All Posts Tagged With: "ebay"

OSCON 2006 Proposal Accepted

This year’s OSCON isn’t until July, but I’m ready to book my tickets because my proposal on “Dirty secrets of PHP 5’s ext/soap extension” was accepted today.

I’ve spent many months using ext/soap with eBay’s WSDL writing sample code and testing out various functions. Bit-by-bit I’ve picked up a number of tricks and discovered quite a few un- (or mis- or poorly) documented features. Thanks to this talk, I will finally have the excuse to put them all together in one place.

Here’s the official description:

PHP 5’s ext/soap extension is an excellent Web services client. However, while the easy things are easy, lack of documentation means the hard things can appear downright impossible. Starting with SOAPClient basics and building upwards, learn the hidden secrets necessary to conquer even the strangest WSDL.

The one bad part about this talk is that I won’t be giving “Abracadabra and hocus pocus: Magical methods and PHP 5” or “Consuming Web Services Using PHP 5.” Of the two, the first would have been a blast to give, but I already have slides for the second, which is nice. (Well, I haven’t heard one way or another about those talks, but I’m assuming they were rejected. That’s fine, since I only have time to prepare one talk.)

See you in Portland!

More from MIX 06

Ever since I started at eBay, I’ve been excited about using our Web services to improve the eBay experience for buyers. In particular, I think there are lots of interesting ways to integrate eBay into programs other than Web browsers. So, when we looked to put together demos for MIX 06, we decide to show off a Live.com search widget and Outlook 12 integration (see yesterday’s post for more information).

After poking around Feedster and Technorati, I’m glad to see other people are equally excited by these ideas:

The best demo was one that showed how you can integrate eBay with Microsoft Outlook, giving you a single place to manage your auctions. One can envision many similar uses that aggregate task-based communications into your email software.


Trapper Markelz

[Joe Belfiore] demo’d a cool add in that eBay created for monitoring auctions. Although not an avid eBayer this is something I’ve wanted for a while.

eBay had a talk about building their live.com search gadget – source speaks louder than words – it’s available on www.microsoftgadgets.com.

Jon Gallant

Later today I’m hosting a round table, so if you’re still at MIX, come on by the eBay table and I’ll buy you lunch.

Other links:

MIX 06

Today’s Day 2 at Microsoft’s MIX 06 conference. I’ve had a great time so far. Here’s my recap:

Yesterday, was the big Bill G keynote and 1-1 chat with Tim O’Reilly. During Bill’s opening remarks, he gave the eBay Web service a nice plug by saying “eBay is an extreme example where half the product listings are done in a programmable way.” Technically, it’s 47% of eBay.com listings, but what’s 3% among friends?

Later on, Dean Hachamovitch, king of IE 7, showed off eBay’s new support for viewing search results via RSS directly within the browser. Even better, we’ve integrated support for Microsoft’s Simple List Extensions to RSS, so you can sort and filter eBay items by category, format, price, etc. I think it’s a great way of using RSS outside of news syndication.

After lunch, I was on a panel titled “Web 2.0: Show Me The Money,” with Tim O’Reilly, Jeremy Zawodny, Michael Arrington, and Royal Farros. At first, I was worried we couldn’t fill up the entire hour and fifteen minutes, but we actually ran three minutes late and could have kept going. I don’t know if that was a good or bad thing, but a number of people have come up to me after the panel to say they enjoyed it, so I’m going to assume we were at least entertaining, if not actually informative.

Here’s the round-up from the blogsphere:

I hustled from my panel to Christin Boyd’s Office 2007 talk, where she demoed (in grand style) an eBay and Outlook integration, where you can pull in the items your watching and bidding on from eBay directly into Outlook. They appear directly inside a folder that you can sort, label, etc. Even better, they appear on your calendar, so you get a reminder 15 minutes before the auction closes. She even overwrote the “Reply” button on the ribbon turning it into a “Bid on eBay” button. Quite cool!

This morning, Joe Belfiore demoed this in front of the entire MIX 06 crowd during his morning keynote as an example of Office integration with third party sites using Web services.

Right now, I’m taking a short break before lunch, and then I’m off to hear Alan Lewis demo his eBay Live.Com Gadget. He’s learned all sorts of practical information about combining widgets and gadgets with Web services, and he’s going to share best practices with the attendees.

I got a chance to play around with the gadget over the past week, and it’s quite nice. Kudos to Alan, Rob, and Tim, for the design, programming, and UI. They really took this from idea to concept to actual code all by themselves. In particular, they added this nifty feature where the gadget will intelligently expand and truncate the search results depending on the width of your screen. Very impressive.

If you’ve made it this far, I’ll share my one Vegas celebrity almost sighting. Yes, a real “appears in the National Enquirer” celebrity, not a tech “has an a-list blog” celebrity. While we were at dinner last night, Britney Spears rolled into the restaurant. Unfortunately, no thanks can be shared with “It’s 30 seconds too late, but now’s when I’m going to mention this” Arturo, who didn’t alert the people at the table with our backs to the entrance. I admit to shamlessly trying to “go to the bathroom,” but she was hidden away in a private room, and the bathrooms are in the casino, so that line didn’t work so well.

How do Open Source Communities Best Flourish?

I was on an interesting panel at the OSBC West yesterday titled “The Open Source Community Imperative: Methodologies, Mechanics, and Metrics

Things began on a good note when, earlier in the day, I read that Oracle bought Sleepycat. Since Sleepycat CEO Mike Olson was scheduled to be on my panel, that was bound lead to some informative exchanges. Ultimately, I think Mike did a great job talking about the sale. I agree with him: at the end of the day, the best way to make sure Sleepycat continues to do the right thing for the community is to watch them closely and make sure they’re walking the walk. Then again, it’s not like he was facing a hostile crowd.

From the eBay perspective, I focused more on the platform we open up using Web services than the straight-up traditional open source software we distribute (or are working on distributing). I think open platforms and data will be as important in the next decade as open source software was in the past one.

Rather than hear what I thought about the talk, check out Ross Mayfield (of Socialtext) and Christine Herron (of the Omidyar Network) had to say.

eBay Plugin for Google Desktop

My man Alan Lewis evangelised Google to use eBay Web services to write a plug-in for their Google Desktop application.

It’s quite nice and takes advantage of a not-well-announced new rate limiting feature that you should expect to learn more about later this month. :) No particular reason for the suspense, except that I’ve been too busy to give it the proper attention it needs.

If you’re the type of person that runs Google Desktop and uses eBay, you should pick it up.

OSCON + NYPHPCon Call For Papers

I just submitted by proposals for OSCON and NYPHPCon. I hope they get accepted, as I’m quite excited about both shows.

OSCON is my favorite conference of the year. There’s nothing else that provides such a wide range of interesting speakers and topics. I love learning about PHP, but I find it even more fascinating to see what the Perl and Python and Ruby guys are hacking on, or pick up JavaScript and AJAX tips, or heckle the Java programmers. :)

The past two years, I’ve been on the OSCON PHP track conference committee, so it was my job to write friendly reminders in my blog. I’m not doing that this year, so you can count on this as a unbiased plug for the show.

There are lots of topic areas beyond PHP, such as Web applications and Security, so you don’t need to be a PHP guru to submit. You just need to be doing something that other people will find interesting that you can share in an interesting way. The key is that when a conference attendee reads the description of your talk in the program that they say: “Cool! That sounds neat. I think I’ll go hear this talk.”

Last year, I wrote a short post about getting your conference proposal accepted. That’s just my personal philosophy, but I think it holds mostly true for all good conferences. There’s always the “I want the biggest names I can get” philosophy, but if that’s the case, then there’s nothing you can do about that anyway.

Proposals are due Monday, so hurry up and submit.

It’s the first year for NYPHPCon, but Hans and the whole NYPHP crew are great guys, so I know they’ll put on a teriffic show. When I still lived in NYC, I attended NYPHP user group meetings on a semi-regular basis, and they were even kind enough to let me present once or twice.

In fact, I gave my very first Web services presentation to NYPHP back in February of 2003. I don’t know if eBay would have hired me as a Web service evangelist if I hadn’t started down the path of learning about Web services for NYPHP. So, I owe them a big debt of thanks.

Besides, New York City is the best city in the world. Sorry Bay Area neighbors. Although, I certainly don’t miss the 22.8 26.9 inches, or .58 .68 meters for my non-US readers, of snow that got dumped on the city last night. Have I mentioned it’s 65 degrees (18 celcius) today in San Francisco?

Oh, I almost forgot to mention what talks I submitted. All of them will have an eBay theme, but none of them are 100% eBay advertisements:

  • Consuming Web Services Using PHP 5
  • Dirty secrets of PHP 5’s ext/soap extension
  • Abracadabra and hocus pocus: Magical methods and PHP 5

I really like my abstract for the that last talk:

PHP 5 provides a number of so-called “magical methods,” methods that are automagically invoked to secretly manipulate objects. These __methods() are cool, but when, if ever, are they actually useful? Using an eBay Web services SOAP client as my example, I’ll demonstrate how a little slight-of-hand and misdirection leads to shorter and more intuitive code.

Right now, my eBaySOAP code uses __construct(), __set()/__get(), __call(), __isset(), __toString(), and the IteratorAggregate and ArrayAccess interfaces. If I can get Dmitry to add the hook he promised to ext/soap, I’ll also add __wakeup(). I’m sure there are a few more things I can do, but the trick is to only implement useful and intuitive methods, so we’ll see.

Auctioning Autographed “Upgrading to PHP 5” for the EFF

Every since I started at eBay, I’ve been looking to sell more on the site. I’ve also been looking to donate more money to charity. So I decided to combine the two: I’m selling a copy of Upgrading to PHP 5 on eBay and donating everything to the EFF.

The EFF, short for Electronic Frontier Foundation, describes themselves as:

[A] group of passionate people — lawyers, technologists, volunteers, and visionaries — working in the trenches, battling to protect your rights and the rights of web surfers everywhere. The dedicated people of EFF challenge legislation that threatens to put a price on what is invaluable; to control what must remain boundless.

List priced at $29.99, the auction starts at $0.01, so you’re guaranteed to get a good value. As an extra special bonus, I will custom autograph the book to the winning bidder or a friend. Or, for an additional $5, I will not sully up your clean new book with my autograph. Your choice. Okay, just kidding about the $5.

If you’ve been looking to get up to speed on PHP 5, now’s the perfect chance to buy a book and give money to a great cause. Check out my listing and bid today.

Another eBay Blog

Lots of new eBay blogs popping up in the past few months. I just discovered “Tsunami Alert in the Great Salt Lake“, written by Cindy Purvance, my favorite person in eBay customer support. Go Cindy!