MSSQL Compat

MSSQL Compat is a small and simple drop-in library that allows your pre-7 PHP project, that uses MSSQL via mssql_* functions ( eg mssql_connect() et al ), to work transparently with PDO DBLib by providing the missing functions as wrappers around the equivalent PDO syntax - and all that with a single line!

CentOS7, ISPConfig3, and multiple PHP versions

Currently PHP developers face a great problem with PHP version - most OS repos already have outdated versions (CentOS has 5.4 which has passed its end of life!), but just swapping out versions is just not an option - especially with the version requirements of different frameworks / libraries. Furthermore, usually to have more than one version meant recompiling, and keeping up with updates - and no one wants that. Here's how to setup a server (virtual of physical), with ISPConfig3 hosting panel, multiple PHP versions, latest Apache and Mariadb in less than a half hour, with zero compiling. You can then manage your virtual hosts and their PHP version from a nice UI.

XDebug your IDE

With most languages, when you develop you get the (wonderfully helpful) option of setting breakpoints, stepping through your code, adding watches and inspecting the overall state at any specific point in time. PHP differs in that, being a scripted language hosted in another process (eg Apache) it normally doesn't offer that. Here's how to enable your IDE to do get all the nifty features.

Protecting your cache folders

I spent the past few days in the VERY unpleasant situation where I had to remove tons of spam-sending scripts from a couple of websites I host. These were in relation to unsecured, unmaintained Joomla! installations, and exploited the cache folder. I won't bother you with the why or how, just know that the vulnerability existed, and has been fixed for versions 2.x and up -- NOT 1.x. Here's the simple way to secure yourself without changing the Joomla site code.