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Spring Into PHP 5 [Paperback]

Steven Holzner
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Product Description

From the Inside Flap


Welcome to PHP! This book has been written to be as comprehensive—and as accessible—as a book on PHP can be. It puts the power of PHP to work for you, pushing the envelope as far as it can go. The best way to learn any topic like PHP is by example, and this is an example-oriented book. You'll find dozens of tested examples here, ready to go to work.

PHP is quickly gaining popularity these days. Web page authors are requiring more and more power, and PHP is the answer. Not content to simply handle web pages in browsers any more, people are turning to the server side to do things you just can't do in a browser. Using PHP, you have total control over your web applications—and the good part is that they're not any harder to write than a typical web page.

PHP is an amazing package, and you're getting into it at the right time, when the excitement level is soaring. You'll see more PHP here than in any similar book, doing things you won't see other places, such as drawing images on-the-fly on the server and then sending them back to the browser.

Who Should Read This Book?

This book is for you if you truly want to develop all the power of web applications. If you want to start using cookies instead of just having your browser accept them, if you want to handle buttons, text fields, check boxes and more in your web pages, if you want to track users with sessions, or if you want to connect to a database on the server, then look no further. This book lets you take control of the server side of things.

In addition, this book is specially written so that you don't need a lot of experience to use it. The only real requirement for this book is familiarity with HTML. You don't need to be an HTML expert, but you'll need to know some.

How Is This Book Organized?

This book contains nine chapters:

  • Chapter 1 provides a foundation, getting you started with PHP.

  • Chapter 2 is all about using operators and flow control in PHP to begin handling your data.

  • Chapter 3 handles text strings and organizes data into arrays.

  • Chapter 4 introduces functions, which let you wrap up PHP into manageable _sections that can be called by name.

  • Chapter 5 starts using PHP to work with HTML controls such as text fields and buttons in web pages.

  • Chapter 6 shows how to create web applications in more detail by checking what type of browser the user has, how to check the user's data, and more.

  • Chapter 7 introduces object-oriented programming in PHP and shows how to _handle files on the web server.

  • Chapter 8 discusses something that PHP does well: working with databases on the server. In this chapter, we'll work with MySQL.

  • Chapter 9 covers a number of important web techniques: using cookies, sessions, FTP, email, and more.

  • We have included a bonus chapter on the Web site that shows how to draw graphics interactively on the web server and send them back to the browser.You don't need to know anything about server-side programming. You get all the material you need right here.

    As far as software goes, we'll be using PHP 5.0, and I'll show you where to download it for free. All you need to do is to download and install the required software (the installations are easy, unlike some larger software packages).

    You don't need Internet access to learn PHP from this book. If you want, you can develop and test your PHP pages all on the same computer. However, if you want to put your PHP code on the Internet, you'll need to use an ISP that supports PHP. Check with your ISP to find if they support PHP—more and more ISPs are doing so every day.

    What's Unusual About This Book?

    This book—like other books in the Spring Into... Series—includes the following _elements:

    • Each topic is explained in a discrete one- or two-page unit called a "chunk."

    • Each chunk builds on the previous chunks in that chapter.

    • Most chunks contain one or more examples. I believe that good examples provide the foundation for almost all useful technical documents.

    • Many chunks contain sidebars that provide helpful, ancillary material.

    In addition, this book is filled with examples—dozens of them—because seeing a working example is the best way to learn this material. Here are just a few included topics:

    • Reading data from a web page's text fields, radio buttons, check boxes, and list boxes on the server

    • Creating and handling image maps

    • Tracking users with sessions and cookies

    • Writing data to files on the server (such as guest books)

    • Recovering from errors without crashing

    • Connecting to databases on the server

    • Using SQL to work with databases

    • Drawing images on-the-fly and sending them back to the browser

    • Handling strings and arrays

    • Working with the PHP operators

    • Creating functions

    • Creating classes and objects

    • Using FTP from PHP

    • Sending email from PHP

    • Using sessions to preserve data between page accesses

    • The complete PHP syntax

    There's a lot to PHP, and there's a lot to this book. Our plan is to cram as much PHP into the book as we can.All the code examples have been tested by the author and tech editor on different machines.

    This book is designed to be at the top of the PHP field. If you have comments and suggestions for improvements, please write to me, care of Prentice Hall. This book is _designed to be the new standard in PHP programming books, more complete and more accessible than ever before. Please keep in touch with ways to improve it and keep it on _the cutting edge. Thanks.

    Who Helped Me Write This Book?

    A book like this is the work of many people. Besides your local author, Mark L. Taub and Barry Rosenberg helped create and design the book. Matt Wade and Eugenia Harris did excellent reviews of the manuscript.

    That's it. We're ready to dig into PHP on Chapter 1.

    © Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

From the Back Cover

The fastest route to true PHP mastery!

So...you've been asked to pitch in on a PHP project...starting now. Or maybe one's on the horizon. Or maybe you need to get real PHP skills onto your résumé. You've done web stuff. Maybe used other scripting languages. Now you want to get productive with PHP, fast.

Welcome. We wrote this book for you. We'll leverage what you already know, so you'll go further, faster than you ever expected.

You'll get the real nuts and bolts, not theory or hooey. You'll learn through dozens of focused examples: tested for reliability, crafted for clarity, easy to adapt for your own projects.

Need specific solutions? This book's modular, high-efficiency format delivers them—instantly. Award-winning author Steven Holzner draws on his unparalleled experience teaching programming: No other PHP guide covers this much, this well, this quickly. Dig in, get started, get results—today!

  • All you need to succeed with PHP in Linux or Windows

  • Master core concepts: operators, flow control, strings, arrays, functions, and more

  • Learn essential web techniques: cookies, session management, automated email, FTP, and more

  • Use PHP 5's object model and object-oriented techniques

  • Efficiently handle text boxes, buttons, and other HTML controls

  • Create web forms, validate user input, and check browsers

  • Work with MySQL and other databases

Includes concise PHP 5 language and functional references!

All the book's programming examples are available for download on the companion web site.

Spring Into is a new series of fast-paced tutorials from Addison-Wesley. Each book in the series is designed to bring you up-to-speed quickly. Complex topics and technologies are reduced to their core components, and each component is treated with remarkable efficiency in one- or two-page spreads. Just the information you need to begin working...now! And because the books are example-rich and easy to navigate, you'll find that they make great on-the-job references after you've mastered the basics.

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Yet Sept. 25 2005
By Adaera
Completely new to PHP? Tried PHP out a little bit, but never understood it? Like to increase your knowledge of PHP even further? Or are you just after a quick reference of the tags and their properties? If you answered YES to any of these above questions, Spring Into PHP 5 is the book for you.
Spring Into PHP 5 provides the reader with a simple, yet very comprehensive coverage of the PHP code. All "snippets" of code are explained to show you HOW and WHY they are being used. I found this very useful, as I could understand why I was using a certain tag, as opposed to another.
The book is split into nine chapters, each explaining and providing examples of different ways in which PHP can be implemented and manipulated. These chapters are followed up with two appendixes: PHP Language Elements, providing you with the correct way to apply the most common PHP tags, and PHP Function Reference, this being as the name suggests, a reference to all the functions available in PHP.
Spring Into PHP 5 is a very good, detailed and easy to use reference book for anyone that is involved with PHP.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive and wonderfully written! Aug. 1 2005
By Richard C. Mills - Published on Amazon.com
I've been programming in c/c++ and java for 6 years now and recently at work was asked to give a facelift to our intranet site. Without this book I do not think I would have been able to complete all the requested task in such a short amount of time.

This is probably one of the most well written php books I've ever read. Steven Holzner did a perfect job bringing the nuts and bolts of PHP to the world in such a clear and concise manner. The books pace is perfect for a newbie into the PHP world and though technical is very easy to read and understand. Through this book I was able to give our intranet site an overhaul and add features to it in no time, leaving me plenty of time to focus on other projects.

If you need a quick jump start into PHP programming look no further.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Starter June 13 2005
By Randy Given - Published on Amazon.com
This book is a great starter. The approach is just as clear as the text is. It gets you into the meat of things right away, yet you don't feel overwhelmed.

Yes, MySql is introduced towards the back and is hand-in-hand with PHP on almost every system that has one or the other. Your websites are bound to quickly become better looking, faster, and easier on resources. I wish I had gotten this book when I first started learning PHP. Great idea for new PHP developers and staff.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good primer on PHP 5 May 26 2005
By John A. Suda - Published on Amazon.com
"Spring Into PHP 5" is a primer on the latest version of the popular server-based scripting language, PHP. It is part of a new "Spring Into" series of books from Prentice Hall which intend to provide concise, fast-paced tutorials for new and developing technologies primarily for non-professionals and those professionals who need or want a quick and easy way to transition to new technology.

The author, Steven Holzner, is a prolific writer on technology, having penned 88 programming books as well as being a contributor to PC Magazine. His intent here is to make a technological topic like PHP scripting accessible, especially for novices who have little familiarity with web-related language other than HTML. He states an intent to produce "as good a book on PHP as can be". This is a good book but lacks depth and completeness and does not cover many practical uses of PHP. There is minimal discussion of security issues. There are other publications which would complement this book. The examples of PHP scripts are very simple and sometimes not practical.

The structure of the book is represented in nine chapters covering the basics of PHP for web designers. Each chapter is separately divided into "chunks" - bite-sized pieces of material - supported by examples and illustrated code snips. Each chunk is only about 1-2 pages long and is meant to be a self-contained "module", while building upon others in the book. Downloadable code examples are available at (...).

Holzner starts by briefly describing the why and how of PHP and quickly moves to installation issues. The following chapters cover the essentials of using PHP on a modest-sized website. The concepts of PHP are explained first - the terms, operations, syntax, components, and more.

Chapter 3 discusses strings and arrays. Chapter 4 covers functions. Chapter 5 and 6 show how to use PHP to control web pages, web forms and user interactivity. The usefulness of PHP for connecting to and using databases is noted.

Later chapters cover object-oriented programming, file handling, and working with databases. The final chapter skims a handful of useful aspects of PHP programming - using cookies and sessions, the ftp and mail features, and more.

Perhaps the most useful parts of the book are the two appendices. Appendix A is a listing of PHP's language elements. Appendix B is a comprehensive reference of PHP functions.

This is a rather light introduction to PHP, primarily for novices. There are useful tables of string and array functions and illustrations or examples on nearly every page. The illustrations and examples are produced in grayscale instead of full-color, but there is no need for full-color glossy production elements in a book of this type. The cost savings are reflected in the book's price - only $29.95 - less than others covering the same or similar material.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Watch out-typos Galore! Aug. 23 2006
By A Reader - Published on Amazon.com
I'm new to PHP, and chose this book because I had good results with "Spring Into: HTML & CSS". The chunks are clear and concise with lots of examples. I've learned a lot from this book, but keep having trouble with errors in the script. After going over (and over) the code, I started realizing that it was typos in the book coding itself-not user error! Being new to PHP, constant typos make the learning process more drawn out and frustrating! I'm ready to get a different book so I don't have to struggle through the typos (at half way into the book, I've found over a dozen). There are some good things to get out of this book; but is it worth the frustration?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good starter for new programmers May 11 2005
By Jeanne Boyarsky - Published on Amazon.com
"Spring into PHP 5" is a good book for those new to programming. Readers need a very basic knowledge of HTML. Anything intermediate, like forms, is explained. Programmers (especially those who know Perl) can still learn PHP from this book since each section is clearly marked. They should just be prepared to skim a lot.

Books in this series consist of one to two page "chunks" grouped into chapters. Each chunk builds on previous ones, which provides for a nice flow. The chunks make it easy to understand what readers should get out of each section. Each chunk contains examples to apply these concepts. Many chunks also include screenshots of the input/output.

I found the book to be very clear. The appendices provide an excellent language reference. My only real complaint is that the book could use some best practices. Especially on when not to use a language features. All in all, the book is WYSIWYG. It lets you "spring into PHP" and get started very quickly.
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