CodeIgniter set_select default value

The CodeIgniter documentation is vague on how to set the default value in a select tag when you are using the form helper. There’s a third parameter to the set_select method that’s a boolean.

I recommend using something like the following code snippet:

<select class="form-control" name="email">
 <option value="">None</option>
 <?php foreach ($emails as $option):
 ($option == $userEmail) ? $selected = TRUE:$selected = FALSE;
 <option <?=set_select('email', $option, $selected)?>><?=$option?></option>
 <?php endforeach;?>

So you have to check the value of the $option variable with each iteration of the loop and if it matches another variable (which you should set in your controller) it sets the TRUE that the set_select method requires.

Running Laravel on shared hosting subdomain

Running Laravel 5 on a shared host subdomain (I use Vidahost) is a little daunting because Laravel requires the web root to point to the /public folder and generally with a subdomain the website root is the root folder that is created for you.

My solution was to create a directory in the subdomain root folder and copy all the code into there. I then copied the contents of the /public folder into the subdomain root folder and edited index.php.

The two require lines need modifying to remove the ‘..’ characters and replace with the actual path.

//require __DIR__.'/../bootstrap/autoload.php';
require __DIR__.'/mysubdirectory/bootstrap/autoload.php';

It’s not pretty but it worked OK.

The little application I wrote is to help with non-verbal reasoning tests, to memorise the numeric equivalents of the alphabet: Alphabet to Numbers.

Folder structure for running Laravel from site root folder
Folder structure for running Laravel from site root folder

Magento SQL query for customer with billing and shipping address

Here is an SQL query I construct to extract customers with billing and shipping address from a Magento 1.9 store.
This joins on table sales_flat_order_address to ensure that only customers that have ordered are included.

You may need to adjust the entity attribute id’s – if you look in those tables it is pretty obvious what each value represents.

    ce.entity_id AS customer_id,,
    cev2.value AS firstname,
    cev3.value AS lastname,
    caet.value AS billing_first_line,
    caev1.value AS billing_town,
    caev2.value AS billing_postcode,
    sfoa.entity_id AS sfoa_entity_id,
    sfoa.street AS shipping_first_line, AS shipping_city,
    sfoa.postcode AS shipping_postcode
    customer_entity ce
    -- first name
    customer_entity_varchar cev2 ON (ce.entity_id = cev2.entity_id
        AND cev2.attribute_id = 5)
    -- last name
    customer_entity_varchar cev3 ON (ce.entity_id = cev3.entity_id
        AND cev3.attribute_id = 7)
    -- address first line
    customer_address_entity cae ON (ce.entity_id = cae.parent_id)
    customer_address_entity_text caet ON (cae.entity_id = caet.entity_id)
    -- town
    customer_address_entity_varchar caev1 ON (cae.entity_id = caev1.entity_id
    AND caev1.attribute_id = 26)
    -- postcode
    customer_address_entity_varchar caev2 ON (cae.entity_id = caev2.entity_id
    AND caev2.attribute_id = 30)
    -- sales
    sales_flat_order sfo ON (ce.entity_id = sfo.customer_id)
    -- shipping address
    sales_flat_order_address sfoa ON (sfo.entity_id = sfoa.parent_id)
    WHERE sfo.status = 'complete'

Vagrant notes

Stop box checking for updates

If you want to stop your VM from checking for updates to the Vagrant box add the following immediately after the Vagrant.configure line:

# don't check for VM updates
config.vm.box_check_update = false

Update Guest Additions

There is a plugin: vagrant-vbguest which will check if your VirtualBox Guest Additions are out of date in your VM and automatically update if necessary. You can install it with:

vagrant plugin install vagrant-vbguest

Once the Guest Additions have been installed you may want to use the following to prevent further updates (add just after the Vagrant.configure line):

# don't update guest additions
config.vbguest.auto_update = false

Better synced folder permissions

Instead of the default synced folder settings which may cause problems when your server tries to change the files (e.g. WordPress updating itself) I use the following with Ubuntu:

config.vm.synced_folder "./", "/vagrant", id: "vagrant-root",
owner: "vagrant",
group: "www-data",
mount_options: ["dmode=775,fmode=664"]

If you are using CentOS then the group should be apache instead of www-data.

Magento performance

You can boost Magento performance (or any complicated PHP app) when running from a VM by changing the PHP OPcache revalidate frequency. It defaults to 2 seconds which means when you are navigating a site all the PHP files are recompiled with every click. With tens of thousands of PHP files that’s a hefty penalty.

Changing this to something like 20 seconds means you’ll be using cached code. Do this with:

sudo nano /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini

and set

opcache_revalidate_freq = 20

Times Tables

My times tables site is now back online at Rote learning is no longer fashionable but it still remains an effective tool to get kids to memorise times tables instead of trying to work out the sum in their heads each time.

Although this site is simple, it gives competitive kids a sense of achievement and there is nothing to distract them from the task at hand.

For parents there is no marketing / advertising and no agenda.

Times Tables screenshot

Technical Details

It has been updated to use the superb PHP Fat-Free Framework v3.5 which is now installable using Composer.