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Core PHP Programming: Using PHP to Build Dynamic Web Sites [Paperback]

Leon Atkinson
2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Core PHP Programming (3rd Edition) Core PHP Programming (3rd Edition) 3.3 out of 5 stars (20)
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Book Description

Aug. 3 2000 0130893986 978-0130893987 2
The best-selling PHP guide -- now thoroughly updated for PHP 4.0!
Expert coverage of syntax, functions, design, and debugging -- with more than 150 code examples!
Covers the new Zend library and PHP 4.0 integration with Microsoft Internet Information Server.
CD-ROM contains all source code from the book, plus complete PHP 4.0 implementations for Windows, Linux, and Solaris! Core PHP Programming, Second Edition is the first complete, practical guide to PHP 4 for experienced Web developers. Fully updated to reflect PHP 4.0s breakthrough features and performance, it covers every technique you need to build robust, fast Web applications. Leading PHP developer Leon Atkinson starts with a high-level overview of PHP- how it evolved, and how it appears to the developer. Next, Atkinson reviews the key building blocks of PHP scripts, including variables, operators, and expressions; conditional branches and loops. Review every PHP function, including I/O, data, and math functions; time, date, configuration, database, graphics, and network functions. Core PHP Programming, Second Edition also contains detailed coverage of effective program design and debugging. For all Web developers and system administrators.
Leon Atkinson is Chief Technologist for Clear Ink in Walnut Creek, CA, where he specializes in designing and implementing Internet-capable and Internet-hosted applications. Since joining Clear Ink, he has focused on building complex, PHP-based Web applications that automate business processes.

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Product Description

From Amazon

Revised for PHP version 4, the new edition of Core PHP Programming is a comprehensive tutorial and reference to one of today's hottest scripting languages. Part tutorial and part reference, this book will get beginners started with PHP, as well as provide a convenient desktop resource for more experienced PHP developers.

Early sections show what PHP is and how it works, with basic data types, flow control, and other topics you'll need to get started. But the heart of the book is a full reference to PHP 4 functions. Organised by topic, this text provides over 400 pages of reference to several hundred PHP calls, along with a description of what they do. Clearly organised and presented, this book will help you find what you need quickly (instead of relying on PHP's often cumbersome online help). In particular, readers will appreciate the coverage of database functions, including the separate calls for MySQL, ODBC, and Oracle. You'll also see what PHP can do with XML.

The last part of the book reverts to tutorial mode, first with a section on algorithms that discusses ways to sort and search PHP arrays. Final sections look at some strategies you can use to integrate PHP into the software design process, in which the strategies of combining HTML content with dynamic PHP scripts are shown. There is also useful advice for increasing performance with PHP. (It would seem that upgrading to PHP 4 is a must, because the new version offers a real performance boost.)

PHP is clearly a popular choice for Web applications today. If you buy just one book on PHP, consider Core PHP Programming. It offers an approachable tutorial that will put basic PHP script development into the hands of beginners, and provides a useful reference for everyday development once you've gotten a handle on how to use it. --Richard Dragan

From Library Journal

The next hot environment is going to be PHP, a server-side, cross-platform, HTML-embedded scripting language that is open source (free) and completely Y2K compliant. PHP code is embedded within HTML, and the files are saved with either .phtml or .php3 extensions. For readers with a programming background, this solid guide has four sections: a basic introduction to the programming environment, a PHP function reference, algorithms, and software engineering for integrating PHP with HTML and the cgi for interactive programming and database querying. For larger computer collections.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars big, friendly and not useful Feb. 3 2004
[Reviewing 2nd edition.] This is definitely not a CORE quality book (especially compared to the outstanding CORE Java series).
Section 1, 100 pages of introductory material, tell you what RAM is (sort of), but doesn't tell you what happens when a cookie and a POST variable have the same name.
Section 2, 450 pages of this book, is a function reference, but the online php manual is free, easier to read and has more examples.
Section 3 has some exploratory examples -- I think there are better examples in the online manual and elsewhere on the net.
The book is confused about its audience. Beginning programmers should NOT start with php (or any scripting language) unless they are forced to put up a php web site overnight -- in which case they need a "cookbook", which this is definitely not. Experienced programmers will be terminally frustrated with the book's disorganization, poor layout and lack of crucial information.
Summary: It's not a cookbook, not a usable reference book and has no best practices advice.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great work for intermediate level users Oct. 7 2003
One deniable fact of the book is the presentation. The presentation is simple and easy to understood. Language used is simple , attractive and not complicated as others. Explanations are clear and direct to the point , embedded with examples which makes the book worth. Its a rare ability in programmers/ developers to put into simple words, but the author has possed such skills.
Another added advantage is the organization of the book itself. Organized in such way , thats to introduce PHP and Web based developments efficiently to newbie or intermediate users whom is seeking to improve the coding style. Explains are so beneficial with so many functions explained by using example and thats great for beginners.
But if you are a experienced and advance level user, this book might not satisfy your need, but rather a quick reference with example for advance users.
Chapter on Software Engineering is another strentgh, presented in simpler way on how someone could achieve/acquire the designing skills as the desinging skills is equally important with coding. An intelligent coding could be handicapped with a poor design.
Basically , new users and intermediate users will benefit alot from this book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Nice but....... June 29 2002
This was the first book I bought on PHP. I had bought Core Java 1 & 2 before as recommendation from a friend and was thrilled to find Core PHP. I liked it from the start. I was just beginning PHP programming for a database course and used this as reference. I had some programming experience in Java, and therefore didn't need a real beginners book to start me up on PHP.
However, as time went along and I got a little more advanced in PHP I found the book fell short on me. I couldn't always find what I was looking for and since I was programming online anyway I found myself more and more ignoring the book and just using the php online manual at php dot net where you can find any function and everything is up to date. That is the beauty of PHP as it is.
So I think most people would be better of finding a book that helps them along with programming (I honestly couldn't say which, I have only used this and php.net) instead of a reference, like this book is, or trying to be. You don't really need a reference since php.net is a good enough and free reference on it's own.
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3.0 out of 5 stars good book, just not for me Feb. 21 2001
The book assumes no knowledge of computers or programming, so that's great for a complete beginner. But I already know several languages, so I blew through the first 100 pages, as it talks about the actual language. I just needed to get the new syntax. The next, and largest part of the book, is a massive reference similiar to the manual you could download at php.net. It is mostly reference, but he does add a few lines of code here or there to clarify how a function is used. My complaint is that each reference section is just an unorganized mismash of functions with a description here or there.
I'd say this book would be great if you are an absoulte beginner and you need to learn php as your first language. Or if you want an excellent reference that covers just about all of the functions.
I didn't like it because, I am not a beginning programmer, and I can get a function reference online. I would prefer a book that is task oriented or takes you through a large program and shows you all the functions in their context, explaining them as you go along.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Clear, conversational, makes PHP look easy. Feb. 7 2001
I wasn't going to review this book until I read Robert Peters' review. It is factually incorrect. I had to respond. I can only guess that Robert got a copy of the FIRST edition, which apparently ... This second edition is great.
First, Robert suggests that the book is "just a fat manual that lists functions" -- like a reference. Part 2 of the book is indeed titled "Functional Reference" and consists of 450 pages of functions (with sample code for most functions, organized into logical sections, like "Image Functions" and "Database Functions"). However, the book has THREE other parts, consisting of 300 more pages!
Part 1 is titled "An Introduction To PHP" (7 chapters, about 120 pages). It teaches the fundamentals of programming, has tons of screenshots and sample code, and is written in a conversational style that makes it easy to understand the technical stuff. The author's explanation of variables (page 16) is good, and he also covers loops, functions, arrays, etc. If Robert's other criticism of the book, that "it won't teach you how to use the language" is true, then what is all of Part 1 for?
Part 3 is titled "Algorithms" (5 chapters, about 100 pages). It steps you through real-world examples, and while none of the examples are huge (like "here's a complete e-commerce shopping cart solution"), they are all practical and can be combined to create what is needed. For instance, modify the discussion forum sample on pages 635-641, combine it with the code samples for session handling, and you could allow users to enter and store "preferences" for your Web site, or you could allow users to append comments to articles, like ZDnet does.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars a great way to start
this book is a great way to start programming php. it is the book I used to learn php. It goes into the basics well, and doesn't dig too deep into the code. Read more
Published on March 14 2003 by S. Koopmanschap
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad Code -- No Doughnut!
I have the second edition. I have used it off and on over the last year or so.
I wish I had never bought it. Read more
Published on Oct. 17 2002 by Alan Olsen
1.0 out of 5 stars Updated PHP3 missing the finer points of PHP 4.x
Spent 2 hours trying to get the debug_on function to work before I discovered that PHP 4.x does not support it. The code from 7. Read more
Published on May 21 2002 by K. Angus
2.0 out of 5 stars A thick disappointment
I have grown to love the Core series. I learned Java from Core Java 2 and Servlets/JSP from Core Servlets and JavaServerPages. Read more
Published on May 7 2002 by jackofsometrades
1.0 out of 5 stars What a waste of paper
This book was awful - poor binding, useless examples, unclear prose. This may be a new edition, but mine even had errors in the index, items were frequently list as being a page or... Read more
Published on Feb. 25 2002
2.0 out of 5 stars there must be better books available
a php novice, i purchased this book and immediately set out to do two quick php projects, the first with MySQL and the second with PostgreSQL. Read more
Published on Sept. 18 2001 by Richard P. Welty
5.0 out of 5 stars 2nd edition exactly what I needed
I thought this was a great book. I'm an intermittant PHP programmer, and this book helped solidify my foundation, and taught me how to apply PHP in ways I'd never thought of. Read more
Published on June 17 2001 by John Moxon
1.0 out of 5 stars ...
A friend of mine left this behind, along with some other eclectic freeware books. What's this PHP stuff? Read more
Published on June 13 2001 by Dougabug
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor
I wanted a good book to learn PHP and this is so not it. Most of the book is a poorly typeset rehash of the on-line documentation. Read more
Published on June 10 2001 by Phillip Glau
3.0 out of 5 stars Not really a programming manual.
I'd rather give this 2.5 stars but that's not an option. I recently checked this book out of the library prior to deciding whether to buy it for my personal reference library. Read more
Published on June 7 2001 by Dirk
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