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PHP3: Programming Browser-Based Applications with PHP Paperback – October 4, 1999


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Product Details

  • Series: McGraw-Hill Tools
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies (October 4, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071353429
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071353427
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 6 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,543,194 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

David Medinets's principal task in PHP3: Programming Browser-Based Applications is to find common ground for a discussion of PHP3, the database-interfacing module for the Apache Web server. Unfortunately, his task is subverted by PHP3's complexity.

In principle, PHP3's Perl-like script slides into HTML. When accessed by a browser, the code is interpreted by the Apache server, building a Web page out of data pulled from an SQL database through Apache's PHP3 module. The centrality of PHP3 in linking the user to the database is clear, but the stability of a uniform PHP3 implementation in an intrinsically heterogeneous Linux/Unix environment is so problematic as to be prohibitive.

To be fair, Medinets's PHP3: Programming Browser-Based Applications is a thoughtfully constructed book, but it sends mixed signals about whether it will enter the fray of PHP3 module support. Medinets's 20-page line-by-line description of building PHP3 begins with guidelines on how to make a new gcc compiler. Safe to ignore? Maybe not, because his Apache server-build instructions should be followed verbatim. A clean build and test on a generic Linux distribution is a multi-day effort because essential environment variables aren't documented--neither by Medinets nor by the PHP3 development team. Dynamical loading of the PHP3 module (the modern standard for module handling) is itself a subject of strongly worded statements in the newsgroups. Medinets has no comment on this show-stopping issue.

The book consists of didactic chapters on data manipulation, regular expressions, basic object-orientation, the CGI interface, and XML, all of which get interspersed with task-oriented interludes on connecting to databases, maintaining lists, creating HTML modules, and managing concurrent access. Over 100 pages of appendices provide SQL and PHP function references and Internet resources.

But the PHP3 development team must stabilize its interfaces before any single-source tract will suffice. Until then, readers must make personal commitments to read all available documentation. For the fearless few who venture into the PHP3 backcountry, Medinets offers an errata page at www.mtolive.com/phpbook to help with orientation. Active PHP3 mailing lists (www.php3.org) contain questions and answers, which are disparaging and hyperbolic but occasionally helpful.

The PHP3 developers have an outpost with a stable platform, and Medinets is safe at the outpost, but his smoke signals are too far away and the winds too variable for him to be of much help to us yet. --Peter Leopold

From the Back Cover

The most comprehensive collection of PHP programming tools for creating dynamic Web pages available anywhere.

As the essence of the Web resides more and more in databases, UNIX programmers need a complete set of tools that work well together, as well as a platform for building dynamic content. In this first-of-its-kind book/CD-ROM package, programmers are provided with an expansive set of support tools to develop state-of-the-art, dynamic Web applications and databases using. All open source software.

Written in a clear and precise manner by well-known author David Medinets, this book will teach you how to use the power of award-winning PHP and SQL Web tools to program browser-based applications. Programming languages, an open source database engine, and the Red Hat Linux operating system are fully explored, giving you a clear understanding of this thriving, explosive technology.

Plus, the accompanying CD-ROM contains the PHP programming language, the SQL database engine, the Red Hat Linux 5.2 operating system, sample applications and code listings, and all the software documentation found in the book.

UNIX Administrator's Complete Programming Toolkit:

PHP Fundamentals Database Fundamentals Advanced PHP Application Fundamentals Application Examples Extending PHP

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Silicon Ghost on November 29, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I use PHP3 and mySQL extensively on my vtfood.com/trains web site, but up until now, it has been hard to find a well rounded PHP3 book.
This book covers everything from installing PHP, understanding all aspects of PHP, connecting to databases (such as mySQL), pattern matching, working with CGI, XML, and many other goodies.
I am a fairly experienced PHP programmer, but this book has shown me several advanced tricks that I didn't know about, mostly due to lack of time to research these types of things on my own.
If you are a beginner, this book is perfect for you because the technical topics are covered in a straightforward, non-technical manner with lots of sample code to learn from.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
Unfortunately, I expected the accompanying CD containing mysql, apache, php, etc., to be useful. Instead, the .tar files wouldn't compile without errors (I tried them on 2 different machines), and the my_ODBC tarball is actually for Windows. I ended up downloading the .tar's which then compiled flawlessly.
Now that I've gotten past the installation (no thanks to the book), I'm finding typos in the sample code. Grrrrrr.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Eric Hwang on January 11, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're like me, you like to dive right in and start coding immediately to see what can be done. To do that, one needs a good reference on the available functions, syntax, etc. That's not what you'll get with Medinets' book.
While it does have a lots of useful information for beginning programmers and developers using MySQL and XML, it lacks depth. The book tries to cover too much territory and as a result fails to deliver enough useful information to make PHP accessible to all programmers.
There are plenty of code examples but they often refer to code used in previous chapters. I like to use books such as this as a reference and having to constantly cross-reference to other snippets of code is time consuming. I guess if I sat and read the book cover to cover, this would be less of a problem. However, most of the book is so rudimentary for most experienced programmers you would probably skim through it to get to what you need to know.
The most frustrating part of trying to really 'use' this book is that there is no function reference. Just a list of the functions without any parameter references or anything. I end up going to the PHP web site and getting more useful information online than in the book.
If not for some of the information on pattern matching, SQL and PHP installation, this book would have little value for me.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By George Wade on December 10, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I better understood how to use mySQL after reading this book since it focused on mySQL and XML (which I haven't bothered to read yet) separately from using PHP3 to program database applications. Good section on an existing application "phpMyAdmin". Found a good discussion on php datatypes, which as a programmer I seldom read. There's a chapter on regular expressions which is useful. But MOST of PHP3 isn't discussed at all. I was disappointed. Even the reference at the back gives only function names, not even the parameters.
Buy this book only if you must have a php3 book and also want to learn about mySQL.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Michael D. Wilson on December 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
I feel this book is well written, however lacking some content. For those needing database connectivity, the examples in this book are beautiful, well defined, and easy to understand. I have personally used the content of the book to help me build 3 live production databases. I have needs for other areas of PHP now, and what I need is not covered in this book. I'll need to get another book for other areas of PHP, but I won't complain. This book has helped me tremendously on the job.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
Concise, well-written text. Seems as though it would be best for those who already have some experience with web scripting languages and SQL. Not a very general book, but quite useful for the specific task of harnessing the power of PHP for database integration.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Derek Sivers on January 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
It's AMAZING! I'm *finally* understanding how this all goes together.
Every other PHP manual or tutorial I've seen just gave lists of commands and how to use them, but didn't really explain the thought-process behind making real working functions.
This one actually walks you through the creation-from-scratch showing first "goals" even for little tiny one-page projects, then follows through on making it happen. Very cool. This book even gives his 20-year-programmer's advice such as, "You could do it this way, but I recommend doing it this way instead."
It's nice to have more than "just the facts" - and that's why I've learned more from this book in the last 2 days than any other PHP tutorial I've done in the last 5 months.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael T. Martin on April 9, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was developing two websites using PHP3 and MySQL so I bought this book to help: wrong. It's a disaster. It's been three months since I bought the book and I've gotten zero information from it. Today I tried to find out how to get the date, the index doesn't have date or time listed. It doesn't help with putting data in, or getting data out of forms or databases. Save your money.
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