Introducing Mismi – Amazon Price Comparison for Norwegian Customers

My main project in December was Mismi – a service that compares the total price of items from and from for Norwegians. The solution is built on top of the Zend_Service_Amazon class (with a few extensions of my own).

The reasoning behind making the service is that there are several factors that are in play when deciding whether to order a product from the US or from the UK: the exchange rate for GBP and USD, the shipping cost, the delivery situation for the item and whether the item is sold in the store at all.

The user enters a list of the URLs to the products they’re considering purchasing from an Amazon-store, press submit and get a list back of which items are in stock, where the item is the cheapest and what the total sum of an order placed at the store would be. In addition I added a alpha stage feature just before Christmas which will also tell you the “optimum” set of items for the orders – “order item 1,4,7,9 from .com, item 2,3,5,6,8 from”. This took quite a bit of hacking – you also have to consider the initial price of shipping, shipping for each item and other fun things.

Feel free to play with it over at It’s in Norwegian, but it should be easy to understand anyhow with the description above.

Patching Zend_OpenId To Maintain Error Messages

To help anyone else in their quest to implement Zend_OpenId in their code, I’ve created a small patch against trunk which adds error internal error messages in most places where there’s a return false;. This should help when debugging your code, both if you’re implementing an authentication service and use Zend_OpenId as a consumer or if you’re implementing just the consumer part of the equation.

I’ve uploaded the diff: Consumer.php.patch (Consumer.php.patch.txt).

The only thing that seemed a bit weird was that one of the error messages that were present in 1.6.0 had been removed in trunk:

if ($status != 200) {
    this->_setError("'Dumb' signature verification HTTP request failed");
    return false;

I’ve readded this message in my patch, but I feel that the error message should be something like:

$this->_setError("The server responded with HTTP status code: " . $status);


Oh well. Hopefully someone will find this useful.

Christer Goes Bug Hunting

Christer had the pleasure of hunting down a bug in Zend Framework a couple of days ago, and he has just posted a nice article about the bug in Zend MVC Components and how he debugged it. If you’ve never used a debugger before, this article is probably also going to be a bit helpful, and it gives a little insight into how the Zend Framework MVC-components work.

Using Objects with Zend_View’s PartialLoop Helper

Christer has obviously been having a good day today too, as he’s actually made yet ANOTHER blog post about something related to Zend Framework: Using Objects with Zend_View’s PartialLoop Helper. This time he’s examining why some methods suddenly has disappeared in his PartialLoop. I’m a bit surprised his father hasn’t helped him with his view scripts, tho. It’s probably just something he’s saying to don’t appear too incompetent.