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PHP Solutions: Dynamic Web Design Made Easy 1st ed. 2006. Corr. 3rd printing 2007 Edition

52 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1590597316
ISBN-10: 1590597311
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Powers is an Adobe Community Expert for Dreamweaver and author of a series of highly successful books on PHP, including PHP Solutions: Dynamic Web Design Made Easy and Foundation PHP for Dreamweaver 8. As a professional writer, he has been involved in electronic media for more than 30 years, first with BBC radio and television and more recently with the Internet. His clear writing style is valued not only in the English-speaking world; several of his books have been translated into Spanish and Polish. What started as a mild interest in computing was transformed almost overnight into a passion, when David was posted to Japan in 1987 as BBC correspondent in Tokyo. With no corporate IT department just down the hallway, he was forced to learn how to fix everything himself. When not tinkering with the innards of his computer, he was reporting for BBC television and radio on the rise and collapse of the Japanese bubble economy. Since leaving the BBC to work independently, he has built up an online bilingual database of economic and political analysis for Japanese clients of an international consultancy. When not pounding the keyboard writing books or dreaming of new ways of using PHP and other programming languages, David enjoys nothing better than visiting his favorite sushi restaurant. He has also translated several plays from Japanese.

Product Details

  • Series: Solutions
  • Paperback: 488 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1st ed. 2006. Corr. 3rd printing 2007 edition (October 19, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590597311
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590597316
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,234,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I specialize in writing about web design using Dreamweaver, PHP, and CSS. PHP is the most popular server-side language that brings life to websites by communicating with external data sources, such as databases, news feeds, and XML documents. Adobe has recognized my expertise in web development by appointing me an Adobe Community Professional (ACP) for Dreamweaver. You'll often find me giving help in the Dreamweaver forums and Dreamweaver Community Help. In 2010, I became one of the first to qualify as a PHP 5.3 Zend Certified Engineer.

Before turning my hand to writing about web design, I spent nearly 30 years as a BBC radio and TV journalist, working both in front of the microphone/camera and behind the scenes. That gave me a wealth of experience in explaining sometimes difficult concepts in straightforward, easy to understand language - experience which shows through in my books.

I spent a large part of my broadcasting career in Japan, first on loan from the BBC to NHK, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation, and later as BBC correspondent. I have traveled all over Japan, and love taking photos, many of which end up being used in my books. Over the years, I have worked closely with the Shiki Theatrical Company, Japan's leading producer of musicals; and have translated several of their plays into English.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn on December 8, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is exactly what I've been looking for, for a long time. I have been creating web sites for years, but haven't had much PHP experience. Some, but not much. Each time I looked for a "solution" online, I came across sloppy articles, conflicting information, difficult to understand code--just generally unsatisfactory, frustrating info for anyone who didn't already know PHP really well. Or, the info might be good, but it would take forever to find it. Not any more. I bought this book a few weeks ago, and started using things in it the other day. I have not read the entire book, but I've already incorporated some of the things into some sites I'm working on, and it was a breeze. The book is really well-written. If you have experience in web design but aren't a programmer, you will really benefit from this book. You'll painlessly add a number of really useful tools to your repertoire and be able to offer your clients more the same day you receive the book in the mail. I highly recommend it.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By VMilo on June 15, 2007
Format: Paperback
I was probably about two books shy of giving up on ever learning anything useful about PHP so I'm thrilled to have discovered this book when I did!

I'm not a programmer by any stretch of the imagination but I know HTML, a fair amount of CSS, and I have a cursory understanding of how programming works. I've also successfully (but not often painlessly) installed and customized several ready-made PHP scripts so I've long been aware of how much more PHP could help me accomplish if I only had a better understanding of it.

I purchased several books on the subject over the years but could never get much past the first few chapters with any of them -- usually not even that much. Among my biggest problems was that it seemed I wasn't getting enough doses of practical information to stay motivated. This also made it difficult to be aware of any progress I might be making -- or if I even was. Sometimes the information didn't build up logically enough for me so it was harder to retain anything I might have learned. Often, even when a book claimed to be for beginners, in some areas it used jargon or presumed I knew things I didn't know at all while becoming excruciatingly basic in other areas. It was a constant struggle with little or no reward.

But none of this was the case with PHP SOLUTIONS.

I've been methodically reading just a few pages (rarely more) every night so as not to overload my circuits which were already weakened from so much frustration. The information is authoritative but the writing style is approachable, both of which made it so much easier for me to persevere.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Nathan Smith on February 15, 2007
Format: Paperback
I recently read PHP Solutions by David Powers, and have to say it has been one of the better ones I've come across in awhile - definitely one I will keep at arm's length. I think the best way to describe it is to use an analogy. What CSS Mastery is for CSS, PHP Solutions is for PHP. This book is full of practical PHP tips and tricks that can help you hit the ground running. It takes a learn-by-doing approach.

While this isn't a comprehensive how-to guide covering OOP, it does approach things with a future-proofing mindset. Powers is careful to point out where things are specific to PHP 5, and gives alternatives to making them work in version 4. He also talks about what features will be prevalent in PHP 6, such as PDO (PHP Data Objects) becoming the more standardized way to handle database connectivity.

The first few chapters start off with the basics, showing PHP syntax and explaining how to build dynamic templates using includes. He also shows how to protect includes from being accessed independently of their accompanying pages, storing them separately from publicly accessible directories. He also shows how to build a file-upload interface for use in a basic CMS.

He then goes on to build a photo blog, complete with auto-generated thumbnails. One cool solution he uses is checking the width of an image, and then using that numerical value to set the width of a paragraph which contains explanatory text. By constraining the width, it keeps the line of text from being longer than the image is wide. He also shows how to use PHP's date output to keep the copyright for your site on-par with the current year.

The latter part of the book gets into more advanced topics such as user management, remember sessions with cookies, and handling database security.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By M. S. Boldrick on March 13, 2007
Format: Paperback
Wow, am I impressed! I've worked through about half the book and read part of the rest. I'll work through all of it, but I've already used some of it on a live website. I usee some of the code as-is, and the rest with only minor modifications. David is very security-minded, which I greatly appreciate.

I'm an experienced programmer, and have developed static websites, but was quite new to PHP when I started. I found the level of information excellently suited to me - enough introductory material, but not so much as to bog me down. Some of the code challenged me, but that's what helps me learn and put my own twist on things.

Thank you David!
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