30 August 2008

feedback to php|arch article

I noticed a couple of blog posts written in response to my (somewhat) recent php|arch article:
Reading these was initially discouraging, as both authors are critical of the concept of my article. Although I don't necessarily agree with them, they both make good points in their posts, and I encourage you to read them both if you are interested in the topic. I particularly appreciate the point about table-level locking in MyISAM tables, and how that might affect performance in the frequently-updated value tables.

Although this is not a very useful rebuttal, about all I can say is that the EAV method has worked well for me. As with anything, your mileage may vary. I'm not running reddit or facebook, and the systems I've built on EAV don't have thousands of simultaneous users. So I really can't say how well it would perform in a large-scale deployment.

After I sort of got over being defensive about the whole thing, I'm just glad that people found the article interesting enough to talk about it.

23 August 2008

LAMP pconnect

I had a bad experience a few years ago using pconnect() in a PHP program running in/on/under Apache on Linux to talk to a MySQL database. My memory is somewhat vague, but we had to restart the MySQL service (and switch to non-persistent connections). Ever since then, I've had an irrational fear of pconnect() and have never used it.

Looks like I'm not the only one who doesn't trust pconnect().

16 August 2008

HTTPS in Apache in Ubuntu

If there's an easy way to make Apache in Ubuntu (v7.10, gutsy) do HTTPS, I can't find it. So I played around with it this morning and got it working.

First you need to generate an SSL certificate. I just went with self-signed certificates:

openssl genrsa -out apache.key 1024
openssl req -new -key apache.key -x509 -out apache.crt \
-days 365 -set_serial `date +%s`

I saved these two files as /etc/ssl/certs/apache.crt and

And then I saved the following as

NameVirtualHost *:443
<VirtualHost *:443>
DocumentRoot "/var/www"
ServerName www.example.com:443
ErrorLog /var/log/apache2/ssl_error.log
TransferLog /var/log/apache2/ssl_access.log
LogLevel warn
SSLEngine on
SSLCertificateFile /etc/ssl/certs/apache.crt
SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/ssl/private/apache.key

Then after enabling the new site (a2ensite default-ssl) and restarting Apache (/etc/init.d/apache2 reload), I was able to connect to https://localhost/. FireFox3 complained bitterly about the self-signed certificate, but adding the exception straightened that out.