Posts tagged ‘php’

Working with SMF

I was working upon upgradate & modification of a forum powered by SMF. My first job was to upgrade the forum from SMF 1.1.14 to SMF 2.0.1. I found no difficulties in doing the upgardate. If you are not well accomplish with SMF upgrade process then here is a good instruction for you.

My next job was to customize the board icons. I googled a mod for this purpose. It is cbi v0.5 (Custom Board Icons). I downloaded the latest version of the mod which is cbi172.zip. I tried to follow the installation process for the mod but got no result. Then I tried for the manual installation instruction for SMF version 2.0.1. But it was my bad luck as I found the modification wasn’t compatible with version 2.0.1. So I had to spent some time with the code to make it work. This is what I had done.
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Chart Tools by Google Code

“A picture is worth a thousand words.” To explain a set of data, the better way is create a chart. In PHP there a lot of chart designing tools/application. Today I spent some time with a charting tool provided by Google Code. I find this tool is really useful and easy to use. Like other Google codes it provides a lots of customization options. There are 2 kind of charting type supported by 2 different APIs. One produces Image chart and another produces Interactive Charts.

To explore with Google Chart API for Image chart I chose the data set of browser usages by visitors on my blog for the month of January 2011. Here is a snapshot from Awstats from my blog cPanel.

Browse usage comparison of Cohesive Web for January 2011

Here is the chart produced by the Google Chart API.

Comparison Chart produced by Google Chart

Let me explain the process I have used for drawing this chart. Continue reading ‘Chart Tools by Google Code’ »

Auto increment Value of a MySql table in PHP

In MySql database the auto increment value of a field is a very important feature that we use frequently for our projects. Value of a auto increment field is a auto generated number. This number generates when you insert a row in the table. Most of the cases we make data type of that field as integer and as primary key. In many of my projects I have used this field value as the primary ID and mapped other data stored in other tables.

In PHP a new value of this type of field can be accessed after inserting a record in the table, using the function mysql_insert_id(). But you can many such cases where you need to access this value before inserting the record. Earlier I used a technique to get that value. Execute a simple sql query to get that value. The sql is:

  1. SELECT MAX(prodId) FROM ProductTable

Where prodId is the field name with auto increment and is the ProductTable table name. Now add 1 with returned value and you will get the new value for that field. However this process may produce incorrect result if you do delete operation upon that table. Let me explain a little more.

Say currently the ProductTable contains 100 records. So the possible next record Id will be 101. Now if you delete record no. 21 or 49 or 65 or 78 you will still have the next record Id as 101. But say if you delete record 100. Logically you should get the next record Id as 100. Your sql query will give the value as 99 and adding 1 with it will produce 100. Seem no problem, right? Wrong, just insert a record and you will find the prodId for the record is 101. How this happened? MySql database stores 1 as starting value when you create the table. Now every time you insert a record the auto increment value get incremented by 1.This way it produces a unique number every time you insert a record in the table. Generally table in MySql database don’t reuse the deleted Id. As a result the above said process will not work in case deletion of record.

Continue reading ‘Auto increment Value of a MySql table in PHP’ »

SEO Correction in PEAR::Pager

Pagination is a common practice to show big volume of data. It is quite important if you are showing dynamically populated data.

For myself I mostly use PEAR::Pager to display paginated data. If you are familiar with this package then you know that you can use 2 types of pagination display, as – sliding and jumping. In case of sliding display with a common practice is to use it with constructor option append:true and urlVar:<variablename>.

Let me show an example of this kind of usage –

  1. $Params = array(
  2.           ‘itemData’ => $dataDetails,
  3.           ‘perPage’ => $ViewPerPage,
  4.           ‘append’ => true,
  5.           ‘separator’ => ‘|’,
  6.           ‘spacesBeforeSeparator’ => 1,
  7.           ‘spacesAfterSeparator’ => 1,
  8.           ‘clearIfVoid’ => false,
  9.           ‘urlVar’ => ‘page’,
  10.           ‘useSessions’ => true,
  11.           ‘closeSession’ => true,
  12.           ‘mode’  => ‘Sliding’,
  13.           ‘importQuery’ => true,
  14.           ‘linkClass’ => ‘LinkStyle’,
  15.           );
  16. $Pager = Pager::factory($Params);
  17. $DataDetailsInArray = $Pager->getPageData();
  18. $PaginationLinks = $Pager->getLinks();

Now if you print/echo the $PaginationLinks, then you will get pagination like 1 2 3 4 etc.

Now let me describe you the problem:
Say your page url is mydata.php. So mydata.php page will show the first page of paginated data. while using the pagination links you will get a page with url mydata.php?page=1. This page shows the first page of paginated data. Now you are having a page with 2 different url like mydata.php and mydata.php?page=1. In SEO this is known as duplicate content. This is not good if you are seriously deal with SEO.

Here is the correction for this. This is simple but effective.

  1. if(isset($_GET[‘page’]) && $_GET[‘page’] > 1)
  2. {
  3.    $PaginationLinks[‘all’] = str_replace(array(‘?page=1"’, ‘&amp;page=1"’), ‘"’, $PaginationLinks[‘all’]);
  4. }

Use this code section just after generating $PaginationLinks. Hope this will help you. As always comments/suggestions are welcome. But spammers please don’t waste your time. :)

Freetag PEAR DB Version

While working with tagging application my favourite is freetag by Gordon Luk. It is a comprehensive open source tagging and folksonomy code in php. The source code is also hosted in Google Code. The best feature of it is you can use this code with little modification to fit your requirement. First time I used it in advaitaashrama.org for their book store application. Currently I am using it in another website which is under development.

I am having an issue of compatibility with this code and I am writting this post for it. If you look at the code you will find that it uses the ADODB Library for database operations. In my case I am happy with PEAR::DB. Now for me to use this code I need to use 2 different database component as PEAR::DB and ADODB Library. It seems useless to me. So I decided to make the code compatiable with PEAR::DB. While working upon the compatibility modification I also made 3 changes as

  1. I have written a function as show_debug_text() which is a replacement of debug_text().
  2. I have removed the silly_list() function from my code as it was declared as deprecated.
  3. I have renamed the main class file from freetag.class.php to freetag.db.class.php

Here is the sample code for use this

  1. <php?
  2. require_once("/path-to/freetag.db.class.php");
  3. $DbObj = DB::connect($dsn, $options); //this is the database connection object using PEAR::DB
  4. $OptionArray = array(
  5.                ‘table_prefix’ => ‘mytags’,
  6.                );
  7. $TagObj = new freetag($DbObj, $OptionArray);
  8. // Use this object to call tag related functions .
  9. ?>

Here is the code modified by me.
If you use this code please let me know if you have any problem.

PHP serialization or Json

Information storage and retrieval is an important job while designing or developing an application. We all know how to store data with normal data types in database or file systems. Here I am going to discuss about storage and retrieval of data having complex type. Complex type means they are not like normal string or number or boolean values. Complex type means data structure or objects.

Think of a situation where you are working with some array. Now there may be some situations where you need to store the array and retrieve it back. If you are familiar with OOPS concept then objects are another type which you may need to store and retrieve.

Serialization is the process by which you can convert an object or data structure into a sequence of bits which can stored and retrieve back. Serialization is also known as deflating or marshalling. The opposite process (converting the serialized sequence of bits to object or data structure) is known as Deserialization or inflating or unmarshalling. Most of the important languages have their own implementation of these processes. In Java provides automatic serialization by implementing the java.io.Serializable interface. In perl there are modules like Storable or FreezeThaw. Python implements serialization through the standard library module pickle. In PHP there are two built-in functions as serialize() and unserialize() for this purpose. However as I will continue the discussion with PHP then you should be aware of the fact that – there is a difference in the implementation of serialization in PHP 4.x and PHP 5.x.

Continue reading ‘PHP serialization or Json’ »

QuickForm and AutoSuggest

The best example of auttosuggest filed I can instantly think of is Google. While designing dynamic forms I felt the requirement of such field. As I mostly use PEAR class and HTML Quickform to design dynamic forms in php. However in HTML Quickform there is autocomplete type but still there is no support for autosuggest. I googled a lot to get such support, but found it out in RFC of HTML Quickform. So I started working upon it. My first job was to found out a autosuggest Javascript code suitable for integration. I searched out an autocomplete javascript code by Beau D. Scott

The reasons why I selected Beau’s code is :
The code is simple to use but robust and has good documentation.
It uses standard JS library like prototype and scriptaculous.

Now having previous knowledge of integration of QuickForm and Jscalender I created the code for autosuggest class. This autosuggest class file contains constructor function, toHtml function which generates the HTML code for the field, getFrozenHtml function to return the autosuggest content in HTML and finally the registering process of the autosuggest type with HTML QuickForm. I put this autosuggest class name as autosuggestwce. View this wceautosuggest.php file.

To use this autosuggest field in HTML Quickform you need to have 3 javascript files as prototype.js, scriptaculous.js and autocomplete.js. Prototype Javascript is used for javascript framework, Scriptaculous for show and hide effect and AutoComplete is the main javascript functionality file. Among them scriptaculous.js can be removed if you don’t like to show effects, but you need to modify certain section in the wceautosuggest.php file. You also need to declare $GLOBALS[‘_HTML_QUICKFORM_AUTOSUGGEST_BASEPATH’] the global path defining variable for the javascript files path in the page where you will generate the form.

This autosuggest uses php script to populate values. The name of the php script has to be mentioned in the $attribute array for the key ‘fileref’.

Continue reading ‘QuickForm and AutoSuggest’ »

QuickForm and Jscalendar

Most of us are familiar with calendars in web pages. Small calendar showing date and year are really good to see and useful too. While in case of forms we have seen calendars attached with date fields. In some of my earlier projects I have designed date fields using simple drop down menu containing the data, month and year menu. It’s good but not very user friendly as user need to select 3 menus to choose a certain date. I had to stick with that format as I mostly use PEAR HTML_QuickForm to design forms in the web pages. Among many reasons the most unavoidable one is that it automatically generates client side validation JavaScript code. With time I realized that I should find some options to integrate calendar object with the QuickForm.

After giving a thorough search I selected jscalendar to incorporate with my form elements. The reasons behind selecting jscalendar are:

  • It has a nice interface and wide variety of themes.
  • Multiple integration options along with selectable date format to put the date in the text field.
  • Support for integrating the calendar object with HTML_QuickForm.

Prior to integrate the jscalendar I need to upgrade HTML_QuickFom version to 3.2.10 as I found some code added in this version to support jscalendar. I also need to upgrade my PEAR DB package to version 1.7.13 and DB_Table to version 1.5.5. In my projects most of the cases I generate forms using DB_Table instead of using QuickForm directly. This gives an extra benefit for data validation and storing them in database.

After the up-gradating the required pear packages I worked upon integrating the jscalendar code. After a spending a moderate amount of time I was able to work jscalender with the QuickForm. But unfortunately when I was trying generate forms using DB_Table jscalendar component was not working. I was getting javascript errors.
I was following the method described by Philippe Jausions of 11abacus in jscalendar.php file. It was working fine with the QuickForm. In that case I was using addElements function to add jscalendar with proper options using the $option array like this –

  1. $options = array(
  2.            ‘baseURL’ => ‘../js/jscalendar/’,
  3.            ‘styleCss’ => ‘calendar-win2k-1.css’,
  4.            ‘language’ => ‘en’,
  5.            ‘button’   => ,
  6.            ‘setup’ => array(
  7.                       ‘inputField’ => ‘datefield1′,
  8.                                       ‘ifFormat’ => ‘%d.%m.%Y %H:%M’,
  9.                                       ‘showsTime’ => true,
  10.                                       ‘time24′ => true,
  11.                                       ‘weekNumbers’ => false,
  12.                                       ‘showOthers’ => true
  13.                                       ),
  14.            );
  15. $form->addElement(‘jscalendar’, ‘ datefield1′, ‘My Date’, $options);

I used this same option array in the column definition for the same field, as DB_Table uses the column definition for the attributes of the form elements of the form. I written like

Continue reading ‘QuickForm and Jscalendar’ »