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About time I upgraded...

As development zoomed forwards on jBlog, the name changed to Serendipity and now it is 0.3 releases down the road.

So, it's about time I upgraded, and at last, I have.

I've been waiting for a stable release for a little while, because I knew I didn't get that much time to spend on the blog, and I didn't want to have to play catch-up from a development release with no real point of reference.

This latest release feels much more solid than my old jBlog, doesn't look too dissimilar from my original style sheets, and is actually quite nice to use.

Good job Serendipity Team!

Partnership with

This little gem was posted to the PHP security@ alias, which is intended to provide a means for confidential disclosure of critical security problems in PHP to us, the PHP developers.

To: Subject: Partnership with


I visited your web site and I like it very much.

I would like to have a link posted from your site to one of my projects,an insurance web site.

I'm interested in buying advertising space on the index page of your web site,in the form of a simple text link, with a short description.

The link would lead to one of my projects, an insurance site.

I'm interested in a long term advertising relationship.

I'm looking forward to your response detailing the monthly cost of a text link.

Best regards,

[Name removed]

Now, I find this pretty funny - who in their right mind would want to advertise insurance alongside the PHP bugs? :-) [Unless they are selling PHP Bug Insurance].

Furthermore, if I was looking for advertising space, I'd hope that the advertising agency had enough brains to actually find the correctcontact address to arrange the deal...

Adobe Acrobat Reader 6

I happened to reinstall my "desktop" machine with Windows Server 2003 the other day so that I could do some performance tests under IIS 6. I'm also in the process of getting a 2Mbps ADSL line installed, and my ISP emailed a couple of PDF's containing the IP address assignments. I needed to be able to open these things, and I couldn't find the Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.1 installer I downloaded last time around. Adobe are offering 6 right now so I downloaded and installed it.

It looks nice, with some photoshop'd graphic on the splash screen and more winxp-style graphics. It also has an extremely annoying little advertisement on the toolbar that sits there rotating between slides that talk about how good Acrobat is. I wasn't too pleased with this, and after some digging around discovered that there was no way to turn the bloody thing off.

Well, I thought that I could probably put up with it. So, having finished working with the PDF's, I closed the reader and deleted the shortcut icon from the desktop (I don't like crap there, especially now that windows nags you about unused desktop icons). Then I noticed this "PrintMe" internet printing thingy on my start menu. I deleted it, because I don't like crap there either, and certainly don't need to print over the internet.

A few days go by and I need to take another look at those PDF's. When done, I closed the reader, and guess what? The icon is back on the desktop. Hmmmm. Not only that, but that damned PrintMe thing is back again too. Now I'm actually motivated enough to dig around in the reader install dir - I find the PrintMe plugin and move it to a handy empty folder provided by adobe for the purpose of storing plugins you don't want. Nice. Well, guess what? Regardless of whether the plugin is loaded or not, it puts that stupid PrintMe thing back on the start menu. I can't find a way to kill that bloody desktop icon either.

Well, I've decided to live without this version of the reader - it's too damned annoying to use, so I've uninstalled it. I found the 5.1 installer just now, so I think I'll stick with that :-/ Well done Adbobe </sarcastic_clap>

Did you like our Spam?

For a while now, I've been receiving some spam "news" about investment opportunities. A while back I consigned it to my junk mail folder and forgot about it.

I just now received a telephone call from a company in luxembourg asking me if I had received their "investor email newsletter". I told them I had, and that I had been filing it as spam for a long time now.

Unperturbed (perhaps he is deaf?), this guy proceeds to ask me if this is something I am interested in.

Maybe I've just lost the energy to get angry with these people, so I politely said "no, I'm not interested I'm afraid". Luckily for me he said thank you and hung up.

Maybe I should start bouncing spam with "550 No spam, and no telephone calls either" :-)

PHP Cruise

PHP Cruise Yet another conference on the horizon, scheduled for March 2004, the first ever PHP Cruise is a conference taking place on a cruise ship in the Bahamas!

I will be making 3 presentations - Writing Socket Applications in PHP (focusing on new features in PHP 5), E-mail Manipulation and Transmission in PHP - how to do it the "Right Way"™, and finally a more technical talk Extending PHP, which will focus on cooking up a php extension for your favourite library.

International PHP Conference

I will be putting in another conference appearance this year at the International PHP 2003 Conference, making another presentation together with Marcus Boerger about SQLite - "The Revolutionary SQLite" - similar to our LinuxTag talk, although with a more practical focus, and featuring Marcus' PHP 5 OO model.

In addition, I will have a session of my own "PHP-Irssi - A case-study for embedding PHP" discussing the use of the Embed SAPI (the child of Edin Kadribasic) to provide PHP scripting within your own applications.

PHP{Con West

I will be speaking at PHP{Con West this year about how to write a PHP extension. It will be a 3 hour tutorial, so I will be able to go through the whole process and even talk about some of the "black magic" that goes into some of the more advanced features of the PHP/Zend extension API.

I'll also be hanging around at the Code Sprint, not necessarily coding, but available to answer any questions you might have about PHP (preferably internals questions!).

LiveDocs - update

It was decided at the PHP Documentation Meeting at LinuxTag to go with livedocs as the solution for almost all of the PHP documentation problems.

This is great news for all involved - thanks to Derick Rethans and Ilia Alshanetsky for their contributions!

LiveDocs - making DocBook less painful

Having been frustrated by the length of time that it takes to build the substantial PHP manual from its XML sources (45 minutes or so), I hacked together a nice simple but effective tool (using PHP, of course!) to index the DocBook sources (takes less than 2 minutes), and transform the XML into HTML on-the-fly.

You only need to re-index the content if you add a new node or a new XML file. Any changes you make to your docs are then "instantly" visible in your browser.

It's almost the same as having a WYSIWYG editor, but without the agony of fighting with their "intelligent" code mangling.

I'm planning to package this up as a more generic tool (so that I can apply it to my own internal documentation) and make it available for download from

You can see a sample of the output at