extension_dir is meaningless with PHP and Windows

UPDATE (11-8-06): It’s a documentation bug. The Windows installation document says to use the PATH environment variable to tell PHP where to find php.ini. In fact, PHP does not check the PATH for php.ini per badly buried configuration file documentation. Once I got that fixed, that fixed the extension_dir problem.

UPDATE (11-8-06): Predictably, this bug got classified as “bogus.” I’ve gotten it reclassified as “open.”

I despise PHP because it is a low tech, rudimentary, Perl-based script kiddie language. There is no reason for any serious programmer to use PHP for new products. Despite this, I’m having to use it for another web product I am checking out.

Yet again, I ran into another idiotic PHP bug. Unlike last time, the php folks seem to be taking me seriously instead of reflexively dismissing complaints from non-UNIX users.

PHP comes with a bunch of extensions. Any connection to a database uses an extension.

The php.ini file allows you to specify the location of your extensions directory. This declaration in Windows systems would typically be:

; Directory in which the loadable extensions (modules) reside.
extension_dir = c:\PHP\ext

Unfortunately, the extension_dir directive is totally meaningless. I verified that through Sysinternal’s Filemon utility. PHP never checks the extension_dir! Your extensions have to be in a location specified in the system path. I’ll let you check the bug report for more details.

I am an “Enterpriser”

I don’t normally do online “surveys” because most of them are made up, stupid, or grossly faulty, providing pointless conclusions.

However, I came across the Pew Research Center‘s 2005 Political Typology survey. It says I am an enterpriser. I am satisfied with that label, but I depart somewhat from Pew’s description of this group:

  • I am more religious than the nation as a whole.
  • I rarely watch Fox News. Most of my news comes from left wing sources like NPR, CNN, BBC, and The Dallas Morning News. (I supplement with Drudge Report.)
  • I do not favor government intervention in moral issues. I strongly support a robust separation of church and state because I believing that mingling the two only causes tyranny and corruption.

Rigid dryer vent eliminates minimal fire hazard

After being unwittingly passed a hoax on the fire danger of dryer sheets (see Consumer Reports’s refutation), I remembered that I need to replace my flexible dryer hose with a rigid type. Apparently, rigid hoses are less of a fire hazard because they don’t collect lint.

My flexible hose setup:

Notice the nice sag in the middle to (theoretically) catch lint:

In fact, closer inspection showed the entire duct was pretty clean despite 3 years of use. The worst part was actually near one of the ends:

Far from clogged!

The inside of the dryer and the outside vent were clean:

So much for the dire warnings of dryer lint fires!

Next I installed the rigid vent. All I needed were two elbow connections and a 2 foot straight section. This is the first elbow, inserted into the outside vent:

Then I cut the middle section to fit, using about four test fits to get it right:

The tubing is thin, so I was able to cut it with traditional, black-handled scissors. (It comes in a sheet; you snap the the length side together along a seam.

A picture of the top, with the seam visible on the bottom right:

Then, with a little coaxing and finagling, I got it in place:

In only 40 minutes, I eliminated a trivial fire risk! Yay.

I think the dryer may operate somewhat more efficiently, however, since the exhaust no longer goes through a long, snaking tube.

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