Cast to int is the fastest way to sanitize integer input

PHP plays fast and loose with its data types which is one of the features that folks coming from more structured languages find very off-putting.

In phpland it's also the fastest way to sanitize an input which you expect to be an integer.

<?php $var = (int) $var;?>

The result is an integer. If the value of value of var is a number, it's converted into an integer. If it's not a number or doesn't begin with a number, then it's given a value of 0.

Here's a quick test script to illustrate the point. It tests both success and failure conditions.

And the results of this test when run with php 5.5?

php ./test.php 
Time to complete 1000000 (int) conversion filters:0.46194696426392
Time to complete 1000000 int_val filters:0.72814893722534
Time to complete 1000000 preg_replace filters:6.5657861232758
Time to complete 1000000 filter_var(x,FILTER_SANITIZE_NUMBER_INT) filters:1.5239408016205


The test does a million repetitions of numeric values and not-numeric values. The result being type cast is almost twice as fast as intval(), 3.7 times faster than filter_var() and 18x faster than preg_replace(). If we had not done this in a tight loop the results wouldn't have been so dramatic but you get the idea.

 That's something to keep in the toolbox the next time you encounter an integer that needs to be filtered.

Laggy Nexus 7 after KitKat Update? Do a factory reset.

Oh KitKat, I really wanted to like you. You took my perfectly functional Nexus7 and its silky smooth menus and app switching and wrecked it. Now I have a whole lot of hurry up and wait. Wait. WAIT!

downloadI haven't been this frustrated with an operating system since Windows 95.
Well, it appears the the solution is really simple: Wipe and Reinstall.


If you've been backing up your device into the cloud, google will automatically reinstall all your apps, contacts etc when you login. My guess is my device was really full when KitKat installed and really needed more space than I had.

If you're a nexus 7 user about to throw away your tablet, give this a try first.

Steps to migrate a code repository from CVS to GIT

CVS has served us well for many years. The interface in eclipse is so good it was really hard to justify switching to something else. 

That day has come. This tutorial was done on a mac from the command line interface. GIT comes with mac os now and cvs2git was avalible via the brew install system.
This process should also work on linux command line too.


  • A linux/Unix computer.
  • Install git
  • Install cvs2svn
  • Direct access to CVS repository files.

Step 1: Make a copy of your raw CVS repository.
This doesn't work correctly with a working copy.
For this example its on my desktop.


Step 2: Let csv2git to process the repository.

cvs2git –blobfile="~/Desktop/blob.dat" –dumpfile="~/Desktop/dump.dat" –username="dkilgo" ~/Desktop/cvs-local/my-sample-project

If your cvs repository is corrupt, you may recieve warnings from cvs2git like the following:

ERROR: A CVS repository cannot contain both ~/Desktop/cvs-local/my-sample-project/help/internal/compile/Release_text0.htm,v and ~/Desktop/cvs-local/my-sample-project/help/internal/compile/Attic/Release_text0.htm,v
ERROR: A CVS repository cannot contain both ~/Desktop/cvs-local/my-sample-project/help/internal/compile/Release_text1.htm,v and ~/Desktop/cvs-local/my-sample-project/help/internal/compile/Attic/Release_text1.htm,v

In CVS when a file is deleted, it moves into the attic folder. Its not techniclly correct for both files to exist. You'll have to examine both files with a text editor and see which one has the highest revision number and delete the older file.
All the times I encountered this error, the Attic version was older.
Once you've resolved all the errors, re-run the cvs2git command.

A successful run will provide something like the following output:

Time for pass1 (CollectRevsPass): 5.119 seconds.
—– pass 2 (CleanMetadataPass) —–
Converting metadata to UTF8…
Time for pass2 (CleanMetadataPass): 0.026 seconds.
—– pass 3 (CollateSymbolsPass) —–
Checking for forced tags with commits…
Time for pass3 (CollateSymbolsPass): 0.011 seconds.
—– pass 4 (FilterSymbolsPass) —–
Filtering out excluded symbols and summarizing items…
Time for pass4 (FilterSymbolsPass): 74.65 seconds.
—– pass 5 (SortRevisionsPass) —–
Sorting CVS revision summaries…
Time for pass5 (SortRevisionsPass): 0.179 seconds.
—– pass 6 (SortSymbolsPass) —–
Sorting CVS symbol summaries…
Time for pass6 (SortSymbolsPass): 0.110 seconds.
—– pass 7 (InitializeChangesetsPass) —–
Creating preliminary commit sets…
Time for pass7 (InitializeChangesetsPass): 1.975 seconds.
—– pass 8 (BreakRevisionChangesetCyclesPass) —–
Breaking revision changeset dependency cycles…
Time for pass8 (BreakRevisionChangesetCyclesPass): 0.727 seconds.
—– pass 9 (RevisionTopologicalSortPass) —–
Generating CVSRevisions in commit order…
Time for pass9 (RevisionTopologicalSortPass): 0.547 seconds.
—– pass 10 (BreakSymbolChangesetCyclesPass) —–
Breaking symbol changeset dependency cycles…
Time for pass10 (BreakSymbolChangesetCyclesPass): 1.134 seconds.
—– pass 11 (BreakAllChangesetCyclesPass) —–
Breaking CVSSymbol dependency loops…
Time for pass11 (BreakAllChangesetCyclesPass): 1.681 seconds.
—– pass 12 (TopologicalSortPass) —–
Generating CVSRevisions in commit order…
Time for pass12 (TopologicalSortPass): 1.520 seconds.
—– pass 13 (CreateRevsPass) —–
Mapping CVS revisions to Subversion commits…
Creating Subversion r1 (Project initialization)
Creating Subversion r2 (commit)
Creating Subversion r3 (commit)
Creating Subversion r4 (commit)

Time for pass13 (CreateRevsPass): 1.538 seconds.
—– pass 14 (SortSymbolOpeningsClosingsPass) —–
Sorting symbolic name source revisions…
Time for pass14 (SortSymbolOpeningsClosingsPass): 0.854 seconds.
—– pass 15 (IndexSymbolsPass) —–
Determining offsets for all symbolic names…
Time for pass15 (IndexSymbolsPass): 0.373 seconds.
—– pass 16 (OutputPass) —–
Time for pass16 (OutputPass): 1.455 seconds.

cvs2svn Statistics:
Total CVS Files:              1417
Total CVS Revisions:          2982
Total CVS Branches:           1482
Total CVS Tags:              36376
Total Unique Tags:              59
Total Unique Branches:           2
CVS Repos Size in KB:        25792
Total SVN Commits:             579
First Revision Date:    Thu May 17 08:25:14 2007
Last Revision Date:     Fri Aug 17 11:13:14 2013
Timings (seconds):
 5.12   pass1    CollectRevsPass
 0.03   pass2    CleanMetadataPass
 0.01   pass3    CollateSymbolsPass
74.65   pass4    FilterSymbolsPass
 0.18   pass5    SortRevisionsPass
 0.11   pass6    SortSymbolsPass
 1.97   pass7    InitializeChangesetsPass
 0.73   pass8    BreakRevisionChangesetCyclesPass
 0.55   pass9    RevisionTopologicalSortPass
 1.13   pass10   BreakSymbolChangesetCyclesPass
 1.68   pass11   BreakAllChangesetCyclesPass
 1.52   pass12   TopologicalSortPass
 1.54   pass13   CreateRevsPass
 0.85   pass14   SortSymbolOpeningsClosingsPass
 0.37   pass15   IndexSymbolsPass
 1.46   pass16   OutputPass
91.90   total

Step 3: Create a git repository and import the data into it.

mkdir sample-git
cd sample-git
git init
cat ../blob.dat ../dump.dat | git fast-import

Which will create the following output:

git-fast-import statistics:
Alloc'd objects:       5000
Total objects:         3057 (      1285 duplicates                  )
      blobs  :         1754 (      1270 duplicates       1254 deltas of       1668 attempts)
      trees  :          956 (        15 duplicates        758 deltas of        892 attempts)
      commits:          347 (         0 duplicates          0 deltas of          0 attempts)
      tags   :            0 (         0 duplicates          0 deltas of          0 attempts)
Total branches:          44 (         6 loads     )
      marks:     1073741824 (      3371 unique    )
      atoms:            997
Memory total:          2594 KiB
       pools:          2360 KiB
     objects:           234 KiB
pack_report: getpagesize()            =       4096
pack_report: core.packedGitWindowSize = 1073741824
pack_report: core.packedGitLimit      = 8589934592
pack_report: pack_used_ctr            =        802
pack_report: pack_mmap_calls          =         41
pack_report: pack_open_windows        =          1 /          1
pack_report: pack_mapped              =   31753114 /   31753114

Have a look in the git repo directory and you'll find its empy. Where's all your stuff?
Its in the .git directory. You don't have a working copy checked out yet.

Do "git checkout" to get a working copy of your repo.

Now you have a functional git repository with all your CVS comments, tags and branches.

Side note:

Changing to git ment updating our deployment scripts as well.
The old way with CVS looked like this:

cvs -d /home/cvs/devel -q export -r $tag -d $stageDir/sample-project smaple-project

Git has a little more overhead in that by default the cloned repo contains all the branches and commits, not just the tagged/current version.
That means what it checks out is usually a bit bigger than what would be picked up by the CVS export.
To workaround that, you can set the –depth param to limit git where it only cares about the last version of each file and folder.

/usr/local/bin/git clone –depth 1 –branch $tag git\ $stageDir/sample-project/

I always remove the revision control files before deployment. Its a pain with CVS and SVN. With git, its a snap because they're all in the same folder.

rm -f -r $stageDir/sample-project/.git


Vagrant + Apache Defaults = Corrupted Files

Problem: You just started using vagrant as a development environment and now your getting errors in your javascript files like 'Illegal Character' appended to the file you just edited.
Restoring the edited file from git fixes the error.

Solution: Your problably being hosed by the 'EnableSendfile' directive.
Disable it by adding "EnableSendfile Off" to your apache config file.

Sendfile allows apache to send data from a file without doing a seperate read and send operation. It however doesn't work well with NFS shares.
While I'm not sure how the shared folder in vagrant works, it appears to be impacted by this setting. Here are the apache 2.2 docs for this module.

Thanks to the folks of the virtualbox forums for discussing this issue and possible solutions and preventing me from wasting another day on this issue.

php has a ftps bug, please vote this bug up so someone will approve this patch

Setting up an FTPS server securly is a big pain. If your environment is behind a NAT, sometimes the server doesn't even know what its public address is, which makes enabling PASV mode fun!

I'm trying to connect to a server setup like this and when I enable PASV mode, it responds with an unroutable internal address.
FileZilla works around this issue by ignoring the address and using the servers inital address instead and everything works as expected.

PHP's FTP library does not. It happily accepts the unroutable address and ultimately fails to connect moments later.

This guy knows what I'm talking about and actually patched php to fix this bug.

If you have a moment, please vote this bug up so it makes it into php's next offical release. 
It was reported in 2011 in version 5.3 and is still unassigned.