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PHP !

What is PHP?

PHP is a scripting language designed to fill the gap between SSI (Server Side Includes) and Perl, intended largely for the web environment. PHP has gained quite a following in recent times, and it is one of the forerunners in the Open Source software movement. Its popularity derives from its C-like syntax, its speed and its simplicity. PHP is currently divided into two major versions: PHP 4 and PHP 5, although PHP 4 is deprecated and is no longer developed or supplied with critical bug fixes. PHP 6 is currently under development.

If you've ever been to a website that needs you to login, you've probably encountered a server-side scripting language. Due to its market saturation, this means you've probably come across PHP. PHP was designed by Rasmus Lerdorf to display his resume online and to collect data from his visitors.

Basically, PHP allows a static web document to become dynamic. "PHP" is a recursive acronym that stands for "PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor". PHP preprocesses (that is, PHP processes before the output is sent to the browser) hypertext documents. Because of this, the pages can change before the user sees them, based on conditions. This can be used to write something to the page, create a table with a number of rows equal to the number of times the user has visited, or integrate the web page with a web database, such as MySQL.

Before you embark on the wonderful journey of Server Side Processing, it is recommended that you have some basic understanding of the HyperText Markup Language. PHP is also being used to build GUI-driven applications; PHP-GTK is used to build Graphical User Interfaces.

Learning the Language

This section is about things that are important for any type of PHP development. Useful for a PHP programmer of any level.

1. Beginning with "Hello World!" Development stage
2. Nuts and Bolts Development stage
3. Commenting and Style Development stage
4. Arrays Development stage
5. Control structures
     »  The if Structure Development stage
     »  The switch Structure Development stage
     »  The while Loop Development stage
     »  The do while Loop Development stage
     »  The for Loop Development stage
6. Functions Development stage
7. Files Development stage
8. Mailing Development stage
9. Cookies Development stage
10. Sessions Development stage
11. Databases
     »  MySQL Development stage
     »  PostgreSQL Development stage
     »  PHP Data Objects Development stage
12. Integration Methods (HTML Forms, etc.) Development stage

Advanced PHP

Advanced PHP includes high level programming and PHP techniques designed to make PHP even more useful and powerful.

Object Oriented Programming (OOP)

1. Classes
2. Special Methods
3. Class Extensions (Inheritance)
4. The SSH Class

Templating

1. Why Templating
2. Templates
3. Caching
4. SMARTY templating system
5. PRADO Component Framework
6. Flat Frog templating system Development stage
7. XSL

Frameworks

»  CakePHP
»  CodeIgniter
»  Kohana
»  Qcodo
»  Solar
»  Symfony
»  Zend Framework

Security

1. Configuration: Register Globals
2. SQL Injection Attacks
3. Cross Site Scripting Attacks
4. Building a secure user login system

See also the section on avoiding session fixation in the Sessions chapter.

Command-Line Interface (CLI)

1. PHP CLI
2. PHP-GTK
3. Daemonization

Why does software have bugs?
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