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.
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.
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. You will then 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.
Next, you’ll spend two chapters learning all about using CSS to style and lay out your web pages, before discovering how the jQuery libraries can make your development job a great deal easier. You’ll then move on to the final section on the interactive 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 can 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.
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I would like to once again thank my editor, Andy Oram, and everyone who worked so hard on this book, including Jon Reid, Michal Špaček, and John Craig for their comprehensive technical reviews, Melanie Yarbrough for overseeing production, Rachel Head for copy editing, Rachel Monaghan for proofreading, Rebecca Demarest for illustrations, Judy McConville 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.