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Expert PHP 5 Tools [Paperback]

Dirk Merkel

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Book Description

April 4 2010
Proven enterprise development tools and best practices for designing, coding, testing, and deploying PHP applications
  • Best practices for designing, coding, testing, and deploying PHP applications - all the information in one book
  • Learn to write unit tests and practice test-driven development from an expert
  • Set up a professional development environment with integrated debugging capabilities
  • Develop your own coding standard and enforce it automatically
  • Document your code for easy maintainability for yourself and others
In Detail
Even if you find writing PHP code easy, writing code that is efficient and easy to maintain and reuse is not so straightforward. Self-taught PHP developers and programmers transitioning from other languages often lack the knowledge to work with PHP on an enterprise level. They need to take their PHP development skills to that level by learning the skills and tools necessary to write maintainable and efficient code.

This book will enable you to take your PHP development skills to an enterprise level by teaching you the skills and tools necessary to write maintainable and efficient code. You will learn how to perform activities such as unit testing, enforcing coding standards, automating deployment, and interactive debugging using tools created for PHP developers - all the information in one place. Your code will be more maintainable, efficient, and self-documented.

From the design phase to actually deploying the application, you will learn concepts and apply them using the best-of-breed tools available in PHP.

Experienced developers looking for expertise in PHP development will learn how to follow best practices within the world of PHP. The book contains many well-documented code samples and recipes that can be used as a starting point for producing quality code.

Specifically, you will learn to design an application with UML, code it in Eclipse with PDT, document it with phpDocumentor, debug it interactively with Xdebug, test it by writing PHPUnit tests, manage source code in Subversion, speed up development and increase stability by using Zend Framework, pull everything together using continuous integration, and deploy the application automatically with Phing - all in one book. The author's experience in PHP development enables him to share insights on using enterprise tools, in a clear and friendly way.

An in-depth look at best-of-breed enterprise-level tools, methodologies, and tips for professional PHP developers to write maintainable, efficient code

What you will learn from this book

  • Set up a development environment that provides code completion, syntax highlighting, interactive debugging, code templates, and more
  • Define a coding standard and automate compliance checks
  • Generate developer documentation in various formats using code-level comments and phpDocumentor
  • Manage revision and branching, tag, and merge code using a distributed version control system
  • Create your own debugging library and use Xdebug for interactive debugging
  • Shorten the development cycle by leveraging a suitable framework for your application
  • Write unit tests using PHPUnit and practice test-driven development
  • Automate application deployment and configuration using Phing - a PHP build and automation tool
  • Sketch class diagrams, sequence diagrams, and use cases using UML
  • Quickly find bugs and conflicts by setting up a continuous integration environment that automatically stages, tests, and documents your project

Each chapter focuses on one topic, such as version control or debugging. After initially discussing essential concepts, the author takes an in-depth look at one or more tools relevant to the topic. Sample projects and plenty of well-documented code are used to work through practical application of the concepts.

Who this book is written for
This book has been written for professional developers new to PHP and experienced PHP developers who want to take their skills to the next level by learning enterprise-level tools and techniques.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 468 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (April 4 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847198384
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847198389
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 23.1 x 18.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 Kg
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #862,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very indepth and broad-reaching June 17 2010
By Kae Verens - Published on
In short: great overview of the various tools and processes that can be followed to make working in PHP easy and manageable. I have a new employee here in the office who will be getting this book after me, to quickly bring her up to speed on good practices.

As you might guess from the "new employee" comment, even though the word "Expert" is in the title, you don't need to be an expert PHP programmer to use this book. It's an all-round overview of the programs you might use during your day-to-day programming life for the next few years.

As the author (Dirk Merkel) suggested in the book, some people may disagree with some choices in the book. For example, I am a fervent Vim user, but the book chooses Eclipse as its programming environment of choice.

From a broader point of view, the Eclipse IDE may be the correct one for programmers to use, as it offers much more than just a text editor. As for me, it's hard to change an old dog's habits!

The book includes some handy reference notes for various tools, such as SVN or phpDocumentor. It's good for people that are not used to reading online references for everything to have them all in one book.

Each chapter is immensely in-depth. To the point that it's almost like each chapter is a mini-book on its own subject. In some cases the chapters include everything you might ever use on those subjects.

For myself, I'm interested to try some of the suggestions in the Continuous Integration chapter and throughout the book, as I already run a few projects where updates are more important than releases. I'm especially interested in integrating SVN with automated testing and style-checking. Test-driven Development is described in the book, and it certainly seems more robust than my current "deadline-driven development" style!

There were code samples in there that could have been shortened immensely by choosing a different spacing scheme or reducing the comments. For example, in the Debugging chapter, there is a code sample that goes on for 9 pages. That's a lot of code to read... If the empty lines and comments had been removed or reduced, Dirk could have cut it down to maybe 4 or 3 pages, making it much more readable in print. As it was, I did my best to read through it, flipping back and forth between pages to find where references went or came from.

Immensely useful for the professional programmer. Especially a programmer who needs to fit into a team. I'm no beginner myself, and picked up quite a few tips throughout the book.

Buy this book - it's worth it.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Expert review of Expert PHP 5 Tools May 13 2010
By Michelangelo van Dam - Published on
Expert PHP 5 Tools is a new book from Packt Publishing written by Dirk Merkel. In 10 chapters Dirk introduces the reader with several PHP tools that will improve development processes and quality of code from a single developer or a team of developers. From simply syntax checking and code validation to automated testing and deploying, each chapter discusses each tool in detail and contains sample code to put the theory into practice.

Expert PHP 5 Tools is a must-read book for every PHP developer involved in professional PHP application development and wants to improve the quality of his work. Also for PHP development teams, this book will convince the reader why it's important to focus on coding standards, unit testing, automated documentation and even automated builds to structure each step in an automated, repetitive way.

I must say I was impressed by the detailed description of each tool and how Dirk used simple examples in order to show the reader how to use the tool in the best possible manner. I found this book an easy read since I already had experience with the tools Dirk describes in the book, but even if I had not yet worked with them, the examples he has given in each chapter are of great value and give the reader a good insight in what each tool does and how it responds.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read! Nov. 1 2010
By ybh - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Before you start your next project you must read this book. Dirk hits everything precise without the bloated text from most books who try to tell you a story without a single line of code.
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good April 11 2011
By Edgar martinez - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have only reviewed a handful of books before but I felt like this is one of those books that is actually helpful. If you have an intermediate knowledge of PHP and just want to go to the next level this book is great. I have a few years of experience and I gotta say this helped me bring my code to the next level in many ways. It is not a cook book or patterns book but it does cover some essential knowledge for any PHP professional. This will help you get to the next level of professorial if you have been writing code for a few years and want to rise above the general PHP hacker. Very good book. It could have been soft on content but the editors did a great job. Some people with more experience in PHP 4+ years might think this is a little soft but thats because they are close to the expert level. This book is for those who want to be expert and want to have not only a working knowledge of PHp but of the tools for good PHP coding. This book is not thin in content ans is a great resource.
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book Jan. 7 2011
By Garrett L. Tillotson - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great focus on best-of-class tools. Definitely recommended for the user trying to make decisions about which frameworks and tools to use.

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