In 2013 I wrote a suite of PHP pages using imagemagick that could take MySQL data, shove that data into a .png template, to create broadcast quality high definition graphics, without an editor like Photoshop or TypeDeko.
I used this suite of pages to display lowerthirds, boxscores, and intermission graphics during YouTube broadcasts of River City Rascals baseball games.
I made two mistakes while using this system. One, I didn’t code a frontend to this suite, so there was no Login page or management of graphics side of the Sass, and I didn’t keep up with current coding trends as PHP moved from MySQL connect to MySQLi, a pivot in database connectors from PHP 5.7 to 7.0. So, basically when I upgraded my linux server, the graphics builder wouldn’t connect and an error would be displayed. It sat this way for many years I had other important life changes come up, new job, baby girl, professional certifications etc. I got busy, and I’m just getting back to it again.
The mysqli_connect() function in PHP is used to connect an application to a database. In the previous version of the connection mysql_connect() was used for connection and then there comes mysqli_connect() where i means improved version of connection and is more secure than mysql_connect().
Fast forward to 2022, I had a friend that needed a quick way to build lower thirds for upcoming productions. I remebered this system was broken but installed, so I set out to repair it.
First I built a new login script with user roles, and tokens, an article about this is floating around on this site, then I created a PHP RSS feed reader that would import feeds about graphics trends and databasing so I wouldn’t lose sight of such trends again.
I coded this script as an include so it can just be included near the base of any PHP page and the article blocks (divs) will simply show up under your already posted content.
I’m hoping in the future to disect this RSS include script even further and adapt it to become a WordPress plug-in. I would really like a feed of newly available movies and music from the internet archive to be seen at the bottom of my website. I have always really appreciated the wayback machine and if I can throw a few more clicks their way each month, I’ll give it a shot.