HTML Date Select Menus Using PHP range()

Here is an easy way to create HTML select menus for Month/Day/Year.

Create three arrays containing the range of values for days, months, years.  Then loop over each array generating the required option tags for each select menu.


Create a Quick Random PIN using PHP

The quickest method for generating a unique PIN number of 10 characters in length.

We are taking the smallest part of micro-time (milliseconds), encrypting it with MD5, then shuffling the string itself. This creates a very random blend of letters and numbers.


PHP5 bug fix when force downloading .doc .docx files

There appears to be a problem with PHP5 when performing a forced download of a WORD file having the extension .doc or .docx from a web page. Adding ob_clean() and flush() prior to reading the file seems to have resolved this problem. Add the following lines before reading the file from disk.


Process PHP within HTML Markup Pages

The way to execute PHP on a .html page is to modify your .htaccess file. This file may be hidden, so depending upon your FTP program you may have to modify some settings to see it. Then you just need to add this line for .html:

Or for .htm

If you only plan on including the PHP on one page, it is better to setup this way:

This code will only make the PHP executable on the yourpage.html file, and not on all of your HTML pages.

Include PHP Classes Auto-Magically

This has to be one of my favorite time savers.

If you’re an experienced PHP programmer you separate your common methods (aka: functions) into Class files.  Over time, this can become an organizational nightmare if your application became large.

There is an easy fix for this using PHP’s spl_autoload_register.  This not so well known function is called each time a Class is instantiated.  We can register our own functions to process the name of the Class being called, and easily include that Class in real-time.

Using this approach could not be any simpler.

Assuming you have included the SPL_AUTOLOADER scripts first, instantiating myClass() will auto-magically load the Class file myClass.php from the defined directory set in the myAutoloader() function.

It’s so simple you’ll ask yourself why you have not used this in the past.

Strip UTF-8 characters invalid for use in XML markup

When you put UTF-8 encoded strings into an XML document you should remember that not all UTF-8 characters are accepted in an XML document

You should strip away the invalid characters, else you’ll have an XML fatal parsing error tossed during parsing.

It’s rather easy to accomplish this using the following function.


Using PHP Context Streams to FTP files onto another server.

Here I’m going to show you how to use PHP streams to connect to an FTP server, create a new file and place content into this file. We also need an additional stream context telling PHP to overwrite the file if it exists.  A common stumble I see in scripts like this all the time.

You could also assign to the $content value the entirety of a file on your server using file_get_content() or perhaps a generated CVS or JSON or XML data file.

Auto-Loading PHP Script Widgets

The architecture for an application I created for a client required a method to auto-load a set of widgets (aka: individual PHP scripts) located in the “widgets” directory on the server.  This solution worked perfectly.

Of course, you can enhance this script by refactoring it into a function and adding additional filters to allow only certain types of files to load, like those prefixed with “widget-“.

Create Table Columns from an Array of Data using PHP

Recently I needed to take a list of URL’s from a database and present them in an HTML table.  I needed to split the list into an equal number of list items per column in the table.

The PHP script function below accepts a single array of items which could be URL’s, words, phrases, or some other text and a value for the number of columns your table should contain.


Making strings safe for use in a URL with PHP

These days taking advantage of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) by packing the URL with a string of words is commonplace but not all strings are safe to use in a URL.  The following PHP script function will prepare your string for use in a URL.