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Practical Web 2.0 Applications with PHP [Paperback]

Quentin Zervaas
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Dec 20 2007 1590599063 978-1590599068 1st ed. 2008. Corr 2nd printing instructive and expert demonstration of how to use PHP, MySQL, the Zend Framework, Smarty, Ajax, and other powerful technologies for creating robust Web sites.

— Michael J. Ross, Web developer/Slashdot contributor

Want to assert yourself as a cutting–edge PHP web developer? Take a practical approach, learning by example from author Quentin Zervaas, and discover how to bring together the many technologies needed to create a successful, modern web application.

In Practical Web 2.0 Applications with PHP, PHP, MySQL, CSS, XHTML, and JavaScript/Ajax development techniques are brought together to show you how to create the hottest PHP web applications, from planning and design up to final implementation, without going over unnecessary basics that will hold you back. This book includes must–have application features such as search functionality, maps, blogs, dynamic image galleries, and personalized user areas. The Zend Framework is used extensively to build the application, allowing you to focus on developing the application rather than on reinventing the wheel.

Topics covered include application planning and design; setting up the application framework; using CSS for easier styling; adding dynamic effects the easy way using JavaScript libraries such as Prototype and; and implementing several must–have web application features such as user login, blogs, dynamic image galleries, search functionality, mapping with Google Maps, and much more. Zervaas covers everything in a practical, tutorial style so you can start working on your own projects as quickly as possible.

  • Create cutting–edge PHP/MySQL web applications.
  • Implement must–have functionality such as blogs, maps, search functionality, and dynamic image galleries.
  • Master styling with CSS and dynamic effects using Ajax/JavaScript libraries.

What you’ll learn

  • How to set up the perfect PHP/MySQL application development environment
  • How to implement basic user management functionality
  • How to use many of the components from the Zend Framework
  • How to effectively make use of the Prototype and JavaScript libraries, including many examples of developing custom JavaScript classes
  • How to create standards–compliant and accessible HTML code and effectively style it using CSS
  • How to create a basic blog system and enhance it with Ajax
  • How to add personalized user areas to your web application
  • How to create a dynamic image gallery
  • How to add search functionality to your application
  • How to use the Google Maps API to add maps to your application
  • How to implement popular Web 2.0 features, such as microformats, tags, and web feeds

Who is this book for?

This book is for any PHP developer who wants to stay ahead of the curve, with practical, high–level web application development techniques.

About the Apress Practical Series

The Practical series from Apress is your best choice for getting the job done, period. From professional to expert, this series lets you apply project–motivated templates (or frameworks) step by step in a very direct, practical, and efficient manner toward current real–world projects that may be sitting on your desk. So whatever your career goal, Apress can be your trusted guide to take you where you want to go on your IT career empowerment path.

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Product Details

Product Description

About the Author

Quentin Zervaas is a web developer based in Adelaide, South Australia, where he has been self–employed since 2003. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Adelaide in 2001, Quentin worked for several web development firms before branching out on his own, developing a wide range of custom web applications for customers all around the world.

Quentin has recently started a new company called Recite Media ( with two partners. Recite Media develops web applications primarily for other development or design companies to resell. Its flagship product, Recite CMS, is being used by some of Australia’s largest companies.

Quentin also runs and writes for his PHP development resource site, PhpRiot (, which provides a number of useful articles on a wide variety of PHP–related topics.

After completing his role as the technical reviewer for Beginning Ajax with PHP: From Novice to Professional (Apress, 2006), he decided to undertake writing this book.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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4.0 out of 5 stars Many useful code and examples Dec 28 2011
By drom99 TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Contains many useful code examples that can easily be integrated to any webpage. The explanations are decent enough and help in understanding the code.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  22 reviews
42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book on the Zend Framework. April 13 2008
By Nik Bear Brown - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The only quip I have with this book is the title "Practical Web 2.0 Applications with PHP" it should be called "Practical Zend Framework Applications using PHP"

There is not one example in the book that doesn't use the Zend Framework. That being said the Zend Framework is a great framework - by far the best web framework I've seen. I'm PhD student in Computer Science at UCLA whose dissertation research involves the web. I've used a lot of web applications and frameworks. Symfony, Drupal, Joomla, Ruby on Rails, etc.

Most of these applications and frameworks just suck - that is, it is more work using them than not using them and many severely limit what one can ultimately do.

I like Ruby on Rails but I love the Zend Framework. There are two big differences between the Zend Framework and Ruby on Rails: 1) they both promote MVC style programming but Ror forces you to use it everywhere and the Zend Framework allows you to mix MVC with simply using their framework as a library wherever you want. For example, I am building a social network but want to mix that with a related wiki. I can use MVC for all the social network code and use and existing MediaWiki (which is not MVC based). All I need to do is rewrite some of the mediaWiki code to hand over user authentication to my controllers.

2) it's Php based ... there is much, much more existing Php code to cannibalize for applications than Ruby code

The book itself basically takes you through setting up user profiles, a blog, an image gallery, prototype (javascript) and Google maps using the Zend Framework. The code is very professional and complex at times so a beginning user may have to read a chapter 2-3 times to fully understand it. Still the only way to really learn to write "professional" code is to see it and understand why it was written as it was.

There are some issues I have with the book. In places where something could reasonably be done in multiple ways the book only shows one without any explanation why that way was chosen. For example, in the installing Zend chapter the book tells you to edit the httpd.conf file to set your paths. Most people who use a commercial hosting company don't have access to edit httpd.conf or restart the server. There are ways to reset the path within the Zend bootstrap (which I did) but if I didn't know how to do that I would not have been able to get the examples to work without setting up a server locally on my machine.

Also the bootstrap is left in the index.php file when Zend recommends using the index.php to call the bootstrap.php file from a non-public web directory.

The Zend Framework is only a few months old and this is by far the best web framework out there. There is only one other (decent) book on the framework. This book is about the Zend Framework and only marginally about "Web 2.0" (you use Google maps). The book that should have been titled "Practical Zend Framework Applications using PHP" will teach you how to use the best web framework out there. If the next book shows one how to really use web services, ajax and present web services using the Zend Framework then it can be called "Web 2.0" not this one.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bad use of zend framework May 13 2009
By Ricardo Buquet - Published on
The autor, doesnt follow any convention of the zend framework. He constantly uses some of his clases developed years ago, integrating those classes with the zend framework, but he never explains deeply how they work, so you must followe along with out understanding how thing works.
And with more than 20 php books readed, i think i cant tell that this book, is not good for learning, neither zend framework, or oop
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PHP Web 2.0 using Zend and Smarty Feb. 4 2008
By Jeffrey Heaton - Published on
First of all. What is Web 2.0? Everyone has a definition. The important point is how does THIS BOOK define it. The author of this book defines Web 2.0 as sites that use: standard compliant HTML/CSS, use AJAX, share data using web services, and incorporate social networking tools. This book seeks to show the reader how to use the four components in conjunction with PHP.

The cover of the book states "Develop a complete PHP web application from start to finish." This is exactly what the book does. As the chapters progress you are shown how to create a blog that also includes an image gallery. Additionally, Google maps integration is covered. While, the author is not necessarily advocating that you create blog software from scratch, the blog is perhaps the quintessential Web 2.0 application. This allows the book to highlight the four main design criteria of Web 2.0.

This book makes extensive use of the Smarty and Zend frameworks. The Zend framework is used to achieve the Web 2.0 goals. In many ways this book could be considered a guide to using the Zend framework. MySQL is also used.

The book contains many code examples and demonstrates many techniques that can be reused in any web 2.0 project.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Demonstration of Php(Zend) and AJAX May 15 2008
By Michael R. Spryn - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
After thoroughly going through every chapter in this book (somtimes several times to understand exactly how everything was linking together) I have an incredibly improved understanding on how you might go about building a more complex web application, and an advanced understanding of the MVC pattern.

Every section is extremely well laid out, and the code is explained in detail (in most cases.) The only times where an explanation is lacking are when an approach has been previously explained in the book. Use that memory!

I think if you really dig into and understand this code, you may find yourself well ahead of a lot of your peers.

I even had a problem with one piece of code, and the author was kind enough to reply to my e-mail and help me troubleshoot the problem. (It was my fault.)

Highly suggest this book!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, but why implement your own Db Table pattern Sept. 11 2008
By Alexander Maddern - Published on
This is an excellent book and I have enjoyed reading it over the past day. For someone trying to piece together the various technologies like Auth, ACL, Config, Logging and Session it's a great resource for the first several chapters, going into detail about the configuration and setup of this simple environment without any of that padding and guff that a lot of other authors include. The book doesn't treat you like an idiot, which I certainly appreciated.

The only issue I would raise is that the Author has used his own classes for database Table access instead of employing the frameworks standard Zend_Db_Table and Zend_Db_Table_Row bases. This means that anyone wanting to adhere closely to the Zend Framework (for corporate reasons) will have to reverse engineer the approaches used. An odd choice for a book almost entirely based on the Zend Framework.
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