Archive | March, 2003

Fine PHP 5 Slideshow

Posted on 31 March 2003 by Demian Turner

can be found here,, although it looks like it’s running on a machine that doesn’t support PHP5 😉

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Generating One-Time URLs with PHP

Posted on 29 March 2003 by Demian Turner


Generating one-time URLs is useful in e-commerce applications, selling downloadable material online, and in general granting one-time access to ‘secret’ files.  Read more for an elegant solution in PHP.

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Adobe Says PCs Are Preferred

Posted on 26 March 2003 by Demian Turner

from Slashdot

Notwithstanding the fear of starting another volatile thread, I give you this latest announcement from Adobe that has many industry watchers tickled/irked.

Put succinctly, this is the fastest workstation we’ve tested, too, by a long shot. Wow. We ran our After Effects and Photoshop benchmarks on this machine, nine in all, and saw a speed improvement that was far beyond what we anticipated. Mac users will be disappointed to see that this new Dell machine, while priced $629 less than the Mac Dual G4 1.25 GHz machine, was nearly twice as fast on most of the nine benchmarks we ran.

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Sensible Exception Handling

Posted on 24 March 2003 by Demian Turner

From just one reason why the imminent release of ZE2 has a lot of PHP developers on the edge of their seats.

What are exceptions and why should you care?  Proper exception handling allows you to turn code that looks like this:

errorCodeType readFile {
    initialize errorCode = 0;
    open the file;
    if (theFileIsOpen) {
        determine the length of the file;
        if (gotTheFileLength) {
            allocate that much memory;
            if (gotEnoughMemory) {
                read the file into memory;
                if (readFailed) {
                    errorCode = -1;
            } else {
                errorCode = -2;
        } else {
            errorCode = -3;
        close the file;
        if (theFileDidntClose && errorCode == 0) {
            errorCode = -4;
        } else {
            errorCode = errorCode and -4;
    } else {
        errorCode = -5;
    return errorCode;

into this:

readFile {
    try {
        open the file;
        determine its size;
        allocate that much memory;
        read the file into memory;
        close the file;
    } catch (fileOpenFailed) {
    } catch (sizeDeterminationFailed) {
    } catch (memoryAllocationFailed) {
    } catch (readFailed) {
    } catch (fileCloseFailed) {

This excellent article from Sun explains exception handling in detail and will add you to the growing list to ZE2 expectants 😉

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“You can’t do that with PHP”

Posted on 21 March 2003 by Demian Turner

PHPCon East 2003
April 23-25, 2003
Park Central New York Hotel
New York, NY
*Sponsored by Linux Magazine

Early Bird Registration ends March 31st.

Have you registered for PHPCon East 2003 yet? Join your peers, meet the
experts, register today!
Take advantage of our special promotions that can save you anywhere from
20 to 50 percent of early bird and standard registration rates!

At PHPCon East, we know there\’s now more to consider when deciding to
attend a technical conference. Yet PHP development and learning
continues to move forward, even when times are tough, and making the
next career move means keeping your technical prowess at its peak.
PHPCon East\’s program is still all about, and only about, the technology
and community.

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Overview of Current PHP App Frameworks

Posted on 20 March 2003 by Demian Turner

From a post by Jonathan Ellis on PHPBuilder, some nice provocative comments, anyone have any interesting experiences?

I recently checked up on just about every PHP application framework I could find. I thought I’d throw my conclusions out for anyone else who was looking for something similar.

What I was looking for:
Not a whole lot, really. basics like user management (including admin controls for deleting, banning, …), permissions, maybe a tried-and-tested utility library. Has to run on postgresql, because — no flames, please 🙂 — once you have experienced coding on a real database with views, triggers, subqueries, etc. you can’t go back.

What I found:
(Some of these aren’t exactly app frameworks, but enough people thought of them that way for them to show up on my searches so I’ll include them too.)


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Screen-scrapers to the Gallows!

Posted on 14 March 2003 by Demian Turner

from Slashdot – an unprecedented case as far as I’ve heard, could pave the way for interesting developments.

A Texas court has granted American Airlines an injunction against Farechaser to stop them from using a screen-scraper to copy airfare information from their website in violation of the terms and conditions. In a stunning display of hypocrisy,’s own terms and conditions prohibit users from doing to them exactly what they are doing to The EFF is involved, but it’s unclear whether they’re supporting the enforceability of a website’s terms and conditions or Farechase’s right to violate them.

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New Programming Contests at

Posted on 14 March 2003 by Demian Turner released their first ‘PHP Programming Contests’ on 10th March. Contest 1A is aimed at PHP Beginners and Contest 1B to more professional programmers. This is your chance to show the world your PHP skills and win some cool prizes into the bargain. Sponsors providing prizes include Zend Technologies, Nusphere, Macromedia, PHP|Architect, ThinkGeek and vBulletin. Entries due in by midnight 7th April 2003 (GMT).

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Storing Data Efficiently with Bitwise Functions

Posted on 13 March 2003 by Demian Turner

I remembered reading this great article on Zend on how to store data efficiently using bitwise functions, but what a mission to dig it up again.  Anyways, here it is, a method for storing multiple true/false values as a single integer. Examples of typical applications include:

  • in an agenda, the ability to store various selected days in a week or month as a single int
  • in a form with 30 odd checkboxes, store selected as a single int

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What’s the Difference between Content Management and Document Management?

Posted on 13 March 2003 by Demian Turner

from IBM’s DB2 Magazine, written by Priscilla Emery

You probably don’t stay up at night pondering the meaning of all the acronyms for content and document management.  Still, if you intend to implement any web-basaed repository of information, you’d better be able to sort them out.  Even though the lines of distinction are blurring, it helps to know which of these technologies is right for your project or organisation.

Last year’s marketing hype proclaimed that document management (DM) was dead and content managment (CM) tools were winning the race to provide an effective way to manage information in a web-based environment.

Documents come in a variety of formats (including MS Word, TIFF, JPEG and PDF).  Web-based content and rich-media documents can include video, Flash graphics, sounds, and other elements.  In essence, managing content goes beyond whole documents to include the elements or objects that make up content.

Although there’s some merging of different capabilities in a variety of products, there are still differences that result from a CM vs. DM heritage.


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