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Web Application Development with PHP 4.0 Paperback – July 22, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0735709973 ISBN-10: 0735709971

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Sams (July 22, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735709971
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735709973
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,031,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

PHP is an open-source Web scripting language that's gaining steam in the development community, especially in the Apache Web server realm. With a syntax that draws heavily on C, PHP appeals to advanced programmers who are moving to the Web from traditional software development.

Web Application Development with PHP 4.0 isn't your run-of-the-mill language tutorial. Authors Ratschiller and Gerken purposely designed its content to appeal to coders who already are proficient in PHP, but in need of advanced programming techniques and high-level application-development skills. Assuming a strong programming foundation, this book can be considered a next-level PHP tutorial.

Drawing on their own experience of what's really important in PHP development, the authors dive into topics such as linked lists and associative arrays. They also weave together topics like security and database access with such software-development issues as three-tier architecture, versioning, and program requirements. This balance makes for a nice fit for developers who have mastered the basics, but are looking to hone their skills to move to the next level.

The book also goes into how to extend PHP by modifying its Zend language engine via the C source code. A companion CD includes PHP, MySQL, and Apache, as well as a number of utilities and the source code from the book. If already you're deep into PHP and want to graduate to guru status, this book's for you. --Stephen W. Plain

Topics covered: Development planning, coding conventions, advanced PHP syntax, associative arrays, polymorphism and self-modifying code, application design, HTTP and sessions, PHP normal form, database access with PHP, PHP, and XML, and extending PHP Zend engine.


The authors present a set of interesting programming concepts, and the reader learns how to write good, reusable code. -- Bjorn Schotte

The authors provide useful examples that include real code. They also explain the code because they want you to understand how it works. -- Paul DuBois, Data Management, University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Customer Reviews

Despite it's title, this book is NOT a PHP 4.0 book.
ryan thomson
This book has lots of philosophy and not many concrete examples of advanced PHP technique.
Geoff Staples
This book is definitely for the advanced or serious developer.
Tim Jensen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 56 people found the following review helpful By James Baldwin on August 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
Most definitely, this book is not for beginners - but if you're an intermediate to advanced programmers, either with experience in PHP or another programming language, you'll want this book. The best aspect of this book, and the reason I think it has the potential to become a true classical for the PHP language, is that it covers the concepts behind web application development. After all, you have the online reference if you need to quickly check the syntax of a function! But where's the manual that teaches you about coding style, project layout and management, security, usability, session management, user authentication and advanced XML topics?
The authors write about development concepts, PHP's advanced syntax, application design, web application concepts and strategies, the Phplib, XML applications, and extending PHP with C. While presenting a lot of extremely valuable information in a condensed format (for example, most longer code examples are not printed in the book but can be found only on the CDROM), the authors still write in an easy and friendly manner. You always see that they really know the PHP language, and that they love working with PHP - indeed, both are well respected in the community. The quotes from the Dao De Jing (or Tao Te Ching) really add atmosphere to the book and bring up the level of Perl's Camel book. A definitive thumbs-up for this excellent title!
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Ken Deal on August 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
I've been a professional programmer for 10 years now (client/server applications), but I haven't made the move to WEB programming yet. Some colleagues pointed me to PHP for web development and I immediately fell in love with it (coming from C/C++). Still, many basic concepts of web development were completely hidden for me and while I had no problems to learn PHP's syntax quickly, I didn't quite understand all the meanings of sessions, XML, web security, and so on. Then I found this book and I was ENLIGHTED.Do I hate all those fluffy computers books with no meaningful content but lots of source and function references! In contrast, the authors of this book write in a very straight-forward way, precisely, and still entertaining. And they cover many concepts behind web development, focusing on the implementation with PHP. It may be a lucky coincidence, but the authors wrote exactly about the things that interest me as I'm starting professional web development with PHP. The only chapter I didn't really need was the one about coding conventions because experience has already taught me to comment and format my code. Everything else I can put into practice immediately. I've found particularly helpful the tips&tricks the authors provided; they're clearly taken from their own real life experience and have saved me hours of finding my own solutions to strange problems.Therefore, this book was great for me and I'd warmly recommend it to others. This one is going to stay on my desk for a while! :-)
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Alex K. on August 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
When ordering this book, I expected it to contain one of the two things: a PHP language reference with examples, or a discussion of problems in web application development with an explanation of PHP approach to their solutions. Instead, I received a book that should have been titled "A few cool programming tricks with PHP". The biggest problem of the book is trying to cover too many general web- and programming-related concepts and failing to cover any of them in sufficient detail. As a result, advanced readers will get little beyond a few cool tips, and intermediate and beginning readers may not get enough information to actually use the concept. It seems like the authors picked several topics that they liked, and showed some neat tricks, without much regard for comprehensiveness or completeness.
Chapter 1, "Development concepts", has nothing to do with PHP, and adds little value. The topic is much better covered by "Code complete" by McConnell and "The practice of programming" by Kernigan and Pike.
Chapter 2, "Advanced syntax", touches on several small aspects of PHP syntax, and several selected data structures (linked lists and assosiative arrays). Since PHP does not present any difficulties in expressing these data structures compared to other programming languages, I didn't understand why those data structures were chosen here. The chapter also has an interesting example of self-modifying code (actually, dynamic code evaluation at run-time, which is not an unexpected feature for an interpreted language), and then warns "The technique used here ... should never be used like this in production scripts.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
When I got this book, I was quite familiar with the language, so syntax and learning php wasn't really what my purpose was.
It has been emphasized repeatedly in online reviews, as well as within this book that it is not for the novice programmer
This book aims to help you better understand project management and how to design your web based applications.
Let me give a really small example. I wrote a web based mail program for some clients, and 3 programmers and myself spent about 4 weeks on the project. It was well done, no problems, and our clients were happy.
After reading this book, I can think of 20 different ways of making that program better.
Again, this isn't meant for the novice programmer, but experienced programmers / project managers looking to expand their php horizons should pick up a copy.
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