedded systems.

For Monii, Beau is responsible for ensuring Monii’s technical execution follows (and keeps up) with the commercial requirements of the business. These responsibilities include architecture, design, and workflows to support continual development, testing, and deployment.

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