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Sylvain Raye - about Magento, Composer, and Meet Magento Switzerland

Editor's note: The Magento community, among other things, consists of numerous true professionals and gains power from the dedicated events, which develop and push the platform ahead.We thought that it would be great to make these events even closer to the entire community and highlight some interesting conference presentations in our blog.

This time, we asked Sylvain Raye, a computer engineer with more than 10-year experience in web development, answer our questions about his participation in the Meet Magento Italy 2014 conference and reveal some key points of his presentation.



Sylvain Rayé is a computer engineer having more than 10 years experience in web development and 6 years in Magento. Recently he founded Diglin GmbH in Zurich (Switzerland), a company providing development for eCommerce projects, including Magento, Akeneo and OroCRM.
He is a Magento enthusiast and actively contributes to the community as a Co-organizer of Meet Magento Switzerland and board member of the German Magento Community Assosiation. He also helps to organize hackathons in different countries and participates as a speaker in different conferences.


aW: I know that you take the active stance within the Magento community and often participate in different Magento events. Please tell our readers about the most recent ones?

The idea behind my presentations is to help developers avoid routine

Sylvain: Recently I attended two Meet Magento events, in Leipzig, Germany, May 5 and in Milano, Italy, June 3-4. In both cases I was a speaker at the developer track presenting Varnish (Magento: I varnish you) and Composer (Manage your Magento dependencies with Composer). The idea behind my presentations is to help developers discover the topics, which are not always well known, but are closely related to their day-to-day activity.

aW: Your presentation at Meet Magento Italy 2014 was dedicated to Composer – a dependency manager for PHP. Why did you choose this topic?

Sylvain: The Firegento Association, a German Magento Community Association, regularly organizes Magento Hackathons in Germany and Switzerland. They also participate as Magento Doctors at Meet Magento Germany and Switzerland. The purpose of the Association is to support developers and the Magento community in general through hackathons and develop tools, which help us make our life easier or even to share knowledge and experience throughout the community.

The Magento Composer Installer project is an example of a community driven project developed by a team during the Munich hackathon in 2012 by the following core contributors:

Composer is very useful, but not very famouse in Magento world

    • Daniel Fahlke aka Flyingmana (Maintainer)


    • Jörg Weller


    • Karl Spies


    • Tobias Vogt


    • David Fuhr


    • Amir Tchavoshinia


    • Vinai Kopp (Maintainer)

Composer is largely used in the Symfony2 eco-system and other PHP projects. It is very useful, but unfortunately not so very famous in Magento world. For those reasons and as a member of the Firegento Association, I wanted to promote the Magento Composer Installer project and share my experience of its implementation.

aW: Tell us more, please. What is Composer? Who should know about it?

Sylvain: As you described yourself, Composer is a dependency manager for PHP projects. It allows you to specify all dependencies you need for a project in a simple file 'composer.json'. You can also define there the version you wish to install and optionally the way to handle the installation of those dependencies. Every developer, working either in a small or big company, should be interested in this solution for simple or complex projects.

aW: What tasks does Composer allow us to solve?

Sylvain: It improves your productivity of the installation of third party extensions. Instead of having to look up extensions, modules, libraries or else in different VCS repositories, Magento Connect, or any other sources, you can download them and then install manually. You can put in your composer.json file everything you need in just one simple command, which installs all required components into the corresponding folders.

Composer improves your productivity, and it is free

Magento has a specific folder structure of the extensions that you wish to install. Modules, templates, skins, locale and so on are distributed in different locations; it creates additional workload and opens more room for errors. Magento 2 will set those files in one place and Magento Connect helps a lot to make such installation easier, but on developer side, who does really use it?

Meanwhile, the Magento Composer Installer project helps to copy or link the files and folders of your extension to the proper Mageto locations without any headache.

aW: How does it work? Is it free?

Sylvain: Yes, it's free and quite actively maintained on the Composer and Magento Community sides.

You have to install the Composer PHP Archive, set it in the path of your binaries and create a composer.json file with some specific attributes in your PHP project. Then you just need to trigger the command from your terminal `composer.phar install`. It will discover all your requirements and browse the VCS repositories collecting the necessary information and copy the files into the appropriate places.

aW: Where can readers find your presentation and most valuable information about Composer?







aW: What are your plans for the nearest future? I know that you organize Meet Mageto Switzerland this year. Tell our readers about it.

 Sylvain: Go on holidays.... sorry :-)

Meet Magento Switzerland expects many attendees

Thank you for asking. Yes, the Meet Magento Conference in Glattfelden (close to Zürich Airport) will happen on Friday, October 24. This is the first edition in Switzerland. The concept is similar to the ones organized in other countries. It's a community driven event, which gathers all actors of the Magento ecosystem in one place, sharing their experience and knowledge about technologies, the concept, trends and use cases regarding Magento and eCommerce globally. The purpose is to grow up the community in Switzerland.

We have two parallel sessions - one for business (decision makers, merchants, managers, etc.) and the second one for developers. We are still looking for speakers and sponsors. We are really excited to organize this event for the first time in Switzerland. We've already got huge positive feedback about this initiative, so we expect many attendees. It will be held in English thanks to the multilingual culture in Switzerland, what provides a good opportunity to participate for people from other countries.

The after party networking event takes place after the conferences and the Magento Bowling contest will challenge all the participants.

Only 25 Early bird tickets are still available, and you can get them here: Tickets.

You can find more information on our official website.

There is one more opportunity for developers to enjoy the event, as we organize a Magento Hackathon right after the Meet Magento conference, October 25-26 and look for sponsors to help us to finance this developers community event.

aW: How do you estimate the perspectives of Magento in several years?

I feel some positive changes about Magento 2 and that it goes the right way

Sylvain: After the acquisition of Magento by eBay, in my point of view, there was a floating period. I mean, the purpose was to sale Enterprise Edition more and less attention was concentrated on the Magento product itself. But the competitors are pushing all this time... Luckily, the Magento community is big enough and able to improve the product in different ways. After the announcement of a real road map for Magento 2, I'm really enthusiastic about what will happen next. I do not expect new features, as I prefer the way how it goes now: more focus on the community, improvement of the foundation and overall quality. Magento Inc. is better to concentrate on the quality of the service and sell those services. I feel some positive changes about Magento 2 and feel that it goes the right way.

aW: Do you want to add something to this interview?

Sylvain: I'd like to thanks aheadWorks for this interview and all the people of the Magento Community. This community Rocks :-). I can't wait to meet you at the next meetings.

aW: Thank you Sylvain, it was truly great. We wish you good luck and hope that all your undertakings, including Meet Magento Switzerland, will always be successful.

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