If you are using file_get_contents you might want to check out PHP Simple HTML DOM Parser

PHP Simple HTML DOM Parser is a great tool to process HTML from remote sites.  The HTML is returned from the library. So that you can then search and iterate through it, this is great for scraping sites.  I didn’t write the code, but you can download it here and find some simple documentation:

http://simplehtmldom.sourceforge.net/

Usage is really simple, just include the file:

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Google Charts review

If you are looking to add charts to your PHP pages and haven’t already checked out Google Charts, I recommend you do, I’ve used them in a number of projects to great effect.

Features & Benefits:

  • They are free
  • HTML5 / SVG  based for cross-browser compatibility
  • Well documented
  • Lots of examples in the Chart Gallery, with new types of charts appearing regularly
  • Lots of different configuration options to customize them as much as you should need

Pro tip on PHP usage:

Below is some example PHP code I used to create the chart on this page: http://trabest.com/social-tracking-automotive-brands.  To view the chart just click on the “Graph” to show it.

<script type=”text/javascript” src=”https://www.google.com/jsapi”></script>
<script type=”text/javascript”>
google.load(“visualization”, “1”, {packages:[“corechart”]});
google.setOnLoadCallback(drawChart);
function drawChart() {
var data = google.visualization.arrayToDataTable([
[‘Channel’, ‘Facebook’, ‘Twitter’, ‘Youtube’, { role: ‘annotation’ } ],
<?php echo $chart_output;?>
]);

var options = {
width: 950,
height: 950,
legend: { position: ‘right’, maxLines: 3 },
colors:[‘#3b5998′,’#4099FF’, ‘#c4302b’],
annotations: {},
vAxis: {format: ‘decimal’},
hAxis: {format: ‘decimal’, slantedText: ‘true’},
isStacked: true,
title: “Social Media Brand Audiences”,
};

var view = new google.visualization.DataView(data);

var chart = new google.visualization.ColumnChart(document.getElementById(“columnchart_values”));
chart.draw(view, options);
}
</script>
<div id=”columnchart_values” style=”width: 100%; height: 1000px;”></div>

The $chart_output variable contains data from the database outputted to a formatted string in this format, for example

“[‘Acura’, 921115,119938,20327, ”],[‘Alfa Romeo’, 722300,58712,4745, ”],[‘Aston Martin’, 6471567,825688,62064, ”],…..etc”

Let me know what you think of Google Charts? Is there a better free alternative out there that you use?