PHP is the engine behind millions of dynamic web applications. Its broad feature set, approachable syntax, and support for different operating systems and web servers have made it an ideal language for both rapid web development and the methodical construction of complex systems.
One of the major reasons for PHP's success as a web scripting language is its origins as a tool to process HTML forms and create web pages. This makes PHP very web-friendly. Additionally, it is a polyglot. PHP can speak to a multitude of databases, and it knows numerous Internet protocols. PHP also makes it simple to parse browser data and make HTTP requests. This web-specific focus carries over to the recipes and examples in the PHP Cookbook.
This book is a collection of solutions to common tasks in PHP. We've tried to include material that will appeal to everyone from newbies to wizards. If we've succeeded, you'll learn something (or perhaps many things) from the PHP Cookbook. There are tips in here for everyday PHP programmers as well as for people coming to PHP with experience in another language.
PHP, in source-code and binary forms, is available for download for free from http://www.php.net/. The PHP web site also contains installation instructions, comprehensive documentation, and pointers to online resources, user groups, mailing lists, and other PHP resources.
0.1. Who This Book Is For
This book is for programmers who need to solve problems with PHP. If you don't know any PHP, make this your second PHP book. The first should be Programming PHP, also from O'Reilly & Associates.
If you're already familiar with PHP, this book will help you overcome a specific problem and get on with your life (or at least your programming activities.) The PHP Cookbook can also show you how to accomplish a particular task in PHP, like sending email or writing a SOAP server, that you may already know how to do in another language. Programmers converting applications from other languages to PHP will find this book a trusty companion.
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