Archive | October, 2004

PEAR::Math_Complex and fractals

Posted on 24 October 2004 by Demian Turner

Thanks to Mario from PHPkitchen’s Spanish sister site for this article.

While studying the bibliography from an old article in Scientific American on fractals, I came across an interesting explanation detailing how to develop biomorphs through simple scripting.

The formulae used were based on the study of spatial relationships using complex numbers and it was here that the version – still beta at the time – of the Pear::Math_Complex class demonstrated its effectiveness, and its ability to manage via a relatively simple interface complex numbers and computations thereof.

The computations involved iterative processes that demanded a lot of CPU resource, so I wouldn’t recommend using similar algorithms for web projects, there are other languages better suited to the task.

But for an experimental exercise the results were interesting.  I developed a small script using two functions  (Z3 + C y sen(z) + Z2 + C).  Using the function Z3 + C I generated the following biomorph:

This example serves to illustrate the use of Math_Complex, and should be a good starting point for those interested in learning the basics.  For more info on the subject check out this article from phpPatterns.

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LiveUser Tutorial: An authentication and permission management framework

Posted on 18 October 2004 by Demian Turner

UPDATE: A quick note from Helgi ?rmar, one of the LiveUser maintainers – apparently the tutorial below is out of date, so while it may serve as an interest point to get to know the software, it is not accurate with regards to the current version.

Thanks to Werner for pointing out this tutorial which takes you through the basics of getting setup with LiveUser, PEAR’s user authentication and permission management framework.

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New Seagull Tutorial

Posted on 15 October 2004 by Demian Turner

Thanks to Andy Crain the Seagull framework project has a new tutorial to help introduce new users to some of the project’s main features and concepts. Thanks also to Werner Krauss for integrating the tutorial into the project’s wiki.

The tutorial takes the user through an introduction to Seagull’s implementation of the MVC design pattern, before moving on to a discussion of the app controller, core libs and the template engine, PEAR’s Flexy package.

A narrative style is used throughout and examples are given to illustrate the main concepts.

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Bi-directional MS Access to MySQL conversion/synchronization tools White Paper

Posted on 13 October 2004 by Demian Turner

Choosing a tool for converting
databases from MS Access to
MySQL and vice versa is a
rather complicated thing if you
come to making your decision
after careful consideration.
There are several issues to be
taken into account when making
the decision…

We are glad to inform you that we have produced a white paper to give users more information about Access2MySQL applications. Access2MySQL White Paper answers some questions concerning common kinds of data conversion problems you’ll likely experience when publishing a database on the Web. We would be grateful if you could spend a couple of minutes and read the document.

You are welcome to view Access2MySQL White Paper at:

The white paper (658 KB) is available in PDF format. To view it, you need Adobe’s Acrobat Reader.

We encourage you to read our Access2MySQL White Paper. It would be very kind of you to share your opinion on the point.
We hope for your feedback.

Please, send your comments to

Best regards,
DMSoft Technologies

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Making CMSs Suck Less

Posted on 07 October 2004 by Demian Turner

Henry Bergius of the Midgard project has an interesting post regarding what is considered important in a CMS, here are some of the main points:

  • Make it easy to install. Your tool will see better adoption if you stop to consider the out-of-the-box experience before you ship it.
  • Make it easy to get started. Give first-time users a
    series of quick wins that become increasingly complex. When I first log
    in, I want to create a Web page.
  • Write task-based documentation first. Most systems
    have installation instructions that are quite good: "First do this,
    then do this, this, and this." But when it comes to actually using the
    CMS, they revert to feature-based docs, carefully outlining what each
    feature does, and typically from a back-end perspective.
  • Separate the administration of the CMS from the editing and managing of content.
  • Users of a public web site should never – never – be presented with a way to log into the CMS.
  • Stop it with the jargon already. I don’t know what a portlet is. Or a component, module, block, or snippet.
  • Why do you insist Web sites have "columns"? I’ve used
    quite a few systems now that have the notion of a 3-column layout. They
    give me the ability to turn columns off and on, and put "portlets" into
    "content-slots". Where does this assumption come from?

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PHP and .NET on Mono

Posted on 05 October 2004 by Demian Turner

Now that PHP5 and .NET technologies are getting so similar, many PHP developers are looking to pick up .NET skills to increase their opportunities in the job market. And what better way than to abscond up to the Himalayas for a one month intensive.

With Mono 1.0 stable for some time now, there’s no excuse for linux developers not to cast a curious eye, even if it’s just for improving your code design and getting new ideas. Windows developers can download Microsoft’s free web matrix tool and check out .NET’s huge and well-documented class library.

To whet your appetite, check out this example of building a project in .NET and Mono.

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Patterns and OOP in PHP

Posted on 01 October 2004 by Demian Turner

Quite a good presentation available online from George Schlossnagle (first item on list) – the slides cover Patterns and OOP in PHP, updated to cover PHP5 OO features.

These slides cover some material from George’s acclaimed book and are a good resource if you’re looking to improve your knowledge of design patterns and OOP productivity features.

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