academic web applications
Wednesday, January 27 2010
Tomorrow I'd be going into a prison again, this time to do some actual work involving a PHP-MySQL application, so I thought it prudent to try doing it outside the prison here on my localhost, that is, the webserving part of my main computer (who goes by "Woodchuck"). I ran into problems until I turned on the register_globals setting, which automagically turns querystring variables into PHP variables. That might seem like a neat trick to someone just learning PHP, but at this point in PHP history, it's considered a serious security vulnerability. I work in the dangerous world of internet web development where things like this are considered important, but this application had its origin in academia and was designed to run on a college intranet.
Another computery bit of news concerns Tableform, my generic database visualization tool, which I'd developed for looking at and manipulating relational data in a MySQL database. I've been working recently with a database that uses Microsoft's TSQL as a backend, so I thought it would be helpful to write some ODBC hooks for Tableform. Since most of the database calls in Tableform go through a handful of functions, I found getting ODBC capability working to be fairly easy, at least for 90% of the functionality (the lack of a LIMIT clause in TSQL means that some of my programmatic SQL expression constructors will have to be re-engineered to achieve 100% functionality). One of my most important Tableform functions produces a recordset (a one-dimensional integer-keyed array of associative arrays) describing columns of a table, information that is used for generating editing forms and displaying data. My ODBC version does this using ODBC methods but produces a recordset identical in format to that of MySQL's EXPLAIN TABLE command.
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