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Programming PHP [School & Library Binding]

Rasmus Lerdorf , Kevin Tatroe
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Mar 2002

PHP is a simple yet powerful open-source scripting language for creating dynamic web content. The millions of web sites powered by PHP are testament to its popularity and ease of use. PHP is used by both programmers, who appreciate its flexibility and speed, and web designers, who value its accessibility and convenience. Programming PHP is an authoritative guide to PHP 4 and is filled with the unique knowledge of the creator of PHP, Rasmus Lerdorf. This book explains PHP language syntax and programming techniques in a clear and concise manner, with numerous examples that illustrate both correct usage and common idioms. The book also includes style tips and practical programming advice that will help you become not just a PHP programmer, but a good PHP programmer. Programming PHP covers everything you need to know to create effective web applications with PHP. Contents include:

  • Detailed information on the basics of the PHP language, including data types, variables, operators, and flow control statements
  • Separate chapters on the fundamental topics of functions, strings, arrays, and objects
  • Coverage of common PHP web application techniques, such as form processing and validation, session tracking, and cookies
  • Material on interacting with relational databases, such as MySQL and Oracle, using the database-independent PEAR DB library
  • Chapters on generating dynamic images, creating PDF files, and parsing XML files with PHP
  • Advanced topics, like creating secure script, error handling, performance tuning, and writing your own C language extensions to PHP
  • A handy quick reference to all the core functions in PHP and all the standard extensions that ship with PHP
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • School & Library Binding
  • Publisher: San Val (Mar 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0613912624
  • ISBN-13: 978-0613912624
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Amazon Review

Coauthored by its creator, Programming PHP is a nitty-gritty guide to PHP development. PHP is an open-source scripting language used to build dynamic Web sites. In this title, the authors go step-by-step through the language, including brief coverage of common applications such as graphics or database work.

The first six chapters explain PHP essentials, including data types, functions, string manipulation, arrays and objects. Next comes a look at basic Web techniques, followed by an introduction to database access. There is a chapter on generating graphics with the GD extension library and another on creating Adobe PDF documents. The authors then show how to parse XML, and there is a section on security with some handy tips for protecting PHP sites. A chapter on application techniques looks at code libraries, performance tuning and handling errors. Next there is an explanation of how to build extensions to PHP using C, followed by a look at Windows issues such as COM and ODBC. Finally, there is a complete reference to the standard functions in PHP 4.0.

This is not an advanced programming book, but even experienced coders will discover new things about the language and get a clearer understanding of how PHP works. The specialist chapters such as those on XML or PHP extensions tend to be introductory, so readers will need further resources. For example, the database section is short, and would be best read alongside Web Database Applications with PHP and MySQL or another book with more detailed database coverage. Even so, this is a strong hands-on title that PHP developers will want to keep close at hand. ----Tim Anderson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"....a well formed and written book, with the 'typical' ORA feel to it—very clear and concise." -- Raymond Camden, Hampton Roads ColdFusion User Group, June 2002

"Personally, I think the authors did a very credible job of creating a book that even a non-programmer can use to get started...." -- Jim Huddle, CompuNotes Issue #191

"The book is a useful and practical introduction for those who want to get started with PHP programming." -- Pete Hoyle, Williamsburg Macromedia User Group, August 2002 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
66 of 66 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Extremely useful and informative book 31 July 2002
Programming PHP is written in part by Rasmus Lerdorf, the man who first created it and is still an active member of the development community. This can only be good news.
The book is divided in chapters in a well-ordered and intuitive way. I get the impression that the authors wrote full chapters each, as they tend to vary in depth. In general, though, they present a wide variety of the features and potent of PHP, and, maybe most important, also discuss limitations.
The book can be read by people with no knowledge on the subject whatsoever, though some programming experience would come helpful. The language is clear, precise and to-the-point. Code examples are presented after each point discussed. There is useful information spread all over the book, of the technical and not-so-technical kind, and I cannot imagine anybody going through the book without learning a few new things, however experienced they may be.
Apart from chapters on the usual PHP features (strings, arrays, objects, etc.), there are subjects on commonly used web techniques (and why they are commonly used), security (server-side and scripting), writing your own PHP extensions, and one dedicated to the special relationship PHP has with windows. Personally, I believe the chapter on security alone is worth buying the book for.
Sometimes the authors give the impression they like showing off (OK, so you can double a number by left-shifting), but this is rare and unobtrusive. So, why only 4 stars? Because the book hasn't been very well edited (at least the first edition which I have): there are spelling and coding mistakes, and the latter is not only less than expected by such a company as O'Reilly, but can severely affect a programmer's first steps into a new language.
This said, this book is definitely worth buying. In fact, it's the best descriptive book I've read on the sole subject of PHP, great as a reference book, and shouldn't be missing from any PHP programmer's library.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An O'Reilly Classic 20 Aug 2003
By A Customer
This book is similar to every other O'Reilly book in that it is clear, concise and to the point. Never does it waffle on, and never does it go into too much detail and complexity that everyone except the best programmers understands it.
I personally found the explanation of objects and their classes to be better than the other explanations I have read for different languages, and certainly made picking up OOP in PHP a lot easier. Throughout is the obvious knowledge of the authors, something always reassuring in a title like this. The book fits well for beginners and seasoned programmers alike: the basics are explained well, and the technical reasons why things happen are included for good measure.
I was also surprised by the size of this book, as it significantly thinner than the other O'Reilly books (and other computer books for that matter), that I own. Computer books often appear large, daunting and dry. This book is an exception to that rule, and is perfectly good for someone wanting to learn PHP from the ground up to someone wanting to pick a chapter to swat up on, and use it as a reference book. All in all, a very good book.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy start in dynamic webpages 26 Jun 2003
By David Precious TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
PHP is a great language to start creating dynamic websites with - it's easy to learn, but very powerful.
This book will start you out on the right tracks with PHP and help you build up your experience - even once you're experienced, you'll still turn to it for reference.
As usual, it's a solid O'Reilly title, it won't let you down. Being co-written by Rasmus himself (the creator of PHP) it benefits from more than a little extra experience and inside information.
Basically, if you want to create dynamic websites with a lot of power, PHP is the language you want, and this is the book.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good 3 Aug 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Written in the standard O'Reilly style, this book gives you a comprehensive coverage of PHP without being overly verbose or too dryly technical. Now in its 2nd edition this book covers the most recent version of PHP, version 5.

While I wouldn't want to learn PHP as a first programming language from this book, anybody with a basic knowledge of HTML and an OOP based language (Java, C++ or even JavaScript) will quickly be able to code PHP.

While the book isn't perfect: the aforementioned lack of concrete examples (the cynic in me might think that O'Reilly were saving these for the PHP Cookbook which is due out soon) and the chapter on objects being only 20 pages long, it's still all you would need as both a reference and a learning resource. A strong buy.
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