Sorry for the long title, just wanted to be as precise as possible :)

A quick bit of history...

I recently  started experimenting with Docker and revamped some of my development environment with it.
So, I am in the middle of developing a kind of middleware that glues onto a low-level-driver in order to provide event-driven, non-blocking I/O with PHP (via Guzzle ReactPHP) to communicate with the very versatile open-source NoSQL Database Server ArangoDB. BTW, you should try ArangoDB out! It's really great! My favorite Swiss Army knife in the NoSQL DB World!

Here is the problem that I faced:

When you tell ReactPHP to connect to some host, it does not honour host files (in any system, be it Linux-ish, Windows or any other). It only makes DNS lookups in order to resolve the host you told it to connect to. If  you have not been bitten by this, consider yourself lucky!

There are some open GitHub issues in various parts of the ReactPHP library, that ask for some way of respecting the hosts file, but there has been no actual solution, yet.

Essentially, my problem was, that I could not connect from the docker PHP container to the linked ArangoDB Container, because there was no way to tell ReactPHP to read /etc/hosts... in order to find the IP address of the linked container.
Since each new docker container (at least in my environment) would be assigned a different ip address than what it had during its last run, a hardcoded ip address for testing would not be viable. Also, it would make testing it, with 
Travis-CI for example, very difficult.

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I though I'd share this on my blog in case it helps someone...

Today, I installed PHP5.5 besides a PHP 5.4 installation on one of my development VMs. This VM host several development and testing sites.

All was well until I loaded the xdebug extension... Then suddenly I saw page loads of 7 to 15 seconds on a Joomla 2.5 site which I was testing.

By disabling xdebug, everything went back to normal...

So I went and disabled some extensions like ioncube, gd, imagick but nothing helped.

I then took a look at the output of phpinfo() where I noticed that by accident I hadn't installed the mbstring extension.
Turns out, the page load times were going up because of mbstring not being installed.

After this was installed, everything was running smoothly again.
Why it only had that unexpected behavior when xdebug was turned on? I don't know.

  • OS: Centos 6.5 (64)
  • PHP =>v5.5.6
  • Joomla => v2.5.19
  • libfml => 1.3.2
  • xdebug v2.2.4
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Here's a post on a lesson I learned today:

"If you don't need XDebug, do not load it at all!
Just disabling the relevant parts in the .ini file does not really disable it - and might, depending on what you're running, hurt your performance a lot."

What's this about?

This article is nothing against XDebug, which is a great tool for php developers. It's a presentation of the facts and why it's better to not load XDebug at all, instead of just disabling it, when it's not needed.

The "Issue":

I am currently working on a project where I am using RabbitMQ in order to distribute workload from front-end PHP scripts to back-end PHP-CLI scripts using essentially some modified PHP RabbitMQ RPC Examples.

The example scripts have a lot of loops and many calls to functions and language constructs.
They also are mostly long running cli scripts. "Long running" meaning, it's not your everyday script collection that gets loaded and executed in order to build a web-page and is discarded after being active for a very small amount of time (milliseconds - seconds).

In the scenarios below there is one producer and one consumer script. The producer, produces a few thousand messages, and for each of those, the consumer script returns a message. The consumer script also acknowledges the reception of the messages.

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So, I updated EasyPHP from 12.1 to Devserver 13.1 on my local development environment.

I immediately noticed very long loading times on most requests in a Joomla project (from 7 to 17 seconds).

That was weird, as the machine has lots of reserves. While trying to fix this issue, I tried some solutions found on the net, without success.

Here's the solution that worked for me.

Put (or modify accordingly) the following directives in your httpd.conf

EnableMMAP off

EnableSendfile off

AcceptFilter http none

AcceptFilter https none

The AcceptFilter directive actually does most of the job, but setting the other directives, doesn't hurt.

Some background info: The AcceptFilter directive replaces the Win32DisableAcceptEx that was used for this purpose in Apache 2.0 and 2.2.

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Notes for Bootstrap on Joomla 2.5

Thursday, 14 March 2013 08:06

So, I was doing some stuff on a custom joomla component and I wanted to use bootstrap.
Here's the issue:

As soon as bootstrap css is loaded a few things in the joomla admin interface break.

Namely the icons of the buttons on the top right (new, save, etc...) and modal buttons which suddenly appeared elsewhere and with a different form.

A quick search turned up this thread:

Here's the essence of it.

In bootstrap.css (or equivalent) do the following:

  1. rename all occurences of




  2. rename all occurences of





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