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Professional PHP4 [Paperback]

Luis Argerich , Deepak Thomas , Devon O'Dell
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 2002 Programmer to Programmer
PHP is an open source, server-side HTML-embedded web-scripting language for creating dynamic web pages. Outside of being browser-independent, it offers a simple and universal cross-platform solution for e-commerce, complex web, and database-driven applications.

Professional PHP4 will show you exactly how to create state of the art web applications that scale well, utilize databases optimally, and connect to a back-end network using a multi-tiered approach. This book also aims at teaching PHP by coding - among other things - FTP clients, e-mail clients, some advanced data structures, session management, and secure programming.

What does this book cover?

The whys and wherefores of PHP4

PHP installation on *nix, Windows, and MacOS X

Sessions and cookies, coding FTP clients, network-related function calls, and directory services

PHP support for LDAP

Multi-tiered development using PHP

PHP's interaction with XML

PHP with MySQL

PHP with PostgreSQL and ODBC

Securing, optimizing, and internationalizing PHP applications

PHP extension libraries

A real world employee directory, an online library application, and a GTK interface to the application

Case studies on a user privilege system and a multi-tiered WML-based shopping cart

Product Details

Product Description

From the Publisher

This book is a resource for working PHP developers who want to take their skills to the next level. Although it assumes a conceptual familiarity with programming and databases in general, anyone who knows PHP enough to code and maintain small web applications can use this book. We also assume an interest in designing large web sites and general network programming to make full use of this book.

About the Author

Deepak Thomas; Harish Rawat; Wankyu Choi; Jon Parise; James Moore; Luis Argerich; Christopher Scollo; Devon O' Dell; Ken Egervari; John Coggeshall; Martin Geisler; Chris Hubbard; Andrew Hill; Zak Greant; Tarique Sani; Chris Ullman

Deepak Thomas is a Member of Technical Staff with Oracle corp. in Redwood Shores, CA. Co-author of Professional PHP; he has also contributed to other Wrox titles on Linux and Java both as an author and a reviewer. His interests include Linux, J2EE technologies and website deployment issues.

Jon Parise is a long-time contributor to the PHP, PEAR, and Horde projects. He holds a bachelors degree in Information Technology from the Rochester Institute of Technology and is pursuing his Masters in Entertainment Technology from Carnegie Mellon University. He currently works as an independent consultant.

Harish Rawat is a software developer at Oracle corporation. He has over nine years of experience in Systems programming. His technical areas of interest include XML,Java and Network Protocols.Co-author of Professional PHP; he has also contributed to other Wrox titles on Linux and Java both as an author and a reviewer.

James Moore is currently living in Bristol having taken a year out in between completing his A-levels at Richard Huish College, Taunton and continuing his studies at University. He is spending this year both working and travelling.
Over the past two years James has taken an active role within the PHP Community as a member of the PHP Quality Assurance team and as the PHP-GTK Manual Editor. He has also contributed the Windows API extension to PHP's code base.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, but sloppy March 25 2003
Having previously read Wrox's Professional ASP Programming, I tried this book, hoping for something of equal merit.
This volume is has some decent material, but is marred by a tendecy to sloppiness.
Firstly, as other reviewers have noted, there are too many authors (count 'em - 16!), which is unnecessary, and leads to inconsistencies in presentation. The book could quite easily have been authored by a single writer. There are only a few chapters that required specialist knowledge.
For example, the early chapters are quite good at advising the reader on PHP settings. Since there's no option explicit in PHP,the author correctly advises the reader to increase their error setting to report unused variables. Later, however, much of the code uses uninitialised variables. This is particularly the case in the chapter on form handling, the approach to which is too crude, and uses form variables directly in code, whereas a better approach would be to capture them and process them using isset(). The isset() function isn't even covered in this chapter,but is used correctly in other chapters.
Secondly, while the converstational tone of Wrox books is often appealing, it can also be a problem at times. The presentation is not always comprehensive enough, and Wrox authors have a tendency to give overly clever examples.
Strangely, there's no reference section. I found some of the explanations sloppy and confusing, especially the section of session variables. (I still can't get the WAP application to work properly.)
Thirdly, the chapter on OO design leaves the reader stranded. After a decent theoretical discussion, the writer informs the reader that there will be no code examples, as the reader now knows enough theory to work an example out for themselves!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Great information, but poorly written Nov. 2 2002
By A Customer
I own quite a few Wrox Press books, and I have to say that while "Professional PHP4" contains quite a bit of useful information...it might well be one of the most poorly written Wrox books I've ever read in terms of how this information is presented.
Often overly broad (and sometimes bizarre) blanket-statements are used (such as "The use of global variables is widely considered to be poor programming style"...an absurdly broad generalization); concepts are described as "inefficient" without any real substantiated explanation, what appears to be opinions are often presented instead as facts; and new terms are dropped into sentences whole chapters before they are even actually explaned (causing the reader to start wondering if they had missed something earlier).
Long, rambling run-on sentences abound, and sometimes things are described in such a convoluted manner that sometimes even simple concepts end up confusing. The introduction to OOP has got to be one of the most confusing, poorly written explanations of the subject that I've ever seen...thankfully I'm already quite familiar and confortable with OOP, but I could easily imagine someone new to the concept going cross-eyed trying to follow along. The index is also missing many key terms, and the version I have has quite a few glaring typos as well.
On the other hand: while I've heard this book described as too detailed for people new to PHP, anyone who's already comfortable with Perl, CGI and ASP should have no problem following along and quickly getting the hang of things (assuming you can wade through the convoluted text, however).
I would recommend checking this book out closely at a local bookstore to see if you can deal with the way the book is written...if so, you might find the amount of information presented to be valuable.
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2.0 out of 5 stars I haven't been paid to write this review! June 26 2002
First of all, I should say that I bought this book mainly because of all the favourable reviews, and consistently good reviews seem to be a good indicator of a book's quality. Not so with this one, unfortunately.
There's no doubt that you'll get a truck load of information: the book can easily be used as a weapon (let it slip from your hands onto somebody's foot and they're bound to end up in hospital). The problem is that the information is not presented in a clear, consistent manner, nor is it very well organized.
Each one of the 26 chapters is written by a different author, and the authors obviously didn't spend a whole lot of time planning how the chapters would all tie in with each other. Some chapters seem to have been written by people who are less than fully proficient in English, and yet others are just badly written.
This may sound like nitpicking, but when you're trying to grasp fairly complex concepts and "take your programming skills to the next level", believe me, it makes a difference -- you need to be able to follow the author's thread. You want clear, well illustrated explanations, not page after page of geekspeak glossing over stuff that you're supposed to understand but don't.
And though I'm certainly no PHP genious, I do have a fairly good understanding of the basics of PHP, which has enabled me to developed a few useful applications all by myself. In other words, I'm not a complete idiot who just happened to pick a book that's too advanced for me.
If you're a geek and like plain geekspeak without many examples to waste your time, then by all means this book is an excellent investment.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I just bought this book in my local BORDERS, and I gotta say this is by far the best PHP book out there. Read more
Published on June 23 2003 by "darksk8er"
3.0 out of 5 stars Too many cooks spoil the broth
There are a lot of good concepts here but many of them are poorly explained. This book has about a dozen authors and you never are able to settle down and feel comfortable with the... Read more
Published on March 14 2003 by Jason
2.0 out of 5 stars Not impressed: they don't know who their audience is
In reading this book, it's clear to me that the authors don't have a clear focus on who their audience is supposed to be and what they are trying to accomplish. Read more
Published on March 5 2003 by Beth
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great PHP Book
In simple words - a great book. If you are looking to dive into some serious developing with PHP, this book could definitely help you find a path. Read more
Published on Jan. 8 2003 by Farhan
5.0 out of 5 stars A great "next step"
Ok, so you have read PHP Programming for the Mentally Challanged, or Learn PHP in 23.5 minutes, or some other similar tome that seems to regurgitate itself every week or... Read more
Published on Oct. 7 2002 by John P. Hoke
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Buy
I recommend this book to every serious PHP programmer - Professional,Beginner or Intermediate.The Information presented in it will never fade!!
Published on Sept. 25 2002 by Harvey Medinets
1.0 out of 5 stars Overrated
I bought this book due to the great feedback that had been posted at the time of my purchase. I regret to inform the community that this book will waste your time and money. Read more
Published on Sept. 25 2002 by Hines Bourne
1.0 out of 5 stars Skip it!
Incomplete information, poorly organized. Dont' waste your time or your money. Much of the text directly from PHP Web site.
Published on Sept. 22 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Want to learn php from the best?
Simply put this book rocks! Lots of great examples, with authors that really understand how to code, and to work around the trouble spots.
Forget ASP, and JSP. Do it with php! Read more
Published on July 2 2002 by P. Jevtic
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Content
If you want to learn PHP4 then this is the book to buy.Its very well written and has great content.Credit also goes to the publisher and the editors for stitching up the content... Read more
Published on May 31 2002 by Rick Mathelie
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