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Planning Ahead: A Survey of Caching Strategies in PHP
Marcel Levy, Online Technical Lead, Reno Gazette-Journal

Track: PHP
Date: Wednesday, July 28
Time: 5:20pm - 6:05pm
Location: Salon G


One of the common complaints voiced in PHP development concerns scalability. We'll discuss what programmers can do to ensure that their applications don't do more than they need to. At RGJ.com, the Reno Gazette-Journal's web site, we serve up dynamic content ranging from daily stories to entertainment and real estate feeds. We use a variety of caching techniques to balance the need for rich, dynamic content with the hard realities of hosting budgets:

* Simple key- or id- based caching. Tools such as Cache::Lite are perfect when you can refer to a piece of content with a unique idea, such as a story.

* Database search caching: As fast as MySQL can be, it's still the last place you want to be during your busy time of day. We'll discuss some ways we stay out of the database entirely.

* Search result caching: Once you have the search results, how do you display them? Do you cache the view as one entity, or are the individual results cached?

* Dynamic image caching: PHP is usually compiled with GD, a powerful tool for transforming and creating graphics. Image processing is one of the more intensive things you can do on your computer. But PHP and Apache can help.

* Administration tools: Editors and content managers need to update the site. Have you taken into account their needs for a thorough, but fast, application?

* Scheduling: When do you cache? When do you expire? Can administrators expire caches manually?

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