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Beginning PHP4 Paperback – Nov 15 2000

4 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 816 pages
  • Publisher: Wrox; 1 edition (Nov. 15 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764543644
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764543647
  • Product Dimensions: 18.6 x 4.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,009,755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

Beginning PHP4 offers an almost ideal introductory tutorial to one of today's hottest scripting languages. This book is really all the novice needs to start building dynamic Web sites powered by PHP4, but old hands at programming will also find valuable information inside it.

PHP, of course, is introduced in the book, but there is also an approachable and effective introduction to programming in general. The conscientious tutorial on basic concepts like variables, keywords and flow control will give even beginners an understanding of the basics of writing programs. PHP, it turns out, is not only a great way to generate HTML dynamically, it's a very marketable skill. Web fundamentals like HTTP, HTML form variables, and managing session information using no less than four different techniques are explained thoroughly and effectively. You also find out how to install PHP and other tools on your system, with the assistance of plenty of screen shots.

That's not to say that this book will cramp the style of more experienced developers. Some chapters delve into such important and advanced topics as database programming (with MySQL) and PHP's support for XML. One standout section demystifies the new support for objects and classes in PHP4. Basic topics like managing files and directories on the server, plus graphics processing, are addressed, of course, and a nifty sample program shows you how to build a Web-based text editor. Except for the final case study, a "URL directory manager" (akin to Yahoo) that is rather specialised, the examples are spot on, illustrating everyday programming tasks. You will also learn to generate e-mail with PHP, certainly a valuable skill to have.

The appendix lists several hundred PHP functions in over 50 pages--a handy and useful feature. In all, Beginning PHP4 provides a strong choice for learning about one of today's most powerful and easy-to-use scripting languages. It is concise, fast-moving and thoroughly approachable. --Richard Dragan --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

This book assumes some familiarity with HTML and the mechanics of the web, but is for people new to PHP who want to start developing web applications. This includes HTML users, ASP and ColdFusion developers looking to learn a new platform and web development managers wanting to move development to Linux. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Inside This Book

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PHP4 is the latest incarnation of PHP - the "PHP Hypertext Preprocessor". Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I like this book and highly recommend it. It is good for people who are new to PHP but not so good for people who are new to programming. I've done a lot of programming in other languages and needed to learn PHP in a big hurry for a project that I was about to take on. This book got me up to speed fast. I'm inclined to think that a lot of the negative reviews are from people without any programming background. I agree this book is not the right place to start if you are a non-programmer. I've also done a fair amount of html prior to reading this book, I found that it's html section and php techniques for generating forms was really excellent, I learned some really great things!
As far as depth goes, such as discussing details of the functions. Well, that's what the php manual is for ([...] Initially I tried to learn the language from the php manual alone but didn't get very far, I couldn't see the forest because the trees were in the way, eg too much detail without a big picture. What this book does is to focus on the big picture of how and why to do something. It also shows multiple approachs to the same problem and compares them so that you get an idea of the alternatives and trade-offs.
Starting from not knowing php to writing some very sophisticated programs... I learned it all with two books and the manual. The other book that I read is PHP Developers Cookbook. The two books are very complimentary, there is not that much overlap between them instead they fill each others gaps. Note that the "Cookbook" is more advanced and assumes that you already know a lot of php.
Okay, the one big gripe that I have is their lack of proof reading. They must have really rushed this to press. There are literally hundreds of errors and the errata sheet is incomplete.
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Format: Paperback
If you've been programming for a while, the pace of this book is too slow to read cover to cover. The best thing to do is read the first half of the book (through chapter 9) and then skip around to what interests you. As others have mentioned, you will have to modify the code in the examples to get them to work because of the use of globals. This is not impossible to overcome if you write the message board for the book at [...] However, it is annoying. There are other errors too, but it doesn't take much in the way of trial and error to get around them. The three chapters on MySQL are the most useful. If you've worked with databases in other scripting languages, e.g. Perl, Python, or Ruby, it's simply a matter of looking up what you want to do. There are some good style examples on structuring PHP code - use of an "$action" variable to drive the behavior of the site from a single page. The book also stresses putting reusable code in include files. The author dismisses classes/objects as not really being useful in PHP, but the use of classes elimates the need for the "global" declarations in many of the common include files. All in all, this is an adequate book, but noting profound. If you have programming experience, this book will get you up and running quickly.
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Format: Paperback
This book was an alright general introduction to PHP4 let down by a great number of inconsistencies between authors. They didn't introduce functions adequately in the latter parts of the book, for example in chapter 10 they start using new functions without any explanation of what they do or their usage, and the different authors didn't collaborate sufficiently as they use different ways of writing the same commands without any explanation (e.g. the echo "" and echo("") statements) and they also contradicted each other, for example again in chapter 10 the author uses typecasting while in a previous chapter we had been told this was unnecessary, and again no explanation is given as to why the author did this.
The examples are also very tedious and in some places extremely repetitive (chapter 10 repeats the same example ten times with very little change).
Overall a great dissapointment and it is also out of date as new PHP security means most examples will not work without changing to a weaker security setting.
Not recommended, there must be more consistent books about for PHP.
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Format: Paperback
I requested that my Parents buy me this book over two years ago. Sure I paid them for it but I demanded this book. I'm not quite sure why I did but at the time I was wanting to learn PHP and I was not happy with the way the O'Reilly books were written for Perl (2nd Edition) so I knew that I was not going O'Reilly for learning PHP4. Now that I've had this book and time has passed I would say that I have suggested this book to lots of people and they have all learned PHP alot easier then they would have from O'Reilly books.
I say go WNOR, Chris, et al. You all did a good job. I felt like the authors were sitting over my shoulder and giving me a one on one session each time I read the book. The examples were fun, understandable, and had a point them. They also helped me to have a better understanding in Programming in general. The next year, I had a C/C++ programming class and Aced it without a problem. You know, they say 9 out of 10 students fail their first programming class. I wasn't one of those nine thanks to this book.
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