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Professional PHP4 Multimedia Programming
Devon H O'Dell
Iman S.H. Suyoto
Week: 8 All time: 126
manuellemos.netPHP is a very popular language among Web designers. That is because it is a natural evolution for those that already know how to produce Web pages using HTML but are not very familiar with programming. From static HTML pages to dynamically generated pages using PHP is a very small step because it is just a matter of inserting a few PHP commands in the middle of the HTML tags.
However, HTML pages are not the only form of media that can be generated dynamically using PHP. PHP has extensions to generate bitmap images (GIF, JPEG, PNG, WBMP), paginated documents (PDF, Postscript), interactive animations (Flash) and other less known formats.
PHP4 Multimedia programming is a book about using PHP precisely for dynamically generating the most common multimedia documents.
Besides a brief PHP programming concept refresher chapter for those less familiar with PHP, it talks about generating and processing bitmap images with the GD and ImageMagick libraries, generating Flash animations with Ming library, PDF documents with PDFlib and generating FDF forms using Acrobat and processing them with PHP.
The case study chapters are very good to consolidate the knowledge acquired throughout the book. There is a case study that demonstrates how to grab headlines with PHP and generate a Flash animation to display the headlines in a browser window.
Another case study on using the GD library to generate images suitable to display on WAP enabled phones. This case study goes way out of that issue of generating images for WAP and presents a complete application for delivering content to WAP based devices.
Another case study demonstrates how to build a image gallery application in PHP explaining several issues including the usual need to handle image uploads, produce thumbnail images and using a database to store information about the images being displayed.
Finally, another case study presents an interesting concept for generating PDF documents from templates, with the possibility of generating pages with data taken from a database that is inserted in special placeholders that mark the insertion points.
Overall this is a very interesting book that presents several extensions for serving dynamically generated multimedia content with PHP. It uses illustrative examples that clearly demonstrate the great potential of PHP for this purpose. If you are interested on multimedia content dynamic generation, this is a must have book.
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