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Sameer Borate:
Period Time range API for php
November 05, 2014 @ 10:55:28

In his latest post Sameer Borate looks at a library he's recently found that's helpful for working with dates and times, even easier than the DateTime handling built into PHP. The Periodlibrary, part of The League of Extraordinary Packages, aims to "resolve many recurrent issues around time range selection and usage."

Date/time programming is one of the tricky aspects of software development. Although inherently not complex in itself, coding date/time algorithms can be a subtle source of bugs. Especially in web development a feature such as payment subscription processing that ranges from days to weeks to months can get complex quickly. Also such kind of scenarios require additional features like auto renewal, scheduled email alerts to subscribers etc. Such kind of features require good date/time handling algorithms and libraries that handle such chores are always welcome. One such library I encountered recently is Period.

He walks you through the basics first - getting the library installed and creating a new instance of the class to work with. He goes through each of the methods available including the constructor, getting the duration between times and getting the start/end values back as DateTime objects. He also looks at the methods that allow you to create the ranges from various time frames (quarters, weeks, etc), compare ranges and modify time ranges that already exist.

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time range library period leagueofextraordinarypackages datetime

Link: http://www.codediesel.com/algorithms/period-time-range-api-for-php/

Sara Golemon's Blog:
How long is a piece of string?
June 19, 2006 @ 05:56:03

Sara Golemon, inspired by an IRC discussion has gathered together some of her thoughts on "using PHP's string interpolation without using an optimizer".

She explains how a simple string (an echo statement) is interpreted into a simple compilation structure. Her next step, though (placing a variable inside a string) yields something that seems more complex than it should be. A concatination example simplifies things down a bit, but, oddly enough, it gets even better when a comma is used instead of a period to concatinate. She also gives an example of a heredoc statement that doesn't conform to the interpolation standards you'd think.

Why does this happen? Because there are about a dozen ways that a variable can be hidden inside an interpolated string. Similarly, when looking for a heredoc end-token, the token can be an arbitrary length, containing any of the label characters, and may or may not sit on a line by itself. Put simply, it's too difficult to encompass in one regular expression.

She specifically mentions the APC caching system and its built-in optimizer to help with some of these issues. It pulls the interpolations back down to a size they should be and anticipating operations by pre-resolving things like constants and scalar expressions.

Of course, not everyone can install this pacakge, so she suggests an alternative:

You can still avoid 90% of the INIT_STRING/ADD_STRING dilema by simply using single quotes and concatenation (or commas when dealing with echo statements). It's a simple trick and one which shouldn't harm maintainability too much, but on a large, complicated script, you just might see an extra request or two per second.
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internals string concatination opcodes period comma heredoc apc internals string concatination opcodes period comma heredoc apc



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