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Danny's Reviews: Web Application Development with PHP4.0 - review

Aug 26, 2000, 14:43 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Danny Yee)

[ Thanks to Danny for this link. ]

"Web Application Development with PHP 4.0 is a book one can actually read: it contains no undigestible slabs of reference material or code (these are relegated to the accompanying CD). Coverage of a wide range of largely independent topics also makes it a great volume for browsing in. And as a system administrator who does only a little bit of programming, in a variety of languages, I appreciated its "broad overview" approach."

"The opening chapter of Web Application Development is a very brief look at some general programming issues - code formatting, documentation, APIs - that are all too rarely mentioned in programming language books. The second chapter covers PHP "advanced syntax": lists and arrays, object-oriented programming, and a bit on polymorphism and self-modifying code. (I finally got a handle on PHP's slightly odd handling of lists from this.) And chapter three presents a development example, coding an IRC interface in PHP."

"Chapters four through seven cover a large selection of topics: sessions and session-handling, security, usability, validating form data, CVS, COM and Java interfaces, database integration, authentication, templates, XML, and WDDX. Much of this is not at all PHP-specific. Of the thirty-two pages on XML, for example, the first twelve are a general introduction that is not at all language-specific (the remainder describe how to use the Expat and LibXML parsers built into PHP, with examples). And the material on CVS presents some PHP scripts for automating notifications, but is otherwise completely generic."

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