Early sections show what PHP is and how it works, with basic data types, flow control, and other topics you'll need to get started. But the heart of the book is a full reference to PHP 4 functions. Organised by topic, this text provides over 400 pages of reference to several hundred PHP calls, along with a description of what they do. Clearly organised and presented, this book will help you find what you need quickly (instead of relying on PHP's often cumbersome online help). In particular, readers will appreciate the coverage of database functions, including the separate calls for MySQL, ODBC, and Oracle. You'll also see what PHP can do with XML.
The last part of the book reverts to tutorial mode, first with a section on algorithms that discusses ways to sort and search PHP arrays. Final sections look at some strategies you can use to integrate PHP into the software design process, in which the strategies of combining HTML content with dynamic PHP scripts are shown. There is also useful advice for increasing performance with PHP. (It would seem that upgrading to PHP 4 is a must, because the new version offers a real performance boost.)
PHP is clearly a popular choice for Web applications today. If you buy just one book on PHP, consider Core PHP Programming. It offers an approachable tutorial that will put basic PHP script development into the hands of beginners, and provides a useful reference for everyday development once you've gotten a handle on how to use it. --Richard Dragan
From the Publisher
I. PROGRAMMING WITH PHP.
1. An Introduction to PHP. 2. Variables, Operators, and Expressions. 3. Control Statements. 4. Functions. 5. Arrays. 6. Classes. 7. I/O and Disk Access.
II. FUNCTIONAL REFERENCE.
8. I/O Functions. 9. Data Functions. 10. Mathematical Functions. 11. Time, Date, and Configuration Functions. 12. Image Functions. 13. Database Functions.
14. Sorting, Searching, and Random Numbers. 15. Parsing and String Evaluation. 16. Database Integration. 17. Generating Graphics.
IV. SOFTWARE ENGINEERING.
18. Integration with HTML. 19. Design. 20. Efficiency and Debugging. Appendix A. Backslash Codes. Appendix B. ASCII Codes. Appendix C. Operators. Appendix D. PHP Tags. Appendix E. Installing PHP. Index. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Author
Before I had the idea to write a book about PHP, every few days I would read a message on the PHP mailing list and be surprised with some new, amazing feature. It began to dawn on me that what I needed, what I craved, was to know the complete story of PHP. So, true to the RTFM principle, I delved into the online documentation. While most of the functionality was documented, it was fairly sparse. My colleagues with less programming experience weren't finding it terribly approachable.
I wrote a few descriptions for the undocumented functions, and I might have remained content. But slowly the idea to write my own manual began to take shape after learning that Prentice Hall was interested in recruiting authors. Could I, never having written anything longer than a college term paper, actually put together a 500-page technical reference? I was willing to try! Whatever happened, it would be a great adventure. Plus, I would be able to contribute to PHP's growing prosperity.
I set about studying the structures of some of my favorite computer books. I also considered the different reasons why anyone would buy a book about PHP. First, there were people like me who would find it useful to have a physical reference to leave open on a desk. The reason I put the functional reference in chapters eight through thirteen is so that the weight of the surrounding chapters would help keep the book open.
I also considered that most of the people asking questions on the PHP mailing list started their messages like "I just found PHP today! It's great, but how do I..." Some of these people would benefit from a primer on programming. Others just needed recipes for common coding problems. I chose to spend the first seven chapters of the book discussing programming concepts (operators, variables, functions) in the context of PHP. I also included several chapters dealing with common programming problems such as sorting and graphics production.
And of course, I included lots of examples. Sometimes a code snippet can tell more than several paragraphs. But I did my best to use realistic examples. Many of the examples in the book are based on code from some of the projects I've worked on.
PHP is proof that the Open Source concept is how software ought to be. No one pays for PHP, but many people are making money because it exists. This book and others are perhaps the smallest part. PHP helps sell other software such as RedHat Linux and Apache Stronghold. And I can't count the number of times it has allowed me to create Web applications with less effort than with other server-side technologies. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
- Master PHP 4 — the open source Web scripting breakthrough
- Contains expert coverage of syntax, functions, design, and debugging
- Leverage the amazing performance of the new Zend engine!
- 650+ real-world code examples
- CD-ROM includes source code, plus everything you'll need to run PHP 4 implementations on Windows and UNIX
Foreword by Andi Gutmans
Praise for the first edition:Core PHP Programming has proved itself an invaluable technical reference. I highly recommend it for beginners as well, since the official PHP manual often assumes too much knowledge on behalf of the user. Leon's strength is that he does not try to sound more technical than needed, simply for the sake of impressing other programmers. In short, a must-have for any PHP user, beginning or advanced!
—Zack Beatty, Enterprise Web Engineer
The experienced developer's guide to PHP!
Master PHP 4, the open source, high-performance, cross-platform solution for server-side scripting!
Core PHP Programming, Second Edition is the #1 practical guide to PHP 4 for Web developers. With the guidance of top PHP developer Leon Atkinson, you'll learn everything you'll need to build robust, fast Web applications — and deploy them on leading Web servers, from Apache to Microsoft Internet Information Server.
Atkinson covers PHP syntax, the key building blocks of PHP scripts, and every PHP function, including I/O, data, and math functions, time, date, configuration, database, graphics, and network functions. He presents PHP at work in sample code that demonstrates sorting, searching, parsing, string evaluation, and more. You'll even find detailed, real-world insights into PHP 4 program design and debugging!
Core PHP Programming delivers
- Thorough, easy-to-understand coverage of PHP syntax and functions
- Step-by-step guidance for PHP database integration
- Design and optimization techniques for maximum performance and extensibility
- Practical debugging solutions
CD-ROM includes PHP 4 source code and Windows binaries plus all the code examples from the book!
About the Author
LEON ATKINSON is Chief Technologist for Clear Ink Corporation, an agency offering traditional and Web communication services. He is creator and maintainer of the FreeTrade project, an Open Source e-commerce toolkit, and an enthusiastic supporter of PHP.