Deeplink to a sub-page within a Facebook iframe app

24th May, 2015 - Posted by david

Facebook have long had the ability for developers to write custom apps and embed them as tabs in people’s or company’s Facebook profile pages. What I’m talking about here is when you write your own HTML app and host it at e.g. https://fb.mysite.com, which is then embedded into profile pages via an iframe. These apps […]

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Opening hours done right, in PHP and MySQL

7th February, 2015 - Posted by david

I often see different ways of storing and displaying opening hours for various businesses when browsing the web. Some seem to simply store them as an unstructured blob of plaintext and spit that back to the user. Others will store the exact times for each day and display all 7 days on 7 separate rows. […]

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Memcache variable breakdown

30th April, 2014 - Posted by david

At work we use memcache as our local variable cache and the excellent memcache.php from Harun Yayli to give us a simple way of viewing what’s in the cache. One use case we came up with that was missing from the original memcached.php script was a way to group similar variables and see how much […]

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Include comments in search in The Bug Genie

4th April, 2013 - Posted by david

Back in July, I was given the task of finding a decent, preferably PHP-based, bug-tracking system and opted for The Bug Genie, as it had pretty much everything we wanted: email notifications, tickets grouped by project, various levels of user access and more. One thing we noticed however, was that when you searched all issues […]

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Beanstalkd, Pheanstalk and Daemontools on Ubuntu

20th March, 2013 - Posted by david

On the website I work for, when a user uploads an image for an ad, we generally keep 3 versions of that image, each a different size, simply referred to as ‘small’, ‘main’ or ‘large’. At the moment, these resized images (I’ll call them ‘thumbnails’ for simplicity) are generated the first time they are requested […]

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php, error_log and newlines: a solution

15th May, 2012 - Posted by david

When it comes to coding and debugging, I generally keep things simple, opting for a basic text editor (Sublime Text 2 with Vim key-bindings being my current choice) and simple debug output statements when trying to track down a bug. With my current job, I deal with an API over AJAX so it’s not easy […]

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Regular expression (regex) to remove double encoding of html entities

30th March, 2011 - Posted by david

When you have users copying and pasting in data to forms on your website, which then gets stored in your database, you invariably end up with all sorts of ways of encoding and storing special characters. Ideally, these will end up in your database as the correct characters (such as € for the euro symbol), […]

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Planned site downtime: how to handle it with PHP

25th January, 2011 - Posted by david

Today I read an interesting article on Google’s Webmaster Central blog about planned down time, for maintenance or whatever. Basically, you need to communicate to users and potential site-crawlers/indexers that the site is down, but it’s ok, it’ll be back up soon! My suggestion would be to do a mod-rewrite (if using Apache, but other […]

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Inconsistent JSON arrays using PHP’s json_encode

14th September, 2010 - Posted by david

I’d be amazed if anyone ever has come across this problem before, but it’s one that stumped me recently and I feel would make a good first ‘real’ post for this new blog. Firstly, a bit of background: in work, we have an API that uses the XML-based SOAP protocol over HTTP. You can request […]

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