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.

 

Delete all files matching patter using PHP glob()

When you have the need to do a little house cleaning on your storage system programmatically you can use PHP’s glob() and array_map() functions to make easy work of this.

In this example, we are going to find all text files in “some/dir/” and unlink (aka: delete) them. The PHP glob() function gets us our list of files and then the array_map() function passes each index value to the callback function, in this case, the “unlink” system command.

Syntax: 

array_map(callback, array)

glob(pattern,flags)

Example:

The result of this

Get a list of files or directories using PHP glob()

The PHP glob() function returns an array of filenames or directories matching a specified pattern.

This function returns an array of files or directories or FALSE on failure.

Syntax: 

glob(pattern,flags)

Example:

The output of the code above could be:

 

Checking for Oversized Uploads using PHP

It’s always good practice to validate the uploads that you allow from the end-user are not exceeding your application or system limitations.

Here is an example of how to check if an uploaded file exceeds the default limit value held in your php.ini configuration.

 

Force UTF-8 onto a MySQL Table

I have come across an instance where converting to UTF8 during the MySQL import process does not always “convert to UTF8” even though the table charset is set to UTF8.  The following query will fix a column with data stored latin1 in a utf8 table:

 

 

Presentation is Powerful

We can not present that code formatting is unimportant, but must understand why it matters.  A good code format is not the one you think looks the prettiest.  We do not do not layout code in order to exercise our deep artistic leanings.  Good code is clear.  It is consistent.  The layout is almost invisible.  Good presentation does not draw attention or distract; it serves only to reveal the code’s intent.  This helps programmers work with the code effectively.  It reduces the effort required to maintain the code.