Interview with Symfony core developer Bernhard Schussek

Interview with Symfony core developer Bernhard Schussek

Bernhard Schussek caught the programming bug at 14, when he wanted to build video games. He quickly realized programming video games was not so easy, and abandoned that pursuit, but his interest in languages and frameworks (first BASIC, than PHP and Symfony) remained.

Bernhard will be leading developer sessions at this year's eZ Conference, which will be held in Brooklyn, NY on November 3rd to 5th. His first session, an intermediate class on November 4th, is titled "Extending Forms and Writing Your Own Form Types." The next day, he'll be presenting a talk, "Puli: PHP's Next Package Revolution."

In this interview, we talked about what Puli can do, Bernhard's future plans for Symfony Forms, and his style of conducting workshops.

What does Puli bring to the table for PHP developers?

What Puli does is take the same problems and solve them in the generic way that is independent of the framework. Basically, it creates a new package concept for PHP.

The goal is to replace all those bundles and frameworks and all those things, instead to publish Puli packages that are installed with Composer. And those packages are supposed to work in any application, and can be installed just by running Composer, kind of like plug-n-play packages.

So with Wordpress when you install the plug-in, it just installs and it works. Puli's goal is to create packages that work the same way but work in any kind of PHP framework.

What are future plans for Symfony Forms?

Well, there are plenty of future plans. At the moment Symfony Forms are quite powerful but they can get slow when the problems are very big. And it's also more complicated than it actually needs to be. That is a natural step in the evolution of the components. We try to solve a huge list of problems with that component, and complex problems need complex solutions. But only now that we have this complex solution, we can also find where the problem is happening and simplify. The goal is to simplify the component in the future, to make it a little easier to use. And that's basically it.

The question is when that will be. At the moment I'm very busy with Puli, and as soon as that is over, I would like to start working on Forms again.

What is the Webmaster console library and how can Symfony developers use it?

The Webmaster console library is basically an evolution of the Symfony Console component. It extends the console component to be much better, more flexible and easier to use, and more powerful as well. If you want to use that component, the Webmaster console library, in a project where you use scripting console, then that's not so much work.

You just need to basically restructure your code, just the console specific code. The webmaster console component separates commands from the configuration. There's one configuration password and then there's one password command whereas with Symfony you just have one password command.

So you're leading two sessions at this year's eZ Conference. How do you conduct workshops?

One thing that I like about workshops that i've seen is when I got a solid combination of theory and practice, not just hacking where later when you're by yourself having no clue what to do. I prefer workshops where I get some theoretical knowledge about the things that I'm doing.

But then it's also very important for me that people really get their hands on code, and really start to understand the problems that they are working on. And to understand the solutions to those problems.

I personally prefer a very interactive form of training. I want to engage the people sitting in a workshop instead of having them stay idle and watch me come to the solutions. I want them to reach their own solutions.

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