PHP and SQLite, What you need to know.

If you are a MySQL user,  you have certainly acquired mechanism such as string escaping, database connection function are not the same with SQLITE, here a list of important things to know :

SQLite Version 2 and 3

– This is what we can read on the SQLite official site :

The format used by SQLite database files has been completely revised. The old version 2.1 format and the new 3.0 format are incompatible with one another. Version 2.8 of SQLite will not read a version 3.0 database files and version 3.0 of SQLite will not read a version 2.8 database file.

So if you be careful on your choice of which version you’ll use, or you convert SQLite version 2 to version 3 using shell command :

sqlite OLD.DB .dump | sqlite3 NEW.DB

Another important thing to know is that “SQLiteDatabase” will not work with SQLite Version2 you will have an error saying that database is not found or encrypted and to prevent that use PDO instead.

PDO And SQLite

Here some examples of establishing database connection and simple queries :

# SQLite Database init PDO
$sth = new PDO('path/to/my/db.sqlite');

# Insert

# Close connection
$sth = null;

Escaping Strings

Common used function with MySQL is PHP addslashes to escape quotes (simple and double) this will not work with SQLite because escaping is not the same.

To escape quotes (‘) you have to double em (same thing for double quotes), if you want to insert “l’homme” string you have to do like this :

insert into .. values ('l''homme', ..)

But the same advise here, use PDO :

$sting = $sbh->quote($sting_to_quote);

SQLite Tools

SQLite Manager Firefox Extension

Manage any SQLite database on your computer.
An intuitive heirarchical tree showing database objects.
Helpful dialogs to manage tables, indexes, views and triggers.
You can browse and search the tables, as well as add, edit, delete and duplicate the records.
Facility to execute any sql query.

Navicat for SQLite

Navicat for SQLite is a powerful Database administration and development tool for SQLite. It works with SQLite version 2 and 3 and supports most of the SQLite features including Trigger, Index, View, and so on. Features in Navicat are sophisticated enough to provide professional developers for all their specific needs, yet easy to learn for users who are new to SQLite.

WSOD, White screen of death how to deal with it

Sometimes it happens that website  turns into a “beautiful” white page and nothing in the source code of the HTML generated code can help to find why, since is important our website is always running and looking good, of course for this last there are options that could help with this, like using companies as Salterra Web Design in Phoenix that can help design a great website.

This article is meant to help developers to find the common reasons.

“Invisible” Errors :

If error reporting is turned off fatal errors are not showed up (on production environment for example) and this can be the origin of white page. So it’s important to enable it on developement / testing environments, and you can do this by :

Enabling error reporting :

  error_reporting(E_ALL);
  ini_set('display_errors', TRUE);
  ini_set('display_startup_errors', TRUE);

Using .htaccess file :

  # PHP error handling for development servers
  php_flag display_startup_errors on
  php_flag display_errors on
  php_flag html_errors on
  php_flag log_errors on

Here you can find a nice article about .htaccess directives to handle errors.

Apache logs :

Also another way to track errors is to look on apache logs. The location of these files depends on what you have configured / apache version / vhosts configs .. etc.

To find apache errors logs phpinfo() can be helpfull, look for variable called : error_log

Or by default (on linux) apache logs are on /var/log/apache2/ directory.

To find errors :

  grep -r 'ErrorLog' /var/log/apache2/*

Whitespace at the end of PHP scripts :

This is the common error code that gives WSOD, so one of the best PHP coding practices is to avoid closing php tag (?>) at the end of script.

Infinite loops :

Infinite loops can cause WSOD, but apache can detect this on it will report it on error logs with something like  this :

[notice] child pid ##### exit signal Illegal instruction (4)

To sum up it’s important to know where to search, so first of all error reporting must be active to help to find the origin of the problem. On production environments debug can be tricky so you need to have apache logs accessible.

Drupal 6, avoiding message ‘An illegal choice has been detected’.

Drupal form control can be tiresome some times, especially when developping custom modules .. In my case it was the integration of country and region select boxes from the ubercart module.

In my implementation of hook_form_alter we are adding these two elements in code :

$select_country = uc_country_select(uc_get_field_name('country'), $country, NULL, 'name');
$select_zone = uc_zone_select(uc_get_field_name('zone'), $zone, NULL, $country, 'name');

$form['country'] = $select_country;
$form['zone'] = $select_zone;

But when submitting the form we have always the same error : An illegal choice has been detected ??!!

As a solution and reading validation from code it’s possible to add in the form alter the information that this form has been already validated :

$form['zone']['#validated'] = true;

Drupal 6, programtically add custom meta tags to pages

Assuming that we need to add custom meta tags by page url or node type, drupal hook_preprocess_page() is the last function called before displaying the page, so it’s the right place for doing that :

/**
 * Implementation of hook preprocess_page
 *
 * @param array $variables
 */
function my_module_preprocess_page(&$variables) {
    //using path
    if(arg(1) == 'gallery'){
      //load existing node
      $node = node_load(arg(2));
     // the meta content.
      $head = ' .. ';
      drupal_set_html_head($head);
      $variables['head'] = drupal_get_html_head();
  }
}

In this case path is : gallery/[nid]

Drupal 6, change theme user edit page

First of all we need to create a custom module, for example my_ gaming module, then in the implementation of the hook_init() :

 

function my_module_init(){
    global custom_theme;
    if (arg(0) == 'user' && arg(2) == 'edit') {
      $custom_theme = 'adaptivetheme_admin';
      init_theme();
    }
  }

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