PHP Developers, Keep me Sane

There has been one thing that has driven me crazy since the begining days of my php programming. I understand that using @ to suppress errors can be useful. But what I don’t understand is why php would ever want to suppress a fatal error. Normally if @function() causes a fatal error, the error will still be displayed. However, if you do @include(’file’) and there is a fatal error in that file, you get a blank page.

So if you develop in php, please try to never suppress errors from an included file. There are other ways of catching warnings and displaying your own messages, but I need those fatal errors to help me to continue developing with your software.

Just Heard About an Open-Source Database Conference

Baron Schwartz, the lead author of High Performance MySQL 2nd Edition, has just announced OpenSQL Camp 2008 over at his blog.

Despite the name, this will be different from other Camp conferences you’ve been to. This is a combination of a planned event (with great speakers and sessions), semi-planned spontaneity (sessions to be decided by attendees the night before), and a hackfest. It’s the best elements cherry-picked from all the conferences (and un-conferences) you’ve been to.

The event is in Charlottesville, Virginia on Nov 14 to 16 which is Friday to Sunday. Travel and other important information is over at the event’s site.

I don’t know if I’ll be able to make this one since I already have a few trips planned, but it sounds awesome.

Updated Theme and Comments

I ran across this skin while looking for new ones for a different blog. It happened to look similar to what I was hoping to create someday so I thought I would use it for a while. I’ve already modified a few small things to get it to look a little more to my liking, but it was overall very nice.

A while ago I posted about using Haloscan for a commenting system. There were many reasons I didn’t want to use it on here so I tested it out on a project site . A few weeks later, I heard about Disqus and it seemed to do everything I could ask for. I’ve implemented their system on Code Spatter to see how I like it. The best thing is I can stop using it and go back to wordpress comments with no hassle since they are stored in my database as well as on the disqus server.

A New, Simple Way to Salt your Hashes

Maybe I’m not the first to think of this, but it just came to me. Instead of using a single string to season a whole site or saving each new salt with the salted hash, try using this method for simplicity. Take the string and concatenate itself after it. This way, both the value being encrypted and the salt are never known and it’s still simple to validate input. Might be helpful if you actually fear someone building new dictionaries for each salt… or quantum computers.

And Why I Love Comments

Smart people keep you from doing something you didn’t think through. So, don’t use this.

Careful with Numeric Data Types in MySQL

TINYINT can be set to length of 4, but that doesn’t mean the max value is 9999. A tiny int will always have the same range no matter what size you specify since that isn’t what it is for with integers. It is the display width for the command line output.

This is what I was able to find in the MySQL manual:

The display width does not constrain the range of values that can be stored in the column, nor the number of digits that are displayed for values having a width exceeding that specified for the column.

Reading the manual for things like this isn’t something people normally do. I had no idea about this until recently and I’ve been using MySQL for a long time.

Reference Chart for Max Signed Integers

INT 2147483647
BIGINT 9223372036854775807

However, CHAR and VARCHAR work as expected with these limits.