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PHP 5 Social Networking Paperback – 25 Oct 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 456 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (25 Oct. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849512388
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849512381
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 2.6 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,030,015 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Michael Peacock is a web developer from Newcastle, UK and has a degree in Software Engineering from the University of Durham. After meeting his business partner at Durham, he co-founded Peacock Carter, a Newcastle based creative consultancy specializing in web design, web development and corporate identity. Michael loves working on web related projects. When he is not working on client projects, he is often tinkering with a web app of his own. He has been involved with a number of books, having written two books himself (and working on his third): Selling online with Drupal e-Commerce Packt, and Building websites with TYPO3 Packt. He has also done technical reviews of two other books: Mobile Web Development Packt, and Drupal Education & E-Learning Packt. You can follow Michael on Twitter.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kartones on 20 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback
This book walks chapter by chapter about the process of building a social network, with a structure and features mostly grabbed from Facebook ones (friends, statuses, profiles, events and groups).

It is done from scratch using PHP5 & MySQL, with a custom built lightweight REST-like MVC and a basic templating system (looks like grabbed from PHPBB forums).

The author does a nice selection of design patterns to apply to the architecture, with clear and concise definitions of them, but then the code... starts to get messy.

- There is almost no OO (sometimes looks as Composition, but in general just looks as non-refactored code). Structuring the code to use a /lib/ folder (ok for - helpers) to place Model related code there (and sometimes even with presentation logic) is neither clean nor good.
- Uses PHP tricks (like func_get_args() ) instead of well defined parameters, how builds the views and templates is not the most flexible way (but at least is clean).
- Does some ugly but typical PHP developer things, like using 0 instead of NULL/FALSE, modifying function parameters to store temporal data... I disagree with such unproper practices.
- Classes dont respect much the layers. The controllers have a mess of Model access and DB queries, the authentication component sets template errors (html format included!) and reads POST params...
- Variable names are sometimes terrible: $pp, $u, $ike... Also there is almost no use of PHP switch statements (why?).
- DB Queries are unoptimal, apart from doing really expensive paging calculations. Using strings to store DB dates is really ugly, and forces to use LIKE statements which are costly in processing time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Hansen on 11 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback
PHP 5 Social Networking is simply a must buy for anyone interested in the intricacies of developing their own social networking website. You'll be grounded in developing your own simple yet effective framework,(yes you could plum for an off the shelf product, but building your own will make you into a real expert). This is a book you will have to come back to time and again, as there are gold nuggets which you will want to implement in your own work - I'm thinking about status streams - chapter 7.
Now all that is needed is the Social Networking Development for the mobile platform - and you'll have the perfect set.
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Format: Paperback
The tag line of the book "Create a powerful and dynamic social networking website in PHP by building a flexible framework" sums up pretty well the main aims of the book. It starts off by giving an introduction to social networks: the definitions, existing services and software-solutions as well as why and when you might want to develop your own (Chapter 1).

Assuming you need your own solution it then goes on with planning and designing the framework which will serve as the platform for the further development of your social network site (Chapter 2). The next chapters (Chapter 3 through 10) goes systematically through how to implement features such as registration, relationships, status stream, events, groups, API etc.

It then finishes off with discussions around deployment, security and maintenance (Chapter 12), marketing and monetizing (Chapter 13) and finally a chapter about performance - Chapter 14: Planning for growth.

My thoughts

The short version: I like the book. It's a recommended read for people wanting to learn more about extensible application frameworks suited for the web as well as examples of developing and implementing social features.

The slightly longer version: I like the fact that Michael (Peacock, I do not speak about my self in third person... usually) follows a systematic approach the whole way through and focuses on well known best practices. These includes data sanitation, MVC, design patterns and encourages the reader to just use the exapmles as inspiration and a starting point.
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Format: Paperback
Short story: If you are fresh to social networks, this book will get you up and moving. It explains how to build a fully featured social network, based on a custom underlying framework. At the end of the book you will have a functional site, and know the what's what of social networks. It's very easy to follow the author, and the code is very readable. New concepts and features are introduced in a way that makes it easy for the reader to keep up.

Slightly longer story: I must admit that I'm having problems seeing the value of rolling your own MVC framework when building applications like this. The main arguments made in favor of going custom is ease of maintenance, licensing and code efficiency. I really don't buy these, as there are several good frameworks available under the BSD license, which are proven time upon time (Yii, Zend, Code Igniter, Symfony). Not only is the code maintained by teams of highly skilled developers, but also reviewed for security holes and exploits by the less good-mannered of our beloved internet. A *very* important aspect of social networking sites is security, and I feel that the book should spend more time on that subject (maybe including info on cross site scripting and related).
However, the one argument I really do see the value in is the process of learning. Writing a PHP framework is a very valuable exercise, and if you still have that on your TODO-list, this book should serve as a good guide on the way. The framework produced will allow you to keep extending and improving features after you are done with the material covered in the book.
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