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Learning PHP, MySQL & JavaScript, 4th Edition by Robin Nixon

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Preface

The combination of PHP and MySQL is the most convenient approach to dynamic, database-driven web design, holding its own in the face of challenges from integrated frameworks—such as Ruby on Rails—that are harder to learn. Due to its open source roots (unlike the competing Microsoft .NET Framework), it is free to implement and is therefore an extremely popular option for web development.

Any would-be developer on a Unix/Linux or even a Windows/Apache platform will need to master these technologies. And, combined with the partner technologies of JavaScript, jQuery, CSS, and HTML5, you will be able to create websites of the caliber of industry standards like Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail.

Audience

This book is for people who wish to learn how to create effective and dynamic websites. This may include webmasters or graphic designers who are already creating static websites but wish to take their skills to the next level, as well as high school and college students, recent graduates, and self-taught individuals.

In fact, anyone ready to learn the fundamentals behind the Web 2.0 technology known as Ajax will obtain a thorough grounding in all of these core technologies: PHP, MySQL, JavaScript, CSS, and HTML5, and learn the basics of the jQuery library too.

Assumptions This Book Makes

This book assumes that you have a basic understanding of HTML and can at least put together a simple, static website, but does not assume that you have any prior knowledge of PHP, MySQL, JavaScript, CSS, or HTML5—although if you do, your progress through the book will be even quicker.

Organization of This Book

The chapters in this book are written in a specific order, first introducing all 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 first 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 to how to generate 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. Following that, 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.

In the next few chapters, you will gain a thorough grounding in JavaScript, from simple functions and event handling to accessing the Document Object Model and in-browser validation and error handling, plus a comprehensive primer on using the popular jQuery library for JavaScript.

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.

Next, you’ll spend two chapters learning all about using CSS to style and lay out your web pages, before moving on to the final section on the new features built into HTML5, including geolocation, audio, video, and the canvas. After this, you’ll put together everything you’ve learned in a complete set of programs that together constitute a fully functional social networking website.

Along the way, you’ll find plenty of 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.

Supporting Books

Once you have learned to develop using PHP, MySQL, JavaScript, CSS, and HTML5, you will be ready to take your skills to the next level using the following O’Reilly reference books. To learn more about any of these titles, simply enter the ISBN shown next to it into the search box at http://oreilly.com or at any good online book seller’s website.

  • Dynamic HTML: The Definitive Reference (9780596527402) by Danny Goodman

  • PHP in a Nutshell (9780596100674) by Paul Hudson

  • MySQL in a Nutshell (9780596514334) by Russell Dyer

  • JavaScript: The Definitive Guide (9780596805524) by David Flanagan

  • CSS: The Definitive Guide (9780596527334) by Eric A. Myer

  • HTML5: The Missing Manual (9781449363260) by Matthew MacDonald

Conventions Used in This Book

The following typographical conventions are used in this book:

Plain text
Indicates menu titles, options, and buttons.
Italic
Indicates new terms, URLs, email addresses, filenames, file extensions, pathnames, directories, and Unix utilities.
Constant width
Indicates command-line options, variables and other code elements, HTML tags, macros, and the contents of files.
Constant width bold
Shows program output or highlighted sections of code that are discussed in the text.
Constant width italic
Shows text that should be replaced with user-supplied values.
Note

This element signifies a tip, suggestion, or general note.

Warning

This element indicates a warning or caution.

Using Code Examples

This book is here to help you get your job done. In general, if example code is offered with this book, you may use it in your programs and documentation. You do not need to contact us for permission unless you’re reproducing a significant portion of the code. For example, writing a program that uses several chunks of code from this book does not require permission. Selling or distributing a CD-ROM of examples from O’Reilly books does require permission. Answering a question by citing this book and quoting example code does not require permission. Incorporating a significant amount of example code from this book into your product’s documentation does require permission. There is a companion website to this book at http://lpmj.net, where you can download all the examples from this book in a single zip file.

We appreciate, but do not require, attribution. An attribution usually includes the title, author, publisher, and ISBN. For example: “Learning PHP, MySQL & JavaScript, 4th Edition by Robin Nixon (O’Reilly). Copyright 2015 Robin Nixon, 978-1-4919-1866-1.”

If you feel your use of code examples falls outside fair use or the permission given above, feel free to contact us at .

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Acknowledgments

I would like to once again thank my editor, Andy Oram, and everyone who worked so hard on this book, including Albert Wiersch for his comprehensive technical review, Nicole Shelby for overseeing production, Rachel Monaghan for her copy editing, Sharon Wilkey for proofreading, Robert Romano for his original illustrations, Rebecca Demarest for her new illustrations, David Futato for interior design, Lucie Haskins for creating the index, Karen Montgomery for the original sugar glider front cover design, Randy Comer for the latest book cover, and everyone else too numerous to name who submitted errata and offered suggestions for this new edition.

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