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Edd Mann:
Reversing a Unicode String in PHP using UTF-16BE/LE
May 12, 2014 @ 10:55:00

Edd Mann looks at an issue in his latest post that caused him problems in a recent project, reversing a Unicode string with UTF-16BE/LE.

Last week I was bit by the Unicode encoding issue when trying to naively manipulate a user's input using PHP's built-in string functions. PHP simply assumes that all characters are a single byte (octet) and the provided functions use this assumption when processing a string. [...] You should be aware that in 'Western Europe' we commonly only use the basic ASCII character-set (consisting of 7 bytes). This makes the transition to the popular 'UTF-8' Unicode representation almost seamless, as the two map one-to-one. I wish to however, discuss how to reverse a Unicode string (UTF-8) using a combination of endianness magic and the 'strrev' function.

He provides two different approaches to the problem. The first he calls the "naive" approach because it corrupts characters needing more than the two-byte representation. His second solution, the "endianness" method, converts the string to big-endian first (UTF-16) and then back to UTF-8 for more correct handling.

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unicode string utf8 utf16 bigendian endian convert reverse string

Link: http://eddmann.com/posts/reversing-a-unicode-string-in-php-using-utf-16-be-le

PHPMaster.com:
Convert HTML to PDF with Dompdf
August 15, 2013 @ 10:39:16

On PHPMaster.com there's a new tutorial from Shameer C showing you how to use Dompdf to convert HTML to PDFs. The handy library makes it (relatively) simple to automatically generate the documents without the need to know the internal PDF file structure.

PDF is a standard format originally created by Adobe for representing text and images in a fixed-layout document. It's not uncommon for a web application to support downloading data, such as invoices or reports, in PDF format, so in this article we'll go through how we can easily generate PDF documents using PHP.

He starts off with the installation (via Composer) and the creation of a simple "Hello World" document, showing how to "stream" it into a PDF file. He also includes some more advanced usage - loading an external HTML, drawing lines, changing fonts, adding page numbers and additional text to the page.

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html pdf convert tutorial dompdf adobe

Link: http://phpmaster.com/convert-html-to-pdf-with-dompdf

Johannes Schluter's Blog:
mysqlnd plugins and json
September 14, 2011 @ 11:04:48

Johannes Schluter has shared a handy mysqlnd plugin that he's written up that does two common things at once when you're pulling data from your database and pushing it into JSON - a mysqlnd_query_to_json function.

In my spare time I'm currently writing a shiny Web 2.0 application where I'm heavily using AJAX-like things, so what I do quite often in this application is, basically this: Check some pre-conditions (permissions etc.) then select some data from the database, do a fetch_all to get the complete result set as an array and run it through json_encode; Of course that example is simplified as I'm using the Symfony 2 framework for this project. [...] So I wrote a mysqlnd plugin.

His plugin (that he admits is "a hack") gives you the mysqlnd_query_to_json function that automagically transforms the results from the passed in query into JSON output. He notes some things lacking - like Unicode encoding and no MySQL bitfield support.

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mysqlnd json plugin convert result


Matthew Weier O'Phinney's Blog:
Converting DocBook4 to DocBook5
July 20, 2011 @ 09:55:50

In this new post to his blog Matthew Weier O'Phinney looks at the steps he took to convert over the documentation for the Zend Framework 2 from the DocBook 4 formatting over to DocBook 5. Included in the post is some of the (PHP and bash) code he used to make the switch.

Within the Zend Framework 2 repository, I recently performed a conversion from DocBook 4 to 5. [...] Interestingly, for DocBook5 being available in beta since 2005 and an official standard since 2009, there is very little material on migrating from DocBook 4 to 5.

Right from the start he came across a few problems with the included conversion process that're a part of the "db4-update.xsl" definitions. He has a list of eight steps he had to perform on the current DocBook 4 formatted documentation to make the conversion work smoothly including:

  • Identify files containing entity declarations, and skip them.
  • Run the XML file through the db4-upgrade.xsl stylesheet and restore XML entities from the previously placed markers
  • Fix programlisting elements (replaces entities with original text and wraps in CDATA).

He details these steps in a few different sections talking about handling the entities, creating some helper scripts and how to put the two code parts together in a single bash script that can be run on the entire documentation set. If you're just looking for the code, you can find it on his github account.

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convert docbook4 docbook5 xsl entities xml bash


Phil Sturgeon's Blog:
PHP Format abstraction with a simple class
February 14, 2011 @ 12:15:13

Phil Sturgeon has posted about a utility he's released that can help convert data from one state to another such as arrays to JSON and XML to CSV - php-format.

Convert between Array, Object, JSON, XML, CSV and Serialized data and back again easily. I'll add a few more types like YAML when I can be arsed to work out PECL for MAMP.

There's a code snippet in his post showing the conversion of an array to JSON then to XML then back to an array. The code is pretty simple to follow with "to" and "from" methods for each format making it simple to extend for your own uses.

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convert data json xml csv serialize


Volker Dusch's Blog:
Creating your custom PHPUnit output formats
January 20, 2011 @ 08:36:00

Volker Dusch has a new post to his blog today talking about PHPUnit and how you can make custom output formats to get the results exactly how you need them. The trick is in using XSLT for transformation.

While tackling with someones question i decided it's time to play around with xslt for learning purposes and i found something useful to do. He wanted to extend the --testdox-html output and i proposed to just transform phpunits xml output using an xslt since i didn't see a easy way to prove a custom implemenation for PHPUnit/Util/TestDox/ResultPrinter/HTML.php and i didn't want to change the file its self.

He gives an example of how to use the textdox output method to generate an XML document of the unit test run's results and a simple XSLT style sheet to format the results as a custom HTML page. He uses the "xsltproc" command line tool to make the translation happen.

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phpunit textdox xml xslt convert output format


Perplexed Labs:
Convert HTML to PDF in PHP (libwkhtmltox extension)
September 16, 2010 @ 11:14:29

On the Perplexed Labs blog today Matt has this new post looking at a common issue developers face when they're trying to make their site easier for users to get their information off a site and onto their local machines - converting HTML over to PHP (using wkhtmltopdf).

Often this involves using somewhat cryptic output primitives and creating the PDF by hand. Wouldn't it be nice if there were a way to re-use all that beautiful HTML, CSS, and maybe even Javascript that you already wrote? Well, there is. It's called wkhtmltopdf. Normally a command line utility, with the release of 0.10.0_beta5 antialize included a simple C API to be able to build bindings in other popular languages.

How does this relate to PHP? Well, he's created an extension specifically to hook PHP into the tool and make calls like "wkhtmltopdf_convert" with the output type and page to convert as parameters and a PDF filename to push it out to.

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wkhtmltopdf extension convert html pdf


Project:
Aleksey Martynov's lexa-xml-serialization Tool for PHP 5.3
September 07, 2010 @ 12:40:37

Aleksey Martynov has submitted a project that can come in quite handy of you do a lot of work with XML in your application - a XML serialization tool for PHP 5.3 that lets you easily translate objects into valid XML.

lexa-xml-serialization is a lightweight library for serializing PHP objects to XML like it's done in .NET. My xml serializer requires that you mark serializable properties of your classes with doc-comment annotations. The properties are not required to be public. The lettercase of annotations doesn't matter. Whitespaces are not essential. Parameters are optional: type defaults to string, xmlName defaults to the property name. Parameter values must not be enclosed in quotes. Empty brackets may be omitted.

The page on the Google Code site gives some examples of it in use as well as as "first look" tutorial about building a large, more complex XML file. If you want to try it out, head over to the download page to grab the latest.

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xml serialization object convert docblock comment


Ahmed Shreef's Blog:
iconv misunderstands UTF-16 strings with no BOM
August 27, 2010 @ 13:36:56

Ahmed Shreef has a recent post to his blog about an issue he had converting UTF-16 strings over to UTF-8 with the iconv functionality in PHP. Specifically, he ended up with "rubbish unreadable characters" after the conversion.

I had a problem last week with converting UTF-16 encoded strings to UTF-8 using PHP's iconv library on a Linux server. my code worked fine on my machine but the same code resulted in a rubbish unreadable characters on our production server.

In his example (a basic "Hello World" in Arabic) he notes that there's no byte order mark on the string and, because of this, the iconv feature tries to guess if it's big-endian or little-endian. This guessing varies from machine to machine resulting in the inconsistencies he saw. The solution is to define the "to" and "from" for the conversion manually rather than letting it just guess.

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byteordermark bom iconv utf16 utf8 convert


PHPSnippets.info:
Convert currencies using PHP, Google and cURL
July 19, 2010 @ 08:16:30

From the PHPSnippets.info site there's a recent post about using a conversion tool from Google to convert currency values from one type to another.

Just a few people know that Google have a built-in currencies calculator. (Just type 100$ in euros in Google search box if you want to test it) This calculator works very well, so what about using PHP and cURL and get this functionnality in your own web app?

The script makes a cURL request over to the Google API's calculator feature and passes in the amount to convert and the codes for the "to" and "from" (like USA, CAD or EUR). You'll need cURL support in your PHP installation to use the script, but it wouldn't be all that difficult to modify it to use a basic socket connection too.

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convert currency google curl tutorial snippet



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