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PHP 5 Social Networking (Community Experience Distilled) [Paperback]

Michael Peacock
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: 27.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

25 Oct 2010 1849512388 978-1849512381
Social Networking has quickly become a very popular activity on the Internet, particularly with the emergence of sites like Facebook and MySpace. PHP is a flexible web development language used on a wide variety of sites, including Facebook and Yahoo! But building a social networking site from scratch using PHP involves some complex logic, and also some serious coding.

This book will demonstrate how to create, maintain, and extend a powerful social network site. It shows how to create your own flexible social networking framework, allowing users to sign up, customize their profile, befriend other users, share information, communicate, interact with one another, and much more.

Taking best practices, such as object-oriented programming, and the Model-View-Controller architecture, this book will begin by walking through the development of a simple development framework, which is then used to rapidly build a Social Networking platform, building upon the social features chapter by chapter. At the end of this book, you will have a powerful Social Networking platform loaded with many features which can take the user from signing up and connecting with other users to posting and sharing information. With an API in place, the platform can be extended and used by other Social Networks. This book doesn’t just stop with the code and the logic behind it; useful supplementary information is also covered, such as marketing the Social Network, keeping Search Engine Optimization in mind when developing, backing up and maintaining the site, and how to deal with large amounts of traffic through scaling.

By the end of this book, you will be left fully prepared to build, manage, maintain, and extend a powerful Social Network for your business, hobby, organization, family, and clients.

A fast-paced guide to creating a flexible Social Networking website using PHP with a custom, light weight MVC framework.


Product details

  • Paperback: 433 pages
  • Publisher: PACKT PUBLISHING (25 Oct 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849512388
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849512381
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 19 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 778,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Michael Peacock


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.


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for begginers, lacking advanced techniques 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
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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