Page 8 of Software Development Articles

How to calculate Thanksgiving's date with PHP

The topic of this post ended up turning into quite the programming exercise for me. In true PHP fashion, I was able to come up with 3 distinct methods to determine what date Thanksgiving falls on (and have another in mind but it’s just a crappier version of what I’m […]

My Experience with Wizpert

For those that aren’t familiar, Wizpert is a platform for chatting with people (Skype, Gtalk and their site) that are experts (referred to as “wizperts”) of specific topics. Earlier in the year I was sent a beta invite to become a wizpert in the category of PHP. I’m not a […]

How to convert a negative number to a positive number with PHP

Converting a number from negative to positive is a pretty simple process using the absolute function abs(): $positive = abs(-123); // = 123 $positive = abs(123); // also = 123 Absolute returns a positive integer or float based on what you feed it. Because it only ever returns a positive […]

PHP's HereDoc versus NowDoc

We’ve previously discussed how to assign variables and add in variables and all of that good stuff, but what about if you are dealing with a large block of text? There’s many approaches, most that require you to be mindful of escaping characters like simply using quotes to wrap a […]

How to handle daylight savings time in PHP

If you’ve ever dealt with time in PHP you’ve probably been burnt by daylight savings time before (quite possibly yesterday ;). I’ve been there, waking up on the Sunday of the time change with an email about timestamps being an hour off or some other anomaly that ends up being […]

Temporary `ufw` rules or How I learned to stop scripting and love the shell

This post was originally planned to be a social commentary on the potential for riots this coming Novemeber (a/k/a The 2013 Food Stamp Riots a/k/a The Backlash of the Entitlement Society) but that seemed like such a fucking downer. Then the post was supposed to be about a Python script […]

Split an array into chunks with PHP

Array chunking is a great way to paginate large arrays and as I found out recently, makes it very easy to map a large array from Redis (by way of mget and/or pipelining) back to the original data. Chunking an array is the process of taking an array and splitting […]

Shuffle an associative array with PHP

PHP makes it really easy to randomize the order of an array with the shuffle() function. If you’ve ever used this function on an associative array you know that the array will be randomized, but the keys will be dropped. It takes a bit more work, but you can randomize […]

Incrementing / Decrementing a String with PHP

In the past, we’ve discussed incrementing and decrementing a variable and incrementing and decrementing a number by another number but did you know that we can also increment and decrement a string? You can use the shorthand operators ++ or -- to accomplish this. Please note that you can’t increment […]

The Pitfalls of Using BuySellAds

BuySellAds (BSA) is a platform for selling advertisements on your website. They take a mere 25% cut of sales and offer you a marketplace listing to help you gain exposure to potential advertisers. I love the idea and have attempted to use them on a few occasions. As of this […]

Simple Probability Distribution with PHP

We’ve all been there, trying to juggle two or more things for either split testing or just because you want some variety. This came up recently for me with juggling advertising networks and I wrote some simply code to handle it. The premise is simple, you assign weights to the […]

Incrementing / Decrementing a Number by a Number with PHP

We’ve previously discussed how to simply increment and decrement a variable but that only covered incrementing by a value of 1. What about when you want to increment a variable by 5s? There’s a few different ways this can be accomplished. First, the obvious (albeit far from ideal) using ++ […]

The Complexity of Permalinks and Slugs with User Generated Content

I’m not referring to the complexity of the permalink or slug itself, but the complexity to your code that can be introduced with certain formats, specifcally anything that the user can modify. When I was originally building SceneKids.com I wanted to ensure that the user’s username was always in the […]

Sorting an associative array by a specific key with PHP

One of PHP’s most powerful data types is the array. It can hold numbers, it can hold letters, it can be sorted, sliced and chunked. Speaking of sorting, when sorting an array the straight forward sorting functions are only for sorting by the keys or by the values. What about […]

How to convert a CSV file into an array with PHP

Loading CSV files into an array is something that comes up more times than I’d like to admit. Scrubbing mailing lists, loading flat files to a database and various other use cases are out there and fortunately, PHP makes it easy to to do. There are a few ways to […]

How to Determine if it is Friday the 13th with PHP

It seemed fitting that my post on Friday the 13th would be about Friday the 13th. There are 52 Fridays in 2013, but only 2 of them are the 13th day of the month (September and December). To determine if a Friday is a Friday the 13th, we will need […]

Building a Number Guessing Game in PHP

Believe it or not, but the last 13 or so posts have all been leading up to this one. Generating random numbers, capturing user input, using colors on the command-line, pluralizing words, and then some are all being utilized in this simple number guessing game. The script itself generates a […]

How to Terminate a PHP Script

Terminating the execution of a script is usually one of those last ditch ways to handle an error, but it is something we do from time to time, especially if we’re debugging. To terminate the execution of a script, you can call either exit or die, die being an alias […]

How to Pluralize Words with PHP

There’s a good chance you’ve seen it before (and possibly authored it), it looks something like this “You have 1 new messages” or “There are 10 user(s) logged in”. What you end up with is something that’s either incorrect or something like looks a bit amateurish. To fix this, we […]

How to Output Variables within Strings with PHP

Displaying strings isn’t that hard, you just use echo followed by the string in question. But that only gets us so far, what about when we need to use variables inside of the string? Luckily there’s a ton of different ways to accomplish this. echo You can easily use echo […]

Why Limit the Format of a Password?

I’ve been moving towards using longer and longer passwords. When I say longer, I mean upwards of over 20 characters, mixed case, numbers and special characters. These longer passwords make me feel a bit more secure, especially when I can also leverage two-factor authentication on top of it. Know what […]

How to Use Colors in Command-line PHP Output

Nothing spruces up command-line output the way colors do. Just like when you’re customizing your [Bash] prompt, you can use color codes in strings to colorize your output. Keep in mind, these colors will only work on the command-line and not in a browser. First let’s take a look at […]

How to Compare Numeric Variables with PHP

Comparing numeric values is a very common programming task. Which number is greater? is lesser? equal? In PHP like any C-style language, you can do these comparisons with a simple if ( ... ) { ... } statement: if ($var1 > $var2) { echo $var1 . ' is greater than […]

How to check if a variable is an integer with PHP

PHP has a variety of functions and approaches to determine if a variable is a number and/or an integer. The problem is that many of the straight forward approaches can result in false positives depending on how they react to type juggling. Case in point, is_int() will return false for […]

How to Strip Whitespace from a String with PHP

Whitespace, it can make all the difference in the world when attempting to determine if a string is empty or not. Anytime you are working with user input I recommend stripping whitespace from both sides of the string. When stripping whitespace you can choose to strip from both sides or […]