Escape HTML Function for Browser Output Prevents XSS (Cross-Site Scripting)

I don’t know about you but my fingers get tired of escaping output by typing the long-winded htmlspecialchars($str, ENT_QUOTES, 'UTF-8'); over and over again in small PHP projects that don’t need a full-blown framework with automatic output filtering (e.g. CodeIgniter). No matter how small your project is though filtering your output is extremely important so that you prevent malicious users from executing XSS (Cross-Site Scripting) JavaScript code.

So I decided to give my fingers some relief and finally write a short little helper function and share it. See the code and example in the gist below.

Highly Secure Data Encryption & Decryption Made Easy with PHP, MCrypt, Rijndael-256, and CBC

Random hexadecimal codes on a computer monitor.  Shallow depth of field.In various projects in the past I’ve had to revisit the topic of data encryption and decryption and the best way to accomplish it. In the interest of developing in the simplest, most efficient, and most secure way I have choosen the MCrypt PHP library (built-in to PHP since v4.0.2), Rijndael-256 cipher, and the Cipher Block Chaining (CBC) mode.

Previously I have used the Electronic CodeBook (ECB) mode, but have learned that it is far less secure than CBC because it creates the same hash every time for the same source data. CBC on the other hand creates a unique hash every time even for the same source data.

Anyways, below you’ll find my revised encrypt/decrypt functions with support for all PHP data types. [Read more…]

Automatically Embedding Video Using Only the URL With the Help of oEmbed

One of my favorite functions of the WordPress editor is now the automatic embedding of video and other rich media by simply putting the URL on it’s own line. Really, it’s amazing!

Here is my rip of the WordPress code (found in the WP_Embed and WP_oEmbed classes) and assembled into a class named AutoEmbed. [Read more…]

Quick Tip: Profiling PHP Applications with Xdebug, WinCacheGrind & XAMPP for Windows

In today’s quick tip screencast you’ll learn how you can profile a PHP application, such as WordPress, using Xdebug and WinCacheGrind on XAMPP for Windows.

View Screencast

Enabling Xdebug on XAMPP for Windows

To enable Xdebug, modify the following settings in your php.ini configuration file:

  • Uncomment the zend_extension = "\xampp\php\ext\php_xdebug.dll" line
  • Set xdebug.profiler_enable_trigger = 1
  • Set xdebug.profiler_output_name = "cachegrind.out.%u.%H_%R"

Save php.ini and restart Apache.


XAMPP for Windows