Page 6 of Software Development Articles

The definition of “done”

For me, “done” means that something I have been working on is to the point that I no longer have to work on it, indefinitely. Depending on the nature of the task it could also mean that it’s been shipped to production and again, no longer requires my efforts. I […]

Simple PHP i18n internationalization and localization class

As sites and system grow and scale, the need for internationalization and localization (i18n and L10n respectively) of content becomes a necessary task. There’s not much to it on the surface, you need to be able to serve up the same content in different languages. This includes abstracting out words […]

Debugging Invalid XML in PHP

SimpleXML with all of it’s faults is still a great way to interact with XML. Most of it’s shortcomings are related to debugging and how it handles invalid XML is no exception. Let’s take a look at what happens when we load an invalid XML string: $xml = " <?xml […]

Writing unit tests for legacy code

I think one of my biggest gripes with adopting that TDD life is that I feel I’m in the minority with my friends even though the concept appears to be quite mainstream these days. One of the common pushbacks I receive is that it’s hard to write unit tests for […]

jQuery plugin to calculate read time

I love hosting my blog on GitHub by way of Jekyll but the Liquid templating system is far from a robust scripting language in my opinion. With the rise of Medium, I’ve been seeing the read time on more and more articles and figured it was time to add the […]

Fizz Buzz in PHP

Fizz buzz is a fairly common screening question to help sniff out non-programmers during the interview process. The task is to print out numbers 1 through 100 but for multiples of 3 print out “Fizz” instead of the number and for multiples of 5 print “Buzz” instead. If the number […]

How to execute an HTTP POST using PHP cURL

I’ve been doing a lot of API integration recently and cURL ends up being exceptionally handy when you are POSTing to an endpoint. Fortunately using cURL in PHP is really easy: // Sets our destination URL $endpoint_url = 'https://somesite.com/path/to/endpoint'; // Creates our data array that we want to post to […]

Looping through a date range with PHP

Looping through a date range isn’t as simple as looping through an array with foreach but it doesn’t take much additional code to get the job done. To loop through a date range you will need to use a loop (I prefer a while loop) and increment the date by […]

Difference between break; and continue; in PHP

The topic of break and continue came up the other day and I thought it would make for a good blog post. You’re probably familiar with break moreso than continue because it is part of a switch statement’s syntax. Both break and continue can also be used inside of looping […]

PHP without fancy braces

PHP is a C-style language and thus uses fancy braces to wrap or hug control structures. PHP is also a language that is extremely flexible so you can also get by without using fancy braces. You will never get away from them entirely as functions and classes / class methods […]

Debugging SimpleXML Objects with PHP

SimpleXML is pretty much the de facto standard for dealing with XML in PHP. The biggest problem with SimpleXML is that it is a pseudo-object that you can’t print_r() or var_dump() to see what’s going on. I recently ran into a situation where it would have been super nice to […]

Parsing SOAP responses with PHP's SimpleXML

We recently discussed parsing XML with SimpleXML and since that writing I ran into a situation where I needed to parse a SOAP response. As it turns out, SOAP responses are a totally different beast when it comes to parsing them with SimpleXML. SOAP responses contain namespaces on some if […]

How to calculate Independence Day observances with PHP

On this 238th anniversary of the United States of America, I felt it appropriate to post an article on how to determine what day the July 4th National Holiday is observed on. There are two rules to the observances. First, if the holiday falls on a Saturday, it is observed […]

The importance of a staging environment

Full disclosure, I don’t actually have a staging server for my personal projects. I develop locally in a very similar environment as my production server and any time I have to do something major, like upgrading the OS or upgrading software between major revisions, I always do a dry run […]

How to parse XML with PHP's SimpleXML

Parsing XML in PHP couldn’t be easier thanks to the SimpleXML extension. SimpleXML allows you to read in an XML string, verify that it is in fact XML and can create an object that you can interact with by way of the node names in the XML.The SimpleXML extension also […]

Checking your IMAP email using PHP

I have an upcoming freelance project coming up that includes checking an IMAP email account as well as working with XML in PHP. Let’s talk about connecting to an IMAP account in PHP, don’t worry, I’ll discuss parsing XML next week ;) For the sake of example, we’re going to […]

How to calculate Mother's Day and Father's Day with PHP

A little late on the Mother’s Day part, but since today is Father’s Day, I figured it would be fun to discuss how to obtain the dates for these moving holidays. To do so, all we need to use is use strtotime and tell it when the holiday will occur […]

The receiving end of a DDoS Attack

This post was supposed to be a discussion of my migration back to Android from iOS but direction changed yesterday morning. At 9:30 am I found myself in the middle of a DDoS attack that was affecting the rack my server lives on. My sites slowed to a crawl and […]

How to pipeline with phpredis

Have you ever run into a scenario where you have to loop through a set of data and perform database queries for each iteration? Obviously we shouldn’t run them one by one, so we end up using a TRANSACTION or even just building out one large query in the case […]

How to process PUT requests with PHP

You are probably already familiar with $_GET, $_POST and $_REQUEST but what about $_PUT? Trick question, $_PUT (as well as as $_HEAD and $_DELETE) doesn’t exist in PHP at this time. Never fear! We can create a $_PUT array with the following code: if ($_SERVER['REQUEST_METHOD'] == 'PUT') { parse_str(file_get_contents("php://input"), $_PUT); […]

URL Routing with PHP

I’ve been taking a lot of programming tests / challenges recently as I was in the market for a new [and hopefully exciting] opportunity to spend my time on. Because of this, I am full of new blog post ideas based on the questions / challenges asked. This week I’m […]

Google Places PHP Library

I tend to shy away from these self gratifying posts about my own open source contributions, but I’m going to make the exception because this particularly library has been receiving quote a few downloads this month. I’m unsure for the increase, but my Google Places PHP Library has had over […]

Reducing Redis used memory by moving back to MySQL

If you know me then you know I fucking adore Redis. Over the last few years it’s slowly worked it’s way into the majority of the things I have built. Unfortunately, recently I ran into a problem that Redis could easily accomplish but would require more RAM than I have […]

Compressing and uncompressing a string with PHP

Today I went on a mission to find a PHP function that I’ve never used before and knew nothing about. The mission was such a success that I have two functions to discuss and honestly, I’m pretty sure I’ll never use them. That being said, if the need ever arises […]

PHP's /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead

I’ve discussed the use of preg_replace_callback in the past in regard to passing variables to anonymous functions but never touched on how to use preg_replace_callback or the fact that the /e modifier has been deprecated in PHP 5.5+. Even though /e still works in PHP 5.5 in the near future […]