The Developer Day | Staying Curious

Archive for April 2009

Internet Explorer has a strange issue regarding http referers. If you would have a link and would follow that link $_SERVER['HTTP_REFERER'] value would get populated. But if a redirect is done using javascript like this:

top.location.href = 'page.php';

The HTTP_REFERER will not get value populated. I tried to figure out why is this happening but seems it’s just the way it is. All other browsers Firefox, Chrome, Opera will set the referer properly, but IE6, IE7 and IE8 will not.

Though it is not a good practice to rely on HTTP_REFERER and you should probably not use it if you can, but nevertheless such kind of behaviour may cause strange bugs. If you happen to know why Internet Explorer behaves like this or know workaround to still have a referer value set when the browser redirects using javascript please leave a comment.

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Adding a virtual host on apache windows xampp

Setting up virtual host on windows using apache and possibly XAMPP is easy but may cause some trouble to the inexperienced. To setup a virtual host follow these steps:

1. Locate your vhosts file. On my PC it’s: D:\apache\conf\extra\httpd-vhosts.conf
2. Uncomment the following line: NameVirtualHost *:80
3. Add your virtual host definition:

     DocumentRoot "D:\www\myproject\"
          Allow from all
          Options +Includes +Indexes +FollowSymLinks
          AllowOverride all

4. Open a file name hosts located at: C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc
5. Add the following line:
Check that for project path correct slashes are being used. Apache seems to not understand \ slashes and instead wants /. If you try and start apache from a command line it may output something like this:

Syntax error on line 45 of D:/XamppLite/apache/conf/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf:
DocumentRoot must be a directory

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Internaly GoogleTalk uses XMPP messaging protocol. XMPP - The Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol. Often also called as Jabber. Since it’s an open protocol means it’s possible to develop your own clients to connect to other XMPP servers.

There are quite a few xmpp libraries that provide client functionality. The one I tried myself is XMPPHP. It’s usage is really simple. For example to send a message you would do something like this:

$conn = new XMPPHP_XMPP('talk. ', 5222, '[email protected]', 
'password', 'xmpphp', '', $printlog = false, 
$loglevel = XMPPHP_Log::LEVEL_INFO);
try {
    $conn->message('[email protected]', 'Hi!');
} catch(XMPPHP_Exception $e) {

I find this to be quite valuable. Who these days does not keep their IM live all the time? I imagine it’s like a cellphone. Meaning you can use it for many different services.

For example I developed a small application that checks if every one of my collegues is “Working on a task” in FogBugz and if not it sends an automated message to them to remind them that they should select a task they are working on. I also have a small tracker that tracks a local torrents network looking for high rated IMDB movies. I have an idea that it would be nice to integrate my tracker with GTalk so that it would inform me when a new episode of House MD is available or a new highly rated movie appears. The sky is the limit ;)

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