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TDavid's PHP Diary updates:
  • Using mktime and date function to skip dates and create simple calendar functions ... 5/10/03
  • How to parse apache ECLF access log files and use the mySQL LOAD function to import data ... 1/21/03
  • How to install and configure PostgreSQL and use with PHP ... 1/15/03
  • PEAR + benchmarking str_replace, preg_replace and ereg_replace: 1/13/03
  • Google developer API, WDSL, SOAP, include_once, require_once ... 1/12/03

  • Double opt-in email verification, php MD5 hash function, unique URLs in mail ... 1/11/03

1/1, 1/2/03: How to build a basic convention planner script with mySQL backend, verifying email addresses, 3D graphs

12/31/02: Intro to XML RSS feeds, XHTML 1.0 validation, free downloadable RSS viewer

12/30/02: You can grab the daily php diary as an (RSS) feed ... click here for more details. Diary 12/30/02:: Free Cron Generator, how to dynamically generate form select options.

12/29/02: How to reduce manual tasks. Converting MMDDYY to unix timestamp using mktime() function, sorting dates and more.

12/28/02: TDavid's PHP Diary resumes after 21 month hiatus! Useful built-in php functions like: array_count_vals, array_diff, array_rand, array_sum, array_unique, getimagesize, number_format, str_word_count, wordwrap

12/27/02: PHP 4.3.0 released! GD is now bundled with PHP, some new built-in functions, a new stream API option providing "...a unified approach to the handling of files, pipes, sockets, and other I/O resources..." and more!

12/1/02: JavaScript Basics for Webmasters 5-week course starts at Script School on Dec 6, 2002.

11/19/02: TDavid is tentatively planning on attending the Seattle PHP User Group on Nov 20, 2002 in Bothell, WA. (261001)

10/3/02: PHP version 4.2.3 has been out since 9/6/02. Some interesting developments in Visa/MC that may affect some commercial php scripting sites that use 3rd party billing, but TD Scripts will not be affected.

7/28/02: A tulmultous week for PHP with the vulernability discovered in v4.2.0 and v4.2.1. If you are using an older version than v4.2.0 then you aren't affected by this. To see details see: 

I've also added a Google search bar to the site because Google is my favorite search engine. I also believe it is the most useful, relevant search engine out there. You'll find the search along the left hand bar on this page. You can search some of the pages here and our other sites, but Google hasn't fully spidered all of our sites, so I'd recommend using the php diary search for diary entry searches.

Click here to see the most useful PHP diary entries sorted by (you) reader ratings.

Online Tech radio released! Our parent site, has released which will be devoted to developing weekly radio shows on tech-related topics and the technical side of webmastering. These shows will be streamed live from our office over the internet every Friday from 2-4pm Pacific Standard Time and will include interviews with key webmasters, programmers, developers and entrepreneurs on the net and off. You can view a real-time countdown to the next live show at


Hi, my name is TDavid. I am probably known best for my original CGI scripts over at and this is my new PHP website. Exactly what's here now and will be happening here in the future is a little unique, I think, so let me share what I'm doing:

When I was first learning Perl programming, I did most of it offline, studying books, visiting references online, making notes, then writing and testing code and then uploading and testing. I have since tried to share some Perl tutorials and references at TD Scripts so that other programmers and Webmasters interested in writing Perl CGI scripts could benefit.  When I decided on Monday December 13, 1999 that I was going to learn PHP, I thought it would be cool to do my studying online. Thus allowing you, Joe and Jane surfer, to actually follow my diary accounts, and coding, as I learn this language. It will be almost like you are sitting next to me as I learn this language. You may not want to do this (heck, you may decide you don't even like me), you may prefer to go out and purchase a book, or download the PHP docs and go that route. There is no perfect way to learn a programming language. Along the way I will be giving you URLs of other websites I've learned from, links to books I'm using to learn, etc. Let me start this off by stating my sole objectives for learning PHP:

I am interested in using PHP to enhance websites dynamically and intergrate with databases, especially for higher end applications or where traffic load is high, like 100,000+ hits a day.  Can PHP do this? I've heard it can, I'm going to find out, and if you come along for the ride with me, you'll find out too.

Have you written down your objective like I did above for learning PHP? Knowing where to start is half the battle of actually starting anything.

This is and yet isn't really a tutorial, per se, it is more like a look over a programmer's shoulder and see how one programmer learned this language. Most times I'll try to follow a logical path something like:

1. I will go into depth about what I want to learn,
2. why I wanted to learn it,
3. and then show you the solution I discover, at the time I discover it :)

4.  you can see this website evolve through the use of PHP

The only assumptions I am making is I want to learn PHP and I want to learn it fast, and I don't need to know who designed PHP or some of the more esoteric functions that I'll never use. I will buy a reference book for that. I want to know how to do the things I know how to do in Perl in PHP.  In fact I want to be able to do some of these things more efficiently and faster using PHP. I will probably draw some comparisons to Perl along the way, but this is not going to be an exercise in how to program in Perl. Visit TD for that kind of stuff.

I am not saying that the way that I'm going to go about learning PHP will be the textbook or the only way to learn PHP, but I will say that it will be useful for those that run a website and want to integrate PHP into their site, because that is my interest in PHP. Have no illusions that you will read all about the things I've screwed up in my testing so you can avoid making the same mistakes.

If you aren't interested in my learning adventures, but are interested in obtaining original PHP CGI scripts I will be writing, then bookmark this URL and come back in a month or two. It may take me longer, or not even this long, but at least you can check up on my progress. Some days I work 18 hours a day and have no time for learning, other days I spend most of the day in a shell reading and learning. One thing is for sure, if you follow this website, you will know what I did for PHP every day I learned something and when I sat down and tried to learn something :) 

At the bottom or top or side there will be navigational links:

Script - LIVE tech radio every Friday at 2pm PST. Come listen to TDavid live with guests on the technical side of webmastering and programming, occasional script giveaways and more!
Script School Chat - LIVE tech chat all day every day. Stop on by and talk about PHP, Perl, CGI, mySQL or whatever you'd like. I hang out here occasionally and join in the conversations when I'm not doing other things

Diary - this is my overview account by date of what I did to further my learning in PHP, including code examples, uses, etc.
PHP Scripts - these are the actual PHP scripts I will be writing (or have written already).

PHP Links - useful links for PHP resources
TD - buying scripts from me helps to finance future free scripts, tutorials and how-to lessons

Ok, click a link to the left and get started :) Thanks for coming along.  Oh, one last thing, there maybe will be some blank pages you find, that's because this project is in about as close to real time as I can get.  Also, I am not trying to be an HTML guru, so you may find some of my pages visually stale. This isn't about designing a web site though, this is about learning PHP :)


5/20/2000 - 1st update
1/21/2001 - 2nd update
12/30/2002 - 3rd update

updated 6/19/04: made some minor link and text adjustments

12/30/02: Many new things brewing here at including some XML syndication options, and a new homeroom forum at our sister site Script School to discuss php-scripts diary entries.

1/21/01: Wow, looking back over the last year since I started this website, I've learned a ton about PHP, but I am still learning almost every day. I haven't been able to update my diary as often as I had originally hoped, but I have been able to get a good chunk of useful information in there and from the reader reviews a lot of what I've put in there has been useful to you. I will be adding more to this diary in the future including the ability to add your comments to new diary entries, but at the same time I encourage you to visit Script School and stop by my weekly radio show for even more constant updates.

Enjoy PHP!

Recent PHP Versions

PHP version 5.0.5
PHP version 5.1.0 RC1
PHP version 4.4.0

Guts Or Glory Poker is inspired by the popular casino game Let It Ride(tm) This game written entirely in PHP is now publically available at click here or you can play (demo) it here and let us know what you think. It uses real card graphics, true casino odds, auto shuffles the cards, and only uses one deck of cards. 9's or better to win. Click the 9 of hearts to play! Valid email address is required.

Total Games Played

Number Of Players

Top 10 High Scores
#1 1490 - mark
#2 170 - tilden_mb
#3 103 - william
#4 90 - dolphin1
#5 82 - momoney
#6 63 - resident
#7 60 - bob
#8 60 - joshua4all
#9 58 - vssi
#10 57 - mari

Top 5 Most
Games Played
#1 628 - ryquest1
#2 623 - jose
#3 557 - colin_p
#4 508 - alexdeep
#5 493 - zoranusrex

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