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Web Application Development with PHP 4.0 Paperback – Jul 12 2000

3.7 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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99 by Wayne Gretzky 99 by Wayne Gretzky

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Sams Publishing; 1 edition (July 12 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735709971
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735709973
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 2.4 x 22.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 658 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,196,343 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

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

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I was disappointed with this book. As others have pointed out, this should not be someone's first book on, or first exposure to, PHP. You cannot learn PHP from this book.
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.
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Format: Paperback
I've been a professional programmer for 10 years now (client/server applications), but I haven't made the move to WEB programming yet. Some colleagues pointed me to PHP for web development and I immediately fell in love with it (coming from C/C++). Still, many basic concepts of web development were completely hidden for me and while I had no problems to learn PHP's syntax quickly, I didn't quite understand all the meanings of sessions, XML, web security, and so on. Then I found this book and I was ENLIGHTED.Do I hate all those fluffy computers books with no meaningful content but lots of source and function references! In contrast, the authors of this book write in a very straight-forward way, precisely, and still entertaining. And they cover many concepts behind web development, focusing on the implementation with PHP. It may be a lucky coincidence, but the authors wrote exactly about the things that interest me as I'm starting professional web development with PHP. The only chapter I didn't really need was the one about coding conventions because experience has already taught me to comment and format my code. Everything else I can put into practice immediately. I've found particularly helpful the tips&tricks the authors provided; they're clearly taken from their own real life experience and have saved me hours of finding my own solutions to strange problems.Therefore, this book was great for me and I'd warmly recommend it to others. This one is going to stay on my desk for a while! :-)
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Format: Paperback
When ordering this book, I expected it to contain one of the two things: a PHP language reference with examples, or a discussion of problems in web application development with an explanation of PHP approach to their solutions. Instead, I received a book that should have been titled "A few cool programming tricks with PHP". The biggest problem of the book is trying to cover too many general web- and programming-related concepts and failing to cover any of them in sufficient detail. As a result, advanced readers will get little beyond a few cool tips, and intermediate and beginning readers may not get enough information to actually use the concept. It seems like the authors picked several topics that they liked, and showed some neat tricks, without much regard for comprehensiveness or completeness.
Chapter 1, "Development concepts", has nothing to do with PHP, and adds little value. The topic is much better covered by "Code complete" by McConnell and "The practice of programming" by Kernigan and Pike.
Chapter 2, "Advanced syntax", touches on several small aspects of PHP syntax, and several selected data structures (linked lists and assosiative arrays). Since PHP does not present any difficulties in expressing these data structures compared to other programming languages, I didn't understand why those data structures were chosen here. The chapter also has an interesting example of self-modifying code (actually, dynamic code evaluation at run-time, which is not an unexpected feature for an interpreted language), and then warns "The technique used here ... should never be used like this in production scripts.
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