SAMS Teach Yourself PHP4 in 24 Hours
Consisting of 24 one-hour lessons, Sams Teach Yourself PHP4 in 24 Hours is divided into five sections that guide you through the language from the basics to the advanced functions. The first section of the book teaches the fundamentals of PHP. Building upon what has been taught in the first section, sections two through four show you how to apply that knowledge in order to interact with the user by creating and managing forms, cookies and authentication. It also teaches how to access databases and how to integrate system components, e-mail, LDAP, network sockets and much more. The final section of the book covers advanced functionality including how to debug and optimize scripts, maintain script security, and extend PHP with API.Visit publisher site: SAMS Teach Yourself PHP4 in 24 Hours
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I use this book along with a more complete PHP book. The hour themed chapters are perfect for solidifying the more involved lessons of the more thourough books.
In general the book is very good; concise in both the example listing code and the explanation that follows it. Personally I prefer to have the code in an example in front of me, type it in, play about with it and then if I'm not sure I know I can read the explanation below - this is how PHP in 24 hrs is. However by far the highlight of this book was the example site code / discussion in the last two chapters (hours 23 and 24 - but set aside 24 hours in itself just for these last 'two' hours;-). This code exemplifies the use of PHP in combination with MySQL to implement a Web Portal System, an application in it's own right (albeit little more than a 'prototype' or 'template' design for bigger things). The code involved introduces a members 'join' and 'login' script so that members of local clubs can have a presence on the portal site. Once registered, the members can update their club's details and furthermore add and ammend events to their diary. The final hour involves builing the scripts to handle the general public's interface to the clubs and events they offer - designing an interface to allow general surfers/users browse clubs and events. This code is excellent as a basis for a portal project being built from scratch (or almost scratch), and I'm actually using it as the basis for a new bands web portal site for ppl in the uk. Code's still being learnt so it maybe a while, but feel free to look at it here: http://sonictown.php4hosting.com