Book: Plug-In PHP: 100 Power Solutions: Simple Solutions to Practical PHP Problems
PHP is an open-source (and therefore free) scripting language for creating dynamic web pages. Since its creation in 1995, its popularity has grown to more than double that of the previously most used scripting language, Perl.
In fact, PHP is now in the top five most popular and most used languages according to a majority of surveys, which is hardly surprising because it is provided with most web hosting accounts, is easy to integrate into web pages, is extremely fast (given that it is interpreted), and it has built-in links to MySQL, the world’s most popular open-source database program.
Because it was written by and for programmers, PHP comes with an extensive library of features and functions that may baffle a beginner. But it is possible to use just a small core subset of these to create most of the dynamic content a webmaster could need, which is precisely what this book demonstrates.
Plug-in PHP is aimed squarely at web site owners who have learned basic HTML and PHP and are interested in doing more with their sites. For example, you may wish to create member areas protected by usernames and passwords, or want to write a simple Guestbook and so on. Using Plug-in PHP, you will learn how to do all these things and much more using very simple ready-made PHP.
It is never assumed that you already know something, so you are taken through each subject step by step with full explanations, making sure you never have to go elsewhere to find the information you need. This book also purposefully ignores more advanced topics such as object-oriented programming. Instead, the code samples look very much like a cross between simple C and Basic. Elegant, tight structures that more advanced programmers might appreciate are set aside in preference for more understandable code, where the flow from any point to any other is as obvious as possible.
All of the plug-ins and examples are written in a complete and ready-to-use form that you can type into your own web pages. Even if you have almost no knowledge of programming, you can still make full use of the book, which can be dipped into as required since each chapter is mostly self-contained. This means that wherever you have a problem on your web site you can simply refer to the relevant chapter, which should be all you need to solve it.
To help you get up and running with these plug-ins, the first chapter walks you through how to set up your own web development server on a PC, Mac, or Linux computer, while the second shows how best to integrate the plug-ins into your own programs.