Originally Published: Friday, 11 May 2001 Author: IRC Staff
Published to: interact_articles_irc_recap/IRC Recap Page: 1/1 - [Printable]

PHP for the Real World with Larry Ullman

On May 1, Larry Ullman talked to us about his latest book from Peachpit Press, PHP for the World Wide Web. He also talked about the pros and cons of PHP as a programmming language and where he thought it was headed down the road.

If you missed the event, or are just interested in reading the log from the event, check it out below.

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<lcModerator> Welcome to another event from Linux.com Live!'s "Author Talks" series
<lcModerator> today we have Larry Ullman, author of "PHP for the World Wide Web"
<lcModerator> here to discuss his book as well as all things PHP
<lcModerator> if you'd like to ask questions, please /msg them to my nick
<L_Ullman> Hello, everyone! Thanks for coming out.
<L_Ullman> I'm very pleased to be here to discuss my new book, PHP for the World Wide Web
<L_Ullman> A little bit about myself:
<L_Ullman> I work for a company called DMC Insights, Inc and am in charge of our
<L_Ullman> digital media division.
<L_Ullman> I also act as our lead PHP programmer.
<L_Ullman> I taught myself to use PHP a couple of years ago in order to create
<L_Ullman> an online football pool for my friends and I (important things).
<L_Ullman> At that time there were no good beginnner's books on PHP and trying to learn
<L_Ullman> from the PHP manual is like learning English using the dictionary.
<L_Ullman> So about one year ago I approached Peachpit Press about writing an introductory guide
<L_Ullman> which would fit in their Visual QuickStart Series.
<L_Ullman> As you may know, the VQS books are great for learning new technologies:
<L_Ullman> lots of clear explanation and useful examples.
<L_Ullman> So far, the reviews from people new to PHP have been good.
<L_Ullman> I really appreciate PHP for all it's usefulness and am encouraged by its growing popularity.
<L_Ullman> The fact that you can set up a Linux server running Apache, MySQL and PHP for no money is great!
<L_Ullman> (Especially compared to running SQL Server and ASP on a Windows machine--Yuck.)
<L_Ullman> If you have any questions about PHP, the book, or about me, please feel free to contact the moderator.
<L_Ullman> The book covers the basics of programming with PHP.
<L_Ullman> It's intended for beginner users who probably know web design (i.e., HTML).
<Wintersun> If you have any questions, feel free to ask Larry yourself.
<koNrads> Will the php eventually replace .cgi's ?
<L_Ullman> Good question.
<koNrads> i mean it has much more functionality (perl vs. php)
<L_Ullman> My answer is probably no.
<L_Ullman> PHP has a lot more functionality than CGI scripts and is easier to use
<L_Ullman> but PERL is much more robust and has a larger following than PHP.
<L_Ullman> I certainly wouldn't write a CGI Script again but die-hard Perl programmers may not
<L_Ullman> have cause to learn PHP.
<jericho> much more robust but php is robust enouth for 98% of the websites
<L_Ullman> But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.
<koNrads> yes, but for a cc processing system we chose perl...
<L_Ullman> Right.
<ronny> How would you justify using PHP to a MS house (other than cost)?
<L_Ullman> Hmmm...
<L_Ullman> The cross-platform compatibility is a good argument--should you change or expand your systems.
<L_Ullman> PHP, I believe, is easier to learn than ASP.
<L_Ullman> And I'm not sure ASP can do some of the things that PHP can.
<L_Ullman> PHP 4 also has COM interactive ability now so the PHP people are aware of the MS market.
<ronny> True. I've not used ASP much so I can't call the last one.
<L_Ullman> In my experience, PHP is without peer when it comes to ease of use, flexibility,
<L_Ullman> capability, and cross-platform use.
<d0> Are there any packages available for building web applications with PHP/HTML that make use of SQL databases such as Postgres that are capable of things like Lotus Notes and MS Access?
<L_Ullman> Boy! Beyond the realm of my direct knowledge. Most of the existing packages
<L_Ullman> are Unix-Linux oriented.
<L_Ullman> Um, could you be a little more specific about what kind of features you are looking for?
<L_Ullman> There are existing packages for interfacing databases, managing banner ads, and so forth...
<d0> Closer to visual developement. ie: Snap together modules for creating interfaces, forms and the like.
<L_Ullman> Oh. Okay.
<L_Ullman> There is maybe one or two, the names of which are escaping me.
<ronny> There are always things like Zope and phpGroupWare.
<L_Ullman> Maybe one is binarycloud and there is also phpnuke.
<L_Ullman> I see these things referenced frequently at PHPBuilder.com
<koNrads> there is a phrase about PHP "If it works, it works great!" Unfourtunatley some of the features don't work at all... But the documentation says it does. What should be done about that
<wastrel> L_Ullman how much does your book cover mysql integration with php?
<L_Ullman> Could you give me an example?
<miro> hi
<> hello, miro
<L_Ullman> Wastrel, it covers the very basics of using PHP with MySQL.
<koNrads> L: mysql_pconnect with built in mysql supports fails badly -- does not reuse connections
<L_Ullman> It's a very easy thing to do--to connect PHP and MySQL, though.
<koNrads> right
<L_Ullman> The book will help you achieve that--straightforward storing and retrieving data.
<koNrads> have you already publishe dit?
<L_Ullman> Yes, the book is already available.
<zoro2> hello
<lcModerator> What would you consider to be PHP's major weaknesses? especially when dealing with its standard uses, e.g. web apps w/ databases
<ctr> hmm
<L_Ullman> The overall major weakness is that it is not a true programming language, like Perl, so there
<L_Ullman> are limits to what it can do.
<L_Ullman> With respect to web apps w/ db, PHP could probably use built-in support for common
<L_Ullman> MS databases. Currently you have to use an ODBC layer.
<koNrads> what would you suggest for very busy sites to improve their php code?
<davidw> what do you think of PHP as compared to embedding 'real' programming languages (your words) like Tcl, Perl, or Python?
<JALH> how resistant to change do you think the syntax will be over time? (I know perl has/will be changed a lot syntax-wise)
<L_Ullman> Generally, though, PHP's support for, for example, MySQL is excellent and I have not yet had a problem with it.
<L_Ullman> Lots of questions...thanks!
<TripleDES> hi
<> privet
<Devilish> How do you feel the best way to keep PHP secure and still staying functional?
<L_Ullman> First, to improve performance on busy sites, make sure you have the most current version of PHP.
<L_Ullman> Also, Zend has a couple of tools available to tweak performance.
<ctr> L_Ullman: what makes you say that php is not a real langauge? what would you suggest being altered to make it feel more real?
<koNrads> l: does your book cover securing php?
<jericho> Devilish: do not use include() function ;)
<L_Ullman> Zend.com also has a very articles on the common mistakes of PHP programmers.
<zoro2> ctr: why would you want php be a real language?
<ronny> On performance, are there any profiling tools available?
<L_Ullman> Reading those can teach even an old dog new tricks.
<zoro2> ronny: ab from apache :>
<lcModerator> alright, let's keep the chatter down to a minimum please.. one question at a time
<wastrel> L_Ullman do you discuss PHP security issues in your book?
<Devilish> jericho i mean the questions more as a admin sorta way
<L_Ullman> Going back to the PHP vs 'real' programming languages questions...
<lcModerator> if you'd like to ask a question of mr. ullman, please /msg it to me
<L_Ullman> PHP cannot make stand-alone applications, which isn't a problem in my opinion
<L_Ullman> because Perl and C and whatever else can.
<L_Ullman> I think PHP is great as is, but if you need to do things other than
<L_Ullman> make fantastic dynamic Web applications, you'll hit a wall.
<L_Ullman> So that's one thing people run up against, the other is that PHP is server-side.
<L_Ullman> Obviously neither should (nor easily could be changed) but we need to be aware of what
<L_Ullman> our programming languages can and cannot do.
<L_Ullman> For what PHP was designed to do, it's fantastic.
<lcModerator> JALH asks, "how resistant to change do you think the syntax will be over time? (I know perl has/will be changed a lot syntax-wise)"
<L_Ullman> Well, PHP is very liberal with some of its syntax which is both good and bad.
<L_Ullman> I think the people working on PHP are striving to make sure that it doesn't outdate itself
<L_Ullman> at least not too quickly.
<L_Ullman> So while I wouldn't say it's 'resistant', I don't think there are going to be a lot of
<L_Ullman> detrimental changes for us programmers.
<lcModerator> <davidw> "So, why not use one language, like Tcl, where you can do web stuff just as well as PHP (<a href="http://tcl.apache.org">http://tcl.apache.org</a>), as well as stand alone apps?"
<L_Ullman> That's a valid question.
<L_Ullman> My answer would be that it depends upon the person and the time they have.
<L_Ullman> To learn PHP after knowing Tcl or Perl or Java won't take much time
<L_Ullman> and you may get a slew of benefits including increased performance, cross-platform capability, and
<L_Ullman> so forth.
<L_Ullman> And, of course, none of us are ever going to stick to one language, are we?
<lcModerator> <`mac_> Perl has a standard DBI interface for all its database access... Do you plan to introduce a similar standard set of functions in PHP ?
<L_Ullman> Do I? No. I'm pretty busy. Just kidding ...
<L_Ullman> I'm not directly familiar with Perl's DBI but I know that several
<L_Ullman> people in the PHP community are working towards creating solid database-abstraction
<L_Ullman> layers. And the PHPLib includes this.
<L_Ullman> But it's pretty difficult to switch between, say, Oracle and MySQL.
<L_Ullman> But people are working on this and there are some existing libraries available.
<lcModerator> <zoro2> when comparing Tcl to PHP, why are you saying that PHP is faster and more cross-platform capable?
<lcModerator> <zoro2> comparing to <a href="http://tcl.perki.org/Benchmarks/Benchmarks.ttml">http://tcl.perki.org/Benchmarks/Benchmarks.ttml</a> and looking at dev.scriptics.com, both of these arguments can easily be outdated
<L_Ullman> I'm sorry. I didn't mean to say that it is faster but it may be.
<lcModerator> <zoro2> besides, mod_dtcl allows same stuff that PHP allows - embedding stuff in plain HTML, as well as bases on a language with bigger core, comparable community and longer history.
<L_Ullman> I'm not arguing for PHP over Perl or Tcl or anything (that's a neverending battle).
<L_Ullman> But you could probably learn PHP easily once you know Tcl and then see for yourself
<L_Ullman> which is best for certain applications.
<lcModerator> <ASleep|Office> With the advent of PHP-GTK stand-alone programs can be written w/o trouble. What then makes PHP an 'unreal' programming language?
<L_Ullman> PHP-GTK is fairly new, I believe. I've taken a quick look at it but not with any detail.
<L_Ullman> I think it's really an adaptation of PHP which means you can make stand alone applications
<L_Ullman> but the nature of PHP itself has not changed.
<L_Ullman> Of course, I could be wrong.
<lcModerator> <koNrads> should php people create an analogue of perl's CPAN ?
<L_Ullman> There are some really excellent questions here, I'd like to add.
<L_Ullman> I'm not familiar enough with CPAN to answer that. My apologies.
<lcModerator> <koNrads> it is a very easy way of distributing modules
<L_Ullman> I came to PHP after some Perl knowledge--just enough to appriciate PHP
<L_Ullman> I'm sorry. I'm not qualified to answer that question then. But the PHP newsgroup, alt.php, might be a good resource
<lcModerator> <wastrel> Does the book talk about security issues in using PHP?
<L_Ullman> if you are curious about an answer.
<L_Ullman> It does talk about security a little.
<L_Ullman> Security is one of those tricky issues, in my opinion, that I didn't want to do a
<L_Ullman> disservice to by attempting to be exhaustive.
<L_Ullman> There are so many issues with respect to Web security that a chapter in one book
<L_Ullman> won't cut it.
<L_Ullman> But I do point out the highlights and list some good references for security issues and PHP.
<lcModerator> (by the way, jpm points out that "PEAR (<a href="http://pear.php.net">http://pear.php.net</a>) aims to create something similar to Perl's CPAN for the PHP world")
<L_Ullman> Great! Thanks for that note, jpm.
<lcModerator> <ElectricElf> Do you see anything on the horizon for PHP that make people stand up and say, "wow"? If so, what? ;)
<L_Ullman> I would hope that the current version of PHP would do that already!
<L_Ullman> It's pretty great.
<L_Ullman> Version 4 of PHP which is still being incorporated around the globe has a slew
<L_Ullman> of strong new features
<L_Ullman> like the ability to create PDFs, the aforementioned COM interaction, and so forth.
<L_Ullman> Too many to list.
<L_Ullman> Because of PHP's open-source nature, it's always being improved and if there's something
<L_Ullman> PHP ought to have in it, it will be added sooner or later.
<lcModerator> ok, now I'll open up the channel for open discussion with the author
<L_Ullman> Thanks to everyone for your questions and comments!
<L_Ullman> (I wanted to make sure I got that in there.)
<lcModerator> Thanks to Larry Ullman for coming and discussing PHP and his book
<shizo> wow
<ElectricElf> L_Ullman: Nice of you to take some time out and visit us :)
<[James]> Hi Larry
<L_Ullman> Hello everyone. Thank you for having me. I hope I can be of some help with your PHP questions.
<[James]> As one of the members of the PHP QA Team what in your opinion would improve PHP the most, stability, full OO support or somthing else?
<shizo> L_Ullman: how long have you been working with php ?
<jpm> Actually some good resources about PEAR are the mailing lists - pear-general@lists.php.net and pear-dev@lists.php.net
<ElectricElf> L_Ullman: As a non-professional, but a "dabbler", would you recommend PHP to me? Assuming I've had a fair share of programmin experience in the past. (Note: yeah, I know you probably can't give an unbiased answer ;)
<JFK> James: heh, that's a baited question :P
<ElectricElf> s/mmin/mming/
<[James]> jpm: Pear is very limited ATM Stig is working on it but at the moment pear is not up to much :)
<L_Ullman> James, I don't think PHP and OO should mix too much. Stability is always most important, in my opinion.
<[James]> IMHO
<L_Ullman> I'm sure many PHP users would suggest that any work done to ease installation would be huge!
<JFK> L_Ullman: why do you imply that stability and OO are mutually exclusive?
<ctr> L_Ullman: d you feel php would benifit from stonger oop support?
<jpm> [James]: the
<ElectricElf> L_Ullman: Or is PHP aimed at the professional market, to get The Job Done(tm)?
<jpm> [James]: the PEAR::DB package is quite usable
<L_Ullman> Shizo, I've been working with PHP for about two years now.
<ElectricElf> JFK: Speaking of loaded questions... ;)
<L_Ullman> ElectricElf, PHP is perfect for the dabbler!
<ElectricElf> L_Ullman: :)
<[James]> Larry: Its very hard to ease installation with that many sapis and making it easy for people add extensions etc
<L_Ullman> A little Web knowledge (and my book) and you'll be off and running.
<L_Ullman> Ease of use and learning is one of PHP's greatest assets, I believe.
<ronny> ElectricElf : having come from a c and PERL background, I can say that PHP is easy to pick up.
<ElectricElf> L_Ullman: Happen to have the ISBN handy?
<[James]> by definition having that many modules and requiring that many libaries it becomes a very complex build process..
<ElectricElf> ronny: How about ASM and Python? ;)
<L_Ullman> Okay--PHP and OO. I didn't mean to imply that OO and stability are opposites.
<shizo> what does your book cost ?
<Devilish> one thing iv noticed about PHP is that there arnt many books for the complete beginer
<Linuxwolf> L_Ullman: you mentioned that you cant see PHP replacing cgi could you expand on why you think it wont?
<L_Ullman> Given the choice between improving PHP's stability and increasing it's OO capabilities, I would
<Devilish> does your book help out complete newbies?
<L_Ullman> go for stability.
<shizo> and how many pages does it have ? is it just a print off of the php-manual ?
<Linuxwolf> given that cgi attacks have been frequent on a lot of sites, and how hackers have gained entry to websites
<L_Ullman> The book--definitely not a print off of the PHP manual.
<[James]> Devilish: try the manual and basic programming knowledge Books are for those who need a helping hand to take the next step
<L_Ullman> About $15 discounted at bookstores. 270 pages.
<L_Ullman> If you know HTML, this book will take you from there.
<L_Ullman> It hopefully provides a lot of useful code, too.
<shizo> L_Ullman: there are so many php books. eg. from o'reilly or Wrox, why should the beginner buy your book, are there any advantages?
<[James]> Larry: have you got it listed on www.php.net/books.php yet?
<Devilish> L_Ullman is PHP an easy trasition for a C programmer to learn ?
<L_Ullman> I'm trying to field all the questions as best as possible, so if I don't get to one immediately, just give
<L_Ullman> me a sec.
<ctr> Devilish: yes it is :)
<Timbo> php = C+bash
<Devilish> ahh cool +)
<Devilish> =)
<ctr> hehe
<ctr> ferite = Java + Perl
<ctr> :P
<andy> guys... slow down for a sec. let him answer the questions :)
<L_Ullman> There are only about 4 beginner's books out right now. This series (Visual QuickStart) is
<ctr> but thats a different story
<ctr> =P
<L_Ullman> one of my favorites for learning anything.
<Timbo> watch for the different scope rules though... that tripped me up when learning php
<L_Ullman> So if you are looking for clear explanation, solid examples, and a good foundation, this is the
<L_Ullman> book for you.
<L_Ullman> I haven't listed it at PHP yet (for shame) although I intend to.
<L_Ullman> The book's Web site, I should mention, is www.DMCinsights.com/php
<L_Ullman> Um, next question (as I duck)
<Linuxwolf> L_Ullman: you mentioned that you cant see PHP replacing cgi could you expand on why you think it wont?
<Linuxwolf> given that cgi attacks have been frequent on a lot of sites, and how hackers have gained entry to websites
<shizo> how much time did ya take to write the book ?
<ctr> linuxfreck: php ties you to a specific syntax, cgi doesnt :)
<ctr> linuxfreck: cgi can be any langague
<L_Ullman> PHP vs. CGI: CGI, with its faults, is still very popular.
<linuxfreck> ctr: s/linuxfreck/linuxwolf/ :)
<L_Ullman> Right. CGI scripts can be written in a number of languages.
<Devilish> CGI isnt a language its just a way to access your program
<ctr> linxf: that aswell :)
<ctr> bah i suck
<ctr> :)
<L_Ullman> So while I'll never write another CGI script again, there are so many people using them
<L_Ullman> already that I can't see them disappearing.
<L_Ullman> The book took about 6 months to write which was a good 4 months over the deadline, although
<Linuxwolf> thany you for your answer Larry was just curious
<L_Ullman> don't tell my publisher.
<L_Ullman> I really appreciate everyone's time, comments, and questions.
<shizo> L_Ullman: is it your 1st book or did ya already write other ones?
<L_Ullman> This is my first book. There will probably be more (shudder).
<vorlon> So where does this mean my sites that use mixed perl&php scripts fall into the scheme of things? ;)
<L_Ullman> Amusing
<lcModerator> what tips do you have for aspiring computer book authors?
<jpm> you mean you only had 2 months to finish this book ? geez :)
<Devilish> How do you feel about optimising php with C or ASM for parts of the program that are most used? my friend seems to have done quite well with this method
<L_Ullman> Your sites are probably not uncommon in the mix of Perl and PHP.
<L_Ullman> One sec..
<L_Ullman> Um, advice for an author:
<L_Ullman> Choose a good idea, present it to the right people, and present it well.
<shizo> L_Ullman: are ya statisfied with your 1st book ( with the work ) ?
<L_Ullman> When I came up with this notion, there were no beginner's guides and Peachpit hadn't contracted for one.
<L_Ullman> So contacting them was a good match.
<L_Ullman> Satisfied...so-so.
<L_Ullman> It's nearly impossible to not look at it and think 'I should have done this or that'
<L_Ullman> but people who are trying to learn PHP say this book is great for them which is all
<L_Ullman> that matters.
<L_Ullman> Satisfied...so-so, but I should be, I guess.
<Devilish> most projects are never finished
<L_Ullman> Boy is that ever true!
<Devilish> apart from the deadline that says so =)
<shizo> L_Ullman: could you tell anything concretely which should be done better ?
<L_Ullman> Within the book?
<ctr> L_Ullman: what do you think were the key areas of php the caused it's sucess?
<shizo> L_Ullman: yes, within the book
<L_Ullman> ctr, ease of use, built-in features, and ease of learning, in my opinion.
<L_Ullman> That's why I took to it.
<L_Ullman> With the book, it's just a matter of always wanting to do more
<L_Ullman> like it is with any project.
<L_Ullman> It's probably best that they took it away from me or else I would be writing it forever.
<L_Ullman> I don't have any real complaints about it and hopefully most readers don't either.
<shizo> L_Ullman: what does the book cost and where can i get it ?
<[James]> Larry: I think timing is the main key to PHP's success
<Devilish> Larry did you learn much yourself by writing the book?
<wastrel> can php interact with perl or other cgi's?
<L_Ullman> I believe $15 online at Amazon or BN. Most big bookstores should have it.
<L_Ullman> James, you are very right about the timing. Static web sites are a thing of the past
<L_Ullman> and we need a way to make good dynamic ones.
<[James]> Rasmus was in the right place at the right time with the right code
<shizo> L_Ullman: what do you think bout XML and python ?
<L_Ullman> Devilish. I learned a lot. It is tough writing a book.
<L_Ullman> I always figured it would be much cooler to have written a book than to be writing one.
<[James]> Zeev and Andi came along and gave it a revamp with PHP 3 which made it really take off then PHP 4 is just amazing
<L_Ullman> And that's true.
<L_Ullman> On the upside, I love it when people (newbies mostly) tell me that the book helped.
<Devilish> finishing a project is always more satisfying than building it
<L_Ullman> On the downside, I hate it when people (other PHP programmers) say 'you should have done this' or
<shizo> L_Ullman: does that mean, that your book is only for newbies?
<L_Ullman> 'you should have done that' which is inevitable
<L_Ullman> Beginner PHP people is who the book is intended for
<L_Ullman> You need to know HTML maybe Perl or Javascript--basic Web design
<Cardinal> Well, that's simply an issue of wording. The same information can come across better by saying "How about doing it this way.."
<L_Ullman> Some programming skills is good.
<L_Ullman> Cardinal, you are very right.
<shizo> L_Ullman: what do ya think bout XML, is xml also expatiated in your book ?
<JFK> "expat"iated, lol
<L_Ullman> XML is not discussed--more advanced than the book and really not as used as it is discussed
<Devilish> larry how is your book for ease of reading? because i have some freinds who like programming but cant read the books because of dyslexia
<L_Ullman> (please begin arguing that with me now)
<L_Ullman> XML has some great promise but it's not usable for most programmers, in my opinion
* JALH nods at Devilish
<L_Ullman> because its benefits are on the large-scale application level, i believe
<JFK> How is XML not usable for programmers?
<JFK> Interesting thought.
<Cardinal> Right. Beginning users shouldn't be jumping straight into XML.
<[James]> PHP's XML support isnt mature enough yet
<[James]> its getting there
<[James]> and DOM XML and SAX are good
<L_Ullman> But to really use XML, you need larger projects, I think. Yes?
<[James]> but the XSLT support isnt there yet..
<[James]> maybe 4.0.7 and it will be there
<shizo> L_Ullman: did ya read other php books for inspiring ?
<L_Ullman> This is going to sound catty, but the other books caused me to write this one.
<L_Ullman> Let me explain.
<L_Ullman> There are some good books out there for people who already know PHP to take them
<L_Ullman> to the next level.
<L_Ullman> Or for people who really know Perl (or CGI) to take them to PHP
<L_Ullman> but there's really nothing (or there wasn't way back when) to take programming beginner's
<L_Ullman> into PHP.
<L_Ullman> And a lot of the books are 600-900 pages and cost $30-40
<ctr> L_Ullman: i agree, a friend of mine wanted a beginners guide to php but was unable to find one
<ctr> L_Ullman: hence why you writing it is a good thing(TM)
<ctr> :)
<L_Ullman> That's the theory!
<L_Ullman> Hopefully these people will make good use of this book.
<L_Ullman> Because people shouldn't be kept away from PHP considering how terrific it is.
<ctr> L_Ullman: maybe one day when my programming langauge makes it large you could write a book for me :)
<shizo> L_Ullman: what programming languages do ya know ?
<L_Ullman> Have I said I like PHP yet?
<ctr> L_Ullman: hehe
<L_Ullman> Just let me know, ctr.
<L_Ullman> Shizo. I learned Basic WAY back when (early 80's).
<L_Ullman> Pascal (late 80's) and then Perl and Java (199x's)
<L_Ullman> PHP is my strongest language though as I use it the most.
<ctr> L_Ullman: my langauge is basically a cross between alot oflanaguages - and it also doesn't attempt to be real, just useful - it's also pretty damn quick (equivelent to php4)
<L_Ullman> I have only a cursory knowledge of Java and Perl
<d> L_Ullman: sorry if this has been asked already, you mentioned 600-900 pages (scary for yours truly). How many pages does your book contain?
<ctr> L_Ullman: it also has the advantage of being like php in a number of respects
<L_Ullman> 250 plus appendicies and index
* JALH sighs at boris trying to boast about ferite again ;-)
<L_Ullman> should get you going and then tell you where to go from there
<ctr> L_Ullman: more importantly can it fit in a trouser or jacket pocket for qwuick retreival :)
<ctr> JaL: bah ferite rocks :)
<ctr> JALH: and i am taklkjing to an author - maybe useful in the furute :)
* JALH nods
<L_Ullman> really depends upon the jacket...
<JALH> hahaha
<shizo> L_Ullman: does your book discusse bout the installation of php ? if yes on which platform, linux or/and windows ?
<L_Ullman> Not really a pocket reference
<L_Ullman> It quickly demonstrates installation on linux and windows
<L_Ullman> Installation is really easy, except when it isn't
<L_Ullman> New installations aren't normally problematic though
<ctr> JaL: i plan on writing mod_ferite for my final year project - but i am going o avoid telling my uni who wrote ferite :)
<shizo> which system do ya prefer ?
<shizo> L_Ullman: which system do ya prefer ?
<ctr> s/JaL/JALH/g;
<L_Ullman> that's a dreaded question
<andy> hehe
<L_Ullman> Okay, here's the thing that will have me killed--I do most of my work on a Mac
<L_Ullman> Yes. A Mac.
<ronny> aaarrghhh!! :)
<L_Ullman> But I also have a linux box (Redhat 6.1) and a Windows 2000 machine
<ctr> i love macs :)
<shizo> smart answer
<L_Ullman> so I use what I have to when I have to
<JFK> L_Ullman: anyone reasonable shouldn't care. Platform elitism is just lame.
<L_Ullman> I agree.
<L_Ullman> They each have their benefit.
* Wintersun is away: doing other stuff...
<L_Ullman> I just like the Mac text editor and it's my best computer
<ctr> i also like linux because when i break things linux doesn#'t break either :)
<L_Ullman> But I do my testing on Windows and Linux
<Serb> L_Ullman : are you currently working on any PHP related projects ?
<shizo> L_Ullman: did yoru book discusse bout PHPs Database Connectivity ?
<L_Ullman> Project that use PHP or ...?
<ctr> l_ullman: do you wish you could do string + string and have it synonymous with string . string
<L_Ullman> One chapter on db connectivity which will more than get you started.
<Serb> L_Ullman : webpages, etc
<L_Ullman> ctr, not really
<L_Ullman> Yes, I'm working on about 4 or 5 projects of various scope right now.
<JFK> ctr: that's a deprecated feature of PHP
<L_Ullman> All of which I'd like to have finished but that never seems to be the case.
<ctr> JFK: what '.'?
<Serb> Ain't that the truth.
<JFK> ctr: no, using + for string concat
<L_Ullman> Concatenation
<L_Ullman> JavaScript uses + I think so I'm familiar with it
<L_Ullman> but I always took the PHP . at face value
<ctr> how come it's depreciated? i think + is far more natural for concatenation
<shizo> L_Ullman: does your book discusse bout PHP4s session ?
<shizo> L_Ullman: are there any chapters of your book online ?
<L_Ullman> No, it doesn't discuss sessions (much to the dismay of a reviewer at Amazon).
<L_Ullman> I use sessions sometimes but for no particular reason didn't include it in the book
<ronny> L_Ullman : What books would you recommend for building large php projects?
<L_Ullman> Unix.com has a chapter online (the chapter on Files and Directories)
<L_Ullman> or they will have soon
<[James]> ronny: web application development with PHP 4 is very good for advanced PHP
<L_Ullman> Peachpitpress.com (hope that address is right) has Chapter 3 online
<L_Ullman> I'm teaching a class on PHP at Berkeley and I'm using the Web App Dev with PHP 4 book as my advanced
<[James]> Tobias and TIll did a great job there... but its quite advanced
<L_Ullman> txt
<L_Ullman> I have issues with that book but overall it's definitely worth having
<ronny> [James] : I'll look that up thanks.
<L_Ullman> I own maybe 6 or 7 PHP books, I think.
<[James]> When I spoke to tobias about it he said there were issues but mianly because of the deadline
<L_Ullman> There's a mysql and php from scratch (not exact title) which i'd stay away from
<[James]> I think they wanted to have advanced SQL in there etc
<L_Ullman> I always recommend that Web developers have a good database book (specific or general)
<[James]> ronny: another good one is PHP Developers Cookbook by Andrei Zminski and Sterling Hughes
<[James]> but thats very much Problem: answer
<[James]> etc
<shizo> L_Ullman: are there any concrete plans bout writing other books ?
<ronny> L_Ullman , [James] : thanks. Amazon here I ccome :)
<L_Ullman> I have thought about writing a follow up to this which covers the more advanced
<L_Ullman> topics but in a clean, concise way.
<L_Ullman> I think some of the adv. books get very convoluded.
<shizo> another very good php book is the one from wrox.com
<shizo> just btw..
<L_Ullman> I actually have a novel I want to finish which should be my second book
<L_Ullman> it should have been my first book, but...
<ronny> L_Ullman : what genre?
<[James]> Larry: I think its very hard not to become convoluted though
<L_Ullman> basic (literary) fiction
<L_Ullman> James, you are right.
<L_Ullman> Tobias' book is a bit muddled, I think, but it does such a good job of discussing things
<L_Ullman> that others do not do that it's a must. and they really know what they are talking about.
<[James]> Larry I dont like their case studies
<[James]> they are a bit wafery
<[James]> and flakey
<L_Ullman> Pretty esoteric too
<[James]> the six.de one is good
<[James]> but other than that they are rather poor
<shizo> L_Ullman: why should somebody buy a php book actually? i mean, there are so many sites dedicated to php , with many many tutorials and so on ?
<[James]> the source discussion is a must have for anyone extending PHP
<[James]> although its free at zend.com now
<JALH> L_Ullman: are there any free chapters on the web? (pdf or html form?)
<L_Ullman> It depends upon where you are coming from, shizo.
<L_Ullman> Jalh--my site (www.dmcinsights.com/php) and unix.com have Chp 10, Files and Directories
<shizo> L_Ullman: your book is in the english language i suppose ?
<L_Ullman> Peachpitpress.com should have Chp 3
<L_Ullman> It is in English and is being translated into French (maybe other languages)
<L_Ullman> if you are new to PHP it would be difficult to learn from online tutorials--very sporadic
<ctr> shizo: nothing beats a book in your hand
<L_Ullman> I learned from one tutorial and then the PHP manual but I could save myself oodles of time
<ctr> shizo: if i am learning something seriously a book you can hold and flick through is *so* useful
<L_Ullman> if I had a book
<shizo> ctr: it was *just* a question, not an opinion
<L_Ullman> and, sheepishly, I still need to look things up so it's good to have reference books around
<L_Ullman> sorry, shizo, for the mauling
<shizo> np ;)
<ctr> shizo: hehe, sorry, i should have added "imho :)"
<ronny> L_Ullman : I think the secret in being knowledgable is not to keep everything in your head but to know where to find everything :)
<L_Ullman> besides, my head is old and tired and doesn't hold much anymore
<L_Ullman> Great participation today! I don't know what it's normally like but I've been very impressed.
<L_Ullman> Except for all the questions about stuff I don't know, of course!
<ctr> :)
<shizo> ;)
<L_Ullman> Anybody have any other questions or comments or adages or tom collins recipes?
<ronny> L_Ullman : Thanks for visiting and good luck with the sales and the novel. Gotta go :)
<L_Ullman> Thanks, ronny.
<ronny> L_Ullman : np
<shizo> L_Ullman: thx for answering my questions, good luck, bye
<L_Ullman> Thanks, shizo. Good luck!
<Devilish> good luck with your book Larry
<Devilish> hope it goes well
<L_Ullman> Thanks, Devilish. I appreciate it.
<ctr> L_Ullman: heh yep good luck with the book :)
<L_Ullman> Thanks, ctr. My best to you!
<ctr> L_Ullman: and i shalt tell people wanting php help to getit
<JALH> heh
<L_Ullman> Whoohoo!
<JALH> but you'll tell them about ferite first /me bets;-)
<ctr> hahaha
<ctr> probably :)
<JALH> L_Ullman: do you usially hang out on irc ?
<JALH> or opn?
<L_Ullman> Actually I rarely do. Is it always this lively?
<ctr> JALH: i am proud of ferite :)
<ctr> L_Ullman: dpened where you hang out =)
<DarkZen> hi
<JALH> L_Ullman: depends what channel, this network is growing about 50% in 3 months...
<JALH> s/in/every/
<JALH> L_Ullman: #linpeople and #debian are usially active
<L_Ullman> That's true.
<[James]> #php on efnet!!!!
<L_Ullman> I must run. Thanks to everyone again!
<[James]> is best IRC channel ever :)
<JALH> haha
<L_Ullman> And good luck programming in PHP.

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