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VB6 OR VBA & Webbrowser DOM Tiny $50 Mini Project Programmer help

P: n/a

************************************************** ******
VB6 OR VBA & Webbrowser DOM Tiny $50 Mini Project Programmer help

************************************************** ******
For this teeny job, please refer to:

"bookmarklet" code

Job is to convert that JAVASCRIPT code into SIMPLE VBA code
(I'm uising MS ACCESS) that uses DOM/Webbrowser skills

After the conversion if successful, I can expand the job and pay more

if we phone chat first.

Since this and future jobs like it require a small amount of phone

contact, I prefer a phone number, and Yahoo Messenger ID

I can pay you using Paypal.

My contact info:
Yahoo Messenger ID:

************************************************** ******

Here's a bookmarklet that will tell you whether or not the browser

renders your page in Standards Complaiance Mode or Quirks Mode. The

bookmarklet will figure this out for the page as well as for all the

frames (and their frames) recursively. Enjoy!

Drag this to your bookmarklets/favorites or right click and add to


0){response+='\n\n';for(var i=0;iquirks or !quirks
Sample output
Here's a sample output, produced when used in my Wordpress backend when
writing this post:
As you can see the page has two frames (probably iframes, doesn't

matter), one of them is rendered in Standards Compliant Mode

(CSS1Compat) the other one is in Quirks Mode (BackCompat). The overall

document is CSS1Compat as well. For the frames, if they were named, you
would see the name of the frame before the URL brackets.

And this is GMail, wow, lotsa frames, none compliant
The code
The code is pretty simple, just accessing the compatMode of the the

document object. Here it is in more human readable form (not one long

line like bookmarket code).

var response = 'Document mode: ' + document.compatMode;
function checkFrames(w) {
if(w.frames && w.frames.length>0){
for(var i=0;i<w.frames.length;i++){
var fr=w.frames[i];
try {
response+=fr.name +
' ('+fr.document.location+') - '+
} catch (e) {
response+='Could not access this frame\n';
alert(response);0 points September 21, 2006 by Stoyan at phpied.com

post #


ABAP code syntax highlighting
Just finished and eager to share - I added a new syntax definition to

the Text_Highlighter PEAR package (see also here). It's for

highlighting code written in the SAP's own ABAP programming language.

A live demo is available at the hiliteme.com site, just pick ABAP from

the drop-down of programming languages. Any feedback is appreciated,

because it's a brand new thing and may have bugs or incompletenesses

(is that a word?). So feel free to highlight your ABAP code and post it
to blogs or forums.

The implementation wasn't hard, the Text_Highlighter package is made to
be extended and even provides the tools for that. All you need to do is
create an XML file that contains keywords and other syntax rules, such

as formats of the comments and so on. Then there is a command line tool
that takes the XML file and generates a class out of it. The class is

later on used when highlighting. Here's the XML file in case you want

to improve on it and generate your own ABAP.php class:

ABAP.phps source file generated
0 points September 20, 2006 by Stoyan at phpied.com post #


AJAX MVC (so to speak)
This is sort of a framework thing to create AJAX applications, based on
the MVC design pattern. Yep, I have a lot of buzzwords here, I admit,

but this shouldn't be taken too seriously. I was doing a bunch of small
projects lately and I found myself using something like this little

framework, without even thinking about it. Then I thought about it and

I found that the scripts and the organization of them may resamble MVC

a bit. So how does MVC fit when you mix things like thin and fatter

client, HTML, JavaScript, XMLHttpRequest, PHP and CSS?

Usual AJAX app flow
What usually happens in an AJAX application is:

you have an HTML page, styled with CSS
you click on something
JS sends request to the server (to a PHP script)
JS updates the original HTML page
Mapping to the MVC pattern
OK, so what part of this process can be associated with a View, or a

Model or a Controller? The Model is easy, it's the business logic,

writing to a database and so on. This is the PHP script. The View?

Obviously this is the HTML page and the CSS. But I'd like to think also
about the JS that updates the page as part of the View. I mean it makes
sense, it's updating the presentation part. Sometimes you even use

innerHTML in the JS, but even if you use DOM, it becomes part of the

HTML anyway. How about the Controller? Well, we have two controllers

here. One that is on the server side, a PHP script that receives

requests and "asks" the Model for the response. The other controller is
on the client side, this is the JavaScript that decides what happens on
a click of a button and sends an appropriate AJAX request to the PHP

controller. Therefore I would consider any behavioural JS as part of

the Controller, including attaching events as well as sending HTTP


Here's an illustration:
In action (example)
I went ahead and implemented a very simple application to prove the

concept. It's just a blank styled HTML page with a button. The HTML

page includes two JavaScripts responsible for behaviours (Controller)

and page updates (View). The page also includes a few unrelated helper

javascripts, in my case I'm using the YUI library. The JS Controller

attaches an event to the button. Then when you click the button, the JS
Controller sends a request to the PHP controller. The PHP controller

(just a simple switch) figures out what was requested and calls the

appropriate object of the business model. In my simplistic case, the

abovementioned "model object" is just a simple function, but this can

be easily built upon. The Model returns (JSON-encoded) response, in

this case it's a list of installed PHP extensions. Now the response is

received by the View JS and it updates the page. After that the View

calls another function from the JS controller that attaches new events

to the new content. (Yep, a little glitch here, maybe it would have

been better if the Model's response is handled by the JS controller

which in turn calls the JS view updater, but anyway this is easy to


Directory layout
Here's the directory structure:
One might argue that it's better if you don't mix .js, .css and .php

files in the same directory but the whole idea is open to

interpretations anyway, it's just an illustration of the idea.

The code for the example
We get to the fun part, the actual implementation. So we start with a

simple .html page, the initial part of the view.

This is index.html

<?xml version="1.1" encoding="iso-8859-1"?>
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN"

<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en">
<link rel="stylesheet" href="../view/styles.css" type="text/css"

media="all" title="Default styles" />
<script language="javascript" type="text/javascript"

<script language="javascript" type="text/javascript"

<script language="javascript" type="text/javascript"

<script language="javascript" type="text/javascript"

<script language="javascript" type="text/javascript"


Welcome to my app!
<br />
<form action="" method="post">
<input type="button" name="b" id="thebutton" value="I'm a button,

click me!" />
<div id="content">&nbsp;</div>

</html>As you can see, nothing special, simply including the CSS

styles, the YUI "extras" and two other javascripts - one part of the

View and one that is part of the Controller.

The Controller JS is responsible for attaching an event listener to the

This is an excerpt from the behaviours.js

// the behaviour class
var behaviours = {

phpcontroller: "../controller/switch.php?request=",

// more behaviour.methods....

// initial page load, attach onload event(s)
'thebutton', 'click', behaviours.theButtonClick);Now when the user

clicks the button, the method behaviours.theButtonClick() is executed.

It fires a request to the PHP controller switch and says that the

request type is "loadSomething":

theButtonClick: function(e) {
alert('Ouch! nnOK, I'll make a request for ya, buddy!');
YAHOO.util.Connect.asyncRequest (
behaviours.phpcontroller + 'loadSomething',
{success: updates.writeContent}
},The PHP controller (controller/switch.php) receives the request, does
a simple switch to validate the request type and then calls the

appropriate (in my case just a simple) function from the business

model. Here's the full switch.php code:

// is this a request?
if (empty($_GET['request'])) {
// get the business logic
include_once '../model/business.php';

// figure out the request
// and call the business logic object
switch ($_GET['request'])
case 'loadSomething':
echo loadSomething();
case 'loadSomeMore': // not used, example
echo loadSomeMore();
?>The function loadSomething() from the PHP model gets a list of

installed PHP extensions, encodes them into JSON and sends them back.

This is a full listing of the ../model/business.php

function loadSomething() {
$extensions = get_loaded_extensions();
return '["'. implode('","', $extensions) . '"]';
?>If you go back and look at the AJAX request, you'll see that on

success, I call the updates.writeContent() method. The

.../view/updates.js script contains stuff that updates the HTML of the

original page, so its place is in the View part of the app.

writeContent simply creates an HTML table with the results (the list of
PHP extensions). Then I wanted to attach event listeners to this table

just to change color, but it can be more than that. Attaching events is
a job for the JS Controller, therefore a method of its class is called.
Here's a full listing of updates.js:

var updates = {

writeContent: function (xmlhttp) {
if (!xmlhttp.responseText) {
alert("I got nothing from the server");
var data = eval(xmlhttp.responseText);
var write_to = document.getElementById('content');
write_to.innerHTML = ''; // yeah, I know

var html2dom_root = write_to;
var table = document.createElement("table");
var table_1_tbody = document.createElement("tbody");
for (var i in data) {
table_1_tbody_2_tr = document.createElement("tr");
table_1_tbody_2_tr_1_td = document.createElement("td");
num = 1 + parseInt(i);
table_1_tbody_2_tr_1_td_1_text = document.createTextNode(num);
table_1_tbody_2_tr_1_td.appendChild(table_1_tbody_ 2_tr_1_td_1_text);
table_1_tbody_2_tr.appendChild(table_1_tbody_2_tr_ 1_td);
table_1_tbody_2_tr_2_td = document.createElement("td");
table_1_tbody_2_tr_2_td_1_text =

table_1_tbody_2_tr_2_td.appendChild(table_1_tbody_ 2_tr_2_td_1_text);
table_1_tbody_2_tr.appendChild(table_1_tbody_2_tr_ 2_td);

}(BTW, for the DOM part I'm used the help from my little tool html2dom

to make my life a bit easier)

And finally here's the rest of the JS controller (behaviours.js), the

method behaviours.updateTableBehaviour() that adds an event listener to
the new table and the trClick() that handles clicks on this table. On

click, it justs changes the color of the underlying row.

trClick: function (e) {
var target = (e.srcElement) ?
e.srcElement.parentNode : e.target.parentNode;
if (target.tagName == 'TR') {
if (target.className == 'tr-on') {
target.className = '';
} else {
target.className = 'tr-on';

updateTableBehaviour: function () {
var el = document.getElementById('content').firstChild;
el, 'click', behaviours.trClick);
}Demo and downloads
Demo - the live example
Zipped demo - all the source code for the example
Template - the source code for the example but with the example part

commented, so you can use it as a template for your next AJAX project.

The only thing you need to do is to drop the YUI in the _extras/yui

Thank you for reading, any comments welcome!

0 points September 20, 2006 by Stoyan at phpied.com post #


Here's this HTML-2-DOM service - http://www.html2dom.com What it does

is pretty simple - you paste some HTML code and the output is JS script
code that uses DOM functions to produce the same result. Could be

useful when you're working on an AJAX-style app that generates new

content using JavaScript.

I build this simple script, inspired by this great book I was reading -
"Build Your Own AJAX Web Applications". In the book, the author

sometimes starts with writing up what is the HTML code for the result

you want to achieve, and then goes ahead with giving the DOM code.

Because, you know, DOM code can be quite verbose and sometimes a bit

hard to follow. So I thought, why not write up a simple tool to

automate this HTML to DOM transition.

The code is not complicated at all, it just takes the HTML, treats it

as an XML document, then loops through all the elements of the XML doc

and all the attributes for each element. The script is here, hopefully

reusable and you can grab it for your own projects if you wish. You can
check the source of html2dom.com's index page for an example how to use
the html-2-dom class.

Some limitations of the script (that I know of) are result of the fact

that I'm treating the HTML as XML document. So you might get some

errors if the HTML you paste is not well-formed, with all closed tags

and so on. Also you cannot use &nbsp; and other entities, because XML

doesn't know about them. What XML knows is only the pre-defined 5. And

last, out of the different node types, my script understands only three
- element, attribute and comment. I think it's enough for the practical
purposes I was aiming at, even the comment type is a bit of a stretch.

So enjoy and as always, any feedback is welcome!

0 points September 15, 2006 by Stoyan at phpied.com post #


The PEAR book is on it's way
Here's the link to publisher's page dedicated to the PHP Programming

with PEAR. Guess who wrote the chapter for MDB2?

It's an honour to me to be in the company of the other authors, people

who have done a lot for the PEAR community:

Stephan Schmidt
Aaron Wormus
Carsten Lucke
Here's what the book is about:

Accessing databases with MDB2
Displaying data in a range of formats (HTML, Excel spreadsheet, PDF)
Creating and parsing XML documents
Serializing PHP objects into XML, and unserializing XML documents to

PHP objects
Consuming and offering web services
Accessing Web APIs including Google, Yahoo, Amazon, and Technorati
250 pages of good stuff Get your copy or just spread the word!

Update: In the rush to share the news I forgot to say a big "thank

you!" to Lukas Smith, the man behind MDB2, who was responsive as always
and was kind enough to review my chapter.

0 points September 12, 2006 by Stoyan at phpied.com post #


HiLiteMe.com updated
Following from here, I'm proud to announce an update to HiLiteMe.com.

With two custom renderers for Text_Highlighter, the service now offers

- BB code for your source, so you can post beautiful code to bulletin

boards and others that use BB code for formatting
- simple HTML code - the formatting is using only the tags b, i and u,

this is for devices such as iPod that can understand only tiny amount

of HTML code. So you highlight some code and take it on the road,


In addition to that there is Simple HTML preview, CSS styles that are

used for the "rich" HTML highlighting and also the code for the rich

HTML formatting, so no need to view->source->copy

Other additions - tabsize setting (how many spaces for a tab, if you

paste code with tabs in it) and line numbers setting (yes/no) to

specify whether you want lines to be numbered in your code.

Test drive?

Note on the BB code highlighting - I tested on:
- vBulletin - works beautifully and
- phpBB - the current out-of-the-box version will not work, becuase

it's not allowing [color] BB tags inside [code] tags. Buuut, there is a
MOD to enable this

0 points September 9, 2006 by Stoyan at phpied.com post #


Greasemonkey - execute custom javascripts on any page
If you want to try executing custom local scripts on any page you

visit, try Greasemonkey. Here's a 10 seconds tut.

The task is to create a custom script and to make sure it's executed

every time you leave a page on phpied.com

(prerequisite) Get Firefox!
Install Gresemonkey from here
Create a file phpied.user.js (all your custom scripts must end in

..user.js) with the following
var start = new Date();
window.addEventListener("unload", function(e) {
var end = new Date();
var diff = Math.floor((end - start) / 1000);
alert("Man, I spent " + diff +
" of my precious seconds on this guy's page!" +
" Now that's called investment!"

}, false);Open phpied.user.js in the browser. You'll see a message from
Greasemonkey inviting you to install.
Click Install... and you're done. Now this script will execute on every
single page you hit. To change it so that it executes only when you

visit phpied.com do:
Right-click the monkey icon in the bottom-right of the browser screen.

Select Manage User Scripts.
Click the * in the Included Pages list, then hit Edit. Type

"http://www.phpied.com/*" This means "execute this script on every page
on phpied.com". Click OK.
Reload this page to see the script in action.
N.B. To modify a user script, do not modify the original file where you
had it initially on your file system, won't work, I tried it Instead,

modify the copy that GM has stored. Right-click the monkey icon ->

Manage -select your script in the listing on the left and click Edit.

I've read before about the Greasemonkey Firefox extension, but never

tried it before yesterday. Never tried probably because of a comment on
the sitepoint.com's article about Greasemokey. The comment I found so

funny, yet true, was "I just don't like the idea of having to spend

time on another person's website when I barely get enough time to spend
on my own." Well, sometimes one might like to try custom scripts on

his/her own site, for example to test some stuff on the production

server without the risk of breaking something.

More resources:
- Home page
- Tutorial @ sitepoint
- Free ebook
- User scripts

0 points September 7, 2006 by Stoyan at phpied.com post #


In case someone is wondering how do I highlight the code I post on this
blog ... well, the lazy way. I don't. Some time ago I setup a free

service, hiliteme.com to do it for me, then I just copy/paste the

generated code. It's far from the best solution, but it's definitelly

the laziest, without any spend-time-to-save-time effort on my end

So if you ever need to highlight source code - for a blog, word doc or

whatever, you can use this free service, I'll be happy. HiLiteMe.com is
using the PEAR Text_Highlighter package (I talk about it here)

BTW, I think in general it's a good idea is to use JavaScript to do the
code highlighting. After all, it's just presentation and if it can be

done on the client, why loading you server with this task. I know at

least two free scripts that do that, there's probably more. The one

that looks very good is this one.

0 points September 4, 2006 by Stoyan at phpied.com post #


Parent's styles in an iframe
Here's a JavaScript that let's you style an iframe just like its top

parent. The script is basically just a proof of concept I did after

talking to a friend about similar problem he has had in the past, so

feel free to modify and use if you like it.

So I have a page, called big.html and a stylesheet for this page,

called big.css. On the page there is an iframe that loads small.html.

small.html has its own style, called small.css. What my little

Javascript function does is:

Getting all top parent's <linktags
Looping through the tags and checking if the rel attribute has value

For all stylesheets found, makes a copy of the link tag and all its

attributes and adds it to the head of the iframed page
Here's the code:

function styleMe() {
if(window.top && window.top.location.href != document.location.href)

// I'm small but I'm not alone

// all parent's <link>s
var linkrels = window.top.document.getElementsByTagName('link');
// my head
var small_head = document.getElementsByTagName('head').item(0);
// loop through parent's links
for (var i = 0, max = linkrels.length; i < max; i++) {
// are they stylesheets
if (linkrels[i].rel && linkrels[i].rel == 'stylesheet') {
// create new element and copy all attributes
var thestyle = document.createElement('link');
var attrib = linkrels[i].attributes;
for (var j = 0, attribmax = attrib.length; j < attribmax; j++)



// add the newly created element to the head


// maybe, only maybe, here we should remove the kid's own styles...

} else {
alert('I hate to tell you that, but you are an orphant ');
}To see the code in action, see big.html.

0 points September 4, 2006 by Stoyan at phpied.com post #


SAP container for PEAR::Auth
PEAR::Auth is a package that allows you to abstract the user

authentication from the main part of your application and not worry

about it. What is good about the package is that it comes with

different "containers" that allows you to authenticate users against

different storages, I mean you can store users data in a database and

use the PEAR::DB or PEAR::MDB2 containers, or you can use flat files,

IMAP servers, SOAP and what not. And the package is easily extensible.

So I played around with creating an SAP container that allows you to

check users against your company's SAP system and for example build a

section of your Internet (or Extranet) page that is only accessible for
people and partners that exist as users in the SAP system.

In order to connect to an SAP system with PHP you need the SAPRFC PHP

extension. Get it here. Then you use the function saprfc_open() (more

docs here) to establish a connection. You provide some info about the

SAP system as well as your username/password. Once connected, a

so-called "SSO ticket" is generated for you. This is just a long

string, like a session ID. For consecutive connections you can use this
SSO ticket instead of providing username/password every time. BTW, SSO

stands for Single Sign-On.

Now, with my little SAP container you can benefit from the PEAR and

PEAR::Auth infrastructure to do the logins. The way to do an

authentication is simple (example stolen in parts from this PEAR manual
entry). You pass the connection options (such as hostname). Then, once

the user is authenticated, the container retrieves the SSO session ID

and sticks into the Auth session data, so that it's reusable for

consecutive connections within the same session. If you need to do more
with the SAP system, apart from authenticating users, you can get back

the updated connection options and just pass them to saprfc_open().

Here's an example:

// get Auth lib
require_once "Auth.php";

// SAP connection options
$options = array (
'ASHOST' ='hostname'
// create Auth object using the SAP container
$a = new Auth("SAP", $options);


// check
if ($a->checkAuth()) {

// authorised! You can do the protected stuff here

// For example open a connection to the SAP system
// using the stored authentication data
$rfc = saprfc_open($a->getAuthData('sap'));

// show sapinfo if you will
echo '<pre>';
echo '</pre>';

?>And here's the actual Auth_Contaner_SAP class, should be placed in a

file called SAP.php in your_pear_dir/Auth/Container/

require_once 'PEAR.php';
require_once 'Auth/Container.php';
* Performs authentication against an SAP system
* using the SAPRFC PHP extension.
* When the option GETSSO2 is TRUE (default)
* the Single Sign-On (SSO) ticket is retrieved
* and stored as an Auth attribute called 'sap'
* in order to be reused for consecutive connections.
* @author Stoyan Stefanov <ss****@gmail.com>
* @package Auth
* @see http://saprfc.sourceforge.net/
class Auth_Container_SAP extends Auth_Container {
* @var array Default options
var $options = array(
'CLIENT' ='000',
'LANG' ='EN',
'GETSSO2' =true,

* Class constructor. Checks that required options
* are present and that the SAPRFC extension is loaded
* Options that can be passed and their defaults:
* <pre>
* array(
* 'ASHOST' ="",
* 'SYSNR' ="",
* 'CLIENT' ="000",
* 'GWHOST' =>"",
* 'GWSERV' =>"",
* 'MSHOST' =>"",
* 'R3NAME' =>"",
* 'GROUP' =>"",
* 'LANG' =>"EN",
* 'TRACE' =>"",
* 'GETSSO2'=true
* )
* </pre>
* @var array array of options.
function Auth_Container_SAP($options)
$saprfc_loaded = PEAR::loadExtension('saprfc');
if (!$saprfc_loaded) {
return PEAR::raiseError('Cannot use SAP authentication, '
.'SAPRFC extension not loaded!');
if (empty($options['R3NAME']) && empty($options['ASHOST'])) {
return PEAR::raiseError('R3NAME or ASHOST required for

$this->options = array_merge($this->options, $options);

* Performs username and password check
* @var string Username
* @var string Password
* @return boolean TRUE on success (valid user), FALSE otherwise
function fetchData($username, $password)
$connection_options = $this->options;
$connection_options['USER'] = $username;
$connection_options['PASSWD'] = $password;
$rfc = saprfc_open($connection_options);
if (!$rfc) {
$message = "Couldn't connect to the SAP system.";
$error = $this->getError();
if ($error['message']) {
$message .= ': ' . $error['message'];
PEAR::raiseError($message, null, null, null,

return false;
} else {
if (!empty($this->options['GETSSO2'])) {
if ($ticket = @saprfc_get_ticket($rfc)) {
$this->options['MYSAPSSO2'] = $ticket;

} else {
PEAR::raiseError("SSO ticket retrieval failed");
return true;

* Retrieves the last error from the SAP connection
* and returns it as an array.
* @return array Array of error information
function getError()

$error = array();
$sap_error = saprfc_error();
if (empty($err)) {
return $error;
$err = explode("n", $sap_error);
foreach ($err AS $line) {
$item = split(':', $line);
$error[strtolower(trim($item[0]))] = trim($item[1]);
$error['all'] = $sap_error;
return $error;
?>0 points September 2, 2006 by Stoyan at phpied.com post #


Hello POV-Ray
End-of-summer draft postings cleanup time! I found this piece of code I
wanted to share but never had the time to. The code is in the POV-Ray

programming language. "POV-what?" you might think. Well, from the

hourse's mouth:

The Persistence of Vision Raytracer is a high-quality, totally free

tool for creating stunning three-dimensional graphics. It is available

in official versions for Windows, Mac OS/Mac OS X and i86 Linux. The

source code is available for those wanting to do their own ports.

Maybe a year or so ago, I played with it, and here's the result.

Funny, isn't it? But don't judge me too harsh, I'm the first to admit

my design and color matching abilities as trully very limited.

Anyway, here's the code, I hope you can make sense from the limitted

amount of comments.

#include "shapes.inc"
#include "colors.inc"
#include "textures.inc"
#include "shapesq.inc"
#include "metals.inc"
#include "skies.inc"

// drop definition
#declare drop = object {
rotate -90*z
translate 0.5*y

scale <0.5, 2, 1>
texture {
pigment { P_Cloud1 }
finish { F_MetalB }

// add 5 drops
object {
//pigment { Col_Fluorite_01 }
translate -1.5*x
object {
//pigment { Col_Fluorite_02 }
translate 0.8*y
translate 15.5*z
translate 0.5*x
object {
translate .5*z
translate 1.9*x
object {
translate 2.5*z
translate 1.5*y
translate -0.8*x
object {
translate -1.5*z
translate 1.8*y
translate 2.5*x

// some clouds

// this is the sky
sky_sphere {
pigment {
gradient y
color_map {
[0 color Blue]
[1 color Brown]
scale 1.5
translate -11


// the ground
plane {
y, -1.5
pigment { checker pigment{Jade}, pigment{Yellow} }
//finish { reflection {1.0} ambient 0 diffuse 0 }
finish { reflection { 0.03, 0.81 }}

// camera, light ... shoot!
camera {
location <0, 1, -8>
look_at 0
angle 43

light_source {
<200, 150, 100White
//projected_through {O_Cloud2}
Warning before anyone dives into POV-Ray: It's a time killer! Once you

get hooked you might suffer from sudden lapse of sleep. BTW, in the

pov-ray programming manual there are some clever bits that start with

"You know you have been raytracing too long when ...". I can totally

relate to this one:

You know you have been raytracing too long when ...
.... You want to cheat and look at nature's source code.
- Mark Stock

In case you thought JavaScript could be tough...

0 points September 1, 2006 by Stoyan at phpied.com post #


What's $this?
Simple question, what's $this - a or b?

class a {
function aa(){


class b {
function bb(){


$b_obj = new b;
?>Answer: object(b)#1 (0) { }

0 points September 1, 2006 by Stoyan at phpied.com post #


phpbb and security
Man, do I have a lot of todos! I was going through my posting drafts on
this blog and found this 1 year old piece (from Aug 10th, 2005). I

remember I was responding to this blog posting, but at some point I

desided that I don't have the time to finish it, so I saved it as a

draft. Well, one year was not enough to finish it, so here is the a

draft as part of my postings cleanup.


Nice posting, thanks! I just want to add something on the phpBB part of
it. OK, PHP is the most popular, compared to the other web languages,

hence the most security issues with it. Well, I can apply the same

logic to phpBB and phpMyAdmin. Everybody uses phpMyAdmin and phpBB is

probably the most popular BB package out there. phpBB is an open

(therefore exposed) source package and being also a bulletin board

package makes it a nice target. Any BB site out there has has its kids

that hate it and want it hacked, defaced, DB-emptied, userbase-exposed

or otherwise dead. So they start digging every single regexp looking

for a "door". And they find it, one after the other. It's normal, we

all know that there's no such thing as a secure or bug-free software.

I don't say that phpBB's code is perfect (is there a perfect code?!),

but I don't think phpBB should pay for all the sins of all PHP devs out
there. We all make mistakes, that's nature. And it's not nice to call

each other names in such situations. Two examples - PEAR's recent

XML_RPC expliot (you cannot say that Stig Bakken can't hack in PHP) and
a blog posting about some omissions in this PHP security guide!


Update from Aug 31st, 2006:
I really like this piece Harry Fuecks wrote ovet at SitePont. Hopefully
the "war" is over and people no longer point fingers at each other, but
learn from each other's mistakes instead.

Being able to see many shades of grey rather than black and white could
be another point to add to the ideal profile. PHP (and security) is a

good case in point-what strikes you as a smarter response: screaming

PHP sucks or understanding that it's popular and doing something to

improve the situation?

0 points September 1, 2006 by Stoyan at phpied.com post #


phpDoc clip library for TextPad
Here's a little something I did to make it a bit easier to write API

docs in TextPad, it's a clip library to save some typing when writing

comments in the phpDoc format. I submitted it to the TextPad team, so

at some point it will probably appear in the downloads section, but

meanwhile you can get from here.

Download the file phpdoc.tcl
Copy to your Samples directory in the TextPad folder
Make sure the Clip Library panel is on (menu option View -Clip

Choose phpDoc clip from the dropdown in the Clip Library panel
Some screenshots
Type in some class description, highlight and then select "Class


Example class property comment
0 points August 31, 2006 by Stoyan at phpied.com post #


News update
Hi all, after a long time of silence, I wanted to drop a line here to

say I'm still alive. I'm back from beautiful Bulgaria, had a great time
there, friends, family, trailer trip. Now I'm back in Montreal, moved

to and working on the new house we bought at the end of May; it's

coming along pretty nice, but all this renovation work really does take
time, especially if you're doing it yourself ("with a little help from

my friends") and you don't have too much experience. But I'm actually

enjoying being away from the monitor all day, it was a surprising


Meanwhile other things are happening, but they are mainly result of

work I've done previously. The second part of my MDB2 tutorial was

published in the IPM (TOC). In the same issue, the magazine published a
book review of mine, actually it's the first book review I've ever

written. It's about this excellent book - AJAX and PHP. I have a few

other book (and one software) reviews piped, I'll probably publish them
here on this blog. Meanwhile I also became the lead dev for the

Image_Text PEAR package, expect a quick intro soon. The last news is

that I submitted the first draft of one chapter I'm contributing to

what is going to be a great book. Details later.

I thinks that's it for now. Probably there won't be too much postings

in the nearest future (I started a new job on top of everything), but

I'll be back!

0 points July 25, 2006 by Stoyan at phpied.com post #


Bulgaria, IPM, quick update
I'm currently on a vacation in my native land Bulgaria, the party's on

(and so the soccer World Cup finals) so It wuould be quiet around here

for a while. Meanwhile I've disabled comments, trackbacks and

pingbacks, I appologize, it's just that I'm receiving a lot of spam and
since I don't have the time to clean it, the spam will look as an

insult to my readers.I cannot find the WordPress option to disable

comments retroactively, so all comments will be held for moderation. I

appologize once again.

Meanwhile my article on DB and MDB2 was published in the International

PHP Magazine, the TOC is here. This article is an extended and improved
version of the original DB-to-MDB2 blog posting you can find here, plus
I've added an intro part in case you've never used DB or MDB2.

BTW, I'm enjoying writing this post on a dial-up and using IE5.5., this
is an experience that is pretty ... interesting


0 points June 12, 2006 by Stoyan at phpied.com post #


Amazon Connect blog
Just finished setting up my Amazon Connect profile and posted one

message to the blog Amazon create for you when you set your profile up.

Here's the blog.

Amazon Connect is an initiative where book authors can post messages

directly to their books pages. So my smiling face is exposed on Amazon

now when you browse one of the two phpBB books. Pretty nice. I mean the
Connect idea, not so much the face

BTW, Amazon really have to work on those URLs to make them friendlier.

Every time I post an Amazon link anywhere, it's just waaay too long and
usually messes things up.

0 points May 23, 2006 by Stoyan at phpied.com post #


Form auto-fill bookmarklet
So here's the thing, we all know we hate forms, the only thing we hate

more than forms themselves is actually filling out forms. But the forms
are the interface to our web apps, so we cannot do without them. What

we would love to do without, but can't, is skip the application testing
part where you fill out forms like there's no tomorrow, just to make

sure your app is rock solid.

And filling out forms is a pain. So for some time I wanted to get my

hands on a little something that can fill out a form, any form, with a

click of a button. JavaScript is ideal for such a task and the best

sort of a "little something" is probably a bookmarklet. That is how

this bookmark was born.

What is it, what it does?
This is a bookmarklet. You go to page that has one or more forms and

you click the bookmarklet. It completes the form for you with some

random data. The whole thinking was to have a form ready to be

submitted and generating as less validation errors as possible. Here

are some details:

All defaults are kept as they are
All passwords fields are completed with the same password, in case

there is a password/password confirmation combo. The default password

is "secret"
If a text field has the string "email" in its name, the auto-generated

value would be a random string @ example.org
If a text field has the string "name" in its name, a name-looking value
will be generated.
All checkboxes will be checked (who knows which one of them might be

"Accept terms" or anything else that is required)
Multi-selects will have a random number of random options selected
Right-click and bookmark or drag to your personal bookmarks toolbar.

max; i++) {var sel = all_selects[i]; if (sel.selectedIndex != -1&&

sel.options[sel.selectedIndex].value) {continue; }var howmany = 1; if

(sel.type == 'select-multiple') { var howmany = 1 +

this.getRand(sel.options.length - 1);}for (var j = 0; j howmany; j++)

{var index = this.getRand(sel.options.length -

1);sel.options[index].selected = 'selected';}}for (var i = 0, max =

all_textareas.length; i max; i++) {var ta = all_textareas[i];if

(!ta.value) {ta.value = this.getRandomString(10)+ '\n\n'+

this.getRandomString(10);}}for (var i = 0, max = all_inputs.length; i

max; i++) {var inp = all_inputs[i];var type =

inp.getAttribute('type');if (!type) {type = 'text'; }if (type ==

'checkbox') {inp.setAttribute('checked', 'checked');}if (type ==

'radio') {var to_update = true;var name = inp.name;var input_array =

inp.form.elements[inp.name];for (var j = 0; j input_array.length; j++)

{if (input_array[j].checked) {to_update = false;continue;}}if

(to_update) {var index = this.getRand(input_array.length -

1);input_array[index].setAttribute('checked', 'checked');}}if (type ==

'password') {if (!inp.value) {inp.value = this.getPassword();}}if (type
== 'text') {if (!inp.value) {if (inp.name.indexOf('name') != -1)

{inp.value = this.getRandomName() + ' ' + this.getRandomName();} else

if (inp.name.indexOf('email') != -1) {inp.value =

this.getRandomString(1) + '@example.org';} else {inp.value =

this.getRandomString(1);}}}}},getRandomString: function

(how_many_words) {if (!how_many_words) {how_many_words = 5;}if

(!this.words) {this.words = this.blurb.split(' ');}var retval = '';for

(var i = 0; i how_many_words; i++) {retval +=

this.words[this.getRand(this.words.length) - 1];retval += (i

how_many_words - 1) ? ' ' : '';}return retval;},getRandomName: function
() {if (!this.split_names) {this.split_names = this.names.split('

');}return this.split_names[this.getRand(this.split_names.length) -

1];},getPassword: function () {if (!this.password) {this.password =

'secret';}return this.password;},getRand: function (count) {return

Math.round(count * Math.random());}}; auto.fillerup()">Form auto-fill
Here's the demo.

The code
The demo and the code below are "normal" code, with proper indentation

and all. The actual bookmark though has to be on one line and as small

as possible, so it's pretty much unreadable. Ah, and while the demo

will work in IE, the bookmarklet won't, because it's too big for IE. IE
allows up to about 500 characters in the URL (or a bookmarklet) while

mine is about 2000 "compressed" or 3000 cleaner. So unless I do

something heroic in compressing the script, it won't work on IE. No

biggie I'd say, since you'll be testing your application and most

likely you use Firefox anyway.

The big picture
Using JSON, the class/object is called auto and it has the following


var auto ={

// a list of names that will be used to generate
// normal looking names
names: "Steve Buscemi Catherine Keener ...",

// this is where all the random words will come from
blurb: "phpBB is a free...",

// default password to be used in all password fields
password: "secret",

// the main function that does all
fillerup: function() {},

// helper function, returns randomly selected words
// coming from this.blurb
getRandomString: function (how_many_words) {},

// helper function, returns randomly selected names
// coming from this.names
getRandomName: function () {},

// returns this.password
getPassword: function () {},

// returns a random int from 0 to count
getRand: function (count) {}
}The actual form fill-out is initiated by calling auto.fillerup()

As you can probably guess, the only interesting function is fillerup(),
so let me show you what it does.

In case you're wondering, the name of the function comes from a Sting

Fill'er up, son, unleaded.
I need a full tank of gas where I'm headed ...

The function starts by identifying all the elements candidate to be


var all_inputs = document.getElementsByTagName('input');
var all_selects = document.getElementsByTagName('select');
var all_textareas = document.getElementsByTagName('textarea');OK, we

have our work cut out for us, let's start by looping through the


// selects
for (var i = 0, max = all_selects.length; i < max; i++) {
var sel = all_selects[i]; // current element
if (sel.selectedIndex != -1
&& sel.options[sel.selectedIndex].value) {
continue; // has a default value, skip it
var howmany = 1; // how many options we'll select
if (sel.type == 'select-multiple') { // multiple selects
// random number of options will be selected
var howmany = 1 + this.getRand(sel.options.length - 1);
for (var j = 0; j < howmany; j++) {
var index = this.getRand(sel.options.length - 1);
sel.options[index].selected = 'selected';
// @todo - Check if the selected index actually
// has a value otherwise try again
}Then - textareas, they cannot be simpler. We only check if there isn't
already a value and if there's none, we get two "paragraphs" of 10

words each.

// textareas
for (var i = 0, max = all_textareas.length; i < max; i++) {
var ta = all_textareas[i];
if (!ta.value) {
ta.value = this.getRandomString(10)
+ '\n\n'
+ this.getRandomString(10);
}Next (and last), come the inputs. They are a bit more complicated as

there are too many of them. Here's the overall code with the skipped

details for each input type.

// inputs
for (var i = 0, max = all_inputs.length; i < max; i++) {
var inp = all_inputs[i];
var type = inp.getAttribute('type');
if (!type) {
type = 'text'; // default is 'text''
if (type == 'checkbox') {...}
if (type == 'radio') {...}
if (type == 'password') {...}
if (type == 'text') {...}
}We're absolutely unforgiving when it comes to checkboxes - just check

them all, no questions asked, take no prisoners.

if (type == 'checkbox') {
// check'em all
// who knows which ones are required
inp.setAttribute('checked', 'checked');
/* ... ooor random check-off
if (!inp.getAttribute('checked')) {
if (Math.round(Math.random())) { // 0 or 1
inp.setAttribute('checked', 'checked');
}Next, do the radios. They are a bit more complicated, because once we

have an element, before checking it, we need to verify that there are

no other radios with the same name (and in the same form) are already

selected and checked.

if (type == 'radio') {

var to_update = true;
// we assume this radio needs to be checked
// but in any event we'll check first

var name = inp.name;
var input_array = inp.form.elements[inp.name];
for (var j = 0; j < input_array.length; j++) {
if (input_array[j].checked) {
// match! already has a value
to_update = false;

if (to_update) {
// ok, ok, checking the radio
// only ... randomly
var index = this.getRand(input_array.length - 1);
input_array[index].setAttribute('checked', 'checked');
}Passwords - trivial, just make sure you always set the same password.

if (type == 'password') {
if (!inp.value) {
inp.value = this.getPassword();
}And finally - the text inputs. We try to guess the nature of the text

field by its name. Here there's plenty of room for improvement and more

if (type == 'text') {
if (!inp.value) {
// try to be smart about some stuff
// like email and name
if (inp.name.indexOf('name') != -1) { // name
inp.value = this.getRandomName() + ' ' +

} else if (inp.name.indexOf('email') != -1) { // email address
inp.value = this.getRandomString(1) + '@example.org';
} else {
inp.value = this.getRandomString(1);
}C'est tout
That's it, hope you liked it and start using it Any comment or

suggestions - let me know.

1 points May 16, 2006 by Stoyan at phpied.com post #


Enumerating with MySQL
Here's how I got MySQL to do some enumerating for me, meaning increment
a counter and add it to a select statement as in a numbered list. It is
questionable if this type of functionality should be part of the

"business" logic, as opposed to the display logic, but still, you never

What you need to do in this case is first to define the variable @inc

using SET and you assign the default value of 0.
Then you include @inc as part of your SELECT statement. You can even

use AS to nickname the variable expression.
Also as part of the SELECT you take care of incrementing the value in


Here's the thing:

SET @inc :=0;
@inc := @inc + 1 AS a,
`some_table`;Tested in MySQL versions (oldest to latest) 4.0.26,

4.1.10, 4.1.15 and 5.0.20

If anyone has an idea how to this in one shot, without executing the

SET first, I'll be very interested. I played with IFNULL and IF in

order to check if @inc was defined, and if not to define it, but hit a

brick wall.

1 points May 16, 2006 by Stoyan at phpied.com post #


PHP fun
I remember reading a discussion over at Sitepoint - has the fun gone

out of PHP? No it isn't! No way, the fun is here... or should I say

Check this out - videos from a beer drinking contest at a PHP

conference. I love how serious the gyus are, I mean, at the end, a

contest is a contest, you're serious or you're out, it is a serious

matter and should be taken with the necessary amount of responsibility
And how about this T-shirt on sale at php|arch?

While it may be amusing in a sorta geeky kinda way to wear your

programming inclinations (or any other inclinations, for that matter)

on a t-shirt, I believe I stopped doing it long time ago, my last fan

t-shirt was probably the one displaying a nasty scene from a Canibal

Corpse's album cover (man, am I that old!)

The nice thing about the shopping experience at php|arch,

usability-wise, is that they really make sure you're aware of the

shipping details. Did you see, they ship only to North America and the

Rest of the World. No way you can get that t-shirt delivered on Mars or
Venus, sorry, not at this time, working on it...

0 points May 6, 2006 by Stoyan at phpied.com post #


Opacity for the thumbs
I've been just toying with the CSS opacity to make fancier image

thumbnail rollovers, it's actually quite easy. The idea is when you

have a thumbnail photo gallery to make the thumbs semi-transparent and,
on mouse over, to remove the transparency and show the real image as


All it takes is this little piece of CSS:

a img {
opacity: 0.55;
a:hover img {
opacity: 1;
}Here's a demo. CSS file is here.

The demo uses Y!API to get a few images (I never seem to have good

images laying aroud when I need them). The API call gets JSON output

from the Yahoo! search API to make it easy (and server-side free) to

display the results. You may peek into the JS source if you're curious

(more Y! JSON search API here), but doesn't have anything to do with

the main purpose - the thumbs rollovers.

0 points May 5, 2006 by Stoyan at phpied.com post #


JavaScript to find your Yahoo! ranking
Inspired by this article on SitePoint that shows how to find the Google
ranking for a specific page and a search query, I decided to do the

same, but for the Yahoo! ranking. The fun part is that my script is a

JavaScript and requires nothing but a browser in order to run.

How mine is different
In the article above you need to use Google's SOAP service, so if

you're not lucky enough to be running PHP5, you'll probably need

something along the lines of PEAR SOAP or NuSOAP. That implies you also
need a web server, running PHP. Then you need a Google API key and you

need to download stuff and upload it to your server.

Nothing even close to that in terms of requirements if you opt in for

the Yahoo! web service. All you need is a browser and JavaScript

enabled, which shouldn't be a big deal, I don't think

About the Yahoo! JSON web service
Yahoo's web service can return XML as everybody else, but it can also

return serialized PHP and also JSON. Using the JSON option you can make
a simple XMLHTTPRequest and get all the content JavaScript-ready,

without the headaches of getELementsByTagName() or other DOMmy methods

to wrestle that XML tree. The problem here is that you're requesting a

file from a different domain, so the browser won't allow it. Workaround
- a simple PHP script to serve as a proxy. Oooor (as we said we don't

need no stinkin' server) you can use the dynamic JavaScript includes

(discussed here) to do the request. As a result you get a working

solution with JS only.

By the way, if you're wondering about the beauty of JSON, try this


Ah, yes, the demo is here.

Enter a/ your URL, or part of it, and b/ a search query. Then the

script will tell you where in the first 1000 results is your URL to be

found. If it is found.

How it works
Check the source for the details, it's reasonably well commented, but

the big picture:

You make a request (in yjsonrank.makeRequest()) by appending a new

SCRIPT element to the HEAD of your HTML. The URL of the script element

(the SRC attribute) points to the Y! web service and also passes the

search query and a function to be called once the script is included.

This function happens to be yjsonrank.process()
The yjsonrank.process() function receives JSON data returned by the

service, assigned to the resp variable.
We loop through resp.ResultSet, checking every resp.ResultSet.Result if
its Url property contains our URL. If yes - we're done! If not, we make
another request this time for the next 50 results. (50 is randomly

chosen, feel free to modify). We continue until we reach 1000th result,
which is the max that Y! will be willing to give.
And that's pretty much it, the rest is just fluff and beautifications

More Y! info
The JSON description
The Web Search API page, listing all the additional parameters you can

add to your search request and what format would have the result
Thanks for reading!
1 points April 19, 2006 by Stoyan at phpied.com post #


Suddenly structured articles
This post talks about a JavaScript that can be used on any web/blog

page to auto-generate a Table of Contents.

Here's the idea I've playing with: say you have a relatively long web

page, where the content uses H1-H6 tags to structure the copy. How

about running a JavaScript when the page is loaded and getting a Table

of Contents (TOC) generated for you, based on the heading tags that

you've used? Wikipedia does this kind of TOCs, but on the server side,

using not H tags but the wiki tags.

Anyway, I decided it's a cool idea and rolled up the JS sleaves. Then

once I had the TOC sorted out, I added a list of external references,

meaning a list of all external links contained within the content.

Demo and files
Here's the demo
Here's the "bare" page - before running the script
The JS - the actual JavaScript
The CSS used to contain a few styles, this is irrelevant to the script
If you like the idea, you're free to get the files and experiment. All

you need to do is:

include the JS
create two divs in your document - one for the TOC (with an ID

"suddenly-structured-toc") and one for the list of external links (with
ID suddenly-structured-references)
call suddenly_structured.parse();
The code
The script is not 100% finished yet, I was thinking of adding some more
features, such as the ability to create TOCs only starting from H3 for

example. But if you want to play with the code, you're more than

welcome to.

What's happening in the code? There is an object/class called

suddenly_structured, its main "controller" method is parse() that calls
the other methods as needed. You can peek at the code for more but the

basically the work is done by the methods:

init() - initializes the "environment" where (in which element ID) is

the content, where to print the TOC and links.
traverse() - this goes through the document and if it finds a heading,

it adds it to a list, but first makes sure that this heading has an ID.
If there's no ID, a random one is generated.
generateTOC() - once we have a list of all the headings, we can

generate a TOC tree.
appendReferences() goes through all the links, checks the URL protocol

and host to make sure they are external links and adds to the list of

external references. When generating the list, I'm using the title

attribute of the A tag to make the list nicer.
* Script flow controller
* @param {string} start_id The ID of the element that contains

the content.
* Default is the BODY element
* @param {string} output_id ID of the element that will contain
* the result TOC
* @param {string} output_ref_id ID of the element that will contain

the result
* list of external links
* @param {int} heading_level From which heading level to start (1

to 6),
* not yet implemented
parse: function (start_id, output_id, output_ref_id, heading_level)
// initialize the environment pass all parameters
this.init(start_id, output_id, output_ref_id, heading_level);
// if the content is found, run through it to extract the headings
if (this.the_element) {
// run through the extracted headings and generate TOC
// add the TOC to the element specified
if (this.toc_div) {

// run through all the links and list them
if (this.ref_div) {
}For the rest of the high-quality (*cough-cough*) JavaScript, check the

At some point I figured out that quirksmore.org also has an

auto-generated TOC script. He grabs only the h2-h4 tags. His TOC is

links with different styles, and not a semantic HTML list. Here's his

post about how he coded the script. He also has a show/hide TOC which

is a very slick idea.

I also did my TOC and references lists to show/hide and left the

references hidden by default.

After I did the script (of course!) I decided to google other similar

scripts. It turned out, quite a few exist. But I didn't see any one

that uses UL or OL for the actual TOC. They all use DIVs and As with a

different style to do the indentation. My script uses a

semantically-correct list tags UL|OL (can be changed on the fly by

calling suddenly_structured.list_type = 'ul' for example) and LIs. But

that I guess because until recently no one was really losing any sleep

over semantic markup. The web was young ...

Thanks for reading!
That's it. Enjoy the script! Of course, any feedback is welcome.

I personally would like to integrate the script into this blog. I like

using heading tags and this way my articles will become ... suddenly

structured, TOC-ed and beautiful

0 points April 8, 2006 by Stoyan at phpied.com post #

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