PHP Simple HTML DOM Parser Script

In this post I have explained some elements to scrap data from external websites.
Simple HTML DOM parser is a PHP 5+ class which is useful to manipulate HTML elements. This class can work with both valid HTML and HTML pages that do not pass W3C validation. You can find elements by ids, classes, tags and many more. You can also add, delete or alter DOM elements. The only one thing you should care about is memory leaks – but you can avoid memory leaks as explained later.
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Unpacking binary data in PHP

Working with binary files in PHP is rarely a requirement. However when needed the PHP ‘pack’ and ‘unpack’ functions can help you tremendously. To set the stage we will start with a programming problem, this will keep the discussion anchored to a relevant context. The problem is this : We want to write a function that takes a image file as an argument and tells us whether the file is a GIF image; irrelevant with whatever the extension the file may have. We are not to use any GD library functions.
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Cron Expression Parser in PHP

Working with cron scheduling can many times be a frustrating affair. Although setting a few cron jobs at one time can be easy, calculating cron dates in the future in code can get time consuming quickly. The PHP cron expression parser described here can parse a CRON expression, determine if it is due to run, calculate the next run date of the expression or calculate the previous run date of the expression. You can calculate dates far into the future or past by skipping n number of matching dates.
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PHP 5.5 on Oracle VirtualBox

PHP 5.5 has added a nice support for Generators, which I’ll cover in some other post. I needed to test these new features and add some to old applications. However PHP has dropped support for Windows XP and Windows 2003 starting with PHP 5.5. and I still have a Windows XP machine (along with Ubuntu 14.0 LTS). Although I could install PHP 5.5 in Ubuntu, most of the time I’m using Windows. I decided to go with VirtualBox for installing PHP 5.5, as I have some legacy PHP applications that I want to upgrade to the new version, and VirtualBox makes it easier to switch between operating systems.
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Adding WordPress like shortcodes to your web applications

One of the cool features of WordPress is its shortcode feature. There may be times one wished to add this capability to your PHP web applications. Recently I found one such library which allows you to add shortcode features to your web apps. The library discussed here implements WordPress style shortcode syntax as a standalone package. Its a small package and so can be easily integrated into you existing applications. Content from editors, databases, etc. can be scanned by the Shortcode Manager and the contents replaced by a custom callback.
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