Monthly Archive: August 2010
August 24, 2010

I have introduced FirePHP Companion and you say it looks like a cool tool, but what can you actually do with it that is going to help you? This is the first post that looks at practical applications.

To start with I thought I would rework the example I included in my php|architect article. You will see how much easier it now is to accomplish the same, and with much less code, using FirePHP Companion instead of the existing FirePHP extension.

The Task

Let’s say you want to display an RSS feed on your site. You know that you should cache the feed on your server and only fetch updates from the origin server on a periodic basis. You know this because things get real slow if you don’t do that and you may get blocked from accessing the feed altogether if you call it with every request.

Knowing you need to build some caching logic it would be nice to have a tool that can help you see what is going on when you make a request to your script. You may want to know where your cache file is on disk, how stale it is, if the feed was re-fetched and the cache was updated and so on. This is exactly where FirePHP Companion comes in.

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August 20, 2010

When I originally wrote FirePHP in 2007 I had big ambitions as to the features I was going to incorporate. I learned quickly that the kinds of things I wanted to do were not going to be easy to implement in a maintainable way using existing code I had and open source code I could find. What I needed was a wholistic approach to the problem area of server-side application intelligence and a set of libraries based on standards that could be applied cross language.

After countless hours of research and development I am pleased to announce the first fruit of my labor.

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August 17, 2010

It has been a while since my last post. I did not intend to have such a long hiatus from blogging but with limited time, what can you do. I have started to post on twitter and will be using twitter for small bits of cool or informational stuff I come across or produce.

My last post Integrating FirePHP for Ajax Development kind of paints a picture for what I have been up to:

I have never been a real fan of interactive debuggers, primarily because they don’t support my write a little code, run it, write some more, re-run it  development approach, which seems to be quite common when building Web applications with scripting languages. As FirePHP is coming into its own and I can observe how others use it, I see tremendous opportunity in evolving this type of development approach further. I’m not talking here about just the debugging aspect, but rather a system that can easily be tied into any application to provide the developer with a powerful user interface that can visualize the internals of an application. One that allows the developer to configure components for different environments and stages of the development cycle.

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