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PHP Essentials

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If you want to know the concept behind the code, you need PHP Essentials, 2nd Edition. Unlike most books on the market, it includes thorough discussion of the best practices and reasons for using PHP. This edition follows Premier's popular PHP Essentials providing in-depth coverage of PEAR (PHP Extension and Add-on Repository). Plus, each chapter includes FAQ's and their answers to put you ahead of the game.


PHP is a server-side scripting language comparable to MS ...

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Overview

If you want to know the concept behind the code, you need PHP Essentials, 2nd Edition. Unlike most books on the market, it includes thorough discussion of the best practices and reasons for using PHP. This edition follows Premier's popular PHP Essentials providing in-depth coverage of PEAR (PHP Extension and Add-on Repository). Plus, each chapter includes FAQ's and their answers to put you ahead of the game.


PHP is a server-side scripting language comparable to MS ASP or Cold Fusion. PHP is an open-source and cross-platform language that works with Linux, UNIX and Windows NT operating systems. PHP4 Essentials covers everything from basic PHP techniques such as the variables in HTML, PHP and HTTP, to advanced applications such as mySQL administration. If you are a beginning developer, you can use PHP4 Essentials to help you create diverse web pages. If you are an advanced user of PHP, you will find the annotated language reference included in PHP4 Essentials useful while you design your own advanced applications. Programming.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761527299
  • Publisher: Premier Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2000
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 363
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.14 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author


Julie Meloni is the Technical Director for i2i Interactive, a multimedia company located in usually-sunny Campbell, CA. She's been developing Web-based applications since the Web first saw the light of day, and remembers the excitement surrounding the first GUI Web browser.

She wholeheartedly believes that Linux is the OS of the present, not just the future, and feels guilty for once working at Sun Microsystems. She would like to list all the activities she likes to do in her spare time, but she hasn't had any spare time in five years, so that would be a short list.

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Read an Excerpt


Chapter 1: Getting Started with PHP

So, what's all the hoopla about "fip"? First, it's not "fip"-it's P-H-P, from its original name: "Personal Home Page Tools." PHP is a server-side scripting language. When your Web browser accesses an URL, it is making a request to a Web server. If you are requesting a PHP page, something like http://www.yourcompany.com/home.php, the Web server wakes up the PHP parsing engine and says, "Hey! You've got to do something before I send a result back to this person's Web browser." The PHP parsing engine runs through the PHP code found in home. php and returns the resulting output. This output is passed back to the Web server as the HTML code in the document, which in turn is passed on to your browser, which displays it to you.

A Brief History of PNP

In 1994, an incredibly forward-thinking man named Rasmus Lerdorf developed a set of tools that used a parsing engine to interpret a few macros here and there. They were not extravagant: a guest book, a counter, and some other "home page" elements that were cool when the Web was in its infancy. He eventually combined these tools with a form interpretation (FI) package he had written, added some database support, and released what was known as PHP/FI.

Then, in the spirit of Open Source software development, developers all over the world began contributing to PHP/FI. By 1997, more than 50,000 Web sites were using PHP/FI to accomplish different tasks-connecting to a database, displaying dynamic content, and so on.

At that point, the development process really started becoming a team effort. With primary assistance from developers Zeev Suraski and Andi Gutmans, the version 3.0 parser was created. The final release of PHP3 occurred in June of 1998, when it was upgraded to include support for multiple platforms (it's not just for Linux anymore!) and Web servers, numerous databases, and SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) and IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol).

So where are we now? While I'm writing this paragraph just two weeks before the end of 1999, the rapid growth and popularity of PHP are apparent:

  • PHP3 is in use on over one million Web servers.
  • PHP3 ships with the Red Hat Linux distribution.
  • The PPP Development Team is close to releasing a non-beta version of PHP4, featuring a super-fast engine called Zend.

What goes PNP go?

PHP does anything you want, except sit on its head and spin. Actually, with a little on-the-fly image manipulation and Dynamic HTML, it can probably do that, too.

According to the PHP Manual, "The goal of the language is to allow Web developers to write dynamically generated pages quickly" Here are some common uses of PHP:

  • Perform system functions: create, open, read from, write to, and close files on your system; execute system commands; create directories; and modify permissions.
  • Gather data from forms: save the data to a file, send data via e-mail, return manipulated data to the user.
  • Access databases and generate content on-the-fly, or create a Web interface for adding, deleting, and modifying elements within your database.
  • Set cookies and access cookie variables.
  • Use PHP user authentication to restrict access to sections of your Web site.
  • Create images on-the-fly.
  • Encrypt data.

The future of pop

The future of PHP has arrived, with the beta release of PHP4 and the Zend engine (created by Zend Technologies). The final version of PHP4 is scheduled for release during the first quarter of 2000, and all signs point to a successful launch...

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Chapter 1: Getting Started with PHP
A Brief History of PHP
What Does PHP Do?
The Future of PHP
Is PHP Right for Me?
A Note Regarding Open Source Development
Installing a Web Server
Downloading and Installing Apache
Apache on Windows
Apache on UNIX
Downloading and Installing Xitami
Xitami on Windows
Xitami on UNIX
Downloading and Installing Microsoft IIS
Downloading and Installing WebTen
Downloading and Installing PHP3
Installing PHP3 on Windows
Configuring Apache to Use PHP3
Configuring Xitami to Use PHP3
Configuring IIS to Use PHP3
Installing PHP3 on UNIX
Configuring Apache to Use PHP3
Configuring Xitami to Use PHP3
Testing Your PHP Installation
Installing a Database
Downloading MySQL
Installing and Configuring MySQL for Windows
Installing and Configuring MySQL for UNIX
Using PHP4
Chapter 2: Basic PHP Techniques
An HTML Refresher
HTML Tags
Block-Level Tags
Text-Level Tags
Creating a Valid HTML Document
Understanding HTML Tables
Understanding HTML Forms
Commenting Your Code
Your First PHP Script
All About Variables
PHP Variables
HTML Form Variables
HTTP Environment Variables
Displaying Dynamic Content
Redirecting to a New Location
Displaying Browser-Specific Code
Sending E-Mail
Reading and Writing Data Files
Writing Data Files
Reading Data Files
Chapter 3: Working with Databases
Basic Database Theory
The Importance of Unique Identifiers
What About Relationships?
Basic SQL
CREATE
ALTER
DROP
INSERT
UPDATE
SELECT
DELETE
Establishing a Database Connection with PHP
Connecting to Informix Databases
Connecting to Microsoft SQL Server
Connecting to an mSQL Database
Connecting to a MySQL Database
Connecting to an Oracle Database
Connecting to a PostgreSQL Database
Connecting to a Sybase Database
Making ODBC Connections
Chapter 4: Creating and Populating Database Tables
Create a Database Table
Step 1: Basic Table Definition
Step 2: Field Definitions
Step 3: Connect to MySQL and Create the Table
Inserting Data
Select and Display Data
Chapter 5: User Authentication
Basic HTTP Authentication
Configuring HTTP Authentication on Apache
Creating the Users and Groups Files
Configuring the Web Server
Working with PHP Authentication Variables
Database-Driven Authentication
Using PHP Authentication Variables to Validate Users
Using HTML Forms to Validate Users
Limit by IP Address
Chapter 6: User Tracking and Session Management
Cookies
Setting Cookies
Reading Cookies
PHP4 Session Handling
Understanding Session Variables
Starting a Session and Registering Variables
Managing User Preferences with Sessions
A Word of Advice
Chapter 7: Advanced PHP Techniques: Web-Based Database Administration
Planning Your Product Catalog
Developing an Administration Menu
Adding Records to the Product Catalog
Modifying Records in the Product Catalog
Deleting Records from the Product Catalog
Chapter 8: Advanced PHP Techniques: e-Commerce
Data Encryption, or Safe and Secure Shopping
A Brief Glance at Data Encryption
Using PGP
Using GNUPG
Creating a Shopping System
Displaying Your Product Catalog
Tracking Your Users' Shopping Carts
Counting the Cart Items
Checkout Time!
Sending Secure Orders Via E-Mail
More Advanced Techniques
Appendix A: Essential PHP Language Reference
Appendix B: Getting Support
Index
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Introduction

I wanted to write the kind of book that you could hold on your lap without bruising yourself. I wanted to write a book that anyone could learn something from, not just someone with a degree in computer science. Ultimately, I wanted to write a book that someone could take off the shelf, skim through, and say, "Hey, this PHP thing looks like a neat language, and it's ever-so-easy to learn!"

If you've been programming with PHP since the beginning of time, there's probably not much you can get out of this book, except to hand it to your boss and say, "Look! Another book on what a wonderful language this is. Can we please stop using ASP/ Cold Fusion/Java/Perl/C++ and migrate to PEP now?" But if you've just dabbled with PHP or have never seen a PHP script, this is the book for you. Whether you're a first-time programmer or you have a few years of Web application development under your belt, you'll find something useful here. I hope what you'll find is a simple "learn-by-example" path to developing highly successful Web sites. Unlike the Web itself, this book is fairly linear. You'll start by installing the software needed to use PHP, and then you'll gradually move into "Hello World!" scripts and eventually create shopping carts and other database-driven applications.

If you have an account with an Internet Service Provider that has enabled the use of PHP for all users on the server, you can skip ahead to Chapter 2. But since you can install freely-available Web servers, PHP, and a database or two on your own machine with a little poking and prodding along the way, I recommend doing so. It's a great way to learn the "guts" of what you're doing (and it looks good on a resume!).

For More Stuff

This book has its own Web site (that figures, doesn't it?), at http:// www.thickbook.com/. At this site you can download all of the code samples in this book, as well as all of the samples I didn't include, such as examples geared toward alternative database types. You can also use the site to alert me to bugs and other problems you have with the examples. Although they have been tested many times, one errant semicolon or quotation mark can cause the dreaded parse error. Also, please use the Web site to tell me about examples you wish I had included. I'll do my best to keep the "Tutorials" section filled with new and exciting topics not covered in this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2001

    Excellent Book!

    I have several ASP books, and I still dislike ASP very much. I have only this ONE PHP book, and I love it to death! Bar none the most usefull tool I have in my development library. I recommend this book to anyone - novice programmer to master code wizard.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2000

    Great for beginners!

    <p>The lessons in this book offer a straight forward, no-nonsense, approach to getting started with PHP programming with little or no experience. Although I'm not quite finished with all the lessons, I have already starting some working projects of my own. <p>I have emailed the author more than once with some problems, and she was all too happy to help me out. <p>The thing I liked the most is that there is an obvious progression of the material that is presented, slowing building upon skill after skill. <p>Other tutorials I've bought made giant skill leaps from chapter to chapter leaving the reader to wondering if you needed to read three other books in between chapters. <p>With this book, you won't need to read anything else just to get started. There is also a companion website that contains the code in the book and other tutorials. <p>Very well written, and perfect for getting started with PHP!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2000

    Good Book to start with.

    This is an excellent book for those would want to use php with databases. The examples are well defined and relevant. This book is not a rehash of information that is found on the php website. If you want to get a jump start with php, give this book a try.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2000

    Why I Wrote PHP Essentials

    Whether you're a first-time programmer or you have afew years of web application development under your belt, I think you'll find something useful in this book. Hopefully, what you'll find is a simple 'learn-by-example' path to developing successful, dynamic Web sites. Unlike the Web itself, this book is fairly linear: you'll start by installing the software needed to use PHP, including a Web server (Win/UNIX/Mac) then gradually move into 'Hello World!' scripts and eventually create shopping carts and other database-driven applications. I didn't write this book to be the one and only PHP book on your bookshelf. That's why it's fairly short (relative to other programming books!) This is an overview book, a 'don't be afraid, PHP won't bite' kind of book. There are so many different ways to do one task, and so many different ways that a person can teach another how to do something, that I don't believe any one book can ever be the one-stop text for anything. All the code in the book, as well as additional tutorials and examples that I didn't include in the book (it would have made it too long, in my opinion), can be found at the supplemental web site (www.thickbook.com). I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have; just use the comments forms at the web site.

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