November Meeting Presentations

Posted by jpm on November 12, 2006

Bryan Alsdorf (Manager of Support Systems with MySQL AB) gave a great presentation on the most important features coming around with the new 5.1 release of MySQL. Lots of very interesting and useful features are included, so download the presentation and send comments.

Kevin Carpenter of UptimeData.com did a session about form validation with JavaScript. There was a great amount of interaction with the members of the group, and we also talked about using AJAX to merge form validation in JavaScript with the required server-side validation done through PHP. Kevin’s demonstration page is available online.

August Meeting: AJAX Workshop and WinBinder Demo 2

Posted by jpm on August 06, 2006

A great set of presentations were done on our August Meeting. Joao Prado Maia did an workshop on the basics of AJAX programming with the Prototype JavaScript library and Bill McCuistion did an awesome demonstration session of WinBinder, a library that allows PHP scripts to create and control win32 windows and applications.

The source code for the example files from the AJAX workshop is available below:

May Meeting Photos

Posted by jpm on May 14, 2006

Here are the photos from the May meeting:




May Meeting Details

Posted by jpm on April 28, 2006

Here are the May meeting details:

  • Rick Mason will host a presentation with an introduction to PHP programming, including the proper handling form variables, and basic syntax constructs. This is a perfect session for those group members that are just beginning with PHP, and would like some help in getting up to speed!
  • Marc Mojica will do a session on Security best practices for PHP programming. That will include going over the basic problems of trusting user input from forms, ways to avoid XSS vulnerabilities. If you have a question on security, bring it in and let’s discuss with the group.
  • We will also have the usual Tips & Tricks session at the end of the meeting, with tips on the latest tools and tricks related to web development, such as interesting PHP libraries, FireFox extensions, MySQL administration tools and more. If you have anything cool that you would like to refer to the group, please let me know at jpm@houstonphp.org

If you are interested in joining us, please feel free to RSVP on our Meetup groups at the following links:

The Meeting location details and driving directions are also available. Hope to see all of you in there!

March Meeting Details 2

Posted by jpm on February 21, 2006

Here are the March meeting details:

  • Bryan Alsdorf from MySQL AB will give a session about best practices for MySQL backups, complete with information about replication, restoring from backups, recovering from harmful transactions and will include practical scripts.
  • Brent Clements of Digicution, Inc. will talk about the MVC pattern of development that Ruby on Rails is based on. He will go over what it is, what it means for PHP development and how it ties into everything.
  • We will also have our usual Tips & Tricks session at the end of the meeting, with good tips about interesting PHP components, MySQL tools, Firefox extensions, AJAX/JavaScript libraries and other web development related topics.

If you are interested in joining us, please feel free to RSVP on our Meetup groups at the following links:

The Meeting location details and driving directions are also available. Please note that we changed locations slightly from last month. Instead of being on Technology Building 2 (room 230), the meeting will happen on Technology Building 1 (room 120K). Hope to see all of you in there!

February Meeting Photos 1

Posted by jpm on February 15, 2006

Took me a while, but here are the photos for the February meeting:







The list of people attending the meeting almost doubled this month, with the attendance growing to 22 members. Great meeting! Thanks to Bryan Alsdorf from MySQL AB for bringing his camera.

February Meeting Details

Posted by jpm on January 22, 2006

Here are the February meeting details:

  • Marc Mojica will give a presentation about quickly creating PHP-based web applications with Macromedia Dreamweaver. This presentation should be highly interesting to new PHP developers that want to get started quickly, and also to experienced developers that want to easen up the design/layout development of a web application.
  • Joao Prado Maia will present about development with CVS, a revision control system used by most of today’s open source projects. I’ll go over the details of creating a CVS repository, importing modules and start tracking changes to your files. If you are interested, feel free to start reading Open Source Development with CVS, a free book available online.
  • We will also have our usual Tips & Tricks session at the end of the meeting, with good tips about interesting PHP components, MySQL tools, Firefox extensions, AJAX/JavaScript libraries and other web development related topics.

If you are interested in joining us, please feel free to RSVP on our Meetup groups at the following links:

The Meeting location details and driving directions are also available. Hope to see all of you in there!

January Tips & Tricks Session 1

Posted by jpm on January 11, 2006

So as I promised (sorry for taking so long), here’s the list of links for the tools and libraries that were mentioned in our January meeting:

MySQL related tools:

  • MySQL Administrator – a graphical user interface (GUI) tool to administer MySQL databases. Mainly geared towards DBAs, but very useful for your local development tasks as well.
  • MySQL Query Browser – a GUI tool to query MySQL databases. Also very useful to write/debug stored procedures and functions on MySQL 5.
  • DBDesigner – a GUI tool to help you design a database visually. Allows you to synchronize changes from your design document back into the MySQL database, and also allows you to reverse engineer a database into a design document.

PHP related tools:

  • PEAR – the analogous of CPAN of Perl for the PHP community, this is a set of high quality PHP components (basically classes) ready to be re-used and integrated into your application. Pretty much everything you might need to build a web application is available here.
  • Zend Studo IDE – one of the best text editors aimed at PHP developers, this is a must for big projects. It really does make development a lot easier. Price starts at $99 for the standard package.
  • Zend Encoder – another pretty interesting tool from Zend allows you to encode your PHP source code, and ship that to your customers. That gives you the peace of mind of not having to worry about customers having access to your proprietary code.
  • PHPEclipse – a free plugin to the popular Eclipse IDE that brings a bunch of advanced features (similar to what you would find in Zend Studio) to PHP developers.
  • Xdebug – a PHP extension that provides a lot of debugging and profiling related information.

JavaScript related libraries:

  • moo.fx – a lightweight (3kb) JavaScript effects library. See the website for more details and a demonstration of what it can do. This is very useful for Web 2.0 applications, as you can hide/display certain parts of your app.
  • Tooltip.js – a JavaScript library aimed at creating tooltips powered by AJAX. Pretty simple stuff, but also very useful for those cases where you need this type of functionality.

Web Development tools (mainly Firefox extensions):

  • Webdrive – a special Windows-only tool that allows you to mount a drive to a FTP/SFTP/SSH server. Commercial application, but very useful.
  • Web Developer extension – provides a ton of useful tools and information to a web developer.
  • Colorzilla extension – allows you to quickly get the color information from a web page.
  • Live HTTP Headers extension – allows you to monitor the HTTP requests that are generated from a web application.

January Meeting Photos 1

Posted by jpm on January 07, 2006

I try to take photos of every meeting (even though I often forget to bring my camera), so here are the photos for this month:


From left to right: John Arnold, Marc Mojica, Jan Catacutan and Bill McCuistion.


From left to right: Bill McCuistion (back to camera), Randy Chapman, Uday Kale, David Smoot and John Arnold.


From left to right: David Smoot, Uday Kale, Randy Chapman, Sergio Chacon (our kind host at UH), Bill McCuistion, John Arnold, Marc Mojica and Jan Catacutan.


From left to right: Jan Catacutan, John Arnold, Marc Mojica, Sergio Chacon, Kevin Carpenter, Randy Chapman, Uday Kale, Bill McCuistion and Rick Mason.

Amazing January Meeting!

Posted by jpm on January 07, 2006

Thursday we had an amazing January meeting of the group, with some great presentations and discussions. Thanks to our two presenters, John Arnold and Kevin Carpenter! I’ll try to get them to post their presentation details here later next week.

For next month, we will have the following presentations:

  • Marc Mojica will talk about how to quickly create a web application with Macromedia Dreamweaver. This should be a great session for the beginners in the group.
  • Joao Prado Maia will present about managing revision control with CVS (or maybe Subversion). I’ll go over the details of creating a CVS repository, importing modules and start tracking changes to your files. If you are interested, feel free to start reading Open Source Development with CVS, a free book available online.

If you have suggestions for other topics, please let me know.