XML and PHP

Overview

XML and PHP is 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 PHP teaches 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 ...

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Overview

XML and PHP is 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 PHP teaches 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 PHP serves 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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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
This book introduces PHP developers to the synergies that become visible when PHP is combined with XML. It teaches PHP developers how to use PHP's XML functions to develop and maintain XML-based web applications and sites, and demonstrates the power inherent in the XML/PHP combination. The book provides information on all major XML technologies supported in PHP, showing how the XML/PHP combination can be used to deliver web applications through examples and case studies. Vaswani is the founder and CEO of a company specializing in content creation and syndication services. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780735712270
  • Publisher: Sams
  • Publication date: 6/28/2002
  • Series: Landmark Series
  • Pages: 362
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Vikram Vaswani is the founder and CEO of Melonfire (http://www.melonfire.com), a company specializing in software consultancy, and content creation and syndication services.

Vikram is also the author of numerous well-received articles on open-source technologies (including Perl, Python, XML, and the very popular PHP 101 series), all written with the goal of making complex technologies accessible and understandable to novice users. He has been developing software since 1995, was first introduced to PHP in 1998, and hasn't looked back since. His favorite activities include reading, sleeping, watching movies, playing squash, and fiddling with his PalmPilot.

These reviewers contributed their considerable hands-on expertise to the entire development process for XML and PHP. As the book was being written, these dedicated professionals reviewed all the material for technical content, organization, and flow. Their feedback was critical to ensure that XML and PHP fits our readers' need for the highest-quality technical information.

Zak Greant is lead developer for 51 Degrees North, and is the founder of the Foo & Associates programmer's cooperative. He leads the PHP Quality Assurance Team, and is an active contributor to the PHP documentation, mailing lists, and source code. (See http://www.zend.com/comm_person.php?id=56 for his PHP community profile.)

Mark Nenadov is a bright, young software developer living in Canada (he does not reside in an igloo or speak French, however). Mark specializes in Open Source technology, and has lots of experience with technologies such as PHP, XML, MySQL, and Python. He is currently employed at a growing e-commerce company in Windsor, Ontario. When he isn't hunched over his keyboard, he is usually trying to learn new things, playing ice hockey, writing, reading books, and wishing it were a bit warmer in Canada.

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Table of Contents

1. XML and PHP Basics.

XML. PHP. PHP and XML. Summary.

2. PHP and the Simple API for XML (SAX).

SAX. PHP and SAX. Handling SAX Events. Controlling Parser Behavior. Using Native Data Structures. Handling Errors. A Few Examples. Summary.

3. PHP and the Document Object Model (DOM).

Document Object Model (DOM). PHP and the DOM. Traversing the DOM with PHP's DOM Classes. Traversing the DOM with PHP's XPath Classes. Manipulating DOM Trees. DOM or SAX? Summary.

4. PHP and Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations (XSLT).

XSLT. PHP and XSLT. Handling Errors. Logging Processor Messages. Using Named Buffers. Passing Parameters to an XSLT Stylesheet. A Few Examples. Summary.

5. PHP and Web Distributed Data eXchange (WDDX).

WDDX. PHP and WDDX. A Few Examples. Summary.

6. PHP and XML-Based Remote Procedure Calls (RPC).

RPC. XML-RPC. SOAP. PHP and RPC. A Few Examples. Summary.

7. PHP, XML, and Databases.

XML versus the Database. Exporting Database Records To XML. Importing XML Data into a Database. Summary.

8. Open Source PHP/XML Alternatives.

Alternatives to PHP's Native Functions: What You Should Know. An Alternative PHP/DOM Implementation: eZXML. An Alternative PHP/XPath Implementation: PHP.XPath. An Alternative PHP/XML-RPC Implementation: XML-RPC for PHP. An Alternative PHP/SOAP Implementation: SOAPx4. Summary.

9. Case Studies.

Metabase. patTemplate and patXMLRenderer. Summary.

Appendix A. Recompiling PHP to Add XML Support.

Obtaining the Software. Compiling and Installing the Software. Testing the Software.

Appendix B. Open Source Licenses.

GNU General Public License (GPL). GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL). Mozilla Public License. Version 1.1. BSD License.

Appendix C. Glossary.

Index.

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Introduction

Introduction

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt ofin your philosophy."

~William Shakespeare, Hamlet

Unless you've been doing a Rip Van Winkle for the past few years,you've heard about PHP and XML.

Probably not in the same context, I'll grant you—one is, after all,a programming language for the web, whereas the other is a standard toolkit fordescribing data. 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 experimentingwith 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.


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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2002

    XML and PHP

    i thought this was a great book. i was looking for a reference on php's xml functions and was frustrated with the online manual, which didn't have such great examples. this book comes packed with very nice examples which allow you to see the power of php and xml in action. it includes lots of code for dom/sax/xml/xsl/xml2sql and also the newer wddx and xml-soap extensions. i use it as a desktop reference, and have just started with a php/xml project - i expect to use it a lot in that. recommended if you're interested in doing more with php.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2002

    XML and PHP

    I just wanted to say a couple of things about this book. I have been working with PHP for the past 4 years and consider myself an intermediate to advanced programmer - however, I have never worked with XML and PHP before. This book makes it extremely easy to get started with the subject. It contains coverage of all the major XML extensions in PHP, and has some very good examples demonstrating how they can be used. The writign style is easy to read and understand, and the code is well-commented and explained. Finally, the examples are enough to get you more than familiar with the concepts and start building your own apps ASAP! I found this book to be much better than the WROX competitor, as that one seems to have more material, but less thorough coverage - more breadth than depth. Some of the examples weren't all that great either, and assumed prior knowledge of some concepts. This one makes neither of those mistakes. I would recommend it to you!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2002

    XML and PHP

    i bought this book because i wanted to learn about xml. i have been very pleased with it, and find it to be a very good reference book on the subject. it is well-organized, and it is very easy to look up specific material or functions/API calls. i would recommend it to other developers who want to learn about using xml and php together.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2002

    XML and PHP

    I run a content portal of my own, which needs to be updated daily with news and articles. So far I was doing it manually, but I had always wanted to use the XML feed provided to me by my content syndicator...except that I could never figure out how to use it. Then I bought this book, and it explained, with examples, exactly how I could accomplish an XML content update. The examples are very clear, and I was able to get my site up with XML two days after I finished with the chapter on SAX...just by copying some of the code and making a few minor modifications. Definitely worth the $$!

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