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Use PHP to accomplish real-world, professional tasks. PHP Professional Projects is your key to unlocking the power of PHP. Each project focuses on a specific concept and is based on a real-world situation. Enhance your skills as you work through five projects including creating a user registration form, storing and retrieving data from files, working with MySQL using PHP, creating a catalog and shopping cart, and user authentication and tracking. When you are finished, you will have the skills necessary to modify projects to fit your professional needs.
You won't write a word processor, database server, or telephony gateway in PHP, nor will you use the language for complex mathematical modeling. PHP is meant to solve the kinds of problems that the creators of dynamic Web sites encounter. The authors of PHP Professional Projects have solved some of the biggies for you. This book has considerable merit: the pages explain how to write product catalogs, shopping carts, session-tracking routines, and user-authentication utilities in PHP, often with the MySQL database server holding up the back end. If you're the sort of reader who wants a quick solution, you'll be happy to find the solutions on a companion Web site. If you want to learn from the authors (after all, similar solutions are free for the taking on SourceForge and other code repositories) you'll be fairly pleased as well, since there are several nice tutorials.
When it comes to the PHP code listings in this book, you'll either be impressed by the spacious layout with plenty of room for notes, or aghast at the amount of space taken up by uninterrupted, uncommented stretches of code. Either way, the code is solidly written--it's efficient and worth studying as part of your educational effort--but some weird and unnecessary line breaks damage the flow a bit. The main point: this is a book of solutions that work, with long code listings for people who like to study that way. --David Wall
Topics covered: Solving common Web site problems with PHP and MySQL. Sections address the fundamentals of PHP and MySQL, but the authors quickly transition into full applications: a shopping cart, a user authenticator, an e-mail sender, and a graphics-file manipulator are among the best.
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