Log to DB using Zend Framework

By , Tuesday 14th April 2009 9:06 pm

I’ve managed to get a site up and running with the Zend Framework, everything is logging nicely to FireBug/FirePHP so next step was to log to the DB. I also wanted to log some additional information using the framework such as user agent, date and time, get and post variables. So to extend the manual a little here’s what I did:

// Set up logging to DB
$db = Zend_Registry::get('dbAdapters');
$db = $db['general'];

$columnMapping = array( 'priority' => 'priority',
'message' => 'message',
'datetime' => 'timestamp',
'user_agent'=> 'user_agent',
'get_vars' => 'get_vars',
'post_vars' => 'post_vars',
'site' => 'site'

$writerDb = new Zend_Log_Writer_Db($db, 'error_logging', $columnMapping);
$logger = new Zend_Log($writerDb);

$logger->setEventItem('datetime',date('Y-m-d H:i:s'));

$logger->info('Informational message');

Where the array keys in $columnMapping are my column names. ‘Priority’ and ‘message’ are understood by Zend_Log_Writers but the additional fields were added to give me some additional information.

Obviously this assumes that you have logging working using one of the other writers first :)

UK Names Directory and Facebook Application

By , Friday 10th April 2009 9:33 am

One of the fun things I’ve been involved in whilst working for Tracesmart is the names directory. Basically we took our huge information database and pulled out a big pile of stats about various names.

The process is all one big SEO effort in order to draw more traffic to the site, but it also provides some interesting information and name statistics.

Here’s an example for my name Lloyd Watkin, or I suppose more correctly Steven Watkin. Take a minute to look up your name on the Tracesmart site, might be interesting ;)

We’ve also got names statistics data on the names directory page which tells you what names have been searched and how recently. Its quite interesting to see famous people’s names fly up the stats when they appear in the news. A recent example is that of Liam Neeson who’s wife died from a skiing accident recently, although obviously people aren’t quite right on the spelling (hence the huge numbers of hits on this name) — Liam Nilson.

Facebook Application

Once the names directory was created we set about creating a facebook application which we duely named ‘My Name‘. The facebook application is an extension of the names directory and provides some additional statistics. In order to add the names directory to your facebook account please visit:


Flickr and Yahoo!: Forgotten Login Details

By , Thursday 2nd April 2009 7:31 pm

A few months ago I changed my Flickr password so that a friend could upload some shots to it. A couple of months later I find I’ve forgotten that password and trying to remember all my secret details from Yahoo! is just a nightmare. I had my Yahoo! email address for several years and I wasn’t sure when or where (I was living) when I signed up – oh just to make this clearer Flickr uses Yahoo! login system :)

Yahoo! were no help either, they wanted exact details and would reject anything that didn’t match. Plus I wasn’t allowed to provide a list of possible matching details it had to be right on every detail otherwise it would be rejected. I can understand the security but this was getting a pain in the arse, especially as I could retrieve my user name to my usual email address without any trouble (why couldn’t you send a reset there!?!?!). On top of all this they wanted the details sent to their offices in California either by mail or fax, boo!

Step back to Flickr who kindly send an email to my registered email address asking me to detach my Yahoo! account from my Flickr account. Hooray I could then sign up with a new Yahoo! account and reattach my Flickr account to this new login.

After waiting at least a week each time for Yahoo! to reply Flickr got this all sorted within 2-3 hours!

Well done Flickr, thankfully you’re out there looking after your customers :)

Now for everyone’s boredom here’s yet another link to my Flickr account

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