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Programming PHP [Paperback]

Rasmus Lerdorf , Kevin Tatroe , Peter MacIntyre
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
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Programming PHP Programming PHP 4.0 out of 5 stars (2)
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Book Description

May 5 2006 0596006810 978-0596006815 Second Edition

Programming PHP, 2nd Edition, is the authoritative guide to PHP 5 and is filled with the unique knowledge of the creator of PHP (Rasmus Lerdorf) and other PHP experts. When it comes to creating websites, the PHP scripting language is truly a red-hot property. In fact, PHP is currently used on more than 19 million websites, surpassing Microsoft's ASP .NET technology in popularity. Programmers love its flexibility and speed; designers love its accessibility and convenience.

As the industry standard book on PHP, all of the essentials are covered in a clear and concise manner. Language syntax and programming techniques are coupled with numerous examples that illustrate both correct usage and common idioms. With style tips and practical programming advice, this book will help you become not just a PHP programmer, but a good PHP programmer. Programming PHP, Second Edition covers everything you need to know to create effective web applications with PHP. Contents include:

  • Detailed information on the basics of the PHP language, including data types, variables, operators, and flow control statements
  • Chapters outlining the basics of functions, strings, arrays, and objects
  • Coverage of common PHP web application techniques, such as form processing and validation, session tracking, and cookies
  • Material on interacting with relational databases, such as MySQL and Oracle, using the database-independent PEAR DB library and the new PDO Library
  • Chapters that show you how to generate dynamic images, create PDF files, and parse XML files with PHP
  • Advanced topics, such as creating secure scripts, error handling, performance tuning, and writing your own C language extensions to PHP
  • A handy quick reference to all the core functions in PHP and all the standard extensions that ship with PHP

Praise for the first edition:

"If you are just getting into the dynamic Web development world or you are considering migrating from another dynamic web product to PHP, Programming PHP is the book of choice to get you up, running, and productive in a short time."

--Peter MacIntrye, eWeek

"I think this is a great book for programmers who want to start developing dynamic websites with PHP. It gives a detailed overview of PHP, lots of valuable tips, and a good sense of PHP's strengths."

--David Dooling,

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Product Description

From Amazon

Coauthored by its creator, Programming PHP is a nitty-gritty guide to PHP development. PHP is an open-source scripting language used to build dynamic Web sites. In this title, the authors go step-by-step through the language, including brief coverage of common applications such as graphics or database work.

The first six chapters explain PHP essentials, including data types, functions, string manipulation, arrays and objects. Next comes a look at basic Web techniques, followed by an introduction to database access. There is a chapter on generating graphics with the GD extension library and another on creating Adobe PDF documents. The authors then show how to parse XML, and there is a section on security with some handy tips for protecting PHP sites. A chapter on application techniques looks at code libraries, performance tuning and handling errors. Next there is an explanation of how to build extensions to PHP using C, followed by a look at Windows issues such as COM and ODBC. Finally, there is a complete reference to the standard functions in PHP 4.0.

This is not an advanced programming book, but even experienced coders will discover new things about the language and get a clearer understanding of how PHP works. The specialist chapters such as those on XML or PHP extensions tend to be introductory, so readers will need further resources. For example, the database section is short, and would be best read alongside Web Database Applications with PHP and MySQL or another book with more detailed database coverage. Even so, this is a strong hands-on title that PHP developers will want to keep close at hand. ----Tim Anderson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Creating Dynamic Web Pages

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! Nov. 2 2002
With one of the authors, Rasmus Lerdorf, being the creator of PHP you know you are in for a good book and "Programming PHP" certainly doesn't disappoint. This book will take you from the ground floor to developing your own web applications. As with most books, it begins simple and progresses to more advanced topics.
When reading the book cover to cover, you are taught in a logical manner. The concepts of functions and arrays are taught before databases for example. Many books out there today jump ahead too quickly before the foundations are in place. This book does not. While teaching the foundations, Rasmus and Kevin show great programming style. As the preface mentions, their goal is not that you just become a PHP programmer, but a good PHP programmer.
Beyond the basic foundations presented in this book, it also covers topics such as creating images with GD, using the PDF features of PHP, and XML. For those that really want to get knee deep into PHP, they also have a chapter devoted to extending PHP by creating your own extensions. They walk you through creating a simple rot13 extension, then show you what you need to know in order to create more complicated extensions. There is also a chapter devoted to programming in PHP securely. This addresses issues that every PHP programmer, new and seasoned alike, need to pay attention to.
If you are looking for a book to break into the world of PHP, this one should be among the top of the list.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Shallow Content, Many Errors, Poor Examples Oct. 10 2003
I almost always turn to O'Reilly first when purchasing a new reference book, however this time I was disappointed. This book is fairly shallow in content and much of the information that you need is actually buried in the text instead of being presented as a topic unto itself.
The thing that is the most bothersome, however, is the plethora of flat out errors. Many of the examples have typos, missing code, etc. Even as a PHP novice I was constantly spotting errors which is frustrating when you're trying to learn the language.
On top of that, many of the examples exhibit just plain bad programming form (inefficient code, variables that are only used once, etc). It's the kind of thing that makes a seasoned programmer wince (and if I was reviewing the code I would send it back to the author with lots of red ink).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I liked this book. As an experienced programmer I like that it dove right in and gave me the basics of the language that I needed to get going. Since I am new to PHP I can't speak to what might be missing, as some of the other reviewers allude to, but it certainly seems to have all of the nuts and bolts necessary to get a quick grasp of the language and the "system".
So, why did I give it only 4 stars? Well, there are so many errors in the sample code and between the descriptions and the sample code that it significantly slowed me down, by confusing me. These errors aren't always horrible, but just to give an example the book says, on page 84, that you call the get_meta_tags() function by passing it "the HTML for a web page in a string". Well, the sample shows passing it a URL and if you do pass it a string, it turns out, PHP crashes (at least my installation of PHP does). There are many other examples.
My advice is to not buy this if you expect it to teach you how to program, but if you already have a couple of other languages under your belt, and how to build web pages, this book will get you into PHP quick.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Frustrating Experience July 18 2007
I do not recommend this book for anyone. I am an experienced programmer - not a designer, nor a noob.
The code examples are full of errors. Everything from incorrect cases (A versus a), to deprecated code (many-versions-back deprecated, not just stuff that changed after the book was published), to dumb typos ("noteValue" instead of "nodeValue") and just plain wrong (declare one variable, then use another?). Wasted way too much time debugging "their" code.
They do not explain things well enough. They jump 5 steps into a new concept, that you have no idea what they are talking about, until 5 or 6 pages later, when they finally backtrack to the basics of that concept. By that time, your eyes have glazed over. Had to re-read sections many times to understand what they were talking about off the top.
Not enough hands-on examples. People want to do things, not sit there and just read about it. Then the code they do give isn't complete, so if you try to work with it, you don't know what you are missing, or why it isn't working.
It isn't even good as a reference book. With so many errors, incomplete entries and missing items, is not a reliable source.
I usually prefer books to website tutorials. But am now starting over again with the "Documentation" at [...]
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Gift if you like PHP March 27 2004
By A Customer
This was not my first PHP book, and probably it is not the best first book because it doesn't have a fun project to get you psyched. If you've got some of the thick books and feel like you sort of know PHP, this book is like taking a class from a master, with an emphasis on fundamentals. Disorganized and others have said some errors, but you are going to learn something. It is the book I always refer to first and it usually answers my question. I like the fact that it is thin by programming book standards. So to summarize, if you are going to buy 2 or more PHP books I highly recommend this one!
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
O Reilly publishes the best programming books--they're accurate, elegant and get to the point quickly. Unfortunately, this book is an exception. Read more
Published on Feb. 21 2004
2.0 out of 5 stars not worthed
It sure tries to teach you something but cannot achieve...
As everyone mentioned before, it has countless errors and typos. But there is more than that. Book is out of focus. Read more
Published on Jan. 27 2004 by M. Burak Tutan
1.0 out of 5 stars Full Of Errors, Not For Beginners
This book has code examples which are full of typos. For example, the code for "self-processing pages" on page 166 won't parse. Read more
Published on Nov. 23 2003 by Robert L. Cochran
2.0 out of 5 stars Too shallow
I was disappointed in this book. The title implies that the book would cover PHP in the same manner that Programming Perl (from the same publisher) covers Perl, but this is not... Read more
Published on Oct. 9 2003 by Dave Lerner
3.0 out of 5 stars average php book
this is a thin, mediocre book. at 373 pages, not counting the appendix, this is not a thorough treatment of the language. Read more
Published on Aug. 20 2003 by AntaeusQ
5.0 out of 5 stars Great PHP book, but for programmers
The creator of PHP himself, Rasmus Lerdorf, put together a thorough and enlightening guide to PHP. In this book you will find everything you need to know about PHP from variables... Read more
Published on June 27 2003 by Doug M
3.0 out of 5 stars I don't like it
* I am an experienced programmer. I finished the first seven chapters in one day. Because the book is good or because I got used to programming ?? I am not sure. Read more
Published on May 26 2003 by Hiep Nguyen
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent intermediate level book
An excellent intermediate level book, the authors in depth knowledge of the inner working of PHP make the difference, especially when they suggest better practices. Read more
Published on May 11 2003 by Foti Massimo
5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource
I've had this book for a few months now and I have to say it's really a great PHP resource all around. It's very clear, has great examples and best of all is inexpensive. Read more
Published on May 5 2003 by Jason
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent First PHP Book
This book is an excellent introduction to the PHP scripting language, which is one of the most popular ways to add dynamic content to the web; PHP seems to be displacing Perl on... Read more
Published on May 2 2003 by Warren J. Dew
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