Taking the step from personal to distributed

I keep creating scripts that other people want to use… In creating them, I basically did whatever I needed to to bend them into shape to do what I wanted… In order to distribute them to others, I pretty much have to set up everything myself… Obviously, this creates problems – even people who know me have a hard time giving me root access to their mysql db and such…

So what I’d like to see is a discussion of guidelines on how to package your php/mysql solutions for distribution so that it’s easier on the other end to get them up and running.

Part of this would be proper coding and commenting to begin with, I’m sure… But scrubbing existing code is a part of it as well. Are there any helpful functions, code bits, etc that ease the process? Any other helpful hints on how to accomplish this?

Mixed output and timing

Right, so I learned to code mixed html/php the sloppy way, switching back and forth whenever the mood struck. Lately, I’ve been realizing what a pain it is to figure out what’s where when something needs to
change…. so I switched to just putting all my output into a variable, then outputting it in a pesudo-template at the end of the script.
I’ve started working with larger datasets, so I added a timer function to display the time it took to generate each page in the footer…. I ran my old page a few times, and saw consisted 4+ second generation times. I changed it to the pseudo-template, and I’m getting consistent .2 second times.

I also read of a difference in using
“stuff $php_variable stuff”, which is slower than
“stuff ” . $php_variable . ” stuff”, so I changed that where
appropriate as well. Additionally, ‘stuff’ is also faster, but by a neglible amount.

Here’s the old code:
while ($myrow = mysql_fetch_array($result)) {
if (mysql_errno() != 0) {
echo “Error ” . mysql_errno() .”

} else { // end if (mysql_errno() != 0)

} else { // end if (mysql_errno() != 0)
$out .= “
$out .= ” ” . $myrow[“id”] . ”
$out .= ” ” . $myrow[“title”] . ”
$out .= ” ” . $myrow[“artist”] . ”
$out .= ” ” . $myrow[“bpm”] . ”
$out .= ” ” . $myrow[“genre”] . ”
$out .= ” ” . $myrow[“stuff”] . ”
$out .= ”

} // end else
} // end while ($myrow = mysql_fetch_array($result))
This was for about 425 rows, I believe.

I had no idea it made THAT much of a difference… Guess I’ll be using that on everything now… If not switching over to SMARTY or some other true templating system.