Connecting from PHP to an Oracle database

This article assumes that your “tnsnames.ora” file has already been configured. For the propose of this article, we will assume that the TNS entry we are attempting to connect to is called “oradb”.

// Database connection
$conn = oci_connect("scott", "tiger", "oradb");
if (!$conn) {
   $m = oci_error();
   trigger_error(htmlentities($m["message"], ENT_QUOTES), E_USER_ERROR);

// Perform a sample query
$sql = oci_parse($conn, "select user from dual");
while (($row = oci_fetch_array($sql))){

// Close the connection

Update Twitter status programmatically with PHP and cURL

function twitterUpdate($u, $p, $upd) {
	// $u is your username (string)
	// $p is your password (string)
	// $upd is your status update (string)

	$url = '';

	$curl_handle = curl_init();
	curl_setopt($curl_handle, CURLOPT_URL, $url);
	curl_setopt($curl_handle, CURLOPT_CONNECTTIMEOUT, 2);
	curl_setopt($curl_handle, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, 1);
	curl_setopt($curl_handle, CURLOPT_POST, 1);
	curl_setopt($curl_handle, CURLOPT_POSTFIELDS, "status=".$upd);
	curl_setopt($curl_handle, CURLOPT_USERPWD, $u.":".$p);
	$buffer = curl_exec($curl_handle);

	if (empty($buffer)) {
		return 'fail';
	else {
		return 'success';

Example usage is below.

$upd='Hello world!';

$twitterUpdateResult = twitterUpdate($u, $p, $upd);

echo $twitterUpdateResult;

Get image width and height with PHP

I was working on my World War II photo gallery recently. The gallery’s HTML code, particularly the main content section, looks something like the following.

<div id="content">
	<div class="main_column">
		<img src="images/helloWorld.jpg">
		The photograph and other "main content" goes here.
		The width of this column is 600px.

	<div class="extra_column">
		This is the vertical side bar.
		If the width of the photo in the main section is more
		than 600px, it will overlap this div.

Because my vertical navigation bar is on the right side of the page, if a photograph is larger than a particular width, it overlaps the vertical bar. I decided to remove the vertical bar if the photo is too large; let us assume that if the image width is larger than 580 pixels, it is too large. To apply the logic, I used the getimagesize() function. A quick example on this function is below.

list($imageWidth, $imageHeight, $imageType, $imageAttr) = getimagesize($imgName);
echo("The width of the image is ".$imageWidth." pixels.");
// Sample output: "The width of the image is 600 pixels."

I used the following PHP code to make my page work the way I want to based on width of the image.

<div id="content">
	$imgName = "helloWorld.jpg";

	list($imageWidth, $imageHeight, $imageType, $imageAttr) = getimagesize($imgName);

	if ($imageWidth <= 580) { ?>
		<div class="main_column">
	<?php } ?>

	<img src="images/helloWorld.jpg">
	The photograph and other "main content" goes here.

	<? if ($imageWidth <= 580) { ?>
		<div class="extra_column">
		This is the vertical side bar.
		Only show this if image width
		is 580 pixels or smaller.
	<?php } ?>

Beyond width, the getimagesize() function in PHP also outputs other properties; the output is an array containing four elements. As you may have noticed, in my above example, I captured the following properties.

  • 0 $imageWidth : Width of the image in pixels; integer.
  • 1 $imageHeight : Height of the image in pixels; integer.
  • 2 $imageType : Type of the image; integer. Possible values are as follows:
    Value Description
    TIFF (Intel)
    TIFF (Motorola)
    10  JP2
    11  JPX
    12  JB2
    13  SWC
    14  IFF
    15  WBMP
    16  XBM
  • 3 $imageAttr : HTML-formatted attributes; string. Example: ‘height=”600″ width=”400″‘

Performing 301 Redirect with Apache, IIS, PHP, and others


If you use Apache with the mod-rewrite module installed, 301 Redirect may be set up by editing your .htaccess file found at the root directory of your website. The following is a sample of what you might add to your .htaccess file; in this example, we are redirecting any visits to /blah/pictures.html to its new location,

Redirect 301 /blah/pictures.html

Sometimes you may encounter a situation where you changed technology of your platform, for example, from static HTML pages to dynamic PHP pages. With the sample code below, you can redirect all HTML pages to PHP pages by the same name.

RedirectMatch 301 (.*).html$$1.php

Looking to use .htaccess to redirect an entire site because you have moved from one domain to another? This is what you want to do:

Redirect 301 /


If your site’s pages are made of PHP files, redirection is fairly easy. If you had moved the /old/pictures.php page to the new location of, modify the /old/pictures.php page by adding the following PHP snipped on the top of the code, ie. before any HTML code is written to screen.

header("HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently");


If you using Microsoft’s Internet Information Services (IIS), perform the following steps to do a 301 Redirect.

  • Right click on “My Computer”, go to “Manage”, “Services and Applications”, and then “Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager”.
  • Under “Web Sites”, look for the particular folder or file you wish to redirect. Right click and select “Properties”.
  • Click the “A redirection to a URL” radio button. In the bottom section that had just appeared, and enter the new URL in the “Redirect to:” text box, and make sure to check “A permanent redirection for this resource” checkbox.
  • Click OK to complete the process.


Classic Active Server Pages (ASP) web pages can be redirected in a method very similar to PHP above.

Response.Status="301 Moved Permanently"
Response.AddHeader "Location",""

ASP.NET redirect code is very similar to its ASP predecessor’s.

private void Page_Load(object sender, System.EventArgs e) {
  Response.Status="301 Moved Permanently";


Redirection for Java Server Pages (JSP), again, is similar to the other scripting languages we have seen above.

response.setHeader("Connection", "close");


If you are using Perl-based CGI code, this is the code you may wish to deploy to perform a 301 Redirect.

$q=new CGI;
print $q->redirect("");

Cold Fusion

ColdFusion pages can be redirect also by working with the header.

<.cfheader statuscode="301" statustext="Moved permanently">
<.cfheader name="Location" value="">

Ruby on Rails

Not surprisingly, Ruby on Rails pages are redirected in a very similar manner.

def old_action
headers["Status"]="301 Moved Permanently"
redirect_to ""

How to output a string in PHP

In PHP, to output a line, we can use either the echo() or print() functions. All six examples below have the same output of “hello world”:

echo('hello world');
print('hello world');
print 'hello world';

echo("hello world");
print("hello world");
print "hello world";

Note the print() function can work without parenthesis. That is because print() is not really a function; print() is actually a language construct. Functions print() and echo() pretty much do the same thing, so generally you can use whichever one you prefer, though echo() actually gets processed faster, so if you are working with a larger application, this may be something to keep in mind.

To output a string variable, we can do something like this:

$name = "world";

echo('hello '.$name);
print('hello '.$name);
print 'hello '.$name;

echo("hello ".$name);
print("hello ".$name);
print "hello ".$name;

echo("hello $name");
print("hello $name");
print "hello $name";

Once again, all examples above output “hello world”, and the character used to concatenate the “hello” and the variable that contains “world” is the period character; the period is equivalent to the ampersand sign in VB/ASP and the plus sign in Java/JSP. Now, see the third set above where we used double quotes to enclose the string and the variable together. This is a special functionality you can use only with double quotes. It is a way to make your coding process slightly simpler, and the resulting code slightly easier to read, but keep in mind that this method makes the code run just a tad bit slower because when the PHP engine sees the double quote, it needs to be prepared to find and process variables — even if none are found.

In conclusion, echo() and print() are nearly identical, and the usage of double and single quotes are nearly identical, and you may choose whichever one that suits your style better. In terms of optimizing processing speed, however trivial, using echo() with single quote is preferred.