Core PHP Programming: Using PHP to Build Dynamic Web Sites (2nd Edition)

PHP is a server-side, cross-platform, HTML embedded scripting language that borrows the best ideas from Java, Perl, and C — while enabling you to get started in minutes, and build significant scripts almost immediately thereafter. Already supported on Apache and many other Web servers, PHP is completely open-source — and extraordinarily productive. Core PHP Programming is the first complete, readable, and practical guide to PHP, containing all you need to get results — including PHP source code for several top Web server platforms. Discover how PHP works with a Web server, and why it’s superior to other server-side scripting environments. Master PHP syntax, including variables, operators, expressions, control statements, functions, arrays, classes, and more. Review every PHP function, including I/O, data, and math functions; time, date, and configuration functions; and both image and database functions. Understand sorting, searching, parsing, and string evaluation; then walk step-by-step through three Web/database integration applications, including building HTML tables from SQL queries; tracking visitors; and storing content in a database. You’ll find chapters on integrating PHP with HTML; program design; optimization and debugging, and much more.Revised for PHP version 4, the new edition of Core PHP Programming is a comprehensive tutorial and reference to one of today’s hottest scripting languages. Part tutorial and part reference, this book will get beginners started with PHP, as well as provide a convenient desktop resource for more experienced PHP developers.

Early sections show what PHP is and how it works, with basic data types, flow control, and other topics you’ll need to get started. But the heart of the book is a full reference to PHP 4 functions. Organized by topic, this text provides over 400 pages of reference to several hundred PHP calls, along with a description of what they do. Clearly organized and presented, this book will help you find what you need quickly (instead of relying on PHP’s often cumbersome online help). In particular, readers will appreciate the coverage of database functions, including the separate calls for MySQL, ODBC, and Oracle. You’ll also see what PHP can do with XML.

The last part of the book reverts to tutorial mode, first with a section on algorithms that discusses ways to sort and search PHP arrays. Final sections look at some strategies you can use to integrate PHP into the software design process, in which the strategies of combining HTML content with dynamic PHP scripts are shown. There is also useful advice for increasing performance with PHP. (It would seem that upgrading to PHP 4 is a must, because the new version offers a real performance boost.)

PHP is clearly a popular choice for Web applications today. If you buy just one book on PHP, consider Core PHP Programming. It offers an approachable tutorial that will put basic PHP script development into the hands of beginners, and provides a useful reference for everyday development once you’ve gotten a handle on how to use it. –Richard Dragan

Topics covered:

  • History and introduction to PHP
  • Installing PHP on Apache/Unix and IIS/NT
  • PHP script basics
  • PHP language tutorial (including data types, variables, and operators)
  • Flow control statements
  • PHP functions (arguments, recursion, and dynamic function calls)
  • Single and multidimensional arrays
  • PHP classes
  • Creating Web pages in PHP
  • Environment variables
  • File uploads and file I/O
  • PHP session management
  • PHP function reference
  • I/O functions (including files and compressed files, session handling, network I/O, and FTP)
  • Data functions (including arrays, hashing, strings, and regular expressions)
  • Mathematical functions
  • Date and time functions
  • Image functions
  • Database functions (including support for MySQL, ODBC, Oracle, and Postgres)
  • Miscellaneous functions (including XML functions)
  • Algorithms for sorting and searching in PHP
  • Parsing and tokenizing strings
  • Database programming how-to
  • Authenticating
  • Sending e-mail
  • Software engineering basics with PHP
  • Integrating PHP and HTML
  • Using CVS for version control
  • Optimization hints

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2 Comments

LaraJF on 09/20/2017 at 7:09 AM.

This book has some really good parts I think this book has some great examples, and I think this book has a lot of breadth instead of depth. That’s not a bad thing. I found it’s higher level descriptions to be useful in learning php3. I especially liked the last few chapters on good coding practices. If I could have the author redo anything, it would be to expand on debugging, and to give a more detailed description of phpinfo(). Also, I really need an example of how to access HTTP_POST_VARIABLES when I’m using…

R. Shepard on 09/20/2017 at 7:33 AM.

Great for Beginners, not for advanced users