Regex-fu #PHPUK2010

Good start: don’t use it unless you need to, there’s plenty of alternatives, e.g. DOMXML, str_replace, etc. Also PHP5+ has lots of filters for email validation and URL validation etc, function calls you can make rather than complex regular expressions. Regular expressions can slow down quickly due to back tracking, pattern complexity and long strings. Then the talk has become abstract, each point is prefixed with an odd statement such as “Only elephants remember everything” and “Not all matches are made in heaven” – people are getting it, but everything needs explaining before they get it! One very good point … Continue reading

#PHPUK2010 Part 2 (MySQL stuff)

Just picked up a nice tid-bit on creating a unique index on a two column table where the values in each column may be either way around but you only ever want one instance of the value in that row. So what this means is, inserting 2,1 and 1,2 for example would result in only the first of the two inserts succeeding. CREATE UNIQUE INDEX ON tablename (LEAST(col1,col2), GREATEST(col1,col2)); Also, WITH, I’ll be honest, never thought about using it to create temporary views. This is a bad example but shows the structure rather well: WITH tempView (a,b) AS ( SELECT … Continue reading

#PHPUK2010 Part 1

Josh began by using the dictionary definition of simplicity (as given by Wikipedia) pointing out that the word is often used as a derogatory statement. He then went onto “clarity of expression” and that striving for it while programming is something a lot of people do but never quite seem to achieve. He spoke of an example where a user comes to a programmer asking for a report, and the usual first reaction is “ah, you need a reporting system.” He also said that’s not always the case, at the end of the day, the user just wanted a report, … Continue reading

Photo of Ant Holding 500 times its own Bodyweight

This amazing picture of an ant holding its own bodyweight while upside down was taken by zoology specialist Dr Thomas Endlein of Cambridge University while researching creatures sticky feet. This photo snatched the guy £700 in photographic vouchers from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. His hope is studying the way ants feet self clean and change their size to support varying weights will help develop new adhesives. “The pads on ants’ feet are self-cleaning and can stick to almost any type of surface,” he said. “No man-made glue or adhesive system can match this. Understanding how animals can … Continue reading

Find Music by Humming – it really works! #midomi

We are sitting on the sofa at home at the moment discussing our holiday plans for the year and I got a song in my head that I started humming. Remembering the adverts on TV where you hold your phone up to a speaker and it tells you the song, I thought there must be one that you can hum to and it’ll find the song. So I did a quick google and found Midomi, I hummed the song (and I can’t really sing or even hum very well) and sure enough…it found the exact song, 2 results came back … Continue reading