The chapters in this book are written in a specific order, first introducing all three of the core technologies it covers and then walking you through their installation on a web development server, so that you will be ready to work through the examples.
In the following section, you will gain a grounding in the PHP programming language, covering the basics of syntax, arrays, functions, and object-oriented programming.
Then, with PHP under your belt, you will move on to an introduction to the MySQL database system, where you will learn everything from how MySQL databases are structured up to generating complex queries.
After that, you will learn how you can combine PHP and MySQL to start creating your own dynamic web pages by integrating forms and other HTML features. You will then spend some time looking at ways to speed up your web development using Smarty templates.
In the next three chapters, you will get down to the nitty-gritty practical aspects of PHP and MySQL development by learning a variety of useful functions and how to manage cookies and sessions, as well as how to maintain a high level of security.
With an understanding of all three of these core technologies, you will then learn how to make behind-the-scenes Ajax calls and turn your websites into highly dynamic environments.
Finally, you’ll put together everything you’ve learned in a complete set of PHP programs that together constitute a fully working social networking website.
Along the way, you’ll also find plenty of pointers and advice on good programming practices and tips that could help you find and solve hard-to-detect programming errors. There are also plenty of links to websites containing further details on the topics covered.