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PHP Programming with PEAR
September 29, 2006
Week: 66 All time: 145
Marcelo Santos Araujo
crosaratech.com.brIf you want to learn how to use the most relevant PEAR packages with great detail, "PHP Programming with PEAR" must be in your bookshelf, definitely.
Written and revised by well known PHP developers of the PEAR community, "PHP Programming with PEAR" is a comprehensive tutorial that covers XML manipulation, time and dates, database abstraction layers, Web services and Web APIs.
The first chapter talks about MDB2, a database abstraction layer created to provide great portability and flexibility. This chapter contains vast documentation on how to use MDB2, including how to install it, connecting to a database, setting data fetching modes, using query shortcuts, setting data types, quoting values, debugging, working with sequences, iterators, etc..
The second chapter covers data display packages. It provides a good quick-start introduction about the packages: HTML_Table, Spreadsheet_Excel_Writer, Structures_DataGrid and File_PDF. This chapter teaches how to create HTML tables on the fly, calendars, data grids, spreadsheets and PDF documents.
The third chapter is about packages to manipulate XML documents, such as: XML_Util, XML_FastCreate, XML_Serializer, XML_XUL, XML_Parser, XML_Unserializer and XML_RSS.
Web Services are covered at the end of the book. It teaches how to consume and provide Web services with either SOAP, XML-RPC and REST based implementations.
Specific Web APIs are also covered. It describes packages like Services_Google, which is a SOAP based Web service API, and Services_Ebay, which offers an easy to use API for accessing eBay Web services, Services_Technorati and Services_Amazon.
The second half of the fourth chapter, Web services introduces REST based implementations. It teaches how to consume practically any REST based Web service for when there is no specific PEAR package to access it. Undoubtedly, I think this chapter is one of the most important of the book.
The last chapter describes PEAR date and time manipulation packages. I think these packages are very useful because they provide a good abstraction to manipulate date and time without the limitations of UNIX timestamps, which are used by PHP built-in functions.
These packages simplify common tasks, such as: comparing dates, getting the next day, setting date spans, calculating date holidays, internationalization of dates, building calendars, etc..
"PHP Programming with PEAR” is a mandatory book, especially if you are thinking about using PEAR on a daily basis to increase your productivity, or if want to improve your skills on the use of the covered packages.
You can quickly learn how to use several of the most important PEAR packages, by the means of a quick-start tutorial approach, without missing important details, which is a plus.
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1. PHPClasses.org: PHP Programming with PEAR (2007-09-10 10:53)