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PHP Hacks: Tips & Tools For Creating Dynamic Websites

Programmers love its flexibility and speed; designers love its accessibility and convenience. When it comes to creating web sites, the PHP scripting language is truly a red-hot property. In fact, PHP is currently used on more than 19 million web sites, surpassing Microsoft's ASP .NET technology in popularity. Not surprisingly, this surge in usage has resulted in a number of PHP books hitting the market. Only one, though, takes the language beyond traditional Web programming and into mapping, graphing, multimedia, and beyond: PHP Hacks.In PHP Hacks, author Jack Herrington wrings out his 20 years of code generation experience to deliver hands-on tools ranging from basic PHP and PEAR installation and scripting to advanced multimedia and database optimizing tricks.On the practical side of things, PHP Hacks helps you develop more robust PHP applications by explaining how to improve your database design, automate application testing, and employ design patterns in your PHP scripts and classes. In the category of "cool," Herrington explains how to upgrade your Web interface through the creation of tabs, stickies, popups, and calendars. He even examines how to leverage maps and graphics in PHP. There's also a bounty of image and application hacks, including those that show you how to:Integrate web sites with Google maps and satellite imagingDynamically display iPhoto libraries onlineAdd IRC, SMS, and Instant Messaging capabilities to your Web applicationsDrop the latest Wikipedia dictionary onto your Sony PSPRender graphics and user interfaces with SVG, DHTML, and AjaxWhether you're a newcomer or an expert, you'll find great value in PHP Hacks, the only PHP guide that offers something useful and fun for everyone.

Series: Hacks

Paperback: 468 pages

Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (December 22, 2005)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0596101392

ISBN-13: 978-0596101398

Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #1,939,075 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #26 in Books > Computers & Technology > Databases & Big Data > Other Databases #331 in Books > Computers & Technology > Programming > Languages & Tools > XML #754 in Books > Computers & Technology > Graphics & Design > User Experience & Usability

I tried several of the hacks in this book and quickly scanned some others. It offers numerous ideas for dynamic web page presentation. Hack 11, "Put an Interactive Spreadsheet on Your Page", provides a fresh way to present tabular data in an Excel-like grid format, using a proprietary solution called ActiveWidgets. I downloaded the free version of the ActiveWidgets code and ran this hack. It is giving me ideas for how to present the kind of tabular data that might look good on a web page. At no cost, you can study a given bit of PHP code and decide for yourself if you can put it to further use.I also tried Hack 10, "Send HTML Email". It works fine as stated, and for the first time I learned how to construct a multipart email. That is what prompted me to implement the hack, I have always wanted to do exactly this. I have some work to do with my sendmail mail transfer agent (MTA) software for this to work even better. The hack can be improved by showing how to avoid the problem of the MTA writing the wrong from and to email addresses and how to work around potential mail relaying issues. The bottom line, however, is that the code presented works as indicated.I experimented with Hacks 4, "Build A Breadcrumb Trail", and 12, "Create Popup Hints". These work acceptably.An exciting hack that I haven't tried yet is #44, "Scrape Web Pages For Data". I would like to use this one to scrape weather-related data from [...] for my zip code.Another attention-getter are the hacks presented in Chapter 8, "Testing". I have not tried these hacks myself, but I think unit testing needs more attention in web pages that utilize heavy scripting, and I'll be sure to experiment with these hacks in two projects of my own that are currently ongoing.

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