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PHP Hacks: Tips & Tools For Creating Dynamic Websites 1st Edition

20 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0596101398
ISBN-10: 0596101392
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jack Herrington is an engineer, author and presenter who lives and works in the Bay Area. His mission is to expose his fellow engineers to new technologies. That covers a broad spectrum, from demonstrating programs that write other programs in the book Code Generation in Action. Providing techniques for building customer centered web sites in PHP Hacks. All the way writing a how-to on audio blogging called Podcasting Hacks. All of which make great holiday gifts and are available online here, and at your local bookstore. Jack also writes articles for O'Reilly, DevX and IBM Developerworks.

Jack lives with his wife, daughter and two adopted dogs. When he is not writing software, books or articles you can find him on his bike, running or in the pool training for triathlons. You can keep up with Jack's work and his writing at http://jackherrington.com.

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Product Details

  • Series: Hacks
  • Paperback: 468 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (December 22, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596101392
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596101398
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,822,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

You can keep up with Jack's work and his writing at http://jackherrington.com.

Jack Herrington is an engineer, author and presenter who lives and works in the Bay Area. His mission is to expose his fellow engineers to new technologies. That covers a broad spectrum, from demonstrating programs that write other programs in the book Code Generation in Action. Providing techniques for building customer centered web sites in PHP Hacks. All the way writing a how-to on audio blogging called Podcasting Hacks. All of which make great holiday gifts and are available online here, and at your local bookstore. Jack also writes articles for O'Reilly, DevX and IBM Developerworks.

Jack lives with his wife, daughter and two adopted dogs. When he is not writing software, books or articles you can find him on his bike, running or in the pool training for triathlons.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Robert L. Cochran on February 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
I tried several of the hacks in this book and quickly scanned some others. It offers numerous ideas for dynamic web page presentation. Hack 11, "Put an Interactive Spreadsheet on Your Page", provides a fresh way to present tabular data in an Excel-like grid format, using a proprietary solution called ActiveWidgets. I downloaded the free version of the ActiveWidgets code and ran this hack. It is giving me ideas for how to present the kind of tabular data that might look good on a web page. At no cost, you can study a given bit of PHP code and decide for yourself if you can put it to further use.

I also tried Hack 10, "Send HTML Email". It works fine as stated, and for the first time I learned how to construct a multipart email. That is what prompted me to implement the hack, I have always wanted to do exactly this. I have some work to do with my sendmail mail transfer agent (MTA) software for this to work even better. The hack can be improved by showing how to avoid the problem of the MTA writing the wrong from and to email addresses and how to work around potential mail relaying issues. The bottom line, however, is that the code presented works as indicated.

I experimented with Hacks 4, "Build A Breadcrumb Trail", and 12, "Create Popup Hints". These work acceptably.

An exciting hack that I haven't tried yet is #44, "Scrape Web Pages For Data". I would like to use this one to scrape weather-related data from [...] for my zip code.

Another attention-getter are the hacks presented in Chapter 8, "Testing". I have not tried these hacks myself, but I think unit testing needs more attention in web pages that utilize heavy scripting, and I'll be sure to experiment with these hacks in two projects of my own that are currently ongoing.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Dan McKinnon VINE VOICE on March 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
'PHP Hacks' by Jack Herrington truly is a book of hacks, tips, and tricks that I have found to be very useful. Covering 100 different ways to use PHP to perform a myriad of different tasks, this book covers many of the neat things that can be done to turn your web site from 'bland to grand' with little effort required!!

Some highlights of what this book will enable you to do with your PHP-based web site:

Create a skinnable interface

Add tabs to your web interface

Put an interactive spreadsheet on your page

Create drop down lists

Create dynamic menus for your site

Make a DHTML slideshow

Create an interactive calendar

Create thumbnail images

Read XML easily with regular expressions

Create RTF and Excel documents dynamically

Turn any object into an array

Create a login system for your web site

Aside from these top hacks/tips that I especially enjoyed, there is also time spent on better object oriented development with PHP, advice for testing your site out, and a whole myriad of other outstanding things you can do!

If you use PHP at your job and you want to tack on some more skills, you would be at a loss if you didn't pick up a copy of PHP Hacks.

***** HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By bytebreaker on February 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
I've read at least a dozen books on web development with PHP. This book is the best, by far!

The good:

* Excellent coverage of elegant PHP for dealing with databases and XML

* Outstanding explanation of automated code generation (a must for professional PHP developers)

* Description (and code implementation) of how to use design patterns with PHP. Former J2EE guys will love this.

* High quality prose and clear descriptions. I did not find any grammatical or spelling errors.

* Light sense of humor (without the unnecessary banter that one finds in most "... for Dummies" books)

The bad:

* Nothing.

As a software developer of 10 years, I give this book my highest recommendation.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Steve Bailey on May 13, 2007
Format: Paperback
It's very packed full of php solutions that, instead of having you thinking: "I might need this particularly obscure thing later, but then again probably not", like a lot of other books, you'll very likely consider getting a lot of use out of at least 75% of the "hack" recipes eventually.

They're not really hacks by the way, in the negative sense of the word. (Maybe the Recipes book came out first and "Hacks" was the next best word for the title, who knows). But these hack/tips are based on fundamental technologies such as reading/writing XML, preventing double submission on ecommerce sites, making use of design patterns in PHP, great UI tips ( I immediately put one of them to use, which had a url to a popular dhtml library I didn't even know of).

A major portion of the hacks involve excellent user interface advice such as dhtml menus, generating images, etc..

Excellent real-world MySQL tips that include a basic login system, or a PHP recipe that you can use over and over to auto-generate sql CRUD (create/read/update/delete) PHP code. And the other way around. Auto-create mysql code from xml files that contain the schema for the tables.

Also recipes that involve basic knowledge in adding a paypal buy button, php unit testing, testing with simulated users. I shouldn't even attempt at trying to be specific with the types of tips. There are so many of them, varying through different levels of categories

I'd consider it a must-have for all PHP coders. And the reason why I say this, is it's very likely that you will find value in your situation, in at least 2 or 3 of the included "hacks", that would easily cancel out the price of the book. But that's a worst case scenario
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