VJ’s Warez

My blog grew substantially during 2008. I gained thousands more RSS subscribers, my MooTools skills took a giant leap, and I even branched out in jQuery a little bit. That said, I feel like the blog just beginning. I’ve outlined some goals for 2009 — any feedback or requests would be appreciated.

1. New Redesign

I’m not happy with the current “design”. It’s too plain and even though I’m not a designer, I think I could do a lot better. I have a new redesign that’s about 25% done that I really love so far and hope to get out by February 1st. I will be giving peeks via Twitter very soon.

2. Walk the Walk

I write a lot of useful MooTools scripts. The problem is that I don’t actually use many of them on my site. My goal is to avoid overdoing my the MooTools “flash bang” effects but tastefully add enhancements here and there. I think people will like the new effects a lot. Read the rest of this entry »


A new year usually brings hope of better things. It also bring expectations and wonder. Here are my (unfounded) web predictions for 2009.

1. A Javascript Framework Will Fall

I believe that a javascript framework will fall in 2009. I really wouldn’t be shocked to see one go. I don’t want to share which I think will fall, but the popularity of jQuery, coupled with the lack of progress being made on a few of them, makes me feel as though at least one will die off.

2. Firefox’s Usage Will Grow Tremendously…

I believe more businesses will steer their employees toward using Mozilla Firefox and thus increase Firefox’s usage. Internet Explorer’s sluggish performance coupled with Firefox’s feature set will make IE a secondary browser for many businesses.

3. …But IE Will Continue Its Reign

Too many users simply take what they’re given and this will not change. Internet Explorer 6 and 7, and on a lower usage level 8, will continue to dominate the browser market share.

4. MooTools’ Popularity Will Grow

MooTools will release a plugin forge which will quickly become a treasure chest that will attract many web developers.

5. Developers Find Out: Knowing One Framework Isn’t Good Enough

While being an expert with on javascript framework is great, developers will realize that knowing one framework isn’t good enough. Porting plugins from a different framework to the developer’s preferred framework will become tiresome and the process of reinventing the wheel will be the motivation pick up another framework.

Have any predictions of your own? Am I crazy? Share!

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.


      VJ’s Warez