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2001

 
DHTML Dude and Tables
Amazing DHTML behaviours with internet explorer by DOM wizard David Massey. Try the sorting and dragging samples.

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PHP Obfuscator
Hand over the code and still sleep well: POBS stands for PHP Obfuscator/Obscurer. It is a free and open PHP program that makes PHP sourcecode almost impossible to read and edit for normal humans. It is a simple way to protect your PHP sourcecode from people who would like to adjust it or who would like to know its workings. Now you can deploy your application and feel pretty safe about it.

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Using XML-RPC with PHP
XML-RPC is a great enabler for distributed systems and system interoperability, as it allows any XML-RPC enabled applications to call the methods of other XML-RPC enabled applications, regardless of what language either application is written in, or on what machine either application is running on. This allows a perl function to make a call to a Python method, or a Java Servlet to call a PHP function, for example.

btn: PS: Happy 2002! - John Lim

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Leon Atkinson discusses caching
In English, cache is a word of French origin, pronounced exactly like cash, meaning a secret hiding place for valuables or provisions. Similar to words such as mouse and web, computer scientists borrowed cache to refer to a programming technique. This technique involves introducing a middle layer between the source and destination of data flow. This middle layer is no secret, but it is transparent to participants, and it does store data.

Pity Leon doesn't discuss PEAR Cache.

tri: As the New Year is coming, the flow of articles will slow down. I'll be posting regularly again in 2002. Best wishes for the festive season! John

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How to Read W3C Specs
When you seek answers, you're looking for a user manual or user reference guide; you want to use the technology. That's not the purpose of a W3C specification. The purpose of a “spec” is to tell programmers who will implement the technology what features it must have, and how they are to be implemented.

It's the difference between the owner's manual for your car and the repair manuals. The owner's manual tells you how to replace the windshield wiper blades. If you go to the repair manual, it will tell you the dimensions of the blades and show the parts used to attach them; you will have to use that information to piece together how to replace them. -- J David Eisenberg

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Using PHP and MySQL with Flash
This article helps explain how to use Macromedia Flash 5 in conjunction with PHP and a MySQL database. This demonstration will show you how to setup a simple login and registration form, then allow users to save movie clip positions and various properties in the database. When they log back in the movie clips are in the same position. -- Jeffrey F Hill

btn: Fascinating to learn that a Flash movie can communicate with any server using HTTP. Such a simple and neat API too!

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XMLRPC-EPI in PHP 4.1.0
There was a note in the PHP 4.1.0 changelog that XML-RPC is now included with the release. Here is the documentation that should have come with it. This extension has been in use by epinions.com for several months, so should be quite solid:

[The author says] key benefits of using this extension as compared to other php xmlrpc solutions are:

  • speed. Because it is in C, it is faster than implementations written in php. Various iterations of this code have been/are running at Epinions.com and are sufficiently fast for the high traffic volume this site encounters, with several xmlrpc type requests generated for each user http request. No specific speed claims are made. Your mileage may vary.

  • ease of use. All data is sent/received as native php types, so there is no complicated new API to learn when dealing with data types. Sample php scripts are in ./sample. The best/quickest way to learn how to use the library is just to view the source to these and load them in your browser.

  • escaping and encoding support. Four different types of xml character escaping are available, which means you can safely send any sort of data, even non-printable and "illegal" xml characters. all encodings supported by your operating system are useable for both sending and receiving data.

  • compatibility. This library has been demonstrated fully compliant with the XMLRPC spec, having passed the test suite at http://validator.xmlrpc.com/. It is the author's hope that this code will be found useful by someone, and would like to hear about how and where it is being used, or suggestions for improvement.

btn: PS: Rob Lundy wants to announce a new open source website that features news, in depth projects, and a place to chat about whatever at http://www.simplecodes.com/ Best of luck!

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Webmaster's Guide to Server Side Includes
Sometimes SSI is good enough when you don't need the power of PHP.

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Finally a stable ISAPI for Windows: PHP 4.1.0
btn: 13 Dec 2001 It's worse than it appears... Removed all external extensions today from php.ini. Only inbuilt extensions compiled by the guys at php.net are used and the Access Violations still happen with ISAPI.

btn: 12 Dec 2001 One bad apple makes the whole bunch bad... I recently tested the assertion below on Windows 2000 with IIS 5 and unfortunately it seems that many extensions are still not fully thread-safe. I was getting frequent Access Violations when I had mysql, ibase, oci8, mssql, java, odbc, zlib extensions installed.

At 17:16 11/12/2001, Emanuel Dejanu wrote:

>Hi, > >Zeev Suraski [zeev at zend dot com] wrote: > >- Revolutionary performance and stability improvements under Windows. The > >multithreaded server modules under Windows (ISAPI, Apache, etc.) perform as > >much as 30 times faster under load! We want to thank Brett Brewer and his > >team in Microsoft for working with us to improve PHP for Windows. > >This means that ISAPI is considered to be production quality?

Yes, even though quite a few modules inside PHP are not yet thread safe, so if you use them, it'd crash.

Zeev

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PHP 4.1.0 Officially Released
After a lengthy QA process, PHP 4.1.0 is finally out. 
Download at http://www.php.net/downloads.php !

PHP 4.1.0 includes several other key improvements: - A new input interface for improved security (read below) - Highly improved performance in general - Revolutionary performance and stability improvements under Windows. The multithreaded server modules under Windows (ISAPI, Apache, etc.) perform as much as 30 times faster under load! We want to thank Brett Brewer and his team in Microsoft for working with us to improve PHP for Windows. - Versioning support for extensions. Right now it's barely being used, but the infrastructure was put in place to support separate version numbers for different extensions. The negative side effect is that loading extensions that were built against old versions of PHP will now result in a crash, instead of in a nice clear message. Make sure you only use extensions built with PHP 4.1.0. - Turn-key output compression support - *LOTS* of fixes and new functions

As some of you may notice, this version is quite historical, as it's the first time in history we actually incremented the middle digit! :) The two key reasons for this unprecedented change were the new input interface, and the broken binary compatibility of modules due to the versioning support.

Following is a description of the new input mechanism. For a full list of changes in PHP 4.1.0, scroll down to the end of this section.

-----------------------------------

SECURITY: NEW INPUT MECHANISM

First and foremost, it's important to stress that regardless of anything you may read in the following lines, PHP 4.1.0 *supports* the old input mechanisms from older versions. Old applications should go on working fine without modification!

Now that we have that behind us, let's move on :)

For various reasons, PHP setups which rely on register_globals being on (i.e., on form, server and environment variables becoming a part of the global namespace, automatically) are very often exploitable to various degrees. For example, the piece of code:

<?php if (authenticate_user()) { $authenticated = true; } ... ?>

May be exploitable, as remote users can simply pass on 'authenticated' as a form variable, and then even if authenticate_user() returns false, $authenticated will actually be set to true. While this looks like a simple example, in reality, quite a few PHP applications ended up being exploitable by things related to this misfeature.

While it is quite possible to write secure code in PHP, we felt that the fact that PHP makes it too easy to write insecure code was bad, and we've decided to attempt a far-reaching change, and deprecate register_globals. Obviously, because the vast majority of the PHP code in the world relies on the existence of this feature, we have no plans to actually remove it from PHP anytime in the foreseeable future, but we've decided to encourage people to shut it off whenever possible.

To help users build PHP applications with register_globals being off, we've added several new special variables that can be used instead of the old global variables. There are 7 new special arrays:

$_GET - contains form variables sent through GET $_POST - contains form variables sent through POST $_COOKIE - contains HTTP cookie variables $_SERVER - contains server variables (e.g., REMOTE_ADDR) $_ENV - contains the environment variables $_REQUEST - a merge of the GET variables, POST variables and Cookie variables. In other words - all the information that is coming from the user, and that from a security point of view, cannot be trusted. $_SESSION - contains HTTP variables registered by the session module

Now, other than the fact that these variables contain this special information, they're also special in another way - they're automatically global in any scope. This means that you can access them anywhere, without having to 'global' them first. For example:

function example1() { print $_GET["name"]; // works, 'global $_GET;' is not necessary! }

would work fine! We hope that this fact would ease the pain in migrating old code to new code a bit, and we're confident it's going to make writing new code easier. Another neat trick is that creating new entries in the $_SESSION array will automatically register them as session variables, as if you called session_register(). This trick is limited to the session module only - for example, setting new entries in $_ENV will *not* perform an implicit putenv().

PHP 4.1.0 still defaults to have register_globals set to on. It's a transitional version, and we encourage application authors, especially public ones which are used by a wide audience, to change their applications to work in an environment where register_globals is set to off. Of course, they should take advantage of the new features supplied in PHP 4.1.0 that make this transition much easier. As of the next semi-major version of PHP, new installations of PHP will default to having register_globals set to off. No worries! Existing installations, which already have a php.ini file that has register_globals set to on, will not be affected. Only when you install PHP on a brand new machine (typically, if you're a brand new user), will this affect you, and then too - you can turn it on if you choose to.

Note: Some of these arrays had old names, e.g. $HTTP_GET_VARS. These names still work, but we encourage users to switch to the new shorter, and auto-global versions.

Thanks go to Shaun Clowes (shaun@securereality.com.au) for pointing out this problem and for analyzing it.

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Doc Javascript talks about Web Services
Doc Javascript is great. He's always got something interesting to write about on his favorite language, Javascript. What I like about him is that he researches the area thoroughly, and comes up with some amazing code every time. We need people like him in the PHP community too!

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Smarty Template Engine 1.5.1 Released
Several feature enhancements were made to this version, most notably the {foreach ...} command which is an alternative to {section ...} with an easier syntax for looping through a single array of values. Several functions were enhanced so that the output can be automatically assigned to a template variable instead of displayed (assign attribute). Cache files can now be controlled with a custom function as an alternative to the built-in file based method. Many code cleanups and bug fixed went into this release as well. -- Monte

This is a great template engine if combine it with an PHP caching product. Very flexible and powerful. Note that 1.5.1 fixes some caching bugs found in 1.5.0.

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Using PHP to Develop Three-Tier Architecture Applications
Designing your application in layers, or tiers, is useful for many different reasons. In a multiple tier design, each tier can be run a separate machine, or machines, allowing for improved processing performance. Depending on your design, multiprocessor machines, or many different independent computers can be used to improve performance. Efficient layering can give structure to you application, promote scalability, and ease long-term maintenance requirements for your code. -- Jason E. Sweat

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Pablo Roca's Guide to ADOdb for PostNuke developers
The popular content management system PostNuke is switching to ADOdb as their database abstraction layer. Pablo Roca is leading the database portability project for PostNuke.

btn: Sorry, you might have problems getting to the site. PostNuke has been hit by idiots using Denial-of-Service attacks recently.

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Christmas Shopping for Linux
Also, from time to time I like to relax a bit by visualizing complex mathematical formulae... -- Moshe Bar

Now we know what true Linux hackers dream of :-)

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XSL Transformation With PHP And Sablotron
First, we showed you how to use PHP to develop cutting-edge Web applications. Then we showed you how to impress your boss with your XML and XSLT prowess. And finally, we gave you the skinny on combining the two to capture the best of both worlds, and a hefty paycheck to boot. -- Harish Kamath

I believe PHP 4.1.1 will replace the Sablotron extension with a better technology, the XSLT extension. I hope the API still remains the same, otherwise poor Harish just had "much ado about nothing".

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Optimizing MySQL by Ian Gilfillan
The best MySQL optimizing tutorial I have ever read...

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Ace's Hardware Replaces PHP with Java
An interesting article that suggests some of the weaknesses of a naive PHP implementation for heavy traffic sites.

Here's what they should have done with PHP:

  1. Switched to using 2 web servers. One server for graphics, with Keep-Alives enabled, and another server for dynamic HTML using PHP and Keep-Alives disabled. This is an issue that occurs with all web servers, not merely PHP.
  2. Rewrite bits of their PHP using a HTML caching technology such as Smarty templates or PEAR Cache. This preserves their investment, and is a minor rewrite.
  3. Purchase Zend Accelerator.

You can read in the article that the main problem was the hardware could not keep up with the load. The new Java application performed poorly also the old hardware, and only when they upgraded to faster hardware did performance improve.

There are also pointers to where PHP needs to improve in the future: better resource pooling and multi-threaded support.

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XML-RPC Client Tutorial
This tutorial teaches you, step-by-step, how to build an XML-RPC client in PHP using the XML-RPC library written by Edd Dumbill. It covers each of the PHP classes you will be using, and how they fit together to form the final client. A primer is included to introduce the basics of the XML-RPC specification. -- Benson Wong

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BadBlue EE Web Server released with PHP Encoder
At last: affordable PHP/CGI encoding! BadBlue Enterprise Edition now includes an Encoding System... built-in!

The BadBlue Encoding System lets PHP and Perl developers protect their scripts and their intellectual property. The encoding system shields valuable source code with powerful, secure, symmetric private-key encryption. Best of all, it's an affordable solution for developers that don't have the budget for encoding solutions that cost thousands of dollars.

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PHP 4.1.0 Released
btn: Latest Warning: seems bugs have been found in this release. The version below is no longer the official 4.1.0. Wait for the php.net announcement!

btn: I just downloaded and tested this release. Originally I thought it was less stable that 4.0.6. Then I found out that removing Zend Optimizer 1.1.0 fixed the problem...


PHP 4.1.0 is finally out after a long wait. Source code release available at http://www.php.net/distributions/php-4.1.0.tar.gz and a compiled Windows version at http://www.php4win.com/~daniel/php-4.1.0-Win32.zip

The major changes are the new $_GET and $_POST auto-global arrays, and that you are now encouraged to set register_globals=off.

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Lessons in Scalability
For the past few weeks, my company has been preparing to setup an extranet for a customer. This extranet will have hundreds of users, run on multiple Apache web servers on Redhat Linux, and will be connecting to an Oracle database with 50 Gb of data and indexes. Naturally, scalability is a major problem, and I have had to think long and hard about these issues. Here are some related articles:

tri: Scaling concepts is taken from a book on Oracle, but most of the key ideas apply to web servers also. Further Oracle readings.

tri: My article on tuning Apache on Linux.

tri: Securing Apache on Linux.

tri: Using phpLens on a 50 Gb database.

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Making Apache Case Insensitive Using Samba
The problems started when I was migrating from NT to Linux. As you know, NT is case insensitive, so anything matched. Thus a request to http://domain.com/INDEX.HTML and http://domain.com/index.html were the same. However upon moving to Linux, the request for INDEX.HTML produced a 404 error, not found.

--Marc Perkel

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Creating PDF's with PHP
The nice thing about this class is that no PDF modules need be installed!

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Free PHP4 Tools are Maturing
Many times, I highlight beta PHP software on this web site. I do this as a public service, to encourage the developers and get them some feedback. But it doesn't mean that I would use it on a production site.

I'm glad to say that I can heartily recommend the DBG debugger. Works with IIS and Apache, on Windows and Linux/Unix. Very very nice. And best of all, it's free.

The APC Cache 1.1.0 has matured also. Although not the fastest, it now runs correctly most PHP scripts, unlike other opcode caches which purport to be faster but don't handle classes properly. The only problem is that when some pages get modified, it doesn't detect the change (even though check mod dates is enabled) and still executes the old cached version. Of course Zend Accelerator is faster and better, but for free software, it's great value.

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Accessing PostgreSQL from PHP
...we will explore various methods for accessing PostgreSQL from PHP. PHP is a server-side, cross-platform scripting language for writing web-based applications. It allows you to embed program logic in HTML pages, which enables you to serve dynamic web pages. PHP allows us to create web-based user interfaces that interact with PostgreSQL...

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Microsoft Determines the Web Services Landscape
It's interesting how Microsoft has captured the high ground in innovation in Web services. Everyone else is scrambling to catch up in terms of standards:

tri: Not Everyone’s Happy With Java Evolution.

tri: DotGnu. I'm not sure DotGNU has any clue on how to persuade Big Corporations to adopt their standards, but I'm glad to see that PHP is going to a be prominent part of their technology, thanks to PHPGroupWare.

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On the Security of PHP, Part 2
The way to secure PHP scripts is through a carefully selected combination of configuration settings and safe programming practices. Based on the vulnerabilities that we have studied so far, we will now set forth to establish some rules that can help avoid dangerous situations.

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APL
APL is a PHP module written in C++ that brings an abstract class model for application development to PHP. APL is based on the Zend-Engine and extends the PHP language. Docs are in German.

  • shorten your development time
  • shorter and more readable PHP-Code
  • real OOP development within PHP
  • bullet proofed and ready to use powerfull objects like Tree-Menus, Tabfolders and Grids
  • Separation of Design and Application development

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Jamie Flournoy responds to "What is Wrong With JSP"
This is a pretty old article (in internet time anyway), and frankly, I disagree with it, so as Samuel L. Jackson said in Pulp Fiction, "Well, allow me to retort!"

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Very Funny: Melt away extra5891 pounds and inches today!
>My name is Linda Gillie. I am 31 years old. A mother of three,
>a wife  of 13 years to a wonderful man, Michael My heart told
>me to share my story with you, so you don't give up hope.

First of all have you read the php manual?

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Security through obscurity never works
Microsoft seems well on the way to breaking last year's record for the number of security patches issued. The 2000 total managed to run into three figures, and it seems highly likely that 2001's total will be at least as high... Microsoft always used to declare at the top of every security patch it issued that the company "takes security very seriously indeed". That phrase is no longer included. Perhaps we can draw our own conclusions as to why it was removed.

And Netcraft estimates that 1 in 9 of all IIS servers have already been hacked.

btn: A history of Full Disclosure by Bruce Schneier.

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Build your own Database Driven Website using PHP & MySQL
4 chapters from the above book have been posted on the above web site. An extensive basic primer for the innocents who have yet to encounter PHP and MySQL.

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APD is the Advanced PHP Debugger.
The above URL has been fixed.

It was written to provide strace/truss capability for profiling and debugging php code, as well as providing the ability to print out a full stack backtrace. APD does not support interactive debugging, but instead writes data to trace files. APD provides event based logging, so that varying levels of information (including function calls, arguments passed, timings, etc.) can be turned on or off for individual scripts.

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FreeBSD Versus Linux Revisited
Above URL should be fixed - john

In my October 29, 2001, Byte.com column I described the new VM written by kernel hacker Andrea Arcangeli. In that article, I promised I would come back to my FreeBSD versus Linux comparison that I ran in my February 2001 column. Many people say FreeBSD has a very good virtual memory manager. As it turns out, I pretty much proved them right in that article. -- Moshe Bar

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Tuning a Solaris System
Solaris is a multi-threaded, scalable UNIX(TM) operating environment running on SPARC and Intel processors. It is self-adjusting to system load and demands minimal tuning. In some cases, however, tuning is necessary. This guide provides details about the officially supported kernel tuning options available for the Solaris environment.

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Robert X Cringely: Caught in a .NET
Bob gives the government's settlement with Microsoft the thumbs-down, and debates readers about C#.

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Comparing SOAP and XML-RPC in late 2001
Dave Winer, co-author of XML-RPC and SOAP, compares the two beasts: "At their core, they are the same thing."

Graham Dumpleton disagrees with the Master Winer...

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On the Security of PHP
The most direct illustration of damage inflicted by unvalidated user input is probably the execution of external programs with user-specified names or arguments. -- Jordan Dimov

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SOAP: Simple Object Access Protocol
Dynamically generated HTML content works fine in Web browsers, but it presents a nightmare for anyone trying to utilize that data with other programs. For example, you can easily view an auction site in a browser, but an application would require a complex HTML parser to read your bid's status from the same site. Worse, you would need a different parser to track a different auction site, and the simplest redesign of either site could throw off your program.

Web services solve this problem with a consistent and easy method for accessing online information. Web services could potentially create a whole new type of Web.

A protocol created by Microsoft, DevelopMentor, and Userland Software and backed by companies that include IBM, Lotus, and Compaq gives a big push toward that vision. Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) exchanges application data over HTTP in XML encoding.

btn: The above article on CNET covers SOAP using Perl. Get the PHP SOAPx4 and phpXMLP implementations of SOAP.

btn: Other SOAP implementations

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Maguma Previews Beta of PHP4EE
Bozen, November 5, 2001 - At the PHP-Conference from Nov. 5th to Nov 7th in Frankfurt (Germany) Maguma AG with it's headquarter in Bozen, Italy, presents a prototype of their product PHP4 Enterprise Edition (PHP4EE). With this a professional, commercial development- and runtime-environment is presented for the first time. Maguma PHP4EE supports the easy and rapid creation of complex, dynamic web-sites and in that way makes it possible to deploy PHP economically. The market introduction of the version 1.0 of the Maguma PHP4 Enterprise Edition is planned for March 2002.

btn: Zend release their commercial Accelerator too. I have been beta testing it and it is really really fast.

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Sun to Blame for the Death of Java?
Microsoft's C# Language Might Be the Death of Java, but Sun's the One to Blame: It is easy to criticize Microsoft. Heck, I've made a career of it. Yes, they are bullies and their technology tends to be derivative and uninspired, but what bothers most of Microsoft's competitors is none of that. Microsoft's competitors are bothered by Microsoft's success, which is to say by Microsoft's lack of a credible competitor. And that's one thing (maybe the only thing) that isn't Microsoft's fault. -- Robert X. Cringely

btn: I don't take this article seriously; but still good for a laugh...

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Resources at php.weblogs.com
Today, I'd like to point you to some resources on this web site that I have rarely highlighted, but which I use frequently myself. The reason why there are so many links on this web site is not because I'm link crazy, but because this site is my personal notebook on PHP technology, and I am constantly updating the material behind the scenes.

tri: Tuning Apache on Unix is my personal favorite article of all time, listing all the ways you can tune PHP and Apache. I just updated it because I'm now writing the Optimizing PHP chapter in the PHP Handbook which will be out next year. The book will have twice as many tips as this article, and will cover IIS too!

tri: There are many SQL tips at SQL Tutorials and Resources.

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phpcron
Phpcron is a PHP command line utility which allows you to schedule programs to run at certain specified times. Phpcron Admin allows a user to remotely schedule programs and change Phpcron options in a user friendly way without having to deal with console based sessions using ssh, telnet, or arcane text editors. Unlike cron, this software works on both Unix and Windows.

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Practical PostgreSQL
This is a book on PostgreSQL available on the Internet written by John Worsley and Joshua Drake.

These authors obviously love PostgreSQL, but the book focuses on what PostgreSQL is (which is only of interest to a minority), and not about what PostgreSQL can do for you (what everyone else is interested in).

In my mind, Paul DuBois' MySQL book still sets the standard for database books - half of that book is about using MySQL with Perl, PHP, and other related stuff.

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SQL Relay: persistent database connection pooling
When using Apache::DBI or PHP's persistent connections, a connection is opened to the database for every web server process. Frequently, web sites need to run large numbers of processes to provide adequate response. As the number of database connections grows, resources get strained and a lot of database connections go unused most of the time.

SQL Relay makes more efficient use of resources by maintaining fewer persistent connections to the database and funnelling all database requests through those connections. When the number of database session requests exceeds the number of persistent connections, the session requests are queued. This ultimately causes delayed response to the client, but keeps the database running smoothly. In most cases, the delay is negligable and the tradeoff is acceptable.

SQL Relay looks impressive and scalable. Wonder whether any reader has experience using it?

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New CHM format of the PHP Manual
The goal here is to make the best Help format for Windows programmers to use while programming. You can help much with your opinion, reports, or offered help.

  • Completely new design.
  • Manual notes included in downloadable manual. This is a greatly requested feature.
  • New function page formats (purpose, usage and availability now separated, and can be seen at a glance
  • Online functions, preferences and "help on help" accessible from any page with a click.

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Applying design patterns to PHP
This month, I'm introducing design patterns. Popular among fans of Java and C++, design patterns are not a topic often discussed among PHP programmers. Yet, they are an important part of computer science. Furthermore, they apply to all programming languages, even PHP. -- Leon Atkinson

Many people have said to me that they find the concept of design patterns useful. I read the Design Pattern book around 1995, but have never opened it since. Here's an example why...

To implement the "strategy pattern", you must define a shared interface for all algorithms. You may then proceed with various implementations of this interface...

This is just a fancy way of saying we need an API so that we can hide or switch implementation details; calling it the strategy pattern makes me think of those slick management books you see like "The Art of War Applied to Business". I can just imagine a group of Harvard MBAs in suits hunkering down to do some heavy coding to the battle-cry "strategy pattern".

Don't get me wrong; of course there are benefits to using these techniques when brainstorming for ideas, because it can help you see things in a different way. But design patterns are not for every one, and will not help solve every design problem. There is no silver bullet.

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Hailstorm in Hand
btn: Latest from InfoWorld Once customers start deploying their applications, Microsoft will then start collecting money. At the low end of the scale, Muglia said Microsoft will charge small-scale developers $1,000 a year to use .NET My Services and $250 for each application they create with the technology. Most companies developing with the technology will end up paying $10,000 per year, and $1,500 for each application that is built based on .NET My Services, Muglia said.


My Services is the new name for Hailstorm, a web services initiative by Microsoft announced in March to supply several building blocks for developers to create user-centric Web applications. A early beta will be available at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference in LA this week.

The Passport part of My Services sounds like a pretty invasive piece of technology. Would I implement it on a web site I was developing? Probably, if it made business sense.

Would I use it - yes if it were as safe and as widely used as my credit cards (which is not very safe - in 1998 I got a mysterious card transaction for US $4000 from Spain but luckily it was recognized as fraudalent by my issuing bank).

Ultimately it's a question of trust - and that has still got to be earned by Microsoft.

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Web Services Specifications
Today, Microsoft released for preview the first set of specifications in the Global XML Web Services Architecture on routing, referral, security, and licensing that build on the baseline XML, SOAP, WSDL, and UDDI specifications. -- MSDN

These appear to be jointly developed with IBM. I don't know whether it will be submitted to a standards organisation in the future, though IBM being in the picture might suggest that is the case.

I had a look at the specs: WS-Routing and WS-Referer provides for the basics of workflow messaging - who is responsible for what part of a SOAP message, and then you can forward it to the next person - very interesting to me because my company provides workflow solutions.

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Sun: Tuning Your Apache Web Server
Setting up and configuring your Web server is a reasonably simple process for which most installations provide scripts. Optimization involves tweaking your server to achieve maximum performance. This is not well documented and is anything but automated. This article provides some simple tactics you can employ to improve your Web server's performance, and where appropriate it points to tools and information sources that will help you achieve even greater performance gains.

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ADODB, PEAR DB, PhpLib and Metabase Shoot-out
The cowpokes and city slickers gathered around the edges of main street, waiting. A dog howled in the distance and horses sighed nervously in the chill morning air. Suddenly the first of the gunslingers raced out, six-shooters blazing, then another, and another, and another. Smoke steamed from heated guns, frightened horses whinnied, bodies moaned in the dust. The surviving gunmen looked at each other, holstered their guns, mounted their horses and without a word, rode into the heat of the rising sun.

Revised 24 Oct 2001.

The benchmark was to select 82 rows from the products table 200 times. The tests were repeated 5 times. Connection times were excluded from the benchmark. Values are in seconds.

MySQL 1.12 1.12 1.17 1.15 1.14 ADODB 1.43 1.47 1.47 1.44 1.45 PhpLib 1.53 1.62 1.64 1.64 1.57 PEAR 2.91 2.90 2.85 2.83 2.84 (fetchInto) PEAR 3.14 3.13 3.22 3.12 3.16 (fetchRow) M'base 4.51 4.55 4.46 4.54 4.52 (numeric columns) M'base 4.99 4.72 4.71 4.71 4.72 (named columns)

Average Overhead MySQL 1.14 - ADODB 1.45 27% PHPLib 1.60 40% PEAR 2.87 152% (fetchInto) PEAR 3.15 176% (fetchRow) M'base 4.52 296% (numeric cols) M'base 4.77 318% (named cols)

I was still surprised at how slow some of the libraries were, even though a code inspection had already given strong hints on the expected performance of the class libraries.

Methodology

Results on Pentium 800 Mhz running Win 2000, PHP 4.0.6 ISAPI on IIS5 with MySQL 3.23, all on the same machine. PEAR DB from PHP 4.0.6, ADODB 1.40 and Metabase 1.57 were used.

Source code for these tests is available from http://phplens.com/lens/adodb/

Also see Designing Fast Software Architectures in PHP

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Creating CSS Buttons
Using CSS, you can create buttons with just a few lines of plain text HTML and CSS tags! (To learn more about CSS, be sure to check out these links.) The downside of using CSS to generate buttons is that ... they can only be rendered on CSS-compliant browsers. --Scott Mitchell

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Making the World a Happier Place, One Web Site at a Time
We frequently watch those VPs and directors of marketing in a user test situation or field study where they see a person having a hard time and they walk away saying, "Oh, what a stupid user."

btn: Another Jakob Nielsen piece: he isn't too popular among some people since he dissed Linux - such is life.

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PostgreSQL in shadows of MySQL?
From the Postgres 7.2 TODO:
http://developer.postgresql.org/cvsweb.cgi/~checkout~/pgsql/HISTORY?rev=1.125&content-type=text/plain
   A dump/restore using pg_dump is required for those wishing to migrate
   data from any previous release.  One significant change is that
   SELECT ... LIMIT 10,20 now uses the 10 as the OFFSET and the 20 as
   the LIMIT.  Previous versions had this reversed.  This change was
   made for MySQL compatibility.

The postgres style of SELECT LIMIT is more logical and consistent than MySQL's. To me, this reflects poorly on the postgres team in terms of backward compatibility and shows a copycat mentality.

I hope there is a backward compatible patch for the old style of SELECT LIMITs. I also think a poll should have been made before the decision was made (was there one?)

Lastly, postgres is supposed to be the most advanced open source database - they need to shed the copycat mentality and inferiority complex (ridiculous but true) with respect to MySQL.

My compatibility suggestion is to have an alternative syntax (SELECT TOP) that keeps the same ordering of parameters; this makes it easy to patch with a simple search and replace.

eg. SELECT * FROM table LIMIT 20,10 in the MySQL syntax would be SELECT * FROM table TOP 10, 20 in PostgreSQL. Then we would just need to do a search and replace of LIMIT to TOP in our code.

tri: Thanks to John Huong for alerting me to this change -- John

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Do You Have a Perverted Health Problem?
Here are some of the things PHP could stand for:
  • Personal Home Page
  • PHP Hypertext Processor
  • Personal Hygiene Problem (A typical programmer?)
  • Practically Hopeless Person (Mr Bean)
  • Philandering Heterosexual Professional (Just a gigolo)
Now let's have fun! Post your most amusing abbreviations here...

btn: Here's another twist: Think of a famous person, then come up with a PHP that applies to the person.
    Oscar Wilde? Profoundly Homosexual Playwright.

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Making Forms Object-Oriented
Object-oriented programming is an efficient and powerful technique. It allows one to create reusable, easily adjustable components that make programming process fast and, honestly, very much fun, too. I hope, my little experience that I presented here will inspire you to build your own libraries of classes that would be a basement for complex and sophisticated web applications. -- Yuri Makasjuk

tri: There is a class framework called WildWeb that supports object-oriented forms.

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MySQL 4.0 Alpha is Out
The long awaited (alpha) version 4.0 of the MySQL database is now available for download at the MySQL website. The new version is intended as a platform for building mission critical, heavy load database solutions, and much effort has been put into providing a solid foundation for planned enhancements, some of which are included from the start.

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How Apple blew it, how Linux will blow it, and the Next Big
Will Linux desktops innovate? No. I don't think of that as being the solution: because it's open source. It doesn't lend itself to coming up with new paradigms. The one thing it's very good thing at is designing software for other hackers, for other nerds, really. That's their skill and that's their strength - there's a thousand nerds to look at it. If something doesn't work it's going to be a debate on the mailing lists and it's going to be fixed.

But that's a bad method for complex decision management or business professionals or this next generation of home users, because that requires a very different project management approach, a clear vision.

They're great programmers and that's very nice, and it generates good stuff for that environment, but it's a little sandbox. -- Jakob Nielsen

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Project Phoenix and Msession
Project Phoenix is a library kludged together from bits and pieces of many independent projects that Mohawk Software had done in the past. Nothing particularly noteworthy, particularly well written, nor documented, just (hopefully) useful. Growing day by day, Phoenix is becomming quite a bit of code.

Msession is a stand-alone multi-threaded daemon which provides session management for a cluster of web servers. Msession has a C/C++ API, as well as a PHP extension. A PostgreSQL extension is also in the works.

tri: The recent Abdul Basit benchmarks suggest that session management could be improved in PHP. Msession is one such endeavor.

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PEAR Cache Tutorial
Caching is currently a hot topic in the PHP world. Because PHP produces dynamic web pages, scripts must be run and results must be calculated each time a web page is requested, regardless if the results are the same each time... --Sebastian Bergmann

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Apache 1.3.22 Out
This version of Apache is principally a security fix release which closes some problems where a directory listing could be obtained instead of the default index page.

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Top Reference Sites For Your Favorite Server-Side Language
Wow, we were chosen by Kevin Yank as a top site for PHP. Also great links on Perl, ASP, Java, Cold Fusion.

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An Anonymous Mouse Roars
The author is very misinformed. In addition to errors in interpretation, there are several glaring factual errors in his analysis. My reply to each of his points is in Blue below. Note also, that ASP.NET blows away both, PHP and ASP on every one of the points he raises. -- Anonymous Mouse

Dear Anonymous,

My name is on this article you criticize because I am willing to enter into debate with anyone over the merits of PHP and ASP. I have had dozens of criticisms of this article, but every person before you has given a real name or valid email address.

I will not talk to someone who pretends to be the voice of pure reason but hides anonymously like you do - this is too much like a poison pen letter.

Yours sincerely, John Lim

tri: Our great readers respond: Jason Gan, Michael Kimsal, John Huong.

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First Look at Microsoft J#.NET Beta
Theoretically, any Java application that doesn't make use of Java APIs can be migrated into J# and compiled to the CLR. Applications that use Java APIs such as RMI or JNI are not supported. Microsoft only explicitly supports the Java 1.1.4 specification. Further, the resulting binaries do not support any JVM—they will only compile to the .NET framework.

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Migrating MySQL to PostgreSQL
I continued to use MySQL and attributed the MySQL failures and crashes to the incompetence of my hosting service, which I couldn't change at the time. As soon as I was able to, I changed Web hosts. This new host's service and philosophy was very different from my previous one, as they had a higher commitment to security and stability than did my old host. -- Nathan Matias

This has not been my experience with MySQL, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

Also see Part 2 of the story.

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SANS Institute: Top 20 Security Risks
My most frequently used Web server fails most of the above security criteria, but since it's an intranet server accessible only by trusted people, it's an acceptable risk!

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Java.NET
As first reported by UK-based news outlet The Register, an early preview of Microsoft's version of Java intended to run in tandem with .NET headed out of the stables at Redmond. Although the 7 megabyte file as pulled from Microsoft's download site almost as soon as it make its brief appearance, enough time elapsed for a small number of fortunate souls to get their hands on it. -- Beta News

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Dirty Minds Again: PEAR DB and ADODB
I must be mad after all the dirty talking last week. Mohan posted a message in php-pear-general and I had to respond:
Mohan <saradiya@ameba6.com> wrote in message
mailto:news:200110080226.f982Qhk05006@antaraconsolidated.com...
> Hi guys,
>
> I am currently working on a php project and was seriously considering DB
over
> ADODB. This was mainly due to the fact that
>
> 1.THere has been rumbles that they are porting DB to C ?
> 2.DB is  used by all the other PEAR classes
> 3.ADODB seems a tad complex , since we will mainly be using only
postgresql
> and might need support for oracle/mssql
>
> Why would I choose ADODB over DB ? Is there someway to abstract it such
that
> we could enjoy the best of both world ? Maybe use some Factory patterns ?
>
> Mohan

Hello Mohan

If you know oracle/mssql/postgresql, they are all very different beasts. We use MySQL and Oracle everyday at work and I know you will need a good wrapper then.

Oracle is the most complicated rdbms of all, but a quick scan of the source of PEAR DB's oci8 vs mysql implementation will show you that the oci8 is far less complete (16K) than mysql's (22K). Ditto for mssql (13K). That will tell you something.

You will see the reverse in ADODB, where the oci8 implementation is one of the larger files.

Parts of ADODB will probably be ported to C eventually, and I can tell you that startup time will decrease significantly then (well maybe not if u use the Zend Accelerator), but I do not really expect that much speed improvement - the bottleneck is the SQL execution - of course I might be wrong...

If you need power, ADODB has more functionality, particularly for oci8. ADODB can simulate SELECT ...LIMIT and PEAR DB currently doesn't. If your needs are simple, stop worrying about which one to use - start coding - it doesn't matter!

John Lim

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The Abdul Basit Benchmarks: PHP, ASP and JSP
The results are getting monotonous and the winner is obvious - it shows you what an amazing programming team we PHP developers have!

btn: A .NET benchmark would be more interesting. Some informal claims have been made that the beta(!) is at least 20% faster than ASP, making it very close in speed to PHP.


Michael Kimsal as usual is the voice of reason and has pointed out a boo-boo. PHP only wins the simple "hello world" and "DB Engine" tests. ASP wins the session tests, which I presume means cookies. What i don't understand is how dynamic web page throughput can outperform static HTML throughput? Has the tortoise figured out how to beat the hare?

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Microsoft Patents Ones, Zeros
All the dirty talking these past few days has left a nasty taste in my mouth. Time to clear the air and talk about the real menace below :-)

REDMOND, WA—In what CEO Bill Gates called "an unfortunate but necessary step to protect our intellectual property from theft and exploitation by competitors," the Microsoft Corporation patented the numbers one and zero Monday.

PS: After reading what I wrote, I think I better make it clear: the real menace is patents by any BigCo, not Microsoft.

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Storing files in a relational database
Based on the test results, it seems that keeping files in a database cuts [reduces] performance by approximately a third. It's hard to accept this penalty in light of any meager advantages offered by keeping the files in the databases instead of in a directory. -- Leon Atkinson

Actually there can be good reasons to store files in a database: security. For example I worked in a project dealing with passport photos which were stored in Oracle. Given the recent concern over terrorism, I'm sure no one would want the photos to be tampered with.

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Metabase and ADODB
Talking dirty...

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PHPDeveloper.org
PHPDeveloper.org is a web site by enygma that covers a lot of PHP issues. There is some overlap between this site and PHPDeveloper at times, but the focus is slightly different.

Php.weblogs.com links to articles that interest me, so this site is mostly about advanced PHP, and covers .NET, IIS and ASP occasionally. PHPDeveloper is more focused on PHP and has stuff for newbies also.

Thanks for the links enygma!

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ADODB 1.40 out
ADODB is a database wrapper library for PHP that supports many databases.

-Added support for recordset pagination with next and previous links. See Example 8 in docs. by Iván Oliva.
- Added sequence support using GenID() for postgresql, oci8, mysql, interbase.
- Added UpdateBlob support for interbase (untested).
- Encrypted session data for better security (see adodb-cryptsession.php). By Ari Kuorikoski

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A PHP - MySQL Interface for HierMenus 4
HierMenus is a powerful and flexible hierarchical menu script written by Peter Belesis and available at WebReference.com. It is going through a constant process of evolution and now we have Version 4.1, which addresses many of the limitations of previous versions and is compatible with a wider variety of browsers.

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Interview with Andi and Zeev
Zeev Suraski and Andi Gutmans are straddling the world of open source and commercial business. The two are pioneers in the open source Web scripting language PHP...Here they talk about the PHP community, upcoming versions of the Web scripting language and the success of Zend, which will celebrate its second birthday next month.

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Stirred, Shaken, Stunned
Just has a car accident today. No one was injured but spent most of today at the police station, handling my insurance and with the mechanic. I am pooped, and will be taking it easy for the next few days...

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Data Manipulation with ADO.NET
In this book extract you will learn the following:

-How to open a database connection and perform common database operations such as inserting, updating, and deleting database records.
-How to use a DataReader to represent records retrieved from a database table.
-How to use parameters and execute stored procedures from an ASP.NET page.
-How to create a memory resident database using DataSets and DataTables.

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Gartner: Time to Drop IIS
Gartner recommends that businesses hit by both Code Red and Nimda immediately investigate alternatives to IIS, including moving Web applications to Web server software from other vendors such as iPlanet and Apache. Although those Web servers have required some security patches, they have much better security records than IIS and are not under active attack by the vast number of virus and worm writers.

Has IIS market share peaked?

btn: Microsoft vows to rewrite IIS (added 26 Sept 2001)

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Web Based FTP Client: php-ftp
I wrote this software because I was tired of explaining how to set up SSH tunnels for FTP. Unlike most other file upload scripts, phpftp requires no special privileges to make uploaded files owned by the user who uploaded them - this service is performed by the FTP server. -- Paul Southworth

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MS: You don't trust us? OK, we'll open Passport, Hailstorm
Microsoft says it wants Passport and Hailstorm, its foundation services for Web-based applications, to play well with others. So in a shocking move, the company is announcing today that Passport will be changed to use an Internet-standard security model and Hailstorm won't be the only place for users to store their personal information.

WSJ's opinion.

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Say NO to PHP or MySQL
I don't know what reality I'm living in, but here are the reasons I would NEVER recommend PHP or MySQL to any of my clients looking to build an enterprise web based solution: -- espyj

What do you think?

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Using Print Templates in IE
You can do a lot with print templates. Among other things, print templates can be used for:

-Adding fixed banners to print jobs, including company logos, legal notices, and advertisements.
-Customized placement and styling for header and footer elements, such as page numbers or chapter headings.
-Application-specific printing (calendars).
-Multi-fold brochure printing.
-Book-style printing using mirrored margins for the odd and even pages.

tri: Unfortunately you probably need to upgrade to IE 6. I couldn't print the examples with IE 5.5.

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A Second Look at the Cathedral and the Bazaar
Open source is a very interesting and influential phenomenon. It is especially intriguing to me because I believe that it can play a positive role in developing countries. In order to ensure its long-term sustainability we need to see it "as is" and clearly identify possible pitfalls as well as open source's strong and weak points. Fundamentally, we need a reliable map of the open source environment. -- Nikolai Bezroukov

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Language Laziness Test for Perl, PHP and Ruby
Being as lazy as I am I wanted to test which languages can perform common tasks in the least amount of characters. -- Ryan

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The Ultimate JavaScript Client Sniffer, Version 3.02
Seems we are cursed to repeat our computing mistakes forever.

  • Write Once, Run Everywhere: UCSD Pascal was the Java of the 80's. Microsoft's CLR will be the Java of the 00's...
  • Buffer overflow bugs were well known in the 50's. We are still enjoying the benefits...
  • Universal incompatible technology of the 80's: SQL and databases. Today it's Javascript and DOM...

Another good link on the curse of the browser-miesters: http://www.xs4all.nl/~ppk/js/browsers5.html

And here a Netscape engineer curses all other browsers: http://developer.netscape.com/evangelism/docs/articles/fep/

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Programming Wisdom Center
An interesting site with lots of opinions (although I disagree with some of them), many of them are quite thought-provoking -- John.

All the following comments are from Findy Services and B. Jacobs

Object Oriented Programming Oversold! - OOP Criticism
Table Oriented Programming - an alternative or enhancement to OOP
SQL Criticism
Stupid Web Patents - why are people tolerating this nonsense?
Prisoner of Hype - why I.T. fad cycles and snake oil dominate decision making
IT Labor Shortage Fraud - the alleged technical labor shortage is actually a political battle over labor costs and training costs.
XBase Appreciation - long live good ideas!
A FoxPro Music Sequencer - a hobby project
"L" Scripting Language Proposal - an attempt to satisfy multiple paradigms using simple constructs
Scripting Language Options - a list of decisions to make when building the next programming language.
My UFO page - written with skeptics in mind. Please read it carefully before making yet more silly UFO-T.O.P. jokes.
Server Controlled GUI - (SCGUI) a language-independent GUI protocol. Latency-friendly, easy-to-learn replacement for X-Windows. HTML forms have reached their end. (New XML version - draft protocol)
IWE Debate Information - red herring tactics often used by my opponents

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A night remembered
I came home last night at 10pm (Malaysian time) and played with the dog for a short while. Then my sister got a phone call from a friend and we turned on the TV to watch the events as they unfolded in New York. We were glued to the TV for the next 4 hours.

I phoned a friend that night. The next day she confessed that she thought I was pulling her leg about a terrorist attack. It's unbelievable and very very sad.

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The Pros and Cons of XML
An amazing document compiling all controversy over XML in one place. Very long, erudite, and exciting to priests who worship at the alter of <angle> brackets.

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Byte: Colocating Your Internet Server
Price alone does not mean anything when colocating a server. Try to find, perhaps in the Newsnet, existing customers of the colocation service and ask them what their perception of customer service, available bandwidth, and reliability is. Decide early on what your priorities are for the selection. Always, always keep security in mind. -- Moshe Bar

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Great Bridge, PostgreSQL vendor, ceases operations
During its 16 months of operations, Great Bridge recorded an impressive list of accomplishments, including assembling the industry's deepest talent pool of PostgreSQL expertise; releasing the first-ever commercially distributed version of PostgreSQL; ... and being named to FORTUNE magazine's 25 Coolest Global Companies. The company was not able, however, to turn this momentum into revenues that met its business plan milestones.

Databases are driven by applications. Oracle and MS SQL Server run thousands of commercial applications. Without commercial applications driving sales and Red Hat eating their lunch...there wasn't anywhere for them to grow...

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ADODB 1.31 Released
ADODB is a database wrapper library for PHP that supports many databases, including MySQL, PostgreSQL, MSSQL, Oracle, etc.

New in this release: Recordset caching, updating and inserting now implemented. Oci8 UpdateBlob support added. PostgreSQL stability improvements.

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The PHP Accelerator (Cache)
The Accelerator is a plugin extension to PHP that accelerates script execution typically between 2 and 3 times by caching compiled code for instant reuse the next time your scripts are accessed.

If you look at Nick's history, he says he started learning how to use the Zend engine only on the 14th of August 2001, and on the 20th he's got the first prototype cache working. A very impressive hack!

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PostgreSQL vs Oracle: The Database Gorilla Hunter
The 800-pound database gorilla Oracle will need to shed a few pounds in order to stay ahead of both proprietary and open-source rivals. One open-source offering, Great Bridge PostgreSQL, shows much promise in being able to hold and leverage a company's greatest assets--its data.

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How to get your PHP bug fixed!
Many PHP bugs never get fixed because it's too hard to duplicate the problem. For example, its been known since 1999 that file uploads of large files are slow but no one has really tracked the reason why. Look how Marcel van Leeuwen gets Andi Gutmans (one of the top PHP developers) to fix the problem...

I've tried a ASP uploader and it does the same file in less then three minutes. PHP was working for 30 minutes and still wasn't done. I think this is a bug in the code.

You've got to get their competitive juices flowing by mentioning that Perl or ASP does it better!

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phpMyAdmin 2.2.0 Released
After a long wait, we finally have a new version of this popular MySQL administration software.

  • security fixes
  • new languages: thai, swedish, ...
  • removed necessity of magic_quotes_gpc (autodetection)
  • dynamic multiple language support, with automatic browser language detection
  • gzip and HTTP compression support
  • user and db administration page
  • improved documentation
  • bookmarks (sql queries) feature
  • better file import/export possibilities
  • database usage statistics
  • javascript and html/css compatibility improvements
  • table maintenance features (repair, check, optimize)
  • maintained PHP3 compatibility
  • better BLOB support
  • table usage and row statistics
  • multiple table types
  • now backed by a full-time development team! :)

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Apache 2.0: The Internals of the New, Improved "A PatCHy"
Apache 1.3 has been a well-performing web server, but it suffers a few drawbacks, such as its scalability on some platforms. For instance, according to Martin Pool, AIX processes are heavyweight, and a small AIX machine serving a few hundred concurrent connections can become heavily loaded. In such situations, using processes is not the most effective solution and a threaded web server is needed.

Furthermore, with the evolution of the requirements imposed on web servers, new functionalities like higher reliability, higher security and further performance are required. In response, web servers must evolve to satisfy these demands. Apache is no exception, and it continues its drive to become a more robust and a faster web server with its new 2.0 version.

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phpXML
<phpXML/> is a class for accessing XML documents through the XPath language. A very good tutorial for learning XPath is available at ZVON. For example, if you want to get all nodes named "employee" from an XML document, simply do this by performing the XPath query "//employee".

See also http://sourceforge.net/projects/phpxmldb/

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XML-RPC in your Browser
Because xmlrpc-socket serves as a proxy between your browser and the remote RPC server (running PHP!), it helps sidestep JavaScript security in the browser and allow the response to be returned as a JavaScript string. What you decide to do with this string depends on your web application. xmlrpc-socket strips the header information, leaving only the XML response.

To us techies, it's amazing how far the browser has come.

tri: More amazing Javascript with remote scripting.

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-PHP Humor

Enterprise PHP
-Enterprise PHP scalable, high availability
-Writing Reliable Software
-PHP Application Variables
-Sessions in a Server Farm with ADOdb
-PHP, FastCGI and IIS

-Optimizing PHP: tips, methodologies and examples.
-Tuning PHP and Apache: many tips and links.

PHP Articles
-PEAR Tutorials & Links
-PHP Windows/Unix Editors
-PHP Caches & Debuggers

-XML-RPC Web Services
-ActiveX on Linux
-PHP: COM & ADO
-GD on Windows
-Using mail()

Some notes comparing PHP, JScript, VBScript and ASP that might be useful
1. Language Basics
2. Functions, Classes
3. ASP Objects and PHP

-My Favorite Articles
-CVS on Windows

PHP and SQL Databases
-SQL Tutorials & Resources
-Transactions in MySQL
-PHP ODBC Tips
-Flying with MySQL & Oracle
-Object-Relational Mania
-MySQL vs MSSQL vs Access
- also see ADODB above.

Apache and IIS
-Unix Performance Analysis
-Securing Apache on Linux
-Porting Apache to IIS
-PHP CGI in IIS
-Windows Apache & PHP

Tips
-Var_Dump & Print_R
-Prevent Caching
-E-mail Your Errors
-Disable magic_quotes_gpc
-Stop Submitting Twice
-Document Code Quickly
-Fault Tolerant Connections
-HTTP Compression
-XML DOM for Windows

Links
PHP.Net Home Manual Bugs
Writing a PHP Extension
Zend.com: PHP Portal
PHPBuilder.com: Articles
HotScripts Code Snippets
PHP Resource Index
PHP Source Code ChangeLog

Evil Walrus
phpinfo.net: French e
phpitalia.com: Italian e
phparchiv.de: German
php-resource: German e
PHP-Center.de: German e
phpuser.com: Chinese
hot PHP Web Cards
Cool Javascripts
More Links

Learn PHP
Forums Ask for HELP here!
or try the KnowledgeBase

Good Intro to PHP
PHP Overview by Rasmus
Intro to PHP


Regular Expressions Intro   txt2regex
Advanced Reg. Expressions
Database Readings PalsLib

Downloads
Bad Blue: Web Server
phpBB: Excellent Forum
ASP2PHP: Converts VB to PHP.
Web Calendar Nice

Archives
-My Favorite Articles
-2004
-2003
-2002
-2001
-2000

PHP4.0.4 Installer
php_gd.dll with GIF


Put the following ADODB logo on your website if you like!

John Lim Malaysia Natsoft Juris Legalpro iJuris mydevotion Tips Juris LensServer Ormes Technologies.

All original materials (c) 2000-2004 John Lim