How to make simple syntax hightlighter in PHP

PHP SyntaxhighlighterIn the following article I will show you how you can write your own syntax highlighter with a few lines of PHP. By use of the following PHP snippet you can easily display PHP code on your homepage.
The whole thing is much more easily than you think. Most of the work is done by an internal PHP function named highlight_file. This function reads a file and formats the source code in color. We then merely have to count the lines of the file and output the line numbers, as well as preformat the font.
Since the snippet is not that long, I think the comments in the snippet itself are sufficient. If you still have any questions, just write a comment.

function highlight_sourcecode($file)
//Count the lines of the input file
$amount_of_lines = count(file($file));

//Create a list with all line numbers
$list_linenumbers = range(1, $amount_of_lines);

//Format line […]

How to use gzip on WordPress

gzipSo far I never worried about the page load speed of this blog. But so far I even thought WordPress would use gzip compression on it’s own. Like I said, so far. Today I realized that WordPress is not just doing exactly that.
For those who are lost in gzip, I’ll give a short explanation at first. Gzip is a compression method in order to minimize the size of a file. Today it is mostly used on Unix systems. In the website context, it is used to reduce the size of data which is transferred from the server to the user’s web browser. This not only reduces the traffic and, by implication, the overheads too, but also it brings a reduction of the website’s […]

PHP: rand() vs. mt_rand() – what is more accurate, what is faster?

After I was pointed out, that it would be better to use the PHP function mt_rand() instead of rand() for generating random numbers (because mt_rand() should be more accurate), I decided to investigate on that statement. But at first, where is the difference between rand() and mt_rand()?
By use of mt_rand() you can generate random numbers just like with the rand() function. The function call also looks equal on both functions. Though the PHP documentation says mt_rand() is up to 4-times faster and would be create more random/arbitrary numbers. By implication this would mean, that the rand() function creates inaccurate random numbers.
I was not aware of this problem, but after some googleing I discovered that there are a lot of people who think that mt_rand() is the better function. However I had to notice that most of the contributions which complain that rand() is not clean are a “little older”.
Often cited […]

Generate array of different/unique random numbers in PHP

Sometime it is necessary to generate a list of different random numbers. A possible usage scenario therefore could be a raffle where the winners should be choosen by chance, but every single user shouldn’t get more than one prize.
So in the following snippet, I’ll show you how to generate a list of different randoms in PHP.

//Create an array of numbers from which the randoms
//should be choosen. (For raffle: the list of user id’s)
$array = range($minimum, $maximum);

//Initialize the random generator
srand ((double)microtime()*1000000);

//A for-loop which selects every run a different random number
for($x = 0; $x < $numberOfRandoms; $x++)
//Generate a random number
$i = rand(1, count($array))-1;

//Take the random number as index for the array
$result[] = $array[$i];

//The chosen number will be removed from the array
//so it […]