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Mirrors and internal search engine available! - PHP Classes blog

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Author: Manuel Lemos

Posted on:

Finally, after many weeks of development and testing, the PHP Classes site non-personalized content is available for mirroring.




This means that the site pages may now be served from mirror sites around the world, possibly from a server closer to your network instead of just the main site, thus off-loading its server.

For now, there are just a few mirrors but soon there will be more. The more the traffic is diverted to mirror sites the faster it will become the service to everybody.

If you are interested, you may also provide a mirror of the site. Not only you will contribute to provide a better service for the site users, but you may also promote your institution and its activity or business.

Among other benefits, mirror hosts can exhibit their banners in the mirror sites for free. This may be a great opportunity for companies that are willing to sell their products or services to users of the PHP community. This opportunity is ideal for companies that sell Web hosting services, PHP training or consulting or otherwise want to promote their sites before the Open Source community in general.

Interested institutions or individuals may learn all about becoming a PHP Classes mirror host by reading this page:

http://www.phpclasses.org/mirrors.html?mirroring=1

Making it possible to mirror the site is one of several initiatives that were planned to increase the site audience. This is important for the survival of the site because only when it achieves a reasonable level of audience it will be possible to generate enough income to justify working full time on maintaining and developing it further. So, everybody will benefit from initiatives like this.

I would like to thank all the people involved in the testing of these features for having helped to assure that the new site capabilities work smoothly.


Other than then increase of audience of the site, developing the capability of making the site mirrorable had other interesting consequences.

Since there may be many mirror sites for the users to choose from, the mirror selection page can show automagically the list of mirror sites sorted by distance from the network of a user to each of the available mirrors. You may want to see that in action by going here:

http://www.phpclasses.org/mirrors.html?closest=1

This site feature uses the NetGeo service to determine the geographic location of the network of each user from its IP. As a bonus the class that was used to interface with NetGeo was just made available here:

http://www.phpclasses.org/browse/package/514.html


Mirroring the site now implies rendering and serving the site pages as static HTML and image files. This makes the main server take less time and memory to serve those pages. As a consequence of that, indexing the site with an internal crawling engine like Ht:/Dig became a much lighter task that can be executed in less time without disturbing the site normal service.

So, as you may notice the original internal search engine was re-enabled. This represents a much better service than Google free search engine could provide because the internal search engine indexes all pages of the site (not just 80) and once a day (not once a month). You may want to try the renewed site search engine to verify this here:

http://www.phpclasses.org/search.html

A new error handling facility was enabled to help the site users to find pages with URLs that may have been mistyped. Invalid page accesses are no redirected to the search page. As a consequence of this, if you want to search, for instance, for pages about XML, all you need to do is to go to the URL:

http://www.phpclasses.org/xml


There are other new features and services of the site about to be made available. Some are already implemented and available but others still require some development.

When the time comes I will reveal the new features. Anyway, like providing mirrors is a initiative that is mutually beneficial for promoting mirror host providers and for increasing the site audience, what is being planned will also be mutually beneficial even to users that have not had yet the opportunity to contribute to the site, but soon they will be able to do so by contributing to the growth of the site audience and be compensated for that.

Keep enjoying the site.

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