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Archive for the ‘PHP’ Category

Steve Marx has created a PHP library for the Microsoft Ajax 1.0 release that uses the JavaScript piece in PHP land.

The Microsoft AJAX Library is a pure-JavaScript library that’s used by ASP.NET AJAX but is also available as a separate download. Because it’s pure JavaScript, it’s not tied to ASP.NET on the backend. PHP for MS AJAX is code to help you make use of the Microsoft AJAX Library from PHP applications. With this first Alpha release, it simply supports exposing PHP classes as AJAX-enabled web services, just as in ASP.NET applications. In fact, the generated proxies are identical to what you get from ASP.NET, meaning you can have full interoperability.

Hello World

The service on the backend so to speak:

  1. <?php
  2. require_once ‘../../dist/MSAjaxService.php’;
  3. class HelloService extends MSAjaxService
  4. {
  5. function SayHello($name)
  6. {
  7. return “Hello, “ . $name . “!”;
  8. }
  9. }
  10. $h = new HelloService();
  11. $h->ProcessRequest();

And the front end that will talk to it:

  1. <title>Hello, World!</title>
  2. <script type=“text/javascript” src=“../../MicrosoftAjaxLibrary/MicrosoftAjax.js”></script>
  3. <script type=“text/javascript” src=“HelloService.php/js”></script>
  4. </head>
  5. Name: <input id=“name” type=“text” />
  6. <input type=“button” value=“Say Hello” onclick=“button_click(); return false;” />
  7. <br />
  8. Response from server: <span id=“response”></span>
  9. </body>
  10. <script type=“text/javascript”>
  11. function button_click() {
  12. HelloService.SayHello($get(‘name’).value, function (result) {
  13. $get(‘response’).innerHTML = result;
  14. });
  15. }
  16. </script>
  17. </html>

So, another “PHP sucks” post, this time from Jeff Atwood. He actually ends up even kind of praising PHP, surprised by its success. I have a couple of thoughts on that topic too.

First, people really need to stop reading something on PHP written somewhere in 2005 (probably about experiences that happened in 2001) and apply it to PHP as it is now, without even checking around for current trends. It’s as if people would dig up books from middle ages saying that there are only seven metals in existence or debating about phlogiston, and would use it speaking about the modern chemistry. Come on! Read the rest of this entry »

One of my customers has an insane amount of PDF and Microsoft Word DOC files on their website. It’s core to their online services so it’s not as though they’re garbage files up on the server. My customer wanted their website’s search engine (Sphider) to read these PDF files and DOC files so that their clients could get at the documents they needed without going through a bunch of summary pages to get them. I was successful in the task, so let me show you how to read PDF and DOC files using PHP.

Reading PDF Files

To read PDF files, you will need to install the XPDF package, which includes “pdftotext.” Once you have XPDF/pdftotext installed, you run the following PHP statement to get the PDF text:

$content = shell_exec(/usr/local/bin/pdftotext.$filename.‘ -‘); //dash at the end to output it

    Reading DOC Files

    Like the PDF example above, you’ll need to download another package. This package is called Antiword. Here’s the code to grab the Word DOC content:

    $result = shell_exec(/usr/local/bin/antiword .$filename);

      The above code does NOT read DOCX files and does not (and purposely so) preserve formatting. There are other libraries that will preserve formatting but in our case, we just want to get at the text.

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