Friday, August 13, 2010
Teach Yourself PHP4 in 24 Hours
How This Book Is Organized
This book is divided into four parts:
Part 1 is an introduction to PHP4.
Part 2 covers the basic features of the language. Pay particular attention to this section if
you are new to programming.
Part 3 covers PHP4 in more detail, looking at the functions and techniques you will need to
become a proficient PHP programmer.
Part 4 illustrates a complete self-contained example.
Part 1 contains Hours 1 through 3 and handles the information you will need to get your first
script up and running:
Hour 1, "PHP: From Home Page to Portal," describes the history and capabilities of PHP
and looks at some of the compelling reasons for deciding to learn this scripting language.
Hour 2, "Installing PHP," explains how to install PHP on a UNIX system and discusses
some of the configuration options you might want to choose when compiling PHP. In this
hour, we also look at PHP configuration options.
Hour 3, "A First Script," looks at the different ways in which you can embed a PHP script in
a document and create a script that writes text to the user's browser.
Part 2 comprises Hours 4 through 8. In this part, you will learn the basic components of the
Hour 4, "The Building Blocks," covers the basics of PHP. You will learn about variables,
data types, operators, and expressions.
Hour 5, "Going with the Flow," covers the syntax for controlling program flow in your scripts.
In addition to if and switch constructs, you will learn about loops using for and while
Hour 6, "Functions," explores the use of functions to organize your code.
Hour 7, "Arrays," discusses the array data type that can be used to hold list information.
We will also look at some of the functions that PHP4 provides to manipulate arrays.
Hour 8, "Objects," introduces PHP4's support for classes and objects. Throughout the
course of the hour, we will develop a working example.
Part 3 consists of Hours 9 through 22. In this part, you will come to grips with the features and
techniques of the language:
Hour 9, "Working with Forms," introduces the dimension of user input through the
mechanism of the HTML form. You will learn how to gather data submitted via a form.
Hour 10, "Working with Files," shows you how to work with files and directories on the local
Hour 11, "Working with the DBM Functions," demonstrates PHP4's support for DBM
database systems, versions of which are available on most systems.
Hour 12, "Database Integration— MySQL," provides a brief introduction to SQL syntax and
introduces the PHP4 functions that can be used to work with the MySQL database.
Hour 13, "Beyond the Box," covers some of the details of HTTP requests and looks at PHP
Hour 14, "Working with Dynamic Images" explores PHP's image functions.With these, you
can create GIF or PNG files dynamically.
Hour 15, "Working with Dates," covers the functions and techniques you can use for date
arithmetic. We create a calendar example.
Hour 16, "Working with Data," revisits data types and explores some more of the functions
you can use to work with data in your scripts. More array functions are also covered.
Hour 17, "Working with Strings," covers the functions that you can use to manipulate
Hour 18, "Working with Regular Expressions," introduces regular expression functions.
You can use these to find and replace complex patterns in strings.
Hour 19, "Saving State with Cookies and Query Strings," shows you some techniques for
passing information across scripts and requests.
Hour 20, "Saving State with Session Functions," extends the techniques explored in Hour
19, using PHP4's built-in session functions.
Hour 21, "Working with the Server Environment," shows you how to call external programs
from your scripts and incorporate their output into your own.
Hour 22, "Debugging," shows you some techniques that you can use to track down
problems in your code. We also examine some common errors.
Part 4 consists of Hours 23 and 24. In these, we build a working example that incorporates
some of the techniques that were introduced earlier in the book.
Hour 23, "An Example (Part 1)," creates a brief for a club listings script. We build the code
that will allow users to create accounts and enter listings.
Hour 24, "An Example (Part 2)," concludes the project, building the code for nonmembers
to browse the listings and look at club profiles.
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