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Wicked Cool PHP--New from No Starch Press: Useful PHP scripts that solve real-world problems

February 13, 2008

PHP is an easy-to-use scripting language that is perfect for quickly creating a wide range of dynamic web features, like forms, user polls, and shopping carts. It's the go-to language for web programmers in a hurry, and for good reason.

Wicked Cool PHP (No Starch Press, February 2008, 216 pp., ISBN 9781593271732), by William Steinmetz and Brian Ward, is a different breed of PHP book. It's made specifically for the developer who wants to know how to get things done without mucking around and wasting a lot of time. This is not a weighty PHP complete reference or bible that threatens to take down your bookshelf and the rest of the bookcase. This is a book for coders to pick up and use, not wade through.

"We do the picking so that our readers won't have to," said No Starch Press Publisher Bill Pollock. "When we release a title, we make sure that we've pared it down to its essence, and at under 250 pages, Wicked Cool PHP is no exception. Just the meat, none of the starch." But don't let this book's lack of girth fool you.

Wicked Cool PHP offers readers a collection of 76 immediately useful PHP scripts, the brainchild of two veteran Web programmers. The scripts can be used to process credit cards, check the validity of email addresses, use HTML templates, and serve dynamic images and text. Most importantly, readers learn how to customize all of the scripts to fit their own needs, and how to troubleshoot their scripts when something goes wrong.

The book also teaches readers how to use PHP to:

  • Send and receive email notifications
  • Scrape other websites
  • Encrypt sensitive data and create a secure login scheme
  • Track visitors' behavior with cookies and sessions
  • Override PHP's default settings
  • Manipulate dates, images, and text on the fly
  • Harness SOAP and other web services
  • Create an online poll, e-card delivery system, and blog

Dynamic web content doesn't have to be difficult—and it doesn't have to be scripted from scratch. Wicked Cool PHP provides the building blocks for full-featured websites while teaching the techniques that will liven up any site.

For a review copy or more information please email nostarchpr@oreilly.com. Please include your delivery address and contact information.

About the Authors
William Steinmetz is the author of LAN Party: Hosting the Ultimate Frag Fest (Wiley) and co-author of Paint Shop Pro for Dummies (IDG). He is the webmaster and editor of StarCityGames.com, where traffic has quadrupled as a result of the changes he designed and implemented, all using PHP.

Brian Ward is the author of How Linux Works, The Book of VMware, and The Linux Problem Solver (all from No Starch Press).

Additional Resources
Table of contents overview
Detailed table of contents (PDF)
Index (PDF)
Chapter 4: Working with Forms (PDF)
Large cover image

Wicked Cool PHP
William Steinmetz with Brian Ward
ISBN 9781593271732, 216 pages, $34.95 USD

Available in fine bookstores everywhere, from www.oreilly.com/nostarch, or directly from No Starch Press (www.nostarch.com, orders@nostarch.com, 1-800-420-7240).

About No Starch Press
Founded in 1994, No Starch Press is one of the few remaining independent computer book publishers. We publish the finest in geek entertainment—unique books on technology, with a focus on Open Source, security, hacking, programming, alternative operating systems, and LEGO. Our titles have personality, our authors are passionate, and our books tackle topics that people care about. See www.nostarch.com for more information and our complete online catalog. (And most No Starch Press books use RepKover, a lay-flat binding that won’t snap shut.)

About O’Reilly

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