Web Application Development with PHP 4.0 Paperback – Jul 12 2000
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PHP is an open source Web-scripting language that has gaining steam in the development community, especially in the Apache Web server realm. With a syntax that draws heavily on C, PHP appeals to advanced programmers moving to the Web from traditional software development.
Web Application Development With PHP 4.0 isn't your typical run-of-the-mill language tutorial. Authors Ratschiller and Gerken purposely designed its content to appeal to coders already proficient in PHP but in need of advanced programming techniques and high-level application development skills. Assuming a strong programming foundation, this book can be considered a next-level PHP tutorial.
Drawing on their own experience of what's really important in PHP development, the authors dive into topics such as linked lists and associative arrays. They also weave topics like security and database access with software development issues such as three-tier architecture, versioning and program requirements. This balance makes for a nice fit for developers who have mastered the basics but are looking to hone their skills to move to the next level.
The book also goes into how to extend PHP by modifying its Zend language engine via the C source code. A companion CD-ROM includes PHP, MySQL, and Apache, as well as a number of utilities and the source code from the book. If you are already deep into PHP and want to graduate to guru status, this book's for you. --Stephen W. Plain
The authors present a set of interesting programming concepts, and the reader learns how to write good, reusable code. -- Bjorn Schotte
The authors provide useful examples that include real code. They also explain the code because they want you to understand how it works. -- Paul DuBois, Data Management, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Top Customer Reviews
When I first saw the title of the book, I was excited because I thought it was going to cover PHP web development. Instead, the book explains certain subjects within development, not all "web" development per se either. Talking about proper coding techniques is nice, but not what one would expect based on the title.
I was hoping for coverage on HTTP variables and how to extract data from them when using Form tags. Especially, SELECT tags with multiple selections allowed. Unfortunately, the authors chose to talk about how it works behind the scenes. This is nice to know, but as a developer, I thought the book would have covered more on "development"!
There is some good information on security and on array processing. Its written so the reader can get a good understanding on how web processing is done, problems to avoid, and how to use PHP in a very professional manner. I wouldn't recommend this as a reference book, but as a good book to read for any intermediate or advanced PHP web developer. It could enhance your current skills and coding practices.
As for me, I was hoping for a PHP web development book that provided aspects on using php to build various common web applications, like shopping carts, and how/when to extract HTTP globals, session variables, logins, menus, form tags, etc. This is what I was expecting when I saw the title. While I was dispointed that it didn't cover this material, the book did provide some useful information in certain areas.
Many of the discoveries in this book are quite profound (particularly with regards to how PHP implements structures such as arrays and objects) but it can be tough to read/comprehend if you're not really interested in the finer points. The author _does_ demonstrate how the finer points affect real-world implementations.
The nature of the [advanced] topics means discussing wider topics like XML are important and I think the author has approached this very well.
I found the session management part of this book by itself worth the purchace price. The only part of the book I didn't bother to read was the last chapter on writing your own PHP modules since I'm not a C programmer, however this may change.
In chapter 8, the author discusses why certain companies chose PHP over say, Perl. I was in close touch with the first company he discusses and if you go to their website you will see why one probably should stay away from PHP - PHP slows the sites down tremendously.
Stick to Perl. The amount of modules available for Perl are tremendous, and same goes for regular expressions, security, and speed (which I feel PHP lacks all those). With the HTML::Mason module it is possible to embed Perl into .html files.
If you know Perl, no need to really buy a book on PHP. It's easy as the syntax of PHP is borrowed from C, Java and Perl.
Buy the book if you want to learn some interested general theories about the way web applications work, not how to code PHP.
That's OK, I've been using PHP for a couple years now. I was looking to take my PHP application development skills to the next level, beyond coding and into engineering. And the book gets sooooo close to being able to do that...and then just turns away from the challenge.
Here are some specifics:
* Many times the authors suggest you refer to other books to learn about other topics in software engineering to learn about topics they're breezing by, but they don't make useful suggestions for which books to actually go read.
* Many times the authors start discussing a major, important topic, explain a few details, and then implicitly refer you to the source code that's included on the CD.
* I wanted to learn about the optimal layout and organization of files and routines in a project. The authors make an initial stab at describing a good file system organization, but then fail to follow up and finish the job, leaving 80% unsaid. I suppose the example application on the CD will give me more info.
* What ought to be the heart of the book, a walkthrough of a real-world "knowledge repository" application the authors wrote for a client, is a mere 12 pages. You're advised, once again, to look at the source on the CD to learn more.
It's maddening. The authors are clearly PHP *experts*, and good software engineers to boot. And they know what they ought to be telling their reader, they just don't do it in any detail.
This would probably be an outstanding book if it was 150-200 pages longer (it's under 400 pages), with 75% of that dedicated to walking through all the design decisions and code explanations for their sample app.
Most recent customer reviews
I think this book is a must for every PHP programmer who would like to upgrade their skill to advance level. This book is not for a novice. Read morePublished on Jan. 22 2003 by reza iqbal
You may love or hate this book, since it's not the usual collection of code recipes, it's about application developing, methodologies and good coding practices. Read morePublished on Jan. 19 2003 by Foti Massimo
Definitely not for novices. Is loaded with tips and tricks on data handling, specially liked the session handling techniques in the book. Read morePublished on June 15 2002 by Valentin Secades
As another reviewer pointed out, this book was written when php4 was in beta. Despite it's title, this book is NOT a PHP 4.0 book. Read morePublished on June 4 2002 by ryan thomson
A good book overall for getting up and running with PHP. It is technical, so keep that in mind if you are adequate in HTML and want more. Read morePublished on Jan. 2 2002 by D. Bishop
the best book ive ever seen!!!!
not for rookies about programming but it opened my eyes about lots of tricks and capabilities of the best scripting language :)
a must for... Read more
I realize that for experienced programmers, this book brings up a lot of standard topics, but for someone like me (I majored in Art at college) it brings up issues that I really... Read morePublished on Oct. 11 2001 by Aran Johnson
I am a beginner and this book is way too advanced for me. This book is for those who already know everything about PHP but need a way to apply it in a Professional Application. Read morePublished on Aug. 10 2001 by Gene Ballard
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