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Foundation PHP for Flash 1st Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1903450161
ISBN-10: 1903450160
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Written for the Flash developer who wants to do more, Steve Webster's PHP for Flash shows how to combine simple server-side scripts with Flash to create smarter, more versatile Web applications. With a truly engaging writing style and a sharp visual sense, this title will let any working Flash programmer make the transition to simple server-side scripting with PHP.

While most programming books print source code as is, this one distinguishes itself with a keen visual presentation with graphics used to highlight sections of both Flash ActionScript and basic PHP. It also helps that Webster is a notably lively writer. A few guiding principles govern this text. First, all the interfaces are created in Flash and ActionScript, and the book walks you through the steps required to build these designs.

After a basic tutorial of the PHP language, the author uses PHP to add additional functionality to Flash-powered Web applications, from managing user registration to searching news articles using regular expressions. This text provides one of the best (and most truly accessible) tutorials for understanding and using regular expressions. While most writers pass the buck to difficult online resources for regular expressions, the author takes the time to explain and demonstrate how regular expressions really work, with clear examples and a nicely patient presentation style.

Later, the book zeros in on using the MySQL database package for storing and retrieving data from Flash applications. To this end, there's a quick introduction to programming with SQL and how to query and update data using PHP combined with MySQL. Later chapters present case studies of larger Flash applications that make use of techniques demonstrated earlier, like a customizable user poll, a simple event scheduler, plus a threaded discussion forum. With a winning writing style and a concise presentation that makes smart use of graphics, PHP for Flash will put simple PHP programming within reach of anyone who has a little previous familiarity with Flash. --Richard Dragan

Topics covered: Overview of PHP 4 and scripting essentials, loading external data in Flash (a registration script), PHP language fundamentals (including variables, data types, arrays), using functions (calling conventions), string handling in PHP, in-depth tutorial on PHP regular expressions, using cookies, file I/O tutorial, introduction to the MySQL database platform, basic SQL syntax tutorial, using PHP and MySQL together (a simple content management system), case study for a user poll (including administration modules), event planner scheduler application, case study for a threaded discussion Web application, reference for installing PHP and MySQL, object-oriented programming essentials in PHP, and resources for PHP.

Review

Foundation PHP for Flash is one of the best books a web developer can own. -- www.edevcafe.com February 2002

Overall an excellent introduction to putting dynamic content into your Flash movies and well worth the money. -- www.pixelsurgeon.com
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 500 pages
  • Publisher: friendsofED; 1 edition (September 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903450160
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903450161
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 7.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,128,981 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The premise of "PHP for Flash" is very, very exciting -- creating dynamic front-ends for the server side applications PHP and MySQL that makes simple HTML look awfully dull. To empower Flash with these open source technologies is unlike anything you've tried before -- it's a jolt of energy that gives new life to how you look at Flash, and gives fresh new ideas for your work.
That said, "PHP for Flash" does an excellent job of gearing it's perspective toward Flash developers with little to no experience in PHP. You're expected to know a little ActionScript, and if you do, PHP is very easy to pick up. They're very, very close in style and function.
Each chapter contains a project that integrates a simple Flash movie with PHP, whether it's a mailing list, an email form, a forum, a message board, a login/password app, etc.
But let's be clear about this book's purpose >> This is NOT a book to pick up if you're looking for new creative ideas in Flash. It IS a great book if you already have ideas, and want to empower them with everything PHP has to offer.
It may sound odd, but "PHP for Flash" is not a recommended book if you want to learn PHP, or even Flash and/or ActionScript. Other books, like "PHP and MySQL Web Development" and Colin Moock's "ActionScript: The Definitive Guide" are much better suited for a more well-rounded study of the aforementioned.
"PHP for Flash" is quite valuable however, for it fills the void between the two -- the glue that marries PHP and ActionScript together. You may know ActionScript, or even PHP, but unless you know how to create a manager between the two that both Flash and PHP can understand, you're lost.
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Format: Paperback
This book would be most useful to the Flash developer who has basically no programming experience. While the idea is good - and I always love to see PHP getting some attention - the material is VERY foundational.
My expectations were a book highlighting how to blend PHP and Flash. To some extent I guess the book does that. But unfortunately there just isn't alot to it. It equates to about two lines of text: "Export variable to PHP, Import variable to Flash" - of course with the slightly more technical explanation to make it work.
If you are looking for the technical "know-how" of how to make PHP and Flash talk you would be better served searching the net. About 15 - 20 minutes of research and you will be able to cull the total technical information offered in this book.
If you know zilch about programming, and want to see some cute examples of how you might use this - enjoy!
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Format: Paperback
This book is a GREAT way to join PHP/MySQL and Flash. It has helped me tremendously. I highly recommend it... But better than that... I had a problem with some code of a small project I was working on, and it just wasn't working.. I tried the Flash message boards, and a few people tried to help, but the code still wasn't working..I decided, what the heck? I'll try emailing the author of this great book for help. I emailed him my PHP code, my objective, my Flash Actionscript code. and a url to view. Within 10 minutes, he replied with a clear precise answer to the problem! Not only that, he was very friendly, and offered help if I need it in the future! WOW! That is customer satisfaction! BUY THE BOOK! I can't say enough good things about it or about the author! Thanks Steve!
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This book is the BEST resource on this subject to date, bar none that I have come across-and believe me when I tell you I have spent countless hours trying to teach myself PHP/Flash/MySql by reading books, searching tutorials on web sites, picking apart code and so on. The book contains valuable, working, practical examples that should find good use in any professional or budding professional's bag of tricks. Examples include a client updateable content management system, login/password, dynamic News, Refer-a-friend script, Flash message board with L/P, events calendar, how to set and retrieve cookies in Flash, mailing list and so much more.
The author, Steve Webster, does a great work of explaining how everything works, so that I was able to have most of the examples up and running within one hour of getting this book! He also responded to my emails promptly and answered all questions I had. Thank you Steve!
If you want to learn about Flash and the sever side of things--get this book. It will save you HOURS of frustration, and it will make you better looking too (just joking)! But seriously folks, this book is a gem. I give it 5 out of 5 stars!
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When i bought this book I knew nothing about php or mySql, now I have a big project in hands almost completed with an interface that can monitor all parts of all my sites. The book its well written and quite easy to follow, if u want to understand how to have some real functionality to your site this is the book u MUST buy. Thanks Steve by the great job.
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Good Book used it as a lecture tool for my Web Developer Class. So it worked great can't say it is an easy read. But has some interesting projects that are very pratical. Not a book for people who like pretty pictures. This is a very code oriented book.
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