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XML and PHP Paperback – Jun 6 2002

3.5 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Sams Publishing; 1 edition (June 6 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735712271
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735712270
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 2.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,351,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From the Inside Flap

Individually, they're both long-time sweethearts of thenotoriously fickle web community—PHP for its rapid application developmentcapabilities and XML for its capability to make data more useful by attachingdescriptive tags to it.

Although there is no shortage of information on either of these twotechnologies individually, there are very few resources that explain how to usethem in combination with each other. Which was exactly the problem I had about ayear ago, when I decided to use XML as one of the components of a web-basedproject I was working on. PHP was my development language of choice. (I'dlong since given up on Perl and JSP.) Although I knew very little about how PHPand XML could be integrated with each other, I blithely assumed that the web,with its gargantuan knowledge bases, would have more than enough information tohelp me complete the project.

Imagine my horror, then, when I was able to find only the sketchiestinformation on the topic, despite hours spent tapping different permutations of"php xml development" into Google's search box. With time runningout, I decided to go to plan B: I printed a copy of the XML and XSL specs,stocked up on microwave dinners, and started experimenting with PHP'sbuilt-in XML functions.

I soon realized that combining PHP with XML wasn't hard at all—infact, it was pretty easy. Before long, I had worked out the basics of the SAXand DOM functions, installed my own copy of the XSLT extension, and figured outjust what I needed to do to deliver the project on time. All it took waspatience, a little research . . . and a lot of time.

In the highly competitive world of web development, in which contracts oftenturn on how quickly a project can be executed, time is a valuable commodity.Working with picky customers against aggressive deadlines is stressful enoughfor most developers; having to spend most of the day on research, rather thanimplementation, isn't likely to make their day any sunnier. And so, one ofmy most important reasons for writing this book was that it might serve as astarting point and reference for other developers looking to build XML- andPHP-enabled web applications.

This book is the book I wish I'd had a year ago. It includes detailedexplanations of PHP's XML extensions, together with illustrations of usingPHP to parse, validate, and transform XML markup. I've also discussed,among other things, how to traverse XML data trees, exchange data between webapplications, overlay remote procedure calls over HTTP, and use free open-sourcetools to add new capabilities to your XML/PHP applications. You can read it allthe way through, or use it in traditional cookbook style, flipping it open tothe chapter that addresses your specific problem. Either way, I hope you find ituseful, informative, and (dare I say it?) fun.

Over the past year, I've written a few articles on how XML and PHP canbe used together, and I've even given a couple of presentations on thetopic. From the feedback I've received, it seems that there are still many,many people—developers, consultants, educators, webmasters, systemsengineers, or just good ol' PHP enthusiasts—who would love to know howXML and PHP can be combined together, but don't know where to start.

If you're one of those people, this book is for you.

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

From the Back Cover

XML and PHPis designed to introduce PHP developers to the synergies that become visible when their favorite web-scripting language is combined with one of the most talked about technologies of recent times, XML.XML and PHPteaches PHP developers how to use PHP's XML functions to develop and maintain XML-based web applications and sites, and it demonstrates the power inherent in the XML/PHP combination. This book provides information on all hte major XML technologies supported in PHP, demonstrating how the XML/PHP combination can be used to deliver cutting-edge web applications through practical examples and real-world case studies.XML and PHPserves as both an implementation guide to the topic and a handy desktop reference for quick lookups-combining all the information that developers need into a single, focused package.

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I decided to purchase both Wrox's Professional PHP4 XML and New Rider's XML and PHP. Now, I'm not a dumb guy. I've been programming for awhile, but I'm still learning all the time. I like to build object oriented code in PHP as I believe it's the best way to go for several tasks (although not all). I'm still learning how to apply design patterns and the like and I find that very interesting. So when I pick up a book, I really want to see an author care about objects rather than putting all his code in the toilet - That's what this book does.
Even further, the examples are so basic and the chapters don't explain anything beyond those examples either. I'm surprised people found this book useful since everything is obvious that those university computer science monkeys who are still learning Windows can figure this book out.
But where are the best practices? Where are the examples used within an object oriented architecture? Do you think we are idiot programmers who only know how to code procedural programs that all reside within a single server page. Get real.
On the other hand, I was very impressed with the Wrox book. Although some of the intro chapters were fairly useless (since they covered intro to PHP concepts and so forth), the chapters talking about SAX, DOM, XSLT and XML-RPC are much better and totally outshine this book's counterparts. They even discuss Object oriented programs in all most cases and will provide you both versions a lot of the time! Even further, the Wrox book shows you various examples about solving common problems. I actually think the authors showed me all the potential problems you can have for that matter; they were pretty detailed, especially in the SAX and XSLT chapters.
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Format: Paperback
After all the flaky reviews this book has received, I was unsure if I was reading individual marketing campaigns sponsored by the various publishers or actual reviews. It seems that people cannot simply agree that this book is good or is bad as there is just nothing in between. Even in all the review cases, many people didn't find the reviews helpful, both positive and negative. It all seems complex from the consumer's perspective when deciding to buy this book.
So given all these statements, I thought I'd present a true review - one from an actual reader rather than from someone else. I think it's pretty safe to assume that this book is good for some people and bad for others. The problem is that the reviews already here have so much fluff that they didn't even begin to describe themselves, thus they could be ambitious or lazy, smart or dim, and hobbyist or entrepreneurs. There is simply no way of telling.
Personally, I think many of these concepts can be learned in PHP in about 2-3 days of trying the APIs out if you already know a great deal of XML. So if I'm going to buy a book on PHP and XML, I expect that it will provided added value information as well as design decisions, business concerns and best practices. Examples are not what I care about as much as the rich and deep information because there are many examples already on the web - no point acquiring the book just for those alone. That makes me question the reviewers who say the examples are clear and concise - the examples on the web already do that. Books are supposed to provide added value to these APIs and examples to make the topic complete and valuable to the reader.
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Format: Paperback
Chapters two and three start the book with good examples of SAX and DOM use in PHP respectively. This provides a solid foundation for the rest of the book which shows examples of popular XML based technologies as applied to PHP. These include XSLT (Sablotron), XML-RPC, SOAP, XML in databases and other topics. Each of these discussions contains some real world examples to provide context.
It's a short and concise book that is well written. The use of graphics could be more effective. For example the screenshot in figure 6.8 is a single line in a vast sea of whtie browser space. The code sample could use some annotation or at the very least some bolding to hi-light the important segments.
The value of this book will depend on the degree to which you use XML in the PHP context. If you want a quick booster rocket to get you into SAX or DOM work within PHP this book will do the trick since it's far better than the documentation on the PHP site.
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Format: Paperback
I've just started getting into PHP, and have been redeveloping my own site
in PHP. I thought I would experiment with XML also - and this book was, and
still is, perfect for me.
The main focus of the book is real-world applications - using XML with PHP
to create XML-enabled web sites. It discusses lots of XML technologies like
XML, XSL, WDDX and XML-RPC, but always keeps the language simple and the
examples easy to understand. However, this does not mean that it is only
useful to novices - each chapter escalates in difficulty to advanced
examples and concepts.
All the examples are well-commented and can be understood just by reading
the source - or you can just jump to the explanation for the things you're
confused about. Also keep an eye out for the quotes at the top of each
chapter - they are so cool!!
Frankly, this book rocks. It is even fun to read.
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