Synopses & Reviews
This book is intended for anyone starting out with PHP programming. If you’ve previously worked in another programming language such as Java, C#, or Perl, you’ll probably pick up the concepts in the earlier chapters quickly; however, the book assumes no prior experience of programming or of building Web applications.
That said, because PHP is primarily a Web technology, it will help if you have at least some knowledge of other Web technologies, particularly HTML and CSS.
Many Web applications make use of a database to store data, and this book contains three chapters on working with MySQL databases. Once again, if you’re already familiar with databases in general — and MySQL in particular — you’ll be able to fly through these chapters. However, even if you’ve never touched a database before in your life, you should still be able to pick up a working knowledge by reading through these chapters.
What This Book Covers
This book gives you a broad understanding of the PHP language and its associated technologies. You explore a wide range of topics, including:
- installing a copy of the PHP engine on Ubuntu Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X; other ways you can install or use PHP; how to write a simple PHP script.
- basic PHP language concepts. variables, data types, operators, expressions, and constants.
- how to change the flow of your scripts by creating decisions and loops. if, else, and switch statements; the ternary operator; and the do, while, for, break, and continue statements. how to nest loops, and how to mix decisions and looping with blocks of HTML.
- PHP’s handling of strings, or sequences of characters; how to create strings; how to retrieve characters from a string; and how to manipulate strings with functions such as strlen(), substr(), strstr(), strpos(), str_replace(), and printf(), to name but a few.
- arrays — variables that can hold multiple values. You learn the difference between indexed and associative arrays, and find out how to create arrays and access their individual elements; array manipulation, including functions such as print_r(), array_slice(), count(), sort(), array_merge(), and list(). You also learn how to create foreach loops, as well as how to work with multidimensional arrays.
- functions — blocks of code that you can use again and again. You look at how to call built-in functions, and how to work with variable functions. You also study how to create your own functions, including defining parameters, returning values, understanding scope, and using anonymous functions. Other function-related topics such as references and recursion are also explored.
- object-oriented programming. You look at the advantages of an object-oriented approach, and learn how to build classes, properties, and methods, and how to create and use objects. You also explore more advanced topics such as overloading, inheritance, interfaces, constructors and destructors, autoloading, and namespaces.
- how to use PHP to create interactive Web forms. You learn how to create HTML forms, how to capture form data in PHP, and how to use PHP to generate dynamic forms. You also explore file upload forms and page redirection.
- how to preserve an application’s state between page views. You explore three different strategies: query strings, cookies, and PHP sessions. Includes an example user login system.
- PHP’s file and directory handling functions. You learn how to open and close files; how to find out more information about a file; how to read from and write to files; how to work with file permissions; how to copy, rename, and delete files; and how to manipulate directories. Simple text editor as an example.
- databases in general and MySQL in particular, and how to work with MySQL databases using PHP. You learn some database and SQL theory; look at how to connect to MySQL from PHP; and study how to retrieve, insert, update, and delete data in a MySQL database.
- PEAR, the PHP Extension and Application Repository. It’s a large collection of reusable code modules that can really help to speed up your application development. You look at how to install and use PEAR packages, and explore three useful packages: Net_UserAgent_Detect, HTML_Table, and HTML_QuickForm.
- ways that your PHP applications can interact with the outside world. A detailed look at date and time handling, including various useful built-in date functions, as well as the DateTime and DateTimeZone classes. Also how to work closely with HTTP request and response headers, how to retrieve Web server information, and how to send email from within your scripts.
- using PHP to generate graphics on the fly. You study some computer graphics fundamentals, then look at how to create new images, as well as modify existing images. Along the way you explore colors, drawing functions, image formats, transparency, opacity, and generating text within images.
- regular expressions. These clever pattern-matching tools let you search for very specific patterns of text within strings; regular expression syntax, how to use PHP’s regular expression functions to search for and replace patterns of text. Lots of examples are included to make the concepts clear.
- XML — eXtensible Markup Language — and how to manipulate XML from within your PHP scripts. You learn about XML and its uses, and look at various ways to read and write XML with PHP, including XML Parser, the XML DOM extension, and SimpleXML. You also take a brief look at XML stylesheets, including XSL and XSLT.
- how to configure PHP, and all the configuration directives available.
- alternative databases to MySQL that are supported by PHP.
- using PHP to write command-line scripts, further enhancing the power and flexibility of your applications.
Also, as you'd imagine, this book covers the new features added to PHP in version 5.3. However, if you're still using an older version of PHP, don't panic – the vast majority of the book applies to all versions of PHP.
The book explains how to install and configure PHP 6, how to get started with simple programs, and the basic building blocks of PHP such as variables, operators, expressions, arrays, and objects. It also looks at how PHP programs interact with Web servers and other technologies such as HTML, explores more in-depth PHP topics, and shows how to build robust Web applications. Each topic is illustrated with many working source code examples.
Important topics in the book:
Getting started with PHP
Exploring new features in PHP 6
Working with files, XML and MySQL
Building Web applications with PHP
Exploring the PEAR library
Handling e-mail and creating Web graphics
The book will be structured to provide a gentle, logical intro for beginners; correcting errors; and reworking many of the examples to explain concepts more clearly.
A complete introduction to PHP 6, with added features and secure code updates
- This helpful resource provides complete, in-depth coverage of the PHP language including the new features of PHP 6
- Introduces all the major concepts of PHP in a way that's easy for the beginner to follow, with plenty of code snippets illustrating each concept to aid learning
- Explains how to install and configure PHP 6, how to get started with simple programs, and the basic building blocks of PHP such as variables, operators, expressions, arrays, and objects
- Covers the new features of PHP 6; working with files, XML, and MySQL; building Web applications with PHP; exploring the PEAR library; handling e-mail; and creating Web graphics
Matt Doyle (Sydney, Australia) has been involved with computers since 1979. His career has included system administration, computer training, software development, graphic design, and building Web sites, and he has worked with Perl, ColdFusion and ASP as well as PHP.
Serving as a complete introduction to PHP 5.3, this book walks you through all the major concepts of PHP in a way that’s easy to follow, with plenty of code snippets illustrating each concept to aid learning. You’ll discover how to install and configure PHP 5.3, how to get started with simple programs, and the basic building blocks of PHP such as variables, operators, expressions, arrays, and objects. Coverage working with files, XML, and MySQL; building Web applications with PHP; exploring the PEAR library; handling e-mail; and creating Web graphics.
A solid introduction to writing powerful web applications using PHP 5.3
As one of the most popular open-source web-programming languages in use today, PHP is an ideal server-side scripting language that connects HTML-based web pages to a backend database for dynamic content. It allows you to create anything from a simple form-to-email script to a web forum application, a blogging platform, or a content management system. This guide introduces the PHP language and shows how to write powerful web applications using PHP.
Looks at the ways that PHP programs interact with web servers and other technologies such as HTML
Teaches you how to build robust web applications and change the flow of your scripts with decisions and loops
Examines ways to create and use strings, arrays, objects, functions, and files in your scripts
Shares tips for creating interactive web forms in PHP, as well as capturing user input
Unveils methods for preserving an application's state between page views
Offers advice on how to work with MySQL databases using PHP
Includes best practices for using PEAR to speed up your application development
Presents techniques for manipulating XML from within your PHP scripts
Walks you through the creation and manipulation of web graphics using PHP
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Wrox Beginning guides are crafted to make learning programming languages and technologies easier than you think, providing a structured, tutorial format that will guide you through all the techniques involved.
About the Author
Matt Doyle has worn many hats in his professional career, including working in the fields of system administration, computer training, software development, graphic design, and website creation.
Table of Contents
Part I: Getting Up and Running with PHP.
Chapter 1: Introducing PHP.
Chapter 2: Your First PHP Script.
Part II: Learning the Language.
Chapter 3: PHP Language Basics.
Chapter 4: Decisions and Loops.
Chapter 5: Strings.
Chapter 6: Arrays.
Chapter 7: Functions.
Chapter 8: Objects.
Part III: Using PHP in Practice.
Chapter 9: Handling HTML Forms with PHP.
Chapter 10: Preserving State with Query Strings, Cookies, and Sessions.
Chapter 11: Working with Files and Directories.
Chapter 12: Introducing Databases and SQL.
Chapter 13: Retrieving Data from MySQL with PHP.
Chapter 14: Manipulating MySQL Data with PHP.
Chapter 15: Making Your Job Easier with PEAR.
Chapter 16: PHP and the Outside World.
Chapter 17: Generating Images with PHP.
Chapter 18: String Matching with Regular Expressions.
Chapter 19: Working with XML.
Chapter 20: Writing High-Quality Code.
Appendix A: Solutions to Exercises.
Appendix B: Configuring PHP.
Appendix C: Alternatives to MySQL.
Appendix D: Using PHP from the Command Line.