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PHP in the Command Line

(Page 2 out of 4)

Type this in: echo `date +%Y`

Gives us "2004". You could even do something like this: echo `dir`

Which puts the directory listing all on one line.

But now, we put our newfound knowledge to good use. Unix has another neat feature called piping, which means "take everything you would normally output to the screen here, and shove it whatever file I tell you to." So say I had something like this:

echo "hey" > test.txt

Now type "dir" and you'll see a new file, test.txt, that wasn't there before. View it off the web, or FTP it to your computer, do whatever you have to, to read the file. It should contain the word "hey".

Likewise, dir > test.txt would store the directory listing into "test.txt".

But say we wanted that text file to be named according to the current date. You already have the pieces to figure all that out, if you think about it. Type: date --help to get a listing of all the possible ways to represent the date. The ones you want to represent the year, month and day are %Y, %m, and %d (capitalization *is* important here).

This is what you want: echo `date +%Y%m%d.html`

Running this today, January 8th, 2004, results in: 20040108.html

I've just echoed this year, followed by this month and this day, with an ".html" at the end. This will be our output file.

Now, to pipe it: echo "hey" > `date +%Y%m%d.html`

If this sort of thing were to run every day, it would save "hey" to a file called 20040108.html today, and tomorrow to a file called 20040109.html, then 20040110.html, and so on.

The easy part now, is figuring out what you want archived. I use wget, which takes an option to store the output file, so we don't need to use piping. Here's an example of how to use wget to save the page "" to a file representing today's date:

wget --output-document=`date +%Y%m%d.html`

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About the author
Dennis Pallett is the main contributor to PHPit. He owns several websites, including ASPit and Chill2Music. He is currently still studying.
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  1. Introduction
  2. Pipe down, over there..
  3. Put it together
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