As a programmer who works remotely from home, part of my job is to produce
weekly reports detailing what I have accomplished each week. Having found that
attempting to write such a list from memory on a Friday is futile, I developed
a tool to generate these reports automatically from my git commit logs.
I've been working on a tool that I call "Watchtower" for the last several
weeks. Watchtower is a platform- and language-agnostic Static Code Analysis
tool that can be used for code audits and incident-response.
I enjoy using PHP for writing command-line applications. PHP's power and
flexibility make it ideal, in my opinion, for writing both full-featured
applications, as well as for use as a "glue language" for automating various
system-administrative tasks. There's one area where PHP has traditionally
fallen short in my mind, however - it lacks a good command-line option parser.
Affiliate marketers will from time to time have to process what's called an
"MD5 suppression list". In brief, an MD5 suppression list is a list of
email addresses which a marketer must remove from her mailing lists, in order
to comply with the CAN SPAM Act of 2003, and respect the rights of
individuals to opt-out of email marketing campaigns.
An MD5 suppression list is simply a file containing a long list of MD5
hashes of unsubscribers' email addresses, the hashing being a security
measure designed to prevent unscrupulous marketers from using suppression lists
themselves as sources for obtaining more email addresses to use in email
To use a suppression list, an email marketer must compare each hash in the
suppression list against an MD5 hash of each contact in her mailing lists. A
matched pair of MD5 hashes indicates that an email address has been found in
the suppression list, and thus must be removed from the marketer's email
lists. (The mechanic here, obviously, is similar to how user passwords are
hashed before being stored in a database.)
Recently, at work, I had to process a 2 gigabyte suppression list (of about 62
million rows) from Groupon. To my surprise, I didn't find any readily available
tools to do this, and thus, rolled my own.