Convert string to int in PHP

Here’s another quick tip.  If you have an integer value stored as a string and want to convert it to an “int” type, this tip is for you.  You might want to use this if you’ve read an integer from a text file and therefore it was read in as a string value, but now you want to do a numeric comparison.  Anyways, on to the tip.  The following code converts a the string “25” to integer format.

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PHP ldap_bind gives the error “Can’t contact LDAP server”

Recently I had an issue connecting to an Active Directory LDAP server from within PHP using the standard ldap_connect and ldap_bind functions.  The problem is, the code I was using was working without problems on a Linux based webserver, so I knew it wasn’t a problem with the PHP code itself or the parameters I was passing.  So… I did some reading and found many people experiencing similar problems, but not all of them for the the same reason as me.  I’m going to summarize in this article the three main problems I came across so that hopefully one of the solutions solves your particular problem.

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Creating a singleton class in PHP

PHP began as a language which was not designed around object oriented principles, but lately you’d be hard pressed to find a PHP application that does not utilize classes, objects, and other object oriented design concepts.  Now that PHP is big into the OO world, you might be wondering how you can implement some common object oriented design patterns like a “singleton” in PHP.

In this article, I’ll go through how to create a singleton class and also briefly describe when you might want to use a singleton design pattern in your application.

OK, so first, what is a singleton? The singleton design pattern is where you never want to have more than a single (hence the name singleton) instance of a given class.  In normal use of classes and objects, you define a class once and then you create many instances (objects) in your application.  Each instance has its own properties.  For example, if you had a class “Person” with attributes “first_name” and “last_name”.  Each instance of “Person” might have different values for “first_name” and “last_name”.  In a singleton instance, there can never be more than one instance of a given class in the application, ever.  Why would you want this? Lets say you wanted your application to only every have one connection to a database.  In this case, you could create a singleton class called “DatabaseConnection” which would ensure that there would only ever be one database connection in your application.  It also means that you can access that one instance globally, so you don’t have to pass your database connection object between functions because it can be accessed from anywhere.  Here’s some example code which implements a “DatabaseConnection” singleton class.

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