Disable/Hide Internet Explorer’s Compatibility View Button

If you are an active web developer, you have likely been plagued by Internet Explorer’s Compatibility View button. I have seen so much poor advice about disabling this feature in IE7+. Post after post after post people suggest forcing a specific version for emulation. Haven’t we all learned that allowing IE to dictate how we code a page is a BAD idea?

If you properly code your pages to use standards and a proper document type definition or <!DOCTYPE>, why does IE persist in not doing what it’s told and letting visitors make potentially baddecisions. A user can accidentally click the Compatibility View button or have compatibility mode always enabled by default (OMG!). If you want to make sure IE or the user doesn’t dictate how you code, or how the layout is butchered by compatibility view, add the following to your <head> section…

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Validate email domain using PHP’s checkdnsrr with CodeIgniter

I recently noticed a bunch of garbage registrations for an existing client’s newsletter function written quite some time ago. After making a copy of the subscribers table and “cleaning” the data (proper-cased names, lowercased emails, etc), I started looking at ways to limit these automated registrations.

The client would not be happy with registration confirmation emails, so I decided to make a callback function for use with CodeIgniter’s Form Validation library. Since it was only needed in one location, this method made more sense to me than extending the main library.

Here is the function…

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GoDaddy, Filezilla and getting blocked while uploading via FTP

I write code for a growing number of clients who host their sites with GoDaddy and Wild West Domains (GoDaddy’s Resller Program). My aresnal includes Photoshop & Expression Web (not a huge fan of Dreamweaver) for visual layout, Filezilla for uploading, and Notepad++ for coding (tried nppFTP plugin for FTP, that didn’t last long, too “buggy”).

Frequently I would be uploading a files after making my initial FTP connection and within a few minutes the connection would time out and I would be unable to reconnect. I figured since it was a shared hosting environment, their hardware and/or software firewall was just being very cautious. After cloning my PC’s IP address in my local router and restarting my cable modem (force renew my IP), I was able to resume work. Inevitably the issue would creep back up quickly.

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CodeIgniter, MySQL and User-Defined Variables

The lesson for today is… how to sort records sequentially on a numeric column and provide the ability to move records up and down in the existing sort order.

There are 2 functions I use for manual record sorting to change the display order in admin/user areas. The following example is based on a “pages” table and the commands are located in a model. For this example, the table has the following fields: page_id (int), page_sort (smallint), page_title (varchar), and page_content(text).

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XHTML compliant external links based on anchor href attribute

The inspiration for this code was New-Window Links in a Standards-Compliant World. They were using the “rel” attribute and checking it for “external” to update the anchor’s target attribute. I lean towards not opening new windows unless it’s an off-site link to improve the user’s experience. Furthermore, I try to avoid adding more code when I can simply use an element’s existing attributes to serve my needs.

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Table/record sorting made easier for CodeIgniter

In a project I am currently working on, I needed a way to efficiently allow sorting of the records in an admin area while preserving the functionality of a search function (that passes the query in the url) and the pagination library. Initially it started off as a section of each method where sorting was allowed (record lists of things like countries, states, etc). My sorting routines finally ended up being put into their own helper.

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Less 404 errors by adding robots.txt to your site

Even if you don’t think you need it, it’s still good practice to provide a “robots.txt” file in the root directory of your site for search engine spiders to find. Not only will it remove the 404s from your error_log (happens every time a spider/bot looks for it and it doesn’t exist), but it also provides a quick and efficient way to block certain sections of your site from being indexed. This is by far a better method than adding rel=”nofollow” to your links or the following meta tag to the header of each page in question.

<meta name="robots" content="noindex, nofollow" />

The most basic robots.txt file would include the following. This tells the search engines to index everything it can find.

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Rewrite all unresolvable URLs to a script using .htaccess

Another simple one.

The following code checks to see if the request is for a real directory or file and reroutes the request to “/myscript.php” if not.

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
  RewriteEngine On
  RewriteBase /
  RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
  RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
  RewriteRule ^(.*)$ myscript.php?/$1 [L]

Take note of the the excamation point (it means “not”). To do the opposite (reroute valid directory/file requests through a script) just change the rewrite conditions (RewriteCond) to…

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Force “www” subdomain using .htaccess

Short and sweet.

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
  RewriteEngine On
  RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\.
  RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.%{HTTP_HOST}/$1 [R=301,L]

And if you want to remove the “www” portion, just change the condition (RewriteCond) and rule (RewriteRule)…

You may ask “Why should I do this?” and the asnwers are simple. It promotes linking uniformity and ensures you don’t end up being negatively affected by having “duplicate content” across (sub)domains in search engine indexes.

Codeigniter Image_lib convert() v1.3 JPG to GIF to PNG

I recently performed some code-fixing for a library extension I found over in CodeIgniter’s forum. The mod provided a convert() method for the Image_lib library. It lets you to convert (duh) the original image from/to JPG (default), GIF or PNG and optionally delete the original image.

When I first added this extension into my CI distribution, everything still worked without throwing errors so I started calling the new function. Then…

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Blog Spam Bots… Who Actually Lets These Comments Through?

Just a little rant from my end after going through my blog comment spam list…

I am so sick and tired of automated bots slamming my blog TRYING to get their bogus comments in the promote their sites. I mean seriously, unless you’re an idiot and just auto-approve all comments (in which case you should be flogged repeatedly and be cut off by your ISP), who would approve obvious spam comments?

For any of you that are still manually flagging WordPress comments, you can get Akismet for free for personal use (if you’re running a business blog, be honest and just pay for the software). If you look to the right side of my page, you’ll see the number of comments automatically marked as spam since I installed it on September 9th, 2010.

Unfortunately it makes me realize how unpopular my blog is since 99% of my comments are spam, lol.

Convert extended ASCII in a string using PHP strtr instead of Normalizer or iconv

I am working on a CodeIgniter project that has information stored in the database with extended ascii characters (128-255) and UTF-8 encoding. As most of you know, CodeIgniter is fairly strict on what is allowed in a url (they only allow what SHOULD be permitted per RFC 1738 ;)). Furthermore sunce you can create basically any character by allowing a percent sign (%) in the URL, alowing that was not a viable option for me.

For instance you cannot use “ñ” (n with a tilde) in the URL parameters. Replacing it with “n” for the database query will however return a valid match. Problem solved! I can just use Normalizer or iconv, right?

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