Create Dynamic Web Pages Using PHP and MySQL with Cdrom

Overview

You don't need prior knowledge of programming as this book will provide you with everything you need to know about PHP, MySQL and how to create dynamic web pages. You learn by example from the many practical examples throughout the book. You will be taught how to create simple web pages first and then gradually build up to using forms. PHP is the scripting language of choice for the Linux server -- but don't worry if you haven't got a web server installed because the first chapter of this book covers what to ...
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Overview

You don't need prior knowledge of programming as this book will provide you with everything you need to know about PHP, MySQL and how to create dynamic web pages. You learn by example from the many practical examples throughout the book. You will be taught how to create simple web pages first and then gradually build up to using forms. PHP is the scripting language of choice for the Linux server -- but don't worry if you haven't got a web server installed because the first chapter of this book covers what to install and configure in an easy to understand way. Plus all the software and code you need is on the accompanying CD-ROM which includes Apache, Netscape, PHP, and MySQL source code, as well as all the scripts from the book.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780201734027
  • Publisher: Pearson Education
  • Publication date: 11/28/2001
  • Edition description: BK&CD-ROM
  • Pages: 512
  • Product dimensions: 7.62 (w) x 8.64 (h) x 1.07 (d)

Meet the Author

David Tansley is a Senior Systems Administrator at Ace Global Markets, a Lloyd's of London Underwriting agency. Among his many duties are looking after Sybase servers and multiple Linux and UNIX boxes and all their applications. He baby-sits firewalls. He is also very keen on web enabling front ends, using PHP, of course. He has had numerous articles published on the web and in magazines notably in Enterprise Linux. David firmly believes in the use of Linux in solving todays business needs, he tries to convert anybody he has a technical conversation with. He is also the author of LINUX and UNIX Shell Programming. David enjoys Competition Karate, F1 racing and air displays.
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Table of Contents

Introduction
1 Getting started 3
2 Just the basics please 17
3 Making a statement of condition 35
4 Loops and arrays 49
5 Functions and include files 67
6 Strings and pattern matching 81
7 File and system operations 97
8 HTML forms introduced 129
9 General form processing 143
10 Sending information by mail and file uploads/downloads 179
11 Web server variables 201
12 Saving state 221
13 Introducing mySQL 261
14 Connecting to mySQL with PHP 297
15 Guest book application 363
16 Gotcha application 381
17 Internal shopping cart application 423
18 Apache authentication using htaccess 451
19 Authentication and PHP 461
Index 477
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Preface

In the last few years we have seen the rise and rise of Linux. Though this book is not about Linux per se it is important to understand that if it were not for the popularity of Linux, both in the commercial and domestic worlds, we would not have had the explosion of activity of people like you and me creating fantastic web sites, advertising who we are, our interests and what we do. Why is this so? Because Linux, no matter what variant you have (Susie, RedHat), is free and is open source.

The reason why most people use Linux is for the Web server Apache. You can use other web servers if you prefer, but why should you when it is a great product!

Once you have Apache up and running, the first thing you want to do is create web pages, be it for your own personal use or putting it on the world wide web. Creating web pages requires at least a grasp of HTML tags. You may prefer to use the many shareware products available to create your web pages but it doesn't matter what method you use as long as you are pleased with the end result.

Now the world wide web and Linux have been around for some time. Users now want to create better web sites, not necessary better in the way of graphics but make them dynamic. What does dynamic mean? Being able to respond to a request from a browser, for example, or someone mailing you from your web page, or letting users enter information in your guest books, or holding information on your web server which can be queried -- the list is pretty much endless. To be able to create these types of dynamic web pages, you need a programming language that can create and process these web pages. There are many on the market but some of them have an initial steep learning curve, in other words the language is hard to learn if you are new to programming. All that has changed now because there is a new web programming language called PHP (Hypertext Processor). This language was created specifically for the web, though it can be used for other purposes, to allow users like you and me to create good dynamic web pages, and it's easy to learn.

About This Book

The aim of this book is to get you up and running using PHP in a quick and easy manner. The full language of PHP is huge but we will not cover all the different tasks you can do with PHP, just the basics. We shall take it one step at a time, gradually building up to put you in a position to understand the concepts of the language and how it handles web processing. Along the way I will explain what we are doing using examples. Here is a list of some of the areas I will cover:

  • form processing
  • passing information between forms
  • file uploads to the web server
  • cookies
  • session management
  • mailing clients
  • database applications
  • web authentication


This book will not preach to you the complete language syntax theory, or the internals of the language. I will leave that for you to explore in other books. What this book will teach is how to use the language in simple terms to create really dynamic web pages. We will create simple web pages first and then gradually build up to using forms. We will then move on to how you can interact with databases, notably mySQL, the preferred database of Linux (that's my view only).

What You Need To Know

The book is aimed mostly at the Linux market, purely because this is where the bulk of the PHP base is. If you want to run PHP on Windows, you can, and the examples I use in this book are relevant to Windows and Linux users. To get the most out of this book you need to know:

  • absolutely nothing about PHP
  • absolutely nothing about the database server mySQL
  • maybe a touch of HTML
  • how to use a text editor like vi or vim


Why make the above statement? Well, I will teach you all you need to know as we go along with examples, example and more examples. In fact this book contains mainly working examples with no long boring paragraphs -- after all, you wanted to buy a book tha/ teaches you PHP in a practical and easy way.

When creating scripts in PHP, you will benefit from a little knowledge of HTML, but I will explain the HTML tags as we go along. This book is intended for the absolute beginner who wants to write PHP scripts, but others who have used PHP in a casual manner will also find this book helpful.

For PHP to work you will require a web server to enable PHP to run as a web server side script, a database to store your information, and, of course, a browser to view your executed PHP scripts. All the above are supplied on the CD accompanying this book. They are:

  • PHP
  • Apache web server
  • mySQL database server
  • Netscape browser


The book covers PHP Version 4.

The Structure of the Book

In Part 1 we will go through what I consider to be the basics of PHP. This includes the following, amongst others:

  • variables
  • flow control
  • loops
  • arrays
  • functions and include files


In Part 2 we will start dealing with forms, this is what dynamic web pages are all about. Topics covered are:

  • creating forms
  • general form processing
  • validating user input
  • feedback forms
  • sending mail
  • uploading files
  • web environment variables
  • cookies
  • session management


In Part 3 I introduce you to mySQL, the database server. After some examples of how to insert and get information out of the server, we turn to PHP to see how we can connect to mySQL and produce some really dynamic pages with a database as the back-end. The topics covered are:

  • inserting and presenting data
  • mini-database application
  • guest book application
  • mini-shop cart application


In Part 4 we look at how you secure Apache using authentication, and at securing individual files as well as directories. We also look at how to integrate PHP with Apache authentication, making your authentication process seamless. The topics covered are:

  • web authentication
  • using htaccess files
  • using PHP to control access
  • using a database to store users and passwords
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