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Things to come

Posted on 19/2/08 by Felix Geisendörfer

Hey folks,

sorry for letting you in the dark for so long, but here is what is currently going on with,, my new company debuggable and me myself and I:

The future of ThinkingPHP

The bad news first: ThinkingPHP will die. Very soon.

But, thats actually not as bad news as you may think. Tim and I will launch a new blog over at (not accessible yet) by the end of the week. This blog will start out by containing all posts ever published on as well as on Tim's blog Extra bonus: We'll go over every single post (over 200 of them) and mark any outdated / bad information we find. We'll also use this content review to compile a list of topics to blog about again since we can do a better job on the them now and because things have just changed so much. Both of us will commit to doing 1 post per week minium which should make our new blog fairly active compared to the current slacking I've exhibited on this site ; ). After a week or two we'll try to completely move both domains over to point to the new site and hopefully will manage to create a set of redirection rules to keep all current links alive.

Whats up with

Oh boy, if cakefest had never happened would be out of public beta and making money right now. But being locked up with Tim in a plane for 8 hours ruined everything ; ). To explain: We basically sat down (squeezed in tiny airplane seats almost unable to move) and did a brain storming session. It turns out that even so both of us love PostTask and the way it allows you to make your days more organized we both felt that it does a terrible job at managing larger goals & projects. We had some sort of plan for improvement in this area, but we never really saw the path to making it an as powerful project management application as it is a day planner right now. That was until we did the brain storming. Essentially we came up with a series of great ideas on how to take PostTask to the next level where it will kick Basecamp's & Backpack's ass. However, we also realized that some of the stuff is rather ambitious and will take some time (~3 month).

So for now we're going to finish up the JS and interface refactoring we've been working on and take the current PostTask out of beta to promote it as a completely and permanently free tool for day planning. (We might offer some stuff like SSL encryption for money, mainly to test our payment system, but all functionality will be free.)

Client work

Since neither I nor Tim have done any client work since October last year, we're looking into taking on one or two interesting projects for the month(s) to come while PostTask isn't generating any revenue. So if you have a project and are interested in getting your hands on two extremely talented programmers send us some information about your project to:

Workshops & Training

Another thing Tim and I are really interested in, is to do workshops & training with companies or individuals who want to improve their CakePHP, jQuery and coding skills in general. After CakeFest both of us realized that we just love teaching and explaining things to people. For one it is so much more of a joy to teach a man how to fish than to be a commercial fisher. But really, its also great to see how ones own understanding of the subjects improves while teaching. It just forces you to question all of your assumptions and usually interesting questions are brought up by the audience.

We'll publish more info on this as soon as our site is released, but if you run a company and would like to take your employees skills to the next level you can already contact us now and see how we'd be able to help you with this. One of the first workshops we'd love to do is "Understanding JavaScript as a PHP developer", something I already briefly did a CakeFest which seemed to enjoy big interest and potential (you can learn JS really quick as a PHP developer with the right pointers).

We're willing and interested to travel just about anywhere in the world for this and the sessions can be done in either English or German ; ).

Personal plans

Other then having serious fun with business and blogging, I'm also going to make some personal changes. The biggest one is that I'm going to move to Berlin (probably before the end of April). I really enjoy the city and living next door to Tim will also provide to be useful in many ways. Oh, and I'm also going on a trip to Singapore to visit my twin sister there in March. So if anybody living there is reading this and would like to say hi while I'm in the city, please let me know : ).

I also have to get around to uploading my slides from CakeFest, as well as get this new JS library called jayDom released that was the subject of my GUI track talk. So if you don't see a post about the festivities and the new library in the next couple of days make sure to let me know via comments, IM, twitter or whatever ; p. Oh and before I forget: I'm also working on a cool new XPath implementation a la Set::extract right now which has some chance of getting included in the core, so stay tuned.

Alright folks, thats it for now. Its time to go back to work to make all of the above happening!
-- Felix Geisendörfer aka the_undefined


Slides for my CakePHP Unit Testing Talk

Posted on 14/2/08 by Tim Koschützki

Hey guys,

here they are. If anyone is not sure about what slides these are... well I gave a talk on CakePHP Unit Testing at the CakeFest Orlando. Please check the previous post for more information.

These are only the Mac slides. I will post a PDF version for our windows users shortly.

Mac Slides of CakePHP Unit Testing Talk


The First CakeFest - A Summary

Posted on 13/2/08 by Tim Koschützki

Hey everybody,

I would like to tell you about the first CakeFest we had from February 6th till February 8th in Orlando / Florida. I attended the conference which was dedicated to CakePHP, of course, together with Felix Geisendoerfer, my fellow from Debuggable Ltd. We arrived there a couple days early so we could meet up with gwoo, phpnut, mariano and some other guys before the actual conference started.

There were a few nice talks as well. Garrett's keynote (gwoo; president of the cake software foundation) was about some of the history of cakephp and how the people involved got to know each other and how they teamed up.

After that it was my turn to introduce the folks to some of CakePHP 1.2's new capabilities with regards to Unit Testing in CakePHP 1.2. I provided a basic intro to unit testing, then the main part about testing in cake 1.2 and then some thoughts/opinions on what to test, when, why, etc. I also included some tips about stuff that has helped me with unit testing cakephp applications so far. Feedback was great!

There were also talks about the new rest interface (by Nate), the powers of the console (great talk by Chris Hartjes), a deployment tool and a talk dedicated to general cakephp tips by Felix. He also did another talk on some of the jquery-together-with-cakephp-magic we are using on PostTask. There were many other talks as well, which will be made available on a dvd.

it will be released very soon and I will also upload my slides here tomorrow. You will also be able to download them from the cake site, so make sure to keep an eye open.

All in all CakeFest was a really great experience. The talks were cool, putting face to everybody was cool and enjoying all the chatter and the evening beers was incredible. I thank the cake team for giving me the opportunity for my presentation and for the great time I had in Orlando!

By the way, there will be more CakeFests - the next one maybe in Europe. Hope to see everybody there. : ] - Your Time problems solved!

Posted on 23/1/08 by Felix Geisendörfer

Hey folks,

Tim and I are very excited to announce the launch of the public beta of Its been a long way and there is still lots of things to do, but we figured its time to open up in order to get feedback and valuable suggestions on the current version.

What is all about?

We believe traditional task management was flawed and that we have fixed it. To clarify: There is nothing wrong with the idea of making a task list for a certain day. Wrong is how we deal with it. Usually we write down pretty much everything we would *like* to accomplish that day (i.e. we're dreaming). Some of the items are accomplishable and we start working on them. But then its suddenly late at night, and even so some things have been checked off your list, you'll almost guaranteed to have procrastinated on some unpleasant or big task(s) that was hiding between all the other tasks. So now you can either pull an all nighter or re-schedule the task for tomorrow. Either way, you are creating stress. You feel like you've failed to accomplish what you wanted to that day. And you will become more and more overwhelmed while carrying on tasks that haven't been accomplished on previous days as your list gets longer and longer.

Now won't do any of your actual work or give you super human powers to accomplish 3x as much work (thats planned for v2.0). But what it *will* do is to help you to get real about your work load.

So how does one use

When you start a fresh new day and fire up, the first thing you do is to write down the list of things you want to accomplish that day. But you don't just write it down, no. You also use your good judgement and make an estimate for how long each task your scheduling will take. Don' be afraid of mistakes, you'll get better at it by using the app. Initially pessimistic estimates are the better ones (but don't go extrem here). While you are compiling your list, will automatically calculate how many hours of tasks you put on your plate, and also by what time you could be done. This is the single most important thing the application does. As you work through the list and update the progress / adjust estimates, the application will continue to maintain those stats for you. Now here is what happens. As time advances and you get into the afternoon hours you'll usually notice how your "you could be done by" time is a good bit later then when you started in the morning. This is usually explained by things that took longer, but a good bit also comes from time you loose through small distractions over the course of the day (phone calls, emails, etc.). Here is the good part: If you where working with a normal task list you wouldn't notice that you now have too many things left. Its ~3pm and you think there is still a lot of time. But will help you to get real at this point and make a smart decision about what tasks to shorten, not do or re-schedule for the next day. And this gives you a lot of power. Instead of looking at your task list at 10pm at night and notice this big bad "Write paper for school" thingy there, you are being made aware of this major time consumer in the afternoon and can plan accordingly.

This is not to say you won't be able to procrastinate or mis-manage your time with PostTask, but if you are looking to improve your skills in the area of time management we think you'll find it an excellent tool on your journey to success!

Is there anything else I need?

Well, personally I recommend having a digital watch with a countdown function in it. It really helps me to track my hours and gives me a good indication if I have to hurry up to finish a task in time. Other then that I'd like to recommend Time Out for you mac folks out there, its an excellent tool to get you through your long day in small iterations ; ).

Alright thats it folks, I really hope you give a shot, and send us some feedback.

-- Felix Geisendörfer aka the_undefined


New CakePHP Beta

Posted on 2/1/08 by Tim Koschützki

Hi everybody!

Just wanted to wish you a happy new year and give you the heads up about the new CakePHP beta, which you can download from the CakePHP website. The cake site has also received a design makeover. Check it out!

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