10 useful PHP PEAR packages

MDB2

PEAR MDB2 is a merge of the PEAR DB and Metabase php database abstraction layers.

It provides a common API for all supported RDBMS. The main difference to most
other DB abstraction packages is that MDB2 goes much further to ensure
portability. MDB2 provides most of its many features optionally that
can be used to construct portable SQL statements:

  • Object-Oriented API
  • A DSN (data source name) or array format for specifying database servers
  • Datatype abstraction and on demand datatype conversion
  • Various optional fetch modes to fix portability issues
  • Portable error codes
  • Sequential and non sequential row fetching as well as bulk fetching
  • Ability to make buffered and unbuffered queries
  • Ordered array and associative array for the fetched rows
  • Prepare/execute (bind) named and unnamed placeholder emulation
  • Sequence/autoincrement emulation
  • Replace emulation
  • Limited sub select emulation
  • Row limit emulation
  • Transactions/savepoint support
  • Large Object support
  • Index/Unique Key/Primary Key support
  • Pattern matching abstraction
  • Module framework to load advanced functionality on demand
  • Ability to read the information schema
  • RDBMS management methods (creating, dropping, altering)
  • Reverse engineering schemas from an existing database
  • SQL function call abstraction
  • Full integration into the PEAR Framework
  • PHPDoc API documentation

MDB2 – InstallationWiki
How to use PHP and PEAR MDB2

Text_CAPTCHA

Implementation of CAPTCHAs (Completely Automated Public Turing tests to tell Computers and Humans Apart).
Using PEAR’s Text_CAPTCHA to Secure Web Forms

Log

The Log package provides an abstracted logging framework. It includes output handlers for log files, databases, syslog, email, Firebug, and the console. It also provides composite and subject-observer logging mechanisms.
The Log Package
PHPBuilder
Debugging PHP With Firebug
Advanced Logging in PHP with PEAR

LiveUser

LiveUser is a set of classes for dealing with user authentication
and permission management. Basically, there are three main elements that make up this package:

  • The LiveUser class
  • The Auth containers
  • The Perm containers

The LiveUser class takes care of the login process and can be configured to use a certain permission container and one or more different auth containers.
That means, you can have your users’ data scattered amongst many data containers and have the LiveUser class try each defined container until the user is found.
For example, you can have all website users who can apply for a new account online on the webserver’s local database. Also, you want to enable all your company’s employees to login to the site without the need to create new accounts for all of them. To achieve that, a second container can be defined to be used by the LiveUser class.

You can also define a permission container of your choice that will manage the rights for each user. Depending on the container, you can implement any kind of permission schemes for your application while having one consistent API.
Using different permission and auth containers, it’s easily possible to integrate newly written applications with older ones that have their own ways of storing permissions and user data. Just make a new container type and you’re ready to go!

PEAR::LiveUser Wiki
Getting Started with LiveUser Permissions
Authentication
PHP Authentication and Access Control Libraries

Translation2

This class provides an easy way to retrieve all the strings for a multilingual site from a data source (i.e. db).
The following containers are provided, more will follow:

  • PEAR::DB
  • PEAR::MDB
  • PEAR::MDB2
  • gettext
  • XML
  • PEAR::DB_DataObject (experimental)

It is designed to reduce the number of queries to the db, caching the results when possible.
An Admin class is provided to easily manage translations (add/remove a language, add/remove a string).
Currently, the following decorators are provided:

  • CacheLiteFunction (for file-based caching)
  • CacheMemory (for memory-based caching)
  • DefaultText (to replace empty strings with their keys)
  • ErrorText (to replace empty strings with a custom error text)
  • Iconv (to switch from/to different encodings)
  • Lang (resort to fallback languages for empty strings)
  • SpecialChars (replace html entities with their hex codes)
  • UTF-8 (to convert UTF-8 strings to ISO-8859-1)

PEAR::Translation2 tutorials

Validate

Package to validate various data. It includes :

  • numbers (min/max, decimal or not)
  • email (syntax, domain check, rfc822)
  • string (predefined type alpha upper and/or lowercase, numeric,…)
  • date (min, max, rfc822 compliant)
  • uri (RFC2396)
  • possibility valid multiple data with a single method call (::multiple)

An introduction to PEAR’s Validate package

Spreadsheet_Excel_Writer

Spreadsheet_Excel_Writer was born as a porting of the Spreadsheet::WriteExcel Perl module to PHP.
It allows writing of Excel spreadsheets without the need for COM objects.
It supports formulas, images (BMP) and all kinds of formatting for text and cells.
It currently supports the BIFF5 format (Excel 5.0), so functionality appeared in the latest Excel versions is not yet available.
Generating Spreadsheets with PHP and PEAR
What is Spreadsheet_Excel_Writer?

Net_GeoIP

A library that uses Maxmind’s GeoIP databases to accurately determine geographic location of an IP address.
Tutorial from HTML Blog

File_Archive

This library makes it very easy to use, writing simple code, yet the library is very powerful.
It lets you easily read or generate tar, gz, tgz, bz2, tbz, zip, ar (or deb) archives to files, memory, mail or standard output.
File_Archive tutorial
SitePoint ยป File_Archive

XML_Serializer

XML_Serializer serializes complex data structures like arrays or object as XML documents.
This class helps you generating any XML document you require without the need for DOM.
Furthermore this package can be used as a replacement to serialize() and unserialize() as it comes with a matching

XML_Unserializer that is able to create PHP data structures (like arrays and objects) from XML documents, if type hints are available.
If you use the XML_Unserializer on standard XML files, it will try to guess how it has to be unserialized. In most cases it does exactly what you expect it to do.

Dev Shed XML_Serializer
Instant XML with PHP and PEAR::XML_Serializer

8 practical tips to make your web pages faster

Yahoo’s Exceptional Performance team has compiled a list of 34 best practices to have faster web pages. In this post I’ll show you 8 tips which helped me to get a B grade in YSlow! for web pages that I develop. Currently YSlow’s web page analysis is based on 13 identified basic rules that affect web page performance. In decreasing order of priority they are:

  1. Make Fewer HTTP Requests
  2. Use a Content Delivery Network
  3. Add an Expires Header
  4. Gzip Components
  5. Put CSS at the Top
  6. Move Scripts to the Bottom
  7. Avoid CSS Expressions
  8. Make JavaScript and CSS External
  9. Reduce DNS Lookups
  10. Minify JavaScript
  11. Avoid Redirects
  12. Remove Duplicate Scripts
  13. Configure ETags

You can get more info by clicking on each item. Of course using a CDN is not affordable by everybody, including me. This didn’t prevent me to have a B grade though. I will guide you through some of the items which worked for me.
Continue reading 8 practical tips to make your web pages faster

Pixidou – an Open Source AJAX Image Editor (PHP and YUI based)

Pixidou is a new open source AJAX image editor which will allow you to :

  • adjust brightness
  • adjust contrast
  • cropping
  • flipping
  • negative
  • resizing
  • rotating
  • tint

images.
Continue reading Pixidou – an Open Source AJAX Image Editor (PHP and YUI based)

f-lv.com – download YouTube videos in FLV/MP4/3GP format

f-lv.com

After playing with the YouTube API and Python over the past week, I’am pleased to announce the launch of f-lv.com

You will be able to :

  • download your favorite YouTube videos in FLV/MP4 format
  • email the video download link to your friend
  • have a look at a nice carousel (thanks Bill for that) with the latest downloaded videos

Continue reading f-lv.com – download YouTube videos in FLV/MP4/3GP format

Geolocate your visitors with PHP (part 2)

In the first part of this series I showed how you could get the country of a visitor via his IP address. Now with this precious information, I’ll show you how to map the visitor visually on the world map using Google Maps.

Continue reading Geolocate your visitors with PHP (part 2)

SEO friendly URL in PHP

When I started implementing mod_rewrite in websites I had a problem in PHP as how to make a SEO friendly URL. All tutorials were geared towards how to implement mod_rewrite, about modifying .htaccess files, but none treated how to make the urls friendly with dynamic content. For example I have a news section which are pulled from the database, but how can I make the URL friendly with the title.
Continue reading SEO friendly URL in PHP