Month: November 2005

Buy my Mac…please?

And, in another post from the “let’s abuse the blog” category today, anyone who’s interested in purchasing a like-new dual 1Ghz PowerMac should check out my auction here.

It’s one of the Dual 1.5Ghz G4 PowerMacs that came out a while back and I’m selling it as a combo with my 20″ Cinema display as well. I’ve used it from everything to a little bit of video editing, to web development, to just general use. It’s been a great machine, but I don’t use it as much as I used to, and it seems a shame to have such a machine just being used as a glorified web terminal these days.

So, feel free to bid away – I’m trying to bring in some cash before the honeymoon and other various wedding-related items come around…


All I want…

…is an API for the Internet Movie Database.
Is that too much to ask?

In this age of “information freedom” that seems to be going around, it surprises me that there are still holdouts with massive datastores of information that haven’t taken the leap. Of course, a little googling around came up with a few hints that it might be in the works for IMDB, but nothing substantial. I can see how sites, especially ones that were created for the sole reason of being a datastore, would be fearful of opening up that information to every Tom, Dick, and Mary out there – where’s the value in coming to a site (driven some by ads, etc) when someone could go out and just pull the content they need elsewhere? There’s argumaents on both sides of things, but thankfully, it seems like the “open everything” crowd is working harder at their jobs. More and more sites are exposing their backends to the world, showing off their data in all of their glory, and the people love them for it. Think about the move that eBay recently made to remove the fees on their API – imagine how much more that will fuel their adoption…

But, oh well – back to the IMDB site I go. I guess if I want any content from them, I’ll have to do it the old-fashioned way (just like everyone else) – now where did I put that screen-scraper…

The Hostile Takeover of the PHPDN Forums

Over on the PHPDN Forums, it seems there’s something of a mutany going on (from this blog post):

In the last 48 hours, has been taken over by a tyrant, very quietly.

A moderator and site admin, McGruff, made insulting and arrogant comments in an OOP v. Procedural thread. He was quickly called on it by me, and the rest of the moderation team there.

After a public debate, where he was chastised for breaking the rules of the forum, and asked to step down, he appointed himself dictator.

He banned the majority of the moderation team (anyone that disagreed with him), banned me, and changed the hosting panel password.

In essence, McGruff has declared that he *is* phpdevnet.

I, myself, am a Moderator over on these boards, and it’s a shame to see someone abuse their power so blatently. Oh course, before the group that’s been shoved asside does anything rash, they’re looking to Jason (of the former NewbieNetwork site and the “owner” of the forums) for an official response and call to action.

In preparation, though, a backup of the forums has already been created and a new domain posted. This is a second choice to keeping the same domain and site (it’s always such a pain to lose/change a domain, especially one that’s been around that long), so keep your fingers crossed on this one. These are also the forums that points to – a shared point for all of the PHPDN sites to use as a forum.

To talk with some of the people heading up the effort, come on over to #phpdn on the network, and stay tuned for more updates as things progress…

Other Blogs With Info:

Considering Contract Coding

Well, time to abuse the power of the blog for personal (hopeful) gain…

With the upcoming wedding and such, there’s a definite need for as much funding as possible, and I’m putting out a search for some contract coding/graphics work to anyone within the sound of this blog.

I’ve been doing the PHP thing for about five years now as well as working with all sorts of other fun technologies (databases, graphics manipulation, LDAP connections, XML/XSL, SOAP, interfacing with APIs, etc). There’s been a few that have approached me, but only one that’s really panned out, so I’m checking out everything I can.

So, if you’re looking for a coder to work up a project and want to drop me a line, send me an email – it’s the easiest way to find me.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled surfing…

Auto-Downloading a “My Vidcasts” Kind of Thing

With yet another random brief thought in the area of web development tonight, I present tonight’s idea:

As all of the IPTv stuff (like commandN, the Broken, System, etc) become more and more popular, does there need to be a system to download stuff like this automatically. I’ve seen that some of them provide a bitorrent feed to ease some of the bandwidth issues that might come up with video downloads, and I’ve seen this (TapeItOffTheInternet), but I wonder if it will support these new kinds of stations.

Of course, the larger audience will be for the regular TV shows and the like, but I wonder if (especially since most of the shows are more technology-driven) there should be a site that would read in RSSes of the vidcast feeds out there and allow users to pick the shows they want to download. Then they would only have to subscribe to the one feed and grab all of the latest episodes at one time.

Something like this written in PHP could be ridiculously easy to implement, and the links in the RSS file enclosures for each item wouldn’t even need to link to local copies…

“IPTv Netowkr” here we come?

A Few Web Dev Ideas on a Thursday Night

Current Ideas:

  • forum software that takes advantage of Ajax technology to have a popup of items you’ve marked to watch (or maybe even just items you’ve replied on/created – or both!) to show when they’ve been updated
  • a directory for podcasters to list themselves as tegged items by what kinds of interviews and topics they’d like to speak on
  • a method for combining the google/yahoo maps api with a soundseeing tour of various places (mashup, anyone?)
  • a firefox extension that, given a block of text selected from a website, pulls not only the text, but the HTML that goes along with it too

If anyone knows of anything that fits these or wants to steal…er borrow the ideas, feel free. Or if they seem at all interesting – let me know…

Parsing an RSS with DOM and PHP

I have a little script that I thought I’d share for anyone out there looking for a simple way to parse an RSS feed (well, any XML doc, but I use it for RSS).

First off, we define the function to do the parsing:
function dom_to_simple_array($domnode, &$array) {
$array_ptr = &$array;
$domnode = $domnode->firstChild;
$array_ptr[‘cdata’] = $domnode->nodeValue;
$array_ptr = &$array[$domnode->nodeName][];
foreach ($domnode->attributes as $d_attribute){
$array_ptr[$d_attribute->name] = $d_attribute->value;
$this->dom_to_simple_array($domnode, $array_ptr);
//echo $domnode->nodeName.” -> “.$domnode->nodeType.”
$array_ptr = &$array[$domnode->nodeName][];
foreach ($domnode->attributes as $d_attribute){
$array_ptr[$d_attribute->name] = $d_attribute->value;
$domnode = $domnode->nextSibling;
This function (I use it in a class) takes in a DOM XML file object (we’ll get to that later) and an array that’s actually a reference to the one we call it with. See this page in the manual for more information on references.

Using the DOM functionality, it goes through each node in the XML and creates the needed items in the $array passed in. When it finds a child node, it calls itself and the process starts all over again – until the script hits the end of the document.

Now, we get to the other half of the equation – calling this function.

To call the dom_to_simple_array function, we first need to pull in the XML data we need to parse, then feed it in correctly to get a nice, happy array back out. Here’s the code:
function getData(){
echo “

"; print_r($xml); echo "

The script uses the value in $url to grab the remote XML file (in this case, an RSS) and pulls it into the variable $contents. From there, there’s a bit of DOM magic in the loadXML function to create the DOM object from it. From there, it’s just a simple matter of feeding it to our function before.

The end result? You have a nice array structure with the contents of the XML file making it easier to just use the normal array functionality (gotta love it) on the results…

For the complete setup, you can grab the source here.

Dickshonary Proofing (Podictionary)

And, from the random things I’ve done on the internet department, there’s a project over on one of my favorite podcasts (yeah, I know – what can I say – I like anthropological things), the Podictionary Podcast to proofread an older dictionary off of a scanned copy – the Blegburn Dickshonary,

Well, yours truely finished off the letter “C” yesterday – check out the credit at the bottom of this page.

It’s not hard work, really – and he’s still looking for volunteers to double-check the work. So, if you’re interested, drop him a line at and let him know you’d like to work on proofing a letter…