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PHP 6 Fast and Easy Web Development [Paperback]

Matt Telles , Julie C. Meloni

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Book Description

Jan. 25 2008 1598634712 978-1598634716 1
Learn to create Web pages quickly and easily with PHP—no prior programming experience required! PHP 6 Fast & Easy Web Development provides a step-by-step, learn-by-example path to learning through easy-to-understand language and illustrations. Unlike the verbose text-only chapters found in most programming books, the Fast & Easy Web Development style appeals to users who are new to PHP, or to programming in general. The first three chapters are dedicated to getting Apache, MySQL, and PHP up and running on your Windows or Linux machine. You’ll be surprised at how simple it is, and how quickly you’ll be working. From there, you’ll learn how to create multi-part scripts, display dynamic content, work with MySQL databases, restrict access to certain pages of your site using PHP, create contact management systems, and work with XML. After completing this book, you will have a strong foundation in the basics of Web-based technologies and application design, and will be prepared to learn more advanced topics and programming methods.

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Introduction PART I: GETTING STARTED Chapter 1: INSTALLING AND CONFIGURING MYSQL Chapter 2: Installing Apache Chapter 3: Installing PHP PART II: THE ABSOLUTE BASICS OF CODING IN PHP Chapter 4: Mixing PHP and HTML Chapter 5: Introducing Variables and Operators Chapter 6: Using PHP Variables PART III: START WITH THE SIMPLE STUFF Chapter 7: Displaying Dynamic Content Chapter 8: Sending E-Mail Chapter 9: Using Your File System Chapter 10: Uploading Files to Your Web Site PART IV: GETTING TO KNOW YOUR MYSQL DATABASE Chapter 11: Establishing a Connection and Poking Around Chapter 12: Creating a Database Table Chapter 13: Inserting Data into the Table Chapter 14: Selecting and displaying Data PART V: USER AUTHENTICATION AND TRACKING Chapter 15: Database-Driven User Authentication Chapter 16: Using Cookies Chapter 17: Session Basics PART VI: CREATING YOUR OWN CONTACT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM Chapter 18: Planning Your System Chapter 19: Adding Contacts Chapter 20: Modifying Contacts Chapter 21: Deleting Contacts Chapter 22: Working with Contacts PART VII: ADDITIONAL PROJECT EXAMPLES Chapter 23: Managing a Simple Mailing List Chapter 24: Creating Custom Logs and Reports Chapter 25: Working with XML PART VIII: APPENDIXES Appendix A: Additional COnfiguration Options Appendix B: Basic PHP Language Reference Appendix C: Writing Your Own FUnctions Appendix D: Wiring Your Own Classes and Objects Appendix E: Database Normalization and SQL Reference Appendix F: Using SQLite Appendix G: Getting Help Index

About the Author

Matt Telles is a senior consultant working in the software development world. His experience includes both desktop and web development using a variety of languages and platforms. He is the author of seven other books ranging from C++ to Python.

Julie Meloni is the technical director for i2i Interactive, a multimedia company located in Los Altos, CA. She's been developing Web-based applications since the Web first saw the light of day and remembers the excitement surrounding the first GUI Web browser. She is the author of several books and articles on Web-based programming languages and database topics, and you can find translations of her work in several languages, including Chinese, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, and even Serbian.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
MySQL is the database of choice for a vast majority of Web developers who use PHP, because of its efficiency and ease of use. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 2.2 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 533 pages of horrible PHP and 31 pages of index Sept. 27 2008
By David Stockton - Published on Amazon.com
I picked this book up at my local library since it was the first PHP 6 book they carried. I have to say, I completely agree with Michael Diamond's review. This book is why PHP code and PHP coders have a bad name. I would absolutely not hire someone who wrote any code like the examples in the book. The book is full of examples of how to make completely broken, utterly insecure and just downright awful PHP scripts. Throughout the book, examples take user input directly from $_POST or other user provided variables and either call functions provided in the variable, use the variable directly in SQL.

If the code could throw a warning, it is often preceded with an @ sign, which in PHP just suppresses the warning. Rather than show or explain to the reader how to either prevent the warnings from appearing, checking code to make sure the values passed to the function won't cause a warning or any of the other correct, standard, and not dangerous ways of preventing warnings from showing to the user, it just includes the @ sign with no explanation.

Throughout the book I don't recall seeing a single place where array variables are accessed correctly. For example,
if ($_SESSION[valid] != 'Yes') ....

Unless the word valid is a defined constant, PHP will try to find a constant with that name, not find any, issue a notice, and then try to use valid as a string. The correct way to do this check would be
if ($_SESSION['valid'] != 'Yes')...

Additionally, for a book that is supposed to be about PHP 6, very little PHP 6 is actually discussed anywhere. Unicode will be one of the biggest additions to the PHP 6 code, yet the only place that even mentions unicode is page 68 which has a little 3 line text box. The text in the box mentions that with PHP 6, unicode will be on by default, and then tells you how to disable it by changing an ini setting!

The code examples in this book are aimed at a beginner PHP programmer. However, a beginner PHP programmer may not know how wrongly they are being presented. I urge you, if you are a beginning PHP programmer to avoid this book. If you are a beginning programmer, avoid this book. If you are an intermediate to expert PHP programmer, avoid this book, or borrow it and laugh at the horrible examples of how to not code PHP.

I read a lot of PHP books. Since I've been coding PHP since 1997, there's usually not a lot that I learn from the PHP books. However, I usually also don't have such a strong reaction against a book that I have to immediately write an Amazon review urging others to avoid a book. In fact most of the other PHP books I've read or own do have a lot of good.

Please, stay away from this book. If you don't know PHP already, it will ruin you as a PHP programmer.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This Book Is The Reason PHP Programmers Have A Bad Name May 20 2008
By Michael Diamond - Published on Amazon.com
This book tries to teach PHP with an illogical ordering, piss poor documentation, no regard to security or standards (it's being published as a book for PHP 6, but still uses HTML from the 1990's).

Most notable to me, however, was the god aweful piece of code found in one of the introductory chapters which, if ever put on a live server, would open up the server to any number of exploits, including access to the system() function. Here is an excerpt:
echo $result = $_POST['func']($_POST['text1']);

Yes, that's right, output the result of a function call the client provides, applied to a parameter the client provides. Absolutely ridiculous.

Now, I haven't read much further than this example (p 110), but even if somewhere later on the authors take the time to discuss security, the fact that they separate the two all but guarentees that the message is not getting across. Please, please please do not purchase this book. I am returning it today, and I encourage those of you who made the same mistake I did to return it as well.

A far, far better book which covers PHP and MySQL in a professional, secure, and yet introductory fasion is PHP and MySQL Web Development (4th Edition) (Developer's Library). This is far and away my favorite programming book, and I promise anyone who is interested in learning PHP or MySQL will benefit from this book.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Inconsistent and flawed March 25 2008
By D. Pope - Published on Amazon.com
Pro: The text is written in a simple, straightforward style, and contains some good information
Con: Ridiculously small graphics depicting code (hint: just use listings); sample code from publisher's site is broken (perhaps I missed the part about having to debug the authors' examples); broken examples in the text; PHP6 is not stable as of publication of the book but we're set to a hack install thereof, and it appears the instructions on that little endeavor are broken too ("put that .dll in one of those folders you Windows people use").
Suggestion: Try the w3schools site. It's simple yet comprehensive, it's free, and they test their code. Or if you must have a dead tree, try Gosselin's PHP Programming with MySQL -- from what I have seen, it's a much better book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars PHP Fast and Broken April 27 2008
By B. Clark - Published on Amazon.com
By now you would think Meloni could/should get it right. No such luck her code is still broken. How anyone can write a series of books and still can't code herself is beyond me.
3.0 out of 5 stars Good enough to get me started. Jan. 21 2012
By DBHER - Published on Amazon.com
Not knowing exactly what PHP was but knowing I wanted to learn a new language I went to the bookstore and found this book. I don't know if anyone else has noticed but trying to find a good selection of programing books at the local bookstore is very hard. So I basically purchased this book by default because the selection I had was not very good. I haven't read the book page by page just flipped though the chapters and selected the ones I needed to learn.

For someone who was only familiar with HTML, CSS and copying and pasting JavaScript into my websites, this book taught me enough to help me implement a "Members Only" section of my website using log-on sessions as well help me understand enough code to create my own custom financial calculator. Although I did have to supplement with a few PHP web searches to help with some code that the book didn't cover. The book gives you a Basic PHP Language Reference in the appendix but the problem with that is it's just a list, it doesn't tell you how to implement it into your code. A perfect example was I needed to know how to round numbers, the book showed me the tag but I wasn't sure what to do with it.

This book is only to learn the basic functions of PHP. By no means will it show you how to make a dynamic website. Which will be my next PHP book purchase.
Yes, there are probably much better PHP books out there but it helped me enough to get started.

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