Storing Passwords Safely

Steal passwordIf your application deals with user accounts, it has to deal with passwords. Storing passwords in plain text would be a bad idea; a data breach could allow an attacker access to every account. The obvious answer is to encrypt the passwords. However, using cryptography without understanding could give you a false sense of security—if you make the inappropriate choice, you could make things easier for an attacker without realizing it. This article will focus on getting you up to speed with the best ways to use cryptography to secure passwords.

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Set Up PHP Servers in Seconds with Siteadd

A modest but powerful utility “stole the show” during last week’s Lunch & Learn with Alan Seiden and Paul Tuohy. Packaged with CommunityPlus+ PHP, Seiden Group’s siteadd creates an Apache HTTP instance and a FastCGI configuration customized for your needs. In seconds, you’ll be able to launch a sample PHP page to test your new web instance.

How to Measure Python Speed with QCachegrind

Python on IBM iWant to know which parts of your Python program take how much time? Which parts are slow, and how often they are called? Python includes tools to measure speed, but it’s not easy to visualize their meaning.

To make it easier, the QCachegrind tool graphically displays profiler output from a variety of languages. We first introduced our build of QCachegrind as a PHP tool, but you can put your Python programs under the QCachegrind microscope as well.

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Reading and Writing Physical Files in a Shell using Rfile

Want to read source member data from within an IBM i shell environment, such as SSH, QShell, or QP2TERM? Need to copy records from a text file to a physical file? Want a quick way to upload a save file without needing FTP?

IBM i’s Rfile command can do all these things easily. Rfile is designed to be easy to integrate into scripts, so it’s a great tool to have at hand.

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Node.js and IBM i – Getting Started Guide

This guide will outline writing your first Node.js application. Node.js is a packaged version of the V8 Javascript engine, created by Google and shipped in Chromium. Although Node.js is cross-platform, specific tips for IBM i are given in section 8.

Detecting Memory Leaks in PHP Extensions During Development

memory leakWhen a PHP extension has a memory leak, mysterious crashes can result, forcing users to restart the web server for relief.

As official maintainers of the ibm_db2 and PDO_IBM extensions, we’ve been on a quest to find and eliminate any memory leaks from these popular PHP modules.

With such a comprehensive goal, we needed a strategy. For extensions that have comprehensive test suites we decided that, in addition to reviewing the usual regression tests, why not also use the tests to detect leaks?

What follows is a technical look at how we do it.

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Free QCachegrind Enables Application Profiling for PHP Developers

IBM i developers now have an alternative to proprietary data visualization tools to pinpoint potential bottlenecks in PHP and Node.js code. QCachegrind, an open source tool developed by KDE, turns raw application profiling data into meaningful graphs and visualizations that highlight a program’s most time-consuming functions.

Sending Email from PHP on IBM i

With reliable email functionality being one of the top concerns of IBM i PHP users, we’ve made sure that CommunityPlus+ PHP includes everything you need to send email. The PHP mail() function works well, as do components such as Zend\Mail and PHPMailer.

Over the past couple of years, we’ve been hearing from disappointed PHP users that mail() didn’t work in other Community PHP distributions (and some builds of Zend Server). PHP mail() requires an external program that implements the sendmail interface. If your PHP distribution lacked sendmail or equivalent, you might have received a cryptic error message such as:

sh: -t:  not found

This article discusses your options for sending email using CommunityPlus+ PHP.

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Welcome Back, MariaDB!

Getting Started with MariaDB on IBM i

MariaDBMySQL and MariaDB have long been databases used in the Linux world for popular web apps in PHP and other languages. The collective development components—Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP—are often called the LAMP stack. When PHP was released on IBM i in 2006, the combination of IBM i, Apache, MySQL and PHP became known as the iAMP stack.

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Porting Extensions to PHP 8

open phpPHP 8 has been the biggest change to PHP in years. While PHP 8’s JIT compiler gets most of the publicity, more significant to most developers would be PHP 8’s changes that encourage better coding practices. PHP 8 pushes developers to use clearer syntax and is stricter with problematic code.

While the PHP runtime itself has improved, what about extensions such as ibm_db2? What changes do extension developers need to make to adapt to PHP 8? As maintainers of the ibm_db2 and PDO_IBM database extensions, we’ve learned what it takes to make PHP extensions compatible with PHP 8.

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