I've switched languages for the conference manager. PHP proved to be just too brittle in dealing with self-referential recursive calls (it tended to pass a variable to the first call but would ignore the same value in the second and third calls). I'm now looking at switching to Perl or C based CGI scripts. So far, it appears to be going well. The Ajax piece is a bit more tolerant of the background code and the button functions implemented so far, work.