• learn regular expressions in php

    love them or hate them, regular expressions are here to stay.

    when it comes to quickly dealing with large blocks of data, batch processing operations or screen scraping, regular expressions are often the most effective solution. there’s just one problem, though – learning them can be as hard as learning a new language altogether. here’s how to get off to a flying start.

  • background processes in php

    so you’ve just built a fantastic processing routine for your application.

    you’ve checked and double checked the integrity of user input, and you’re doing some serious processing. there’s only one problem: it’s too slow.

    there’s a simple solution: forking your processing script, and running the code as a background process asynchronously. it can email your user when it’s done: they’ll wait. in this tutorial, i’ll show you how to get started with background processes in php.

  • debugging php with firebug and firephp

    firephp is a plugin for firebug, the web development plugin for firefox, that allows php scripts to talk to a firebug panel.

    firephp installs alongside firebug and provides a simple php library to bridge the two. firephp provides a window of insight into your php applications, with a simple debugging interface that won’t interfere with your page content. if you already use firebug on php-powered applications, firephp is definitely worth a look. here’s a quick guide to getting started.

  • screen scraping: simple html dom library

    how to use open source php simple html dom parser library to provide jquery-grade awesomeness for easy screen scraping without messy regular expressions

    client-side developers always had it easy: libraries such as jquery and prototype make finding elements on the page reliable and efficient. in php, regular expressions tend to get rather messy, dom calls can be confusing and verbose and often the string functions just aren’t enough.