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Essential PHP Tools: Modules, Extensions, and Accelerators Paperback – March 10, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-1590592809 ISBN-10: 1590592808

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Product Details

  • Series: Expert's Voice
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Apress (March 10, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590592808
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590592809
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,284,483 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


From the reviews:

"This book intends to simplify programming tasks through the use … . The intended audience is intermediate-to-advanced, although I believe it is also of great use to the uninitiated. The Introduction provides a solid introduction to the use of PEAR … . The section on databases is required reading for anyone wishing to … . The Smarty chapter is an excellent introduction into templating … . Especially enjoyable is the chapter on PEAR’s Mail_mime … . I particularly enjoyed the level of detail given … ." (Mitchell Pirtle, International PHP Magazine, Issue no. 4, 2004)

About the Author

David Sklar is an instructor at The New School University and an independent technology consultant. He is coauthor of the book PHP Cookbook and the author of the Learning PHP. David has spoken at many conferences, including the O'Reilly Open Source Conference, the EGovOS Open Source/Open Standards Conference, and the International PHP Conference. His consulting practice focuses on interactive Internet applications, distributed systems, scalability, and security. Additionally, David is a principal of the Transparency Project, a nonprofit organization that coordinates data markup standards and builds tools that analyze publicly available political and campaign finance information. David was a founder and the chief technology officer of both Student.Com and TVGrid.Com, where he led teams of PHP developers that built multilingual data-driven web applications. He holds a degree in computer science from Yale University.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By J. Sheth on June 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
David Sklar has written a book on a subject that most other PHP authors have ignored, and which many PHP programmers have failed to consider: how using pre-made, existing libraries effectively can save you hours of writing (and re-writing) PHP code.
There are many external libraries available to PHP, some under the PEAR brand ( [...] ) and others by individual authors or companies.
If you would like to automate the creation, processing and validatin of form processing, there's HTML_QuickForm. If you'd like to implement a templating system to separate presentation logic from other programming logic, there's Smarty. If you would like to setup a lightweight, yet completely usable and effective web services platform, there's the PEAR XML-RPC library.
In many of these cases, the online documentation is too complicated or technical (e.g. HTML_QuickForm) or too skimpy (PEAR XML-RPC). Enter David Sklar's book!
David uses concise, clear language with plenty of examples to explain how a certain library works. He goes through it step-by-step, first with a paragraph of descriptive text, then with a snippet of code elucidating what was previously mentioned.
He manages to cover just enough ground to enable you to grasp how to use a certain library without boring you to tears with extraneous, non-essential information.
If you would like to avoid re-inventing the wheel and the introduction of bugs (that almost always follows the insertion of new, untested code), I suggest you procure a copy of Essential PHP Tools today, and read it cover-to-cover!
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Foti Massimo on June 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
The PHP world is full of great add-ons, modules and tools available for free on the Internet. Unfortunately, many of them lack quality documentation. If you already have a decent understanding of PHP and want to expand your arsenal this book is for you. Take a look at the TOC and you will find plenty of useful material, from portable database connectivity, to SOAP, XML and much more. Each chapter is self-containing, no linear reading is required and you can safely skip something or jump across different topics. I hope to see more books like this; there are many little software gems out there that deserve this kind of treatment
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Harold McFarland HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
If you are using PHP with your web applications you will want a copy of "Essential PHP Tools". Author David Sklar has gathered together tools to resolve some of the most common problems of PHP. If you want to do authentication you don't have to hand write the code, a free tool is available. Unfortunately many of the best free tools for PHP also have minimal documentation. David Sklar resolves this problem by providing excellent documentation for each of the tools mentioned in the book. Some of these include tools for accessing databases (using both the DB and ADODB methods), generating and processing forms, templating, XML parsing, sending mail, authentication, working with users and passwords, debugging, caching, and optimizing. The tools are easy to find and useful, the documentation excellent, and the writing style easy to follow. All this makes "Essential PHP Tools" a highly recommended book for anyone using PHP on their webserver.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Erik S. Heerlein on November 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book does alert you to many useful modues, extensions and accelerators and given that many of these are open source and their documentation can be skimpy, it's good to have examples and documentation from another source.

However, this book is not comprehensive in it's coverage of said modules, extensions and accelerators and in areas where it covers material already explained in the documentation, I preferred the original documentation's style and explanations. The book does mention things that the original documention does not, but the original documentation talks about things that the book does not.

In short, I had to read both the documentation and the book to fully understand the code.
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