PHP Solutions: Dynamic Web Design Made Easy

PHP Solutions: Dynamic Web Design Made Easy

by David Powers

Paperback(2nd ed.)

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This is the third edition of David Powers' highly-respected PHP Solutions: Dynamic Web Design Made Easy. This new edition has been updated by David to incorporate changes to PHP since the second edition and to offer the latest techniques—a classic guide modernized for 21st century PHP techniques, innovations, and best practices.

You want to make your websites more dynamic by adding a feedback form, creating a private area where members can upload images that are automatically resized, or perhaps storing all your content in a database. The problem is, you're not a programmer and the thought of writing code sends a chill up your spine. Or maybe you've dabbled a bit in PHP and MySQL, but you can't get past baby steps. If this describes you, then you've just found the right book. PHP and the MySQL database are deservedly the most popular combination for creating dynamic websites. They're free, easy to use, and provided by many web hosting companies in their standard packages.

Unfortunately, most PHP books either expect you to be an expert already or force you to go through endless exercises of little practical value. In contrast, this book gives you real value right away through a series of practical examples that you can incorporate directly into your sites, optimizing performance and adding functionality such as file uploading, email feedback forms, image galleries, content management systems, and much more. Each solution is created with not only functionality in mind, but also visual design.

But this book doesn't just provide a collection of ready-made scripts: each PHP Solution builds on what's gone before, teaching you the basics of PHP and database design quickly and painlessly. By the end of the book, you'll have the confidence to start writing your own scripts or—if you prefer to leave that task to others—to adapt existing scripts to your own requirements. Right from the start, you're shown how easy it is to protect your sites by adopting secure coding practices.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781430232490
Publisher: Apress
Publication date: 11/24/2010
Edition description: 2nd ed.
Pages: 528
Product dimensions: 7.80(w) x 11.70(h) x 0.85(d)

About the Author

strongDavid Powers/strong is an Adobe Community Expert for Dreamweaver and author of a series of highly successful books on PHP, including emPHP Solutions: Dynamic Web Design Made Easy/em and emFoundation PHP for Dreamweaver 8/em. As a professional writer, he has been involved in electronic media for more than 30 years, first with BBC radio and television and more recently with the Internet. His clear writing style is valued not only in the English-speaking world; several of his books have been translated into Spanish and Polish. What started as a mild interest in computing was transformed almost overnight into a passion, when David was posted to Japan in 1987 as BBC correspondent in Tokyo. With no corporate IT department just down the hallway, he was forced to learn how to fix everything himself. When not tinkering with the innards of his computer, he was reporting for BBC television and radio on the rise and collapse of the Japanese bubble economy. Since leaving the BBC to work independently, he has built up an online bilingual database of economic and political analysis for Japanese clients of an international consultancy. When not pounding the keyboard writing books or dreaming of new ways of using PHP and other programming languages, David enjoys nothing better than visiting his favorite sushi restaurant. He has also translated several plays from Japanese.

Table of Contents

  1. What Is PHP—And Why Should I Care?
  2. Getting Ready to Work with PHP
  3. How to Write PHP Scripts
  4. Lightening Your Workload with Includes
  5. Bringing Forms to Life
  6. Uploading Files
  7. Using PHP to Manage Files
  8. Generating Thumbnail Images
  9. Pages That Remember: Simple Login and Multipage Forms
  10. Getting Started with a Database
  11. Connecting to to a Database with PHP and SQL
  12. Creating a Dynamic Photo Gallery
  13. Managing Content
  14. Formatting Text and Dates
  15. Pulling Data from Multiple Tables
  16. Managing Multiple Database Tables
  17. Authenticating Users with a Database

Customer Reviews

PHP Solutions 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
TrueStories More than 1 year ago
Having been a teacher, an engineer, and a computer scholar, I have been looking for a long time for a book, like this, that could teach a new area of programming with true elegance and style. I'm sure that you have encountered the usual run of books that propose to cover some form of programming and have glowing reviews only to find out that the author is disorganized or delivers a spotty coverage of the subject. These disappointing attempts leave the reader hungering for ever more sources to fill the gaping subject void or explain the subject in some understandable format. Here is the way PHP or any other programming subject should be taught and its about time. The organization of the book is very well organized and defined for teaching. The explanations are comprehensive and the supporting code is clear and to the point. Up to this point in time I couldn't find a book on PHP that indicated that PHP could be competent in managing images. Yet, any website that doesn't show images with style is reviled by reviewers everywhere. I have seen several books on PHP 4,5,6 and MySQL that didn't have one usable image in any of their five hundred pages. I almost deceided that ASP.NET and Silverlight were the only competent web development systems because of this. The reign of table oriented web design books is now over. PHP Solutions has three full chapters covering the access and placement of images. It shows elegant management of images on dozens of pages. And it displays the organization of a website that shows both beauty and intelligent design. Forget the others, this is the only book that you should use to introduce PHP. PHP Solutions is composed of six basic sections. In the first section chapters 1 through 3 coves the introduction and installation of PHP. Section two has two chapters covering script writing and organizing scripts into include files for code reuse. Internal variables and usage are displayed here. Section three includes chapters five, six and seven which covers form design and the use of file uploading and management to give the website its characteristic look and feel. Section four spans chapters eight and nine cover thumbnail image programming and multi-page forms to hold the images. Chapter nine also introduces the unifying idea of the session. This concept is used to solidify the behavior and persistant memory of the website. Section five holding chapters ten, eleven, and twelve cover the use of the MySQL database to hold dynamic web content such as images and supporting information. This is where the meat of the book is located. Finally, section six in chapters thirteen finishes up the website development process by showing how to deal with typical problem issues. In the last chapter the book details how to apply web security to the design package and deliver a fully professional design. My first PHP books can now be retired and I can put this one on the shelf instead. Now I feel that I truely understand how to use PHP in a professional manner. I can now give my clients the complete feature comparison between using PHP and ASP. I can give a great recommendation for this book knowing that the complete picture of PHP is now displayed before us all. After reading this book I can say that I like PHP as a website script much better than before. It is worth every one of the five stars that I have given the book. I'm going to have fun developing PHP websites from now on.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
jairus More than 1 year ago
If you diligently read and follow the steps, then you will quickly learn the building blocks and be on your way. In following the steps I learned how to build a login, register, picture gallery(this book handles picture implementation well, a hard find in other books)and more. * I recommend installing WAMP, it was a quick and easy install and it includes both apache(executes php code) and mysql(database).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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dhmjpn More than 1 year ago
I'm about to start a new PHP project for our university website and was going to do it with the first edition of Dave Powers's PHP Solutions at my elbow. Now it will be the second edition. I have other PHP books and may dip into them a bit, but this is the one that will see me through. It seems that Powers came to computer guru-dom from a career in broadcast journalism, and it shows in his ability to present exactly the information I need in exactly the way I need it. I'm a fairly experienced user-developer, but not a technical person. Powers is a wizard and at the same time a first-rate "host" to the reader. He understands the difference between making an explanation ALMOST confusion-free and getting it just right. His writing style pleasantly engages you on grown-up terms, with no static of jokiness to cut through. As for content, PHP Solutions is, as the title declares, a solution-oriented approach to getting things done with PHP, not a ground-up tutorial or a dictionary-like reference. But I find that the challenges and solutions Powers has assembled amount to an important part of what I want to get done on a project. You can learn PHP basics anywhere (although Powers gives you a refresher in those, too) and then, when it comes to putting a particular capability into your website, turn to this book for the solution. For example, when I look at the code I wrote for my course-management system to display a list of students' reports with short extracts in screens of ten students each, I find the following comment: // *** Prepare for paging through query results, displaying a specified number //of records on the page and inserting a record-navigation system above and //below the records. This is a heavily modified adaptation and combination of //techniques from PHP Solutions by David Powers. I write comments like that because I have to remember what parts of "my system" might need attribution if I describe it in an academic paper. The one above refers to the first edition of PHP Solutions, which brings us to an important point. I was working in PHP 4 at the time and dreading the move to PHP 5. Dave Powers took care of me at my own level but also showed how things could be done the newer way, thereby getting me started on the road to transition. If you're coming to PHP Solutions now, in the new edition, be aware that PHP 4 is a THING OF THE PAST -- and be glad! You shouldn't invest time and headaches in writing it at this date. Note the following from the introduction to the book: "If you're in hurry or are daunted by the prospect of building class definitions, you can simply use the finished files. However, I encourage you to explore the class definitions. The code will teach you a lot of PHP that you'll find useful in other situations." Right. I started out pasting useful code snippets years ago but found that while it was the first step in learning the code, it was also the first step in a mess that I couldn't untangle when things didn't quite work. Do learn the lessons that Powers makes so learnable. They'll have you writing reusable code, and you'll understand how to deploy it. Still, you don't want to struggle with every last keystroke in making it run -- and that, of course, is why you want a book of solutions. So it's great having solid, tested examples to go from. Great, too, that the new edition of my main PC (not only PHP) book comes just in time for my new project.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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darkrisingx More than 1 year ago
Will not order with Barnes & Nobles again. Very slow shipping and poor support. Tried to get to work with them and all I got in return was very poor replies from the support people.