Archive | February, 2005

Visual Diffs and Merge on Linux

Posted on 26 February 2005 by Demian Turner

Having recently moved to Linux only on my laptop, the one tool I was having trouble replacing was Winmerge, the recommended visual diff/merge app for Tortoise users and popular SourceForge project. On the advice of Andrew, I checked out Meld – a similar Linux tool. Wow, no looking back.

The one hitch I had was installing from src – usually this is not a problem but in this case I ran into quite a deep dependency tree of Gnome libs. However, the RPM from Fedora Core 2 works fine on Core 3 – give it try.

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PHP Welcomed into IBM’s Stable of Emerging Technologies

Posted on 26 February 2005 by Demian Turner

As part of the Zend Core for IBM strategy, PHP – fresh with an enhanced feature set in version 5 – is to be welcomed into the stable of emerging technologies at IBM. This is the most exciting news I’ve heard for PHP in years, there are definitely good things in store for developers who have toughed it out with PHP’s sometimes-awkward development quirks. From the ugly duckling of PHP3 (earliest I saw) to the sleek beast of current version 5, PHP seems guaranteed a comfortable place on the entreprise application stage.

Read the IBM doc carefully, announced by Andi Gutmans yesterday, obviously a lot of work has been going on under the covers at IBM and Zend. Also check out IBM’s Service Data Object spec which proposes not only an elegant model for object-relational mapping, a sadly weak area for PHP that has no Hibernate, but a web service driven abstraction layer for any data source, be it db, xml, web service, etc.

Some of the main points covered by the IBM announcement:

  • services oriented architecture
  • moving LAMP to the next level
  • PHP 5’s strong web service/XML support
  • PDO’s role
  • service data objects for PHP

If you’re not running PHP 5 yet, get on the case – if you’re parsing XML but haven’t experienced WSDL’s discovery approach, try it out with native SOAP support in PHP5. And if you find bugs, report them or better yet, send in a patch!

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Larry Wall Speaks

Posted on 25 February 2005 by Demian Turner

Seeing as it’s Friday, a bit of programming humour is not out of order, certainly not from one of the great masters who reminds us that a computer language is afterall just a language.

Some highlights:

  • Real programmers can write assembly code in any language. 🙂
  • echo "Your stdio isn’t very std."
  • "You want it in one line? Does it have to fit in 80 columns? :-)"
  • "Unix is like a toll road on which you have to stop every 50 feet to pay another nickel. But hey! You only feel 5 cents poorer each time."

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Using curl with PHP Tutorial

Posted on 18 February 2005 by Demian Turner

Thanks for this anonymous submission

Learn to use curl with php to query remote webservers for data. This can be done to automate form submission, process credit cards, and more. Topics covered include SSL, cookie handling, and more.

Read the full article here

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Active Calendar : an XHTML Calendar Generator PHP Class

Posted on 12 February 2005 by Demian Turner

Active Calendar is a PHP class that generates calendars (month or year view) as HTML tables (XHTML-valid). It can produce static calendars without any links or calendars with navigation controls, a date picker control, event days and content with event URLs, and linkable days (optionally URL or Javascript). The layout can be configured using CSS, and JavaScript is not required. The supported dates (on systems using a 32-bit signed integer Unix time_t) are: 1902-2037 (Unix) and 1971-2037 (Windows), when using the default PHP native date functions, and 100-3000 and later, when using the ADOdb Date Library.

License: LGPL
More details (source code, demo etc) at:

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Filtering and Modifying Directory Listings with File::Util

Posted on 10 February 2005 by Demian Turner

If you need to run directory listings through various filters and transforms,
File_Util::listDir is your friend, especially with the recently added callback
final arg.

Check out recent Seagull code updates to see the flexibility of the current approach,
we need to consolidate all Seagull directory methods in order for next step of
front controller to be implemented.

getAllNavDrivers() is the first converted method, it makes use of callbacks,
lambda fns and pass-by-ref to update filtered dir listings.

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PEAR Channels almost ready with imminent release of v. 1.4

Posted on 09 February 2005 by Demian Turner

Our man Greg
has been working overtime getting the latest
version of the PEAR
package manager ready. He also has a blog which is a great
way to keep uptodate with all the latest PEAR package mgr
news. Some recent entries include:

If you really want to know everything that’s gone on with the package manager, you can read through the posts at
And if you’ve read all this and you’re wonder "why is this guy always
going on about PEAR package mgr" (as indicated by the poll in the
bottom left corner 😉 then just keep in mind some of the following:

  • one of the keys to the success of the Linux platform is tools like RPM, apt-get and more recently yum
  • one of the pillars of Redhat’s success is the RHN or Redhat Network
  • package management has a long history with other languages and a well-trodden track record with, eg, CPAN.

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