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Recent Blog Posts

Adding AD Gallery to an Yii application

By Ronald van Belzen | June 7, 2013

AD Gallery is "A highly customizable gallery/showcase plugin for jQuery". In other words it is a jQuery plugin to create an image gallery on a web page. As many lightbox and image gallery plugins, AD Gallery makes implementation relatively easy. For that reason the javascript part of the example shown below is the easiest part, while the rest is not overly complex either.

Still, to understand the script it is useful to know how it is called from the controller:

class OverviewController extends Controller { 
  // other action functions 

  public function actionView($id) { 
      throw new CHttpException(404,'The requested page does not exist.'); 
    $criteria = new CDbCriteria; 
    $criteria->condition = "gallery_id = $id"; 
    $criteria->order = 'sort ASC'; 
    $models = GalleryImage::model()->findAll($criteria); 
    $this->render('view', array( 

The model Gallery contains the information about different galleries. Most important attribute of this model is storage that contains the location of the directory in which the images are stored. The model GalleryImage links images to a gallery and contains the information about the image file names. The controller action renders the view view that shows the image gallery:

Multiple files upload in Yii - tabular input fields

By Ronald van Belzen | May 31, 2013

There are several ways to tackle the challenge of uploading multiple files in Yii. The differences are based upon the form field(s) being used. Here I will show an example of a tabular file input form. Other methods include the use of the CMultiFileUpload widget and the multiple attribute for the file input field introduced by HTML5.

When you have not read my previous blog post about single file upload, you should consider it when you run into problems. Also you should take into account the php.ini settings for max_file_uploads, post_max_size and upload_max_filesize.

To the model that will store the information about the image the field $images is added for the file upload:

class GalleryImage extends CActiveRecord { 
  public $images;

And to this class the validation rule is added for the new field:

  public function rules() { 
    return array( 
    // other rules 
    array('images', 'file', 'allowEmpty' => true, 'types' => 'gif,jpg,jpeg,png', 'maxSize' => 5242880, 'maxFiles' => 5, ), 
    // other rules ); 

Next we create a form for the input of the files and their descriptions. To add a bit of complexity the images can be added to different galleries:

Single file upload in Yii

By Ronald van Belzen | May 24, 2013

When uploading files in Yii the first choice to be made is to either use an existing model or create a new model. The existing model can be of the type CActiveRecord. The new model is usually of the type CFormModel. The reason for the choice for a class inheriting from CFormModel is that the uploaded file is usually not saved in a database table and therefore no CActiveRecord is required.

That does not mean that a model based upon CActiveRecord cannot be used. When the meta data of an uploaded file is saved in a database table it even makes perfect sense to use that model for the file upload.

In this example an image is uploaded to serve as logo for one of the blogs.The image will be saved in the file system. The name of the image is saved in the database table field "logo". To the existing Blog model the variable "$filename" is added to be used in the upload form:

class Blog extends CActiveRecord { 
  public $filename;

The validation of the uploaded image will also be done by the model. To the function "rules()" the validation rule for "filename" is added:

public function rules() { 
  return array( 
    // other rules 
    array('filename', 'file', 'allowEmpty' => true,'maxSize' => 102400, 'types' => 'jpg, jpeg, png'), 
    // other rules 

The form that is used to create and update the database table already exists. This CActiveForm is adapted to be able to handle file uploads by adding the following "htmlOptions" property:

<?php $form=$this->beginWidget('CActiveForm', array( 
)); ?>

This adds the mandatory attribute enctype="multipart/form-data" for file upload to the html form.
NOTE: The default method POST must be used and Ajax validation needs to be disabled.

Next the field for the file upload needs to be added to the form:

Gzip compression for PHP

By Ronald van Belzen | May 14, 2013

One way to use gzip compression when requested by the client is by setting

zlib.output_compression = On

in your php.ini.

When you do not have access to the webserver there is also the option to use the above setting in a ".user.ini" file in the root of your website. Search the phpinfo() for the "user_ini.filename" setting just in case the default filename has been set to something else.

This use of ".user.ini" file is supported since PHP 5.3.0.

Spam control by IP blocking in Yii

By Ronald van Belzen | May 4, 2013

Any interactive website needs to take into account that that interactivity will be abused. The most common form of abuse is spam. Even when you control the user input by moderation there comes a time that you need to structure the control of user input. One way of getting control over input from abusive users is by using IP blocking.

The approach I will describe here will require that your application registers the IP address in all the database tables that store user input. As an example I will use a "blog_comment" table.

The stategy that will be followed is that upon creation of a comment (INSERT) the IP address will be checked against a database table containing the IP addresses that need to be blocked.

The moment to determine the IP address of a user and store it in the table "blog_comment" is during validation in the function "rules()":

    return array( 
      // ... other rules 
      array('ip', 'default', 'value'=>Yii::app()->request->userHostAddress), 
      // ... other rules 

We start by creating the database table that will contain the IP addresses that need to be blocked.

CREATE TABLE `ipaddress` ( 
  `ip` VARCHAR(39) NULL , 
  `address` VARCHAR(255) NULL , 
  `source` TINYINT NULL DEFAULT 0 , 
  `count` INT NULL DEFAULT 0 , 
  `create_time` TIMESTAMP NULL , 
  `update_time` TIMESTAMP NULL , 
  PRIMARY KEY (`id`) , 
  UNIQUE INDEX `ip_UNIQUE` (`ip` ASC) );

The only mandatory field in that table will be "ip". The other fields are for extra functionality that can be used for maintaining the IP addresses. The field "source" can be used to distinguish manual input from automated input of IP addresses. The field "count" can be used to count the number of times an IP address has been checked.The field "update_time" is used to check when an IP address was last checked.

We use Gii to create a model from this table and use the Crud Generator. Next we improve the views that the Crud Generator has made, but I leave it to you to do that. In this blog post we concentrate on the model Ipaddress to which we add the following function: