Repo for OpenCFP project, a PHP-based conference talk submission system
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OpenCFP Banner

OpenCFP is a PHP-based conference talk submission system.

Build Status Code Climate Test Coverage Issue Count

Current release: v1.5

README Contents


  • Speaker registration system that gathers contact information.
  • Dashboard that allows speakers to submit talk proposals and manage their profile.
  • Administrative dashboard for reviewing submitted talks and making selections.
  • Command-line utilities for administering the system.


You can find screenshots of the application in our wiki




  • PHP 7.0+
  • Apache 2+ with mod_rewrite enabled and an AllowOverride all directive in your <Directory> block is the recommended web server
  • Composer requirements are listed in composer.json.
  • You may need to install php7.0-intl extension for PHP. (php-intl on CentOS/RHEL-based distributions)


Grab Latest Release

It is recommended for you to always install the latest marked release. Go to to download it.

Cloning the Repository

Clone this project into your working directory. We recommend always running the master branch as it was frequent contributions.


$ git clone
Cloning into 'opencfp'...
remote: Counting objects: 4794, done.
remote: Total 4794 (delta 0), reused 0 (delta 0)
Receiving objects: 100% (4794/4794), 1.59 MiB | 10.37 MiB/s, done.
Resolving deltas: 100% (2314/2314), done.
Checking connectivity... done.

Specify Environment

OpenCFP can be configured to run in multiple environments. The application environment (CFP_ENV) must be specified as an environment variable. If not specified, the default is development.

An example Apache configuration is provided at /web/htaccess.dist. Copy this file to /web/.htaccess or otherwise configure your web server in the same way and change the CFP_ENV value to specify a different environment. The default has been pre-set for development.

SetEnv CFP_ENV production

You will also need to set the CFP_ENV variable in the shell you are using when doing an install. Here are some ways to do that with common shells assuming we're using production:

  • bash: export CFP_ENV=production
  • zsh: export CFP_ENV = production
  • fish: set -x CFP_ENV production

Again, just use your preferred environment in place of production if required.

Installing Composer Dependencies

From the project directory, run the following command. You may need to download composer.phar first from

$ script/setup

PHP Built-in Web Server

To run OpenCFP using PHP's built-in web server the following command can be run:

$ bin/console server:start

The server uses port 8000. This is a quick way to get started doing development on OpenCFP itself.

Details on how to use this console command can be found at Symfony's documentation for using the built-in web server.

To stop the server the following command can be run:

$ bin/console server:stop

Specify Web Server Document Root

Set up your desired webserver to point to the /web directory.

Apache 2+ Example:

<VirtualHost *:80>
    DocumentRoot /path/to/web

    # Other Directives Here

nginx Example:

	root /var/www/opencfp/web;
	listen 80;
	index index.php index.html index.htm;

	access_log /var/log/nginx/access.cfp.log;
	error_log /var/log/nginx/error.cfp.log;

	location / {
		try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?$query_string;

	location ~ \.php$ {
		try_files $uri =404;

		fastcgi_param CFP_ENV production;
		fastcgi_split_path_info ^(.+\.php)(/.+)$;
		fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php5-fpm.sock;
		fastcgi_read_timeout 150;
		fastcgi_index index.php;
		fastcgi_param  SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
		include fastcgi_params;


The application does not currently work properly if you use PHP's built-in server.

Create a Database

Create a new database for the application to use. You will need to have the following handy to continue configuring your installation of OpenCFP:

  • Database server hostname
  • Database name
  • Credentials to an account that can access the above database

Configure Environment

Depending on which environment you specified above, you will need to make a copy of the distributed configuration schema to enter your own details into.

For example, if you specified SetEnv CFP_ENV production:

$ cp config/production.yml.dist config/production.yml

After making a local copy, edit config/production.yml and specify your own details. Here are some important options to consider:

Option Description
application.enddate This is the date your call for proposals would end on.
application.coc_link Set this to the link for your conference code of conduct to require speakers to agree to the code of conduct at registration
secure_ssl This should be enabled, if possible. Requires a valid SSL certificate.
database.* This is the database information you collected above.
mail.* This is SMTP configuration for sending mail. The application sends notifications on various system events.
talk.categories.* dbkey: Display Name mapping for your talk categories
talk.types.* dbkey: Display Name mapping for your talk types
talk.levels.* dbkey: Display Name mapping for your talk levels

For example, if you wanted to setup Mailgun as your email provider, your mail configuration would look something like this:

    port: 587
    password: "a1b2c3d4"
    encryption: tls
    auth_mode: ~

Run Migrations

This project uses Phinx to handle migrations. Configuration for Phinx is loaded from phinx.php. The CFP_ENV environment variable is used to select an environment to migrate and defaults to development. Be sure to correctly configure the app using the config/:environment.yml files.

To run migrations, make sure you are in the root directory for the project and run the following:

$ CFP_ENV=production vendor/bin/phinx migrate

Note: For updating previously installed instances only run migrations as needed.

Final Touches

  • The web server must be able to write to the /web/uploads directory in order to
  • You may need to alter the memory_limit of the web server to allow image processing of head-shots. This is largely dictated by the size of the images people upload. Typically 512M works.
  • Customize templates and /web/assets/css/site.css to your heart's content.

Command-line Utilities

OpenCFP comes bundled with a few command-line utilities to administer the system. A full list of commands (along with help for each) can be found by running the following in the project root:

$ bin/console

Admin Group Management

Administrators are authorized to review speaker information in addition to specifying talk favorites and making selections.

Adding to the admin group:

$ bin/console user:promote --env=production admin

Removing from the admin group:

$ bin/console user:demote --env=production admin

Reviewer Group Management

Reviewers are authorized to see talks and give ratings to them.

Adding to the reviewer group:

$ bin/console user:promote --env=production reviewer

Removing from the reviewer group:

$ bin/console user:demote --env=production reviewer

User Management

Users are needed for you system, and sometimes you want to add users via command line.

Adding a speaker:

$ bin/console user:create --first_name="Speaker" --last_name="Name" --email="" --password="somePassw0rd!"

Add an admin:

$ bin/console user:create --first_name="Admin" --last_name="Name" --email="" --password="somePassw0rd!" --admin

Add a reviewer:

$ bin/console user:create --first_name="Admin" --last_name="Name" --email="" --password="somePassw0rd!" --reviewer

Clear Caches

OpenCFP uses Twig as a templating engine and HTML Purifier for input filtering. Both of these packages maintain a cache. If you need to clear all application caches:

$ bin/console cache:clear

Scripts to Rule Them All

OpenCFP follows the Scripts to Rule Them All pattern. This allows for an easy to follow convention for common tasks when developing applications.

Initial Setup

This command will install all dependencies, run database migrations, and alert you of any missing configs.

$ script/setup

Update Application

This command will update all dependencies and run new migrations

$ script/update

Run Tests

This command will run the PHPUnit test suite using distributed phpunit config, phpunit.xml.dist, if no phpunit.xml is found in the root.

$ script/test

Compiling Frontend Assets

OpenCFP ships with a pre-compiled CSS file. However, we now include the Sass / PostCSS used to compile front-end assets. You are free to modify these source files to change brand colors or modify your instance however you see fit. Remember, you can do nothing and take advantage of the pre-compiled CSS we ship. You only need these instructions if you want to customize or contribute to the look and feel of OpenCFP. Let's take a look at this new workflow for OpenCFP.

Install Node dependencies using yarn.

yarn install

Now dependencies are installed and we're ready to compile assets. Check out the scripts section of package.json. A normal development workflow is to run either yarn run watch or yarn run watch-poll (for OS that don't have fs-events) and begin work. When you make changes to Sass files, Webpack will recompile assets, but it doesn't compress the output. To do that, run yarn run prod (an alias for yarn run production). This will run the same compilation, but will compress the output.

The main app.scss file is at resources/assets/sass/app.scss. We use Laravel Mix to compile our Sass. Mix is configurable to run without Laravel, so we take advantage of that because it really makes dealing with Webpack a lot simpler. Our Mix configuration is at webpack.mix.js. In it, we run our app.scss through a Sass compilation step, we copy FontAwesome icons and finally run the compiled CSS through Tailwind CSS, a PostCSS plugin.

TailwindCSS is a new utility-first CSS framework that uses CSS class composition to piece together interfaces. Check out their documentation for more information on how to use the framework. We use it extensively across OpenCFP and it saves a lot of time and keeps us from having to maintain too much CSS. If you take a look through our app.scss, you'll see a lot of calls to @apply. This is NOT a Sass construct. It's a TailwindCSS function used to mixin existing classes into our custom CSS.


There is a test suite that uses PHPUnit in the /tests directory. To set up your environment for testing:

  1. Create a testing database, and update the name and credentials in /config/testing.yml
  2. The recommended way to run the tests is:
$ script/test

The default phpunit.xml.dist file is in the root directory for the project.


I'm getting weird permissions-related errors to do with HTML Purifier.

You may need to edit directory permissions for some vendor packages such as HTML Purifier. Check the /cache directory's permissions first.