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Essential PHP for Web Professionals Paperback – October 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Series: Essential (Prentice Hall)
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson Education; 1st edition (October 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0130889032
  • ISBN-13: 978-0130889034
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,263,405 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

IntroductionWho Should Read This Book?

This book is meant to be a quick introduction to the PHP programming language for Web developers with little or no programming experience. This book assumes you know your HTML; it does not dwell on HTML fundamentals. If you can handle coding a few pages of HTML in a run-of-the-mill text editor, and want to learn how to add server-side functionality to your site, then this book is for you.

If you want to learn how to make Web development tasks easier, then this book is for you. This book teaches you about templates that can greatly reduce your coding time for a Web site.

If you are sick and tired of thirty-line PERL programs just to send a simple email from a Web site, then this book is for you. This book shows how easy coding routine Web applications in PHP can be.

If you want to learn a great up-and-coming Web development language, then this book is for you. PHP is getting more popular by the minute, and now PHP4 works with most of the popular Web servers on the Internet.How This Book Is Laid Out

This book teaches you about PHP in bite-sized mouthfuls; be sure to swallow before proceeding to the next section. Each chapter builds upon principles learned from the preceding chapters, so it's probably smart to go through the book starting at the beginning.

Each chapter contains code examples, explanations, and mini-projects. Larger projects are spaced out in the book so that you can use your newfound knowledge to build some nice Web applications.

All of the examples in the book are located on the companion Web site at phptr/essential. You can download the scripts needed to follow along with the exercises, or you can type them in by hand.A Little Background on PHP

PHP was originally written by Rasmus Lerdorf to add some functionality that the Web server didn't offer to his personal Web page. Soon other people started asking him if they could use his program for their own Web sites. Soon after that, people started asking for more features, and to make a long story short, Rasmus, with the help of others, created a new programming language called PHP/FI.

PHP/FI, which stood for Personal Home Pages/Form Interpreter, was updated and rewritten by a team of programmers working around the globe and was released as PHP3. At some point during the development of PHP3, the team decided that Personal Home Pages wasn't such a good name for the language they were creating, so a vote was called and PHP was officially renamed PHP Hypertext Preprocessor, which is a recursive acronym like GNU (GNU's not UNIX).

PHP3 was also updated and worked on by the team of programmers, and PHP4 was created. PHP4 comes with a new engine called Zend. See zend for more information on Zend.

Both PHP3 and PHP4 are robust and versatile languages that, in my honest opinion, are easier to use, more powerful, and just cooler than most of the other offerings in the Web scripting language market.How PHP and HTML Work Together

PHP has advantages over other programming languages that are used for HTML processing in that it was designed specifically for one purpose, and that is to work with HTML. It comes to little surprise then that it works with HTML in such a simple, yet powerful, manner.

When a browser requests a PHP page from a Web server, the PHP module looks over the page (parses it) before sending it to the browser. The parts of the page that are written in normal HTML are sent to the browser just as they normally would be in a regular HTML document. The parts of it that are written in PHP are processed by the server's PHP module, which is the program that interprets the PHP code. The PHP module looks at the PHP code and executes the instructions it finds there. Those instructions tell the server to do things like send email, access a database, or crunch numbers.Notes About This Book and the Web SiteAll of the code examples from this book are available for download on the book's Web site at phptr/essential. You can download it from the Web site or type it all in yourself. It's recommended you try typing it in so you can get used to the syntax and become familiar with the examples.In addition to the code examples, the answers to the Advanced Projects from the end of each chapter are also included on the Web site. Play around with these to further develop your skills in coding PHP.Also have a look at the other books in the series on the site. All of the books are excellent guides to their respective subjects.There will also be updates posted on this site for any errata that may occur with the book. PHP is an evolving language and sometimes functions or code constructs change slightly as the language develops.In this Essential Web Professionals series, we have created two fictitious companies that we feel portray a large percentage of the types of companies that are getting involved with exposure on the Web.

Stitch Magazine: Stitch is an online fashion magazine that has chosen to publish parts of the magazine on the Web to complement its printed version. It's also using the Web to reach new readers.

Shelley Biotechnologies: This is a company that sells biotech products and wishes to enter the online world to advertise them.

Although every company is different in its own way, we have found that most really do fall into one of these two categories.What This Book Will and Won't Teach You

PHP is a rich and full-featured language. A book this size couldn't possibly cover each and every function that's in PHP. This book is meant to get you started using the PHP language. It takes some of the more widely used techniques for Web development using PHP and breaks them into their basic parts. You can then use these parts in your own development projects.

After you've read through this book, you should have a very solid understanding of PHP and how it can help you accomplish your Web development tasks. Hopefully, this book will be a stepping stone for further studies and experiments in PHP.

From the Back Cover

  • Get results with PHP4—today!
  • Learn from real-world examples available from a companion Web site
  • Master every key technique!
  • Discover database integration, forms/email processing, page templates, and much more
  • Endorsed by WOW (The World Organization of Webmasters)
  • This compact, example-rich guide teaches Web developers exactly what they need to know to achieve great results with PHP4, the world's fastest growing Web scripting language. Endorsed by The World Organization of Webmasters, Essential PHP for Web Professionals offers no-nonsense, practical coverage built around real-world available from a companion Web site. From PHP installation through sophisticated site automation, this book delivers practical answers, usable code, and real solutions—fast!

    You'll learn all this, and much more!

    • Installing and configuring PHP4 support on Apache—for both Linux and Windows
    • Delivering dynamic content on any Web or intranet site
    • File reads/writes and data checking
    • Forms processing and automated email responses
    • Using PHP templates to automate page design—and redesign
    • Database integration

    Look to Essential Books for ALL the Web Skills You Need! All these books share the same great format, and the same dynamic Web site... so once you've used one, learning from the others is a piece of cake!

    • Essential CSS and DHTML for Web Professionals
    • Essential Flash 4 for Web Professionals
    • Essential PERL 5 for Web Professionals
    • Essential Photoshop 5 for Web Professionals
    • Essential JavaScript for Web Professionals
    • Essential ASP for Web Professionals
    • And more to come!

    More About the Author

    Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

    Customer Reviews

    4.1 out of 5 stars
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    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By J Hong on December 30, 2000
    Format: Paperback
    Essential PHP for Web Professionals is intended as a concise how-to guide for somebody new to php and needs quick answers. For its size, the book covers quite a lot of breadth: from simple forms all the way to databases. The small size of the book makes topics easy to find though. Another big plus is the line numbers in the code listings that make the author's commentary easy to follow. However code readability suffers from the indentation style or lack of thereof.
    To round out this review, I should mention that there are a couple of irritating details. The section on how to install php on a Linux computer is clearly a cut & paste job from the Windows section. It makes reference to the c drive which of course does not exist in Linux. Thus a Linux user will find the installation chapter pretty well useless. I have sent off an email to the editor but have not yet received a reply. There is also a typo in the chapter on incorporating mySQL into php. The flag to compile apache with mySQL support is --with-mysql and not -with-mysql. This section for the Linux user is again useless because of it's incompleteness.
    In summary, I would recommend this book for the example scripts but if the reader requires more details on installation and/or database connectivity, other books will have to be consulted.
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    4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By sonytoao on April 5, 2001
    Format: Paperback
    This book provides the basics of PHP programming in an easy-to-read format. It also provides a simplistic discussion of many of PHP's benefits, including cookie management and auto responders. Its lack of detail, however, will frustrate those who already have experience in programming Perl, C++ or other OO languages. For example, the book introduces the mail() function with a light code example, but does not indicate or even hint that configuration must occur somewhere with sendmail (on the linux box) or an outgoing smtp server (for windows). I would recommend this book to non-programmers who want a quick-and-dirty intro. to PHP, but experienced web app. developers should look elsewhere.
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    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 9, 2001
    Format: Paperback
    This book has some pretty good examples; however, it skimps on details. It also seems to be geared toward those already familiar with UNIX scripting conventions, because it introduces some syntax features, like back-slashes, with little or no explanation. It also does not explain how or if "nulls" or string-to-number conversions are handled. Nulls can be big "gotchas" if not well-understood. It does not cover session management (which is fairly new I hear, and may not have been around when written). If you like practical examples, then this may be for you. If you like programming details, avoid it. Also, code indentation was lacking in many examples. They may have done this to make it fit on the page, but even slim indentation would have helped readability.
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    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 3, 2004
    Format: Paperback
    I've must have spent at least a gabazillion dollars on useless PHP (and other programming) books in recent months. NOT ONE of them has the ability to:

    1. Explain things clearly and understandably to all, and/or

    2. Present their material without being FILLED with errors that essentially render their books totally useless.

    Unlike EVERY OTHER BOOK I've now read on the subject, this one is a GEM!! Run out and BUY IT, NOW. If you are new to PHP you should NOT even consider anything else first. I've just spent TWO WASTED WEEKS with another book (allegedly the "latest and greatest") that was just released on this topic - I'm now about to give up on that one simply because the pubisher has ignored the horrendous errors in that book and won't publish an errata sheet. This book, even though I've covered half of it, just this evening (really), has taken me well beyond where I had gone with the last one, in just a FRACTION of the time. Even better, I actually UNDERSTAND what the author is trying to say and his code actually works! PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE write more!

    Perhaps my only "complaint" is that this book is now "dated" and should be revised. By that I mean that most examples refer to PHP ver. 3 and some of the HTML should also be updated to reflect the change to XHTML. These little matters are easily overcome though and do not present a significant problem.
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    3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Khaled AalAli on July 27, 2001
    Format: Paperback
    The book is for those who know NOTHING about PHP!. They just need to know simple thing about HTML (just understand the code!), or it's for those who need QUICK reveiw on PHP.
    The author's language is very simple and to the point. He will teach you from installing PHP (and Apatche server) in your pc till integrating PHP with Mysql database. After you finish chapter 2, you will know how dynamic pages work and you can do very simple dynamic page. The chapter about database is perfect (now i understand and know how to make databases on my server!!)
    The author is explaining all lines of each script in the book, which is good way of understanding how a script works!
    After you finish the book, you will understand PHP scripting (you won't know everything about PHP) so you can start developing your self by doing more scripts.
    This is the only book i found about PHP, so can't compare it.
    but it is worth it!!
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    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chad R. Smith on June 18, 2007
    Format: Paperback
    My name is Chad R. Smith and I am the President of Get A Supplier ([...]). I have been a website programmer for over 7 years and started from this book. It makes me happy to see that this is still in print as I think that this book is extremely valuable to anyone who is wanting to get into the world of PHP. When I got this book it was Christmas time and I read it all the way to and from grandma's. I took notes, highlighted pages, and just wanted to read more and more.

    What it lacks:
    It lacks substance (as seen from other posters), it cannot provide you with the why and how it works. Other books that have provided me the next level in my quest of PHP knowledge include WROX (Beginning PHP5, Apache, and MySQL Web Development (Programmer to Programmer), and Advanced PHP). These two books will provide the why and how it works, but give you code that is very long. This book also lacks the ability to use best programming practices. It has register_globals off which as you begin to see when getting into the language is a very bad habit to get into. One that has taken me a year or so to break. This book uses cookies where it should have used sessions, however that's just the personal taste of the author.

    What is does well:
    This book is above and beyond great at showing you a clear example of using a function and making it work. This author takes great strides to make everything simple and very understandable to anyone. Now with the existence of PHP5 the installing methods have changed slightly as PHP3 is no longer being supported.
    Read more ›
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