PHP: Countries and currencies

Many software projects deal with the lists of countries and currencies.  Some of the most common tasks include country an currency dropdowns, country flags next to the IP, or pre-filling country codes in phone numbers.

All of that information is of course standardized and you often just need a library or two to provide and use it.  And there are many of those.  We’ve been mainly using these two:

Today, however, I came across a better option – antonioribeiro/countries, which is a collection of country and currency information for Laravel PHP framework.  Laravel is not required though.  This library provides way more information and in a much more flexible way.  It includes:

  • 266 countries (with more codes, common names, official names, and more)
  • 256 currencies
  • 1,570 flags
  • 248 geometry maps
  • 248 topology maps
  • 4,526 states
  • 7,376 cities
  • and a lot more!

Practical Cryptography for Developers

Practical Cryptography for Developers” is a free book (with GitHub repository) by Svetlin Nakov, which aims at teaching developers some of the most practical concepts of cryptography.  The book covers hashing functions, random generators, symmetric and asymmetric keys, digital signatures, and more.  Each chapter is rich with diagrams, illustrations, code samples, as well as exercises.

Cyprus shipping photo competition

If you are a photography enthusiast in Cyprus, Cyprus Mail has some exciting news for you:

The deputy ministry of shipping has launched a photo competition in cooperation with the Cyprus Marine Club and the support of the Cyprus Photographic Society.


The competition – launched this week – will run until January 11, 2019 and is open to persons over 18.

All images should be related to merchant shipping and/or the Cyprus maritime tradition. Participants may submit up to five colour and/or black and white images. Images should be the original work of the entrants. Photos that have received awards in other competitions or have already been publicly posted will not be accepted. Participation in the competition is free of charge.

A five-member committee will choose the three best photos. The first prize is €500, second €250 and third €125. The three winners will also receive an engraved glass trophy.

There aren’t that many photography related events in Cyprus, and even less so for amateurs and enthusiasts.  So here’s your chance to participate, showcase your skills and creativity, compare yourself to other photographers, and win some money and recognition while you are at it.

Cyprus has changed significantly in the last few years, with new ports, terminals, marinas, skylines, and possibilities for aerial photography (hello drones), opening up new opportunities for photographers of all levels.  Don’t miss out on this one.

Avoid complex arrays in PHP

Now that PHP 7+ sorted out a whole bunch of problems with type-hinting of parameters, return values, variables and properties, we turn our attention to somewhat deeper issues.

Array is a native citizen in PHP.  Arrays are very convenient and are widely used.  However, if you stop and think about the times where you had to figure out somebody else’s code, I’m pretty sure complex arrays will come to mind at some point.

I’ve recently came across two completely independent blog posts which talk exactly about this particular area of problems:

Both are explaining the issues very well and make valid points.  As far as solutions and better ways go, apart from the approaches mentioned in these blog posts, I also remembered a recent blog post from which I linked to the data transfer object library, that solves exactly that.