Magento Developers Paradise 2011 Wrap Up

Last week on the 4th of June 2011 I’ve started my trip from Hannover to Ibiza to attend the annual Magento Developers Paradise(MDP). I was already looking forward to the event because I have enjoyed my time at the Magento Developer Paradise on Mallorca in October last year. The atmosphere at this kind of locations is very nice and relaxed, everybody is in a good mood and enjoys the sun and free drinks during the breaks and after the talks.

Unfortunately my plane was late, so that I’ve missed my connection to Ibiza, had to spend some hours on the airport in Palma de Mallorca and missed the conference kickoff dinner. But on a MDP this is not a problem: even if you join at 11pm you still meet most of the attendees at the pool bar. So did I and had a chat with Dmitriy Soroka, lead system architect at Magento Inc., Thomas Fleck, CEO of Netresearch and host of the event, and lots of other people. Until 2am I’ve been chatting about Magento topics and what I expect of the upcoming Magento 2.

The next day started with having a breakfast together with Yoav Kutner, CTO of Magento Inc., and some other Magento core developers. After this at 9am Yoav held his keynote about the current status of Magento and what topics will be covered in the upcoming talks. The most interesting was of course Magento 2 which will be released mid/end of 2012. The development has already started, but not all decisions are final. The release will be a major refactoring release which will focus on software quality and performance. To achieve this, a lot of changes to the architecture will be performed, so that Magento 2 won’t be backwards compatible with Magento 1 extensions.

Yoav Kutner is helding the keynote for MDP11

Right after the keynote Andrey Tserkus from Magento Inc. held his presentation “Breaking news: Magento starts running on multiple RDBMS”. This feature will already be available in the releases Magento EE1.11 and CE1.6 next month. Magento will focus on the support of Oracle and MSSQL first, but will add more RDBMS in the future. This feature contains the refactoring of the resource model of the Magento core: in current releases there are only “Mysql4” resource models which contain MySQL specific code but also abstract database access by using Zend_Db functionality which allows using multiple RDBMS. In EE1.11/CE1.6 the resource models will be cleaned up and will only contain non-RDBMS-specific code. The RDBMS-specific code will be moved into resource model helpers. This enables to add support for other RDBMS with less effort since most of the code is in the abstract resource model. Only when it is required to leave the DB abstraction layer e.g. for achieving better performance you need to write code in the resource model helper for the specific RDBMS. The refactoring of the resource model is backwards compatible, so that custom Magento modules still will work using MySQL.

I have also enjoyed the following talks about checkout customization by Vitaliy Korotun (Magento Inc.) and extending Magento hosting capabilities by Philippe Humeau (nbs System). In the afternoon everybody was invited to join a boat trip to Formentera, a small and beautiful island next to Ibiza. We were on board of a catamaran so it was possible to go swimming and we had a delicious dinner on it, too. In the evening we were brought back to our hotel and you could meet plenty of attendees at the pool bar afterwards. Some of them went out to hit the bars and the clubs at night. The nightlife on Ibiza is amazing!

Catamaran trip

The next day had very exciting talks about Magento 2 by Dmitriy Soroka, lead system architect at Magento Inc., and “MVC – model lessons learned” by Anton Makarenko, member of the Magento core team at Magento Inc.. I will only sum up the, in my opinion, most important news on these topics. I will dig deeper into them and write down my thoughts in a follow up post about Magento 2.

  • transparent development process using the atlassian software stack and making that available for the community (continious integration, documentation, issue tracking)
  • automated unit, integrity and performance tests are available for Magento 2; there are already 1900 tests
  • the documentation will be included in the development process, so it is always complete and up to date
  • jQuery will be used in the frontend, no Prototype and no extJs
  • unlimited theme fallback, you can create unlimited theme inheritance trees
  • Magento considers the removal of EAV and only offer it as an optional mode for the catalog
  • domain structural integrity: there will be a strict separation between domain models and service models
  • removal of magic getters and setters enforcing strict data model definition and interface declaration for models
  • configurable inheritance chains to be able to resolve incompatibilities between modules; OXID eSales has this feature already
  • the Core API will be extended in parallel to the development of new features, so it will cover all functions; it will support SOAP, XML-RPC, JSON-RPC and REST
  • less coupling between modules: Magento will introduce components, which consist of modules which are tightly coupled; these components (e.g. Sales, Catalog) will be loosly coupled to the rest of Magento and can be disabled

I didn’t mention lots of things and also was not able to write everything down during the talks, but I think this gives a good overview of all improvements which are planned for Magento 2. If Magento will be successful in realizing them, this will be a huge jump forward in software quality and transparency and this should distinguish Magento from other open source shop platforms.

At 8pm everybody gathered in the lobby for the night event. We went by bus to the historic city of Ibiza and had a guided tour to the fortification and the historic city of Ibiza, called Dalt Vila. After the tour we went to the famous Zoo Bar and had some drinks before getting back to the hotel. Like on the previous day, a large group of people bought club tickets and had an amazing night in the Privilege club.

Great view from the fortification in the historic town of Ibiza

On the last day you could chat to people sitting at the pool bar and spending some time before taking a cab to the airport. You could hear most of them discussing the news about the acquisition of Magento by Ebay and that Magento will be at the core of the new X.Commerce platform. Some people were sceptical, some were optimistic. I’m excited of how this will influence the Magento products and the community.

In the late afternoon I finally took a cab together with the team of Netresearch (we had the same flight from Ibiza to Mallorca) and had a good trip back home.

To sum it up: it was an amazing event with lots of good talks, interesting people and a very nice and relaxed atmosphere for networking. I can recommend this event and already plan to attend next year! I also wanted to thank Alice Patzer, Andrea Panajotowa, Annemarie Tappert and Thomas Fleck for organizing this event and Rico Neitzel for shooting lots of nice photos. You can see them here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/34764379@N04/sets/72157626906928668/