Boilerplate for a basic PHP cURL POST or GET request with parameters on Apache

cURL is a library for transferring data using various protocols – in this case most importantly HTTP POST and GET. PHP installed on a Linux distribution or as part of XAMPP uses libcurl. If you haven’t enabled cURL yet, open your php.ini and remove the semicolon at the beginning of this line:

You will find the location of your php.ini in the output’s first line when running

on the command line or by using the XAMPP control panel on a Windows machine. Click the ‘Config’ button next to the Apache module and select ‘PHP (php.ini)’ from the context menu. Save the changes and restart Apache – either by pressing ‘Stop’ & ‘Start’ on the XAMPP control panel or by using the Linux command line:

If cURL for PHP isn’t installed, run

 prior to the step above.

You’ll find further information on how to use cURL here: http://php.net/manual/en/book.curl.php

This boilerplate wraps cURL in a simple function with four parameters: request type, url, parameters and headers. The first snippet contains comments for every step. The second snippet is exactly the same code but without any comments.

Commented boilerplate:

 

And the raw template without comments:

 

 

Disable autoplay on Youtube’s new 2017 material design release

I happened to receive Youtube’s new 2017 desktop material design when I was watching videos the other day. All in all a great redesign which closes the gap to their other channels. You can force the new design by running the command below in your Firefox’s console’s command line (press [CMD] + [SHIFT] + [K]). Reload the page when done.

Unfortunately, the Firefox Greasemonkey script I used to disable Youtube’s autoplay feature does not work with their new site. Just removing the autoplay toggle’s node from the DOM does not do the trick anymore. My investigations brought to light that the f5 property of the PREF cookie is used to toggle the autoplay feature under the hood. f5=30000 is the default value to disable autoplay and f5=20000 the default to enable it. So I built a new Greasemonkey script which reads the existing PREF cookie, looks for the f5-property and sets it accordingly (or adds it if not present). At the same time all existing values are preserved. Additionally, the autonav_disable cookie is set. It was the first thing I found during my investigations which made me think “easy….”. Anyways, it turned out this cookie is not used to control autoplay. Not sure what it does, but I set it just to play safe. Finally a MutationObserver is used to wait for the autoplay toggle and remove it once it is loaded. DOMContentLoaded did not help as it seems like the node is added afterwards. To install the script, first get Greasemonkey for Firefox here . Once Greasemonkey is installed, click here to install the Userscript or paste the code below into your own script. Force reload Youtube by pressing [CMD] + [F5] after successfully installing the script.

Bonus: To hide Youtube’s cookie consent bar, uncomment the first occurrence of setCookieConsentHideCookie(); in the script.