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PHP Cookbook [Paperback]

David Sklar , Adam Trachtenberg
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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PHP Cookbook: Solutions & Examples for PHP Programmers PHP Cookbook: Solutions & Examples for PHP Programmers
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Book Description

Nov. 30 2002 1565926811 978-1565926813 1

PHP is a simple yet powerful open source scripting language that has become a big player in web development. Over a million web sites, from large corporate sites to small personal sites, are using PHP to serve dynamic web content. PHP's broad feature set, approachable syntax, and support for different operating systems and web servers make it an ideal language for rapid web development.The PHP Cookbook is a collection of problems, solutions, and practical examples for PHP programmers. The book contains a unique and extensive collection of best practices for everyday PHP programming dilemmas. For every problem addressed in the book, there's a worked-out solution or "recipe" -- short, focused pieces of code that you can insert directly into your applications. But this book offers more than cut-and-paste code. You also get explanations of how and why the code works, so you can learn to adapt the problem-solving techniques to similar situations.The recipes in the PHP Cookbook range from simple tasks, such as sending a database query and fetching URLs, to entire programs that demonstrate complex tasks, such as printing HTML tables and generating bar charts. This book contains over 250 recipes on the following topics:

  • Working with basic data types, including strings, numbers, dates and times, and arrays
  • PHP building blocks, such as variables, functions, classes, and objects
  • Web programming, including forms, database access, and XML
  • Useful features like regular expressions, encryption and security, graphics, internationalization and localization, and Internet services
  • Working with files and directories
  • Command-line PHP and PHP-GTK
  • PEAR, the PHP Extension and Application Repository
This book contains an impressive collection of useful code for PHP programmers, from novices to advanced practitioners. Instead of poking around mailing lists, online documentation, and other sources, you can rely on the PHP Cookbook to provide quick solutions to common problems, so you can spend your time on those out-of-the-ordinary problems specific to your application.

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Product Description


"This book is absolutely packed with quick solutions to common obstacles or ideas in PHP. The chapters on security are worth their weight in gold, as you'll learn how to properly protect your site against unauthorised use." .NET, February 2004

About the Author

is an independent software development and strategic technology consultant. He was a co-founder and the Chief Technology Officer of Student.Com and TVGrid.Com. At both companies, David oversaw the architecture and development of varied systems to deliver personalized dynamic content to users around the world. After discovering PHP as a solution to his web programming needs in 1996, he created the PX (http://px.sklar.com/), which enables PHP users to exchange programs. Since then, he has continued to rely on PHP for personal and professional projects. When away from the computer, David eats mini-donuts, plays records, and likes to cook. He lives in New York City and has a degree in Computer Science from Yale University.

Adam Trachtenberg has an MBA from Columbia Business School. At business school, he focused on general management and operations, with an emphasis on the field of technology. Adam also has a BA from Columbia University. As an undergraduate, he majored in mathematics and his other studies included computer science and Chinese. Before returning to school, he co-founded and served as Vice President for Development at two companies, Student.Com and TVGrid.Com. At both firms, he led the front- and middle-end web site design and development, worked on corporate planning and strategy, and served as liaison between the product and marketing teams. During study breaks, Adam enjoys playing squash, reading fiction, and eating in New York City's many wonderful restaurants. He wishes he was a better at playing pool, knew the constellations, and was handy around the house.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars WITH SOME DRAWBACKS, BUT STILL A GOOD BOOK Jan. 30 2003
The main preoccupation of this book is finding solutions to common PHP programming problems. It contains a series of instructions on how best, programmers and/or web designers, who monitor dynamic web contents could apply scripting language. This book would arouse the interest of anyone who already knows the fundamentals of PHP.
Its main drawback is that it is overtly abridged. Fledging PHP followers may criticize it for lacking the type of depth and practical application that non-advanced learners would want. Still, it is not a bad book to spend your wad on.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real Coders, Real Code Jan. 6 2003
By A Customer
Sklar and Trachtenberg bring a great depth of programming experience to this incredibly useful cookbook. The clever code concoctions presented here have been refined by them in massive, real-world applications serving millions of users. If you have used some of the best sites ever delivered on the net, you have probably already used thier code. If you want to know how it is really done, buy this book!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A very good "cookbook" reference Oct. 14 2003
I have been programming PHP for a couple of years, and have lots of books on the subject. IMHO, I felt like this book serves the role of a "cookbook" very nicely. The contents are organized by language function via chapters (i.e. strings, numbers, arrays, regex, forms, classes, db, security, XML, etc...) which makes it convenient to find what you are looking for. Within each chapter, are very specific "Problem" and "Solutions" which contain simple code snippets (like 10 lines or less) and a description of what it does. Most problems are solved within one page. It is really concise and to the point. The index is comprehensive so it is straightforward to lookup the issue you are having, find the problem / solution and get on with your coding. You don't have to read thru lots of code or descriptions of why somebody setup a display template or complicated object. Look up your problem, read a quick solution, and BOOM, you're done and back to implementing it in your code.
I have read some other reviews for this book here that recommend the Wrox book, stating this one is too simple. I don't agree with this. The Wrox book appears to me to be another "... let's show you a bunch of full blown application examples ..." book to me, similar to the classic Welling and Thomson SAMS published text. The "cookbook" will not teach you the language, nor is that its intent; it assumes you know what you are doing.
This book is exactly what it says it is, a cookbook. If you need a quick solution to specific coding problems, at a fairly advanced level, it is a really good reference.
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4.0 out of 5 stars ORA Cookbook Vs. WROX Solutions Dec 16 2002
I ordered a copy of the "PHP Cookbook ORA", along with a copy of the "Professional PHP 4 web Development Solutions WROX". Upon reading both these books, i thought i should offer a honest review comparing the two:
Both the books were informative in their own right
o The ORA book had small snippets of code based solutions (very similar to the PHP Developers cookbook from Sterling and Andrei) that are very useful for programmers who are confounded with small to medium coding problems. However, there was nothing enterprising about the coverage, that one could not achieve from using a combination of the online docs + mailing lists. Another downside was that i could not find full solutions that i could re-use in my projects.
On the Other hand, i found
o The WROX book offered complete solutions to real world problems - a Simple/advanced CMS (the core of which you can plug into your site), a simple search engine, a classified ads board, and lots of cool creative case study solutions that i could extend to use in my hobby sites. The content was very enterprising and all of the solutions presented are the most popular one's amongst web developers these days. More interesting is that these solutions can be completely re-used and extended into your projects. However, the downside of this book is that you would need to have prior PHP knowledge either picked up from WROX' Professional PHP 4 (as is mentioned as a pre-requisite in the book) or from the Programming PHP ORA, or any another competent professional PHP programming books in the market.
So the bottomline is:
oCare for an appetiser - Pick up the ORA book.
oCare for a full meal - Pick up the Wrox book.
I am posting this same review for both the books (so customers can benefit from it). However, i have ranked the Wrox book, a notch above this one, simply because i wanted a burp:-)
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By Juergen
If you are completely new to PHP, just forget about this book!
If you are looking for complete programming solutions, do so as well!
However, if you have some basic experience with PHP and MySQL this book is just great.
This book deserves the word "cookbook" as it contains over 600 pages of receipts (do not expect big explanations, but just snippets of code), which will help you to solve many problems. And the best of this book - in my personal opinion - is, that by reading it, you will find a lot of problems/solutions/ideas you have not thought about before.
Be warned: This book is not a real "help" for anybody who looks for the easy solution, but it will definitely help YOU to develop your site and develop yourself.
Just buy it - it's well worth the money and if this book won't pay out, none will!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This book offers real solutions for real issues.
Most books cover commands and functions as though they were disembodied topics and don't relate them to the real world. Read more
Published on June 19 2004 by Hank Castello
5.0 out of 5 stars Filled with GREAT examples
This book has been a lifesaver for me. As is the case with all those in the Cookbook series, this book is filled with practical examples. Read more
Published on June 24 2003 by Rick Summers
5.0 out of 5 stars A valuable asset for any developer
An excellent cookbook, following the old O'Reilly's tradition in the field. The recipes are clean, concise and elegant; the authors try to solve real world, common problems. Read more
Published on May 3 2003 by Foti Massimo
3.0 out of 5 stars combo offer??
This book is a collection of smallish code snippets that don't go into depth, but may be useful for your programming needs if you have very basic PHP knowledge. Read more
Published on Jan. 14 2003 by Mike Schaum
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book on the Market
Comprehensive and well-written. Has great depth and creative case study solutions. Sklar and Trachtenberg 's PHP Cookbook has more to offer than any other book on the market.
Published on Jan. 11 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Like having the professor at my side. Articulate. Full of good ideas and helpful explanations. Must have for programmers!
Published on Jan. 1 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly helpful!
Great book! Full of helpful info and easy to understand. Wonderful asset to have.
Published on Dec 31 2002
3.0 out of 5 stars Cookbook's galore
Among the PHP cookbooks in the market today, this one's good but lacks sufficient depth in coverage. Read more
Published on Dec 20 2002
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