If it's good enough for Facebook, it's good enough for me!

I think of PHP as VB for the web. It works well, it's easy to learn, you can do anything you need to do, you just need to be careful.

Like VB, PHP's simplicity makes it really easy to write really, really bad code. Don't let the simplicity allow you to disregard good engineering discipline. For example, I recently re-wrote a LAMP based website for a client, nearly 100 pages were on the site. The median number of lines of code in the PHP files when I started was around 500 LOC, when I was done the median was 4 LOC. 

The DRY principle applies to PHP just as much as it does to any other language, but it seems to overlooked far too often. 

PHP random div loader

I only spent about 5 minutes searching for a simple and free PHP Random div loader before inspiration hit me - as it turns out, it is crazy simple to load random div's in PHP.

To be clear, I didn't want to randomly load just one of the div's, I wanted the order of the div's to be different for each page load. However, this could easily be adapted to randomly load a single div.

  1. Step one - put the div's that you want to randomize into separate include files, database records, or whatever source is easiest for you. In my case, I already happened to have them in separate files so I went with the approach of having the div's load randomly from separate PHP files.
  2. Step two is to write this simple PHP script (name it random-div.php):
    $includes = array(
    foreach($includes as $include){
    echo "<div class=\"line\">";
  3.  Step three, include new script in your PHP page
  4.  Step four...relax and enjoy your handy work.

 Obvious adaptations include pulling the div's from the database, selecting only one div by replacing the foreach with


Assuming the shuffle implementation is sufficiently random, always selecting the first element in the array should also be sufficiently random.