Convert eregi_replace to preg_replace in old class.phpmailer.php scripts

Problem: I have lots of legacy php code on old sites that uses eregi_replace to format up an HTML email body. As eregi_replace is now depreciated it can be replaced with preg_replace. This is tricky sometimes because the formatting is quite different.

Fix: Here’s a common line from class.phpmailer.php scripts:

$emailBody = eregi_replace("[]",'',$emailBody);

To convert that you’ll need to do this:

$emailBody = preg_replace("/\\/", '', $emailBody);

Wondering why there are so MANY escaping backslashes there? I asked that question and got this answer:

“..the backslash needs to be escaped once for the php string’s benefit, then again for the interpretation of the regular expression engine, as escaped characters like d indicate a digit in regular expressions. So a pattern of \d would match a digit, but \\d would match a backslash then a d character. PHP strings are lenient on backslashing when it isn’t necessary, so:
– setting a string to “d” will give it a value of d (the same as setting it to “\d”).
– but setting it to “”” will give a value of “.
– and setting it to “” will return a syntax error.

– PHP double quoted strings will consume the (first) backslash for \ n t r and “.
– PHP single quoted strings will only consume the first backslash for \ and ‘ “

There.. clear as mud!

WordPress replaces double and triple hyphens (– or —)

Problem: The other day I was trying to type two hypens (–) in a post, and when I saved/published the post, WordPress reformatted the hypens to display as an ‘en dash‘ (–).

More Info: After some searching about, and some helpful info provided in the WordPress Codex, I found out about a WP function called ‘wptexturize’ which is applied each time a post is rendered. The function – which can be found in ‘wp-includes/formatting.php’ – replaces quite a few things, like ™ to ™ etc.

Fix: You could stop this happening a number of ways i.e. editing the function to stop it doing the replace altogether, or install a plugin that does it (maybe this one, haven’t tried it!). I decided to use WordPress’s remove_filter function to stop the reformatting taking place.

To do this, open the ‘functions.php’ file within your theme. If one does not exist, create it.

Add the following code to the bottom of the file, taking care not to end up with too many or too few <?php tags:

<?php
remove_filter('the_content', 'wptexturize');
remove_filter('the_title', 'wptexturize');
?>

Then save the file (or ‘update’ if you’re doing this via the theme editor in WP admin) and view your post. That should do it! (proof is here, you can only see those double and triple hyphens in this blog post title because I’ve just added the code above to this sites functions.php also!)

Batch rename file extensions from .jpg to .png in terminal

Problem: A client sent me 164 images with incorrect extensions on them. I needed to change them all from .jpg to .png.

Fix: Open up terminal, navigate to the directory containing all the images and type:

ls *.jpg | awk '{print("mv "$1" "$1)}' | sed 's/jpg/png/2' | /bin/sh

..that should do it! This one-liner makes use of sed and awk unix utilities.

Add ‘Drafts’ sorting to Shopp Products list

Problem: There is no ‘drafts’ view filter in the Shopp (>1.1.9) Product Manager, i.e you can’t quickly list all the products that have ‘draft’ status in one go.

Fix: I made this mod to answer a question in the Shopp Helpdesk forum, it’s not very tested, but seems to work perfectly!

Open ‘wp-content/plugins/shopp/core/flow/Warehouse.php’ and replace this:

198
$subfilters = array('f' => 'featured','p' => 'published','s' => 'onsale','i' => 'inventory');

With this:

198
$subfilters = array('f' => 'featured','p' => 'published','d' => 'draft','s' => 'onsale','i' => 'inventory');

Then in the same file replace this:

199
200
201
202
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205
$subs = array(
'all' => array('label' => __('All','Shopp'),'columns' => "count(distinct pd.id) AS total",'where'=>'true'),
'published' => array('label' => __('Published','Shopp'),'total' => 0,'columns' => "count(distinct pd.id) AS total",'where'=>"pd.status='publish'",'request' => 'p'),
'onsale' => array('label' => __('On Sale','Shopp'),'total' => 0,'columns' => "count(distinct pd.id) AS total",'where'=>"pt.sale='on'",'request' => 's'),
'featured' => array('label' => __('Featured','Shopp'),'total' => 0,'columns' => "count(distinct pd.id) AS total",'where'=>"pd.featured='on'",'request' => 'f'),
'inventory' => array('label' => __('Inventory','Shopp'),'total' => 0,'columns' => "count(distinct pt.id) AS total",'where'=>"pt.inventory='on' AND pt.type!='N/A'",'grouping'=>'pt.id','request' => 'i')
);

With this:

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201
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206
$subs = array(
'all' => array('label' => __('All','Shopp'),'columns' => "count(distinct pd.id) AS total",'where'=>'true'),
'published' => array('label' => __('Published','Shopp'),'total' => 0,'columns' => "count(distinct pd.id) AS total",'where'=>"pd.status='publish'",'request' => 'p'),
'draft' => array('label' => __('Draft','Shopp'),'total' => 0,'columns' => "count(distinct pd.id) AS total",'where'=>"pd.status='draft'",'request' => 'd'),
'onsale' => array('label' => __('On Sale','Shopp'),'total' => 0,'columns' => "count(distinct pd.id) AS total",'where'=>"pt.sale='on'",'request' => 's'),
'featured' => array('label' => __('Featured','Shopp'),'total' => 0,'columns' => "count(distinct pd.id) AS total",'where'=>"pd.featured='on'",'request' => 'f'),
'inventory' => array('label' => __('Inventory','Shopp'),'total' => 0,'columns' => "count(distinct pt.id) AS total",'where'=>"pt.inventory='on' AND pt.type!='N/A'",'grouping'=>'pt.id','request' => 'i')
);

Hopefully this will be included in a future version of Shopp.

Resize a U Bolt properly without heating

Problem: When re-fitting the ARB to the GT6 with new U Bolts, I found the new ones were too wide, and forcing them in would have resulted the badly seated washers and nuts:

Old and new U Bolts
Old and new U Bolts, too dissimilar

Fix: The new U Bolts could be bent to shape in a metalworking vice, but there’s an easy way to make sure they remain parallel:

Putting the U Bolt in the Vice
Put the U Bolt in the Vice and protect the threads a little
Find something exactly the inside-size of the old U Bolt
Find something exactly the inside-size of the old U Bolt
Tighten the new U Bolt against the chosen spacer
Tighten the new U Bolt against the chosen spacer
Keep checking against the old item until it's correct
Keep checking against the old item until it’s correct
Once it's right, note the flats are still perfectly parallel
Once it’s right, note the flats are still perfectly parallel

Swap days and months in PHP – quick and dirty MM/DD/YY to DD/MM/YY

Problem

I have a ton of date strings in the stupid US style dd/mm/yy format. i.e. 12/24/09 being 24th September 2009. I need to convert them to the UK style dd/mm/yy.

Solution 1

As a string in PHP is really just an array of characters, the simplest fix was to address the individual number characters by their positions within the sting, and rearrange them into the format I wanted:

$d = "12/24/09";
$d = $d[3].$d[4]."/".$d[0].$d[1]."/".$d[6].$d[7];
echo $d; // displays "24/12/19".

Solution 2

I posted my solution on twitter (@hutchings) and asked for comments and @londonhackspace organiser Jonty came back with the following elegant (and much cleverer) suggestion:

$d = "12/24/09";
$d = preg_replace('|(d+)/(d+)/(d+)|', '$2/$1/$3', $d);
echo $d; // displays "24/12/19".

So provided you know that your original string is in US format, both these solutions can be used. In my testing I found solution 1 executed more quickly, but isn’t as pleasing to look at 🙂 Cheers Jonty.

Cannot set alpha on dynamic text in Flash / ActionScript 2

Problem

I’m doing some freelance Flash development, and it’s been a while. I have just created a dynamic text field that I wanted to fill via actionscript, then fade in via an alpha tween. This wasn’t working, even if I set _alpha = 0 on the movieclip containing the text field.

Solution

You can only set _alpha on a Dynamic Text field if the font has been embeded (with the embed button).

Works now! wohoo! Simple stuff that I’ve known in the past, but forgot.

Set space between list item and bullet (HTML, CSS)…

Problem

I’ve just had to convert a Photoshop visual to a WordPress template. The designer wanted a bulleted list where the bullets themselves were very close to the list items, and were small dashes. Cross browser support for list item and bullet styling is ropey at best, and to make things perfect I’d have to resort to browser specific styles.

Solution

The solution I think I’ll be using for the rest of my ‘web’ career will be this. JUST FORGET THE BULLET ITEM, and use positioned background images instead.

In the stylesheet, add styles for both the ‘ul’ tag, and the ‘li’ tag like so (explanations inline):

ul {
margin-left:0px; /* Set the indenting back to far left. */
padding-left:0px; /* Set the indenting back to far left. */
}
 
ul li {
list-style-type:none; /* Switch the list bullet off altogether. */
background-image:url(dashbullet.gif); /* The replacement bullet image */
background-position:0px 4px; /* Place bullet 0px from left and 4px from top */
background-repeat:no-repeat; /* Stops bullet tiling, important */
padding-left:7px; /* separation from li txt and bullet */
}

Then just create the list as you usually would, with ‘ul’ and ‘li’ tags. Here’s what it looks like in use:

Bullet fix in CSS

Here’s a bit more detail so you can get your head around the spacing. It’s incredibly simple, but still, nice to have a diagram or two sometimes:

Detail showing some dimensions and spacing
Detail showing some dimensions and spacing

This style works perfectly (by my testing, but I’m not perfect) on:

  • Internet Explorer 6, 7 & 8+
  • Firefox 2.*+
  • Opera 9+ (not tested 8, but bet it works!
  • Google Chrome (all versions)
  • Safari (Mac and PC versions)
Any problems, please post a question or comment below.

Quick ‘Lorem Ipsum’ plugin / extension for IE

Problem: While doing web development, I frequently need to insert lorem ipsum into a text field or textarea. To do this – bearing in mind that I don’t really like or use bookmarks, too messy – I tend to google “lorem ipsum”, hit lipsum.com, select/copy the block of text, and then return to my form field and paste it.

I wanted a quicker solution, and as I find myself using IE more and more to develop in now (thanks to the excellent ‘Developer Tools’ extension – never thought I’d say that!) my lorem ipsum fix would have to be in the form of an IE toolbar button or menu item.

Fix: It turns out that adding a simple javascript based text field filler option to a context menu is really easy, so that’s what I did. Here are the steps:

Firstly: Create the javascript to access the currently focused field, and insert the lorem ipsum text. Create a new html file in a location of your choice –  I used C:Program FilesInternet ExplorerPlugins – and copy the following code into it:

<script language="JavaScript">
var parentwin = external.menuArguments;
var doc = parentwin.document;
var rng = doc.selection.createRange();
rng.text = "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.";
</script>

Save the file as loremipsum.htm.

Secondly: Create the registry entry for the menu item:

  1. Open/run ‘regedit’ (Start > run… > “regedit” > ‘Ok’)
  2. Use the tree to navigate to:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftInternet ExplorerMenuExt
    using the tree view on the left of the Registry Editor.
  3. Create a new key (Right click, “New” > “Key”) and call it “Lorem Ipsum” or anything you like.
  4. Inside the new key, open the ‘default’ string value that’s already there (double click on it), and enter the path to the script you created just now. i.e. C:Program FilesInternet ExplorerPluginsloremipsum.htm
  5. Now create a new DWORD value (Right click, “New” > “DWORD Value”) and rename it “Contexts”. Set the value to 0x04 (hex) or 4 (decimal). Here’s an explanation of the different values.
The new Key and values in RegEdit
The new Key and values in RegEdit

 

That’s it! Now open IE, find a textarea or text field, right click, and you should see something like this:

Note the new highlighted option in the context menu
Note the new highlighted option in the context menu