Tim’s Weblog Tim's Weblog
Tim Strehle’s links and thoughts on Web apps, managing software development and Digital Asset Management, since 2002.

Writing Socket Servers in PHP

Tutorials and examples:

Zend.com: Writing Socket Servers in PHP Dev Shed - Socket Programming With PHP ONLamp.com: Introduction to Socket Programming with PHP Micah Lansing: MicahServer

Fri, 29 Aug 2003 07:58:08 +0000

Java trends: Scripting languages to the forefront

Let the Java experts talk about PHP:

"You can be very clever with some scripting languages and do things you can’t do with regular Java," said Mukund Balasubramanian, CTO of Redwood City, CA-based Infravio, a Java and Web services integrator. "If you know how to use a good scripting language, you can save a lot of time and money in development."

That's why I never use Java :-)

Thu, 28 Aug 2003 13:11:34 +0000

Why isn't my time zone highlighted on the world map?

Raymond Chen: "The Indian government threatened to ban all Microsoft software from the country because we assigned a disputed region to Pakistan in the time zone map."

Thu, 28 Aug 2003 07:30:13 +0000

Five Habits for Successful Regular Expressions

Tony Stubblebine on ONLamp.com:

"1. Use Whitespace and Comments 2. Write Tests 3. Group the Alternation Operator 4. Use Lazy Quantifiers 5. Use Available Delimiters"

Thu, 28 Aug 2003 07:19:32 +0000


PHPEclipse.de has (German) installation instructions for PHP support within the Eclipse IDE.

Thu, 28 Aug 2003 05:07:31 +0000

Tablet PC at school

I'd love to go to school again: "The Diocese of Columbus Department of Education is undertaking one of the first wide-scale deployments of Tablet PC technology in an educational environment. They have partnered with HP and their TC1000 Tablet PC."

Wed, 27 Aug 2003 08:46:44 +0000


Mindmeld seems to have a rather narrow focus, but the description sounds nice (and it's free software):

"Mindmeld is an enterprise-capable knowledge-sharing system. It is an effective tool for any web community that needs to capture and share information, and is unique in that the knowledgebase grows smarter every time it's used. It only knows what you teach it, but it's very easy to teach.

Mindmeld's core search technology, the self-organizing neural mapper, allows Mindmeld to incorporate terms used in each search into a contextual map of the answer itself, continually improving Mindmeld's ability to derive contextual information from a given search. The system learns how people typically search for a given answer by identifying which search terms are most valuable in any specific context."

Tue, 26 Aug 2003 07:46:25 +0000

Embedded Markup Considered Harmful

Norman Walsh on XML.com: "Escaping markup, particularly with CDATA sections, just doesn't work. There are other things that might be wrong that would make the documents not well formed. There are Unicode characters that are forbidden, there are encoding issues for the characters that are allowed, and there are sequences of characters that must be avoided. (e.g., "]]>"). Not to mention the fact that CDATA sections don't nest."

Tue, 26 Aug 2003 07:12:37 +0000

Online Demonstration Against Software Patents

FFII: "The FFII is organizing an online demonstration against software patents. We want you to replace the title page of your project's site with a protest page against software patents (for examples see below) on August 27th."

Mon, 25 Aug 2003 10:36:15 +0000

PHP faster

Thies and Sterling Hughes speed up PHP...

Mon, 25 Aug 2003 09:23:43 +0000

Thanks for using...

It's always a joy to see that some friendly person uses, and even promotes, software you've written - in this case, my OracleEditor.php script.

Mon, 25 Aug 2003 08:53:25 +0000

“Information Clients”

Gary Burd and Adam Shand both compiled lists of new, interesting “information client” software (the likes of Chandler and Haystack)…

Mon, 25 Aug 2003 08:48:32 +0000

Robin XUL desktop

Robin is a "desktop on a web page", written in Mozilla's XUL. Slow, but demonstrates XUL's capabilities.

Found this through Andrew Channels Dexter Pinion weblog.

Mon, 25 Aug 2003 07:24:55 +0000

HyperText File System

Dented Reality: "HTFS is a project I am working on where I am basing a complete, database-driven "file-system" on the concept of hyper-text, but with one added benefit. Rather than allowing the situation in hypertext where you can link to something that then moves (same situation as with a shortcut or symlink on normal filesystems), I am making this system use unique IDs, so that once something is linked, it will remain linked, no matter what context it moves to [...]"

Fri, 22 Aug 2003 10:55:31 +0000

Visualize Topic Maps using Graphviz

Andrea Laue brings together Topic Maps and Graphviz: "I modeled the game as a topic map, used XSLT to transform the data into a "dot" file, and then used Graphviz to generate some visualizations."

Wed, 20 Aug 2003 11:41:34 +0000

Coding an artificial neural network (ANN) in PHP

FreeBSD.MU: "[...] countless hours of gameplay have rekindled my dormant interest in artificial intelligence and artificial neural networks (ANNs). In this article, I will document how I implemented an ANN using the PHP scripting language."

Wed, 20 Aug 2003 06:44:30 +0000

I hate <a target="_blank">

Am I the only one who hates all those links that open in a new browser window? There seem to be more and more of them.

My browser does have a Back button, "Back" navigation via keyboard shortcuts, and a History window. Furthermore, I can manually choose to open a link in a new window, or a new tab, in foreground or background, if I prefer to keep the current page open.

So many powerful choices that let me decide what's happening on my screen. And yet, so many annoying pages that refuse to disappear from my screen when I'm trying to surf away. (And no visualization that would allow me to see which target this link will open in.)

Yes, I know that "target" can make sense - especially if it's a web application rather than a website, or if you'd like to open a preview/details window and not lose the current context. But for plain old hypertext links from a page to another page, this does not apply.

Mozilla does a great job in blocking unrequested popups. Maybe they could add an option to block unrequested new windows as well?

Update (2016-10-10): Opening new browser windows was a Top-10 mistake according to Jakob Nielsen back in 1999. And in 2016, Apple adds a workaround to Safari 10 that makes the “Back” button work transparently with new tabs.

Tue, 19 Aug 2003 11:56:46 +0000


"Welcome to Conclave the wiki-like, topicmap-like, blog-like Web thingy."

"Conclave is an experiment on the part of me (GuyMurphy) to see what common groud there is between WikiWikiWeb (wikis), TopicMap (topicmaps), and WebLog (blogs) concepts."

Tue, 19 Aug 2003 08:00:27 +0000


MozPHP: "MozPHP is a Mozilla PHP integration package. With MozPHP you can execute PHP scripts in Mozilla directly without the need for a local HTTP server."

Mon, 18 Aug 2003 09:59:21 +0000

A Few Tips for Writing Useful Libraries in PHP

Kellan Elliott-McCrea seems to be right that "of all of PHP's many faults and quirks, perhaps it's most telling (and most crippling) is a cultural one, PHP programmers write applications, not libraries."

Mon, 18 Aug 2003 08:02:11 +0000


phpLDAPAdmin: "phpLDAPAdmin is a web-based LDAP administration tool, written in PHP. You can browse your LDAP tree, create, delete, edit, and copy entries, perform searches, and view your server's schema."

Fri, 15 Aug 2003 07:43:50 +0000

Five Lessons You Should Learn from Extreme Programming

ONLamp.com: "One of XP's catchphrases is "Do the Simplest Thing That Could Possibly Work." Solve the problem as simply as possible to get the job done correctly. Don't spend time creating a generalized solution (or worse, a generalized framework) if you don't need it yet."

Thu, 14 Aug 2003 12:02:00 +0000

My CSS Card File experiment

Hauke and I built a browsable cardfile in CSS/Javascript - how lovely!

Wed, 13 Aug 2003 11:39:00 +0000

CSS for auto-wrapping "tables"

A List Apart: Practical CSS Layout Tips, Tricks and Techniques tells us how to use the CSS float property to build "tables" that automatically wrap when the browser window size changes...

Wed, 13 Aug 2003 08:30:42 +0000

Mapping Topic Maps on Relational Databases

A nice article on "Mapping Topic Maps on Relational Databases": "One possibility to permanently store Topic Maps is using Relational Databases. In this document I present a possible database schema that allows to store Topic Maps."

Mon, 11 Aug 2003 08:20:20 +0000


SimpleT: "SimpleT takes the view that PHP already is an excellent template language and when used purely for that purpose, is very easy for web page designers to work with." "SimpleT takes advantage of PHP's output control functions to allow the correct seperation of Model from View (or Application Logic from Presentation Logic)."

Fri, 08 Aug 2003 09:06:38 +0000

Oracle supports PHP

This Oracle "Statement of Direction" says that:

"For Oracle Application Server 10G Release 2 (10.0.3) Oracle plans that both documentation and a version of PHP will be included in the release CDs. In addition, integration with Install, DCM and other core Oracle iAS facilities is planned. Further integration with Single Sign On and other core Oracle iAS facilities is being considered for this and future Oracle iAS releases."

And on today's index page of the new Oracle Open Source Developer Center, four of the five featured articles are on PHP...

Fri, 08 Aug 2003 08:44:30 +0000

PHP Survey Results

Zend: "Zend's PHP survey is a market snapshot of the PHP community. Over 10,000 respondents to the survey which was posted in June 2003."

Seems like few participants actually sell and deploy software written in PHP, as only 11% have applications hosted by their clients.

And only another 11% have an application with more than 50,000 lines of code.

Fri, 08 Aug 2003 08:31:54 +0000

Topic Map Browsing Example

A nice example of Topic Map browsing, made by Bond University, Australia.

Thu, 07 Aug 2003 08:06:33 +0000

Test-driven development

Jon Udell doing advocacy for Test-driven development...

Ward Cunningham citation: "When somebody says this is test-first code, you believe that it's going to be more robust than otherwise. And if you do run into a limitation, it's more likely that you can get past it. Test-first means that it's clear what the code does, and that what it does has been tested, but also that the code doesn't devote a lot of effort to doing things that aren't declared."

Tue, 05 Aug 2003 08:57:50 +0000

Tim Bray on Metadata

Tim Bray on Metadata:

"If You Collect Metadata By Hand

The most important lesson I've learned, is: Don't try to collect too much. You might, just might, get people, when they're interacting with your intranet, to label their information by project and title; but more than a couple of fields and people will just bypass the process.

This is harder than it looks. When you decide in principle that metadata should be collected, it will develop that many stakeholders have short-lists of the fields they need to make this worthwhile. You can easily end up with a "short" list of a dozen or more fields that constitute the "absolute minimum" that people think you must have. And if you adopt it, you're deadd, because except in special circumstances (e.g. the WSJ), people just will not take the time to do this.

Automatic Metadata

Obviously, there are some metadata items the computer will give you for free: a filename, created/modified dates, who created it, what kind of file (HTML, Excel, PowerPoint), how big it is. These can be handy for search applications and since they're free, you should collect them and make them available."

Mon, 04 Aug 2003 09:55:12 +0000

The future of XML documents and relational databases

Jon Udell: "As new species of XML documents are emerging, vendors are unveiling increased RDBMS support for XML."

Mon, 04 Aug 2003 07:47:48 +0000

useit.com: Gateway Pages Prevent PDF Shock

Jakob Nielsen: "Spare your users the misery of being dumped into PDF files without warning. Create special gateway pages that summarize the contents of big documents and guide users gently into the PDF morass."

Mon, 04 Aug 2003 06:56:05 +0000