Category Archives: PHP

PHP Meetup @ Mahalo was great, MySQL tonight

The Mahalo PHP Meetup was a lot of fun. Firstly, Sharon Levy had a great presentation with cool sound effects. That definitely gets your attention…

It’s always good to watch the best techniques presenters use to engage the audience, and not being afraid to play some mood music is definitely one to add to your bag of tricks.

Another cool tip is what I saw Tim Ash do at SES NY a year ago. Bribing. Ask tough questions and offer $10 to the person with the correct answer. Think the audience members were dozing off by the second question? I think NOT!

After Sharon’s presentation, the group stuck around about 7 hours(!) to chat and watch the web shows Mahalo put on. Jason Calacanis with Kevin Rose on This Week in Tech, followed by LeVar Burton and Samm Levine on Kevin Pollak’s very first web show.

On top of it, Mahalo bought plenty of pizza and refreshments to keep the crowd well fed 🙂 Pictures here.

Up tonight, Franck Leveneur‘s talk @ Yahoo! sounds like it will be very enlightening to the MySQL crowd.

Meetups coming soon: Sharon Levy, Franck Leveneur, & Sphinx’s Andrew Aksyonoff in from Russia

Meetup Mashup

We just had a fun Programmer’s Schmooze this past Sunday with the PHP/MySQL & Semantic Web meetups. These informal meetings are a great chance to network with people from different disciplines.

We had an interesting fellow join us this time who was involved in the adult industry. They handle 80 million unique, active users. Although not everyone wants to, ahem, touch this industry, the scaling and security challenges involved are second to none. I’m not sure that banks get the same number of break in attempts that these sites do.

Upcoming Meetups in Los Angeles
PHP Group:
Coming up on the 22nd of March for the PHP group is a meetup with Sharon Levy. She recently made a presentation in Los Angeles at SCALE. Her topic will be Geek Phun. And the good folks at Mahalo will be hosting.

MySQL Group:
On the 24th of March, Franck Leveneur will present at Yahoo! headquarters in Santa Monica, on MySQL Stored Procedures & Functions. Attendees will automatically be signed up in a raffle to win a free full Navicat license. Their full version is a very nice client. All attendees will receive a 50% discount. Additionally, Zmanda will offer attendees a 10% discount on their ZRM Back up solution. Not to mention free food 🙂

April 16 or 17, we will have Andrew Aksyonoff, the Sphinx Developer speaking. Still working on adding a couple of surprise guests for a special night. Definitely stay tuned for more information in the next few days.

Sphinx searches are very speedy. As I’ve been telling people locally of this meetup, I heard from a couple of companies with some serious traffic who were able to solve longstanding issues with search by switching to Sphinx.

If your company is based in Los Angeles and interested in Sphinx, let me know if you want to meet with Andrew. Hit my gmail account. joedevon at. He should be available to meet on the 16th, 17th, possibly 18th of April.

Semantic Web Group:
March 26 Meetup with Tom Tague at Thomson Reuters. They have a great product called Open Calais.

Mark your calendars!

Web roundup

  • Ian Bullard asserts that you should never use the RAND() function. The Ayn Rand Google Ad is pretty funny.
  • The new Zend Server is coming out as a web stack. Although it can be easier to install a Xampp style web stack on your development machine, if you’re a web developer, you’re better off installing each component separately. In the long run it’s less buggy in my opinion, and what you learn in the process of doing it yourself is priceless.
  • With the Zend Framework 1.75 release, Zend View has an important security fix in it, that is somewhat incompatible with previous version. Check it out if you are upgrading.
  • Google has finally lost some market share…to Yahoo!. Despite all the bad press Yahoo! has gotten lately, they have some great Semantic Web products. Including Search Monkey, which I plan to post about soon in anticipation of our Semantic Web Meetup next week with Peter Mika presenting.
  • Eric Meyer provides feedback on some long awaited CSS3 features. It will be very cool to use shapes in css.
  • Congratulations to WordPress on their new datacenter.
  • Interesting to learn (via Baron) that there’s a MySQL Federal Migration Bootcamp. Good idea. I hope to soon see a “Don’t Waste Taxpayer’s Bailout Money Bootcamp” too 🙂
  • Sad to hear that Ma.gnolia lost all their data. A good DBA and backup strategy is vital to the success of any startup. Very impressive that it was basically a one man operation though. Kudos for getting as far as he did…

Unicode coming to PHP 6

The move from PHP 5 to PHP 6 will be a painful one. But once it’s done, I hope that it will be easier to handle safe web development for a global, multi-language internet.

After all these years, we still have major problems with encoding character sets and security vulnerabilities caused by improper use thereof. Many still think that addslashes is an effective method to avoid database injection. Chris Shiflett has put the addslashes vs. mysql_real_escape_string debate to rest. Thankfully, addslashes goes away in PHP 6.

To this day, I regularly log into and see hex data mangled in the headline!

KataUnix points out that you should set these variables in your mysql ini file:


In case you aren’t sure how your installation is set up, run this command:

show variables;

and make sure it matches the above values.

The tough part is even if you get the character sets running correctly, the tools you use to view the output may still be insufficient.

Oh, and don’t forget to have your web server send out the correct content type.

Is Apple doing enough community work with PHP?

This is just a hunch, but I get the feeling we will soon hear that Apple is not doing enough community work with PHP. Call me crazy, but it’s just a psychic feeling.