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on 26 May 2009
This book really is not for anyone with no PHP knowledge. Even basic PHP will not be enough. The problem is that the code supplied, to integrate SMARTY with the application, has bugs in it. These are not easily fixed. In my opinion, web designers with enough knowledge to use this book effectively will be able to achieve 90% of the objectives set out, by using forums and blogs freely available on the internet, if there are gaps in their knowledge.
There are some useful elements, on installing xammp etc but again these are not worth paying for.
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on 10 May 2010
I decided to buy this book because I wanted to gain insight into how professional developers created e-commerce sites and thought that I would be able to build upon my introductory level PHP/MySQL skills. In reviewing this article I must first note that the writing style of the authors is simple, clear and accessible which is excellent as the supposed aim of the book is to turn a "novice" into a "professional".

The authors also made use of some more advanced features of both PHP and MySQL (such as using PDO to access the database and using MySQL stored procedures) and I felt that the inclusion of these areas was of great benefit to the reader without adding too much to the complexity of the solution or the readers' learning curve. I would have liked however for the author inform the reader of the pro's and con's of using these more advanced features in the text.

Unfortunately I personally felt this book has a number of weaknesses which should not be ignored.

One of these weaknesses was the incorporation of the Smarty templating system into the solution in order to separate the presentation from the logic behind the site. Whilst I fully understand and appreciate the benefit of using the Smarty templating system in PHP applications, I felt that its inclusion in this book added an unnecessary layer of complexity for the reader, making the learning process more difficult.

A second area of major concern is that there seems to be a bug with an important driver (php_pdo_mysql.dll) that this solution makes use of. One of the authors state in the errata page that "for development/testing purposes" an unofficial version of the driver in question should be used. I find that the lack of an suitable (permanent) solution on the books errata page to be very poor and is something that might stop a novice developer from proceeding.

I feel that this book could have been so much more....
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on 7 May 2009
The tutorial process in this book broke down by chapter 4, which only covers the very simple first steps. After spending 2-3 days researching and resoolving the bug(s), I finally moved on to chapter 5, and have now discovered that there is an inherent bug with the database implementation used / recommended by the author, and that I am unlikely to progress further.

Hilariously the database stored procedure cache bug only exists on the windows platform which the author has based the entire tutorial on, and the bug is even documented in Chapter 5, which states that a solution can be found in the books on-line Errata page. It is not. I have submitted an Errata report to the publisher, but have heard nothing, and the page remains blank.

The book also contains much repetition and advocates the use of a lot of 3rd party PHP extensions and tools rather than pursue a much more sensible basic low level code approach.

Don't waste your money on this.
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on 18 March 2011
I'm starting to loose patience with this book but I'm sticking with it for the time being.

I literally spent a couple of hours trying to fix this problem. Also I believe this is something that another poster has mentioned.

You need to download the errata from the offical website otherwise you will hit a dead-end. Even then the second point in the errata refers to a patched dll that doesn't appear to available for download anywhere.

I found this on Zend forum

web:// forums [dot] zend [dot] com / viewtopic.php?f=8&t=5206

Locate your php.ini on your webserver

comment

extension=php_pdo_mysql_libmysql.dll

and remove the comment out from

;extension=php_pdo_mysql_mysqlnd.dll

and then refresh

This relates to a patched dll in response to bug requests dating back to 2008
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on 30 April 2011
The best solution I found was to install php starting from 5.3 (5.2 simply won't work with the PDOs and hence the aformentioned bug) and then replace all the smarty code with plain old php and html. I managed it in a week and got rid of all those .tpl files, mirroring them with a php template that also makes a call to its presentation object using a utility function similar to the smarty plugin. Then, separating out the admin and customer checkout functionality from the main store front by creating sub directories under presentation will simplify things greatly as that never ending GET check in the Link file disappears and you can then actually focus on a cleaner structure and flow.
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on 2 June 2010
Très fort ce livre. En quelques pages vous suivez et apprenez à developper un site e intelligent et complet. En plus vous apprenez à utiliser Smarty. Quoi de mieux?
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