Today I needed to grab some data from a table where there was more than one occurrence of a string within another string. Basically, I needed to find all URL's from a table that were more than 3 levels deep (i.e. with 3 slashes), but realised there wasn't a function to do this in MySQL. I found an alternative method, but it got me thinking on how that might be possible.
I quite often find the need to extract a section of text from the beginning of a blog post or similar to be used as the excerpt. I normally use a function that will count the number of whole words available and return the string containing those words.
A good alternative to this, although only applicable if the original post is in HTML, is to use a regular expression to extract the contents. The following code will take a string and extract just the first paragraph of text.
It is usual when writing a list of items to separate each item with a comma, except the last two items, which are separated with the word "and". I recently needed to implement a function that took a string and converted it into a list of this type so I thought I would expand on it and post it here.
A simple way to convert a string into a set of variables is through the use of the explode() and list() functions. list() is a language construct (not really a function) that will convert an array into a list of variables. For example, to convert a simple array into a set of variables do the following:
A common issue I have come across in the past is that I have a CMS system, or an old copy of Wordpress, and I need to create a set of keywords to be used in the meta keywords field. To solve this I put together a simple function that runs through a string and picks out the most commonly used words in that list as an array. This is currently set to be 10, but you can change that quite easily.
Disemvoweling is a technique used on blogs and forums to censor any post or comment that contains spam or other unwanted text. It involves simply removing the vowels from the text so that it is almost, but not entirely, unreadable.
Use the following function to disemvowel a string of text.
This simple code example uses a combination of strrchr to find the last occurrence of a string and substr to return part of the string in order to find the file extension for a given filename. This is ideal if you want to quickly find a file extension.
Use the following function to pad a string with to a set length with a given string. The function takes three parameters. The string to be padded, the total number of characters that the string must be, and the string to be added. If the third parameter is not given then 0 is used as a default.
I found a little problem today when processing a bit of text from a non-english site. I found that the text was being loaded properly, but because it was in UTF-8 encoding PHP couldn't use htmlspecialchars() or apply get_html_translation_table() to the string to properly encode the foreign characters. These methods just don't have any effect. This is because PHP (before version 5.2.x) doesn't natively support unicode character encoding and is therefore not able to translate characters in UTF-8 format.
Due to the weakly-typed nature of PHP you can do some odd things, some of which are good, and some of which will enable you to shoot yourself in the foot. Take the following little snippet.