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HTC Hero USB Tether on Mac OS X

Recently I got brand new HTC Hero – great android based phone. Since my previous phone (Nokia N73) has been working with Mac without any problem I was very disappointed to figure out that I have to deal with Windows for syncing my phone with computer and firmware upgrades.
After I upgraded it to latest official 2.73.405.4 ROM, I used Google Contacts/Calendar apps to sync my previous Nokia 73 stuff with Google and Hero, so having laptop<-->mobile connection to Internet (tethering) really sounded like something possible to achieve. A friend of mine with HTC Magic told me about way to connect to Internet with Wifi Tether application, which works on root-ed devices only. So after I passed trough complete rooting procedure explained here and here, I gained root access but still wasn’t able to make Wifi Tether work with Mac. Hero was visible as another AP, and even thought Mac was actually able to connect to it, I never got “outside” access to the Internet and eventually gave up. I found some threads that modaco custom ROM might be solution but figured that for newbie in android world like me, chances to brick brand new device while doing unsupported ROM upgrade are not so low so eventually I gave up.

Unlike for wifi tethering, USB tether for Hero and Windows comes “Out of the Box” (all you have to do is to turn on mobile sharing) but unfortunately it doesn’t work with a Mac. When you connect Hero to Mac, instead of new network device Mac see it as modem, but if you try to dial (like with *99#) you obviously get an error.
After I spent several hours reading endless discussions on various forums, today I finally managed to connect my MacBook Pro on the Internet with my HTC Hero mobile Internet (EDGE/GPRS/3G/HSDPA) connection.

Before I delve into instructions, please bear in mind that although this tutorial is based on HTC Hero and Mac running on latest (10.6.1) Snow Leopard, as far as I can tell it should be working with any other Android device or older version of Mac. I assume that you have MacPorts installed and that you are able to connect to Internet with your Mobile Phone.

Prepare your phone
————————–
You are going to install azilink on your phone. Since all tether applications are removed from Android Market, you have to download it directly from site. But before you do that, you have to make sure that installing applications from unknown sources is allowed. So Press Home, then Menu->Settings->Applications and make sure that “Unknown Sources” is checked. Also in Development menu make sure that “USB Debugging” is checked.

Now on your phone open browser and go to http://azilink.googlecode.com/files/azilink-2.0.2.apk , download file and follow install instructions. Once azilink application is installed start it and make sure that “Service Active” option is checked.

Prepare your Mac
————————–
Step1: TuneTap App
Download and install tuntap for Mac OS X (http://tuntaposx.sourceforge.net/) on the Mac and restart your mac.

Step2: Android SDK
Download Android SDK (http://developer.android.com/sdk/index.html) for Mac and unpack it somewhere on your machine. I used my $HOME dir (/Users/dinke) so I unpacked whole folder and named it android-sdk so full path is /Users/dinke/android-sdk. Since you are going to call tools from that folder, we have to put it into our $PATH variable by editing $HOME/.bash_profile file. I assume that you don’t have UNIX experience so this is step by step guide :

1) Open Terminal Applications
2) Type:

cd

and hit enter
3) You are now in your home dir (ie. /Users/dinke). Now you are going to edit .bash_profile file with pico editor :
Type:

pico .bash_profile

4) Add this line to last line of file:
export PATH=/Users/dinke/android-sdk/tools:$PATH
(replace /Users/dinke/android-sdk/tools with actuall path on your system)
5) Hit ctrl-x then answer Y and hit enter

Now you should be ready to call android tools (like we are going to do later) without specifying full system path.

Step3: OpenVPN2 App

Download and install openVPN2 . We will use MacPort’s port command for doing that. So again open terminal application and type:

sudo port install openvpn2

Now application will be automatically downloaded and compiled. This will take a while, and if this end without any error message you are good to go further 🙂

Step 4: azilink.ovpn file

1) Download http://azilink.googlecode.com/files/azilink.ovpn file
2) Create folder openvpn in $HOME/library folder (so you have new folder in for example /Users/dinke/Library/openvpn
3) Edit file azilink.ovpn and comment out line 8 with TCP_NODELAY (so it may looks like this):

dev tun

remote 127.0.0.1 41927 tcp-client
proto tcp-client
ifconfig 192.168.56.2 192.168.56.1
route 0.0.0.0 128.0.0.0
route 128.0.0.0 128.0.0.0
#socket-flags TCP_NODELAY
#keepalive 10 30
ping 10
dhcp-option DNS 192.168.56.1

4) Save file in new created in new created openvpn folder

Step 5: Modem script

1) Download script from http://pastie.org/405289 (there is download link on top right) and save it somewhere on your system. I assume you saved it under our home dir as modem.sh (/Users/dinke/modem.sh)
2) Give that script executable privileges. So open terminal application and type this:
chmod 777 /Users/dinke/modem.sh
(change path and script name according to your system)

Now we are almost done and we are ready to test actual connection. So connect your phone with Mac with USB cable, open terminal app and type this:

adb devices

You should get something like this:

dragan-dinics-macbook-pro:tools dinke$ adb devices
* daemon not running. starting it now *
* daemon started successfully *
List of devices attached
HT9FSL901734    device
dragan-dinics-macbook-pro:tools dinke$ 

If you get error (like command not found) check path setting for android sdk tools. If your device is not listed check that it is connected properly. If everything looks ok (you get device id listed) then we can connect our phone to Internet and run actual connection script. Make sure that your phone is connected to Mobile Internet (go to Menu->Settings->Wireless Controll and check Mobile Network checkbox), and then assuming that you’ve saved modem script under /Users/dinke/modem.sh you can run it by typing absolute path in terminal:

/Users/dinke/modem.sh

and you should get output like this:

dragan-dinics-macbook-pro:~ dinke$ /Users/dinke/modem.sh
Tue Nov 10 03:33:53 2009 OpenVPN 2.0.9 i686-apple-darwin10.0.0 [SSL] [LZO] built on Nov  9 2009
Tue Nov 10 03:33:53 2009 IMPORTANT: OpenVPN's default port number is now 1194, based on an official port number assignment by IANA.  OpenVPN 2.0-beta16 and earlier used 5000 as the default port.
Tue Nov 10 03:33:53 2009 ******* WARNING *******: all encryption and authentication features disabled -- all data will be tunnelled as cleartext
Tue Nov 10 03:33:53 2009 gw 0.0.0.0
Tue Nov 10 03:33:53 2009 TUN/TAP device /dev/tun0 opened
Tue Nov 10 03:33:53 2009 /sbin/ifconfig tun0 delete
ifconfig: ioctl (SIOCDIFADDR): Can't assign requested address
Tue Nov 10 03:33:53 2009 NOTE: Tried to delete pre-existing tun/tap instance -- No Problem if failure
Tue Nov 10 03:33:53 2009 /sbin/ifconfig tun0 192.168.56.2 192.168.56.1 mtu 1500 netmask 255.255.255.255 up
Tue Nov 10 03:33:53 2009 ./modem.sh up tun0 1500 1502 192.168.56.2 192.168.56.1 init
add net 0.0.0.0: gateway 192.168.56.1
add net 128.0.0.0: gateway 192.168.56.1
Tue Nov 10 03:33:53 2009 Attempting to establish TCP connection with 127.0.0.1:41927
Tue Nov 10 03:33:53 2009 TCP connection established with 127.0.0.1:41927
Tue Nov 10 03:33:53 2009 TCPv4_CLIENT link local: [undef]
Tue Nov 10 03:33:53 2009 TCPv4_CLIENT link remote: 127.0.0.1:41927
Tue Nov 10 03:34:03 2009 Peer Connection Initiated with 127.0.0.1:41927
Tue Nov 10 03:34:03 2009 Initialization Sequence Completed

If you get some errors make sure that you’ve passed correctly trough all needed steps. If no errors found, it is good time to test your new internet connection. You can do so by trying to ping some site or simple opening browser and visiting some Web Site. It should be working just fine!

My HSDPA connection with USB Tethering
Speedtest of my HSDPA connection with Telenor Serbia

Usefull Links:

http://androidsmartphone.de/apps/g1-als-usb-modem-ohne-root-auf-dem-mac/

http://thinkden.com/index.php/general/admin/75

MySQL – NULL values and sorting

Very often we need to sort some data by specific field in db table but in a way that NULL values goes at the end of dataset. Typical example is frontend which displays data from specific table, with sortable links at the top where you can make asc/desc sorting simple with one click of the mouse.

Since I am mostly dealing with domains, I’ve decided to create one MySQL table with few domains, simple enough to show solution for this problem.

mysql> select * from domains;
+----+-------------------+-------------+
| id | domain            | expire_date |
+----+-------------------+-------------+
|  1 | dinke.net         | 2010-01-17  |
|  2 | lampix.net        | 2009-12-26  |
|  3 | blogodak.com      | 2010-09-08  |
|  4 | maestrodesert.com | 2009-09-11  |
|  5 | unexistant.com    | NULL        |
+----+-------------------+-------------+
5 rows in set (0.00 sec)

So problem is, I want to sort data by expire_data field but in a way that NULL field (ie domain which is not regged yet or has expired) always goes at the end. By default NULL fields goes on the top if we sort by acceding (asc) order or at the end if we sort in descending (desc) order.

mysql> select * from domains
order by expire_date asc;
+----+-------------------+-------------+
| id | domain            | expire_date |
+----+-------------------+-------------+
|  5 | unexistant.com    | NULL        |
|  4 | maestrodesert.com | 2009-09-11  |
|  2 | lampix.net        | 2009-12-26  |
|  1 | dinke.net         | 2010-01-17  |
|  3 | blogodak.com      | 2010-09-08  |
+----+-------------------+-------------+
5 rows in set (0.00 sec)

mysql> select * from domains
order by expire_date desc;
+----+-------------------+-------------+
| id | domain            | expire_date |
+----+-------------------+-------------+
|  3 | blogodak.com      | 2010-09-08  |
|  1 | dinke.net         | 2010-01-17  |
|  2 | lampix.net        | 2009-12-26  |
|  4 | maestrodesert.com | 2009-09-11  |
|  5 | unexistant.com    | NULL        |
+----+-------------------+-------------+
5 rows in set (0.00 sec)

We are going to solve this problem by using MySQL IF function, and solution is:

mysql> select * from domains
order by if(expire_date is null, 1, 0), expire_date asc;
+----+-------------------+-------------+
| id | domain            | expire_date |
+----+-------------------+-------------+
|  4 | maestrodesert.com | 2009-09-11  |
|  2 | lampix.net        | 2009-12-26  |
|  1 | dinke.net         | 2010-01-17  |
|  3 | blogodak.com      | 2010-09-08  |
|  5 | unexistant.com    | NULL        |
+----+-------------------+-------------+
5 rows in set (0.00 sec)

MySQL IF function is similar as ternary operator, it returns value of first argument in case when expression evaluate to true, otherwise it returns value of 2nd argument. So in this particular example it returns 1 for NULL values and 0 for the rest, allowing us to have NULL values at the end of the list.

I know that this might sound little bit confusing so we have to go one step further and add another one field in our MySQL table in order to explain what is exactly going on here.

mysql> alter table domains
add column nullorder tinyint not null;
Query OK, 5 rows affected (0.01 sec)
Records: 5  Duplicates: 0  Warnings: 0

then we are going to update values of nullorder field so they contains values of IF expression above:

mysql> update domains
set nullorder = if(expire_date is null, 1, 0);
Query OK, 1 row affected (0.00 sec)
Rows matched: 5  Changed: 1  Warnings: 0

mysql> select * from domains;
+----+-------------------+-------------+-----------+
| id | domain            | expire_date | nullorder |
+----+-------------------+-------------+-----------+
|  1 | dinke.net         | 2010-01-17  |         0 |
|  2 | lampix.net        | 2009-12-26  |         0 |
|  3 | blogodak.com      | 2010-09-08  |         0 |
|  4 | maestrodesert.com | 2009-09-11  |         0 |
|  5 | unexistant.com    | NULL        |         1 |
+----+-------------------+-------------+-----------+
5 rows in set (0.00 sec)

Now when we have nullorder field our first query:

select * from domains
order by if(expire_date is null, 1, 0), expire_date asc;

can also be written in this way:

mysql> select * from domains
order by nullorder, expire_date;
+----+-------------------+-------------+-----------+
| id | domain            | expire_date | nullorder |
+----+-------------------+-------------+-----------+
|  4 | maestrodesert.com | 2009-09-11  |         0 |
|  2 | lampix.net        | 2009-12-26  |         0 |
|  1 | dinke.net         | 2010-01-17  |         0 |
|  3 | blogodak.com      | 2010-09-08  |         0 |
|  5 | unexistant.com    | NULL        |         1 |
+----+-------------------+-------------+-----------+
5 rows in set (0.00 sec)

So as you can see completely the same stuff as first one, except that we didn’t have to create nullorder field.

Of course in similar way you can have NULL fields appear at the beginning of the list (in case of desc order) when you need something like that.

Future of Web Applications, Miami

Tuesday, cloudy day in Miami, not really good weather for the beach, but who cares. Today is FOWA day!

Check in was within 08-09AM in beautiful Adrienne Arsht arena. Checked location on Google maps, it’s just nearby my hotel so no need to deal with car. Arrived just few minutes before 09AM, so after they checked my data they gave me blank pass and pen to write down my name/company on it. As every proud Serb I took the chance to draw Serbian flag there so my geek colleagues knows exactly from where I am 🙂

Inside of hall there was bunch of geeks from all colours and ages … but most of them have one thing in common. They were all armed with a Macbook. I counted like 50 Macbook (Pro) laptops, with only one sad PC guy. I joined the mass with my Macbook Pro and started with some kind of live broadcasting to well known Serbian Development Forum.

Fowa, Miami

Before he started his intro speech, Ryan Carson asked from us to meet and shake hands with each others. Most of us were doing that … “Hey bro, how yo doin’ …” and suddenly robots becomes men. Well done Ryan.

First guy on the stage was Jason Fried who were talking about their Getting Real philosophy. Without much noise and any presentation screen behind, he mentioned plenty of good advices regarding productivity, sales, future prediction etc.
Jason complained about giving away software for free, because food is not free, our cloth is not free, our car is not free … so why in the world software you made should be free?

Jason (37signals)

After Jason Ajaxian guys (Dion Almaer from Google and Ben Galbraith from Mozilla) took the stage. Their speech was much more interesting to me, with plenty of effective screens behind, describing what is going to happen with browsers in the near future. In one word – revolution, which is going to get current Ajax based applications even more usable with usability closer with those that we have on OS X (they frequently used Mac examples).

Ajaxian guys

After Ajaxian guys, Dan Theurer from Yahoo took the scene. Unfortunately his presentation file was corrupted so somehow he did his speech too fast. Also without presentation slides behind it was really hard to track his speech so many developers took the chance to play with wireless and at the end it seamed that Dan couldn’t wait to move away from the stage which was kind of shame.

After the morning break there was probably the most effective talk made by Joe Stump, lead developer of Digg-a.

Joe Stump

Joe used ingenious slides with him and his brother pics from their childhood in attempt to present developers as lazy, moody and egocentric guys (come on, we all know that it is completely the true), and how to make compact and productive team from them.

My favorite quotes:

Developers are EXTREMELY lazy.

Jedi are rare guys

(finding senior programmers is not easy – demonstrated by picture of kid with light Jedi like sward in hand).

Joe Stump on Code Repositories

After they ended Aza Raskin from Mozilla took the stage to tell us about all those great little things Mozilla Lab is preparing for us. He was talking about Ubiquity, kind of Firefox add on which would allow you to do many things, like changing content on pages you’re visiting often (like you could easily replace Google logo with your own ad), and many other things. Unfortunately backed guys screwed it again so Aza also stayed without his presentation and had to leave the stage and finish it at the end of show.

Aza Raskin(Mozilla)

After lunch break Joel Spolsky made an interesting and funny talk, where he talked about programmer’s efficiency, setting working environment, office stuff etc. Like Jason, he also mentioned interruption as one of the biggest enemies of programmer’s productivity. He claims (and I totally agree) that every developer during his working day usually has about 2 or 3 hours of “total focus” in which time he is 100% focused on problems he is solving. During that period developer usually doesn’t feel the time (2 or 3 hours pass like a snap). Noisy environment, phone ringing, even going to the toilet are the worst enemies of every programmer.
That’s why big companies that are paying attention to those stuff (like Google) are trying to keep developer’s focus as long as possible with ie. keeping his snack near by, the same with toilet and even shower booth 🙂

Talent

After Joel, some very effective (but personally not so interesting) talks was made by Dave McClure and Alex Hunter from Virgin. And after pause there was another one “talk show” with Joel, Jason and Caron, after which Francisco Tolmasky from company 280 North took the stage.

Francisco made great workshop with Cappuccino and Atlas tool. By using Atlas – kind of point and click tool started from the browser on local host, he used point and click interface to create an feed reader application in like 3 minutes! After that he did the same for iPhone platform. I liked whole thing except the fact that you don’t have ability to do kind of “synchronization” between iPhone and Web project (things are kept in separate files). I even took a chance to talk with Francisco after the show about that, who was BTW the only speaker I had a chance to meet personally.

Francisco Tolmasky

At the end there was Gary Vaynerchuk’s talk who somehow acted like a Eminem, he talked loud and fast, sometimes cursing, screaming … I could say almost crying 🙂 Don’t have enough time to repeat everything Gary said, so if you have a time, here’s the video of his talk 🙂


Gary Vaynerchuk at FOWA Miami 09 from DamianVoltes.com on Vimeo.

At the end we were invited to visit the party on Nikki Beach which as far as I can tell many developers did. Free beer provided by Microsoft … you could hardly find something more attractive 🙂

Me on Nikki Beach

My Personal pics from FOWA conference

P.S. This is English translation of FOWA Conference report made originally in Serbian. Now when I got back to my sucky homeland, I managed to translate it completely. Hopefully you enjoyed.

Browser Detection Update

Long time ago I developed Browser Detection Class which is able to recognize most of popular browser/OS’s used today.

For example FF on my macbook pro would be recognized like this:
Mozilla Firefox 3.0.4 / Mac OS X

Very useful stuff in case you have to redirect your users to different pages depending of browser version or to maintain your own site browser/os usage statistics.

Today I had a chance to update it with support for Windows Vista, Google Chrome and iPhone.

You can download complete code with usage examples by following this link.

Back to english

This is my first post in English after very long time. If I don’t count the one related to curl http client class update, I haven’t written anything on my English Blog since august 2007!

Unfortunately I had very good reason for doing that. My daughter got sick, very sick. She have Leukemia (ALL), so since October 2007 my life was twisted upside down. We had to move to Belgrade where she started with chemotherapy treatments which was really hard with plenty of complications and life treating conditions. With so much time spent in hospital and other related obligations, I really didn’t have spare time to deal with my Blog, neither to be honest i felt like writing anything about programming etc. I wrote few post on Serbian since than, but most of them were not related to programming or anything Web Dev alike.

Anyway few weeks ago she is done with intensive phase of chemotherapy, we’ve back home to our home town and it seams like things are moving back to normal. She is not done with therapy thought since Leukemia treatments last several years, but she have good chances to fully recover so we are trying to be positive and act like everything is completely normal.

Speaking of that after really hard year for us I decided to do something for myself and finally get one Apple :). I spent some considerably big amount of money to get one MacBook Pro. I even made unboxing gallery on Flickr, I guess after you drop like $2k USD for something you really want to save that moment for later. Now when I have it for a month almost I think it is worth the money. As a matter of fact I think it’s price in Europe (which is at least 33% bigger than in USA) is appropriate for what you get, while in USA I would consider it cheap 😉

Anyway, in next months other than usual LAMP stuff you can expect even text about Mac OS X applications, Darwin etc. For example my company use some socks5 proxy/public key setup to access to servers, which was pain in the ass to setup on Mac. I plan to write about things like that. And last but not least, I’ve already booked conference pass on FOWA conference, so I really feel my English should be improved to higher level. Maintaining English Blog should help I guess 🙂

PHP: Callback functions and OOP

Recently, I had to change default behavior of storing session data into files and use MySQL DB instead. In practice, that means writing whole bunch of callback functions and setting callbacks with session_set_save_handler function. Since I use OOP, what really bothered me was the fact that (according to my PHP CHM Manual sitting on my desktop) for session_set_save_handler, all functions has to exist in global scope, since all callback arguments are strings?

bool session_set_save_handler ( string open, string close, string read, string write, string destroy, string gc )

Doing that in non OOP way with 6 functions on global scope is not something I really liked, so I googled for solution and found that you can easily assign an array like array(‘class_name’, ‘method’) for all callbacks in PHP. Cool stuff which allows you to create session handler class with bunch of static methods for those callbacks, but why the hell that is not documented in PHP Manual???

I went to online manual at least to see if someone submitted comment about this, and find out that session_set_save_handler definition there is completely different:

bool session_set_save_handler ( callback $open, callback $close, callback $read, callback $write, callback $destroy, callback $gc )

Obviously, since last time I browsed online manual, a lot of thing has changed, one among them is introducing “callback” type in those “pseudo types” used only for documentation purposes. And there, manual for callback says following:

callback

Some functions like call_user_func() or usort() accept user defined callback functions as a parameter. Callback functions can not only be simple functions but also object methods including static class methods.

A method of an instantiated object is passed as an array containing an object as the element with index 0 and a method name as the element with index 1.

Static class methods can also be passed without instantiating an object of that class by passing the class name instead of an object as the element with index 0.

which basically allows you to pass an array with class name and method as callback, and that method will be called.

Let me give you and example with sessions:

<?php

/**
 * Sessin_Handlers class
 * contains dummy methods needed for session stuff
 * Replace content with some real stuff like db conn etc.
 *
 */
class Session_Handlers
{
    function open($save_path, $session_name)
    {
        echo "Open Method Called<br>";
        return true;
    }

    function close()
    {
        echo "Close Method Called<br>";
        return true;
    }

    function read($id)
    {
        echo "Read Method Called<br>";
        return true;
    }

    function write($id, $sess_data)
    {
        echo "Write Method Called<br>";
        return true;

    }

    function destroy($id)
    {
        echo "Destroy Method Called<br>";
        return true;
    }

    function gc($maxlifetime)
    {
        echo "GC Method Called<br>";
        return true;
    }
}

//call all method from Session_Handlers statically
session_set_save_handler(array('Session_Handlers', 'open'), array('Session_Handlers', 'close'),
    array('Session_Handlers', 'read'), array('Session_Handlers', 'write'), array('Session_Handlers', 'destroy'),
    array('Session_Handlers', 'gc'));

session_start();

// proceed to use sessions normally
?>

As you see, we’ve created simple methods which only echo when they are called (in real life, you should either save session data into file or db). As you can see, we simple passed arrays to session_set_save_handler, which served us to connect class methods with session callbacks.

Method Overloading in PHP5

Although with release of PHP5 we finaly got some long awaited OOP features, sometimes I really miss overloading capability which exists in languages like Java. I am talking about something like this:

class Overloading_Test
{
    public void hello()
    {
        System.out.println("Hello Anonymous");
    }

    public void hello(String name)
    {
        System.out.println("Hello " + name)
    }


    public void hello(String firstName, String lastName)
    {
        System.out.println("Hello " + firstName + " " + lastName);
    }
}

This way you can call either hello with no arguments at all, or with one or two arguments, and proper method would always be called. Unfortunately, if you try something like this in PHP, it would give you fatal error, because basically, methods cannot be redeclared, since support for overloading is not part of core language like in Java.

However, there is still a way to achieve this Java like overloading functionality by using “magic” methods that are described in PHP Manual. Although it is not clear from manual how could you achieve exact functionality like in Java, I played a little bit with __call function, and get interesting workaround.

<?php

class Overloading_Test
{
    function __call($method_name, $arguments)
    {
        //list of supported methods
        //only 'hello' for this test
        $accepted_methods = array("hello");

        //in case of unexistant method we trigger fatal error
        if(!in_array($method_name, $accepted_methods)) {
        trigger_error("Method <strong>$method_name</strong> doesn't exist", E_USER_ERROR);
        }

       //we inspect number of arguments
       if(count($arguments) == 0) {
           $this->hello1();
       } elseif(count($arguments) == 1) {
           $this->hello2($arguments[0]);
       } elseif(count($arguments) == 2) {
           $this->hello3($arguments[0], $arguments[1]);
       }
    
      return false;    
  }

  function hello1()
  {
      echo "Hello Anonymous<br>";
  }

  function hello2($name)
  {
      echo "Hello $name<br>";
  }

  function hello3($first_name, $last_name)
  {
      echo "Hello $first_name, $last_name<br>";
  }
}


$ot = new Overloading_Test();
$ot->hello();
$ot->hello("John");
$ot->hello("John", "Smith");
//this one will produce fatal error
//$ot->test();

If you run this code, you will get something like:

Hello Anonymous
Hello John
Hello John, Smith

So, what is going on here? Whenever we call some undeclared method (which is the case with ‘hello’ method here), magic method __call is called, and two arguments (method name and arguments) are passed to it. For this simple test, we only support overloading of ‘hello’ method, so in case you try any other, we trigger fatal error.

What’s going on further is, we simple check number of argumens passed (by counting $arguments array), and call proper method. For the sake of clarity, I only used simple overloading based on number of arguments, but you could also check for argument type (ie string, integer etc.) and call proper method.

So, as you see, method overloading in PHP5 is not as elegant as in Java, but you can still make it. For more information about ‘magic’ fucntions (there are quite a few for member overloading as well), please visit PHP Manual.

PHP 4 End of Life Announcement

From php.net

[13-Jul-2007]

Today it is exactly three years ago since PHP 5 has been released. In those three years it has seen many improvements over PHP 4. PHP 5 is fast, stable & production-ready and as PHP 6 is on the way, PHP 4 will be discontinued.

The PHP development team hereby announces that support for PHP 4 will continue until the end of this year only. After 2007-12-31 there will be no more releases of PHP 4.4. We will continue to make critical security fixes available on a case-by-case basis until 2008-08-08. Please use the rest of this year to make your application suitable to run on PHP 5.

For documentation on migration for PHP 4 to PHP 5, we would like to point you to our migration guide. There is additional information available in the PHP 5.0 to PHP 5.1 and PHP 5.1 to PHP 5.2 migration guides as well.

Amen to that. Finally this will move the rest of people to PHP5, so we can finally start using all those great PHP5 features without worrying that such code cannot be used on most of client servers. Looking forward to PHP6 now 🙂

MySQL 5.x – Finally improved client

Looking at my favorite rss feeds today, I found this post on great MySQL Performance Blog:

…if you press CTRL-C MySQL Command Line Client will not exit but will terminate query being executed.

In other words, in previous versions of MySQL client program, if you issue a query and try to interrupt it by hitting CTRL-C, CTRL-C would actually kill MySQL client itself, but query still continue running in background! In this case the only solution to really kill that query is to find it’s ID on process list (by issuing “show full processlist” query), and then to kill it with a query like “kill 12345”, where 12345 is ID of query that you want to be killed. In other words, something like this:

mysql> select * from odm_result_keywords where keyword like '%foo%joe%';
^CAborted
bash-2.05b$ mysql -A --enable-local-infile -udinke -ppass mydb
Welcome to the MySQL monitor.  Commands end with ; or \g.
Your MySQL connection id is 1512 to server version: 4.1.18-log

Type 'help;' or '\h' for help. Type '\c' to clear the buffer.

mysql> show full processlist;
+------+-------+----------------------------+-------------------+---------+------+--------------+--------------------------------------------------------------------+
| Id   | User  | Host                       | db                | Command | Time | State        | Info                                                               |
+------+-------+----------------------------+-------------------+---------+------+--------------+--------------------------------------------------------------------+
| 1486 | dinke | localhost                  | mydb | Query   |    3 | Sending data | select * from odm_result_keywords where keyword like '%foo%joe.cl' |
+------+-------+----------------------------+-------------------+---------+------+--------------+--------------------------------------------------------------------+
1 row in set (0.00 sec)

mysql> kill 1486;
mysql>

Thanks to changes in MySQL client program, all you have to do now is to hit CTRL-C, and query will be stopped immediately:

mysql> select domain from odm_result_keywords_de where whois_status is null and domain like '%.%.%';
Query aborted by Ctrl+C
ERROR 1317 (70100): Query execution was interrupted
mysql>

For more information about this feature (as well as other changes in MySQL 5.0.25) please follow this link.

MySQL – Backup of Big MyISAM Tables

If you ever dealt with backup of MySQL tables, you probably used mysqldump utility, which allows you to dump all data into some mytables.sql file, which you can backup somewhere, import to other MySQL server etc. I used this procedure for a thousands times so far, and generally it goes as follows:

export:

mysqldump -udinke -pmojpass -hhostname.of.server1 dbname table1 table2 tableN > dump_file.sql
mysql -udinke -pmojpass -hhostname.of.server2 dbname  < dump_file.sql

Sometimes there is a problem when you move data from new version of MySQL to old, and in that case you have to specify proper compability flag when running mysql dump (--compatible=name where name can be mysql323, mysql40, postgresql, oracle etc.).

Anyway, few days ago in order to move data from one MySQL to another, I had to dump some ... let say big mysql tables (about 10 tables, where each contained about 10 millions of records). After long lasted procedure (dump to file, gzip, scp to other server) I finally started import. However, after 3 hours (yes, three hours) instead of Linux prompt I got this:

[dinke@um-917 ~/public_html]$ mysql -udinke -p325ewfwt23rasf
keyword_discovery < es_miner_data.sql
ERROR 1582 (23000) at line 163833: Duplicate entry '1167548' for key
'PRIMARY'

WTF? I moved data from old server to new, which means import should run without compability problems. It could be indexes on old table were damaged, but instead to wait like 2 more hours in order to complete check & repair procedure, I've decided to create dump file, this time with ignore option, so all insert queries in dump file are "insert ignore", so in case of error like previous one, errors will be ignored. Not very smart, but those data are not really high sensitive, and I can afford to lose few records but can't afford to lose 10 hours for import!

So, dump, gzip, scp, import again ... which lasted long... loooooong .... so fucking long that after 3 hours after I started import I started to think about other solutions. And solution was dumb but effective. We simple moved all MySQL data files (*.MYI, *.MYD i *.frm) from one server to another, and then we run myisamchk in order to fix those tables because ... we didn't shutdown MySQL server during copy procedure which generally could cause some problems with data.

All in all, this procedure went very fast (the longest was actual copy from one host to another), and in less than half hour I got everything settled down.

At the end I came with conclusion that in case of really big tables, using tool like mysqldump is unaccepted as backup solution because it takes literally hours to complete. One of solution to that problem can be to copy MySQL data files like I did. That shouldn't be a problem, because tables are "platform safe" meaning, binary file created on one platform (ie *.MYI file on Linux) will work without problem when moved to other problem (ie. on Windows). The only one real problem is that if you copy data wihout MySQL shutdown, table files there are in some kind of "state of flux" which can be a problem, especialy if they are highly used in moment when you do copy. That's why you need to do myisamchk on it.